Lemonade and White MelonsbyNigel Debonnaire©
It was a bright, muggy August Tuesday morning in Lawrence, Kansas. Chris Jenkins was trimming a hedge at the side of a stately old house built after Quantrill's Raid; a light blue 2 story house with a full front porch, gables, ornate trim, and long, thin windows. It had an ample yard with an artistic display of flowers in front of the house, and hedges on the side and along the back edge of the property. The trim was clean and white, thanks to Chris' attentions the previous day, and the windows freshly washed. The crispy cut yard was a result of an early morning's work, and after the current hedge, Chris was planning to rush home, grab a quick shower, and head to work at a convenience store on 6th Street.
Chris was a pudgy 30 year old, with brown eyes, glasses, sandy hair beginning to recede, and a closely trimmed beard. He wore a Bethany College t-shirt in deference to a school he attended for a semester years ago. His KU shorts were another memento of a failed attempt at higher education; his feet were in blue high top sneakers.
He grew up in Lawrence: his father worked as a cabinet maker for the Reuter Organ Company and his mother worked in the local library as she raised their seven children, Chris the second youngest. After his failure to establish himself away from home, Chris and his father renovated the basement of the family home on Missouri street into an apartment the summer before the old man died of a heart attack. For the past five years, he casually looked after his mother while working odd jobs to supplement his income as convenience store manager.
The homeowner, Mrs. Anna Pearson was a few feet away, working on her roses. A broad hat protected her from the sunlight, but her tall frame was already bronzed from many hours of dedication to her flowers. She wore a white, baggy, sleeveless blouse, and red shorts that reached almost to her knees; one foot was encased in a walking boot and she leaned on two crutches. She was Chris' old German teacher, who came to Lawrence many years before as the bride of a professor, widowed relatively young, and raised a family herself. Her face belied her age: she had an ageless beauty similar to Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep or Susan Sarandon.
Chris paused to see her reach awkwardly across her body and drop her snips, one crutch dropping to the ground and her body trying to regain her balance, swaying in preparation for a fall. The shears fell to the ground and he rushed over to catch her, encircling her in his arms and taking her weight. "I've got you, Frau Pearson, I've got you. Don't worry, you'll be all right. You okay?"
"Ja. Thank you, Chris." Her voice was low and dulcet, untouched by age, and a bare hint of an accent. The H almost disappeared from the first word and her W's tended to drift toward V's.
"I was afraid I was going over. Never got the hang of these darn things." She trembled in his arms as she still didn't have her balance and wasn't sure if he was going to be able to hold her.
"I'll get you where you can sit down. Where should we go?"
She looked around. "How about the back steps?"
Half carrying and half stumbling, they managed to cross the yard and around to where he could set her down. Hunched over, he realized as they maneuvered the bulges he held were not folds of her stomach but her breasts. The prick of the nipples on his palms caused a natural reaction, which pushed into the crevasse of bottom as it was flush against his pelvis. He was glad her face was hidden by her straw hat: despite being drenched with sweat, he was sure he was blushing, and his consternation at his reaction fueled it rather than quenched it.
They reached the back stairs, which led up to the back porch. She managed to gain control and let herself down on the steps while he held on to make sure she had a soft landing. Backing away, he looked at her: her hat fell off as she sat and her long white streaked dark hair was frizzled in a bun with a braided ponytail. She looked up at him, her blue eyes blinking in the sunlight and her mouth framing a smile he rarely saw in High School. Her eyes flicked to his shorts and found a blue bulge that brought a twinkle. "Thank you, Chris, I'm very grateful you helped me avoid an accident."
He stepped back and looked away. "You're welcome, Frau Pearson. I didn't want you to hurt yourself."
"Is there anything I can do for you?' She asked in an ordinary tone, looking him in the eye as he dared face her.
"I'm a little thirsty."
"There is a pitcher of lemonade on the counter in the kitchen. Why don't you get us a couple of glasses from the cupboard beside the sink?"
He trotted past her quickly as he ascended the stairs and went through the porch and into the kitchen. It was in perfect order: a huge room with antique cabinets above and below. The frosty glass pitcher sat on the counter, milky with a couple of seeds lurking in the murk. He pulled two plastic tumblers from the cabinet and filled them, the cold refreshing in his hot hands. After filling them, he took a deep breath and tried to focus on something that would calm him: his last girlfriend's caustic rejection of his request for oral stimulation did the trick. Shuddering like someone surfacing from the depths, he felt able to face his old teacher again.
