“Hey, what’s your roommate like?” Hannah asked.

Sienna shrugged, “Non-controversial. Yours?”

“Non-controversial,” Hannah shrugged similarly, “With limited motivation to engage in conversation.”

“I don’t feel like a college student,” Sienna looked at the expanse of campus before them as they walked to the Athletic Center. It was the second day of orientation at Franklin-Adams College and the two Freshmen were headed to the Varsity Athletics Open House. They had been in high school together, and were glad to have each other at FAC as they navigated the sprawling campus in the middle of New York City.

“It’s orientation, things don’t start picking up until classes start… Soccer’s in L-203…” Hannah squinted at the notice board at the Sports Center entrance, “Looks like you are in…. Mezz. What’s ‘Mezz’?”

Sienna shrugged, “I’ll find it. Maybe…. over there?” Her eyes followed a tall and lanky athlete wearing a varsity swimming jacket.

Hannah sniffed the air mockingly, “Oh yes, the unmistakable trail of chlorine… follow your nose, Logan. I’ll see you later.”

Sienna strolled upstairs into the Mezz meeting room, where a handful of tables stood in haphazard formation. Ten or so upperclassman in varsity jackets sat with feigned insouciance at the front of the room. There was a podium to their right, and Sienna saw two members of the men’s team leaning against it, chatting away. Both had a red “C” on their jackets.

Sienna spied a leaflet on the table and picked it up. “FAC Men’s and Women’s Varsity Swimming,” read the title, followed by, “Co-Captains: David Sotir and Alex Mak.” Really? Both captains are men? That’s disappointing.

Sienna strolled up to the podium, indignation simmering over the lack of a female captain, “I have a question for the two of you.”

The taller of the two smiled, “Freshman? I’m David. Captain of the men’s team.”

Sienna nodded as she shook his outstretched hand.

“Sienna Logan.” She looked over at the other captain and her stomach lurched. Not a guy. Oh shit. So much for challenging misogyny.

“And this is Alex… uh… Alexandra, captain for the women’s team,” David continued, gesturing to his co-captain.

“Hi,” Alex held out her hand.

Sienna stared at Alex. Now that she was standing closer, she felt stupid for mistaking Alex for a guy. More than that though, was a feeling that there was something familiar about the women’s captain. What was it? She felt herself blush with embarrassment as she shook hands with Alex.

David raised his eyebrows, “You okay?”

Sienna felt herself nod vigorously. Sure I’m okay. I was one obnoxious comment away from putting my foot in it and embarrassing myself before the semester even started.

“You had a question, you said?” David asked.

Sienna nodded again as she willed her brain come up with a believable question, “Yes. Um, I’m interested in trying out for the team. Just wanted to get a sense of timing and all that.” Oh man, that was lame.

David nodded, “We’ll cover that in a minute. Just waiting for Mel to get here. She’s our coach.”

Alex flashed a reassuring smile. Sienna blushed, “Okay, thanks,” and quickly turned away. Luckily, the room was beginning to fill up, and Sienna slid into a seat at one of the tables.

Her heart was pounding. There was something about Alex that was scratching at the edge of Sienna’s brain. They’d never met before, that was certain. So what was it?

Alex sat down when Mel walked in. David leaned over, “I think we freaked out the freshman.”

Alex glanced at Sienna and whispered back, “I think I freaked out the freshman. Bet she thought I was a guy.”

David barked out a short laugh, “Maybe. Or maybe she likes you. She’s hot.”

Alex fist-bumped Mel in greeting and turned back to David, “Yeah, not my type though.”

Mel rolled her eyes when she heard what Alex said, “Is whatever you are talking about something I should be hearing?”

“Nope,” the two seniors said together.

Mel shook her head, “Thought not. Let’s get started then. Hello everyone…”

Sienna sat through the meeting, half listening as Mel and the captains introduced the swimming program and gave information about try-outs. When they opened it up to questions, she was still trying to figure out where she could have seen Alex before; she was drawn to the tall, androgynous woman, but she didn’t know why. Something was missing.

Sienna’s head suddenly snapped up. Alex was talking.

“Uh, no, I didn’t have any of these guys’ US age group swimming experience when I first arrived. I went to high school in the UK and our swimming programme was quite different. Mel had to whip the metric system out of me. I’m surprised she’s kept me around!” The room laughed. Sienna’s eyes widened. Of course. Why not throw in an irresistible British accent. This must be a cruel joke.

