tagRomancePennies

Pennies

byBigGuy33©

My good friend StangStar06 recently published a romance (8 Mile) about a homeless woman with red hair, just like there is in this one. The stories themselves are different and I actually wrote this story months ago but only recently finished editing it.

I just didn't want anyone to think I had stolen any ideas.


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ROCHELLE

It was a chilly night but not cold. I had experienced much colder nights over the last 3 years, and the layers I was wearing were mostly sufficient to ward off the chills.

I was sitting against a wall just watching the world go by, just like I usually did. There wasn't really anything else to do in my position, so every night I sat here (or somewhere anyway), watching. I enjoyed people-watching, reading the emotions on their faces and in their body language and trying to guess what was going on in their lives.

My eyes were drawn to an older couple walking down the street. They held hands and walked at a slow, steady pace. They were pointing out various things around them, leading to the other person turning their gaze to the object in question. They had clearly been together a long time and were very much still in love. That was what I hoped for someday, and had run away to find.

Another couple went by, moving in the opposite direction from the older couple. These two were younger, maybe mid-30's, and when they caught sight of me their obvious disgust was plastered on their faces. The woman clutched the man a little tighter, as if little old me was some kind of threat. It was fine; I was used to that reaction.

A solitary man was the next person to catch my attention. He was moving away from me but glanced back and caught me in his eye. I was having trouble reading him. He wasn't obviously happy or noticeably sad. He wasn't angry, either. It was more like he was just...there. That was unusual.

He seemed to be considering what he should do next, and the decision was apparently to come walking over to me. I couldn't find any apparent malice in his face, so I sat still and waited for him to make the first move, though I was on my guard.

"Hi. Are you hungry?"

"I'm homeless, mister. I'm always hungry."

He smiled ruefully. "I guess that was kind of a stupid question. You wanna get something to eat over at the diner, on me?"

"What do I have to do in return?" There was always something.

"Well, it will require that you get up and walk into the diner; other than that, nothing."

I stared at him for a few seconds and his expression never changed. He was just waiting for me to make a decision.

"All right, thank you. I'd appreciate it."

He helped me to my feet and then we walked into the diner. We sat at the counter on the far end, away from the door. That would allow us, or more specifically me, to warm up a little bit.

The waitress had seen me in here before (at least, I assume she recognized me) but we had never really spoken. Him she knew, however.

"Good evening, Henry. How are you tonight?"

"I'm good, Joan. Get my friend here whatever she wants, okay? She can pack some stuff to go to, if she wants."

He handed over three $20.00 bills.

"One of those is for you for taking care of her. If her bill comes to more than the $40 just let me know, and you can give her the change if there is any."

I ordered a steak sandwich with fries and soup. We sat mostly in silence while we waited for the food. I think he wanted to ask how I ended up the way I was, just like I wanted to ask why he was being so nice, but neither of us broached those topics.

The food was really good and I was eating a lot, even as tiny as I am. I was just starting to relax a bit when he made his move.

"Look, my apartment is only a couple blocks from here. If you'd like to take a bath and maybe run your clothes through the laundry, you're welcome to come do so."

I reacted strongly and loudly.

"Look pal, I don't know what kind of pervert homeless girl fantasies you're trying to fulfill, but you picked the wrong girl!"

The look on his face was a mix of horror at the suggestion and what seemed like a profound disappointment that he had upset me.

"I'm sorry; I was just trying to help. I'll leave you to your meal. Joan, give her anything she wants. You know I'm good for it. I need to go."

I could see he was upset. Serves him right, propositioning me like that. He got out of the chair and pulled his coat on, walking toward the door. The waitress spoke to me.

"You know, his offer was legit. He does it every once in a while. He'd have offered even if you had a penis between your legs."

Shit, now I felt bad. I called out to stop him before he got out the door.

"Hey mister!" He paused but then shook his head kept going.

"His name is Henry."

"Right; hey, Henry!"

This time he stopped. I walked over to him with my head down. I felt like crap all of a sudden.

"Look, I'm sorry about that. Usually when someone's nice to me like this, especially a man, it's because they want something from me, you know. And you probably know what that is, like homeless women are just dying to give it up to whoever offers."

