It was 6:30 in the morning. Jenny Marie Stephens and her daughter, Stephanie, sat down on their front stoop to take of their track shoes. They had managed to do their ten miles before Stephanie had to take her summer classes and it began to get hot and muggy. Jenny did not envy Stephanie's afternoon workout.
She worked out with the city track club in the evening before it got dark; after the main hot spell. They ran 100 and walked a 100, doing intervals which increased to a couple of full out 1600's at the end. There were boys, girls, and adults of all ages. The only thing there wasn't much of was talking or laughing.
Jenny alternated between going three times a week to their evening workouts and just jogging through the park. Roanoke Park was a huge basin between the Valentine Area of Kansas City, Missouri and the river which stretched a couple of miles.
The park was good for jogging because it had lots of rugged up-hill runs. It was lines with hundred-year-old trees and plenty of shade.
The only bad thing about it was safety. There was a big community center with several basket ball courts. During the summer large groups of excellent basketball players and "wannabees" gathered to play "make-it-take-it" As long as you scored, you got the ball back. Promising younger high schoolers often got to test their skills with the college, pro and semi-pros home for the summer.
Occasionally Jenny had to jog past a couple of pickup loads of young men with bandannas over their heads that were drinking beer in the parking lot. Jenny had mixed feelings about being alone as she went by; thankful that her daughter was not exposed to this, and yet apprehensive for her own safety.
Jenny went upstairs to take her shower in her own bath, and Stephanie went to her own bedroom. Now that Stephanie was fourteen and a half, she was allowed to drive to classes and work by herself. Jenny was still in the shower when she heard the 1985 Yamaha FZ75 wind up as it went down the road towards the highway for class.
Jenny was not happy with her daughter on a motorcycle, but it had been a cheap solution. They did not have to buy a car. She did not know that her husband's old bike was actually the first stock motorcycle that Yamaha made with a full out racing engine. They had just put it back together. He had shown her how to measure the valve shims, do the math and put in the right ones to get the right clearance on the 20 valve engine. Jenny was happy that her husband and his daughter were spending time together.
Joe's wife had died not long after Stephanie had been born and he had mostly raised her himself. Jenny had met him at a poetry writing group that met at a coffee shop nearby.
Joe had recently retired from being an anesthesiologist at the Regional Hospital down the street. He had saved a lot of money and inherited even more. With Jenny's property being sharecropped they both had enough income to retire. Although being only forty, Jenny had no plans to give up working. She had planned to finish several stories she had started and try her hand at getting them published. Joe, on the other hand, needed something constructive to do.
Jenny was combing out her long reddish brown hair when she heard the sound. It was the high soft whine of the trash truck in the distance. She could hear it driving up to their house. It went by, and then stopped. It was one of those new fangled trash trucks.
The old ones drove down the road with two men standing on the running board along the back. It would stop and both men would run to the trash cans on their side of the street; throw them on the back of the truck and empty them. The empty metal cans were then tossed; clanging and rolling all over the driveway as the truck sped to the next house.
This truck was different. It had an enclosed cab for more comfort in summer and winter. The glass was tinted. You couldn't see the driver. There were no others hanging on the back. Instead, a long robot arm reached out; picked up the now plastic trash cans; dumped the contents towards the front of the truck and placed the empty fifty gallon container in the exact same place it was. Then it was off to the next house.
The strange thing was that it often came right to Jenny's house first; going past and picking up the first can at her neighbor's. From there, it would be several hours before the truck looped back to pick up her trash. Jenny hadn't thought much about it, except that she couldn't put her trash cans back behind the house at 7:30 when it first came by.
Joe came up to the room when Jenny was finished with her shower. He made small talk with her as she dried her hair. He watched her as she lay down, wrapped only in a towel with her head hanging over the end of the bed. He watched her as she combed her hair out and starts the French braid. When she was done, and sat up, the long rope-like appendage hung to her waist. It gave her the image of a young girl that long hair does. It gave her the image of a sophisticated middle aged woman that she was, because it was tight and away from her face. It was a combination of young and old that was becoming for her.
Joe watched her as she lowered her towel and repositioned it around her waist in order to put on a bra. She was still rather timid about having her husband standing around gawking at her while she dressed. She didn't quite know to be flattered that he was showing an interest, or embarrassed at his starring.
Joe watched in silent fascination. He was mesmerized at the long pink nipples that seemed three times the length of anything else he had seen. The length and color were not what he had been accustomed to seeing through the years.
Her breasts were not huge by most standards. However they stuck straight out in a gravity defying shape that would have been impossible except for the surgically-enhanced women he had seen at the strip-bars. Hers were natural, melon sized breasts with unusually long pink nipples.
Jenny reached in her drawer and pulled out one of her sheer, quarter-cup bras that she knew her husband favored. It had support from the stretch fabric that she did not need. It was the transparent look that he was enchanted with. When she put on a blouse, her long pink nipples were barely concealed. She was not comfortable with the look, but it seemed to be what he needed.
Joe was about sixty now and his interest in sex often needed help. This seemed to be the latest fascination with him. She didn't look at him as she fastened it behind her, but she could tell he had a flicker in his eyes he could not hide.
Jenny dropped the towel and reached for some clean panties. Once again, he had his favorites. She picked out another thin, transparent, pantyhose type of garment. It had a full panel on the front and back that went almost to her belly button.
Joe watched her check herself out self-consciously in the mirror. Her reddish brown patch was enchanting. It looked like it had been manicured. It was thicker in the middle; just enough that you couldn't quite make out the folds between her labia. The hair was soft, downy fuzz like the curls on a Hawaiian fern. The down in the middle faded to a light blond towards the edge of the pubic patch. It had been shaved so that nothing came close to the edge of her bikini, but it also tapered down in thickness from the thicker part at the center to a sparse sprinkling of curls at the outer extents. You could almost smell the soap and skin of a newborn baby in it from across the room. "It was unfair for the rest of the men in the world to not know her." Joe thought to himself.
Jenny laid back in the bed with her feet in the air as she struggled to slide the boot-cut, form fitting Levis over her. She didn't need a belt, but put it on for appearances. It was what she needed to hold her cell phone holster.
Jenny's shoes were a dark brown high heel leather boot that zipped up the sides. You could not tell that they stopped just below her knees because the boot-cut jeans flared out enough to conceal the boots.
Jenny picked up her tiny laptop and headed down the street to the local coffee shop. Valentine Road, which ran along the edge of Roanoke Parkway, let to the 39th Street corridor, which was a little like Beale Street in Memphis. The shops had been converted from brick and stone warehouses well over a hundred years ago. The new shops had restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and small business along the tree-lined drive.
If the people only knew that the smooth asphalt covered streetcar tracks and brick pavers, the street might have appeared to be even more like the 150-year-old community it was. People used to stop nearby on their way up the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails on their way west.
Jenny walked along the winding, tree-lined road until she got to 39th street. She picked out an upscale coffee shop. It was practically full of young people on their way to work or just stopping in to read the paper and drink a cup of $4.50 syrup and whip cream laced coffee. Jenny plugged in her laptop and put in the flash drive. She pulled up several story outlines and decided to start in on one. She had finished the "Shades of Gray" series and had been online with other authors; chatting about their evaluations of the book.
.... There is more of this story ...