A New Dawn Ch. 04bydconrad©
Lisa arrived on time. She was wearing a tight white top, which crossed-over at the breasts, creating a curved triangle framing each breast. She had on a short skirt and knee-length boots. Phillip opened the door to her and said immediately, "You look great Lisa. I hope you didn't go to work like that, you'll give those academics heart attacks."
She laughed, "No, I thought if Dawn was going to tell one of her stories that I should dress appropriately."
Dawn came out of the bedroom, wearing a loose blouse half-unbuttoned and jeans. She too commented on Lisa's dress. "Looking nice tonight Lisa. That top shows off your chest well."
"Errm, thanks," Lisa said. She was unused to such matter-of-fact observations about her body.
"Phillip is getting the barbecue going, so let's have a drink first. Phillip, stop drooling." Dawn shook her head in mock admonishment. "Sorry Lisa, a bit of boob flesh and he forgets his manners."
"Yes, drinks" Phillip said, going to the kitchen.
They talked about work for a while as Phillip cooked some kebabs and steaks on the barbecue. Lisa munched on the salad on the table. Every time she leant forward her breasts squeezed together, threatening to flow out from the confines of her top. It was noticed by both Dawn and Phillip that she seemed to do this more often than might be ascribed to chance.
Once the food was on the table and more wine opened Dawn asked "Shall I begin? It gets quite steamy tonight, mind you."
Lisa spurted her wine "What, and the other stories were mild?"
"As long as you're prepared.
"I didn't go directly to Naples, I think I was still reluctant to acknowledge that my trip had changed irrevocably. As the train left Florence I realized that I hadn't seen anything of the city. I had intended to visit art galleries and churches, to appreciate the great renaissance works. I didn't know much about art (I still don't if I'm honest), but as a pretentious teenager I was sure it would appeal to me. Instead I had spent my time having sex with strangers and flashing my tits around. It occurred to me that I may just as well have gone on a two-week shagging holiday to Benidorm like all the other teenagers. This was quite depressing since I thought myself so superior to that. I tried consoling myself that what I had done was qualitatively different, that it wasn't the same thing as any nineteen year old bimbo on holiday shagging anything she could."
"Oh, I think you're being hard on yourself," Lisa objected. "After all I wouldn't be interested in the stories of a booze and sex holiday - they're boring. This is much more unusual."
Flashing a quick acknowledgement to Phillip, Dawn patted Lisa's hand. "That's nice of you to say. At the time I had one of those attacks of self-doubt. Anyway, I went to Rome for a couple of days. I did all the usual tourist things, saw the Sistine Chapel, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain. And no sex. Not even flirting. It was nice, but somehow I couldn't help feeling a bit patronising towards the other inter-railers I met. They thought that this was the big deal, but for me it seemed so tame now, as if I had been given an insight into a secret world and from that point it is difficult not to feel almost sympathy for those who don't know. A nineteen year-old is an enormously egotistical beast, and to be told over the course of two or three days how special, beautiful and different you are creates some sort of monster. I don't know if others detected it, but I think now I must have been condescending to all of them. Never mind, one has to go through these things.
"So, although Rome was interesting and exciting in its own way, it confirmed for me that my trip had changed. This was no longer enough. But I didn't know what to do next, I couldn't see how to create the sort of situation I had enjoyed in Florence. I dashed off a quick postcard to Antonia, promising to write later. Then I went to Capri. I thought that because it had some connection with Florence, because Frederico had arranged it, then this was where the story would continue.
"I found the bar without a problem. It was in a quiet part of the island at the end of Bay of Marina Piccola, with a small courtyard out the front and inside a bar along one wall, with four tables lined up on the opposite one. As I approached there were a couple of tables occupied, but it wasn't that busy. A middle-aged man was wiping down the bar. He wore an apron and smoked a bedraggled cigarette.
"'Hello', I said, 'are you Giuseppe?'
"He looked up, his eyes not focusing on me. He looked tired. I waited for the question to register. His look coalesced into the present. 'Giuseppe? Yes, that's me.' He didn't seem pleased by the knowledge.
"'I'm Dawn,' I continued chirpily.
