tagRomanceFor the Love of Holly

For the Love of Holly

bywantsomefun1951©

If you are looking for a porn story, you will be disappointed. If you are looking for a lot of wild sex, you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for a tale of romance and generosity, a story about growth and selflessness, I hope you will read and enjoy. I would be remiss if I did not thank my muse, the amazing woman who keeps me sane and happy.

*

"Mr. Summers, do you have anything to say to the court before I pronounce sentence?"

"I guess not, Your Honor."

"Very well. The Court has some discretion in sentencing for cases like yours. I could remand you to the custody of the County Prison System for a period of up to twelve months. When I first saw your juvenile record, I was tempted to do just that. However, your last brush with the law occurred when you were fifteen years old. Since then, you have not been in trouble, or at least you have not been caught. I also am advised that you are working a full-time job while going to culinary school. Is it your intention to make cooking your lifetime work?

"Yes, Your Honor. If I complete my courses with honors, which I am determined to do, the school's placement office has assured me that I will be able to find work as a chef. My dream is to one day have my own restaurant, and becoming a chef is the first step toward that goal."

"Very well," the judge said. "Both your employer and your school have presented character testimony before the Court on your behalf. In light of this, I am going to use my discretion in your sentencing. But mark my words to you today. If you get in any trouble again, your probation will be revoked and you will serve the full prison time allowed by law. Don't disappoint me, young man. I hereby sentence you to time served plus three hundred hours of community service. Because of your skills and interests, you are to perform your service as a cook at the South Street Community Kitchen. If you do well, you will be an asset to the community. Young man, you may even enjoy your community service."

I thought to myself, "How the hell am I supposed to enjoy cooking up swill for street people? That's an insult to my skills." But, luckily, I kept my mouth shut and my expression blank.

The judge continued, "The Court is aware of both your work schedule and your course schedule. Since you work five nights a week and take courses five days a week, the Court concedes that it would be unreasonable to expect you to work more than one eight-hour shift a weekend at the kitchen. You will be expected to be at the kitchen every Saturday, beginning this weekend, from 9:30am to 6pm, with a 30-minute lunch break. That will allow you to do both prep and cooking work for lunch and dinner every Saturday."

I did the math in my head. "Holy shit!" I thought. "That's almost nine months. Nine months of feeding street people will kill me."

"If you have the opportunity on holiday breaks from school or work, you may work extra shifts to satisfy your obligation more quickly, with the approval of the kitchen. I know they can use all the help they can get during holidays, especially at Christmas. Do you have any questions or comments, Mr. Summers?"

"No Your Honor. And thank you, Your Honor."

"You have a future ahead of you, son. Make the most of it. I don't want to hear anything more about you, other than positive reports from your Probation Officer. This Court is in recess until 1 o'clock."

Great. Wonderful. I'm going to spend three hundred hours, or almost thirty-eight eight-hour days, cooking half spoiled food in some cockroach-infested hellhole of a kitchen, and serving it to starving toothless winos, all because I had been stupid enough to think I was in love with Marcy. Wait, that's not true. I really had been in love with Marcy. The stupid part had been believing she was in love with me.

I had been pretty crazy in middle school. After my Dad died when I was eleven, I stopped listening to my Mom. I'm old enough now to see what she had been trying to do, being so strict, all out of fear that I would wind up like Dad. But at that time, all I could see was that she was on my shit constantly. At first, I just resented it. I had just lost my Dad, and she wouldn't let me alone to work through my grief. I know now that she was hurting too, and scared out of her mind, but back then, I just saw her as a bitch.

I started cutting school, hanging out with the wrong people, getting into fights, and finally getting into trouble with the cops. Nothing big, just little petty stuff, but enough of it to have me sent to Juvenile Hall. When I got out at age sixteen, I had straightened up. I had worked in the mess hall while in juvie, and I learned just enough about cooking to know that I wanted to learn a whole lot more. So, I made up the schoolwork I had missed, graduated on time, got a half-decent second shift job, and enrolled in culinary school. It was all coming together.

Then I met Marcy a party right after I turned nineteen. She was beautiful, sexy, and had an infectious laugh. She also had a cute little dimple in her left cheek when she smiled, which she did a lot (I get kind of weak in the knees about chicks with dimples -- hey, it's my thing!). We hit it off right away, and in no time we were dating.

