Maybe She'll Say YesbyTotzman©
"She said no."
Alex didn't know who or what Steve was talking about; figuring maybe Steve has asked his girlfriend for head again. Alex flipped to the next page of his 120-page textbook "Art and Artists," as he took a sip from the Pepsi can resting on the pavement underneath his chaise lounge.
"Michelle, I mean," Steve said. "She doesn't want to pose for you."
Alex almost gagged on the cola that trickled down his throat. He placed, no, practically threw his text book aside to avoid spitting the cola all over the fine glossy pages as he tried to restore the air into his lungs.
"You asked her?" Alex said in disbelief.
"Well yeah, dude," Steve said, peeling off his shirt and eyeing the diving board above. "You said you wanted to draw a naked chick, right? I thought I'd help you get the ball rolling."
Alex slammed his text book shut and slid it into his book bag.
"I hope you didn't say it that way!" Alex said. "Michelle's gonna think I'm a pervert!"
"So? She's not gonna do it anyway," Steve said. "You'll have to ask someone else."
Alex rolled his eyes. Steve had never shown a sense of tact in the five years Alex had known him, why should he start now?
"Hey, why don't you just do a still life?" JB asked. JB only briefly looked up towards Alex to make his helpful suggestion before resuming his attention to his iPhone, furiously pressing the buttons to ensure the T piece landed neatly onto the I and L pieces with no spaces in between.
"Cause this dude's still a virgin who's never seen a naked chick in real life," Steve said, picking up a bottle of sunscreen.
"Shut up, yes I have," Alex said.
"The man's got a talent, might as well use it to get him some pussy," Steve said, smearing the sunscreen onto his arms.
"Artists don't sleep with their models, Steve," Alex said.
Don't know why they wouldn't," Steve said. "Especially if they got a good-looking one. Speaking of that- daaaaaaaaaamnnnnn!"
Steve almost dropped the bottle of sunscreen as he twisted his head to ogle two bikini-clad girls who had just emerged from the women's locker room.
"What do you think?" Steve asked. "The brunette could stand to lose a few, the blonde, no problem, no problem."
Alex turned to check out the newly arrived babes. He agreed the brunette was a tad overweight but had a pretty face nonetheless. The blonde had fantastic breasts and shapely legs, but perhaps a bit too much makeup. Alex tried to imagine her under softer lighting with a prop next to her. That might make a decent piece, Alex thought.
"Aw man!" JB shouted. "I got over 15,000 points and I just lost!"
JB shrugged and set his iPhone aside.
"Well screw this, I'm going swimming," JB said. He pulled his shirt up over his chubby torso and dropped it onto his chaise lounge.
"Woah, Casper, nice tan!" Steve laughed.
"Shut up Steve, not everyone spends their winters in a tanning booth trying to get that perfect shade of carrot orange," JB said. He then curled in to a ball and slammed his rotund body into the pool, splashing water all over Steve and Alex.
"My sketchbook!" Alex shouted.
The rush of displaced water careened onto the cover of Alex's sketchbook, which he had resting at the foot of his chaise lounge.
"You got it wet, dickhole!" Alex exclaimed. He grabbed his towel and meticulously wiped the water from the cover of his sketchbook. Alex flipped the book open. His collection of pastel and charcoal drawings appeared undamaged. Alex flicked a speck of dust from the corner of one of his drawings and shut the book again.
"Hey Leonardo, the pool is for swimming, not drawing," Steve said. "Why don't you get in and do a lap?"
What the hell, Alex thought. He wasn't getting much work done anyway, and was still no closer to finding a model for his project. Alex put his sketchbook into his book bag and zipped it shut. As an extra precaution, he moved his book bag a few feet further from the pool.
"All right, Gentlemen, let's clear the landing pad," Alex said as he stepped up to the pool's edge. He waited for JB to swim out of his way, only to find JB apparently hadn't heard a word he just said.
"Hello, Earth to JB," Alex said, but JB was staring intently at the pool entrance.
"She's here," JB said.
"What?" Alex asked.
"Hold onto your cock, sir, look who just walked in," Steve said.
"Who are you guys talk-" and then Alex stopped mid-sentence when he saw her.
Audrey Poma, Alex's crush of six years, just stepped out of the pool office building. Geared up in a very form fitting red swimsuit with the word "Lifeguard" sprawled across the front in bold white letters, Audrey scanned the pool area through her ruby red-framed sunglasses and licked her lips. Alex had to take a step backwards when he felt her gaze pass him. His heart skipped four beats and he went momentarily catatonic. Steve and JB, while not carrying the torch for Audrey that Alex did, were still very much captivated by Audrey's alluring presence.