He didn't even look at me. I think he didn't want me to see how upset I had made him.

"It's okay. Don't worry about it. Enjoy your dinner."

He started to walk away again.

"Henry, wait, please."

He stopped but didn't turn back toward me.

"Is...is your offer still open, or have I blown my chance?"

Now he turned around.

"It's still open, but you should finish eating. I don't have any food at my place."

We went back to the counter so I could finish eating. I had been so focused on my food that I hadn't noticed he hadn't ordered anything.

"Aren't you hungry, Henry?"

"No, uh..."

"Rochelle."

"No Rochelle, I'm not. I was actually on my way home from dinner when I saw you."

We made a little small talk, but again nothing of importance, while I finished eating. I also ordered another meal to take to go, figuring I could have it tomorrow. Heck, he offered.

I finished eating just as my to-go meal was put in front of me, and he picked it up off the counter and we started the walk back to his apartment. It was on the 2nd floor of a pretty nice apartment complex, and when he opened the door I was impressed with how tastefully his place was decorated.

He opened the refrigerator door and slid my meal inside. He wasn't kidding; there was nothing in there. Even the old joke about bachelors having nothing but ketchup and beer didn't apply. There was literally nothing in there.

"Why do you even have a refrigerator?"

"I really only use it if I bring leftovers home."

He smiled for the first time since we had met, and it really made a difference. He was already a good-looking guy, but the smile just made his whole face light up. Then, just as quickly as the smile had shown up, it vanished again.

"The bathroom is right through there. There's a robe hanging on the back of the door. You can put that on after you get undressed and hand me your clothes so I can run them through the washer."

I did just that. It was a nice plush robe and I enjoyed wearing it. I put my things outside the door, being careful to make sure my panties were wrapped up inside. I doubted he'd want to see that. I started the water and closed the drain once it was at the right temperature. I slid the robe off and took stock of my naked body as the tub filled. I had lost quite a bit of weight but I didn't look too skinny. There was something that needed to be taken care of, though. I cracked open the door.

"Hey Henry?"

"Yes, Rochelle."

"Do you, um, have a razor I could borrow? It's kind of been a while."

"Sure. The drawer under the sink has some electric clippers, if you need those, and there's a basket of disposable razors on the top shelf of the closet. Feel free to take a couple to keep. "

Everything was as he said it would be and I got the supplies I needed before settling into the tub. I soaked for a long while and slowly washed up, then put the razor to use. The clippers could be used in the water as well and they were wonderful. All the hair on my body was really long since I hadn't shaved in some time. I realized that it would grow back and in my situation I wouldn't be able to hold it at bay for very long, but it felt good to shed myself of it, even for a little while. I did my legs and my pits and even trimmed my arms a little shorter. I trimmed my pubic hair shorter but left a decent bush. On me, at least, it was always very itchy when it grew back, so while I had experimented with the fully-shaved thing when I was a teenager, I had given it up and just made sure things were neat and tidy.

The knock on the door startled me.

"Just making sure you're okay in there, Rochelle. Take your time, though."

"I'm fine," I called out to him.

Henry was a really nice guy, and very respectful of any boundaries I might have. It made me feel even worse about what I had basically accused him of back at the diner.

It was probably more than an hour before I was finally ready to get out. I was now nice and smooth where I wanted to be, and I found the reflection more enjoyable to look at now. I dried off on a very thick and luxurious towel, borrowed some of his deodorant, ran a comb through my hair, then slid into my robe and walked out. I found Henry reading on his bed.

"Are my clothes done yet?"

"They're in the dryer. You can find something to put on in that closet right behind you."

I opened the door and entered a decent-sized walk-in closet. One side of the closet was filled with some nice men's clothes, including a couple of suits. The other side of the closet, though, concerned me. I poked my head out the closet door to look at him.

"Um, Henry; It's really none of my business and I'm not judging, but are you a cross-dresser or something."

He seemed amused by that suggestion, at least for a minute, before the stoic look returned to his face.

"No, Rochelle, those are my wife's clothes."

