Vivian is the same woman who appears as Miranda’s roommate and lover in “Vivian and Miranda,” which takes place when both are twenty-two in 1977. This story is set six years earlier. Cathy is the girl who appears in “Thirteen Stone Pillars,” which is set in 1973. This is a work of fiction, not a thesis on the Catholic Church. Any views the main character has about the Church should be seen as hers alone.
At the start of her junior year in the late summer of 1971, sixteen-year-old Vivian Hannity had been attending Catholic schools for her entire life. Yet she found that her belief in her own religion was waning. It wasn’t exactly that she was becoming an atheist. It was more like the rigid dogmas of the Church simply made no sense to her anymore. She could not resolve the contradictions between what the Church was trying to teach her and her own powerful sexual feelings.
Once she believed everything without question. She bought the whole package, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Limbo, the Virgin birth, whatever was told to her by the nuns who taught her. Yeah, I’ve been confirmed, but now I feel like renouncing it all. For her third-generation Irish family, it was as much a cultural thing as a matter of faith. The Church was simply there, something beyond questioning, and one followed its precepts because, well – that was the way a decent person should live.
At this time, she was attending an all-girls high school, the Mount St. Ursula Academy in the North Bronx not far from her home on Mosholu Parkway. She was starting to feel trapped there and yearned for her future graduation when she could move on to a non-Catholic institution.
One of the things that was going wrong was that that the Church strictly forbade masturbation, and the nuns at Mount St. Ursula had no qualms about telling that to their students. For about a week, Vivian tried to get her junior year off to a good start. She tried giving up her passion for fondling herself into an orgasm. After all, the nuns were authority figures who seemed to know what they were talking about.
After a brief period, Vivian said to herself, This is ridiculous. If God gave me this body, he must have meant for me to enjoy the pleasure it can give me. That night, in her bed, she raised her nightgown. Then she used one hand to rub her clitoris and the other to insert the thick handle of her hairbrush into her cunt. After eight days of abstinence, she quickly had an intense orgasm. She had to use her willpower to avoid yelling out the joy of her climax. She didn’t want the rest of her family to hear her voice as she came.
After that, she figured that this was exactly the kind of act she should mention during her monthly Confession, but she refused to do it. She was growing to hate Confession, and the lies she would say when in the booth. She thought that maybe the priests enjoyed hearing lascivious stories from other girls, but she couldn’t prove it. They certainly sounded bored most of the time when she was prattling on in her side of the confessional.
Vivian had begun to think that the Church was strangely obsessed with sexual matters even though no one would admit to it. One of the areas where that appeared was in the preoccupation with the horrible deaths of venerable martyrs, many of whom had quite a bit of sexual sadism involved with their demise.
One of them was St. Ursula herself, who was supposedly one of 11,000 virgins beheaded by Huns near Cologne in the Fourth Century. Vivian thought the story lacked credibility, but the Church thought highly of her, enough to even name Vivian’s school after her. Better to lose your head than your hymen. She thought that was one of the unspoken lessons to be learned from the school’s namesake. Why hadn’t those Hun guys banged all of those chicks instead of killing them? After all, with 11,000 of them, there seemed to be more than enough to go around.
She had also seen a medieval painting of the death of St. Engratia, a young woman flagellated to death around the year 303. Vivian thought that the picture looked like a classic BDSM whipping scene. Of course, no one would admit to that either, but the truth seemed obvious. And there were many other grisly tortures to contemplate. There has to be something wrong with a religion so fixated on these weirdly horrible deaths.
But it wasn’t the distant past that bothered her the most; it was the strange, sexualized atmosphere now present at the school that really got to her. It seemed that most of her classmates, with the attempts to repress them and the lack of any boys around, were engrossed with sex even when they tried to deny it. They referred to themselves as being “boy-crazy” but Vivian knew that simply meant “horny.” There were also some distinctly lesbian aspects mixed into those feelings.
It was at the beginning of her junior year that Vivian became involved with the lesbian angle at her school, both directly with one of her classmates and somewhat indirectly with the nuns. One issue revolved around the underpants the girls had to wear to school. Much like at an English boarding school, the girls were supposed to wear uniform “regulation underpants” every day. These were supposed to be white and of an ample cut.
Vivian believed that the short skirts they also had to wear were a form of hypocrisy. We’re actually nubile young women, but they dress us like little girls.
Nevertheless, the underpants situation, by some long-forgotten school tradition, had evolved into a sort of cat-and-mouse game between the students and their pious teachers. Many of the girls would come to the academy with “bad girl” panties on under their uniforms. These would be of some color, cut, or another attribute (laciness was popular) that completely violated the school’s sartorial rules.
