Holiday Shopping

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The bookstore was crowded with last minute holiday shoppers. I stood in a long checkout line and finally worked my way up to the front and was able to pay for my items. I was purchasing a few last minute presents, as well as, a book for myself. The checkout girl scanned the bar code on my book, then looked up at me with a knowing smile after noting the title of the thick volume.

“Are they interesting?” She asked as she completed the sale. “I’ve never read erotic stories.”

“Oh yes. You should try reading some good sexy stories sometime; they can be quite stimulating.” I told her with a sly little smile and I noticed she was starting to blush.

As I was about to leave the bookstore, I decided, on the spur of the moment, to get a coffee at the attached coffee shop.

As crowded as the bookstore was, the coffee shop was jammed. It was so crowded that I almost changed my mind; but once the thought of coffee was in my head, I just had to have one. So I suffered through another long wait in line, which I made tolerable by starting to read the first short story in my new book; then after ordering, I had to wait for my latté. I collected my coffee and squeezed through the throng of shoppers to find a table where I could sit and enjoy my coffee and continue to read my book. As I wormed my way through the crowd, turning sideways to squeeze past the shop’s patrons, I felt fingers cop a feel of my left breast as I passed. Surprised and infuriated, I turned to confront the creep but saw only the back of a gray haired man retreating swiftly through the crowd.

When I finally got clear of the cluster of people around the cash register I was disappointed to see that all of the tables and seats were taken. It occurred to me that I should have known, before I ordered my coffee, that this would happen since the shop was so packed with holiday shoppers. I really did not want to leave and go sit in my car to drink my latté; but just as I was resigned to that fate, I saw a table along the wall with an empty seat. A young couple was sitting on the opposite side of the table on the upholstered bench that ran the length of the wall. I do not normally impose myself on strangers but I really did not want go out in the cold and sit in my car, so I made my way over to the table. As I approached I saw that the two young people were obviously very much in love; they could scarcely keep their hands off each other. Their heads were together and they stole kisses from each other completely oblivious of the many coffee shop customers. When I reached the table I even noticed the young man had his hand up the girl’s short skirt and she had her hand resting in his lap. Well, ‘resting’ isn’t precisely accurate; suffice to say they were being very intimate.

“Ah hum … ah, I hope you don’t mind if I sit here. There doesn’t seem to be any other seats available.”

Both the guy and the girl where startled that someone was addressing them; both removed their exploring hands quickly as they turned to regard who it was that was interrupting their romantic interlude. The guy sort of glared at me, but the girl looked more like she’d been caught with her hand in the cookie jar, when in fact her hand had been somewhere far more damning … that is, if, like many in our culture, you’re a prude; which I am certainly not.

“Oh … please, go right ahead.” The girl said. Her boyfriend didn’t look at all happy as she extended the offer.

I set my book and small shopping bag and coffee on the table; and I hung my purse over the back of the chair. As I sat down, I took in the two kids I’d just imposed myself upon. I made them both to be early twenties; most likely students at the college in town. They were both good looking young people in a pierced and tattooed kind of way that you see so much of these days, though not to the extremes you sometimes see – neither had purple hair. Both had multiple ear piercings and she had a tiny little bauble in the side of her nose. He had a couple small tattoos on his arms that were visible. I could not see tattoos on the girl, though I would have bet money that if she were stripped naked, you’d find art work on her somewhere.

Aside from their body adornments, they were both quite handsome specimens of youth. The girl even reminded me a bit of my own daughter, who the girl looked very much like; though my daughter was perhaps ten years older than the girl. The girl was petite and had brown hair with bold blond streaks in it; she had a cute little upturned nose and, unlike my daughter, she was blessed with a very ample bosom made obvious by the large amount of cleavage she displayed in her very low cut tight sweater which so many women are wearing now – I confess, I myself wear such blouses too, from time to time, though I don’t have quite cleavage as the girl. The guy had very dark hair, which was disheveled, and a dark complexion; he sported a rather sparse and closely cropped bread, had dark eyes, and fine facial features. I thought he looked really cute. I am sure the girl must have considered casino siteleri him gorgeous from the way she looked at him with adoring eyes.

