My Graduate School Romance – Katie

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My Graduate School Romance – Katie’s Perspective

Katie’s initial view of Sean’s graduate school experience.

This is a sidebar to the primary story My Graduate School Romance. You do not need to read that story to enjoy this one. Most of this story is set in the nineties and aughts (2000s). Remember things were slightly different then. Everyone is at least 18.

The characters in this story are flawed, just like you and me. Sometimes they make bad decisions as they struggle to live their lives. Sometimes they make life changing decisions. Again, all characters and situations are complete fiction, a product of my fertile imagination. Any similarity to actual people and situations is purely a coincidence. All constructive criticism is welcome.

*****

I grew up in Florida in a military town, but I didn’t have much to do with the military. My childhood was average to boring. Everything changed when I hit puberty. Within a year I went from a flat-chested girl to a buxom teen. I suddenly became very popular with the guys. My Mom tried to prepare me as much as possible and she very clearly explained to me the ways of men.

Nevertheless, I had a bit of a rebellious streak. Mom wanted one-piece swimsuits, I demanded bikinis. Mom wanted modest bikinis, I demanded sexy-as-hell bikinis. Eventually we settled on something in between.

During the spring of my senior year I started dating a cute, geeky guy named Simon. He took me to the senior prom and afterwards we drove down to the Gulf to a secluded part of the beach. Neither one of us knew what we were doing, but we both lost our virginity that night.

After high school I attended our local junior college to save money. Simon went off to a top engineering college and we let the relationship fade away. At first I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I just wanted to get my general education requirements out of the way before I went off to Florida or Florida State. One requirement was to have an arts class. I wasn’t interested in drawing or painting. When my advisor told me that music was art and I could take guitar lessons, I signed up right away.

My guitar teacher told me I was a natural and I was soon playing all sorts of music. I sang along with myself, but I didn’t have a strong voice. I loved singing harmony when someone would join me. During the summer between my first and second year of junior college, my life started changing – a lot.

It was in late May. After my guitar lesson I was approached by this long-haired guy named Matt. He told me about his band. They had lost their bassist. I told Matt that I didn’t play bass and he explained that the bass was essentially just the top four strings on a regular guitar. He begged me to consider joining them. They had a bass guitar and amp for me and he’d drop it off at my house. I told him that I’d consider it after I tried out the bass.

Now this was the mid-nineties and the post-punk, post-grunge era. Matt said that the band played pretty simple stuff, but they were trying to get better. They had a regular Friday night gig at a bar down on the beach. They didn’t make great money, but they had hopes. I told Matt where I lived and that afternoon when I got home there was a guitar case and an amp waiting for me in our living room.

My Dad asked me what was up and I explained that these guys wanted me to join their band. I brought out the bass and I was shocked to find that it was nearly as big as I was. I’m a shade under five feet tall and the guitar was nearly four feet long. I put the strap over my shoulder and my Dad started laughing.

I plugged in the amp and found the cord. Then I started playing a simple walking bass line, then I started improvising.

That’s when Dad stopped laughing, “Damn Katie! You’re good at that.”

I felt so empowered playing that huge instrument. My Dad reminded me that Tina Weymouth, Juliana Hatfield, and Kim Gordon were famous female bassists. I found a picture of Tina on the internet and I realized I was just like her! The bass was huge compared to her.

I have since found out that the bass Matt lent me was a classic – a 1968 Fender Precision. I loved the color, a surf green. The sound was great, rich and warm. When I showed up for my first rehearsal in Matt’s garage, the two other guys in the band had the same reaction that my Dad had. It was great shutting them up when I started playing.

In addition to Matt playing guitar, Sammy was on drums, and Butch played lead. It took me a while to get used to the size of the instrument, but it was so much fun making music with them. We played mostly punk and grunge, plus some simple, old rock and roll songs like Wild Thing and Gloria. Matt had me sing some Joan Jett and Courtney Love songs. We practiced three times that week and by the time Friday came along, we were ready.