There was some exciting risk to this because sometimes the nuns would conduct random “panty-checks” of their young charges. Any girl caught with improper underwear had to immediately report to the “paddle room” for corporal punishment. The nuns would beat them, first on the seats of their drawers and then on their bare backsides. Up to three girls could be lined up for punishment sometimes; on certain days several others would be waiting their turn for discipline. Bad grades, smoking in the school or on its grounds, and cursing were also grounds for a spanking.
Afterwards, the guilty females would be sent home, and if they lived close enough, they had to return with the proper undergarments for another inspection.
Vivian had avoided involvement in these hi-jinks. Nevertheless, she heard various details about what happened during these sessions. A number of girls admitted, that despite the pain, they also enjoyed the paddlings. Their genitals would become wet during the beatings, although the nuns would never comment on it even though they had to have witnessed it.
Some of the girls would then have an urgent need to masturbate, although they often had to wait until they were home to satisfy themselves. A few of them, before heading home, were bold enough to duck behind a tree on the school grounds for a quick wank.
For their part, the nuns seemed to relish dishing out the punishments. They would often smile or even giggle when applying their thick paddles to young backsides.
Unlike many other girls, Vivian thought there was something strange about nuns in general. Why would they, starting at a young age, renounce and deny their own sexuality? Yet she grasped the idea that the paddlings were a way for them to sublimate their desires. Actually, maybe it’s not so sublimated after all.
Even though Vivian didn’t participate in the “naughty panties” shenanigans, she was still intrigued by it. Among other things, she wondered what her reaction to a rear-end punishment would be like. She had never been spanked by her parents, and she wondered if she would enjoy it.
She was also developing a Sapphic interest in her classmates. Without any boys around to distract her, she developed a curiosity about other females and how they could satisfy her growing lust. Masturbation was fine, but she was beginning to crave the bodies of the other girls around her.
Am I really a lesbian? She was sophisticated enough to know what bi-sexual meant, and she took that on as her own orientation. When I get a chance, I’ll chase some men too, but for the moment I’ll take what is available.
As her junior year started, all of her hidden questions were suddenly answered. The catalyst for the change was another sixteen-year-old junior named Catherine, or simply Cathy, Morrow. That September, Cathy made a direct play for her. She was about five-foot-nine, a tall, rangy girl with dark hair she cut on the short side. It only went down to her chin, which was unusual for a Bronx girl in 1971. Vivian thought she had a “downtown,” even dyke-y look about her. Somehow she seemed too cool to be attending a place as uptight as the Academy.
Vivian herself was five-foot-six and more slender. Her medium blonde hair went down to her shoulders and she usually kept it in place with a hairband across the top of her head. She wasn’t exactly shy, but she was quiet compared to the voluble Cathy.
Cathy was in a couple of Vivian’s classes, and she didn’t hesitate to make some moves on the other girl. In one of their early conversations, she came right out and asked, “Hey, Viv, have you ever kissed another girl before?”
She didn’t like being called Viv, but she stifled any protests about it. The actual question didn’t shock her, but she found it a bit impertinent. “No, I never have.”
“Have you ever thought about it at least?”
She had, but it had been a purely theoretical proposition. She decided to admit to it. “Yes, I’ve wondered at times what it would be like.”
“Well, would you like to try it out with me, after school, today?”
Vivian was surprised, but the concept seemed exciting. “All right, sure, but where would we go?”
Cathy herself had to think about it. The North Bronx of 1971 was not an area where women could openly show romantic or sexual affection for each other. It was a crowded place during the daytime when they would attempt their stunt. She came up with something. “If you are willing to walk a bit, there is a rock in the woods on the far side of the Penn Central tracks.” That was actually in the northern-most part of Bronx Park. “We could sit on that and have a bit of privacy I think.”
Vivian wasn’t entirely happy with that but she was willing to give it a try. “Okay, let’s at least have a look at it.”
“Great! There is something else we could try, but not today. You know about the ‘dirty-girl panties’ game, right?”
“That’s kind of risky. If the nuns catch us, we’ll get a spanking.”
“Well, that’s part of the fun of it all.” She smiled at Vivian. “I got caught myself a few days ago and well – it’s actually pleasure mixed in with the pain. It’s quite exciting to present your bare bottom for a punishment. But first, let’s try out our little make-out session.”
They met at three o’clock and walked down the hill towards Webster Avenue. Both of them were wearing their summer uniforms: short-sleeved white blouses, light-blue skirts, white knee socks, and brown shoes. (Uniformity is so important at our school.)
Cathy talked readily about various topics, mostly gossip about girls Vivian barely knew or about the nuns who taught there. At one point, a group of three boys, high school students from somewhere, stared at them as they passed. Vivian looked away, but Cathy brazenly returned their gazes. Yeah, guys, you might like a piece of me, but you’re not getting any today, that’s for sure.