I panicked.

"On my gosh, Henry, you're married. I'm sorry, I didn't know. I should probably get going. I don't want your wife to get upset at seeing me here when she gets home."

I saw what seemed like tears welling up in his eyes, but he quickly stifled that emotion as quickly as he had all of the others.

"She's not coming home. She died two years ago."

As If I hadn't felt bad enough about all the wrong things I had done or said already tonight...

"I'm sorry, Henry."

"Thanks. Anyway, there should be some pajamas in one of the drawers. You're welcome to take some outfits to keep if you'd like as well."

I found some soft pajamas in the bottom drawer and also borrowed a pair of panties. I'm not much up top so a bra wasn't really necessary, and I realized that none of his wife's would come close to fitting me anyway. I was much thinner than she was and her boobs were clearly larger than mine as well. In fact, the pajamas were pretty big on me, and if not for some good elastic in the waistband they wouldn't have stayed up on me. I glanced in the mirror on the back of the door and the size of the clothes made me look like I was a little girl dressing up in mommy's things.

I found a couple other things that I liked to take with me, per Henry's offer, and set them aside before walking out of the closet.

"I feel much better now, thank you. The clothes are a little big for me but I'll manage."

"Yeah, Liz was a bit larger and rounder than you are," he said without looking up from his book.

I suddenly became aware of the pictures on the wall of a pretty blonde woman; some of just her and some of them together.

"I assume this is her; this is Liz."

"Yeah, that's her. That one was on the beach in Santa Cruz."

I looked back at Henry and he had a different look on his face, and he seemed to be looking at me with fresh eyes.

"What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

He suddenly looked away and was, I thought, embarrassed.

"It's nothing. Sorry."

"Bullshit, Henry. I don't like to play games. Why were you looking at me like that?"

"It's just, I guess I didn't really notice before because, you know, you're clothes were kind of dirty...

"What, Henry? Spit it out."

"I, well, I didn't notice before how...beautiful you are. That's all."

I felt myself get flushed. Either he's a great actor or he really meant it, and I was delighted at his words. It had been a long time since anyone had said something like that about me.

"Thank you, Henry. That is such a sweet thing to say."

I heard a buzzing sound from the other room, and Henry climbed off of his bed, shattering the moment.

"That's the dryer. Let me get your things."

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had really enjoyed pampering myself even just a little bit. It had been a long time since I had gotten the chance to do so. And just like that my clothes were ready and it was apparently time for me to go. And I was really sad at that prospect. And not just because of the chance to clean up; I really liked spending time with Henry. He was such a nice, sweet guy and I found myself completely at ease with him.

Just as I finished my thoughts he came back into the room with my clothes folded into a nice pile, and handed them to me.

"Well, I guess I should change and get going."

"Look, Rochelle, I have a spare bedroom down the hall. You're welcome to spend the night in there. The door locks so you'll be safe from me and any perverted homeless girl fantasies I may have.

I looked up at him, horrified with the memory of that awful thing I had said to him to find him smiling at me.

"Oh, you're a comedian, now." I slugged him in the arm and he pretended it hurt.

"Seriously, though, Rochelle; I'm sure you've been through worse, but it's cold out there, and it's supposed to be colder tomorrow night, so you're welcome to crash here for a couple of days."

I looked at him and his offer seemed genuine. He appeared to be very concerned about me.

"That would be really nice, Henry, but there is one condition."

"And what might that be?"

"We get some things at the store so I can make you dinner tomorrow night and breakfast on Saturday morning to show my appreciation."

"Deal. I do have to work tomorrow so if I give you some cash would you mind going to the store tomorrow while I'm gone. There's one just a couple blocks away."

I nodded, and he pulled a $100 bill out of his wallet.

"Get whatever you need for dinner and breakfast, plus something for you for lunch tomorrow and any snacks you might want. We'll need something to drink, too, unless you're okay with tap water."

I took the bill and my clothes pile and took them to the spare bedroom. I dropped them off, and looked around. This room was much more sterile, for lack of a better word. Henry's room was lived in; this one felt more like a hotel room. I walked back to Henry's room.