"Again there was no recognition. He just stared at me. He seemed nice enough, just a little vague, or harassed. He was thinning on top and slightly overweight. A tobacco stain browned his greying moustache. He wiped his rather messy hands down the stained apron. He looked back at me and then finally remembered. 'Oh, yes, Frederico called. Good, good, you are here.' He handed me the cloth. 'Please wipe the tables and ashtrays.' With that he disappeared out the back of the bar where I heard lots of crashing and water running. This was a man with a lot of jobs to do. I sighed and got to work. I wondered how someone as suave and impressive as Frederico was friends with this nervous, grubby man. You couldn't imagine them sitting at a bar together, but what did I know?
"Over the next few days I discovered the reason for Giuseppe's harassed state. Maria was Giuseppe's wife. She was a big, formidable woman, who eyed me suspiciously, her arms folded across her ample chest. Her long, brown hair draped down over her floral dress, separating at every curve and bulge, and thus accentuating these. She made me nervous, but she made everyone nervous, especially Giuseppe. Silence seemed to emanate from her considerable bulk, a dominating silence that destroyed the words in your throat before they were formed. We all moved around her quietly, not meeting her gaze. As I first thought, Giuseppe was a kindly, but henpecked man. His face looked to be in a permanent wince, like when someone aims at an elastic band at you. I caught him looking at me a few times in the first few days. When he saw that I noticed his lingering stare he didn't look embarrassed at me, instead his immediate reaction was to quickly look at his wife, as if it was her who had caught him looking.
"The bar had a steady but not excessive trade. I worked from lunch until closing time, which was whenever the last person left. It wasn't a late night resort, but even so I was still there until two some nights. Giuseppe or Maria did all of the cooking so I just served. I was staying in a shared apartment with an Australian girl, who also worked in a bar.
"We had some locals at the bar and the usual holiday crowd, mainly couples. For a week not much happened. I worked hard and was tired every night. On my day off I went sightseeing. Capri really is beautiful, you should go if ever you get the chance. I borrowed some snorkelling equipment from the Australian and had a lovely day. But as I had begun to suspect in Rome, I wasn't satisfied. That night, lying in bed, I became quite concerned. It was as if my adventures in Florence had forever tainted things for me. I could no longer enjoy things for what they were. Prior to Florence this would have been an adventure in itself and I would have been congratulating myself on what a brave, free-minded young thing I was. But it all seemed a bit pale, I felt I was waiting for something else to happen. All this was the backdrop.
"I wanted to continue the development that had started in Florence, but as yet I didn't know how to initiate these things. Without Antonia there to guide me, I was caught between my old self and my new self. Like all changes this transition period can be difficult to negotiate, and often results in relapse. Like people who suddenly decide to get fit, they'll be enthusiastic for a few weeks, going down the gym or whatever, but once that initial period wears off, they either settle into it as a new habit or they revert to their old ways. I was probably only a week or two away from deciding that Florence was just a teenage experiment as I made my stumbling way towards being an adult. I thought of telephoning Antonia and telling her this, seeking her advice, but I knew that this would be an admission of failure. I had found people who thought I was interesting, adventurous and special. I hadn't really been appreciated like that before - as an adult and I didn't want to jeopardise it. I had a feeling they were rather overestimating me, so I didn't want to give them any reason to doubt me. Having promised to write to Antonia I felt that my next letter to her would essentially define who I was going to be. I had the car encounter with Marcello to provide a detailed account of, but she would know about this already. I needed something else. What I said previously about wanting something, anything to help define me at this delicate stage in my life I felt particularly keenly at this time. If I had met a nice young Italian I would have been busy learning Italian and planning how to go and live there. I see that a lot in young middle-class kids now - they have everything so they need to find something to desire, something to make them feel different. I just happened to find sex.
"The letter to Antonia began to grow in significance for me. Every day that I had nothing to write its importance increased. I stopped writing in my diary, because it was a reminder that I should be writing that letter, but I had nothing to say. I thought about making something up, but I knew once I did that I would never progress. I thought I must be able to have a holiday fling in a beautiful place like this, like everyone else does. But that too wasn't what I was after. It had to be something special. So I just waited, not knowing what to do.