The place we played at was called The Sand Crab and was down on the beach. It attracted locals, tourists, and military. Since it was kurtköy olgun escort summer, the guys asked me to wear a bikini to the gig. I told them that as long as they were wearing beach gear too, I’d wear one. The guys showed up wearing baggy swim shorts hanging low on their hips, the kind that were popular then. Matt and Sammy went shirtless, while Butch wore a cut-off tank top. Sammy and Butch wore sneakers. Matt went barefoot and his shorts were so low, the top of his pubes curled over his waistband. We were definitely pushing the limits.

By this time in my life I had decided that my boobs were my best feature. I didn’t necessarily want to flaunt them, but I wasn’t going to hide them either. I picked out a bikini with a modest bottom. I didn’t want to be sporting a camel toe. The top on the other hand was unlined. If I got chilled, then I’d have some nice pokies as Simon called them. The way I slung the bass, it hid my crotch, but my boobs were out there for all the world to see. I decided I would wear shorts and a t-shirt back and forth to the bar, then strip down for the gig.

That first night, we were a big hit. Our music was good, but there were a lot of guys who stuck around to see the buxom bassist. Between sets I had guys all over me. I had to ask Matt and the boys to run interference for me. They enlisted the help of the bouncer so I could have some peace. Things started getting crude around eleven that night when the drunks got active. I liked to tap my foot, which I soon found out made my boobs jiggle a little.

I heard all sorts of comments: “Nice tits!” “Bounce them boobies!” “Lose the bikini!” “Love the nips!” “God, I want to fuck you!”

At one point a drunk guy started coming at me. Butch stepped up and punched him in the face right in the middle of a song.

Matt stopped the song, “If you fuckers can’t treat Katie with respect, we’re fucking leaving! She’s a fucking great musician and a really cool person! Be fucking nice!”

The man could drop an f-bomb! The place started cheering like crazy. The rowdies settled down. At the end of the night, Sammy and Butch made sure I got home safely.

The bar was owned by this guy named Louie and he said his bar sales when up four fold that first night. To curb the leering and cat-calls, I decided that I would wear a t-shirt and shorts over my bikini. When Louie saw what I was wearing he begged me to lose the t-shirt. I told him he’d need to talk to Matt. He was our leader.

Before we started playing, Matt called us together. “Louie wants Katie to wear her bikini again. I told him ‘no’. He said he’d pay extra and I told him she wasn’t a whore that could be paid.”

Butch nodded, “Good fucking move. Katie, you’ve got a great rack, but we’re not selling that.”

I looked at him with my bitch eyes, “I suppose I should take that as a compliment.”

Butch looked sheepish, “Oh sorry man. I didn’t mean it like that.”

I smiled at him, “I know you didn’t. I appreciate you guys looking out for me. I got an idea. Louie said sales went way up right?”

Sammy nodded, “Yeah.”

“How about if we ask for a cut? Then if I feel like I need to lose the t-shirt sometimes, then it will be my choice, not Louie’s.”

Matt looked at the others, “Whatta ya think?”

Sammy nodded, “That’s cool.”

Butch looked at me, “Katie you’re fucking good. You can wear a nun’s outfit as far as I’m concerned. You’d be a fucking hot nun though. There’s no fucking pressure okay?”

“Thanks Butch.”

Butch looked at Matt, “Go talk to Louie.”

Louie agreed to give us twenty percent of profits as long as we would start playing both Friday and Saturday. I could wear whatever I wanted, but maybe sometimes I would be too hot for a t-shirt and I could just go with a bikini top. He also agreed to hire another bouncer to be my security detail. After that I would usually lose my t-shirt for the last set.

Another big change happened the following Wednesday when my best friend Trish and I went downtown to a nickel beer night. The bar was this mash-up of all sorts of styles and furniture. It was a popular trend back then. We were standing in a repurposed pulpit when a tall redhead started talking to me.

I found out his name was Tom, but his friends called him ‘Red’. He had just arrived at the navy base and was going to be there for at least eighteen months.

Tom and I hit it off and by the end of the night I had given him my phone number. He said he’d call me.

When I came home from class the next day, my Mom handed me a note: Tom called. Please call him back. It gave his phone number. These were the days before cell phones and typically you either got someone or left a message on their answering machine.

I called and I got Tom on the second ring, “Hey Katie! I was wondering if you’d like to go do something on Friday?”

