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I opened my eyes wider and scanned the crowded Sunday-morning sidewalk. Sunday morning in a neighborhood that's almost all Polish, Italian, Irish and Latino means the sidewalks are Mass confusion, if you get my drift. And I was not all that fully awake anyhow, having finished Saturday night only six hours before.
"David!" The voice was right in front of me now. I looked down. Recognition came slowly. I blinked. "Elly?"
She smiled prettily and hoisted herself up and gave a little jump to plant a light kiss on my beard, catching me by surprise.
I stared at her. "You look unbelievable," I said, with complete sincerity. And her appearance was more than half the reason I hadn't recognized her.
I hadn't seen Elly in a few years. She'd just turned 16 a few weeks before we'd last bumped into each other. She'd been pretty much as she'd been the first time I'd met her, three years before. Elly was very short - 4-foot-7, I learned later - but not petite by about 20 pounds. Elly could have stood to lose that much and maybe a couple of pounds more, because a great deal of baby fat still clung to an otherwise fine-boned frame. She'd had a pretty, round face and Big Hair and seemed determined to dress as unattractively as possible. The last time I'd seen her, she was still just the plump, sweet, smart kid who sometimes needed someone with whom to talk.
Elly had made some serious changes. Make that Changes, with a capital "C."
The change that was unavoidably obvious was her figure. She'd done away with most of the weight; the rest had been redistributed. She'd always been buxom; now she'd melted most of the baby fat, and what was left was just busty. Even dressed to deemphasize it, she had an astonishing bust, the more so for her otherwise-slender frame.
She might have been dressed to deemphasize it, but nothing could hide it. Elly had a figure designed by the feverish imagination of a 14-year-old acne farm. She was very slim-hipped; she had no waist at all, and the way she cinched her fashionably cut loose jeans betrayed that. Her waist couldn't have been more than 18 or 19 inches.
But even the oversized flannel shirt (it was spring, but the Weather Gods had left some nip in the air to remind us that winter wasn't very long gone) and the oversized vest, unbuttoned, couldn't hide the swell of her breasts. Words like "massive," "huge" and "coconuts" came to mind. I probably could have worn the shirt she had on, and I'm a size 42; she still couldn't button the top three buttons over those tits.
But as fabulous as her figure was, as radiant as her newly slimmed and well-made-up face was, it was her vivacity that commanded attention. She was glowing and vibrant and gushing with news. She'd just signed on for a co-op in Flushing, and then she'd lost her job - at Shearson Lehman - but it didn't bother her. She was looking for work as an administrative assistant and was sure she could find it quickly. I agreed. Best of all, she'd done something I'd nagged her about in most of our last conversation - she'd had the doctor do a biopsy of the cyst in her uterus - and it had been removed early enough to insure that she was healthy and free from The Bastard That Kills.
Damn, she looked good! Her jeans clung to slim hips and legs that were just a shade too short even for her diminutive height. She'd had her hair cut differently, a bit longer and less full. Her eyes sparkled, and her lips and nose were perfect for her face. Elly had turned into a little beauty who happened also to be a sex goddess.
But she wasn't happy. She'd been taken with this fella for the past couple of months, an Afghan refugee, and she had the distinct feeling that he wouldn't be devastated if she left him. That, to her, meant he didn't care much.
We talked, and she told me she had a job interview for Tuesday morning, and she was tickled at the idea of meeting me for lunch when she was done. I sensed a tingly tension with her. She'd gone from a pudgy 16-year-old to a devastatingly sexy 20-year-old, and I wanted to explore it more (not being nearly as dumb as I look).
She called at noon, and I had her come to my office, in the Village. I brought my company's job listing with me and took her to a good neighborhood restaurant, China Bowl. Their prices were reasonable, the ambience was unhurried, and a sign in the window proudly proclaimed that they never used MSG.
Our waitress, who went by the name of Alice, was familiar to me. Alice and I had played trade smiles and try-to-catch-the-other-one-looking games for about three months. Alice, who was about Elly's height, came over for our order, took one look at Elly's preposterous bust - not too effectively hidden by a very conservatively cut neck-high collar - and gave me a look that said she was sure she could never compete with THOSE.