“Thank you so much. I really hate disturbing you like this … I mean, I never do this … you know, barge in like this.” I apologized. “But there was just nowhere else to sit and my feet are killing me.” It was true, my feet were sore. I always wear heels when I go out and the pair I wore that day were not my most comfortable; but they went nicely with my skirt and blouse. I know… most women today are more sensible and wear sneakers everywhere, except weddings – if they’re a bridesmaid, that is. But I like to look and feel feminine so I wear skirts and dresses and high heels – always.

“Hey, that’s OK … no problem, right Paul?” The girl said. Paul just nodded his head, not really paying attention since his eyes were riveted on my book. I had not thought to discretely place it on the table with the front cover facing down, so its title, which was printed in a rather bold font, was easy for anyone nearby to make out.

“So, I take it you’re both students at the college. It looks like you’re heading home for the winter break.” I said, alluding to the two large and overstuffed back packs sitting on the bench seat next to both of them; and, I was hoping to distract Paul away from being dumbfounded by my predilection for a certain genre of literature.

“Oh … ah, well … ah … sort of, but not really … I mean, we don’t’ know where we’re …” The girl stammered, obviously uncomfortable with my seemingly innocent question.

“I’m sorry. Did I say something I shouldn’t have?” I said; a little confused.

“Oh no … it’s not you. We just don’t know where we’re going to go. They shut the dorms down at school for winter break and unless you’re a foreign student, you have to go home … we just don’t have homes to go to.” The girl said.

“Oh? I don’t mean to pry, but why is that?” I asked.

“Well, Paul’s parents both died over a year ago in a car accident.” She started to explain.

“Oh my, I am so sorry, Paul.” I said to Paul, almost instinctively at hearing of such a tragedy. Paul just looked down at the floor. “I’m sorry I interrupted.” I said to the girl.

“That’s OK. Paul has been living with his uncle since then but it hasn’t been working out. His uncle hates Paul and they had a huge fight during summer break, just before Paul came back to school – his uncle called him a freak and accused Paul of doing drugs, which neither of us has ever done … well, we did try marijuana once at a party, but that’s it.” The girl explained. Paul was so quiet I was beginning to wonder if he was a deaf mute.

“His uncle said he didn’t want that kind of influence around his own kids; so Paul told his uncle he was never going back there, and he hasn’t. Have you Paul?”

“Uh … yeah, that’s right.” Paul said, sounding somewhat embarrassed, but, finally finding his voice.

“Well, couldn’t he spend the holidays with you and your family? My daughter often brought her boyfriend home from school when she was in college.” I said, being a bit presumptuous that it would be alright with her family.

“Ah … that’s a problem, too. I’m not going to my home either.” She responded. “My parents are getting a divorce. It’s been dragging on forever, and every time I stay with either one of them, all they do is try to convince me what scum the other one is. So, I had it out with my mom last time I was home and told her I was sick of it – sick of both of them trying to make the other one out to be Attila the Hun.”

“Oh my.” I said softly.

“And my mom has got this boyfriend who’s moved in with her and I really don’t like him … he gives me the creeps. He’s always starring at me; you know … my boobs, when mom’s not looking. And touching me – not my boobs or anything, but putting his arm around me and stuff, and telling me “what a looker’ I am. I just hate him.” She was clearly agitated as she told her story, and I was feeling for her, having been through my own, not so pleasant divorce, years ago.

“Oh, and they’re always … uh … I mean they, uh … well, they’re always having sex; constantly! Last time I was home I was walking down the hall to my bedroom and they hadn’t even closed their bedroom door and I saw him on top of my mom, just … doing it to her and she was moaning and squealing. Ugh … it was horrible. She’s too old for that kind of stuff.” The expression on the girl’s face confirmed that she truly thought her mother’s behavior deplorable, but I couldn’t let her indictment of people my age having sex, pass without comment.

“Careful dear, I suspect I am probably at least as old as your mother, and probably a few years older, and I can tell you that I am most certainly not too old to enjoy a good romp in the hay. It just so happens that I’m presently unattached … I guess that partially explains my choice in reading material, though I’ve always enjoyed reading sexy stories.” I said. She looked at my book for the first time slot oyna and turned sort of red.

“Oh my.” Was all she said after the book title registered with her.