“Seriously though,” Alex continued, “If you are willing to work hard, there’d be room for you. You might not get a lot of competition time, but there’d be room for you on the team.”

Another hand went up and Mel fielded the next question.

Sienna couldn’t stop herself from stealing glances at Alex. It felt like déjà vu. Everything she saw seemed to already have a home in her brain. The thatch of black hair that casually hung over Alex’s eyes blended into a handsome fade on the sides and back. The broad shoulders. The provocatively masculine air. Am I attracted to her? What if I am? Sienna tried to calm her breathing. Okay. Maybe I am. Nothing wrong with it. It’s not like I haven’t dreamt about being with women… OH MY GOD… that dream…

Mel pointed towards the table by the door, “Make sure you fill out the attendance sheets at the door, and we’ll see you at try-outs. Thanks for coming, everyone.”

Sienna’s silent revelation left her completely discombobulated. She was one of the last ones out of the meeting room and walked downstairs in a daze. She found Hannah sitting on a bench by the lounge area, texting furiously with someone.

“Hey…” Sienna muttered.

“Oh — hey. How was it?” Hannah smiled at the reply she received, before shutting off the screen, “Mine was ok. The coach seemed nice. Try-outs at the end of the week.”

Sienna nodded, “Us too.”

“Anyone you know? Sadie Dawson from Lexington High is here. Remember how awesome she was during States last year? She’s definitely getting a spot.”

Sienna shrugged, “I didn’t really pay attention–” Some weird instinct tugged her eyes towards the staircase. Alex was about to walk down with Mel.

Hannah nodded, “Yeah, ours was not the height of intellectual stimulation either.”

Sienna had a sarcastic remark in mind, but it evaporated as her entire being focused on sensing when Alex would walk past. Five… four… three… two… Sienna looked up.

“Hey, thanks for coming to the info session. See you at try-outs!” Alex said as she strolled past.

Sienna nodded, “I’m fine, thanks! Oh, um, I mean, yeah, sure. See you then.”

Hannah observed the exchange. “Who was that?” Hannah followed Sienna’s gaze.

Sienna felt her face heat up, “Alex Mak. Captain… swim… women’s…”

Hannah noted the blush, “… and the reason you can’t form a complete sentence and was distracted during the orientation session?”

Sienna stared at the floor.

Hannah’s eyebrows leapt upwards, “Wait… You are into women now?”

Sienna stood up and started walking. “Who knows? I mean, maybe? I don’t know.” Sienna knew that it had always been something she’d been open to. Hell, her mother’s favorite story was about Sienna coming home from kindergarten one day saying that she and her best friend had plans to get married, just like Auntie Sarah and Auntie Ruth.

Hannah shook her head as she walked alongside her friend, “Wow. I’ve never seen you get all tongue-tied like that before.”

“I’m kinda going through what can only be described as a bizarre Freudian spectacle in my head right now, so cut me some slack, will ya?”

Hannah chuckled, “What, you think you’ve been repressing the gay thing?”

Sienna shook her head, “No, I was thinking more about dreams being the manifestation of unspoken wishes. But sure, throw that in the mix. Why not?”

“I honestly don’t think you are the type to feel compelled to be closeted. Your parents will probably sign right up for PFLAG the moment you tell them. Wait, what dream?”

Sienna stopped walking, “Yeah. Okay. First, let me ask you this: did Alex look familiar to you?”

Hannah shook her head, “Why? Should she?”

“Just humor me.”

Hannah’s fingers flew around her phone’s screen, “Ok, ok, look, here’s the stuff from the student directory: Alexandra Mak. Senior. High School: The Halsey School, UK. I’ve never heard of it,” she looked at Sienna blankly.

“Are you sure?”

Hannah nodded emphatically, “Positive… Alex’s home town is listed as Hong Kong and New York, she’s majoring in Business Studies… lives in Hoffman Hall. I wouldn’t know her from a hole in the wall.”

Sienna shook her head, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her before either. I mean, I think I kind of have, but I haven’t.”

“You’ve lost me. Have you or not? And what does this have to do with Freud and dreams?”