I remember the first time Marcy and I spent the night together. We had gone to a concert, using tickets she had won from a local radio station. We had a great time, and, as the evening progressed, we held each other more and more closely. By the end of the concert, we were making out, and when I took her home, she invited me in. Her roommates weren't home, so we resumed our make-out session on the couch. In less time than I expected, I had her naked, and she was leading me to her bedroom. She was as much fun in bed as she was out of it, and I discovered that a dimple would appear on her right cheek, too, when she sucked my cock. I was hooked, I knew it, and I didn't care.

We had great sex almost every night for months. I thought having her completed my life. I was supporting myself well enough, going to school, making plans, working on dreams, and now, I had a hot girlfriend. Onward and upward. Or so I thought.

One night, when I went to pick up Marcy, she was in a really bad mood. She wouldn't say why, although she assured me she wasn't upset with me. She said she had an errand to do, and asked me to drive her over to her friend Janie's house to pick her up. When Janie got in the car, Marcy told me to drive to a neighborhood on the other side of town. She had me park on the street, and she and Janie got out. They said they needed to see a girl who owed them something, and told me to wait in the car. They walked around the corner, and were gone for about fifteen minutes.

Suddenly, they came running up to the car from the opposite direction, threw themselves inside, and told me to get out of there as fast as I could. They wouldn't tell me what happened, but told me to drop them off at another girl's house and then go home. Marcy promised to call me in the morning to explain everything. I didn't like the smell of it, but I didn't know what else to do.

Marcy didn't call in the morning. Instead, the police came knocking on my apartment door. I was led away in cuffs, and charged with about a million counts of vandalism, malicious mischief, and destruction of property. I couldn't believe it. It turns out that Marcy and Janie had messed up a lot of stuff at the home of a girl they had a beef with. No one saw them, but several neighbors heard them, and identified my car speeding away. I tried to tell my side of the story, but no one believed me. Marcy and Janie had been questioned, but they denied having seen me that night except early in the evening, when they said I drove them to the party, before the vandalism occurred. They told the cops that they had complained to me about the girl they victimized, and claimed that I said I knew who this girl was. Everyone at the party they had gotten to hours after they said they did vouched for them. I was screwed.

Many of the charges were dropped, but the sighting of my car fleeing the scene was enough to get me convicted of a few of them. I guess if you throw enough shit at something, some of it is bound to stick. Anyway, that's how I wound up in court, and got myself sentenced to work in a damn soup kitchen.

I guess it could have been worse. I managed to keep my job, I didn't lose my apartment, I didn't have to drop out of school, I didn't get thrown out of school, and if I kept my nose clean and showed up at this slop house, it would eventually all go away. All but the feeling that I had lost a love, and that I could never trust a woman again.

Saturday morning I showed up at the kitchen at 9am. I reported to an immense middle-aged woman who introduced herself as Ma. At nearly 6 feet tall and at least 350 lbs., Ma was obviously a force to be reckoned with. I told her my name was James Summers, and she immediately enveloped me in a huge, greasy, onion-smelling hug. "Welcome to South Street, Jimmy-boy! I know why you're here, so you don't have to tell me anything you don't want to. Some of us are here for the same reason you are, and some of us are volunteers. We only have a few rules. No drugs, no alcohol, no fighting, and no frowns. I'm sure you can handle the first three rules, and I hope you learn to follow the last one. Let me introduce you around.

"JZ! This here's Jimmy-boy." she yelled.

JZ was a big, tough-looking black man, who I judged to be in his mid-twenties. He was wearing a black nylon do-rag, instead of the hairnet everyone else wore. He smiled, and slapped me five. "My man!" he said. "You here from court?"

"Yeah, some vandalism crap," I answered.

He grinned and pointed a meaty finger at himself. "Work release program from the crack half-way house down the block. Keep it real, man, we gonna have some fun here. No one bites, not even old Ma." He grinned and went back to washing dishes.

"Yolanda! Meet your new cook," Ma said to a tiny, pretty, but somewhat hard-looking, 30-ish Hispanic woman.

She turned and looked me over critically. "The last one they sent us to help cook couldn't boil water without help. What do you know about making dinner that don't involve a microwave?"

"I can cook, ma'am," I said.

