Fiction Friendship Happy

Please note this story comes with a Parental Guidance (PG) certificate: mum and dad, please do not read.


‘And how many sexual partners have you had?'

‘Um, I’m not sure. More than ten, less than one hundred. Is there a multiple-choice option?’

‘On a scale of ten to twenty, twenty to thirty, thirty to fifty, more than fifty?’

‘Let’s say Fifty.’ said Alice looking at the various hideous healthcare posters on the wall behind her doctor, ‘How to live your life with a positive diagnosis’ and so on.

Feeling increasingly mortified by the situation, Alice tried to reassure herself that this was no different to getting a regular medical checkup. The only difference today was that they were looking after her vagina. The look of judgement on Doogie Howser’s face didn't help the matter. He clearly thought she was a complete slapper. She then tried to do the maths in her head, well, it has mostly been one a week and well if the weekends were busy, maybe two encounters per weekend?


‘And what types of intercourse have you practiced?’


Alice started to wonder if these were the regulatory questions or questions made up by doctors fresh out of medical school. She'd known a few and found they loved to tell each other tales of awkward encounters with patients. One junior doctor she had bedded a few months before had bragged about all sorts of inappropriate consultations he'd had with patients.


'If I see a patient and they're completely hot, I'll always advise her to take her shirt off and examine her breasts. I'll then leave a note on her chart TUBE: Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination so that the consultant can have a bit of fun too.’


‘I’m not sure what you mean?’ Alice said with a sort of innocent Princess Diana -style tone.


‘Have you had vaginal (penis in the vagina), anal (penis in the anus), or oral sex (mouth on penis, vagina, or anus) without a condom in the past 12 months? 


Ooh matron! Am I in a Carry-on film? Gosh wasn’t expecting anal, penis, vagina before my coffee break. Thinking about it, I have taken one for the team in most orifices.


'Yes doctor, but I'm usually careful.'


'Have you ever had an STI?'


How the feck would I know? Aren't most symptomless?


‘Urgh, no I don’t think so.’


'Have any of your partners had an STI?'


Let me think. That's not usually the line of questioning that I take. Most conversations involve sexy conversation and witty humour, not 'have you got the clap?'.


‘I don’t know.’ 


'Have you or any of your partners ever used illicit substances?'


Umm, no just shit loads of booze.




'Have you exchanged sex for needs (money, housing, drugs, etc.) in the past 12 months?'


I did have some cash left on the side of the bed one morning, but the chap did say he’d pay for my taxi home. I have been offered lots of coke but never partaken and I have stayed overnight in a lot of cases. Does that count as housing?




Is it possible that any of your sex partners in the past 12 months had sex with someone else while they were still in a sexual relationship with you?


Yes, absolutely all of them. When you pick someone up in a bar or at the rugby club, they’re not hoping to introduce to their mother.




‘Having answered yes to a question and being uncertain about a couple of questions, I advise taking a few samples from you for testing and you will have your results in a week. Do you have any questions?’


‘Do you think I should avoid any intimacy until my results come back?’


The junior doctor looked slightly stunned that she was asking about having more sex given the setting but came out with the set professional response.


‘It may be something to consider. We would always recommend that if you do partake in any activities that you use a condom.’


‘Ok, thank you.’


After the tests were completed, Alice walked through the centre of Oxford and down the Abingdon Road to the house she shared with her two nerdy housemates Tim and Matthew, or 'Bert and Ernie' as she liked to call them affectionately. They were very sweet and always greeted her like excited spaniels, but she wasn't in the mood to chat when she came through the door.


Closing her bedroom door, she got into bed, pulled up the covers and sobbed.


She hadn't even considered going to get tested but then a conversation with her girlfriend Claire prompted her into action. After a couple of glasses of wine one evening, Alice had expressed her concern over a recent incident with a very hot American student where they had both been so bladdered they didn’t use protection.


She wasn’t sure what she'd been thinking. A couple of Saturday nights ago, her best friend from college Fiona had headed to Oxford for a girl's night out where they would visit some old haunts. The old friends had ended up in a bar in Jericho where they’d started flirting with a couple of incredibly hot American students who were over for the term.


Alice and Fiona always liked to play a game where they decided on their names for the night. Fiona was going to be ‘Skye’ and Alice would be ‘Jemima’. It was all a game and their way of justifying any subsequent naughty behaviour. 'Well, it wasn't me! I blame Skye' they would laugh the next day.


Alice, sorry, 'Jemima', couldn't remember the chap's name. He was spending a lot of his time rowing for his college and doing a bit of studying. He had amazing brown shiny locks which wrapped round his chiseled jaw and had an amazing build. His T-shirt showed just how ripped he was, and Alice felt all her juices starting to flow at the mere sight of him. Alice and Fiona had decided mojito cocktails were a good idea and when Fiona was completely entranced by the other guy, Alice moved in and said to this chap ‘if you fancy a fuck this evening, I’m your girl. No strings’ Well with that line, of course he was forthcoming. He gave her an intense kiss and the deal was sealed.


