"No eighteenth birthday brunch?" I asked my little sister while she ate a bowl of cereal at our kitchen table.
"You know I'm not one for going out," Polly responded, kicking her crossed ankles as if nervous to talk to me. Her blue toenails looked so cute poking out from her pajama bottoms. She had worn her light brown hair in a bob forever, preserving her look as my kid sister.
"Well if I don't get to do anything to celebrate my little sister, I'm going to have lunch with Joy and Payton. You're welcome to join." I, at least, would not waste a bright, sunny June Saturday. I knew that summer 2019 might be my last with both my friends. Joy was already working full-time and Payton's internship would surely lead to bigger and better things - and cities.
"We'll see," she chuckled. Polly got along with the three of us, but kept her distance for some reason. I don't think we ever intentionally pushed her away, we were just a bit intimidating whether at school or at home.
I thought about why Polly never came out with us as I took my breakfast back to my room. Everything must have started with Payton. We looked like a walking dumb-blonde joke, Payton the blonde, Joy the redhead, and me the brunette. I think Payton was keenly aware of being twisted into a joke, so in middle school she became not just the smartest person in class, but also the hardest working. She was a blonde bombshell and that annoying girl who made everyone know that she had every answer in class. Between her and glamorous Joy, joining our group meant feeling both ugly and stupid. I am pretty enough, but if they didn't love me so much, I would have felt that way.
I texted them "Lunch today?" and Joy responded, "Isn't it Polly's bday? Let's meet at your house and take her shopping." I was surprised she remembered - Polly wasn't on social media. "Pick me up at 11 Joy," Payton responded and our plan was set.
"Alright, where's that birthday girl," Joy shouted as I opened the door for them. Her long, yellow floral sundress seemed to flutter across my foyer as she blitzed past me, her ankle boots announcing her presence as loudly as her voice. Joy was our fashion leader and had the big personality to match her flashy clothes. The expensive boots and thigh-high slits contrasted with my simple blue and white maxi skirt and black flip flops in the same way our personalities contrasted. She was high fashion. I put myself together, but much more simply.
I motioned Payton ahead of me and admired the long, tan legs coming out of her white pleated miniskirt. The skirt was so short and loose that a small breeze could seemingly expose all of her. Her beauty put me in a momentary trance as she walked past.
"Polly's in her room," my mom said to break my trance. "I'm going out for a bit, Carly, don't stay out and forget your sister's birthday."
"We're not going to forget, Linda," Payton said to my mom.
"Yeah we're here to celebrate her!" Joy told my mom with a wink. Even just talking to my mom, Joy oozed glamour, personality, sexiness.
"That better not mean alcohol," my mom mumbled to me as she went out the door. She knew alcohol wasn't our vice, but we were still underage so she always reminded me.
I followed my friends to my sister's room. "Happy birthday!" Joy cried, opening Polly's door without warning, though Polly must have heard her downstairs.
"Thank you," Polly smiled, still under the covers, her face slightly red.
Joy took a hop and sat at the foot of her bed. "We're taking you shopping."
"Thanks, but you guys know I don't care much for shopping."
"Come on," Payton said. "Everyone likes pretty clothes and spending time with fun college girls. Doesn't mean you'll become that," she added with a motion towards Joy.
Joy stuck her tongue out at Payton. "Even though I'm going to have to slap her, she's right. Let's go, it's just hanging out and finding stuff we like."
"Alright," Polly acquiesced, "But get out of my room first so I can change."
After Polly had pulled on jeans and a t-shirt, we all piled into Joy's truck. Payton and I sat in the back, ostensibly in deference to the birthday girl but really at Joy's insistence. We browsed a few stores at the mall, but Polly shopping was really me and Joy bickering. The clothes Joy picked were too sexy for quiet little Polly - if we were going to help her shop, we had to upgrade what Polly was comfortable with.