Steve wrapped his arm around Alex's shoulders.
"Now THAT'S the girl you should get for your art project," Steve said, admiring Audrey's curvaceous body.
"She'd never do it," Alex said is dismay.
"Won't know unless you ask," Steve said.
Alex turned to Steve sternly.
"Do NOT ask her," Alex said, with a penetrating stare into Steve's eyes.
"It's on you, buddy," Steve said, and jumped into the water.
Alex was too busy watching Audrey climb the lifeguard tower to mind the water Steve had just splashed onto him.
What a perfect body, Alex thought to himself. She would be a great model for Alex's final project, which he had informed Steve and JB two days prior would be a female nude. Alex's professor has encouraged the assignment, but Alex did not have the money to hire a professional model. He'd spent the past few days in the hopes of finding a girl who would do it for cheap, if he could find a delicate way to present the question.
Now here he was, in front of the perfect girl, and he had no idea how to ask.
"Come on, dude! Jump in!" Steve said.
That's right, Alex said to himself. I need to just jump in. Taking a deep breath, Alex stretched his muscles for a few brief seconds, and plunged into the water below.
"Now THAT'S the girl you should get for your art project."
Steve's voice echoed in Alex's head as he felt his heels touch the bottom of the pool. Ignoring the multitude of shuffling swimmers above him, Alex tried to imagine Audrey's slim, sexy body easing out of her tight swimsuit. Sliding the slinky material down her long legs, her round, firm breasts emerging into view. The mental imagine of Audrey's naked body danced about in Alex's brain. Firm. Gorgeous. Beautiful. A body any man would want to squeeze against his own.
Alex leapt to the surface and took a breath of fresh air. He wiped the water from his eyes and saw her right in his line of sight. Audrey lifted her left leg and rubbed sunscreen up and down her calf, up over her thigh, around the outside of her thigh and then the inside as well. Even from this distance Alex could see that Audrey was absolutely fantastic looking. Alex felt lost among the crowd of swimmers around him. He was just another fish in the sea.
"That's the girl," Steve's voice echoed again.
Alex knew Steve was right. There was no sense just staring and thinking about it. Audrey might say no, but Alex was going to have to ask. There was nothing else he could do. Alex climbed out of the pool and dried himself off with his towel. Grabbing his brush and quickly combing his chlorine-soaked hair as nice as he could manage, Alex took his sketchbook from his book bag.
Here goes nothing, Alex thought.
Alex walked along the pool's edge. Every few seconds he glanced up towards Audrey, just in case she might have been looking at him. She was watching the pool.
Alex finally arrived at the foot of the lifeguard tower. His heart felt like it would jump out of his chest. He had to do this.
"Hi Audrey," Alex said.
Audrey didn't respond.
She might not have heard me, Alex thought. Alex considered saying it again. Wait, what if she had heard him? If he said it again he would sound desperate. Maybe Steve had told her what he was doing.
Shut up, shut up, Alex told himself. It was time to get his head in the game. Alex cleared his throat.
"Hi Audrey," Alex said again.
Audrey looked down towards Alex. She lifted her sunglasses. She had the most gorgeous bright blue eyes that sparkled in the sunlight.
"Oh, hi Alex," Audrey said, smiling. Alex melted. "How's it going?"
"Great, you?" Alex asked. He tried to act casual, while clutching his sketchbook as if it contained the nation's nuclear arsenal codes.
"Just working," Audrey said. "I was supposed to have today off but Nick called off."
"That sucks," Alex said. He felt a gust of wind, and detected the scent of Audrey's hair. She smelled fantastic. Alex wondered how she kept that herbal smell in her hair when she sat by a large tub full of chlorine all day.
"Hey, whatcha got there?" Audrey asked. She was looking at Alex's sketchbook.
"Oh this?" Alex asked. "My sketchbook for art class."
"Ooh, can I see?" Audrey asked.
"Um, sure," Alex said. He handed the sketchbook up to Audrey. Audrey flipped it open to a page depicting a charcoal drawing of JB sleeping with his head on his desk. Audrey laughed.
"I like this one," Audrey said. Alex nodded in appreciation. Audrey flipped to the next page. It was a pastel piece depicting Steve playing basketball.
"You are really talented, Alex," Audrey said.
"Thanks," Alex said. Maybe this was the time to ask, Alex thought.
"I'm still trying to find a subject for my final project that's due next month," Alex said.
"Ooh, maybe you could draw me!" Audrey giggled.
"Well," Alex said. This was as good an opening as any.