“Uh,” Sienna came to a halt again, “Um. It’s hard to explain…”

“Spill it, Logan,” Hannah gestured with her head for Sienna to keep moving.

Sienna took a deep breath as she started walking again, “Earlier this summer, I started to have this recurring dream. This is very weird….”

Hannah looked completely confused, “Okay… go on…”

“There’s this woman that keeps appearing in that dream. I think it’s Alex.”

“What do you mean ‘you think’?”

Sienna was now bright red. “I don’t really see her. I’m not really able to…”

Hannah arched an eyebrow, “Why not?”

“Um…” Sienna shifted uncomfortably, “Because it’s kinda dark, and she comes up behind me, and then she kind of just moves in front of me… but lower.” The last word came out very quietly.

Hannah stared at her friend, trying to envision the movements described. She gasped, “Are you saying that you’ve been having a dream about someone going down on you? And you think it’s Alex?”

Sienna felt her face heat up even more. She nodded, “Yeah. The body type… the dark hair…”

Hannah grinned slyly, “And does she… do you… uh, is it a… I mean, does it end well?”

Sienna buried her face in her hands and nodded.

Hannah shrieked with delight, “Clearly, this means you have to send her flowers or something. You know, as a thank you.”

Sienna looked through her fingers at Hannah, “What? No! I don’t even know what this is!”

“How often do you have the dream?”

Sienna shrugged, “Not often. Most recent time was last week, before we left for New York.”

“Maybe it’s a guy?”

Sienna shook her head again, “It is definitely a woman. The first time I had the dream, it was like, ‘huh, well this is unexpected’ but then you know, things happened and it’s kind of hard not to be on board after that…”

Hannah giggled, “Most people struggle with the coming out process, Sienna. You.. you can’t just orgasm your way into it.”

Sienna blushed, “I know! Actually, I haven’t really thought it through before now. Logically, the fact that I have this recurring dream means I’m probably not one hundred percent straight. Which, by the way, I never thought I was. Maybe Sigmund is right and it’s just my sub-conscious nudging me along.”

“Wait, if you can’t see this person, how do you know it’s a woman?”

“Boobage. Not big, but suffice it to say, the lack of clothing makes them apparent.”

“Look harder next time,” giggled Hannah, “Or at least, try and look harder next time… when your fantasy woman shows up to provide some cunning linguistics.”



“Hey you,” a low voice said into her ear.

Sienna smiled as she felt a warm body slide into bed behind her. She reached back and touched a forearm, which she immediately pulled around her stomach. Soft lips began nibbling on her earlobe.

“Hmmmmm…” Sienna sighed. Wait.

Oh shit, it’s the dream again. Ok. Let’s get a look at you… Fuck. Why is it always so dark when this happens?

Sienna tried to move, but couldn’t. The mystery woman had commenced the now familiar ministrations of pleasure, her lips gently kissing Sienna’s neck. Her hands moved under Sienna’s shirt, and then, after a moment of delicious anticipation, Sienna felt them on her breasts. “Ohhhhhhhhhh…..”

If I know I’m in a dream, I should be able to control it, right? How the hell do you lucid dream? Oh god, that feels so good….

Sienna felt warm breaths trailing warm lips as the woman kissed a delicious path down her torso. Dark brown hair shielded the woman’s face from view. Sienna noticed two orbs emitting a soft blue light far off in the distance. Huh, that’s new… “OH!”

A warm, smooth tongue made contact with her sex. She smiled and opened her legs. “Oh yes,” she sighed, “Oh yes.”

I know this is not real… but it feels so good…

Sienna’s clit was being caressed with exquisite attention. “Oh, right there… right there…”

Growing pulses of pleasure were rippling up and down Sienna’s body. She felt a familiar tightening as the muscles in her body flexed, every sinew welcoming a glorious orgasm that crackled and coursed through every nerve with delight. “Kiss me,” mumbled Sienna.

She felt her lover’s body move upwards. She tried to open her eyes, but couldn’t. Those soft, soft lips touched hers. Just lightly as first, but then with more insistence; yielding but strong. Sienna opened her mouth, kissing back earnestly. Good kisser. Amazingly good kisser… even though this is all in my head….

Moments later, Sienna opened her eyes, stretching her body contentedly.

“Alone again,” she sighed, “Who are you??!!”

