It was the end of the school year 1970 and I had already been out of high school for a year. Connie was a year younger than I was and since we had been together for three years, she wanted me to take her to her senior prom. I cared a great deal for her, but for reasons I never understood, she always kept me at a slight distance. As a true southern gentleman, I treated her very well, taking her to nice restaurants, popular concerts, and entertainments of all kinds. Somehow, this date was different.
To my surprise, she had gotten permission from her parents to be out all night, so after the prom, she wanted to get a bite to eat at Kipp’s Big Boy and then go to Galveston to see the sun come up over the Gulf of Mexico. An all-night date was definitely a first for us, since I was, at the age of nineteen, inexperienced and …. well to be blunt, I was a virgin. It wasn’t something that I talked about with my male friends, but it was out there, and she knew that I had never made any sexual overtures towards her. The nature of this date seemed to imply that something was going to happen that had not happened before in our relationship.
She was graduating, and I was out living on my own already, so the thought went through my mind that maybe she wanted to see our affection move up to the next level. She had never bared anything around me other than her arms and ankles, and now she was thinking of intimacy? Did every young man feel this way when the chance of a sexual happenstance first presented itself? I mean, I had been taught the basics, but it’s one thing to have someone tell you how to drive a car, and quite another to actually feel the steering wheel in your hands and make the attempt.
We drove onto the beach and parked facing the surf, just enjoying the majesty of the water. I suggested that we get ready to go in the water, meaning that we would head to the nearby locker rooms for privacy. To my surprise, she opened the car door, and standing there outside the car began to pull off her shirt. She was going to undress right out here in public! I had my trunks on under my pants, but when she removed her clothes, she was wearing nothing but a white bra and panties. I was just standing there gawking, because even when dressed, I knew she had a beautiful body. This was the first time I had ever seen it, and I knew this was going to be an interesting day.
What I had taken for her underwear was, of course, a lovely white bikini, so her actions were not quite as provocative as I had first believed. She had done the same thing that I had, and worn her suit under her t-shirt and shorts. I looked down at the cross emblazoned on my keychain. I, with my mind on what I thought was an impending sexual encounter, had jumped to a distant conclusion, and now, I quietly blushed for the direction of my thoughts.
After a bit of a frolic in the crashing waves, we decided to go for a walk down the beach, so we locked up the car and headed out. Searching for pretty souvenir seashells, we talked about all sorts of topics, but tended toward the future and what we were planning to do with our lives. At no point did she refer to our relationship in the future sense, and I was too embarrassed to broach the subject. I could tell that our time together would be coming to an end before long, and I don’t just mean the trip to the beach.
We had dried off in the hot Texas sun, and she wanted to go back in the water to cool off a bit. Since her slippers had almost dried, she didn’t want to get them wet again. We looked back at the car and saw that it was quite a walk back, so we hung the slippers on the nearby fencing and headed back into the water. As she ran on ahead, I paused a minute, looking back at the shoes on the fencing.
Somehow, the sight of them made me sad.