"You know I always wanted to be a model," Audrey continued. "You could do a drawing of me on this tower. I sit still all afternoon."
"I could," Alex said. "But I was thinking maybe-"
"Uh oh," Audrey said. A child thrashed about in the water helplessly. Before Alex could say another word Audrey dove headfirst into the water. Alex couldn't help but notice how majestically she swam towards the distressed youngster. Within seconds she had her grasp on the young swimmer and helped him wade towards the pool edge.
"All right there, big guy?" Audrey asked.
"I- I thought I could touch bottom here but I couldn't," the child said, panting.
"Let's get you up," Audrey said.
Audrey helped the child climb out of the pool and settle on the pool ledge. Alex stood by, awkwardly waiting for Audrey to finish her duties so he could continue making his subtle pitch. Alex could see Steve over by the vending machines, chatting with the blonde babe they'd seen entering the pool area earlier. He'd probably end up banging her later that evening. Alex wondered if Steve's girlfriend was oblivious to his womanizing or if it was just something she tolerated.
Once Alex saw Audrey was on her way back to her post atop the lifeguard tower, he prepared himself to pop the big question. Whether he would have done it or not he wouldn't know because JB chose that exact moment to interrupt Alex's focus with the news he did not want to hear at that moment.
"We got to go now," JB said.
"Now? Why?" Alex asked.
"My mom just called me. I need to drive my sister to band practice," JB said.
"Then go," Alex said. "Steve can drive me home."
"Steve said no," JB said. "He's trying to pick up that chick."
"Aw shit," Alex said, knowing that he would have more success trying to build a car himself out of the pool's piping system than cock-blocking Steve. "All right look, just give me a minute okay?"
"All right, but hurry up," JB said.
Alex walked back to the lifeguard tower.
"Hey Audrey?" Alex asked.
"Yeah?" Audrey said.
"Yeah, I was just wondering, if you wanted, maybe I could do a drawing of you if you wanted."
Shit. That sounded stupid.
"Huh?" Audrey asked. Alex had never in his life had so much trouble trying to put a sentence together. Maybe there was still time to salvage this.
"You know, you said you wanted to model?" Alex asked. "Well, I need a subject for my final project. Would you want to come to my studio and pose for me?"
Alex waited with baited breath.
"For real?" Audrey asked.
"Yeah," Alex said. "Want to?"
"I'd love to!" Audrey said. "I thought you were kidding at first. Yes, That'd be fun!"
Alex breathed a sigh of relief.
"When's a good time for you?" Alex asked.
JB tugged on Alex's arm.
"Hey, we gotta go," JB said.
"Hold on!" Alex whispered angrily, before turning back to Audrey.
"Well, I got tomorrow off," Audrey said. "After that I got work and school every day 'til finals."
"Oh, I guess we should do this tomorrow then," Alex said.
"Yeah. Do you have my new number?" Audrey asked.
"No, what is it?" Alex asked.
"I don't know it by heart yet. Can you meet me after my shift? I'll give it to you then."
"Um," Alex saw JB tapping his watch. "Yeah I'll see if I can be back here then. Five o'clock right?"
"Right. See ya!" Audrey said.
"See ya," Alex turned around and felt his insides explode with happiness. She said yes. Not even JB could spoil his mood now.
"All right, we can go now," Alex said.
"You didn't tell her you need her to be naked," JB said.
"I know that!" Alex said. "I'll tell her later."
Alex walked back to his chaise lounge and picked up his towel and book bag. After gathering all his belongings, Alex turned and took one last look at Audrey.
"What if she doesn't do it?" JB asked.
"I'll figure it out then," Alex said. "Come on; let's get your sister to band practice. I need to be back here at five."
It was 5:01 when JB turned left onto Pine Street, a block away from the pool.
"Shit, you think she'll wait for me?" Alex asked.
"I wouldn't count on it," JB said.
"Hurry up then!" Alex said.
"I'm not gonna risk getting a ticket just so you can get this girl's number!" JB moaned.
For one brief second, Alex wondered if a van speeding towards a swimming pool would make a good subject for an art piece. Maybe later, Alex thought.
JB pulled into the pool parking lot, and Alex hopped out.
"Just wait here, I'll be back in a second," Alex said.
Alex checked to see if a new lifeguard sat atop the tower. There was.
"Damn, gotta hurry," Alex muttered to himself. Alex lifted the latch on the gate and hurried in to the pool area.
Alex figured she probably went into the pool office after her shift, so he knocked on the door. A uniformed middle-aged woman answered.
"Yes?" the woman asked.