The kiss lingered in Sienna’s mind the rest of that week. Not only because it was new, but because it had been so delicious. She wondered if such a kiss could happen outside of her imagination. She’d certainly enjoyed mind-blowing kisses before, but now she knew of something better.

“Hey… Hannah,” Sienna nudged her friend. The two of them were studying in the library reading room, cramming for the next day’s finals.

Hannah chewed on her pen, “I am totally screwed if we get a question on Ampere’s Law. I always overthink it and get it mixed up.”

“Go over the midterm question on the coaxial cable,” Sienna replied, “It’ll help.”

Hannah made a face as she looked through her midterm exam. “I got that question right. Huh. So why is it confusing now?”

“Because you are panicking and your brain’s stopped working. Which is good. Because I want to talk about something other than electro-magnetic fields for a sec.”

“Ok, shoot,” Hannah threw the midterm back onto the pile of papers on the table.

“I definitely maybe for sure, almost, think that it’s definitely Alex I’ve been dreaming about. Had the dream again the other night. After I talked to Mel earlier that day.” Sienna looked at Hannah meaningfully.

“You told your coach about your dream?” Hannah looked shocked.

“No, I was telling Mel about Spring Break and what a disaster it was. But then she got an email from Alex while we were talking. I think it was a trigger for the dream.”

Hannah lifted an eyebrow, “Oh man, I thought you were over Alex. Is this why you’re breaking up with Sydney?”

“‘Broke up.’ She came over last night and we talked. Hannah, it was never going to work. I mean, we had fun and all that, but we are fundamentally incompatible: our lives don’t mesh! She works the late shift for the student union four nights a week. I have morning practices 5am five days a week. I’m gone most weekends for meets. I’m pre-med and on West campus. She’s theater studies and downtown. It’s a miracle we actually even met.”

“And now you are running straight back to the Alex-is-the-woman-in-your-dreams theory,” Hannah stretched, “And you were doing so well without it, Sienna!”

“There was something new in the last dream. We kissed. So now I kind of feel like there’s something I can use to compare in real life. You know, without…”

“Without having to make an indecent proposal?”

“Exactly! And according to Mel’s email, Alex is in New York….”

“Your grand plan is what? ‘Hey Alex, give me a kiss so I can see if it measures up to the one that is actually a figment of my imagination’?”

“When you put it that way, it sounds ludicrous. Forget I said anything…”

Hannah shook her head, “Give me Ampere’s Law any day. At least it’s grounded in fact.”



Sienna leaned back happily into her beach chair, loving the sound of the ocean in her ears and the feel of the warm sun on her skin. It was Labor Day Weekend, and Sienna was looking forward to three days at the beach before the official start of classes.

Hannah had invited Sienna and Amy, a mutual friend from FAC, to stay at her family’s house on the Cape. The guest list grew when Amy’s boyfriend Steve wanted to join and brought along his friend Pete — ostensibly to use Pete’s car, but truthfully it was because he didn’t want to be the only guy. Pete was on the swim team with Sienna, and Steve was in Hannah’s Chemistry Lab so the five of them all got along well, which was fortunate as it was a cramped ride in Pete’s car as they drove up to Massachusetts.

Just as she was about to drift off to sleep, her phone started ringing. “Hey Hannah, what’s up?”

“We are headed into the village. Amy wants to give Steve the full tourist treatment. Wanna come?”

“Nah, I’m staying put.”

“Ok. We’ll be back before dinner, we can go back out together. Reservation is at 7:30.”

“Okay — see you then.” Sienna dropped the phone back into her bag. She stared out at the ocean and watched a cargo ship make its way steadily across the horizon. Now there’s a job for you. Months and months way out there…

Sienna stared at the ocean a little while longer, and then fished out her book from her bag. “I’m going to finish this book even if it kills me,” she muttered to herself. It was a novel that critics and friends had raved about for months, but it just wasn’t doing it for Sienna. She was, however, not one to abandon any book once she started reading, so along she plodded, feeling a small sense of victory each time she completed a chapter.

A shadow fell across the page and she looked up, “Hey Pete, you guys back already?”

Pete shook his head and dropped himself onto the sand next to Sienna, “They’re still out. Got too hot for me. Better back here with the breeze from the ocean.”