Vivian had an urge to hold the other girl’s hand, but she stifled the impulse. That might work in Manhattan, but it was certainly not appropriate for that neighborhood.
At Webster, Cathy said, “Let’s take the bus up there. You’ve got thirty cents, right?”
At 204th Street they got off and crossed the bridge over the tracks into Bronx Park. Cathy immediately headed them north into a wooded area. Some ways in, there was a rock with a flat surface that made it ideal as a bench. Cathy said, “Well, this is it, our little love nest. Do you like it?”
As they sat down, Vivian wasn’t really comfortable with the location. It was part of an urban park, not truly the woods. The afternoon was bright, and she felt exposed sitting there even with the trees surrounding them.
Cathy sensed her unease and reached into her book bag for a bottle. It was a pint of Jim Beam whiskey.
Vivian was shocked, “My God, you bring booze into school?”
“Only once in a while, and besides they never check the bags.” She smirked, “I admit, sweetie-pie, I figured I’d go for you today, and you might need a little loosening up. Just sip it, it’s strong stuff.”
“How did you get it?”
“It’s easy, just hang around a liquor store until some suitable rummy comes along. Then give him a couple of extra dollars to get you what you want.”
Vivian had little experience with alcohol, and she carefully sipped from the bottle. “Wow, this stuff – I can really feel it going down.”
“I told you to be careful with it.” Then Cathy took some sips for herself.
Vivian said, “I still feel like – well like anybody could just walk by here.”
“And so what? What is he going to do, call the cops? Vivie, you worry too much. The most he would do is ogle us for a few seconds and then keep going. And besides, we’re going to be subtle about it.”
In a few minutes, Vivian could feel the alcohol warming her bloodstream. She giggled, “Cathy, you’re one of those really naughty girls they warned us about.”
“I’m naughty? Well, baby, so are you, or you will be in a moment.”
Vivian looked into the other girl’s face, into her dark eyes, and she felt shame and excitement at the same time. Cathy decided it was time to move things along, and she took the other girl’s arm and pulled her closer. She put her lips on Vivian’s face, and kissed various parts of it, including her eyelids. All she Vivian was, “Oh my.”
“Oh my, indeed. Here comes some more interesting stuff, if you are ready for it.” She leaned forward and kissed Vivian warmly on the mouth. It only lasted a couple of seconds, but she had never been kissed by anybody before, either male or female.
Cathy said, “So how was that?”
“I’m trying to gather my impressions. I think I liked it.”
“You think so? Then let’s try some more and confirm it.”
She held Vivian around her body and kissed her more passionately this time. She was bold enough to stick her tongue out and briefly lick the other girl’s lips.
“Hey, Viv, I can feel you pushing back with your own lips. Don’t tell me you’re not reacting to all this.” Encouraged by this statement, Vivian put her hands up and held Cathy’s arms.
In a short time, Cathy said, “Hey, this is a pretty good make-out session, don’t you think?”
I do like it, but I hardly know this girl. Is it purely a physical reaction? Vivian decided that it wasn’t important; she wanted this kissing action to go on for a while. What would my teachers think; what would my parents think if they could see me now? She had been craving sensual affection and now she was getting it. The gender of the other person no longer seemed important.
Cathy soon escalated her loving gestures; she ran her hands through the light-colored hair. “Viv, you are so pretty; do you know that?”
“Really? I’ve always thought I was just, average, I’d say.”
Cathy lowered her hands and began to unbutton Vivian’s white blouse.
“No, please, don’t do that here.” She nervously looked around but there was no one there.
“Relax sweetie, once I get this set up, you can pull the blouse back together again. It just won’t be buttoned.”
She obviously knows what she is doing; I should trust her judgment. She held back her anxiety as the rest of the blouse was undone. Then there were hands behind her that deftly unbuckled her bra and exposed her breasts.
“Oh, Viv, you have the most marvelously perky tits that I have ever seen.”
“You said I could pull my blouse closed now.”
“Absolutely! Just let me get my hands under there.”
Vivian knew from her own experiments how sensitive her nipples were as an erogenous soon, and Cathy knew just how to handle them. In a short while, Vivian was quietly moaning. Yet she was a cautious girl, and she worried about being too loud.
Cathy said, “You really like that, right? How about I put my mouth around them?”
“We’ll never get away with that here.”
“Yeah, that’s what you think. Let me show you how much we can get away with here in good old Bronx Park.”
Vivian had never had anybody suck on her nipples before, and she was surprised at how intense her reaction was. The pleasure went through her body, right down to her crotch. She began to squirm in her position on the rock.