"Henry?"

"Yes, Rochelle."

"Um, I really appreciate your offer to let me use your guest room, but I was wondering...um, well, the thing is, when you live on the streets you spend pretty much every night sleeping alone on a street or maybe on a cot in a shelter. It's not much fun, as you probably imagine. So I was wondering if, well, if I could share your bed with you? Just, you know, to have a warm body next to me for a change. That's all."

He smiled at me.

"I'm fine with it if you are."

He was on the left side of the bed so I went around to the other side and climbed in next to him. He kept his eyes in his book so I became a little assertive. I reached over and took the book from his hands, sliding my finger in to mark his place. He didn't fight me at all, and when I stuck my hand out he silently placed his bookmark into it so I could mark his place.

"Talk to me, Henry."

"Okay. What do you want to talk about?"

"Let's start with what you do for a living."

"I'm a maintenance supervisor over at the university."

"Do you like that?"

"I do, actually. I like working with my hands and fixing things, and the supervisory positions pay pretty well, too."

"Do you actually get to fix stuff even though you're a supervisor?"

"Oh yeah. All of the supervisors have to run calls. The only difference is that we run a few less in order to complete some paperwork, and we meet each morning to plan the schedule for the day. And if there's a problem, we have to handle it."

"You seem young to be a supervisor."

"I kind of lucked into it actually. I started out as just being on one of the maintenance crews and did that for a couple years. That was how I met Liz, actually. Then about a year after I met her, two of the supervisors quit rather suddenly and they needed to be replaced quickly."

"Do you have any idea why the other guys quit? Two at once seems kind of strange."

"They quit rather than waiting for the investigation into who put the hidden cameras into the girl's locker rooms to come to an end."

"Oh, I remember hearing something about that but I don't recall there being much in the way of details about what happened."

'Yeah, they kept it very hush-hush. It cost them some money to keep the victims quiet, and they promised quick and decisive action. These guys and several regular workers that knew about it but didn't say anything either quit or were fired."

"How'd they find out about the cameras?"

Henry just looked at me with a smile.

"You turned them in, didn't you?"

"They were in one of the offices and they were watching some of the recordings when I walked in. The screen was filled with what turned out to be the women's volleyball team in various stages of undress. I asked what was going on one of the guys told me the whole thing, I guess thinking I was cool with it. The next day I went right to the university president's office. It took a little convincing to get him to see me but after I showed him the little video I had taken on my phone of what was going on, an investigation was launched."

"That's unbelievable. Why so much trouble getting to the president?"

"Well, there's a chain of command there just like everywhere else. The university president doesn't really have time for any old maintenance worker that wants to stop and say hi."

"I guess that makes sense. So what happened?"

"They got the campus police involved and called in some outside security company to look into things. They found the cameras along with plenty of evidence, like fingerprints and some sales receipts, to find out who was involved in planting the cameras, and also found out some people that knew but said nothing, including the video I had taken that had some faces visible. The department manager was reprimanded, since it was his staff, the two supervisors quit rather than waiting to be fired, and a bunch of staff got the boot, too. Not to mention the criminal charges. As a reward for bringing it to his attention, the president himself insisted I be promoted to supervisor."

"Well, that's not luck, Henry. You did the right thing and got rewarded for it."

"I suppose that's true, but I still feel lucky that it happened. Supervisor positions don't come up very often. I've been taking some management classes, too, so I can maybe get the manager's position at some point. There are rumors he may be moving on soon."

"I think you'd be great. It's always good to have someone with morals in a position like that."

"Even one with perverted homeless girl fantasies?"

"You're not going to let me live that down, are you?"

"Not anytime soon, no."

"So you said you met Liz while you were working. Tell me about it."

"She was a junior at the university at the time, and she was one of the student managers of the campus bookstore. We got a call about some fixtures that had come loose and my partner and I caught the call. We went to the bookstore and she was our contact. I was immediately attracted to her, but one of the first things they tell you is to not initiate anything with the students, so we just had her show us the problem and we fixed it."

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byBigGuy33© 54 comments/ 45769 views/ 133 favorites

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