"So when Thursday came around I was feeling a bit, well confused. Giuseppe was away for the day, visiting his mother in Bari, which he did every Thursday. This left just Maria and me. I dreaded it. She was even grumpier than usual, having to cope with all the cooking. She didn't trust me to do much, which made her task all the more difficult. She kept barking instructions and orders from the kitchen. We were busy at lunchtime and I messed up some orders. I think she got them wrong, but she blamed me anyway. It quietened down in the afternoon, then we had an early evening rush, but by eleven most people had left to take in the sunset.
"A fat, rather mean looking Italian man who often came by was seated at the table by the door. I had noticed Giuseppe, and even Maria, being particularly attentive to him and rather deferential. We also had a young German couple in, who had been in for the past two nights, so were probably on holiday. Apart from this there were two Italian lads, probably my age, who had arrived on their scooters and drank coffee very slowly. They talked animatedly with stereotypical exaggerated gestures, but became quiet and coy whenever I approached. In the past Giuseppe might have let me go home with such a small crowd, as he had to stay to lock up. But given the mood Maria was in I wasn't going to ask, so I sat at the bar, thinking about my predicament and composing a deliberately nonchalant and ambiguous letter to Antonia that would give the impression I was so busy I had barely had time to write it, and would go in to more details later. At least that would get it off my mind.
"Fat man waved his hand for some more service. Maria had served him all night, but she was busy so I took his order. As I collected his glass he leant back in his chair, to give me an obvious appraisal. He was quite open and unashamed about it, as if he were considering buying a vase or something. He had slicked back hair, which he now ran his hand through several times. He pouted his slug-like bottom lip, nodding his large head in what I suppose was appreciation. I was wearing some green shorts and a white button-up vest top. I wasn't at my sexiest, but the motion of leaning over stretched the fabric of my top against my breast, specifying a clear contour. I ignored his stares and wiped the table. He said he would like to order some food and when I came around to his side to look at the menu as he ordered, he ran a hand up my leg. I knocked it aside with a bash of my hip and took the order - some bread and oils, with some Italian meats. I waltzed back in, angry at his attitude. I was met by the damning gaze of Maria. I thought she was going to blame me, accuse me of flirting with customers and that this was not that sort of establishment. Instead, she pulled me around the back of the bar by the hand. I was getting ready to slap her and walk out, when she pushed me down in a seat.
"'Do you know who that is?' she demanded, her arms crossed in front of her like the formidable matriarch.
"I shrugged, feeling myself revert to the moody teenager again. It was impossible to feel anything other than childlike in her presence. I had noticed this with everyone - customers, friends, delivery men - they all seemed to lose their own will and ability to make decisions, through fear of arousing her wrath. So they became meek, awaiting her orders, engaging in minor forms of rebellion. 'No,' I pouted. 'Don't care either.'
"'He is Don Aitello. He is a very powerful man around here. If he wanted to he could have this bar closed like that.' She snapped her fingers aggressively. I just stared at her fingers, as if they held the answer. She continued, 'if he wants to touch your leg, then what does it matter? You let him.'
"By this I wondered if she meant he was the local mafia, or just an influential businessman, or whether the distinction between the two was somewhat blurred down here.'But Maria' I protested, 'I am not going to let a man grope me just because it will help your business.'
"'I know what kind of girl you are,' she said, looking me up and down with a sneer. I wondered then if Frederico had told Giuseppe about what I had done in Florence, and if Giuseppe would have had the courage to tell Maria. I didn't think so, maybe she just sensed it in me, or maybe she just viewed all young English girls that way. Whatever it was she felt confident enough of her view to reach down and undo two buttons of my top to reveal some cleavage. She nodded once, satisfied, and then indicated I should leave.
