Summary: A bad breakup. A beach trip. Can Sophie bounce back?

Author’s Note: This is my entry in the Summer Lovin’ Story Contest 2022 so thanks for reading and rating it. It’s a slow burn romance with the heroine struggling with her past, her present and the expectations of those around her, and what she wants for herself and her future. It focuses more on emotions than sex, but there is some of that, of course, as the story progresses. It’s a rather long story, about 9 Lit pages, but I hope you’ll agree that it ties together nicely in the end.

Any feedback in the form of comments, favorites, or follows will also be greatly appreciated.


Early June

“Mom, I broke up with him.”

I heard her sigh over the phone, as if saying “Finally!” or perhaps “What took so long?” Instead, she paused for a few beats before asking, “What happened, sweetheart?”

She didn’t come out and say it but I could also hear the words passing through her mind. Did that jackass cheat on you?

“He didn’t cheat, Mom—”

Another audible sigh, but this time it really was relief. After my big sister’s seemingly endless escapades back in the day, Mom was always concerned about “nasties.” I was quite sure he’d never cheated—fairly sure, anyway—but since he was out of the picture and I was starting fresh, I decided to be tested, just in case.

“—and you know I didn’t,” I continued, though I did have a rather romantic encounter during our short break-up last fall. “No, it’s nothing like that. It’s just, he’s been talking to somebody out in California, an agent, I think, and they got him a part in a TV show. We’ve been having problems for a while so this was a good break point….” I trailed off, not wanting to say more.

“Well that’s great!” she said, shocking me, before really surprising me again. “Maybe he’ll get out there, find out his acting sucks, and they’ll knock some sense into his thick head so he can get on with his life!”

“Mom!” I sputtered, surprising myself and showing that perhaps I was still a bit closer to him than I thought. Recovering, I added, “Well, that’s possible, I suppose, since the part’s only for a few days, but he’s planning to go out early, take some acting classes, and then stay and try to make a go of it. I wished him well but told him I wasn’t going, that this is my home, and that I’m not going to go gallivanting across the country in pursuit of his dream when all he’s going to do is pursue whatever he can get, wherever he can get it.”

Mom was silent for another moment, going, I suspected, into her reflective mode. You always have to be careful when she does that, though she tends to make good points at times. This was no exception. “Sophie, you’re my baby girl and you always will be; you were always the sweetest girl, never causing problems—”

She didn’t actually say “like Sue” but my big sister’s name was clearly implied. I’ll never be sure but I suspected they breathed a sigh of relief when Bill, probably the only one of her boyfriends they ever liked (at least a little bit), knocked her up and they got married, thereby putting an end to her antics.

“—and your Daddy and I always appreciated that, sweetheart, really appreciated it…but you’re 29 now, too. What’s your dream, Sophie? You’ve been with Bart so long, have you ever decided what you really want? Where you’re going with your life? Was it ever really to be with him or were you in, oh, what do those airline people call it?”

“A holding pattern?”

“Yeah, that’s it. A holding pattern, just waiting for something else to come along? Or have you decided what you want to do with your life? To finish college and be a teacher…or, oh, what was it? An astronomer? No, an astrophysicist?—”

I couldn’t believe that she still remembered that all these years later. That was in the 2nd or 3rd grade after I watched one of those cool NASA videos in class but before I discovered astrophysicists had to know math. I ended up doing pretty well in math in high school, but astrophysics held only slightly more appeal than chemistry by that point.

“—To get married and have babies? Or whatever? If you don’t know, if you’re not really sure, that’s what you need to think about, sweetheart. And, when you’ve given it some good thought and decided, that’s when you need to do something about it for you and not for anyone else, including that…ahem, Bart.”

The sigh was mine this time, for other than knowing I wanted something having nothing to do with chemistry or physics, I wasn’t sure what I wanted or where I wanted to be, not now, not in a few months when I turned 30, or heaven forbid, not even when I turned 40.

