Sunday, July 19, 2009
If anything could be held responsible, it should be that wayward watermelon seed.
However, neither Jaleel nor Mike ever considered the flight of that small projectile as anything but a touch of fortune, something between an irregular introduction and the karmic opening of an unsuspected gateway. Neither one of them had expected anything from that afternoon except to be bored.
The company picnic that summer afternoon was definitely lacking in young people Mike’s age; there was not another guy or girl he recognized present. The only reason he had been unable to excuse himself from going was the need his recently widowed mother had expressed for an escort. His older brother had conveniently made himself unavailable. Mike was stuck.
In mid-afternoon, most of the men were at the ball diamond with a couple of coolers of beer. Many of the women, his mother included, were involved in the games organized for the children. Mike remained seated at a picnic table, nibbling at a platter of sliced watermelon and wallowing in boredom.
A trio of children, dark-skinned as if either Indian or Pakistani, came running by. At the table the oldest one, a girl who looked about fourteen, stopped to straighten out the clothing of the younger two and sent them over to where all the other youngsters were gathered. She sat and watched them trot away. Mike was intrigued by the smoothness of her skin and the lilting accent in her voice. Her black hair was parted in the middle and tied in a ponytail to either side. To hide his obvious interest in one so young, he bit down into the piece of watermelon he was holding. Several seeds spurted away and to his chagrin at least one seed disappeared into her hair.
Offering apologies, he hurried round the table, saw one seed lodged in her hair and reached for it. As watermelon seeds will, it escaped from between his fingers, fell to her throat and slipped down the front of her blouse. Instinctively his hand followed, and then suddenly everything stopped.
Both became suddenly aware of the situation. A strange man had his hand down the blouse of a young lady; certainly a case of inappropriate touching could be considered even though no harm was meant. What’s more, her hand had come up on the outside of her blouse as if to stop his hand’s progress or to find the sticky seed itself. In doing so, it cupped a small firm breast; at the same time Mike’s hand found something that was not a watermelon seed. A firm nipple became even firmer under his fingertips.
Both were surprised, somewhat stunned by what was accidentally happening. She was the first to recover.
“Excuse me, sir. I think the object for which you are searching is no longer there. My name is Jaleel and what you are holding in your hand is my left nipple. Sir?”
Again Mike offered some sort of apology mixed with an explanation, but when he tried to gently extricate his hand from under her blouse she covered it and held it there.
“Oh no, sir. Your hand may not leave that place without an introduction. Whose hand is that on my breast?”
He stammered out his name and the reason he was at the picnic. She finally let him retrieve his hand and with a smile watched his face turn several shades of pink. She paid no regard to his evident discomfort and began to explain her own presence.
She had finished school in India and had come to attend university here. She was staying with an aunt and uncle until she had to take a room in a dorm in the fall.
“Oh yes, Michael. I am not a child as I believe you were thinking. I am a young woman on my own, here as nanny for my small cousins this afternoon assisting their mother.”
As Mike sputtered denial, she simply looked at him and grinned with a sweet sparkle in her eyes. It seemed to him as if she could read his thoughts. He couldn’t remember ever feeling so foolish, and that in the face of such poise. She reached out for his hand and shook it.
“There. That is a much more proper introduction. I am pleased to meet you.” She said nothing about being embarrassed. She patted the seat beside her. “Now please sit down and tell me how you are.”
Caught in a mixture of embarrassment and confusion, he was quite speechless. She saw she would not be able to get any rational information or discourse from him and took his hand. “Come, kind sir, walk a small way with me and when you have collected your thoughts, perhaps we can chat.”
* * *
She found a path leading away from the picnic area, up a slope and into a stand of trees. They stopped under one, and Mike squatted down on his haunches. She looked around and sat on the ground, folding her legs under her, under the ankle length skirt she was wearing.
“Please, Michael. Please sit down. It is not easy to talk to someone so high over one.” As he slid down she continued. “ I am very glad that you chased that errant melon seed. I have been watching you for some time this afternoon and wondered how it would be possible to meet you. Aside from my aunt and her family I know no one here. Not just at the picnic but in the whole city. I was feeling somewhat lonely and sorry for myself. I chased the children and made them run about your table. Then you introduced yourself to me. Or, to be precise, your hand introduced itself to my boobie!” She giggled. She moved over and settled between his thighs, resting her head under his chin, taking his hands in her own. “There are two, you know.” She pulled his forearms snug against her sides and pressed the palms of his hands against her chest. She hesitated, then unfastened her blouse and tucked his hands underneath the material, against her naked breasts. Mike’s mind lost any incentive to function normally.