"Thank you, Chris," she smiled as he handed her the tumbler. He stepped away and sipped his drink: it was the best lemonade he'd every tasted. "You've been so nice to help me while I've been hobbled by this awful thing."
"You're welcome, Frau Pearson. Happy to help."
"Could you fetch my other crutch from the side?"
A glance at his watch as he rounded the house told him he didn't have much time. On returning, he came up to hand her the crutch and noticed that his hold on her had gathered her blouse to outline her breasts with sweat. Momentarily, they caught his gaze before he handed them back. A stirring in his loins began and he blurted: "I need to go, Frau Pearson. Gotta get ready for work."
"Sure, Chris, I'll be all right here. I'm not going to try anything stupid for the rest of the day. Will you come back tomorrow morning and finish the hedges for me?"
"Sure, Frau Pearson."
Her eyes were beaming and her smile was broad. "I like it when you call me Frau Pearson. Reminds me of happy memories."
He shrugged. "Habit."
Letting down the ramp of the old Chevy truck he inherited from his dad, he rolled his push mover up into the bed, and started home. His hands trembled as he held the steering wheel, and his arousal was still stirring. When he got home, he showered in cool water before putting on his uniform, reporting for work at 4:00PM with wet hair.
That evening, he was paired with Jessica, a junior in high school with an above average body and a below average face. She was heavily made up, with her hair dyed several shades of red. He was going through some inventories at the counter when he noticed she had been sitting on a stool nearby working on her yellow painted fingernails. "What are you doing, Jessica?"
"Filing my nails." A pop of gum accompanied her disdain.
"Why don't you take a damp cloth and dust the shelves?"
"Can I take a smoke break?"
He looked around. "You had one fifteen minutes ago. The shelves need dusting."
"Been there, done that yesterday." She continued to work on her nails and her gum.
"It doesn't look like it."
He spun around and looked her square in the eye. She batted her eyes at him, trying to manipulate his libido. "Look, we're not paying you to sit around. We have a hard time selling stuff with an inch of dust on it. I've had to write you up twice this month already. Get moving." His voice brooked no refusal.
She harruped and got off her chair, stalking off to fetch the cloth. He followed her with steely eyes as she returned to start swiping lightly at a shelf of canned goods. Clearing his throat, she gave him a look to kill, which he returned with a glare of whatever. With a sigh, she started doing the task more thoroughly and Chris returned to his paperwork. The clock told him there was four more hours for Purgatory left.
After midnight, he parked his truck and rode across town on his ten year old second hand bike. With gas prices the way they were, Chris used his bike whenever he could. He used to drive into Kansas City to browse bookstores and gaming shops on his Wednesdays off, but things were too tight for that now. At least he was welcome as his buddy Dave Chapman's house on game nights to take on his identity as Percodan the Wizard.
Percodan the Wizard came up to the campfire where four others sat: Gomer the dwarf, Sylvian the Elf, Macrome the Druid and an unknown Human fighter. "Greetings, friends. How fare you this bright evening?"
"Where the fuck have you been?" growled the fighter.
"I have been on the other side of the forest, gathering elements for my incantations."
"Percodan is a truth teller and trusthworthy," Sylvian intoned. "If he could not have joined us earlier, it is because he had urgent business."
"Shit, every game I've played in before, you either get there at the start or you don't play."
"Stay in character, Todd" Dave the Dungeonmaster said. "Chris has been playing here for 16 years, and didn't get off work until midnight. He's welcome here anytime, and as far as I'm concerned, he can enter an adventure in the middle."
"All right, but he's not getting a full share of the treasure," the fighter fumed. "What kind of dumbfuck name is Percodan anyway? Sounds like the stuff they gave my Dad when he was in the hospital."
Three flashes of brilliance emerged from Percodan's hand and smote the fighter a surprised expression on his face. "Shit," he said. Three more flashes turned him into a piece of smoldering toast, and the party gathered themselves to find another campsite.
"All right, but you guys are really fucked to go adventuring without a fighter," said the ashes.
