1 : The season between spring and autumn comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of June, July, and August or as reckoned astronomically extending from the June solstice to the September equinox
2 : The warmer half of the year
3 : Year - a girl of seventeen summers
4 : A period of maturing powers
They can say whatever they want about how boys have all the power: maybe in some ways they do. But we have some, too. Yeah, now that I’m a little older I get tired of the leers. Tired of the endless “naughty” jokes and entendres. Somehow I thought that would all stop when I got engaged but if anything that stuff actually gets worse. Guys see married -- or soon-to-be married - women as somehow safer. They can get what they want without risking us wanting a relationship. They fantasize we’re all unfulfilled and of course they are just the one who can fill us up in a very literal way.
So yeah, the power works both ways and it gets annoying. Wearying even. But it’s still ... let me tell you, when it’s new in your hands it’s a cold fast rush.
I grew up a really straight-laced girl in a fly speck town that was essentially a suburb of a slightly bigger fly speck town. I grew up really happy, but really insulated. Same group of people, same group of kids all growing up together. Same church. Same straight-laced church. Same witheringly regimented, suffocating church. But I didn’t know that then so I was very happy.
I knew I was a pretty girl, knew my shape had shown up kind of late but had shown up well. But again, being around the same people I never walked into a room that wasn’t full of people who hadn’t seen me the day before and the day before and the day before, so it was hard to tell if anyone really noticed. Dating wasn’t a major part of my life. I hadn’t had any major boyfriends, just boys to go to dances with. I wasn’t the class tramp but I wasn’t a prude either. And while I wasn’t a virgin, I could count on one finger the guys I’d been with and on one hand the times we’d done it.
When the summer after high school hit I wasn’t even sure I was going to college. Two things had me considering: First, I knew I couldn’t spend my life in Flyspeck, Jr. And second? I was, as of very recently, dating a guy who was in college. We’d met kind of accidentally and I was feeling him out as I was letting him feel me up. We hadn’t gone much further than that, which was starting to be a problem in a backwards kind of way: I didn’t really have any desire to push the relationship that far, but he was using his slow-moving ways as some declaration that he was more “serious” about me, and I should be properly thankful. Every make-out session that his hand didn’t go down the front of my pants, every time he didn’t unzip himself and try to guide my head in that direction, he saw that as some sort of deposit in a long-term interest-bearing commitment account, and that account would be cashed in on a wedding night sometime down the road. Basically the message was he was sacrificing now to show me how devoted to the idea of permanence with me was, but once that permanence had a name -- and I had his name -- he intended to fuck the living shit out of me, me smiling all the while, tits jiggling with joy in appreciation of the respect he showed for my pre-marital virtue.
One night, on a rare occasion that my bra came off, he kissed and squeezed me, speaking directly to my chest as he told me (them?) how he respected my virginity. How it would be the greatest gift of his life.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him.
I realize I must make him sound like a bad guy, like he was unlikeable, a fumbling over-earnest Barney Fife. But he wasn’t that. He was a nice guy, cute, friendly. Fun to be around and a real nice car. He was just too serious at a time when I was just sticking my head out of the nest, craning my neck to see what existed on the horizon beyond Flyspeck and Flyspeck, Jr.
As the summer hit its midpoint he also helped get me a job at a department store at the mall. It was there where I realized an awful lot about the power.
Looking back, it’s funny to imagine how naïve I was about what I had going for me. The evidence was everywhere. College boy wanting to lock me down six weeks after meeting me. The interview with the store manager taking about five minutes. My department boss trying to give me all sorts of ... help. And me, in my form-fitting blue jeans and white shirts fitting very snuggly under the department store logo-ed vests, thinking the whole world was just so friendly.
Now I see it was exactly as friendly as any mirror was to me at the time, itself gazing on an almost 19-year old blonde girl of medium height and more than medium curves. Blonde, Blue eyes, striking Black eyebrows and the latecomers, those suddenly larger than average boobs, which only on graduation day finally found themselves breathing easier in a roomier bra. That was me, the same as my report card: Three B’s and a pair of D’s.
The first week or two I got hit on of course, but my co-workers were like my high school boys: keyed-up and hot for everyone. I was just another in their endless streams of come-ons and rejections. Nothing new to see here.
