“You really have to stop watching those,” Nicole said to her half-sister, as she noticed her gazing at the romantic comedies on display in the store.
“Believe me, you’ll find the right guy soon enough.”
“You’ve been saying for the past few years, and I’m the only one of all my close friends who’s still single,” Barbara replied.
“That’s because you’re too picky and won’t give anyone a decent chance sis.”
“Has it really come to this?” Barbara said in a depressing, yet playful tone. “Now my own younger half-sister is giving me advice on dating. I guess I’m going to be all alone again once your next semester starts next week.”
Nicole smiled and put her hand on her Barbara’s shoulder, “Come on, let’s go to the checkout counter and then have lunch afterwards. We have plenty of other stores to visit today.”
“You’re right; it certainly beats standing around and talking about such a depressing topic. Let’s go.”
Barbara knew she was lucky woman at 36 years old. She certainly had a lot going for her in life. She had a great job at a law firm where she made a near six-figure income. Friends and family who cared for her very much surrounded her. Most of all, she had someone whom she loved and adored more than anything else adore in this world. Barbara truly considered her 19 year old half-sister Nicole to be her best friend, and she so proud of her for being able to attend one of the best universities in the country.
Nevertheless, the one thing missing in Barbara’s life was a steady relationship. It’s not that she couldn’t find a date, she had plenty, but she could never make one last. It was always one reason or another that would ruin a good relationship for her. Often times it was her hectic work schedule that turned men away. Other times it would be that she felt that the guy she was with simply wasn’t good enough for her, a point which Nicole had alluded to several times during their discussions.
Whatever it was, Barbara was always fearful of ending up alone. She wasn’t getting any younger after all. So she spent a lot of time doing her best to look good, whether it going to the gym as many times as she could in a week, or tan in the back yard whenever possible. She always dressed professionally and with class, but tried to look modern and sexy at the same time. Whenever she felt depressed, she would always try to remember her daughter’s optimistic words, ‘you’ll find someone soon…’
Nicole walked into her half-sister’s room to drop off her new clothes as Barbara finished unpacking the rest of their groceries.
But when she put the bag down, she noticed something in the slightly open drawer next to the bed. She had an idea of what it was, but she wanted to be sure. She opened the drawer to reveal a flesh colored vibrator sitting on top of a small towel. Her curiosity got the better of her and so she picked it up and looked at it for a moment, not knowing what to think.
“Nicole?” she heard behind her.
She suddenly threw the vibrator back onto the towel, slammed the drawer shut, and turned around to see Barbara standing at the doorway.
“Well, you obviously saw something that you weren’t supposed to,” Barbara said, feeling humiliated that her half-sister discovered her sex toy.
“There’s really nothing to feel embarrassed about,” Nicole replied, trying to ease the awkwardness.
“Lots of women own these nowadays. It’s perfectly normal.”
“Oh cut it out, I see that nervous look on your face. You’re just trying to be nice because you know how embarrassing this is for me.”
“…I guess that’s part of it. I’m also pretty surprised that you would own something like this, despite what I’ve said. You don’t seem like the type who would just walk into a sex shop or go to an adult website and buy one of these things.”
“I’m not. Well not really,” Barbara replied. “A few weeks after you left for college, on my birthday, one of my friends gave it to me as a joke. We all had a good laugh and I took it knowing that I would throw it out eventually. But you’re at the age where you understand a woman’s needs; and so one night I was feeling lonely and I thought I would give it a try. You can figure out the rest and why it’s next to my bed right now.”
“Okay, now that sounds just like you,” Nicole joked, making the both of them laugh.
With the mood in the room lightening up, Barbara curiously asked, “Since you know such much about this and think it’s so casual, is it safe to assume that you’ve used one before?”
“No, I haven’t,” Nicole answered. “It’s actually the first time I’ve ever even touched one.”
The phone suddenly rang, bringing an abrupt end to a taboo conversation by these two near relatives.
Barbara checked the caller ID, and before answering it, she told Nicole, “I have to take this call, we’ll talk later.”
The rest of the day was awkward for both women. They prepared dinner and ate as usual. They even talked about some of their usual topics. But the odd tension from Nicole discovering the vibrator still lingered.
Barbara went to bed that night replaying the conversation that took place in her bedroom earlier that day. In some ways, she felt even worse about it because it finally sunk in that her half-sister would always remember that she owned a sex toy. For her, it was humiliating but also strangely arousing in a way she couldn’t put her finger on.
Even worse, she couldn’t believe that she ended that conversation with her asking Nicole if she had ever used a vibrator before. To her, that was probably even worse than getting caught in the first place. She had no idea how those words even came out of her mouth to begin with. All she knew was that tomorrow was another day and she firmly decided that she needed to talk with her about it once again to clear the air.
Barbara closed her bathroom door and disrobed. She then turned the faucet in the tub to prepare for her usual weekend bath. She ran her hand through the warm water and bubbles to make sure the temperature was perfect. The sit-down she planned to have had to wait because Nicole had gone out with some friends.
The water was where it needed to be and was at the right temperature, so Barbara turned off the water, leaving her bathroom in complete silence before she would get in the tub.
Then, she heard it. There was a faint sound coming from the other room. She pressed her ear against the door to hear something buzzing. It was a sound she knew all too well as it comforted her on many nights. It was her vibrator.
She knew that it had to have been her, and that Nicole had come home while the bath was filling and had assumed that she wouldn’t have been able to hear the sex toy being used. In that moment of realization, Barbara didn’t know how to react or what to feel. Her mind was in a frenzy of trying to decide whether to just get in the bath and pretend she didn’t know what was going on, or, even worse- have a look.
Barbara had wanted a discussion on this issue, so what better time than now? She knew that she was fascinated by her vibrator as she had never even touched one before, so she assumed Nicole had just wanted to see how it worked. The time felt right for her to initiate their talk. And with Barbara’s robe put back on, she gently turned the knob on the door and slowly opened it. She expected to see Nicole curiously looking at the vibrating object. But when Barbara got her first glimpse, she was in for a serious shock.