Elly and I had a pleasant lunch, and she thought my suggestion was nice - that she stop by my place later in the week and see what I'd done with it.
She rang my bell at 8:03 p.m. on Friday, and I buzzed her in. She was wearing jeans again and a simple, plum blouse under a loose cardigan. The blouse was tucked into her waistband, and when the cardigan came off, it looked like she'd stuffed a pair of cantaloupes into her blouse.
I gave her a glass of white wine (a Riesling) - her choice - and the two-bit tour. She thought my alleged cat was cute. She admired the photo montages of friends and family and the cat.
She enjoyed the stereo - choosing a recording by Kitaro, much to my surprise and pleasure - and ooohed and ahhed at the little study I'd created; it's the place where I write.
In the living room, she admired the nude torso framed on one wall. She asked; I told her: "Yes, that's her. It was taken by one of her former lovers." But what got her was the opposite wall:
"Did you READ all of these?"
I am always surprised when someone is impressed by the Library Wall in the living room. I explained to her that if you read for an hour a day, you read a couple of books a week. In 30 years, that's around 3.000 books. If you save some books - well, you pretty quickly end up with the Library Wall. My living room is only 20 feet long, so a wall of books isn't that big a deal.
But Elly was impressed. We sat, drinking wine and talked. I asked after some of her friends. One was dying of AIDS.
"I'm glad I got out of that crowd," she said. "When they started getting into stuff past a few joints, I got scared. He was doing needles, so I guess that's where he got it."
"There's lots of ways to get it."
She drained her glass. "Don't I know it! When I went to get tested for it - "
She nodded, eyes wide, as I poured more wine for her. Of course she did, she said - as if there were no other reasonable course. She was crazy about her Afghan refugee. "You think I want to take a chance on killing him? No way!"
Which was, I told her, exactly the way my Significant Other and I felt, and why we'd gotten tested.
The talk moved on to cheerier subjects and later, after more chatting and catching up - and her doing in two-thirds of a bottle of wine - she started examining the titles of the books. She asked if she could look at one on a high shelf. I started to get up from the couch.
"I'll get it. I just wanted to know if it was OK to look at it."
"Sure, help yourself." She got the little folding step-stool from the corner and set it up. It's only a four-step job, so she had to stand on the top. I went to steady her - remember that wine - and as soon as I got there, she turned half-way and started toppling.
I caught her, with my hands at her trim waist. Her cheeks were flushed, and the redness was spreading down her neck and throat and into the vee of pale flesh exposed by the three unfastened buttons.
She put her hands on either side of my face, bent and kissed me. Her breath was sweetly tinged with the wine, and her lips were taut and urgent. They opened immediately, and her tongue danced with mine, teasing - then searching and demanding. Her tongue was rather long, She seemed to have no difficulty running it over the roof of my mouth, and I know it reached farther than any other I'd encountered. It was somehow making me even more aroused.
Without breaking the kiss or moving my hands from her waist, I lifted her off the step-stool. She wrapped her arms around my neck, and I had to bend to maintain the kiss as I stood her on the floor.
I put my arms all the way around her and pressed her up and against me. Her breasts, so huge and full, were crushed against me. She was arching her back deeply to catch my leg between her thighs and rub her denim-clad crotch against my knee. I ran my hands up and down her back, then reached down and covered her ass, one hand to a cheek. Her hips were so narrow and her butt so tight and hard that I was momentarily taken aback; it was almost like squeezing a preteen girl's ass.
But there was nothing kid-like in the heat or experience in her hungry kiss or the way she was writhing against me. And there sure as hell was nothing childlike in the massive pressure of her firm, bounteous breasts against me.
When she finally broke the kiss, she leaned back in my arms, otherwise remaining pressed against me and letting me support most of her weight. Her eyes were closed and there was a small smile on her flushed face.
.... There is more of this story ...