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This is one of a series of 5 chapters that recounts the experiences of David and Catherine and their interaction with acquaintances, Joshua and Sukhi.
Joshua Rupina decided that the last Wednesday of January, was not shaping up to be any better than any other days of that week. In fact it was a hell of a way to kick off the year. The Christmas vacation had not been great. Sukhi, his live-in girl friend, seemed to find every kind of fault with what he wanted to do and how he did it but was unwilling to make better suggestions. So, instead of it being a relaxing time, it became two weeks of sullen tension without even being able to escape to the laboratory.
In spite of having been back at work for two weeks, their relationship had not improved and culminated in a flaming row the previous weekend at the end of which he had packed a bag and cadged a bed with his aunt and her family at Porirua.
Knowing she would have a couple of days off from Tuesday evening, he had telephoned that night to see whether anything could be salvaged, but he might as well have saved his breath. She was fully persuaded that he had an eye on a young Chinese technician at work, after seeing her at the laboratory’s Christmas function. He tried to explain that she was extremely friendly to everyone, but had never been known to have any interest in any bloke — least of all, him! Anyway, she was as flat chested as you could get and that did not appeal to him.
Sukhi, on the other hand, was nicely endowed with two firm, but beautifully rounded — how would you describe them — grapefruit? And they hardly sagged when she took her bra off either. He felt a flutter in his stomach as he recalled the feel of her nipples between his lips and their firmness against his cheeks. The vision of her long legs that flowed from an hour glass figure and terminated with beautifully moulded feet. Even the other air hostesses, all fairly attractive, did not really compete for looks. Well, not in his view!
It was strange that he had fallen for her in the first place. She was a year older at thirty-one and Indian, although a second generation Kiwi as he was. His mother was part Negro part Fijian and his father Fijian but apart from a darker skin colour, he looked Fijian.
Culturally speaking, Indians were not really acceptable and his family had a bias against them. They had met at Massey University. She was doing a BA and he a BSc and although both had dated non-coloured partners, they really felt more comfortable with another black and had been living together more or less happily for the last two years.
Anyway, all the previous rapport seemed to have evaporated and she was quite uncompromising, thus, this Thursday morning he was not feeling very optimistic about re-establishing their relationship.
A colleague at the medical laboratory, Catherine Bibby, remarked as she went past with a rack of blood samples, “Man, you look pretty unhappy — what’s the problem?” So he explained in a few words what had happened and how, until last night, he had had hopes that he might have been restored to grace. Catherine looked at him oddly and said in a somewhat strained voice, that she had very recently done something similar to David, her partner of three years. “Well,” he retorted, ” I just hope you did a better assessment of the facts than Sukhi!”
Catherine defensively snapped that the nurse at the hospital had literally thrown herself at David, right in front of her. Joshua apologised immediately, saying that he had no right to make any similar implication in her case, but in any event he had thought that she and David, in particular, had a relationship that would have survived most ups and downs.
“I thought much the same of you,” said Catherine with a rueful grin, “you can’t be sure of anything these days, can you? Cheer up, it might come right yet.” She glanced at her watch. Oops, I’d better get these tests done or I’ll be unemployed as well!
Joshua soon became preoccupied with the task in hand — a large batch of blood samples that the local doctors wanted checked for a particular flu virus — funny how they often turned up in the middle of summer just after the holidays when you would think everyone would have peak resistance. In fact he was so busy that he did not have time to go out for lunch and bought one of those large peanut biscuits that the mobile cafeteria people sell for a dollar in an honesty box. The laboratory was upstairs in Courtney Place and he usually enjoyed its proximity to so many interesting shops and luncheon opportunities.
Catherine at the age of 33, had only two weeks before, had a terrible argument about David’s supposed affections for a nurse at his hospital, and he had left in high dudgeon for a spare bed at the hospital. After meeting at the hospital where he had been a house surgeon and she was an assistant in the haematology department, they had spent three relatively happy years together. She spent a thoughtful afternoon pondering bizimkent escort on whether they had been happy or just comfortable and on Joshua’s comment about getting her facts right.
