The Block PartybyJoeDreamer©
"Mae, you still make the best apple pie ever!" my father said, rubbing his full stomach contently. There were hearty agreements from the rest of the adults sitting around the table. Mrs. Nolan's pie wasn't the only dessert out. Our neighborhood's annual block party was winding its way down and the table was covered with some of my favorites. Mrs. Franklin's triple chocolate brownies were amazing and Mrs. Collin's pumpkin -praline cheese cake was something else. Everyone had their specialty and today was the one day a year the neighborhood got together and shared.
"She gave me the recipe last year, but my apple pie just doesn't come out as good," my mother sighed. I loved my mother very much, but a cook she wasn't. I had to give her credit though. She never stopped trying.
"That's okay dear," my father grinned. "You're the best at other things." He said it in a way that left little doubt what he was talking about. I'm sure I was blushing as I shook my head. Pop was drunk. Mom always said he got flirty when he drank. My friend Ben called it something else, but I didn't like to think about it.
"Mae one of these days I have to come over while you're making it," my mother said, ignoring my father's innuendo.
"Any time," Mrs. Nolan smiled. "Bring your daughter Katie with you. That girl had a knack for baking."
Her house was three doors down from us, but despite how close we lived our family really didn't get to know her well until the last year or so. I guess it took so long because she didn't have any kids and kept to herself.
We probably wouldn't have known much about Mrs. Nolan even still, but pop got into a bad car accident last year and Mrs. Nolan was walking by when mom was desperate for a baby sitter. Not only did Mrs. Nolan volunteer so mom could go to the hospital once my mother explained, but she cooked dinner and did a great job keeping the kids distracted. Thankfully, as bad as my father was hurt, it was all fixable. Mrs. Nolan continued to help out with Katie and Francis while dad recuperated.
I was busy playing sports after school so I didn't really see her much during that time, but then again, it was different coming home to one of her home cooked meals sitting on the stove as opposed to mom's, not that I ever said that out loud. Mom was overly sensitive about her lack of cooking skills.
Mrs. Nolan generally dressed frumpily and didn't give much effort making herself look appealing. She seldom wore makeup and her hair was always up. Frankly, she always seemed a little sad to me. Mom said it was because of what happened with Mr. Nolan. He died of cancer almost a decade ago. I remember wondering out loud why she never remarried. Mom had smiled oddly and said that Mrs. Nolan was still very much in love with her husband despite him being gone and that she probably would never marry again. Some women were like that.
I felt bad for Mrs. Nolan. She seemed nice enough. I always thought that it was shame she didn't have any kids before her husband died. She would have made a great mom. It was obvious with the way Francis and Katie took to her.
"You know, I think I might be able to fit one more piece of pie," my father said, bringing my thoughts back to the present.
"Seriously?" my mother asked in that tone. Pop laughed along with the others, but that didn't stop him from taking more pie.
The annual block party had sort of fizzled out the last two years and there was talk about cancelling. To be fair, the problem was more the weather than anything else. The first year it rained and the second it actually hit one hundred degrees. The weather was perfect today despite the heat wave we'd been having this summer. Maybe that's why everyone got so into the party this year.
My father wasn't the only person drunk, but most of the adults weren't that bad. They seemed to really be enjoying themselves. Hell, they even took part in the annual water balloon fight this year which had never happened before. Quite a few of them had water stains on their clothes.
"I think it's time for shots!" Mr. Bell grinned suddenly. There were groans around the table, but a surprising number of the parents were willing. That's where I came in. My parents had volunteered me to be the bar tender an hour or so ago. That's why I wasn't with my friends at Ben's house sneaking drinks with the rest of the teenagers. I had hoped to convince Janice, Mr. Bell's daughter who liked to party just as much as her dad, to have some fun, but I guess it wasn't to be. Damn!
"Line'em up!" Mr. Bell cried, grinning at me. I shook my head, but started filling the plastic shot glasses with tequila. He handed them out as quickly as I poured them. I was surprised when he took the last one and handed it to me. "Here, you might as well have one. You'll be at college in a month." I glanced at my parents. Mom frowned, but dad smiled and nodded. Things were starting to look up.
We did the shot and Mr. Bell insisted that I immediately start pouring another round. Some of the parents bowed out, but others took their place. I noticed that Mrs. Nolan was sitting at a table by herself.