“So you’re not going home, then?” I said, attempting once more to divert attention from my reading material.

“No. I walked out on my mom last time I was there and told her I was never going back. My dad sends me a monthly allowance. I guess he has to … you know, with the divorce stuff, so I don’t need to put up with her and her creepy boyfriend.”

“Why don’t you go and stay with your dad, then?” I asked the obvious next question.

“Well, for one thing, he just moved to Japan for his job or something. But even if he hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t stay with him, either, ’cause of all the nasty things he says about mom every time I see him. I’m really mad at both of them, but they are my parents, and deep down, I still love them both; I just can’t stand to be around either one of them. Maybe someday it’ll be different.”

“I’m sure it will, dear. So, where are you two going for the winter break?” I asked.

“We’re going to go camping … out at the State Park … at the beach.” Paul chimed in.

“Yeah, but we don’t have a tent or any camping stuff.” The girl added. “Paul and his sister get a small allowance, too, from his parent’s estate – there’s like almost a million dollars, but it’s in trust until they turn thirty, which I think is a dirty trick for parents to play on their kids, but that’s what their wills said. So, neither of us have enough money to buy that kind of stuff, you know, for camping.” The girl added.

“Yeah but we both brought a couple blankets from the dorms; and I can make a lean-to. I remember how from when I was in Boy Scouts. And we can cook over a camp fire. It’ll be sort of fun.” Paul rationalized for the two of them.

Until it rains or freezes, or both, I thought.

In fact, the forecast called for rain that night and falling temperatures with frost likely for the next few nights. The guy on the weather channel that morning said we had a ninety percent chance of heavy rain over the next twenty-four hours with two to four inches of cold rain likely.

“Ah, listen, you guys. I know we have very mild winters down here on the Gulf, but you can’t camp without the proper equipment. It’s going to pour rain tonight and then turn very cold over the next several days. A lean-to made from a blanket will not keep you dry. You will both, very likely, end up in the hospital from hypothermia, or at the very least, with pneumonia. You can’t do that.” I said sternly.

“But we don’t have any choice. Neither of us is going home and we don’t have anywhere else to go. We tried spending the night at the bus terminal last night and got thrown out at three o’clock in the morning and had to sit in an all night diner ordering coffee every so often to keep from getting tossed out o’ there, too. So, it’s camping … or … I don’t know.” Paul argued.

A thought came to me and I put it to them without asking, I just told them in no uncertain terms.

“OK, OK. But you are not going to camp at the State Park.” They both started to object. “Hold on, hear me out. You’re coming to my house and I will NOT take ‘no’ for an answer. I live alone. I have a four bedroom house with a guest room. There’s plenty of room and I have no plans for the holidays. I too am divorced – so I know what you’re going through sweetie – and my daughter is living in Australia with her husband. So I am all by myself and would actually welcome the company. So that’s it – no arguments.”

“Oh no, thank you but we couldn’t …” The girl started to say, and Paul added, “We’ll be OK camping. I’ve been camping a lot and I …”

“Hold it, right there. Let me tell you something; I know Martha – she’s a very good friend of mine – and she happens to be one of the park rangers at the State Park. She’s told me stories of finding and chucking out derelicts at the park, so I know exactly what she’s going to do when she rides past your camp site in her little park ranger go-cart doing her rounds. When she sees you two huddling drenched and shivering under a sopping wet blanket, she’s going to call the authorities and you two will be hauled off to a shelter. Now, we don’t have co-ed shelters in this town, so you two will be separated and taken who knows where, but it certainly will not be together. Now, tell me, is this how you really want to spend the holidays?”

“Well …”

“I know I’m lecturing and probably sounding just like a typical parent. I know we parents are unreasonable, unthinking, doddering idiots – because that’s what my own daughter has told me a time or two over the years. But you have to understand, they make us swear an oath to uphold the parent’s code of behavior before they let us take our babies home from the hospital – that’s why we act this way.” I said. They both laughed, easing the tension.

“So that’s why I am not letting go out and freeze your butts at the campground. How were you going to get to the State Park? canlı casino siteleri Have you got a car?”

“We’re going to hitch hike.” Paul blurted out.

“That’s it! Get your things and come with me. Right now!” I ordered.