"I went to serve the young couple, who ordered some more drinks. I felt Don Aitello watching me all the way across the little courtyard. He definitely noticed I had a bit more on show and with that arrogance of a powerful man turned his chair around to blatantly watch as I took the orders from the Germans. I'm not sure if they noticed I was a bit more undone than previously. She was skinny and tall, and everything about her seemed to be formed from clear angles. She had a strong jaw line which extended to an apex at her chin. Her nose was sharp and her lips created from three triangles. Her hair was cut in a Cleopatra bob, with perfect right angles at the temples and at the base of her neck. Even her eyes were angular, two unblinking diamonds. All this geometry gave her an unusual beauty. Her husband had scruffy short hair, and an intense look about him. He was the quiet one of the two, and she seemed the outgoing one. They talked to me for a bit, and I got to practice some of my German. While she asked me what I was doing here and that sort of stuff, I noticed her husband fix that intense gaze on my cleavage. I know I shouldn't have done it, but I deliberately half-turned so the two halves of the top were pulled in different directions, giving him a better view. Then I left to fetch the drinks.
"Inside Aitello's food was ready. Maria handed me the tray, looked at my breasts, moving her mouth as if considering something. I didn't move. Finally, she gave a firm nod, reached out and undid another button. Even without bending over the top half of my breasts were now displayed, with some of my black bra visible.
"'So this is how it continues,' I thought and a flush of excitement went through me. Maria noticed my sudden redness, and for the first time ever, gave me a reassuring nod.
"I took the food out to Don Aitello. He licked his lips in a lecherous way, leaving me with no doubt it wasn't the food that inspired this gesture. I kept my gaze away from his, making sure I acted normally. I didn't know which way this was going to play out, so I needed to keep some distance.
"As I put the tray down and unloaded the plates, he pushed himself back in his chair again, his large, solid belly lurching upwards. He nodded his approval as my breasts squeezed together as I put the last plate down. He was so arrogant and oily that I wanted to slap him, but it was also exciting, being on show like that. I needed the other people in the bar though, in a way they made it safer. I felt trusting of the German couple and rather superior to the two nervous Italians, so I felt as though they were on my side. If it had just been Don Aitello and Maria I don't think I would have gone along with it.
"Anyway, I stood up and asked him if there was anything else he wanted, which I regretted as soon as I said it, since it sounded like a line from a bad porno film. He smirked, perhaps also recognising its corniness. He looked me up and down again, I was beginning to feel like a piece of merchandise. I looked bored and waited impatiently, tapping my foot. Finally he shook his head, and reached up stroking my thigh. I flinched but then stood still, neither giving him encouragement nor pulling away, but staying impassive. His hand went up and down lightly a few times, then he turned me around and with a pat of my behind, sent me back to the bar. I put as much confidence and swagger into my walk back as I could. I knew the others in the bar had seen what had happened and I didn't want to seem like the meek little girl.
"Inside I was greeted by something I had never seen before - a large friendly smile on the face of Maria. 'Well done,' she said.' He was pleased.'
"I huffed and feigned disinterest, 'who cares?'
"She raised an eyebrow, registering what I wasn't sure. Then she gave me the drinks for the German couple.
"I took these out, being careful not to look at Don Aitello. The Germans both gave me a warm smile, and I couldn't help reciprocating.
"'Did you mind that pig putting his hands on you?' the woman asked.
"I shrugged. 'Not really. It doesn't mean much to me.'
"Then her husband surprised me. It's always the quiet, intense ones isn't it? He said in a calm monotone, as if he were telling me that he preferred tea to coffee, 'we like your breasts.'
"Now over the years I've had a few drunken men say to me things like 'you've got great tits', and nothing could be less of a turn-on. I expect you've had the same Lisa. But when this man said this I felt a warm flush. I think it was that 'we' that excited me. It meant they'd been discussing me and with my new ego to feed, I relished that. I looked down at my breasts. 'Thankyou' I said, trying to match his tone.
"'Why did you undo your top? Was it for him?' the woman asked.
"I didn't know what to say. I didn't really know myself. 'The boss wants to keep him happy,' I said.
"'Will you show him more?' the man asked.
"'Would you like me to?' I countered.
"'Yes,' he replied, unfazed. 'And whatever you do, Claudia will match you.' He indicated his wife, who beamed at me. She undid three buttons on her blouse to show her agreement. She didn't have large breasts, but she used them well.
"'It will be fun,' she said, adjusting her khaki top to show off more of her upper chest. Two defined clavicles protruded from the otherwise smooth surface. I wanted to stroke them. I looked across and Don Aitello had been watching this all with a keen interest.