"Jimmy-boy here is in culinary school. He's gonna be a chef someday," Ma said.

"Do tell? Boy, you may not find the makings for too many fancy sauces here, and our clientele don't really appreciate a good souffle, but if you can cook plain food in big volumes, you'll be a Godsend." She shook my hand warmly.

As we walked away, Ma said, "Yolanda came to us almost seven years ago, on a community service thing like you're doing. She got her life straightened out, got a job, but she's always back here every weekend and every holiday. I guess she found a home here."

Ma took me around the rest of the huge building, introducing me to the rest of the kitchen and serving staff. Some, like JZ, were doing community service. Others, like Yolanda, were volunteers. There were too many names to remember, but one stuck out. Holly.

Holly was a pretty blonde girl-next-door type (complete with dimples), my age, who first came to South Street as part of a service club project in high school. That was over two years ago. Like Yolanda, she never left. Her main job was vegetable and salad prep, which meant peeling tons of potatoes, cutting up cases of lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots, and coring and slicing apples. Even with a hairnet, which was required by the sanitation code, she looked cute as hell. But any naughty thoughts I may have had about her were pretty quickly put on the back burner when I saw how she could handle a knife! Besides, I just wasn't ready to get involved with a girl again.

By the time 9:30, my official starting time, rolled around, I had been given a hairnet and an apron, and had been assigned the task of helping to make soup for lunch. I had cooked in volume before, of course, so I figured this would be easy. Ma put me under Yolanda's supervision.

"Jimmy-boy," Yolanda said, "we usually feed about 250 people at lunch on Saturdays. The weather's nice, so some people might not come in, but you never know. We usually figure on about 175 breakfasts, 250 lunches, and 325 dinners. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 8:30, lunch from 11:30 to 1:30, and dinner from 4:30 to 6:30. We try to shoo 'em all out of here by 8 in the evening, and we usually get to lock up about 9. The morning shift comes in at 4:30am, and by 6 there's a line waiting outside. In a way, you have the gravy assignment."

"How's that?" I asked.

"Most of the overnight crazies have sobered up by the time you get here, and the evening weirdos don't start getting restless until about the time you leave. You won't have to deal with none of that, though, since you'll be back here crankin' out the culinary delights. And I'll tell you, most of these people get a lot calmer when their bellies are full."

"Do you ever have problems in the dining room?"

"Hell yes, white boy. This is the streets. Where the hell did you grow up?"

"Over on the north side."

"Figures. Rich white people don't know nuthin' about survival here. Well, just keep your nose clean. And don't be afraid to have JZ or one of the other big young bucks walk you to your car. In fact, we sorta have a rule that we don't go outside alone, especially after dark. If no one's available to walk you out, just hang around until there's two or three others to walk with you. And if you do run into trouble, just show the punks respect. Do what they tell you. What you got in your pocket ain't worth your life. And buy a can of Mace, just in case you run into some really whacked out shithead who just likes to fuck people up, Jimmy-boy."

"Yolanda, let's get something straight. First, I'm not rich. Mom's been on assistance ever since my Dad died of an overdose when I was eleven. She's too much of a drunk to hold a steady job. Second, I like to be called James. It's Ma who started calling me Jimmy-boy. I hate that."

"Yeah, well, Ma's gonna say what Ma's gonna say. Jimmy-boy ain't such as bad name. It sure as hell beats what she used to call me when I first got here."

"What was that?"

"Ma introduced me to everyone as Little Brown Sugar, cuz' I was here on a prostitution bust. I was a free-lancer, didn't have no pimp to get free of, and I wasn't hooked on no drugs like so many of them whores are. I didn't even have no diseases that penicillin couldn't take care of. Guess that's cause I wasn't in the life for too long. Anyways, Ma showed me what trouble I was headed for."

"How?"

"She introduced me to some of our regulars in the dining room. Them girls is all dead now, but we always have a few broken down old whores. One's dyin' of AIDS. A couple of others is hooked on crack or meth. But we don't make no judgments here. If they're hungry, and if they ain't violent, we feed 'em."

"How does Ma fit into the picture?" I asked.

