Thursday, June 24, 1999The power was out. The power seemed to always go out during a storm. Tonight was no exception. A flash of lightning lit up the sky outside. A crack of thunder followed instantaneously, rattling the old window in its nearly dilapidated frame.Heather reached to the nightstand beside her and accidentally knocked over a beer can—an empty beer can. It rolled off the stand and clanged against the hardwood floor. Her hand fumbled in the darkness until she found the pack of Morlboros and lighter she’d been searching for.The flame from the lighter lit up the darkness as she placed the cigarette between her lips. She used the moment of light to glance at the naked body laying beside her in bed. A little short, slightly too thin, a big nose—but otherwise, beautiful… and all woman.The lighter went out and the brief glimpse of her lover was over. She tossed the lighter back onto the nightstand. A drop of sweat rolled down Heather’s torso.“Damn it’s hot,” Heather muttered as she took a drag on the cigarette.“That’s what happens when the power goes out in the middle of the summer,” the woman beside her answered.As the two friends lay next to each other, listening to the rain pound down on the roof, Heather pondered her current situation. This is crazy, she thought. How did I end up here? she asked herself. She exhaled a cloud of smoke and ran her fingers through her short, spiky black hair, as she reflected on this unexpected whirlwind of a relationship. It had all started innocently enough… “Do you want a part-time job this summer?” Heather’s mother asked her in mid-May. Heather had just arrived home from college and wasn’t real sure what to do with herself for three months. “Doing what?” she asked.“Oh, last night, when your dad came home from the coop board meeting, he said they were looking for someone to help Carol run the elevator during harvest,” her mom explained.Heather closed her eyes. Her dad had been a board member for the local farmers cooperative for ten years. He had come home bearing this message no less than ten years in a row. They were always looking for someone to help Carol run the elevator during harvest. It was not a difficult job, but the hours were long. Some nights farmers and harvesting crews could keep cutting wheat until eleven o’clock or later. Not only were the hours long, but they were also unpredictable. An unexpected rain could leave you without work for three days in a row. Some days started at noon, other days might not start until four o’clock. If no trucks were coming through, there was quite literally nothing for you to do. Aside from all that, the elevator office was dusty and grimy (a difficult combination to pull off, but somehow it managed to be true). Yes, there was a reason this position was available. It usually went to some college-aged girl who was hard up for cash—some girl like Heather.“I don’t want to work in the elevator,” Heather said flatly.“Are you sure?” her father said from behind her, coming out of the restroom to join the conversation. “We’re paying ten dollars an hour this year.”Heather’s eyebrows went up. “Ten dollars an hour?” Minimum wage was $4.96 an hour. Heather’s attention was caught.Her dad shrugged. “It’s only for a few weeks, of course,” he explained unnecessarily. “You know how the elevator is. Once harvest is over there wouldn’t be anything else for you to do. Carol handles pretty much everything else the şişli escort rest of the year.”“Let me think about it,” Heather said, a resigned quality to her voice. Over the years of making these types of decisions, let me think about it had become Heather’s go-to response when she had already made up her mind to do something, but just didn’t want to say it out loud yet.So, the rest of May came and went, as did the first two weeks of June. Harvest was getting a slightly later start than usual, thanks to some unusually cool weather at the end of May. Finally, the day arrived and Heather drove to the elevator in one of her dad’s pickups so she could be trained.“Hi!” Carol greeted. “I was pretty excited when I found it was you I’d be working with this harvest,” she admitted.Heather laughed. “Why’s that?”Carol shrugged. “I’d just rather be working with you than someone I don’t like and have never met before.” Carol had been a constant presence in the elevator offices for several years. She was there every time Heather had gone in, and they’d chatted occasionally, but never really interacted with each other that much. The woman was a good twenty years older than Heather, and thus, as a result, Heather had never given her that much thought. She was a short woman, a little thin, like she never quite got enough to eat. Her nose was slightly large, and bent over, as if it had been broken at some point in her life. Other than those two minor flaws, she was overall a very attractive woman.Carol began explaining the job to Heather. There wasn’t much to it really. Weigh the trucks, use the moisture tester, write out the tickets. In less than an hour, Heather felt comfortable she could handle things easily.