"What about her?" I asked Mr. Bell softly. He turned and saw Mrs. Nolan sitting there.
"Mae!" he cried, taking an extra glass to the table. "Your turn!"
"Oh no!" she cried in surprise. "I couldn't. I haven't done a shot in years! My George always said alcohol went to my head far too fast."
"One shot won't kill you!" Mr. Bell insisted, holding the glass out. She hesitated, but then slowly reached out and took the glass.
Mom took the glass Mr. Bell tried to hand me a few moments later and gave me that look, but I didn't mind. I was too busy watching the adults joking as they downed theirs. Mrs. Nolan surprised me because she downed hers without a problem. I just never pictured her being a partier.
There was a break before the next shot, but only a few minutes. Mrs. Nolan took the next shot without comment. It went down just as easily as the first, but I noticed that she did seem a little flushed afterward.
The parents finished the two bottles of tequila in quick order. Most didn't join in with every shot, but there were some hard core partiers like Mr. Bell. Mrs. Nolan took a break after her second shot. She went back to the table and started talking with mom and some of the other ladies. I noticed that she was laughing a lot more than usual.
"Here," Mr. Bell said, handing me a shot glass so I could join in the next round. Mom was too busy talking to notice. An hour later I was feeling pretty good. Mr. Bell had only snuck me another shot or two before mom saw and cut me off, but it was enough.
Mrs. Nolan rejoined the drinkers just after mom caught me. That's when it happened. There are times in your life when your perception about someone shifts dramatically. This wasn't the first time it happened to me.
I still remember the day in fifth grade when Ben, a quiet kid who was a good foot shorter than me, stood up to a big seventh grader because he was picking on Jill Brody. I joined him in backing the older kid down, but only after he took the first step. I think on some instinctual level I realized at that moment that Ben was going to be one of those rare friends that stood by you through thick and thin. We'd been fast friends from that moment on.
This was different of course, but along the same line. Mrs. Nolan hadn't really taken part in the water balloon fight, but she was hit in her right shoulder by a stray somewhere along the line. Her entire right side got wet, including her blouse. I hadn't noticed earlier because I guess she was conscious of the fact and was being careful, but after the next shot she seemed to forget and stood in a way that let me see just how nice her breast looked with her blouse clinging to it.
It was in that moment that Mrs. Nolan stopped being the nice, unassuming neighborhood widow to me and became a woman. Not just any woman, but one with very nice tits. I looked at her closer than I ever had before. She had pale skin with a light smattering of freckles and auburn hair that was always up. I wondered what it looked like down.
Mrs. Nolan wore glasses that were a few years out of style. Her eyes were a soft brown. I thought they'd look very sexy if the glasses were gone. She wasn't heavy, but then again she was built sturdy. I really couldn't see much of her body with the clothes she wore. Her face was still flush from the alcohol and seemed far more alive than usual. Someone said something funny and she laughed again. It struck me that she had a very nice smile.
The most surprising thing I noticed about her now that she was laughing and suddenly a woman to me was the fact that she was actually younger than I thought. I guess I assumed she was mom's age or older because of the clothes she wore and the way she carried herself, but looking at her now I realized that she was probably closer to thirty-five than my mother's forty-five. That was still around twice my age, but that didn't stop my sudden attraction to her.
"I think maybe you'd better take a break from bartending," my mother said. I jumped in surprise. I hadn't seen her walk up. She was frowning. For a moment I thought she'd caught me staring at Mrs. Nolan. That would have been bad, possibly very bad depending on what mom did, but thankfully she hadn't noticed and was just worried about my drinking.
"Go take a dip in our pool," my father added. "It will help sober you up." There was general laughter by the parents as I shook my head and left. I went to our house and jumped in the pool as pop suggested. It helped.
"Mrs. Nolan?" I asked myself in disbelief as I floated there, but even still, I couldn't deny she was actually pretty in her own way. She had sexy lips that would feel amazing wrapped around... I stopped my thoughts with some effort and shook my head. I was daydreaming about a woman who was old enough to be my mother. "Seriously?"
I had to get Mrs. Nolan out of my head. I dove deep for a moment before climbing out of the water and decided to wander over to Ben's house. I figured Janice Bell would be there and some time with her would definitely clear my head of this sudden infatuation.
