|Member since: 02 Aug, 2020|
Caryn got a most unwelcome gift for her eighteenth
"See, doesn't that feel much
better?" her mother asked as she finished
adjusting the straps of Caryn's new 38-D bra
in the lingerie shop fitting room.
"I'm not that big!" Caryn griped
one last time, even as her reflection in the
mirror proved her wrong; the detested undergarment
fit perfectly. Caryn the proud tomboy, the terror
of bullies since grade school, could no longer
pretend she wasn't big in the one and only
way she'd never wanted to be big.
"It's nothing to be ashamed of,
dear," Mom said. "Women have breasts.
You've known all your life that you would,
too. And you've had them for five years,
you've just been in denial. Now, really,
can't you tell it fits better? I can tell
just by looking at you!"
Caryn looked again in the mirror, and considered
how the new bra felt compared to her old one. More
support, less squeezing, and it no longer felt
like she was in a harness that was much too small
for her. She heaved a deep sigh. "Yes, Mom,
it does feel better. But all these years I've
had to wear a bra, I liked being able to say at
least I wasn't a D! D for Dumpy."
Mom laughed as she watched Caryn take off the new
bra and get dressed, though she gave her a stern
look when Caryn tried to put her top back on with
no bra at all. "What will your stepfather say
when we get home?"
"Trust me, Mom, Gordon would love it if I
went braless," Caryn said. The bastard
hadn't quite come on to her yet, but Caryn
had long since learned to get dressed in the
bathroom after a shower. He'd happened to be
in the hallway when she was dressed only in a
towel too many times for it to be a coincidence.
"Not that again!" Mom snapped.
"Gordon loves you like his own daughter,
Caryn, and don't you ever forget it. Who
knows where we'd have ended up if it
weren't for him!"
"Whatever," grumbled Caryn, whose real
father had been killed in Afghanistan when she was
five. She had two or three sacred memories of him,
and no love at all for his replacement. She did
put her old bra back on with no further argument,
although after the comfortable fit of the new one
she was more aware than ever that this one was
indeed too small. She also knew from experience
after miserable experience that it was no use
trying to open her mother's eyes about
"I don't understand you at all, Caryn.
When I was your age I'd have killed for your
"And I still would kill for yours, Mom,"
Caryn said. Her mother had always had a slender
figure that would have suited her tomboyish
daughter just fine. But Caryn had seen enough
photographs of her mother from her younger days to
know Mom had always been just the sort of
lipstick-and-pearls gal that Caryn had never had
the slightest interest in being. "I think we
got stuck in each other's body by mistake, if
you want to know the truth."
"Maybe so," Mom admitted to Caryn's
surprise. "But life is unfair, dear. And
believe me, if big breasts are the worst thing
that ever happen to you, you'll be a very
"Then I guess I am so far," Caryn said
as she reluctantly watched her mother pick up two
more bras identical to the one she'd just
tried on and head for the checkout counter.
"They've already been the worst thing to
happen to me, ever since middle school. But at
least I could pretend I wasn't that
"You weren't fooling anyone, dear,"
"I know I wasn't fooling you,"
Caryn admitted. Or probably Gordon either, she
"Or anyone else. You think David and the
girls haven't noticed in all these
"Oh, God, Mom, Dave would never give me a
hard time about these! That's why we love
"My point exactly," Mom said. "Your
friends love you for who you are. And quite
frankly," she added with a wicked grin as she
handed the three bras to the saleslady, "I
think David will love you a little bit more
"Mom!" Caryn felt her face flushing, and
she stomped off to the exit to wait for her mother
As she cooled her heels in the store doorway,
Caryn felt like she had a neon sign reading
"I WEAR A 38-D" flashing above her head,
even though she was wearing her trusty old 36-C
(for what she now knew would be the last time).
The harder she tried to tried to shake off the
sensation, the brighter the sign seemed to burn --
and the more uncomfortable her old bra felt now
that she knew it really didn't fit at all.