“To be honest, the hardest part of the job is the truck drivers,” Carol said with a giggle.“What?” Heather asked.“The truck drivers,” Carol repeated. “Just… get ready.”“For?” Heather prompted.“To be hit on,” Carol replied. “A lot.”Heather snorted with laughter. “Seriously?”“Oh yeah,” Carol answered. “Especially someone as hot as you. They’ll be trying to flirt with you every single time they come in.”Heather shook her head. “I’m not that hot,” she said dismissively. “They must not leave you alone either,” she said, returning the compliment.Carol smiled. “Ten years ago, no, they never left me alone… but anymore, I still get a few guys who’ll flirt, but not nearly as many.”Heather grinned, “They’re loss, I suppose.”Harvest commenced as it always does. The trucks came in, the trucks came out, the trucks played pinochle on your snout—no, wait, that’s not right. Anyways, Heather and Carol settled in for three to four weeks of monotony. They showed up every day and worked until late in the night. As the days passed, Heather got to know Carol quite well. Some days they had a lot of time on their hands, waiting for trucks. They talked about their differing experiences in high school, gossiped about some of the townsfolk, and poked fun at the different guys from different “custom cutter” harvest crews that they were having to put up with.About two weeks into harvest, things were beginning to wind down for the night. All the custom crews had left town, meaning the only people left trying to get harvest finished, were the local farmers, who all shut down around ten o’clock. Heather and Carol had been watching weather reports on television all evening. A storm was coming—a big one. According to the weatherman’s mecidiyeköy escort explanation, there was no way it was going to miss them. The storm would probably arrive about one-thirty in the morning or so, maybe sooner, maybe later.“Hey, you oughtta come over to my place after work,” Carol asked unexpectedly as if the idea had just occurred to her. “We could have a few beers, watch a movie or something—or just sit and talk—or whatever.” She paused for a moment and then added, “But mainly, have a few beers.”“What about the storm?” Heather asked.“Exactly, the storm means we probably won’t have to work at all tomorrow,” Carol explained. “Thus, beer.”Heather giggled. “Sure, sounds great. Just let me run home real fast and change into something more comfortable.”The last truck of the night rolled through twenty minutes later. The two women closed up shop and Heather made the quick drive to her parent’s house. A mad dash inside and ten minutes later, she was wearing a comfortable pair of dark blue soccer shorts and a tank top. Her mother found it odd that she was going to go hang out with a forty-two year old woman, but in the end, admitted that Heather was an adult and could “stay out late” if she wanted. “Just be careful about the storm,” she admonished as Heather stepped out the door.Just a few minutes later, Heather was pulling into Carol’s driveway. The house in question was an old, two-story house that had once been painted white. The paint was peeling away badly and overall, the dwelling appeared to be in serious need of some repairs.Heather stood on Carol’s porch and awkwardly knocked on the screen door. Carol came to the door and Heather noticed that she too had changed. Carol was now wearing a similar pair of flimsy, hot pink shorts, which were much shorter and more revealing than Heathers. An A-frame tank top (one of those that is colloquially referred to as a “wife-beater”) completed the older woman’s outfit. “Lived here by myself since the divorce,” Carol said matter-of-factly as she walked across the living room.“How long were you married?” Heather asked, just trying to fill the void in the conversation, as she followed the other woman.