"No one knows her background, except that she's a rich widow. She don't talk about it. She's run this place for more years than anyone can remember, and she's changed a lot of lives. She's a strange old bitch, and I didn't like her much at first, but she helped me to see that life had more to offer me than turnin' tricks with sick old men who couldn't even get it up. Once I started to get straightened out, she stopped calling me Little Brown Sugar. You'll see. She's a real sweetheart, and she'd give you the shirt off her back if you needed it."

"She seems like the matriarch of this whole place. She's tough, huh?" I said.

"You don't know the half of it. Wait till the first fight breaks out in the dining room. JZ's sort of our bouncer right now, and he's a damn good street fighter, but Ma can sling a punk or some skanky bitch out the door before they know what hit 'em. Ain't nobody fucks with Ma. And a word of advice to you, Jimmy-boy, uh, I mean, James. Ma's gonna be watchin' you like a hawk. Pull your load, and she'll love you to death. She'll even write letters for you. But, screw off, and she'll violate your probation so fast your head will spin. Like I said, ain't nobody fucks with Ma. Now, we'd best get cookin'."

With JZ's help, we half-filled three huge pots with water and started heating it. To me, they looked like the pots you see in old cartoons where the cannibals are boiling the explorers. I started to grasp the size of the task ahead of us, especially when Holly came over with a big wheelbarrow full of freshly peeled potatoes. "We serve vegetable soup for lunch," Yolanda said. "Start cuttin' up them potatoes and throw em' in. I'll dice up these carrots and celery," she said, pointing to the many five-gallon pails Holly was lugging our way. "And make the pieces pretty small. A lot of our patrons don't got many teeth."

"What else goes in here?" I asked.

"We got some left-over roast beef, some left-over meatloaf, and the guys at the griddle are frying up some other meat we got laying around. If we get done before they do, we'll start dicing that up too. Shit, boy, cut faster. There's 250 hungry mouths to feed!"

Yolanda and I worked hard, but there were small mountains of vegetables to cut up. Holly joined us, and soon the kitchen was filled with the smell of boiling vegetables.

"Hey, Jimmy-boy!" Ma yelled. "You're the newbie here, so you've got to be initiated. Remember my fourth rule? No frowns? Let's see how well you do with this." She dumped a bucket of peeled, raw onions on the worktop in front of me. "Dice them up real fine and add them to the soup. And smile!" She laughed loud and hard, and waddled away.

"Damn, I hate cutting onions," I muttered. My eyes were already stinging from the fumes, and I hadn't even picked up my knife. There had to be about ten pounds of onions there. I knew I was in for a rough time.

Yolanda was just watching me, laughing quietly. "Get to it, James. You gotta get them diced and in the soup so they have time to cook."

Holly was grinning (there were those dimples!) and watching me too, so I got to work. It wasn't long until tears were streaming down my face. "I gotta take a break and get some air," I said. "I'll be right back."

"Wash your hands really thoroughly, rub a lot of hand sanitizer on them, and then wash them again," Holly said. "I think I have some things that can help you."

By the time my hands were dry, Holly was at my side. "Here, put these on." She held up an old pair of safety goggles that were held together by a piece of string. "I always wear these when I have to cut onions. They help. Turn around so I can tie them tight for you." She pulled them snug against me and tied them behind my head. "Wear these." She handed me a pair of rubber gloves. Then she pulled a small kerchief out of her apron pocket. "I spray this with a little of my cologne and tie it over my nose. Trust me, it helps a lot." She fastened the kerchief around my face, and then began to laugh. "You look like one of those apocalyptic bikers from those Mad Max movies!"

I felt ridiculous, but the stuff Holly lent me made the job easy. I quickly had the entire bucket of onions diced and in the soup pots. While I was working, Holly kept smiling at me. Her cologne was a strangely seductive, spicy smell. For a moment I fantasized about what it might taste like between her perky tits. No, no, no! I wasn't going there. No women for me until I got my head on straight. The last thing I needed right now was to have some chick screw me over again. Although Holly didn't seem like the type.

As the soup simmered, we all took a short break. Yolanda poured three Styrofoam cups of bad coffee, and handed one to Holly and to me. Since it was daylight, and actually pretty warm outside for the first weekend in October, we decided to go outside. "Drink up, kiddies," Yolanda said, lighting a cigarette. "As soon as the dining room opens, Ma will decide if we have to make one more batch or two. With as nice as the weather is, our patrons are probably all up and moving about, so we could get a good crowd today."

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