Of course, when I got there everyone was gone. Worse yet, I left my cell phone on the lounge chair near the pool. I needed to go back home and get it so I could find out where everyone went. I was halfway there when I bumped into Mrs. Nolan of all people. She was making her way, none to steadily, to her house.
"Hey Mrs. Nolan," I began, trying to not grin and embarrass her. Okay, so I was also trying to steal a glimpse of her breasts. Sadly, her blouse had dried. "Do you need some help making it home?"
"Hmm," she said, looking up at me. There was something odd about the way she did it, but I shrugged it off. "Yes, that would be nice. I'm afraid I never was much of a drinker. It does funny things to me."
I thought I might have to half carry her, but it quickly became apparent that she wasn't as bad as I first thought. Her mind was just wondering for some reason. Don't get me wrong. Mrs. Nolan was drunk, for that matter so was I, but neither one of us were so bad that we weren't making sense. I refused to dwell on my disappointment. I guess part of me was looking forward to putting my hands on her.
"Are you getting excited about school?" she asked as we made our way down the block. We chatted as we went. She seemed honestly interested in what I had to say. We arrived at her front door and she asked another question. I started answering as she opened it. Mrs. Nolan walked in afterward, but was obviously listening to my reply. I shrugged and followed as I finished my answer.
She led me to the kitchen where I sat at the table while she insisted on making us both a sandwich. I was a little hungry so I didn't argue. We switched topics and start talking about the party.
"It's a shame Mr. and Mrs. Felossi left early," I said, remembering them disappearing not long after the party started.
"Oh them!" she said, shaking her head. "I'll be amazed if they're still together by this time next year."
"Really?" I asked in surprise.
"Not everyone has what you're parents do," she shrugged, putting one of the two sandwiches down in front of me and sitting down across the table from me with the other.
"Please!" I snorted. "My father can we so embarrassing when he gets drunk."
"He does get a little frisky when he drinks," she laughed.
"It drives mom crazy," I sighed.
"Oh don't let her fool you!" Mrs. Nolan laughed. "She loves it."
"You think?" I asked in surprise.
"I know," she said. "My George used to be the same way."
"Frisky when he drank?"
"No, that was me," she answered, blushing. "George was like your mother."
"Oh," I said rather dumbly, but what else could I say?
"But we shouldn't be talking about this," she said, shaking her head. "I'm sorry. I guess the alcohol is affecting me."
We sat in silence for a bit eating our sandwiches. Mrs. Nolan glanced my way every so often. It took a while, but eventually it hit me that she was checking me out. I doubt she even realized she was doing it. I guess she really was like my father when she drank. That brought up some interesting possibilities.
"You know, it was nice to see you smile today," I said as I finished my sandwich. "You should do it more often."
"I did have a good time," she said, getting up suddenly and moving to the refrigerator. She took out some orange juice and poured two glasses. I wasn't really in the mood for it, but I didn't say anything. She hadn't asked and it would be a shame to waste it.
Mrs. Nolan opened one of the kitchen cabinet doors and reached far into the back, pulling out an unopened bottle of vodka. That surprised me. She opened it and poured some in one of the glasses. She then looked at me and raised her eyebrow. She was obviously asking me if I wanted some. I nodded without much thought.
"Just don't tell your mom," she smiled as she poured the vodka into my glass. "She's a good mother, but she can be a little over protective. Hank was right. You're going to college soon and you'll be exposed to all kinds of things." She was talking about Mr. Bell, but I wasn't focused on that. It was the way she said 'exposed to all kinds of things' that caught my interest.
"Did you go to college Mrs. Nolan?" I asked.
"Oh yes," she grinned as she added some ice to our drinks. "It was quite an experience. That's where I met George." She took a sip of her drink and nodded before carrying them over to the table. Mrs. Nolan put mine down in front of me. This time she sat in the seat next to mine.
"He corrupted you?" I jokingly grinned.
"Actually, I was the one who did the corrupting," she laughed, but then quickly grew serious. "George was the first truly decent man I ever met. Now only did he love me, but he taught me to like myself. That was something considering."
She took a longer drink from her glass, so did I. Frankly, I needed it. I was learning things about Mrs. Nolan I would never have expected and were somewhat difficult to accept. She was clearly drunk and sharing more than she would typically.