Back at Alice’s house she threw Mr. Muscle back on her bed and they had very noisy sex for a few hours, both so wasted that they struggled to finish the job. They both passed out and Alice woke to the sound of said chap pulling his clothes on and leaving her room. He didn’t even say goodbye, just some lame sort of hand gesture. and then Alice felt like shit again until her next fix of flirting. 


Alice hadn’t expected to feel so grim and anxious over the next week. She had regretted sharing her predicament with a work colleague who she considered to be a friend and who clearly couldn’t keep her mouth closed. When she received a few ‘concerned’ messages from colleagues, she knew her behaviour was now crossing into her work-life and potentially jeopardizing her reputation at work. 


Her dear friend Claire suggested meeting up for a coffee/drink the night before her results.


They met in the Turf Tavern pub in Oxford which she loved. She loved how much history the pub had, and the stone walls reminded her of her parent’s farmhouse in Cornwall. 


‘Hey gorgeous. How are you?’ Claire always looked immaculate. ‘Are you off out on a date?’ 


‘No, I just fancied dressing up for myself. You know, I don't do dates. My hounds and horses are my true loves.'


Claire was about ten years older than Alice. They had worked together at the same publishing house many years before until Claire had come into some inheritance and seized her chance of owning a stable.


‘Well, you look amazing.’ 


‘Thank you. How are you feeling?’


‘I feel sick. I’ve been ignoring calls from my parents all week so I’m sure they’re worried. Dad even sent me an email to check in which was easier to respond to. I think if I speak to them now, I’ll just bawl my eyes out and I can hardly say ‘oh yes mum and dad, your precious daughter may have an STI because while you think I’ve been loving life as a nun, I’ve been slagging it up by the spires.’


Claire started to smile ‘I’m sure you’ll be fine. You’re always careful, it was just this last time.’


‘I know, I can’t believe I put myself in such a position.’


‘Do you mind if I tell you what I think is going on?’


‘Of course, please hit me with the brutal truth.’


‘I think that you are just feeling so desperately lonely. You feel as if you're world has ended after the breakup with Eddie. He was your first love and ok he may have had some good qualities, but he wasn't perfect for you. You are so young, you're only twenty-five and you have so much going for you: beauty, brains, wit. You're also incredibly thoughtful when you're not pissed. Maybe now is time to say goodbye to the self-destruct phase?'


'Oh Claire' Alice had to stop herself from crying. 'you’re such a good friend. you're right, I do feel desperately lonely, and I've been trying to not feel so lonely by throwing myself at quite a few men in the hope that one will stick.'


'Also, darling, do you really want a chap who you meet half cut in a sweaty nightclub and who will take you home incredibly inebriated?


'No, you're right.'


'Look, just get tomorrow out the way and then see this as your fresh start.'


The next morning Alice couldn’t eat breakfast. She walked through the streets of Oxford passing so many happy, excitable people. If I get given a second chance, I'm not going to screw it up.


As she sat in front of the doctor, he asked 'Alice, do you have a support network in Oxford?'


'Well, I do have a few friends and colleagues but my family live in Cornwall and I don’t see them much.'


'I did wonder. I won’t keep you hanging. I'm pleased to say your test results were all negative. Congratulations.’

Alice couldn’t quite believe that she had the complete all clear.


'Oh, my goodness that’s amazing. Thank you so much Doctor.'


'Well, we're here but without sounding rude, I hope we don't see you again.'


On the walk back, Alice text Claire, 'All clear. I'm taking the afternoon off and I'm going to start living.'


'Amazing darling. I knew it would be good news. Enjoy the start of your new chapter.'


Alice decided to walk the longer route home and passed the lane down to the sports centre which gave her an idea. She headed home to change and then decided to head back to the sports centre.


'I'd like to join your gym if I may?' she asked the gym bunny behind the desk.


'of course, we can set you up with a program if you like?'


'Yes please'


She took out her iPod and jumped onto the running machine determined to get fit and worship her body rather than wreck it.


After running for an hour, she perused some of the weightlifting machines.


Looking down at one of the machines and unsure how to adjust it, a very smiley chap in his mid-sixties said, 'Can I help you there?'


'Oh yes please. thank you.'


'Hi, I'm Richard and this is Mark' Both gents in their sixties looked like they lived in the gym. Alice was impressed at how fit they both looked.


'Hi, I'm Alice.'


'Lovely to meet you. Have you used this gym before? Sorry, that sounded like a chat up line. It wasn't.'


'I can't take him anywhere.' Mark said.


Alice started to giggle, 'not honestly, don't worry. It takes a lot to offend me.'


'Well, we’re going to love having you here then.' They both laughed at her comment.


‘We'll stop gassing and let you get on. It was nice to meet you.'