She filed some patient records and recovered other earlier records with which the most recent tests were to be compared by the visiting pathologist tomorrow, partially preoccupied by wondering if they had just drifted into a relationship by default.
She remembered the first time she met him when he had rushed a blood sample up to her lab and had waited while she gave him a preliminary result. His first invitation to the cinema was somewhat diffident and followed about a week later. Lovemaking was restricted to some pretty serious kissing for a while, but one day he asked her to go with him to look at a partially furnished flat he was thinking of renting. The real estate agent was not able to go at the time that suited David, so had given David the key. She vividly recalled making some silly remark about the bed looking comfortable and his equally jocular question as to whether she wanted to try it out. They sat on the edge of the bed and bounced up and down a few times until they finally collided and ended up in a tangle on the bed. One thing lead to the next and finished with a proposition that she move in with him.
She was at the top of the ladder as Joshua came through clutching a polystyrene mug of Coco Cola. “I’m off,” he announced. “Got to catch the unit to Porirua — see you in the morning.” Catherine began climbing down the ladder. ” Hang on a minute, will you? I’ll come out with you. I hate setting that damned alarm.”
She was on the last step when the heel of her somewhat chunky shoe caught the edge and threw her off balance and she crashed, side-on, into Joshua. With a muttered oath, he got an arm around her as they both collapsed onto the floor, just preventing her from striking her head on an adjacent steel filing cabinet. “Sorry,’ said Catherine from where she lay within a powerful arm, “are you OK?”
As they disentangled themselves, she was conscious of a mild excitement within her caused by the physical contact and the much-missed masculine company of David, but this was soon dispelled as the magnitude of the disaster became apparent. The mug of Coke was squashed flat and the entire contents soaked into Joshua’s shirt. “This’ll look good on the train,” he groaned.
“Oh, Josh. I am sorry. Look, my apartment is only a block away in Tennyson Street. It’s above a converted warehouse, but I have a washing machine and a drier so you could be shipshape again in about an hour, that is if you’re not in a rush. I can also add my gratitude by offering a not-so-bad frozen pizza for tea, while you are waiting for the shirt to dry.”
Josh thought about it for less than a split second. His aunt and family were lovely, but the kids expected big cousin Joshua to romp around on the floor half the night and he wasn’t really in the mood. Anyway, he would look a right idiot getting onto the train with Coke stains all over his shirt, and Catherine was a really good sort. “Gee, that would be great thanks, Catherine; can I buy a couple of cans of nice cold beer to go with it? I tell you what! After all this heat and humidity, it’s going to bucket down very soon, so we had better hurry.”
Catherine slipped off her Coke stained lab coat and tossed it in the laundry bin, grabbed her purse and slipped into her jacket as she chased Josh down the stairs. He had entered all the numbers and was only waiting to push the reset button. A boutique wine seller was nearby, so Josh bought a chilled bottle of Chardonnay instead of beer and re-joined Catherine as they hurried to her apartment. Since Josh was with her, she took a short cut up a narrow service lane that ended in Argyle Street, which soon connected to Tennyson. They arrived at a door to one side of an electrical and lighting showroom, Catherine produced a key from the depths of her bag, and they were soon climbing the stairs to a very pleasant flat.
“Gee, this is nice — really handy to work and you nearly had a view of the harbour as well,” said Joshua as he peered out onto the street, ” but I guess it would have cost a bundle to have a view as well,!”
Catherine took off her jacket and slung it over a chair. “Let’s get this washing going,” she called from the bathroom cum laundry. Josh followed the voice until he reached a very modern bathroom with matching washer, dryer and tub along one wall, and bath, shower, loo and vanity around the other three walls. “Oh boy, all mod cons,” commented Joshua as he unbuttoned his shirt and gave it to her.
As she leant over the machine to insert it, Joshua said, “Ha! You didn’t escape after all. The Coke went right through your lab coat and is all over the back of your blouse.” “Blast!” she exclaimed as she undid the buttons and added the blouse to the washer. “Well, never mind. It will all come out in the wash, as they say.”