But for all that, Caryn admitted her mother was
probably right. Dave, the beloved token male
member of her best-buds gang since the eighth
grade, had always been just one of the girls to
them all, and he'd never been the least bit
chauvinistic to any of them. But he was still a
guy, and Caryn had gone through her spells of
attraction to him as more than a friend on
occasion. No doubt Audrey, Valerie and Maureen had
done the same, though they'd never talked
about it. For some reason -- probably just that
they'd been friends since they were still
basically children -- Caryn had never stopped to
wonder if Dave had ever had a crush on any of
Now, she realized, he must have. Not Caryn
herself, of course. Perhaps Audrey, who had never
had any denial about her own generous breasts and
who had the most feminine taste in clothing among
the gang. Or Maureen, who was the smart one and
who looked so beautiful in her choral uniform that
she had to wear to school on concert days, and who
had known Dave from their honors classes even
before he'd joined their gang. But Caryn was
quite sure he'd never looked at her that way,
not when she'd always been best known as the
tough one of the gang, the Amazon of the school,
the one who'd beat up any of the bullies who
threatened Dave or got too friendly with Audrey or
Maureen (Valerie could and did take care of
herself), the one girl who was still bigger than
most of the boys after they'd finally hit
their growth spurts...and who was blessedly light
up top, or so she'd managed to convince
herself all this time.
What, Caryn wondered now, if Mom was right and he
was aware of how she'd blossomed over the
years? What would he think now that she
wouldn't be able to hide it anymore? Then, to
her surprise, she found herself thinking that
might not be such a bad thing. There were worse
things than having one of your best friends fall
for you, weren't there?
By the time Mom arrived at the exit, Caryn was
smiling in spite of herself. "Feeling better
already, dear, are we?" she asked Caryn.
"I guess," Caryn said reluctantly.
"It's just, Mom, Dave is a friend. We
all love him as a friend, but..."
"Caryn, I didn't mean to suggest he was
going to fall head over heels for you just because
you own the right bra now!" Mom said as they
made their way through the crowded mall.
"It's just that you're a very
pretty girl, if you let yourself be, and of course
your friends are going to notice that."
"What if he does fall for me, though?"
Caryn asked. "Or what if I fall for
"Well, that's wonderful, isn't
it?" Mom said. "Of course, keep in mind
that you're only eighteen and you are both
off to college pretty soon. But there's
nothing nicer than two people falling in love when
they were already friends, I'll tell you
"Were you and Dad friends first?"
"Yes, but that was in college and it
wasn't seven or eight years," Mom
"It's only been four years, Mom,"
Caryn corrected, gathering her coat about her as
they stepped out into the crisp winter air in the
parking lot. "Eighth grade. He went to Third
Avenue for grade school. And in seventh grade he
was just a -- well, we didn't really know him
"Right, I keep forgetting," Mom said.
"Third Avenue...David doesn't seem like
a kid from that neighborhood at all."
"Snob," Caryn admonished, though she had
privately had the same thought a thousand times.
Third Avenue School served the middle of the east
side of town, just outside the slums of the city,
while Caryn and her friends had gone to Linden
Street Elementary in the posh north end.
"Caryn, there's no sense in pretending
differences don't exist!" Mom said,
fishing her car keys out of her purse. "That
is a rough neighborhood, and it's really to
David's credit that he's grown up as
well-adjusted as he has. That's all I was
"Yeah, I know," Caryn said.
"It's just...we don't even think
about that anymore, you know? It's not an
issue with us, just like it's not an issue
that he's a boy. We just don't
"That's wonderful, Caryn. I never meant
to suggest otherwise. But it sounds to me like
you're having second thoughts about not
caring that he's a boy, you know."
"It's not like I can forget I'm a
girl anymore, huh?" Caryn groused as she
settled herself in the passenger seat. She looked
down at her breasts and was more aware than ever
that her old bra felt ridiculously tight and
confining now, and she cursed the fresh memory of
how much better the detested 38-D had felt.
Mom laughed. "That was my point, everyone
already knew you were a girl underneath all that
machismo of yours. Including David. You know,
dear, I don't think I've ever asked you
how you girls let him into your gang in the first
place. I've always adored him, but from the
first time you brought him home I was wondering,
just how did that happen?
"Oh my God, the cafeteria!" Caryn shook
her head at the bittersweet memory.
"The Northside cafeteria?" Mom asked as
she started the car.
"God, I hated that school," Caryn said.
"I guess everyone hates junior high, though.
Dave certainly did. Yeah, the Northside
Caryn, Audrey and Valerie were always the bad
girls of Linden Elementary. Maureen was the
smartest girl in their class, but she'd never
fit in with the other brains and she'd helped
Caryn and Audrey through enough math homework to
get in their good graces. The princesses and the
nerds wanted nothing to do with them and of course
the boys didn't want any girls around, and
the feeling was very mutual. So none of the
quartet were surprised when the far end of the
table they cornered for themselves in the
lunchroom on the first day of seventh grade
remained theirs alone.