“About ten years,” Carol responded as she stepped into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator. She removed two cans of Miller Lite and handed one to Heather. Carol picked out Top Gun at random from her collection of VHS tapes and popped it into the VCR. It started playing but they quickly forgot about it amid the conversation.Over halfway through the film, Heather was making a return trip from the refrigerator, cracking open what was already her fourth beer. “So, all those truck drivers who flirt with us,” she said casually, “ever take one of them up on it?”“Are you kidding?” Carol snorted. “Hell yes,” she said, draining the last of her fourth can. “Dozens of times,” she admitted.Heather’s raised an eyebrow, her curiosity piqued. “Dozens?” She wasn’t sure how to ask the next question. She and Carol had talked about a lot of things over the past couple of weeks, but they’d never talked about sex. “Sooooo,” she started slowly, “are we talking dates? Orrrrr…”“Fucking?” Carol filled in. “Yeah, lots and lots of fucking,” she said through a giggle.“Wow,” Heather said simply. Her jaw had figuratively dropped and sudden sensations had just been stirred somewhere between her ribcage and her knees.Heather couldn’t stop herself. Now that the topic had taken an abrupt change in direction, she wanted to know more. “Anyone we’ve been dealing with this year amongst that group?” she asked curiously.Carol nodded. “Well, Ryan of course,” she filled in. “But he’s a local guy, we just kinda screw whenever we’re both in the mood.”“Ryan?” Heather questioned. “Really? I had no idea. You guys just act like casual acquaintances when he comes in.”“Yeah, we’re just fuck-buddies,” Carol explained.Heather belted out a big laugh. She swallowed down about half the beer in her hand and pressed on. “Anyone else?”Carol thought for a moment. “Ted, the one in the blue semi, about three years ago.”“Very nice,” Heather said approvingly.Carol went to retrieve another can of beer. When she returned, she cracked it open and flopped back down on the couch right next to Heather, with her legs tucked up under her knees, an arm across the top of the couch, and turned facing Heather. A distant sound of rolling thunder indicated that the anticipated storm was approaching.“About, oh, eight or nine years ago,” Carol continued, sipping from the new beer, “there was this crew that came through every year. One of the guys that drove for them was this totally hot guy. He asked me to go out driving around with him one night after they finished. I bet we fucked five times before they left town.”“That’s awesome,” Heather said honestly.“Came back through the next year, and the next, and the next after that—lots of sex.” Carol paused for a moment. She picked up her pack of cigarettes off the coffee table and took one out. She lit it up and took a drag. “But then, ol’ man Wright got pissed off at the crew for something, and he hired someone different the next year. They’ve never been back.”A lull in the conversation allowed Heather to gaze at her new friend. She had a cuteness to her which had been growing on Heather for three weeks. Her tank top hugged her perfectly in all the right spots. Heather glanced at the other woman’s chest. The low cut tank top revealed just a bit of cleavage. Her short, yet shapely legs were still tucked up under her.At the beginning of the night, they had started out on opposite ends of the couch. Over the course of the past hour and a half, they had gradually moved closer and closer. Now, they were mere inches apart. Heather gazed into the others eyes and could tell that Carol wanted to make the next move, but was holding back. Perhaps she was worried about taking such a bold step with a woman who was so much younger.Heather took the step for her. She leaned in and kissed Carol on the lips, simultaneously placing a hand on the other woman’s thigh.Carol responded instantly, slipping her tongue into Heather’s mouth. Once that first barrier had been breached, neither one of them made a further attempt at restraint. The dam had burst and they were washed away in a torrent of passionate kisses. The older woman asserted her dominance, pressing Heather backwards onto the couch.Heather could feel Carol’s tongue against her own. Taste the cigarette smoke still on her breath. Warm saliva passing from one mouth to the other. Carol’s lips, slightly dry and cracked. Their breathing heavy.Heather felt Carol’s calloused hands work their way down her arms and up under her tank top. Heather returned the favor, snaking her own hands onto Carol’s ass and down the back of Carol’s perfectly smooth thighs. One of Carol’s hands found Heather’s perky twenty-one year old breasts. She hadn’t bothered to put on bra when she left the house. Her hand gripped firmly and teased a tender nipple between practiced fingers.