As Catherine bostancı escort turned away from the machine, she suddenly froze. Josh glanced in the direction in which she had fixated and saw that she was looking at their reflection in the mirror. He was standing half facing the mirror a little distance from her. It was a remarkable sight. The contrast of their skins and their difference in bulk was quite arresting. His skin was very dark although not as black as his part Negro ancestry might imply, while hers was really quite fair, other than for the effects of a light tan. She was 165 cm against his 190 cm. She was nicely proportioned and he had a Jonah Lomu physique.
They both gazed in appreciation at the picture they made, each more conscious of the other than of themselves. They were both physically attractive people and in their current circumstances it seemed OK to notice! The truth was that there was some really powerful imagery there, but neither wanted to say so. “We would make a good photo,” joked Joshua, “the kind you see in some photographic exhibitions.” Catherine was unwilling to move.
The picture absolutely fascinated her and provoked a confusion of emotions. She was acutely aware of his powerful maleness and his quite good looks. “I’ve got a Polaroid, ” she managed to say as casually as she could. Joshua pursed his lips for a moment, “Well at least you wouldn’t have to take it into a shop for developing, and if you didn’t like it, you can always tear it up afterwards.” “Would you like to? ” she asked tentatively, as she added soap powder and switched on the machine. ” Well, that might be fun and I’ve plenty of time. The next train that I could catch, doesn’t go until, ah—let’s see, nine o’clock. You find the camera, I’ll put the wine in the fridge and turn on the oven.”
While he was putting the wine in the fridge, he spotted the pizza, slid it out of its box ready to go into the oven when it had pre-heated. Catherine returned with the camera on a tripod, “Where do you think we should take it from?” Joshua pondered. “I’m not much of a photographer, but if you have several shots left, you could try taking the reflection in the mirror as long as the flash doesn’t mess it up, and perhaps another, using the light from the window in the living room.”
Without another word, Catherine went back to the bathroom and set the camera in a corner pointing at the mirror. She waved Joshua to the place where he had been standing to make sure that it would frame up OK and get them both in. The bathroom was a bit narrow and she guessed that they would have to stand fairly close together. She stepped in front of him to see how the pose should be before setting the auto timer.
“It’s spoilt by your black bra, I think. You need to get rid of it. Its colour is intrusive and the — ah — contrast between us is…well…diminished for want of a better word.” “What are you suggesting?” said Catherine curiously, “That I should change my bra — or just take it off?” “Well, I meant changing it, but since you mention it, taking it off would make a fantastic picture, don’t you think?” replied Joshua as casually as he could as he pretended to strike a pose with his chest tensed and a hand in his pocket. The reality was that he put a hand in his pocket to cover up the slight enlargement that was occurring in his trousers.
Catherine stood there stunned by the idea, but aware of a pulsing turmoil in her stomach and a developing dryness in the back of her throat. All her developed instincts were to put a blouse back on — not take her bra off! She liked Joshua enormously, as a respected colleague. However, she had never been conscious of any particular feeling for Josh as a man – until she fell into his arms, that was, and that was only a fleeting sensation. But they did present a fascinating sight, and her black bra definitely did not add to the picture. She studied the image. In her mind’s eye she saw an indefinable beauty in the extraordinary contrasts of the human body, between male and female, large and small and black and white.
It made such an impact that she really did want to capture it in a photograph if she could. The idea of being photographed with this black man was also strangely exciting in a way she had never experienced, so she was not really thinking of where all this might lead. Maybe it was just an issue of modesty and shyness and a pattern of developed behaviour in which she always found herself acting in a sexually restrained fashion?
Do I really need to be that self-conscious about my breasts?
David had always said they looked very nice, but now David was probably saying the same about that nurse! The first time David had seen her was in the light from the street as the power to the flat had not been connected — and she was much too preoccupied with what David was doing to her! She let out her breath in a long sigh of frustration and indecision, and, as if that was an affirmative signal, immediately felt his büyükçekmece escort fingers on her back as he began to fiddle with the catch on her bra.
The touch of his fingers on her bare back sent little ripples of excitement through her system, and an unrecognised part of her wanted him to touch her more. Before the saner part of her had time to stop the movie, he had undone the catch and was lifting the straps off her shoulders.
