Mourning Becomes Samantha
Suggested by The Oresteia
by Aeschylus; title inspired by Mourning Becomes Electra
by Eugene O’Neill In the style of a Greek tragedy, girl meets girl, girl rescues girl, girls fall in love.
This is a three-part novel of imagination, as much a character study as anything else. The general structure is from a trilogy of three separate but related plays, the only surviving trilogy in Greek tragedy. It turns out that Part3, to compensate from story overload, will be broken into three sections.
All characters are based on people I know, with names changed. The events are based on stories
as they were related to me (my emphasis).
Thanks to a positive comment by one of the early readers of the story, all segments after this one will begin and end with
Alfred Hitchcock Presents-style introductions and conclusions. I found that I was on the same frequency with James B. Allardice, a comedy scriptwriter who shared television’s first Emmy Award for comedy writing
(The George Gobel Show) and then served as Hitchcock‘s personal writer for the entire run of the series. Those are done for fun.
The interpretations and language stylings are mine. All mine.
The original Oresteia
is called a tragedy in three parts, but it is not a tragedy in the Shakespearean sense. Most of Shakespeare’s tragedies (and many classical Greek Tragedies) end in horrible disaster, with most of the leading characters dead and many others broken in spirit. Someone may come out as ruler of a country by virtue by staying alive and pay tribute to those who have fallen, but in general the loss is greater than the gain.
In the Oresteia,
however, the death and disaster comes early on, and the vengeance for the death comes in the middle. The final part is devoted to creating a better world from the remains of what happens, and the protagonists suffer but are made more whole and pure by their ordeals, which is what I have planned to show here.
What a difference a year makes.
Or five years.
On Samantha’s 15 th birthday she was a happy young woman, just starting her trip into maturity.
On her 16 th birthday she simply wondered if she would survive to reach 17.
On her 20th birthday she was on top of the world, wondering if she would suddenly wake up and be 16 again, that it was all a dream.
Samantha was a fairly typical little girl on her way to becoming a young woman. She supplied this author with some photographs of herself taken as a child and as a young adult. She was never fond of her looks -- she developed freckles from sun exposure, for example -- but actually she had a lot to be pleased with.
The thing people would notice about her first were her eyes. A brilliant emerald green, matched only by one of my cats. Then an observer would notice her smile, always happy, always cheerful. Her nose was a little outsized for her face, but not egregiously so (and it would prove very welcome in some of her relationships). Great bone structure in the face, nice teeth, a caring expression that showed any time.
For the photographs she dressed casually -- usually jeans and an oversized shirt or a sleeveless blouse -- but she wore them so well that some commentators told her she should be a model. I would compare her to Karen Allen of the Indiana Jones films, with lighter hair (depending on the sun she ranged from dark blonde to brunette, as does the next person in this story) and with the eyes more noticeable. A very, very pretty young lady.
Samantha had had a happy family life. She enjoyed reading the Bible (and would later enjoy it more still), particularly the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. She was an only child, close to her parents, friendly and easygoing toward the friends she had, although nobody really close yet.
That was when the disaster hit.
Both parents were killed in an automobile accident. Her only living relative was an uncle. She had to go live with him.
That in itself would not have been so bad, except for one thing. The uncle had married. His wife had a lot of goals and ambitions, and not one of them involved having a teenager in the house. The aunt quickly prevailed on the uncle to send Samantha to an all-girls’ boarding school.
Let’s be charitable and tell ourselves that the uncle thought boarding school would be a safe, welcoming environment for girls and young women to study without the pressures of society tempting them to experiment with a great many dangerous things -- drug abuse, unprotected sexual experimentation, falling in with “the wrong crowd” (future criminals, to start with) and more. The uncle may also have felt that Samantha might do better in a private school than in a public school in her new city, where she knew almost nobody. It makes sense if you say it fast and don’t think about Samantha as an individual.
The reality was the lion’s den.
What the uncle had not realized was that Samantha had been cut off from all her friends and family at the very moment where she was developing from a girl to a woman. It was a classic case of arrested development. Samantha had never really had feelings for anybody, had never fallen in love or ever in like, and had no clue of how to deal with feelings of love and sexual feelings. Furthermore, she was the kind of student who needed to work out problems and find the concepts behind them in order to understand subjects or topics. Such was not the way at this school. The teachers expected the students to be “smart” enough to grasp how to solve problems, how to get the meaning of what they read, and how to complete assignments without wondering what they needed to do.
There was another factor involved -- directly related to the fact that this was an all-GIRLS boarding school. One of the most popular legends of erotica centers on throwing girls together -- in an entire school or even as roommates -- and watching lesbian relationships develop. (Funny how all-boys’ schools or dormitories seldom inspire stories of gay male relationships. The leading character usually brings a female date to his dorm room, or visits her off campus.)