What I was certain about was that wearing a padded push-up bra in my Barbecutie Pit outfit every night sure wasn’t much of a goal in life, though the money had been surprisingly good so far. With Creek City not having a strip joint, my rack and my butt in that halter top and those short shorts were among the better attractions in town most evenings. I worked hard to stay in shape and my tips were often outstanding as a result. In addition, my smile, which the dentist with whom I’d had that romantic encounter last year told me was one of the prettiest he’d ever seen, didn’t hurt, either.

While working at the Pit had never been one of my goals in life, the money turned out to be pretty good, at least for now, and so I pushed the thought of wearing that damned push-up bra and tied-off top every day to the back of my mind. Similarly, if those shorts were a wee bit cheeky, then so be it.

Still, I didn’t want to be using my physical assets for money forever, and then there was the desire for companionship. Oh, I could find a new guy almost any time I wanted, maybe even a good one in time, but would that put me on the road to something better? With most of the guys in our area, that was questionable…or even doubtful.

And babies? Mom just had to sneak that in there, didn’t she? Sue had finally settled down when the odds finally caught up with her and now she had three, but she’d been lucky that Bill was a great guy and father—she’d have probably been on marriage number three or four by now if some of her other creepy boyfriends had hit the bullseye first. Instead, Bill had gotten a promotion and they’d recently moved from Oregon to Texas as a result, but that’s still a far cry from Creek City, meaning Mom still wouldn’t get to see them nearly as often as she wished, and leaving me, as always, as her best target for more.

Discouraged, I replied, “Thanks, Mom. I—”

“What about your trip?” she asked. “Are you still going on it?”

And that, until Bart’s announcement, had been the bright spot in my life, the thing I’d been looking forward to the most. We’d planned it for nearly six months, saved the money, and found a nice resort on the beach in Galveston.

“Yeah, you better believe it. I really need a good vacation.”

“Without him, I presume?”

“Yes, Mom,” I retorted, feeling as if she was twisting the knife a little more than necessary. “The film folks will be filming while we’re supposed to be on the trip so he said he couldn’t go. Since it’s nonrefundable at this point, he told me to use it and not worry about him.” He’d actually been rather nice about that, not asking for reimbursement for the part he’d paid.

“It’s a good thing or I’d have given him a piece of my mind. After all, he’ll be close enough in California that he can go to the beach any time he wants.” She huffed, making me wish I wasn’t getting the piece I was. She wasn’t quite done though, adding, “And you really ought to think long and hard about what we’ve talked about while you’re on your trip.”

“Yeah, Mom, I will, but I really need to get to bed now. Oh, and don’t tell Sue or the boys about Bart, okay? I’ll tell them. Soon.”

She made a little “hmph” at that last part before saying, “Okay. Sleep well, dear, but you think about what I said.”


Mom must have cursed me with her wish to sleep well, or, more probably, with her repeated advice to think about my situation. Trying to put it all out of my mind, I tossed and turned until exhaustion finally claimed me. I think the alarm went off a few minutes later.

The next night and the one following were similar…at least until about 2 in the morning on that second night. So frustrated, I dug my “magic wand” (the really good kind, not the Harry Potter type) out of the drawer and assumed the position on the bed, legs spread wide, knees up and out, feet pulled up, turned it on low, and eased it into position over my panties.

A shiver passed through me as the vibrations began. I ran the head down one side, up the other, and then a pass up the cleft before circling in to the sweet spot. A few seconds getting there led to a pleased sigh followed by settling into a favorite pattern over my clit as my eyes closed and I began surfing the building waves of pleasure.

When I was ready, I turned it up to the next level and it was like hitting the turbo-thing on a racecar. I moaned softly and started pressing it harder against myself, realizing only then that I really should have taken my panties off. It was already too late so I pushed them to the side and used two fingers to spread my lips apart as I angled the head down to nestle there in the gap as well as against my clit.

My breathing became pant-like as it intensified and it wasn’t long before I practically exploded inside, moaning aloud as I switched off my mechanical lover and clamped my legs down around it, enjoying for a time the euphoric tidal wave that had swept through me.

Minutes later following a trip to the bathroom and a stop by my drawer for fresh panties, I was back in bed and fast asleep in almost no time.