Still in a state of a delicious semi-shock at what was happening, she watched the straps slide down her arms and the bra drop to the floor. She stood there feeling awkward with her nipples hardening as the fresh humid air caressed them and an inner excitement provoked them. Joshua put his big hands on her shoulders and made her pull her shoulders back and stand up straight instead of trying to wrap herself up. “That’s better,” he said as her breasts tensioned up. He twisted her slightly to give a little more frontal than side view. And what beautiful breasts she had. Like pyramids — wide at the base and rising sharply to pointed nipples, and because there was no great mass of tissue, they remained firm and taut. But the colour was something again! Peaches and cream with pinkie brown nipples. How he longed to touch them. “You look extremely beautiful,” was all he managed to say as she blushed slightly.
He closed up behind her and put both arms loosely around her waist. His dark muscular biceps contrasted sharply with her soft fair skin as his arm passed her rounded breast. They moved a little, this way and that, comparing the different poses, but afraid to move too much in case it broke the spell. Catherine could not believe how attracted she was to the picture that they presented (and to the man) and, judging by the firmness she could feel behind her, Josh was pretty excited by it too!
“We will have to wait,” said Joshua lightly, and felt her tense slightly, “until the marks of your bra have disappeared from under your arms and over your shoulders.” She giggled with relief, and further emboldened, he told her just how beautiful she looked at that moment. “You could put the pizza on,” he suggested, ” while I just watch you to make sure that you do everything right.”
Catherine, flushed with pleasure and embarrassment, dug him in the ribs with her elbow and marched off to the kitchen. She felt absolutely ‘wanton’ as she went straight to the kitchen, instead of going to the bedroom for a blouse, followed by Joshua who perched himself on a bar stool and cupped his chin in his hands. “Don’t just sit there, perving. Make yourself useful,” she admonished, “by taking the cork out of the wine or something. And shouldn’t you phone your aunt?” “We could get one photo over, ” he suggested, itching to get his arms around her again, “while the pizza heats up.” “What do you mean — get one photo over! Is it going to be that much of a chore? Anyway, I am so dry I do need a drink, so hurry up with that wine.”
The call for wine was as much to support her flagging courage as to dispel her thirst and to give him something else to do other than to look at her. “The light from the window is fading very quickly as the sky gets darker,” Joshua advised, thinking quickly. “Well, OK then, but let me have some wine first, while you go and use the phone over there.” Joshua handed her a glass and she had a deep swallow. “Boy, that was good,” she pronounced. “It is a nice wine,” he agreed, as he headed for the phone. Catherine popped the pizza into the oven, had another swallow of wine and went to the bedroom where she slipped on a light blouse. So that she would not look as if she had changed her mind, she only did up the middle button but it made her feel a bit more comfortable.
“I’ll get the camera ready if you like,” he called as he shot into the bathroom without further invitation and returned with the camera that he set up in the middle of the window with enough room behind to peer through the viewfinder, pointing across the direction of the light. Very artistic, he thought to himself. If it’s always like this, I could get quite interested in photography! “OK, it’s ready,” he called. “How are the marks?” he asked as she appeared beside him still wearing the blouse.
She undid the button and took the blouse off, pirouetted quickly and asked if she passed muster and where should she stand. He stood her in the shaft of soft light, which struck her obliquely making sharp shadows. “It’s hard to say how it will look since I am not there too, so we will just have to take the picture and see what happens. Do I push this button with the ‘T’ on it?” She nodded and felt all the excitement coming back, now aided by the effects of a glass of wine.
Suddenly, he sprang from behind the camera and stood behind her with his arms around her waist. This time there was no pretence about keeping his distance, and she could feel the smooth warm skin of his chest on her bare back. The camera clicked, and the usual whirring followed as it began to process the photo.
They stood there as if transfixed, enjoying the contact while waiting for the photo to emerge. It flopped onto the floor. They both moved to pick it up and sort of collided. “Bags first look!” she proclaimed and grabbed it off him. She pealed the backing off the photo and they watched the image appear.
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