But Joy did not seem to understand. On hot days, Polly wore baggy shorts, so I picked a pair that showed a little more leg but kept things appropriate. Joy picked out cutoffs that even Polly's tiny ass hung out of. Polly didn't own a casual skirt, so I had her try on a flattering knee-length gray skirt with a small slit. Joy found the tightest bright red skirt in Polly's size that barely came to her mid-thigh. Polly dutifully tried everything on and let us all see, but rejected everything. Payton stood back and watched us make fools of ourselves.
Our disagreements came to a head when we each presented Polly with a shirt at the same time. Mine was just a white v-neck T with a small decorative breast pocket. Joy chose a low-cut top with criss-crossed laces down the opening. "Joy, you're wasting her time," I exclaimed.
"Your sister's hot, she should push the envelope a bit," Joy retorted.
"She's wearing a shirt from the juniors section and you think she's suddenly going to wear a slut top like that? It's great for your huge tits, but Polly's not going to wear that." I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't sure why I was so mad. I could tell Joy was about to snap back at me, but Payton came to our rescue.
"Guys, we're shopping for Polly's birthday, so let's get some food and cool off. Polly, lead the way, you pick lunch."
Joy grabbed Polly's arm hooked it around hers. "Let's go, show me the way," she said with a tone surely directed at me. They started walking and Payton took my arm. We walked a few feet behind.
"What's with you two?" Payton asked me as we left the store for the food court.
"It's just ridiculous, Joy should know her better than to try to dress her like a hooker."
"I think she knows her fine," Payton said. "I think she might have a crush on her."
"What?" I asked in disbelief.
"I don't know. But Joy's been leading this birthday stuff. The clothes she picked looked great on Polly. And who is she trying to impress with her boobs spilling out of that dress?"
"She would have told us if she was a lesbian."
"Would she?" Payton asked. "Her parents or pretty conservative. She tells us about parties at college, but two years in and I don't remember anything about boys."
We walked quietly as I contemplated Payton's observation. It was too weird. "Polly did look damn hot in those shorts," I said to try to calm myself.
"Had me turned on," Payton said softly as she leaned into me.
"That's my sister," I said back as I turned to her. She was joking, right? Was she a lesbian? I looked at her full breasts in her gray tank top pressing against my average ones. Goodness she was beautiful. I felt my heart race. Was I a lesbian?
"Look," she said, then turned to a whisper as she pointed to the mall's sex shop. "Remember your eighteenth birthday?"
"Shut up," I said in a joking tone as I pushed her away. I did remember my eighteenth birthday, but I didn't want to think about that day while questioning my own sexuality. We had experimented that night more than two years ago. At the time, I thought we were just exploring; I was convinced we were all straight. But could three straight girls really do those things?
I pushed the thoughts away until we sat down to eat. The food took me and Joy away from each others' throats. But the conversation had me wondering if Joy was hiding something again. "Can you believe she doesn't have plans on her eighteenth birthday?" Joy asked us.
"You know her," I said. "She doesn't even like her friends."
"I like them," Polly corrected me. "I'd just rather read."
"You should at least make some boy treat you to something," Joy suggested - or commanded - with a devious tone. "Who knows, you might get some real fun out of it."
"That's so awkward," Polly complained. "I've never had a date, how can I call some guy and just tell him to... I don't even know what we'd do."
"You've never had a date?" Joy asked in shock.
"Leave her be," I snapped. Polly was shy enough without Joy questioning her dating life.
"Does that mean you've never been kissed?" Joy continued.
"No," Polly answered, trying to act calm but I could hear the nerves in her voice. "I don't see the big deal anyway."
"Oh we're going to have to fix this. You need to kiss someone before senior year starts," Joy said. I looked at Payton and rolled my eyes. She winked at me.
Joy spent the rest of lunch trying to get Polly to pick a boy to talk to. Polly was clearly uncomfortable, but so was I, too uncomfortable to intervene. Payton just sat with a smirk. At least she was wrong about Joy liking my sister. The harassment finally stopped and we agreed that we were too tired to continue shopping. Joy and Payton came in with us when we got home. "I'm sorry it wasn't as fun as I thought," Joy said as we walked in.
"No it was fun," Polly protested.
"I'm sorry too," I said. "I don't know what my deal was."