He was confused, unsure of what was expected of him. At any other time, this kind of action had been at his own instigation and persuasion. Should he take over the lead? However, she certainly seemed confident with what she was doing. And what would he change? Here he was cuddled up with a young lady he hadn’t seen before ten minutes ago, a young lady who looked no more than fourteen but claimed to be of age and certainly acted that way. He was holding her naked breasts in his hands, breasts that were warm and firm and seemed created to be held like this. And she continued to talk as if this were perfectly normal.
“I was certainly surprised to see someone like you, such a handsome young man here today. My aunt had given me to believe it would be mostly for the young children. Since she was unable to accompany them, I was given the assignment. I certainly did not expect this.”
She squeezed his hands into her breasts. The continued contact had its effects on the growing presence in his groin. He knew she must be able to feel him pressing into her lower back.
“You are perhaps surprised and wondering at finding a lady naked beneath her clothing? I must explain. Earlier I was playing in the water with the youngsters. When I changed out of my bathing costume, I was feeling naughty and refused to put on again my underclothing. Had it stuck to my bra, perhaps your melon seed would not have slipped down my body and we would not have met in this same way.”
She paused and he remembered his earlier embarrassment. She twisted slightly in his arms and his thumbs rubbed against her stiffening nipples. Her voice dropped to a whisper.
“Oh, yes. Do that. You have found some things more wonderful than watermelon seeds. Oh, please!”
He didn’t move. She pushed her whole body back into him, from the small of her back against his groin to the top of her head against his chin. In an unexpected move, she crossed his left hand to her right breast and tugged the other hand down under the waistband of her skirt and guided it to her pubis. The hair he felt was curly but not coarse. He still could not believe what was happening. She let both their hands lie there motionless.
“I was telling the truth when I said I was without underthings.”
Mike closed his eyes and pushed his back against the tree trunk. He gave up trying to rationalize in his mind what her hands and body were doing to him. He tried to control his physical responses but could not. Nor could he force himself to pull his hands out of her grasp.
They sat there as one until she noticed a change in the activity of the mothers and children. She sighed, removed her own hands from under her clothing, and made as if to stand up. Quickly, as if an invitation had been withdrawn, Mike removed his.
“It seems that the children’s games are drawing to a close. I must return to my charges. Will you walk back with me?” She stood and arranged her clothing. He took the opportunity to adjust his shorts for comfort, then wordlessly took her hand. Smiling up at him she said, “I must speak with you after I attend to the young ones and before we must leave.”
* * *
She came back to the picnic table where he had settled again with a large straw bag and the two youngsters in tow. She sat and shooed them away.
“Go! Play until your mother comes for us.” In a lower voice she continued, removing the elastic bands that held her hair in the childish ponytail style. She didn’t look at him directly.
“Michael, it is of little importance to me, but would you tell a small part of your background? The children have noticed us and will talk; my aunt will, of course, inform her sister, my mother. I need to put them all at ease because I wish to see you again.”
He took a deep breath. “Jaleel, I too want to see you again. Could I have your phone number?” While she scrabbled in her huge bag for something to write on and to write with, he told her a little about himself. He was the youngest of three children; his father until his death several months ago had been a vice-president of the company sponsoring the picnic; he would begin his second year at the university in the fall. She looked up in surprise.
“But when I said that I would be going to the university you did not mention the fact that you were a student there!” She handed him a business card with her name and a phone number written on the back.
“I think my hands and my mind were too busy with other matters.” He glanced at the straw bag and suddenly wondered if her underwear was in there, lying loose or neatly folded away. He blushed. She smiled, and he noticed again that sparkle in her eyes.
She looked toward the parking lot. “Here is my aunt, now. Come children!” she leaned against him, stood on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek. “Please do call. Friday and Saturday evenings are not always free. Perhaps we could go to see a film during the week.” She left without waiting for his promise, hurrying the youngsters before her.
“So I guess the picnic wasn’t a complete waste of time for you,” his mother’s voice teased from behind him. “What’s her name?”
“Jaleel,” he replied, and looked down at the card. “Jaleel Sandujani. She’s from India.” He turned the card over and noticed whose card he held. “I guess her uncle is Professor Mehta, the Dean of Students at the university.”
“So.” His mother placed her hands on his shoulders and watched as the girl shepherded her charges toward the parking lot. “I guess you’ll be seeing her again.” It wasn’t a question, just an observation.
Mike felt the warm tingling in his palms. “Yes,” he agreed.