3:00 AM found Dave and Chris having breakfast at an all night restaurant on 23rd Street. "I'm sorry about Todd, Chris," Dave began. "He came a couple of times when you were off at Intersection 14. In some ways, I'm glad you ran him off: he's always been arguing rules and trying stuff that would kill Superman."
"Don't worry about it, Dave," Chris replied through corned beef hash and eggs. "I'm just getting tired of all the young guys with an attitude."
"All the young guys have an attitude," Dave snorted.
"How many guys like him have we played with over the years?"
Dave looked up at the ceiling and nibbled at his toast. "Nine. Not counting big head Todd."
They worked on their food, and signaled for more coffee. Chris pushed back his plate and said, "You'll never believe who I've been working for this week."
"Someone who almost flunked the two of us our junior year."
"You'll have to be more specific."
"Frau Pearson? She still alive?"
"Yeah. Living down in old West Lawrence. Beautiful house, beautiful yard."
"Why did she need your help?"
"She screwed up her ankle, and couldn't do the yard work herself. Had a neighbor kid help her for a few weeks, but he went on vacation last Thursday."
Sipping his coffee, Dave grew reflective. "You know, Frau Pearson is the first person I ever masturbated to."
Chris did a classic spit take with his coffee under the table. "What? In class?"
"No, you moron, not in class. In my bedroom, in the dark. Geez, who could get away with anything in her class?" He pushed away an egg stained plate. "I used to picture her in a bustier, those lovely Teutonic tits pushed up and peeking over the top, a garter belt, black stockings and thigh high leather spike heeled boots."
"Her hair was starting to turn grey, and if her eyes couldn't kill, they could main, at least. You're sick, dude."
"Oh yeah? When was the last time you got laid?"
"Not that long ago."
"Come on, it's been ten years at least."
"No, it was two years ago at Omaha. That girl from Wichita who came dressed as a Klingon."
"Called herself Ga'arasha? Her? Shit, she acted like she had teeth down below, and wanted to use them."
Chris smiled. "She surely didn't."
"No way you had her, no way. All the guys were staying away from that bitch. Although she was pretty cute, I guess, if she ever took the makeup off."
"I was the only one who could speak Klingon with her. Why do you think I missed the last morning?"
Dave shook his head. "All right, all right. You still in touch with her?"
"Nope," he said, looking down to take a slug of coffee.
"We e-mailed, instant messaged a while. Spent a day at an Emporia hotel, oh, I can't think of when. Wanted me to move to Wichita."
Dave put his mug down. "Why didn't you?"
"She didn't understand I have to take care of Mom."
They sat for a few silent moments, before picking up their checks and moving to the register.
Chris woke up the next morning, and read a chapter of his favorite Harry Potter book. The tiny windows of his basement apartment told him it was still fairly early, peeking in across the stacks of paperbacks, dirty clothes, and collectable toys. He was thinking about how much time he'd have to play his favorite Internet game when he remembered his promise to finish Frau Pearson's yard that morning. He thought about calling in sick, but from his student days he remembered that nobody lied successfully to her and resigned himself. Maybe she wouldn't be home. He pulled on a t-shirt and shorts, with his signature blue high tops.
There was no indication of activity when he pulled up and parked on the street. Her garage was around back, so there was no way to know if she was home. Taking his shears, he finished the hedge he worked on the day before, and went around to the back. A light in the kitchen outlined a figure puttering around within: she moved slowly and easily and didn't seem to be using her crutches. He bent to work, trying to calculate exactly how much branch to remove in order to keep his crotch quiet.
The door opened behind him. "I have some lemonade, Chris. Are you interested?"
She stood in the doorway in a blue floral dress with a V neck, barefoot and her hair hanging down past her shoulders. Chris thought for a moment of a lie, but backed down: "Sure, Frau Pearson, I've love a glass."
He put down his clippers and entered the kitchen. She picked two frosty glasses off the counter, and said: "Let's sit in the living room and be comfortable." He followed her dumbly.
The living room was full of older furniture and lined with a couple of huge bookshelves, with titles in several different languages. A cookoo clock ticked away beside the window, which was framed by a couple of planters with vines. The rug was well worn and the edges revealed a hardwood floor beneath. There were two chairs by the window, and a long, low table in front of a couch.