"No, you guys were cool. I had fun looking sexy, and Carly, the stuff you picked would be an upgrade for me."
"Maybe we should plan something better sometime," Payton suggested.
"For now," Joy jumped in, "Can we go down to your basement and watch some Netflix? I promise we'll be more fun."
"Alright, let's do it," Polly smiled, leading the way downstairs.
Joy followed, then me, then Payton. Polly sat on the sectional and grabbed the remote. Joy sat down next to her and grabbed the hand with the remote. "Not yet," she said.
I sat down on the other section and looked up at Payton with my eyes flared. "If you won't find someone for your birthday kiss," Joy said, "Can I be your first?"
My heart jumped. Was Payton right? I mean, the three of us had fooled around, but we were best friends, we were just practicing. Polly took a deep breath and gave me a nervous glance. "Yeah," Polly said softly. "Yeah I would like that."
Joy put a hand on Polly's waist and leaned in. As their lips pressed together, I watched Polly close her eyes and let her mouth open. I could tell Joy's tongue was sliding in. Their passion continued to increase as I felt my own arousal rise. I tried to push away the tingle in my womanhood. I did not want to be the pervert turned on by her own sister. But between gorgeous Joy making out with my little sister and Payton's incredible legs barely an inch from mine, I couldn't hide the obvious from myself. I was horny, horny for Joy, for Payton, and even for Polly.
As I tried to reconcile my feelings, Joy slowed down their kiss and broke away from my sister with a touch to her cheek. "You're a natural, babe," she cooed at Polly. "Payton, come try this."
Payton got up and slid onto Polly's other side. Polly turned and embraced her, as if making out with two girls was perfectly natural for her. The began to kiss and I felt Joy come to my side as I stared. I felt a hand on my thigh and turned to face her. "You don't have to be left out," she whispered to me.
I closed my eyes and let her lean in. I kissed back and she parted my lips with hers. I savored the open mouthed kiss for a few moments. We hadn't kissed in two years, and this was the first time we didn't call practice. I found her tongue with mine and let my thoughts fade. My lips became one with hers, our tongues dancing like long lost dance partners meeting again to the beat of a slow waltz. My body begged to melt into her embrace. As if to respond to my body's cry, she softly pushed me onto the couch, making her soft breasts consume mine as my hardening nipples strained against my bra, trying to be closer to her. I lost myself in the passion like never before.
"Oh my God!" Payton suddenly screamed in shock.
I immediately broke from Joy and she slowly got up. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Polly pleaded. She was sitting up and facing forward, while Payton was on her back but propped on her elbows. Her legs were spread ever so slightly and her white skirt had fallen to her waist to reveal the length of her long legs and a small pair of sky blue panties. The most attractive person I knew in such a sexual position distracted me from the shouting, Polly attempting to apologize about something and Payton saying everything was OK while also trying to apologize.
"Girls, quiet" Joy commanded above the din of their voices. They obeyed. "Polly, is everything OK?"
Panicked, Polly responded. "I'm sorry, we were kissing, and I touched under her skirt, I thought that was what I was supposed to do, but then she jumped and I didn't mean to do anything wrong..."
"OK," Joy interrupted. "It's OK. Payton, are you OK?"
Payton had straightened her skirt and sat up. Her voice was calmer. "Yes, I was just surprised. I don't mind, Polly, I just thought we were practicing kissing and it took me by surprise."
Joy moved over to Polly. "See, it's OK," she said with a hand on Polly's thigh. "It's just hard to know what people want. But if it's OK, I would like to kiss you again, and you can touch me wherever you want."
They embraced and began kissing again. Payton quickly got up and flopped next to me. I took her by the arm but was entranced by Joy and my sister. My body begged for a release, another moment of passion. I wanted to kiss Payton, but I could feel her arm still shaking. Joy and Polly were beautiful together, but I needed more than a show.
Suddenly we heard the front door slam and my mom's heels click against the hardwood upstairs. Polly bolted up and declared "I have to go," before rushing out with her face beet red.
Joy sat still in a stunned silence before turning to us. "What the hell was that?" she asked.