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her curse

       Something should be said about Dareen’s breasts, what used to be large but slightly floppy 34F’s that were obvious candidates for reduction surgery, but had become much different since that night of lighting.


        They stuck out firm and proud, as if to defy the embarrassment at their boldness that so often expressed in the beautiful, intelligent face above.  Like the rest of her, they were a little lighter than the color of milk chocolate.  They were the size of canteloupes, each one almost as big as Dareen’s head.  Out of proportion on her slender frame, especially above what was now a narrow waist and a flat, almost concave tummy and slim hips.  They stuck far out in front to make a startling profile.  Also a little to the sides, such that if she raised her arms a good part of the round globes could be seen from behind.  The areolas were four inches across and so dark brown as to be almost black, almost perfectly circular except for the fine mottling of the oversized pores at the borders.  The nipples, always erect and sometimes very much so, stood out almost half an inch and as thick as the tips of her index fingers.  They pointed outward slightly; in fact her breasts faced outward as if they were guns (she heard heard breasts called that once) aimed for maximum spread, partly hiding her upper arms when looked at from the front.  And the globes were so firm that a pencil, placed underneath, probably would not have lodged well enough to keep from dropping to the floor.


        These were the breasts that faced Jamal as Dareen disrobed in front of him.


        “It’s my nightly routine,” she explained.  “I have to be ready.  Let me lie on the couch.”  She and Elly and Lourdes had been spending a few nights at Sherry’s, then accepted Jamal’s invitation to spend a few nights here at his place.  It made either place crowded, but going back to the old apartment was still not possible, given the presence of the press and other prying types.  Also the three of them wanted to stay together.  So their plan for now was to alternate between Sherry’s and Jamal’s.


        Jamal, normally so in control, could not help but gape.  Then he looked up at her face.  “Sorry, Dar.”


        Dareen smiled shyly as she stood before him, now totally naked.  Hundreds of people had seen her thus, but having her co-worker and friend look at her so exposed was a different and more intense shame.  Still Dareen did not flinch.  She had been so unfair to Jamal, keeping her secret from him, keeping so many things from him.  It was almost like letting him see her thus was a way of making it up to him.


        And now Jamal’s nervous hand approached her left breast.  She looked down and let it approach.  It was not electric, it was only his soft touch as he placed his fingers and then his whole hand over her nipple and aerola.  His black skin was silky smooth against her as he tried to cup the side of the breast with his hand, which was not quite large enough for the task.


        And now as if kneeling in front of an altar, Jamal bent down and brought his lips to her nipple.  In a moment he was sucking on it.  Dareen, like a mother welcoming her child, wrapped her arms around his head.


        After having been so forward, Jamal stood up as if about to apologize.  He looked at her and might have been thinking of kissing her.  But Dareen hugged him, the side of her head against his.  She inhaled and exhaled, feeling her nipples dig into Jamal’s T-shirt.  “I love you Jamal but I’m not ready for this,” she said, aware of how much it must hurt for him to hear it.  But it was the truth, as he surely must know.  As much as she liked him there just wasn’t the desire in her for anything more.  She gave herself credit for not uttering the deadly phrase, “I like you as a friend.”  But it was clear enough.


        They said their good-nights and Jamal went to his room.  Dareen sat cross-legged on the couch and looked out through the glass doors at the late August Atlanta night.  She contemplated the little button-sized transmitter on the end table, that Colonel Mike had given her to take along if she sensed a pulse bomb again.  They would trace her through the transmitter.  They wouldn’t get there in time to be with her, but knowing the location would help them find and hopefully catch whoever that evil Novotny man was.


        It was not a very big apartment and the only view was of the cargo hangars in the rear of the airport.  She watched the planes fly in and out.  At length her powers came.  She hoped she would get sleepy and it would be a quiet night.


        But no.  She felt the tingling in her nipples again.  The tingling that foretold a pulse bomb.  She looked back at Jamal’s door, and the door to the guest room where Lourdes was sleeping on the bed and Elly on some cushions on the floor.  She picked up the button and as silently as she could she slid open the glass door and slid it closed behind her.  She felt the slight chill of the night air on her bare body, the cool concrete under her feet, the breeze of exhaust and gasoline from the street below.  She hefted herself up onto the railing, her toes curling around it, then with a little jump was up in the air and off.

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