I forgot about my coffee, picked up my book, shopping bag, and purse, and glared at them … in a nice sort of way. “Come on … let’s go.”

They reluctantly stood and both picked up their backpacks. I stepped aside so they could go ahead of me. I didn’t trust them behind me, fearing they’d turn and flee at the first opportunity. We went outside and I pointed in the direction of my car and made sure I kept them where I could see them.

“You know, I like you guys. You remind me so much of when I was your age and in school. Oh there I go again … sounding like a parent. Sorry.” I said as we walked to my car.

“No, no … it’s not that … we just don’t want to be any trouble for anyone.” The girl said.

“Not only is not any trouble, I haven’t celebrated or even decorated my house for the holidays for the last couple years. With my daughter gone and me living alone, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort any more. Last year on Christmas Eve, I opened a bottle of wine – I actually went through two bottles – and I sat around feeling sorry for myself until I fell asleep on the sofa. So, if you two don’t mind, let’s all pretend you’re home for the holidays. We’ll all go out and pick out a tree later, take it home and decorate it, and make cookies – you do like cookies, don’t you?”

They both said yes.

“We’ll all pretend we’re a happy little family enjoying the holidays together, OK? Or … I’ll drop you at the homeless shelters so you don’t have to go through the soaked and freezing bit, and you can each enjoy the holidays in your own separate shelter with drunks, drugies and derelicts until it’s time to go back to school. Your choice.” I offered.

“Let’s go home and make cookies.” The girl said as we reached my car.

“And I really like decorating trees.” Paul added.

“Great.” I said, pressing the button on my key fob to open the trunk. “Oh, and one more thing; I want you to know that it’s perfectly OK with me if you two want to spend as much time as you like screwing each other’s brains out, too.”

They both stopped dead in their tracks, both their jaws fell open, and they stared at me in astonishment like I’d just said something utterly horrible. I laughed – a lot.

“Listen, I’m sorry I seem to have shocked you both, so. I told you earlier; you remind me so much of when I was your age in college and had a boyfriend. Hell, that’s all we ever wanted to do any time we managed to be alone together for more than five minutes. And it’s OK, in fact, I think it’s healthy – sex sure as hell beats drugs and invading foreign countries. My only regret right now is that I don’t currently have a man in my life ’cause I sure as hell would like to get laid, too – it’s been entirely too long. So come on, let’s get in the car and go home.”

They both silently climbed into my car, not quite sure how to respond to my audacity.

“By the way, I’m Alice. I know your name is Paul, but sweetie, I don’t think I got yours.” I said as I started the engine.


“Pleased to meet you, Laura.” I said.

I drove them home with me. We got the tree that evening and put it up and decorated it after dinner. I put some of my other holiday decorations around the house to make it look more festive in keeping with the season. When we were finished decorating, we sat in the family room and admired our work. We all agreed the tree was beautiful.

“Would anyone care for a glass of wine? I’m going to have one.” I said.

“Oh yes, that sounds nice.” Laura said. Paul hesitated.

“I have beer, too.” I said, and Paul’s face lit up. “Thought so.”

I brought the drinks out and served them. “Remember Paul, you’re home, so help yourself to whatever’s in the fridge; don’t wait to be asked, OK?” He nodded OK.

“Now, tomorrow we go shopping for presents. We’ll head to the Mall after lunch. We’ve still got a few shopping days left, even though it will be a zoo out there. In the mean time, I need you both to discretely give me some hints as to what presents you think the other one would like. OK?”

“Oh no, you don’t have to …” Laura began to protest.

“I insist. You’ve both given me a wonderful present; just being here and keeping me from being depressed. So, I really do insist; I’ll hear no more arguments … please let me do this, OK?” And they agreed.

We sat and talked and got to know one another better during the rest of the evening. Around midnight I yawned and announced it was past my bedtime and I bid them goodnight.

“You can sleep-in tomorrow, but remember we go shopping right after lunch.” I said, and went to bed.

I like to read before going to sleep and I had my new book of short stories, so I continued reading the story I’d started in the coffee shop. It got very sexy very quickly and I found myself lying in bed with my hand between my legs as I read – I really hadn’t been with a man for many many months, just as I’d told the kids, and I was getting rather randy as I read on through the story.

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