If the nights when the wand didn’t get a workout were bad, the days were times of discouragement, too, with each day that followed yielding no new hopes and no new dreams for the future. However, thoughts of my upcoming vacation made me smile when I concentrated on it, so I tried to keep it in the forefront of my mind. I also tried to make alternate plans because who wants to go on a vacation alone?

Carol from work was my first choice. She was there for me every evening and she tried to encourage me, but we were so busy many evenings at the restaurant that we barely had time to talk. Knowing her situation and that we usually worked the same shifts, I approached Mr. Perkins before I brought it up with her since I didn’t want to get her hopes up and then have Mr. P, the manager and part owner of the Barbiecutie Pit, turn down the request. I spoke with him late one evening right after closing, just after Carol left for the night. I gave him my pitch.

“I’m sorry, Sophie, but no, definitely not. Since you two work the same shifts most of the time, there’s no way I can cover both of you at the same time. Sorry.”

I tried to get him to reconsider but he wasn’t having it so I nodded and thanked him. Carol was almost 22 and single so she’d become my best friend over the past couple of years as my high school friends continued their path through adulthood and I continued…well, through whatever. I was disappointed but not surprised at Mr. Perkins’ denial, especially since it was less than a month away, so I was glad I hadn’t mentioned it to her in advance.

With the date drawing nearer, I tried several other girlfriends without success. Everyone had to work, was busy, or already had other plans, so they all thanked me profusely for thinking of them but left me on my own and more than a little disappointed.

Next came Mom, but she worked and had to protect my younger brothers (“from themselves,” she claimed), so she, too, thanked me and turned me down. After I refused to discuss taking one of my brothers, she laughed, understanding, and then gently reminded me about telling my siblings about the breakup. I decided to start that on my next day off.

The problem was that, with the exception of Ronny, who knew him best from high school, they all liked Bart. Since we were closest, I called Ronny first, and he was appropriately sad for me but was so happy about my “near miss” I think I could hear him dancing a jig on the other end of the line.

“Things’ll get better, Sis,” he said.

“Thanks.” I’d thought a lot about it since speaking with Mom and I’d rethought at least one part of what I’d told her. “Ronny, speaking of better, how would you like to help? Would you like to come with me on my vacation? It’s a little suite with a couch so I could sleep on that and you could take the bedroom.” I gave him the dates and crossed my fingers.

“Sophe, I’d love to but I can’t, sorry, and I wouldn’t take your bed even if I could.”

“Okay, I’ll keep the bed. Please?”

“Sis, I can’t, I’m serious. We have a machine tool refurb project due during your second week so I expect I’ll be working on that up to the last minute since they always make process requirement changes almost up until the drawings are due. Besides, I only have a couple of days of vacation left and I’ve promised Jasmine that I’ll take her somewhere later this fall. Sorry.”

Disappointed but not surprised, I replied, “Oh, I understand. It’s practically the last minute so I’d actually be surprised if you could.”

“Have you thought about asking any of our brothers?”

“Thought about, yes, but asking, no. I could have fun with you since I wouldn’t have to be responsible for you.”

“Keith’s 22 now. I think he’d be okay.”

“Maybe. But he just started his internship job, what, two weeks ago? I can see it now. ‘Boss, think I can get off for two weeks to go on vacation? With my sister?'”

Ronny laughed. “Point taken. And Carson’s in summer school, leaving—”

“Not a chance,” I declared, laughing. “I love both of our little brothers but I’m not going to try to be responsible for them on a beach filled with girls in bikinis.”

He had a really good chuckle at that visual, but knowing how our big sister and I got along, he didn’t bother making that suggestion. Instead, he said, “Then good luck, Sophe. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks.”

“You, too, Ronny. Love you.”

“You, too, Sis.”


As my vacation neared, the days seemed to creep by but, like Christmases in my childhood, I crossed each off on the calendar in turn, becoming more excited with each added X. And sure enough, Carol was ticked at me for not asking her to come along and was more than a little jealous that I’d be gone so long. However, she understood when I explained and her disappointment switched toward Mr. Perkins.

“That jackass!” she griped before throwing her arms around me and giving me a hug as she buried her face on my shoulder. “Thanks for thinking of me, Sophe. But two whole weeks? I can see doing that if you were still going with Asshole, two weeks of sun and beer and orgasmic bliss—”

“With Bart? Orgasmic bliss?”