Sitting on an overstuffed chair, Chris sipped his drink as she settled on the couch across from him. When she sat, the brown expanse of her chest revealed a line of white: a dawn line that hinted at what lay beneath. The sight stirred him, and he crossed his legs to hide his interest. "Tell me, Chris, what have you been up to since you graduated from High School?"
"Oh, not much. Tried college at Lindsborg and here. Got a job, just trying to make ends meet, taking care of Mom."
"Your mother is a widow."
"Yeah, for five years."
"Is she in good health?"
"Well, she's on oxygen all the time now, since she's always smoked."
"Do you smoke?"
"Only a cigar once in a while."
They sipped their drinks, and her eyes grew eager and bright. He looked into the blue depths, entranced. "Where do you come from in Germany?"
She looked at a picture on the end table. "I come from a village a few miles from the Czech border in Bavaria. The year I was born, it started moving away from me. My parents died during the war in a bombing raid and I was in a orphanage in München until I was 18. I got a job at an American base and that's where I met Johnny."
"Yes. He married me at 19 and brought me here when he got out of the Army."
"What did he teach?"
"He taught English literature. It was a crazy life, having four little ones, a new on every year, then going to college myself for a teacher's certificate. But it was a good life."
He scanned the bookshelves and coffee table. A picture book was open: shots of a baby wearing white clothes in church, held by different people. His eyes wandered over to the horizon of her chest, then back. There was one upside down where she was holding the baby proudly with women of two different generations behind her. She noticed his attention: "Isn't he cute? Just baptized a week ago Sunday. Terri's a very brave woman."
"Terri's your daughter?"
"Terri's my granddaughter. Her little boy is named John Robert, after my husband. Mary and George are going to let Terri and the baby live with them, and Terri's going to finish her teaching certificate next year. Little Johnny's an angel: didn't cry at all when they poured water over his head."
"How many grandchildren do you have?"
"23, and 4 great grandchildren coming after."
He struggled not to fumble his glass. "When did you start teaching at Lawrence High?"
"In 1970, right after Johnny died in that accident near Topeka. I had to go to work to support the family. It was wonderful, I loved teaching and I hated to retire. But things have gone well since."
Another nervous sip, and Chris looked around at a panoply of photos: old and new, they told the story of her family, her broad smile echoed in several faces young and old. "I remember you used to write a lot when you where in school, had several poems in the paper," she continued. "Do you still write?"
"A little. I've got some stuff online, stories and poems. Got my own webpage on an independent author's site."
"Do you have anything published?"
"No. Don't know how to do it."
She looked at him, concern in her eyes. "You are so talented. Hiding your light under a bushel, you are. I'd like to read your stories."
"You can find me on Google."
His eyes flitted down to the white dawn line. She moved to the floor in front of her couch, leaning back against it. Her breasts rested on the table, and the dawn line increased. "Do you have a girlfriend, Chris?"
"How long has it been?"
"A couple of years."
She leaned forward and more whiteness came to light. "I'm very flattered, Chris."
He looked up at her eyes: they were shining. "I beg your pardon."
"It's been a long time since a man looked at me." She reached out and touched his ankle; his heart rate increased precipitously.
Shaking his head, he said: "I don't understand."
A hand undid the top button on her dress, revealing more milky whiteness. "What you did for me yesterday was special. You held me in such a way. I can't describe what feelings were going through me."
"I just wanted to make sure you didn't hurt yourself."
"And I didn't." Her legs were thrust under the coffee table and her feet stuck out the other side, she wiggled her brown toes in celebration. "Thanks to you, I got rid of that awful boot and now I can walk free, as long as I'm careful."
"That's nice," he muttered, struggling to control himself. The bulge in his shorts was growing and she devoured it eagerly with her eyes.
"You have a nice turnip." she said in a suddenly husky tone. "I could feel it against me yesterday."
Another button came undone, and more white curves were exposed. "You can look at my breasts, go ahead. When I was younger I used to go to the nude beaches on the Baltic. My mother might have called me shameless." She pulled one side back and revealed one breast to him, offering him her pure flesh. "I can tell you like looking at me. It's been so long." Then the other side was pulled back and her breasts were lying on the table before her, her huge brown nipples erecting. "Touch them, Schatzi. I know you want to. Please."