Then came Robert.
I was in a toy aisle rearranging dolls some eight year olds had systematically cleared from the shelves as their mothers stood nearby, cart-to-cart, talking to each other but not watching their damn daughters.
Robert was probably late 50’s, grey hair, very fit. Very fit. Eyes bluer than mine. He came down the toy aisle with a cart filled with frozen dinners, a few household items and a case of beer. He wasn’t looking at any toys, unless maybe that’s how you see me. Depending on who you are, I might be ok with that.
I glanced over and saw him looking at me, and I swear to you that’s the first time I ever saw that look ... but even so I immediately knew what it was. It wasn’t that school boy gaze of lust that every girl lives with. His look said three very clear things: I was a woman, he wanted to fuck me, and -- maybe most importantly -- he knew that I knew that’s what he was thinking. An adult was wanting to fuck me not like a girl but like a woman, which means he’d actually wait for me to come, probably.
What he didn’t know then -- and what I suddenly and firmly did -- was that he would. And I would.
“I guess I’m in the wrong aisle,” he started. I’m not sure he intended to talk to me at all. He probably just intended a drive-by eyeful, but when I looked him right in the eyes and smiled then there wasn’t much he could do but say something.
I looked at his cart.
“Don’t want a doll to toss in with your Hot Pockets and beer?”
He looked at his cart and the avalanche of plastic babies and laughed self-deprecatingly.
“I guess I look like a gourmet chef right now.” He looked back at me with an explanation.
“My family is off to the beach for a week. Summer vacation.”
I cocked my head.
“No vacation for you?”
“Not this time, I’m afraid. Work calls.”
“I’m Becky,” I said, pointing at my name tag, itself facing up slightly due to the curve it sat upon.
“I’m Robert,” he said, reading my tit for confirmation.
“So Pizza Pockets and Pabst for the whole week,” I laughed, my shoulders taking slow turns moving forward and back.
“Beer is for a guys’ night later this week. I’m more of a wine guy.”
“The wine section is over in that corner,” I pointed helpfully. He broke out in a laugh, then worked hard to stifle it quickly. My face scrunched up a bit.
“This ... well, a department store ... that wouldn’t be where I buy my wine,” he said, talking over me but doing it as nicely as he could while making it clear he was still doing it. I felt weak in the knees.
“Do you like wine,” he asked me.
“I’m nineteen. So...”
“Do you like wine?” He had that look back. Second time I’d seen it. I didn’t want it to ever leave his face, but I wanted to see what other looks I could make that face make.
“I’ve only had a few sips ever,” I confessed. That seemed to remind him of something. Probably my age. Or his kids. Either way, the look was gone again.
“Well, maybe someday,” he said, then started rolling his cart past me, almost certain not to turn towards the vino. A speed-bump launches off my baby-pink tongue and lands in his ear.
“Do you want to teach me?”
That stopped him. I swear his back shivered.
Jesus, this was fun. He turned around.
“I don’t think that would probably be a good idea. Seeing as how you’re not twenty-one and my wife isn’t big on me making friends with a pretty woman.”
Woman. Another swoon at the knees. I would have done anything to keep him feeding me that vibe. I wondered: was he telling me that he can’t because he’s married, or was he asking me if him being married was a problem? Every day before in my life it would have been. Today, not so much.
I smiled at him while subtly arching my back. I touched my finger to my lips, brushed off something imaginary, then sang two words to a song that didn’t even exist, my shoulders and hips slowly swaying in time.
Ten o’clock that night, my college boy dropping me off in front of Robert’s house -- the mansion. I couldn’t resist. Robert didn’t really want my car parked out front, and having him drop me off saved me Uber money and honestly turned me on just a little.
“Wow, this is a pretty good babysitting gig,” he said, admiring the windows, the doors, the shutters, the iron fence. “You sure you don’t want me to stick around and help?”
I leaned over and kissed him.
“Nah, too boring. Kids are already in bed. They’ll get suspicious if I bring in some guy. I’ll Uber back home. They could be out late so who knows. I mean it’s ten and they’re just leaving. Plus my parents know I’m coming home at two or three. I think they’d be a little suspicious if you brought me, too,” I manufactured a pixie grin for him and he grinned back.
“Someday, Becky. Someday.”