“Okay, two weeks of sun and beer and some sex, even with the Asshole, is better than the no sex you’re getting now.”

“Bitch,” I replied with a laugh, remembering how she’d always seemed to think Bart was great until the moment I dumped him.

“Always, sweetheart,” she replied with a grin. Then more seriously, she added, “Sophe, you know I just want what’s best for you and what makes you happy.”

I nodded, knowing she was right, but then she added, laughing again, “Of course, I’ll miss you and hate you every day you’re gone, but really, I do hope you’ll have fun. Even while I’m hating you for going without me.”

I laughed, too, which may have been a mistake. Mr. P. saw that hug and our apparent merriment, so he glared at us. I frowned back at him, just for a second, before getting started for the day. Mr. Perkins had no need to worry, he’d get his requisite amount of blood, sweat, and tears from both of us before the shift was over.

And he did, that day and each day that followed.


I called Sue one morning before work and let her know of my changed relationship status and gave her the news that Bart wouldn’t be with me on my upcoming visit on the way to the beach.

“Sophie Woodruff,” she scolded, “if you keep breaking up with every guy you get close to, you’ll never get married.”

“Sue, if I don’t break up with the wrong ones before we end up married, I’ll just be divorced.” I almost added that then I’ll have finally done something that she hadn’t, but I bit my tongue as always, and went on to have a decent conversation before ending the call with a promise to see her soon.

Unlike when I usually said it, I meant it this time.


I went to Mom’s house the next evening when I was off and spilled the beans about the breakup to Deke and Wally.

With Deke having graduated just a few weeks earlier and planning to attend KSU in the fall and Wally being a rising high school senior, they were both avid sportsmen when they weren’t playing their silly videogames and they adored Bart, a former football star at Creek City High. Both were quite disappointed that I’d broken up with him, but they were excited that they might be able to see him on TV someday.

I talked with Mom and helped with the dishes while they went to play something on their XBox. I’d heard most of this conversation before, more about where I was, what I wanted, and how I planned to “eventually” get there. Of course, she had to throw that word in, discouraging me even more, making me feel even worse.

“Eventually” is one of those words that is like a double-edged sword. When used as most people intend it, it’s a word of hope, offering the promise that things won’t always be the same, that they’ll change in time and that better days lie ahead. As Mom and some others tend to use it though, eventually is a warning, a red-flag, and a discouraging word that makes it sound like better times lie far, far ahead, if they ever show up at all.

Mom’s usually quite positive; when you have seven kids, I suspect you almost have to be to get by, but not pleasing her can put her into overdrive and bring me pretty low, pretty fast. This was one of those times.

However, Mom is first and foremost my mom. Seeing how discouraged I was, she then pulled one of her patented miracles, taking me into her arms and kissing me like I was still 8 or 9 while the tears rolled down my cheeks. She spent the next little while encouraging me and proceeding to build my self-confidence back up before, with tears dried and my minimal makeup fixed, we went into the family room to join the boys.

They paused their game and switched over to our old game system and Mario Party so Mom and I could join them. Mom played Daisy instead of her usual Peach, and I chose Yoshi, my usual favorite, until she frowned at me.

Wally noticed my hesitation and said, “Be brave, be bold, Sophe. Choose a different character.”

“Can I play Bowser?”

Deke shook his head at me as he gave me a curious look. “Not in this version. You know that.”

“Then I’ll be Yoshi pretending to be Bowser and I’ll kick your scrawny butts,” I laughed threateningly.

Mom put her hand over her mouth, to keep from laughing, I think, and the boys shouted, “You’re on!” as they chose Mario and Luigi, as always. With that settled, we spent the next hour or so enjoying ourselves, talking and laughing all the while. When we stopped, they had the XBox controllers back out in seconds and were defending themselves against whatever those creepy creatures were while Mom and I went back in the kitchen.

I talked for a little longer before getting the boys to pause their game long enough to walk me out to the car. There, they all gave me a hug, making me promise that I’d see them again before I left.

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