Saturday, March 27, 2021

Before he could guess what kind of trouble I had cooked up in my head, I kissed him

The minute our eyes met, I knew what to do: so I stopped in the middle of what I was doing, which was dusting off the glass shield over the ice cream buckets, and stacking up waffle cones here and sugar cones there. From the counter I grabbed a bunch of paper tissues, and bent all the way down, like, to pick something from the floor. Then with a swift, discrete shove, I stuffed the tissues into one side of my bra, then the other, ‘cause I truly believe in having them two scoops—if you know what I mean—roundly and firmly in place. 
Having a small chest is no good: men seem to like girls with boobs that bulge out. It seems to make an awful lot of difference, especially at first sight, which you can always tell by them customers, drooling. 
I straightened up real fast, and it didn’t take no time for him to come in. I was still serving another customer, some obnoxious woman with, like, three chins. She couldn’t make up her mind if she wanted hot fudge on top or just candy sprinkles, and what kind, what flavor would you say goes well with pistachio nut, and how about them slivered almonds, because they do seem to be such a healthy choice, now really, don’t they. 
He came in and stood in line, real patient, right behind her. So now I noted his eyes, which was brown, and his high forehead and the crease, the faint crease right there, in the middle of it, which reminded me all of a sudden of my pa, who left us for good when I was only five, and I never saw him again—but still, from time to time, I think about him and I miss him so.
I could feel Lenny—whose name I didn’t know yet—like, staring at me. It made me hot all over. For a minute there, I could swear he was gonna to ask me how old I was—but he didn’t. 
And so, to avoid blushing, I turned to him and I said, boldly, “It’s a crime?” 
And he said, “What?” 
And I said, “To be sixteen. It’s a crime, you think?” 
And he said, “Back in the days when I was young and handsome, that was no crime.” 
And I countered with, “Handsome you still are!” 
He had no comeback for that, and me, I didn’t have nothing with which I could follow it up. So I asked, “So? What kind of cone for you?” but that woman cut in, ‘cause I was still holding her three-scoops tower of pistachio nut on a sugar cone. And she started to cry out, and like, demand some attention here, because hey, she was first in line and how about whipped cream? Or some of that shredded coconut? 
So I smiled at her, in my most cool and polite manner, and squeezed out a big dollop of whipped cream, which was awesome, ‘cause it calmed her down right away. 
And I scattered some of them coconut flakes all over—quite a heap—and went even further, adding a cherry on top. At last, I raised the thing to my lips, because at this point, it was starting to drip already.
Then, winking at him, I passed my tongue over the top, and all around the ice cream at the rim of the cone, filling my whole mouth and, just to look sexy, also licking the tips of my fingers. Then I came around the counter, swaying my hips real pretty, and steadying myself over the wobbly high heels. I came right up to him, and before he could guess what kind of trouble I had cooked up in my head, I kissed him—so sweet and so long—on his lips, to the shouts and outcries of the offended customer. 

Many readers asked me about Anita, the girl in the midst of a firestorm of passion in my new book, Apart from Love. She is so different... How, some of you have wondered out loud, did she spring from your mind?

The answer is, at first I decided to model her as the-opposite-of-me. By which I mean a lot more that just her use of language (talking in sentences laden with 'like' and the dreaded double-negatives.) Anita was to become a bold and spontaneous spirit, anything but repressed. She would be promiscuous. Her voice would be shockingly direct.

I do not even know how it happened, but once Anita started talking in my mindwhich she did for nearly a yearI started to like her more and more. I asked myself, how would she play against Ben, who is a complex character, hesitant, highly sophisticated? How would she play against Lenny, a would-be author who is so proud of his refined expressions, when her background is so different from his?

To my surprise, Anita ended up taking over not only the story, but also me.

★ Love reading? Treat yourself to a family drama ★

"There is an air of mystery about the book that runs from the beginning to the final pages, but that also draws the reader in and makes the book difficult to put down." 
- Kathy Parsons, Top 1000 Reviewer

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