A little Lolita turns gracious Grace an unusual green
Grace stands by the island counter of her kitchen dicing avocados for the guacamole. Her guests will be arriving in about an hour. Her best friend Janet and Janet’s teenage daughter Mia are here early.
Grace slices into a slightly bruised avocado and half listens to Janet blathering on about how she thinks her husband Dan is having an affair, again. Janet’s face is distorted. Furrowed brows, widened nostrils, lips pursed thin and pulsing with vigorous mouth motions, spit flying in the air, hopefully not into the guacamole. Grace finds this rather amusing, how her usually composed and affable friend can turn into such a vicious looking gargoyle when she’s ranting about her husband’s infidelities, actual or perceived.
It’s the third time this month that Grace is hearing a story of this variety from Janet, same plot, different dame. Two weeks ago it was a client Dan was spending too much time with. Today, it’s the lady who cuts his hair. Grace goes to the fridge for some limes. She closes the fridge door, and sees her husband Brian sitting on the couch with Mia. Mia slaps Brian gently on his forearm. A gesture of familiarity, one not uncommon between friends when they strongly agree with each other, or when they’re trying to reiterate a point. A tap that says, “Ah yes, of course, I completely agree with you my friend, how right you are on that.” But Brian and Mia just met a few hours ago. Maybe the girl just likes touching people, like her father Dan who is all hands.
Mia had been away at boarding school in London for the last four years, and last year she had moved back to the US to attend college at Colorado State. Grace hadn’t seen her in a while, not since she was an awkward, gangly pre-pubescent. The girl sitting a few inches away from Brian does not look awkward, gangly or teenage at all. She’s looks a good couple of years older than seventeen, and she’s definitely a very attractive young lady. Long legs, silky black hair up to her waist, and a terribly pretty face with something a little pornographic about it. Perhaps the shine and swell of the lips, or the petal-like sheen of the skin, or maybe her slim but slightly rounded figure, not quite girl but not fully woman yet.
Grace takes her ingredients, chopping board and the mixing bowl with the diced avocadoes and stands at a corner of the kitchen island, where she can get a better view of the couch.
She sees that Mia isn’t wearing a bra. Brian pats Mia lightly on the knee. Two pats. Grace does not get a very clear view of this action and cannot pinpoint the area of contact. Did Brian tap the girl’s knee or was it a little higher up, was it perhaps her thigh he touched? Mia laughs and jiggles a little. Brian laughs. His eyes have that playful look that they sometimes have when he’s looking to Grace for a slap and a tickle. Mia is looking at him with eyes wide open and jaws hanging, like a child delighted by an amazing fairy story. The girl is probably enthralled by the fact that she’s a news broadcaster. Brian makes some motion that looks like an imaginary chokehold. Grace guesses that he’s probably telling the girl about the time he had to do a live broadcast in New Orleans after Katrina, and got assaulted by looters.
Mia is repositioning herself. She lifts her legs up onto the couch, and crosses them in a lotus pose. Her shorts are very short, or perhaps Grace is just not in tune with what young people are wearing these days. She leans forward like an attentive student. The thin peach coloured blouse she’s wearing shifts ever so slightly lower down her décolletage. Mia cocks her head to her right, nods, then cocks her head to the left and opens her mouth to say what looks to Grace like a “wow”. She looks like a silly marionette doll. Grace follows Brian’s eyes; they are looking down, though Grace can’t discern where they have landed. She wonders if Brian is getting a nice view up the girl’s shorts, or down her blouse. Mia raises her arms above her head, arching her body like a stretching cat as she ties her hair in a high ponytail. Her nipples rise, and a sliver of taut midriff can be seen. Brian looks towards the window, but doesn’t move from the couch like he ought to. There’s a lump in Grace’s throat and she feels like she can’t breathe.
Grace walks over to the living room. She gives Brian a little neck rub and chats with Mia. She’s just moving her lips, a deluge of questions about school, living in Colorado, anthropology (what Mia in studying), boys, being home etc. Brian pries Grace’s fingers off his neck. He squirms and says something about her being too rough. There are little pink imprints where Grace was kneading his flesh. Her palms and fingers are sweaty; she probably chaffed his skin. The oven bell goes off. Grace hears Janet’s voice from the kitchen, something about not knowing how to turn it off. Grace doesn’t want to go back into the kitchen. She wants to stay in the living room to keep and eye on anything else that may be cooking.
Copyright® Michele Koh Morollo 2015