Updated: Jun 20, 2022
You haven’t met this girl yet, unless you’ve read “Mailgirls: The Anthology”, edited by Wellvyne. It’s available on Amazon. My story is the last one in the book and is a change of pace from the others.
Sam looks down at his phone with relief -- and puzzlement. Finally, a text from Apokni! So she still loves him. But a weird text it is, with a photo. “Here I am in my new internship!” She’s bare from the shoulders up, with a big smile and braided hair, “squaw” style, the kind of stereotypical Native American look she always avoided. She must be wearing a strapless dress, like in those unfortunate wedding announcements where the photo is cropped and the bride looks naked. Must have been at a party. What kind of internship is this?
Although she was a little odd before that, saying she had gotten a grad school internship without telling him the name of the school. He assumed it wouldn’t be here in North Dakota. They were both born and raised and itching to get out. She grew up on a reservation (Cree). As for Sam, when his great-grandparents escaped sharecropping in Alabama they must have associated hot weather with economic slavery and therefore Arctic temperatures with freedom. Anyway, in the Great State of North Dakota there is not much in the way of grad schools so they both long assumed they would be leaving anyway.
Their friends said they were made for each other -- they were matchmaking the two ever since they met in the (tiny) Diversity Club at U.of N.D. They were considered exceptionally “cute” by the handful of white liberals there, bless their well-intentioned, cringe-inducing hearts. And they did get along, a little two-person cocoon in that bleak Whiteworld of Bible-toting farmer’s kids and conspiracy believers. They had gotten physically closer and closer and finally lost their virginity to each other. It was a process of helping overcome each other’s upbringings. They imagined it would be a lifelong bond between them.
In her culture premarital sex was associated with alcoholism, and giving in to the White Man. There was a strip club outside her reservation called “Un-Patchy’s” (get it? not “Apache”?), filled with drunk Cree (and unsavory white men) stuffing their welfare payments into the panties of dissolute “Pocahontases”. “I hate that place, I hate it!!” Apokni said more than once, and Sam could understand why. She had to drive past that pit of embarrassment and degradation whenever she went home, or to campus. As for Sam, his hangups were religious. He grew up in the church, a pastor’s kid. Their parents knew deep down that they were starting to have sex but everyone wisely kept their mouths shut.
So what is this bare-shoulders internship? Any internship is hard to come by of course. They graduated together but Sam has been striking out on all his applications. Apokni finally got her acceptance for the new semester starting in January. Sam’s degree is in English and he is hoping to get into a newsroom on one of the Coasts, or Chicago. But no -- he’s been reduced to doing short pieces for the Bismarck Daily News, for next to nothing. And hanging out with his Uncle Bertie and drinking too much. His parents warned about him, but church life is not much fun, and there is nothing else to do.
It’s been a week since the “naked bride” photo, and now Apokni calls to invite Sam to her internship and meet her “buds”. Sam is still puzzled; she’s still not saying what this internship is all about. To Sam’s surprise it’s in-state, near Grand Forks, in a complex operated by a newly-moved-in business called TrapCo. It’s a clear, cold day, the snow so bright it’s hard to see at times. Sam drives up and sees it’s a typical six-story glass building, with a smaller one behind it.
And now he walks up to the reception desk, and not ninety seconds after he says he is there to see Apokni Whitefeather, she bounces down the stairs (some parts of her bouncing more than others) and runs up to hug him. Wearing not a stitch.
Sam’s seen her naked of course, but only in bed, not out loud, in public, in full light. He feels her bare breasts crush against him as she hugs, not in the stillness of his dorm room, but in front of everyone! In public!
“Hi Prince!” she says, for the thousandth time. She used to imagine him as an African prince, claiming his wife. At least that was her fantasy; it creeped him out at first (and would have a lot more if she was a white girl), but he came to see it as a sign of not only lust but love. He doesn’t think he’s especially good in bed -- how could he be, with his lack of experince? But she makes him feel like a rare treasure, whenever she says that.
“Hi Prince!” She stands back and let him have a longer view. A big “4” is marked in black, over her right breast. He looks down at her flat tummy -- she’s in better shape than he’s ever seen her -- then down past her pubic hair, which is sculpted into the shape of a heart. Her bare feet look bigger than he remembered, toes spread out more. There is a kind of smartphone strapped to her upper arm. He takes it all in, mouth open.
“Apokni, you’re -- you’re --” Now his head jerks as he sees another naked girl running across the lobby, breasts bouncing, this one white and blonde, though with an all-over tan, hair flying behind her, wearing that same kind of smartphone thing on her arm, carrying a little tube in her hand like she is in a relay race. She turns and runs up the stairs, her bare feet slapping up the steps, and then is gone. Sam blinks. He currently has that familiar hungover feeling of unreality, after drinking half the night with Bertie. but this is a bit much.
Apokni turns back to Sam and blushes and giggles, putting one hand over her breasts, the other over her pubic hair, but quickly corrects herself. “This is our uniform. We’re Mailgirls.”
“Mail -- what?”
She looks at her beeping armband. “Suite 428. Mr. Sundberg. Gotta go. Look, I’m on break in ten minutes. Meet me in Room 114, that’s our lounge.” And she runs off, a nude sprinter, her cute little butt muscles flexing as her tough bare feet slap against the tile floor and then up the steps, like the blonde girl. She is as eager as a second-grader proud to be picked to deliver something to the Principal’s office. Sam sees another “4” over the dimple on her lower back.