"I'm sorry you lost him," I said softly. Her obvious sadness demanded it.
"Me too," she said, surprising me with a smile. "But at least I was lucky enough to have him in my life for a time. He saved me from myself. I'll always love him for that and so much more."
I had a suddenly flashback to when I was seven or eight. We were just moving into the neighborhood. The picture that came to mind was one I didn't even know I remembered until that moment. It was of a couple walking down the block hand in hand. The man was talking and the woman was smiling up at him. They were obviously in love. It hit me that they were Mr. and Mrs. Nolan before he got sick. I shook my head. It was so sad.
"What?" Mrs. Nolan asked me, reading something in my expression.
"Nothing," I replied, but she continued to look at me until I clarified. "An old memory. It was the day we moved into the neighborhood. You and Mr. Nolan were walking down the block."
"George liked to walk around the neighborhood and say hi to everyone," she smiled, remembering. "I used to tease him and ask him if he was planning on running for mayor. You would have liked him."
"I'm sure," I said, meaning it. Anyone who could make Mrs. Nolan happy as he clearly had was someone special.
"So what about you?" she asked, changing the subject. "Are you serious about anyone? I hear you and Janice Bell have been dating."
"We're not serious," I answered. "She's fun, but not the 'one', if you know what I mean." It felt weird talking to Mrs. Nolan about this, but she had been so open and honest with her feeling that I couldn't do less.
"Don't worry," she said, sipping her drink again. "You'll meet her eventually."
"Thanks, but what about you?" I found myself asking. "Don't you ever think about dating again?"
"Me?" she snorted. "I'm too old to date."
"No, you're not," I insisted. She smiled and patted my hand.
"That's sweet," she said. "But even if I'm not, it doesn't matter. I met the 'one' for me and married him. We didn't have nearly long enough together, but I've learned to appreciate what we did have. No one will ever match up to my George."
"What about simple companionship?" I asked. "Maybe you never will meet another man you could love as much as Mr. Nolan, but that doesn't mean you have to be alone."
"I don't mind being alone," she shrugged, but then added with a crooked grin, "At least most times. Of course, it's harder when I've been drinking."
"I can't picture you really being as bad as my dad," I laughed. It quickly died as she gave me a look and let me see what she was really feeling. I'm not even sure she realized what she was doing. Mrs. Nolan looked amazingly sexy in that moment. I reached out almost without thought and removed her glasses. It added considerably to her sex appeal. I pulled the clip she had in her hair out. Her auburn locks were surprisingly long.
"Shake your head," I said. She gave me an odd look, but did as I asked. Her hair fell more normally and gave her a wild look. The old widow woman was gone. What was left in her place was interesting, to say the least. "Very nice." I took a long pull from my drink.
"Thanks," she said, pulling back suddenly and reaching for her glass. "For more than just the comment. It's been a while since a guy, any guy looked at me the way you are."
"You wear your hair down, get rid of the glasses and look like you do right now and you'll get more than your fair share of attention of any guy you meet." The conversation was just as weird as what was happening, but I was enjoying myself, so was Mrs. Nolan. It was obvious. "Some up to date clothes that showed off your body would be nice too."
"Anything else?" she asked with a raised eyebrow. She was obviously teasing me.
"Nope," I grinned. "Just show off what you have. That's more than enough."
"You're good for an old girl's ego," she laughed.
"You're not that old!" I insisted again.
She didn't comment. Instead, Mrs. Nolan shook her head and pushed her empty glass away from her in a way that made me realize the moment was over. She put her clip back in her hair. She also put back on her glasses. The sexy woman inside of Mrs. Nolan that had escaped for a few moments was back behind the wall she'd built.
I caught myself wondering what would have happened if I'd done more than take off her glasses and undo her hair. I wondered if she would have let me. I was guessing no, but in either case it didn't matter now. It was too late.
"Thanks for helping me home and spending some time chatting," she said in a no-nonsense tone, but then she smiled briefly and added, "And for dealing with my harmless flirting. It's been a while." I had to give her this, Mrs. Nolan was honest. She wasn't trying to deny the attraction we felt for each other. She was just putting it in its place. I was her neighbor's kid. She was my parents' friend. Mrs. Nolan simply wasn't the type no matter what she said about her past.