“I’m sorry. I’m working. But you can come see me work.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m tuzla escort in a band.”

I gave him the details and he promised to show up.

Friday night I wore a crop top with a more modest bikini underneath. At the first break, Tom called out to me. I waved him over. I told Rocco, my security guy, that Tom was cool.

Tom looked at Rocco, then at me, “What’s up with him?”

“He’s my security guy.” I explained what had happen the previous week.

Tom laughed, “I’ll make sure I stay on your good side.”

He was very nice and oh so polite. I learned he was at a military school and had just been commissioned. He had to explain all the navy stuff to me because I was clueless. Up until this point I had just ignored the military guys, but Tom had me interested.

I should also mention that my guitar instructor had fully embraced my switch to the bass. He taught be all kinds of cool things. Within weeks I felt like could play anything the band wanted to do. He also taught me a lot about playing gigs. Twice he came out and watched us play. Between sets I introduced him to my band mates and he had a lot of helpful things to tell us.

*****

That year was one of the best of my life. We made some good money in the band and I became very good friends with Tom. One thing I never figured out was why he never tried anything with me, not even kissing and hugging.

Trish thought that he might be gay, but I didn’t think so. He loved looking at my boobs, albeit very discretely. Several times when we went to the beach together he took pictures of me in my bikini.

I just didn’t get it, he didn’t hug me, kiss me, nothing. I loved being with him, but I really wanted him to take our relationship to the next level. He never did and I was too bashful to bring it up.

The following fall, I went off to Gainesville and Tom was transferred to a base about twelve hours away. Four times he flew in to see me. He stayed in my apartment each time.

One evening when we came back from dinner he started giving me a back massage. He had me lay down on the floor on my stomach. He pulled my shirt up and undid my bra. I thought he was finally going to make a move on me. He must have massaged me for an hour. I was tempted to roll over, but I guess I was waiting for him to make the first move. Eventually he put my bra back on and pulled my shirt down. End of massage. Then he went to bed.

A short time later Tom moved to California and our relationship just faded away. About a year later I got a postcard that he sent from Japan.

Dear Katie,

Hope all is well. We should get together when I get back. Japan is amazing. I’d love to bring you here someday.

All my love,

Tom

All my love! Maybe he’s ready! I found out when he was due back in the United States and I got his phone number from information. I called his number and a woman answered. I found out that he had gotten married! To this day I kick myself for not encouraging him more. Maybe I should have made the first move. I was just so naïve. Losing Tom was one of the major disappointments of my life.

*****

During my time in Gainesville I became very lonely. I didn’t have the excitement of the band. I didn’t have Tom. I really didn’t even have friends. I decided to pursue nursing and focused on my studies. I got my nursing degree and passed my RN exam. Part of me wanted to move back home, but I found out that the band had broken up and everyone had gone their separate ways. Instead, I decided I needed to get out of Florida. I got a job working at a hospital in the Midwest.

I settled in and the work was so rewarding. I loved nursing, although the hours were grueling. I started seeing a guy named Dave I met at a training course I was required to attend. It didn’t take long for us to become lovers. He was attentive and caring. I remember the first time I had an orgasm. Oh my god! How did I not know about them! Dave taught me a lot about my body and myself. I learned how to give a blow job. I learned how to use a man’s penis during intercourse to give myself an orgasm.

I had a year-long sexual awakening. For an additional three years I had a close, loving relationship with Dave. It seemed like any day he would ask me to marry him. Then one morning he told me that he was going to move on. I was shocked. I never saw it coming.

*****

The way I dealt with our break up was to go back to school. I enrolled at the local university and earned a master’s degree in nursing. That’s when I discovered that I wanted to teach. One of my professors encouraged me to apply to the doctoral program there.

I did a lot of research and found out that if I attended classes full-time I could complete the program in three and a half to four years. Part-time might take seven years. I didn’t want any more student loans so I applied for several scholarships and eventually landed a full ride.

I started the program the following pendik escort January. The classes really pushed me, but they were so much fun. I started working at the university’s clinic on a part time basis to keep my nursing skills current.

In March I saw an ad in the student newspaper that a local band was looking for a bassist. I called the number and spoke to Elena. I told her about the beach band and she wanted me to audition. The problem was I didn’t have a guitar. Elena said they had some money stashed away for equipment and if I made the cut, they’d buy the guitar and amp.