"Hi, is Audrey still here?" Alex asked.
"Who are you?" the woman asked.
"I'm- a friend," Alex said.
"You're a friend of Audrey's?" the woman asked.
"Hey Alex!" Alex heard Audrey say from within the office. "Come on in."
Audrey opened the door and Alex stepped inside the cool, air-conditioned office. The woman gave Audrey a dirty look as she shut the door behind him.
"This way," Audrey said.
Alex followed Audrey back to the lifeguard's locker room.
"Don't mind Teresa, she's always like that," Audrey said, opening the door to the locker room. "In here."
"You sure it's okay I come in here?" Alex asked, walking in cautiously.
"Of course, why wouldn't it be?" Audrey said.
"No reason," Alex mused. He followed Audrey down a row of lockers. She stopped outside one and began fiddling with the combination.
"I just got a brand new phone with a new number," Audrey said. "Let me get it for you."
Audrey opened her locker and bent over, digging through her handbag. As she bent over, Alex couldn't help but notice her fine ass. It was so firm and defined, especially within the confines of her swimsuit. Alex wondered if she was doing that on purpose. Alex had always noticed that while many people stooped down when they needed to retrieve things that were located down low, often women with nice-looking asses would bend over, without bending their knees, and Alex found that so distracting. Did they want him to stare at their asses? She seemed to be taking her time too, digging around through her handbag. Alex had nothing to look at but her firm ass and the back of her thighs, and in the position she was in, she looked so deliciously inviting. He just wanted to go and give her ass a nice smack. Seemed like she was asking for it anyway. Alex managed to restrain himself and soon Audrey was back on her feet with her brand new phone.
"You got to check this out," Audrey said. "It's got touch screen, GPS, I just love this thing!"
Alex looked at Audrey's phone.
"Yeah, that's cool. My friend JB has one kind of like that."
"It's my baby," Audrey said, holding it tightly between her breasts. Alex realized he wouldn't mind being that phone for a day.
"Now how do I find the number on this thing?" Audrey asked, flipping through all of the fancy menus. "Ahh, here we go. Ready?"
Alex took out his own phone.
"Ready," Alex said.
"'k, its 747-555-2139," Audrey said.
"Okay, got it," Alex said. "So what time do you want to meet tomorrow?"
"Whatever's good for you," Audrey said. "I got the whole day off."
"How about noon, then?" Alex asked. "I can use the morning to get the studio set up and I should be ready for you then."
"Great!" Audrey said. "I can't wait to pose for you!"
"Me neither," Alex grinned.
"What do you want me to wear?" Audrey asked.
Alex's heart skipped.
"I-" Alex was stopped mid-sentence when Teresa walked into the locker room.
"Audrey, your ride's here," Teresa said.
"Ugh, I haven't even gotten changed yet," Audrey said. "Well, I got to go, we'll talk about this tomorrow then?"
"Yeah, sure," Alex said.
"Okay see you then!" Audrey said, gathering up her belongings.
"Bye," Alex said.
He walked out of the locker room, putting his phone back in his pocket. He waited until he was out of the pool office before clenching his fists and in one celebratory exclamation, shouting "YESSSSS!"
"You mean you still haven't told her you need her to be naked?" JB said in bewilderment.
"I'm going to, alright?" Alex snapped. "Let's take things a step at a time."
JB drove back down the street, trying his absolute damnedest to put a damper on Alex's superlatively happy mood. Alex stared out the window at a park across the street from the pool. The playground's swing-set and slide had been uprooted, and workmen were installing new playground equipment in their place. Out with the old, in with the new.
"You're so dead," JB said. "When she gets to your studio tomorrow she's gonna flip when you drop that bomb on her."
"I'm going to tell her before then," Alex barked, though he realized JB was probably right. It wouldn't be prudent to tell her over the phone, and he wouldn't see her again until she arrived at his studio door, ready to be his Mona Lisa.
Hey Alex baby, here I am! What's that? You want me to take my clothes off? Okay! Here, help me unhook my bra!
Alex sighed. He needed to think of something.
"Audrey, put some damn clothes on!"
Craig Poma groaned when he saw his youngest daughter enter his front door still clad in her lifeguard uniform. An empty whiskey bottle rolled off the couch and onto the floor.
"Sorry Dad, I didn't have time to change after work," Audrey said, strutting down the hall.
Craig was still dressed in his work suit, though Audrey didn't bother pointing out that he also had yet to change from his work clothes and he'd been home for an hour.
She smelt the whiskey as soon as she entered which meant only one thing. The Orioles were losing.