The legend, however, has a lot of truth to it. Some young women are lesbian by the natural order of things; others seek out girls as their first lovers for the sake of companionship and understanding. Many women will have lesbian girlfriends, then “in the real world” go with men, either because heterosexuality is their natural order or because it’s more acceptable to much of society. Many women find loving boyfriends and even husbands. Many of them are very much in love and stay that way. Some are secretly unhappy and long to be with women, or a particular woman.
And then there are women who have no idea what to feel -- with anybody.
Samantha was one of those women. Really, she was a girl in a woman’s body, aware of the changes in her body but having no idea of what was right or wrong. She did not know -- indeed had no idea -- whether or not it was right or wrong to be attracted to anyone at all.
So she tried not to let anyone be attracted to her. During her sophomore year, as she turned 16, she made a point of never showing off her body to anyone -- roommates included. Whenever she changed clothes, she went into the bathroom and undressed and redressed, never showing any amount of flesh that her uniforms or night clothing did not reveal. She seemed to interact very little with her roommates, or indeed with anybody in her classes. Without anyone to befriend and guide her, her schoolwork was poor and her attitude made her look like the pathetic village eccentric.
At some point, Greek tragedies often introduce a deus ex machina,
literally a god out of a machine, who is quite literally placed on the stage with a crane so as to dispense wisdom and justice. Life sometimes does that too, not by dramatic contrivance but by people who observe and who care.
I recently saw a photograph of Darryl Hannah, the actress who is also an environmental activist, crouched beside a Peruvian stream. A lovely picture -- until you see Hannah’s left hand, palm toward the camera. The hand is as black as the oil spill it was just immersed in. Hannah’s facial expression, suitably grim, tells volumes in itself.
Susan often bears a remarkable resemblance to Hannah -- in looks, in disdain for having to show viewers what she has seen, in passion and (hopefully for Hannah) in intelligence. She was as far developed emotionally beyond her age (six months Samantha’s junior) as Samantha was behind her own. Susan had no trouble with her schoolwork and was eager to search out more to learn. Perhaps unlike Hannah, she was almost never happy to be photographed; nearly every picture of her (particularly two vacation pictures where she wore swimsuits) display a facial expression that reads: “Don’t even THINK what you are thinking.”
Given the relative ages of puberty for girls and boys, and the well-documented fact that pubescent boys reach their hormonal peak at around age fifteen, Susan had never chosen to date a boy. A grown man might have been acceptable, but not someone who was far from grown up. She had kissed girls and liked the experience, though. She knew much about female-female sexual relations and enjoyed them. But -- the maturity factor again or perhaps her own discerning nature -- she had never had a girlfriend.
Susan and Samantha were in the same grade and shared some of the same classes. This gave Susan ample opportunity to observe Samantha, struggling to understand. It also gave Susan a real empathy toward her classmate. When junior year rolled around, Susan and Samantha were assigned a two-bed room together and Susan had much more opportunity to observe. She read what was really true. Samantha had never been with anybody because she thought nobody loved her and cared for her. The girls became friends, but not close.
Until one (literally) dark and stormy night.
People who hurt inside know (or find out) about being frightened, feeling utterly alone, like they are going to Hell for no discernible reason. Quite a few people have problems with “sundowner’s syndrome,” where when the sun goes down they lose most of the references that help them keep track of time. In winter, 7 o’clock in the evening seems like midnight; midnight seems like 5 in the morning; 5 in the morning seems like yesterday was an eternity ago and you wonder if you will ever see the sun rise. People often sleep very poorly under those conditions, having been taught all their lives to live by sunshine and sleep by darkness, and have great trouble adjusting to nights that seem endless.
Some people are also frightened by certain sounds, particularly weather events. Almost everybody has, or knows somebody who has, been frightened by thunder and lightning and wind storms -- particularly at night, when the storms can sound like variations on Hurricane Sandy and to merely step outside invites terrible danger.
This storm was one of those. Samantha huddled in her bed, eyes wide, petrified with terror. Quite possibly she was having a panic attack. Susan, across the room, saw it and knew she had to act.
Susan crossed the room and climbed into Samantha’s bed, hugging the girl in her arms. Samantha didn’t respond much, but she no longer seemed like she was having a nightmare. The hugging went on for a while … and then Susan made a dangerously risky move.
She began to kiss and caress Samantha. Little kisses and caresses at first. But Samantha, like so many women who don’t know they are beautiful (especially if they try to hide it) turned Susan’s heart and body toward warmth and heat. The caresses became more explicitly sexual, and at length Susan reached down and placed her hand between Samantha’s legs. To further make the point, Susan took Samantha’s hand and placed it between Susan’s legs.
Samantha made no reaction. Susan thought that meant acceptance. In fact, Samantha was petrified. Had that been all there was to it, this story would remain unwritten and Susan would go down in the books as a monster in the Jerry Sandusky (a serial child molester whose arrest devastated college football and led directly to the death of its greatest coach) mode. But Sandusky molested his victims just to hurt them and get cruel pleasure from it. Even in Samantha’s state of terror and loneliness, she could tell that Susan was genuinely caring for her and trying to help her feel loved. It is not easy, and countless people have been exploited by so-called “friends” and “caregivers,” but somehow Samantha knew that Susan was not out to hurt her. Quite the opposite.