I went down to a local pawn shop. They had a 1974 Precision Bass with a natural finish for $750. The guy threw in an amp for another hundred. I went back and practiced for an afternoon. That evening I showed up at Lindsey’s garage. Elena introduced me to the band: a young undergrad named Pete on drums, a scraggly guy named Keith on guitar. Lindsey was a tall redhead who played keyboard. Finally, the stunning Elena who sang and played a number of instruments.

They asked me to play something. I decided to go for broke and played John McVie’s famous bass line from ‘The Chain’. I nailed it. Pete and Keith joined in and the three of us sounded great. Elena said that she didn’t need to hear anymore and I was officially a member of Radio Renaissance.

*****

I really enjoyed playing in the band. They weren’t punk or grunge like I was used to, but they worked hard and I really liked contributing to the harmonies.

This was also the first time I had been in a band with women. Elena was a little prudish, but Lindsey flaunted her sexuality. After one practice, she took Keith by the hand and pulled him into her house. He gave me a shit-eating grin as if to say ‘Guess what we’re going to do?’

During a break between sets at one gig, Lindsey pulled Pete in the back room. When they came out he had a look of euphoria that indicated he had most likely had an orgasm.

It was sometime in June that Elena instituted a ‘no romance in the band’ rule. When she told us, she was looking directly at Lindsey.

Afterwards Lindsey took me aside, “Just between you and me, I don’t give a shit about romance. I just like to fuck. Fucking without romance is my preferred poison.”

Elena’s rule raised the tension in the band. It was obvious to me that Lindsey was doing Keith and Pete as often as possible. They did a horrible job hiding it.

At every rehearsal, Elena would give the three of them hell. By August, Keith had had it and told Elena that he quit. Losing him hurt us a little, but not a lot. Comparing the band with and without Keith, there wasn’t a lot of difference. I later found out that he rarely practiced. In hindsight, he wasn’t contributing a lot.

Elena placed an ad in the school newspaper and over the next month or so we auditioned a couple of guitarists. No one really stood out and Elena seemed to be pretty discouraged.

*****

It was the second week in October. My classes were going really well. I was pulling five day shifts a week at the university clinic. That money, plus my scholarship had me set financially.

As we were setting up for our Thursday gig, Elena mentioned that she got a call from a guitarist who seemed promising. Hopefully, he would show up tonight.

The last two we auditioned were pretty bad. I had decided to give Elena until Halloween to find someone and then I would quit too. Making music was fun, but things had become a hassle. The extra money just wasn’t worth it. We made a little over $50 a week. Four hours of rehearsal, plus four hours in the gig meant we were making about $7 an hour. I guess I was thinking back to those heady days on the beach. By the time I went to Gainesville, we’d each make $400 over a weekend for about eight hours work.

The band had just finished our first set. I saw a tall redhead walk over to Elena. Is that him? Please let him be good. I thought back to Tom. I had a soft spot in my heart for redheads.

Elena introduced us to him. His name was Sean. Lindsey, Pete, and I went over to the bar for some non-alcoholic refreshment. Lindsey took Pete’s arm and disappeared into the back room, undoubtedly for some kind of sex.

I went over and sat on chair at the side of the stage and watched Elena and Sean. Pete and Lindsey reappeared. Lindsey was wiping her face so I was thinking Pete got a blow job. Elena set Sean up with her Telecaster and he took a position at the back of the stage next to Pete. Elena had given him a binder with all the tabs in them in case he didn’t know the songs well enough.

Give him a chance Katie. Right off the bat I could tell Sean knew what he was doing. Even though it wasn’t his guitar, he had the tone set up so that his playing fit in with the rest of us. He had a solid rhythm, creative picking, and every once in a while he’d throw in an appropriate fill. I didn’t hear any mistakes.

We were about halfway through the set when Elena turned to Sean and asked him if he knew Tracy Chapman’s “Revolution.” I saw him nod and Elena handed him her acoustic. He looked over at me and he had a wide grin. Elena had given him a little challenge and he knew he was up to it. He started the opening riff and was playing beautifully.

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