“This is working perfectly, I see.”
Vivian admitted, “But it is making me so horny.”
“You know what the cure for that is, don’t you? A good bout of masturbation, of course. Let’s face it, all girls do it, except for a few who buy into that bullshit they try to feed us.”
“But that will be hours from now when I’m in my bed.”
“So, do it right now.”
“Cathy, that is really too much.”
“All right, listen to me. Get on the rock behind me; sit there so I will be blocking the view.”
Vivian was amazed to find herself obeying these orders. She sat there with her knees raised.
“Now, when you whack off, what do you do? I suppose you use one hand to rub your clit, and the fingers of the other one go in and out of your cunt, am I right?”
“Yeah, that’s basically how it goes.”
“So put your hands into your panties and get to it. It’s not that complicated.”
Vivian thought she wouldn’t be able to perform with the pressure of being outside in a semi-public place, but she was wrong. In a short while, she felt her climax approaching. Maybe being in this unusual setting is actually inspiring me to come faster.
When she came, she bounced up and down and scraped her shoes on the rock on either side of Cathy’s hips. Her voice rose this time, and she distinctly said something like, “Oh my God, I’m coming, I’m coming right now.” When she was done, she almost lay back flat on the rock. Instead, she put her arms back and leaned on her hands.
Cathy was looking back at her, grinning; her face came into focus. When Vivian could talk, she said, “Cathy; you are such a really bad girl.”
“Well, you’ve been giving me some serious competition today. Come over here and sit next to me.” When she was there, Cathy put an arm around her waist and kissed her again.
“But you haven’t come yourself yet.”
Cathy laughed, “Don’t worry about me. I whack off so much I think I’m wearing out my pussy.”
For Vivian, the larger world seemed to come back into focus. She heard birds in the trees, and some distance behind them a train passed.
“Have those trains been running all of this time?”
“Yeah, a few went by but you were too distracted to notice them.” She gave her an appraising glance. “You know, Vivian, you’re a pretty intense person. You take things very seriously. For me, on the other hand, everything is a kind of joke, like the whole school we go to.”
“I wish we could go someplace with a sofa or maybe a bed, listen to records, and relax.”
“Nice to think about, but we don’t have any place to go.”
“But your mother works during the day.”
Cathy considered it for a moment, “My two brothers, they come home around three.”
“If we played hooky, that would still give us, what? About six hours.”
“True, but my parents really look at the attendance on my report cards. One extra absence would stand out.” She thought for a moment. “Don’t worry, baby, we’ll work it out.”
“Cathy, are you a lesbian?”
She laughed, “Only when I have to be! Seriously, I swing both ways.”
“I suppose that describes me too.”
After smooching a bit more, Cathy said, “Honey, we really should get going now.”
“I wish we could stay together for a while longer.”
“As I said, we’ll take things as they come.”
Vivian thought, am I really in love with this girl? Then she decided, no, not yet, it’s too early for that. I think I could, however, honestly call her a good friend.
The transition from the woods back to the city seemed abrupt and more than a bit disturbing to Vivian. They climbed a set of stairs out of the park and an instant later they were going down a busy street. She knew that now she couldn’t touch her new friend or lover or whatever Cathy was to her at that point.
At Webster Avenue, Cathy said, “You know, later this week we should try our hand with the ‘dirty-girl panty’ games as I had proposed.”
“But I don’t think I have any panties that would be suitable.” Her mother did keep track of what kind of underwear she owned.
“Nothing to worry about, I’ll get you something.”
“But your stuff won’t fit me right.”
“You don’t get it, I’ll buy it for you. I can guess what your size is.” Then she smirked, “We can have some more fun and games then.”
Vivian said, “Where? You don’t mean in the school, do you?”
“What’s the matter, are you afraid of getting spanked?”
“I’m afraid of getting expelled, that’s what.”
“Okay, maybe for the first time we’ll come back to our lover’s rock back there. How does that sound?”
“All right, we’ll see.”
Am I losing my virginity to this girl? She decided, not quite yet. She had brought herself to an orgasm, not Cathy. Nevertheless, Cathy had done an admirable job stroking and sucking on her boobs. She had definitely primed Vivian to finish herself off.
Both girls knew that this parting was going to be awkward, but there was nothing to be done about it. Cathy took the initiative, and she reached out and patted the other girl on the arm. “Let’s try this panty thing on Thursday, okay?” That was three days away.
Then they said their goodbyes, and Cathy turned and walked south without looking back. Vivian had to walk west, but she stayed there for a brief while watching the other girl leave.
I don’t know, I think I could love you, Cathy, if I don’t already love you.
The Mount St. Ursula Academy is a real place and it still exists.