Samantha did not react that night, but the storm passed and she was able to fall asleep. She did not react the next night either when Susan kissed and caressed her again. On the third night, the desires and feelings that Samantha had never grown up enough to have started to show themselves.
By the end of the term, Susan and Samantha were in love. The following year, when they were seniors, Susan and Samantha were given individual rooms in separate dormitory buildings. This proved to be no handicap and even helped. Susan had learned about Samantha’s struggles with learning -- figuring, correctly, that the blow that had deprived her of her parents had had an effect on her learning development as well as her development into being a woman. So, one of the other would just take her book bag and a set of night clothes along with her uniform and go off to the other’s room for study sessions and concept explanations. Whatever happened after that was their choice.
Susan, as her time with Samantha progressed, found herself in true love with her new girlfriend. The sex was what both girls would later call a “dom-sub” relationship. When I wrote this passage, I was in serious doubt. Not long afterward, oddly enough on the board of a Lush member whom I was checking out, the relationship was explained better. Basically, a dom is a person (male or female) who takes the initiative, in making the first sexual pass or giving the first kiss or coming up with ways to enhance lovemaking. It does not imply that the sub is treated as an inferior, and it definitely does not extend into a couple’s personal outside-the-bed lives. The couple is as equal as they want to be, and both parties can hold down jobs, work out personal finance, pursue happiness in entertainment and dining and whatever else. The dom is the decision-maker when it comes to sex; the sub accepts those decisions and goes along.
To make a comparison that I myself can understand (and which their friends have used), Susan was the fully grown woman, the dignified house cat; Samantha was the friendly, eager-to-please adolescent, the friendly puppy dog. The cat and the dog lay down together and felt closeness. The cat purred, the dog thumped its tail, and they settled in.
Susan had the ideas for lovemaking and taught them to Samantha, with some pleasant results and some that were more than pleasant. When Samantha went down on Susan, for example, Samantha’s nose was shaped so she could use her lips and tongue on Susan’s vulva and vaginal entrance to great effect while her nose rubbed against Susan’s clitoris. That worked VERY well.
In return, Susan mastered and taught a technique where one woman would lie on her back on a floor or a bed, head elevated. The other woman would crouch above the first woman’s face, brace her arms, and very carefully lower herself onto the woman’s face and extended tongue. Some of you may have heard of that technique, but Susan knew some particular ways to make it special.
The tongue was extended and shaped by its owner’s muscles into a wedge that could penetrate the vagina like a Sybian sex toy could, except there was a human in direct control of it. So the tongue could penetrate to the G-spot, flatten out and massage the entire circle of the vulva and clitoris, provide an implement for the other woman to ride on, caress with the rougher top side and the smooth bottom side, draw the womanhood close for a soul-searching tongue kiss … there’s a lot more, but the one flaw in this arrangement was that it would wear out the strongest muscle in the human body (outside the heart) in the span of 10 minutes. So the giver would signal the receiver to arise -- and switch places.
As graduation arrived, Susan became intensely concerned for Samantha’s welfare. Samantha likely wasn’t going to college, so her likeliest destination was some low-paying job and life in the home of her uncle and that aunt. Susan, who could easily have gone to a fine university, considered that against Samantha’s welfare. Samantha’s welfare won out. Instead, she proposed, the two of them should move halfway across the country to a Miami-like resort community and find work in the growing tourist industry there.
That’s just what they did. They both found work at a hotel-restaurant-casino. Susan was a restaurant waitress, Samantha a cocktail waitress. That wasn’t an ideal situation, since that meant Samantha was working with a lot of customers who were losing their sense of judgment (the better to lose their money) and were offering her various sums of money for sex acts she had never performed, nor wanted to perform. Susan, knowing this, fretted greatly for her lover and consoled her after some bad days.
Susan had bad days as well. At Christmas 2011, she and Samantha had some time off and went to a lake and a swimming pool (which is where the swimsuit pictures were taken.) That was OK, but Susan was also a natal baby with a birthday of December 24 th , and was expected to spend those holidays with her parents. So far, so good -- but the parents thoroughly disapproved of homosexuality in all forms and snubbed Samantha. It was a while before Susan spoke to them again, under very different circumstances.
A little over a month later, Samantha discovered Lush. She was a friendly and outgoing type of person -- the puppy again -- under the right circumstances, and she sought out friends whose stories she liked.
One of those friends was Jean, a longtime Lush member, a woman of a certain age who had also suffered the pain of losing her parents (a few years back and separately, after long illnesses). She immediately empathized with Samantha and readily accepted her friend request.
That began a new chapter to the story. We’ll be right back with Part II after a LOT of words from our sponsors.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com
with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/novels/mourning-becomes-samantha-part-1.aspx">Mourning Becomes Samantha, Part 1</a>