'Yes, you are too.'

Alice felt so uplifted at meeting the two gents and set herself the target of going to the gym at least four times a week. She saw Richard and Mark on each of her visits and they talked about everything. It was like having two wonderful father figures on her doorstep and they were always there to advise but more importantly have a laugh. They were also incredibly kind and introduced her to other gym members who Alice got to know well. She couldn't believe how wonderful it was to meet a new set of friends and get fit at the same time. With her renewed sense of confidence and energy, Alice found a renewed sense of zest at work and within a few months, was promoted to Chief Editor at the publishing house.


A few weeks later, her work colleagues mentioned they were all heading out for a drink at Freuds in Jericho after work and would she be up for it. Hesitant at first because of her recent salacious past, she was going to decline but then agreed.


A work friend and colleague Sophie introduced her to one of her flat mates. 'This is Ben.' Alice was taken back at how gorgeous Ben was but just so gentlemanly.


After a bit too much wine but lots of laughter, Ben asked Alice if she was free the following Saturday as he'd loved to invite her to his rugby ball at college. He asked for her number and was true to his word, he called her the next day...and the next and the next and seventeen years later they are still together, and Alice still sees the other men in her life, Richard, and Mark four times a week in the gym.

January 13, 2024 19:33

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Kate Winchester
06:14 Jan 25, 2024

The beginning of your story was funny. I liked that you tackled sex as a vice. It was a creative take on the prompt. For what it’s worth, I feel the pacing was a little off. We get a lot about the doctor visit but then everything else feels slightly rushed. I do think word counts are hard, though. Overall, I enjoyed your story. Great job!


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D'Spencer Luyao
02:30 Jan 25, 2024

I enjoyed this story! I definitely agree with another commenter here that I would love to see more of this story. I think because word count is limited, a lot of the story feels like it's missing, which I think could be helped by different pacing or maybe slicing up the story into multiple different short stories that tackle different pieces of Alice's journey, or simply putting the story in a longer form like another commenter recommended (obviously wouldn't work on this site but something to consider for other places!). I also think it's i...


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Jody S
22:22 Jan 24, 2024

Lovely story! You have a way with dialogue!! I know stories here are written for prompts and under word constraints so I will take that into consideration. So much of the story is so interesting but it is all in tell mode...I would love more show and details! Would love Alice's back story, why she is so promiscuous, etc. Would also like her cute meet story with the hubby. You have (to me) a great outline for a novel or novella!! Hope to read more!


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Helen A Smith
17:00 Jan 21, 2024

Great dialogue in the story. I suspect the gym gents” may well get to live into their nineties, or maybe older. Nice to see Alice changing her life for the better.


Rebecca Detti
14:05 Jan 23, 2024

Thank you so much Helen. You are so kind. I think they will. The two gents in question are loosely based on two amazing chaps from my gym who have been training for decades and certainly don't look or feel their age!


Helen A Smith
17:45 Jan 23, 2024

They sound really nice. I admire you for going to the gym. Yoga at home (a very small amount) is about all I can manage at the moment.


Rebecca Detti
18:54 Jan 23, 2024

Thank you Helen. Yoga sounds very peaceful and sometimes you just have to listen to yourself and what you can manage. Hope you’re enjoying your yoga


Helen A Smith
20:19 Jan 23, 2024

Thank you. Trying. I’ve got a week off work so I have a bit more time.


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Ellen Neuborne
23:55 Jan 20, 2024

I enjoyed this story and the trajectory of the protagonist -- from regretting her choices to taking charge of her life. I did wonder about Richard and Mark tho -- in their 60s when she meets them and still at the gym 4X a week 17 years later? I guess that's some powerful clean living ;)


Rebecca Detti
14:07 Jan 23, 2024

thank you so much Ellen, much appreciated! Thanks so much for the comments and feedback. It's true Richard and Mark are hard to believe but they are loosely based on two chaps from my gym who do train 4 times a week and have done for decades! I need some of that motivation:-)


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Trudy Jas
16:49 Jan 16, 2024

Good for Alice. Lovely story. Not sure if you're finished, but there seem to be a couple of caps missing. "...Concerned colleague, who... (to whom?). But then English is not my 1st language, so I'll defer.


Rebecca Detti
17:02 Jan 18, 2024

Thanks so much Trudy, thank you for reading and your kind comments. I do need to go through again and edit but appreciate the notes/ feedback as always looking for continuous improvement!


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Alexis Araneta
13:49 Jan 16, 2024

Yay for Claire helping Alice get her life in order !


Rebecca Detti
17:02 Jan 18, 2024

Yippee for great honest friends!


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Trudy Jas
01:19 Jan 14, 2024

"Alice felt like shit again, till her next fix of flirting" Yup, I think I can remember that far back. Can't wait to see the end.


Rebecca Detti
13:51 Jan 15, 2024

Thanks so much Trudy, look forward to reading your stories


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