The other end was claimed by a ragtag group of
boys, some of whom Maureen knew from her honors
classes. "Nerds," Audrey said with a
look askance at them a week or two into the school
"Yeah, but they're harmless," said
"That one kid, David? He's in three of
my classes," Maureen added. "He never
says anything unless the teachers call on him, but
he's smart. I hear he's a straight A
"I hear he cries if you look at him the wrong
way," Audrey said.
"I heard that too," Valerie said.
"But you know who I heard it from? The boys
from Third Avenue. They're a bunch of
assholes, they probably made him cry all those
"Even so, who wants a crybaby around?"
"Boy, you're all heart!" Caryn
needled her friend. "Remember what it's
like for boys, they're supposed to act like
robots, no feelings. And they hit each other back,
not like when I beat them up!" If Caryn
wasn't very impressed with her body as it
blossomed into womanhood, at least she'd
discovered one benefit of being a girl. Boys never
hit her back.
"Yeah, whatever," Audrey said. "I
don't care as long as the nerds keep to their
side of the table, that's all."
And for most of the year, they did. So none of the
girls was quite sure why the group dwindled away
by early spring, from half a dozen down to just
David and his chubby friend Scott Bransky, whom
Maureen always called 'the most annoying boy
in the universe', and then finally to just
David when Scott joined the rest of his other
friends at another table at the other end of the
"I wonder what the story is with him,"
Audrey said on the first day of eighth grade, when
David had dutifully taken his seat alone at the
other end. "All the other nerds moved to that
other table, why not him?"
"I think it's got something to do with
Brad Preston," Maureen said.
"That little creep!" Caryn snapped.
"God, I always hated him. Remember in the
fourth grade when --"
"Don't remind me!" snapped Valerie.
"Everybody remembers that! But he and Scott
were always best friends back then."
"That's just it," Maureen said.
"Brad wants Scott to himself, so he treated
David like shit all last year, ever since he and
Scott became friends. You should hear the things
he used to whisper at David in French class every
day before Madame LaSalle got in. It was
"And Scott abandoned David over that? And all
the other nerds too?" Audrey asked.
"That's not fair!"
"Scott's known Brad a lot longer,"
Maureen reminded her. "All the others have.
Brad used to pick on them, too. Maybe they all
think he'll let David in sooner or
"It doesn't look that way to me,"
"I don't think David really cares,"
Maureen said. "He's a good kid, but he
never says anything anyway."
"I can see why, if even the nerds abandoned
him," Audrey said. Then, to everyone's
surprise, she said, "Think we ought to invite
him to sit with us?"
"I don't think he'll want to,"
Maureen said. "But it's okay with
"Me too," Valerie said.
"I didn't think you'd ever say
that, Audrey," Caryn added. "But yeah,
he seems like a sweet kid."
It was Valerie who finally gave him the
invitation, on her way back from the snack bar
with a hard-won fudgesicle in her hand.
"Wanna sit with us?" she asked David,
who was looking stoic as ever in his solitude.
David looked over at the other end of the table,
where Valerie's three friends were pretending
not to notice him as always. "You think
they'd mind?" he asked her.
"They won't," Valerie said.
"We talked about it. I hope you don't
"He had the most adorable smile when he came
over and sat down next to me," Caryn told her
mother now. "Terrified, like he thought we
were gonna eat him alive or at least chase him
away from the table. But he got along great with
us all. He and Maureen started right into talking
about the classes they had together, and...you
know, we all became friends. He'd read more
books than anyone I know. And he knew about your
century's music," she added with a
"So that's why you became more
interested in both reading and decent music around
that time," Mom said, ignoring the barb about
her age. "I remember how your grades shot
up," she added gratefully. "And even
then, you were all just friends with him."
"Of course. That was eighth grade -- boys
were icky! Except Dave, of course. He wasn't
icky, but he was still a boy. We always used to
say 'present company excluded' when we
talked about boys like that, and he was cool with
it. I mean, the boys in his grade school had made
his life so miserable."
"I've heard him talk about it a couple
of times," Mom said. "So you knew it
wasn't that he cried just from people looking
at him the wrong way," she admonished.
"Of course I did! They were bullies. And once
he was our friend, I always made sure they left
him alone. I guess they teased him a lot about
being defended by a girl, but he never cared, at
least not that I saw. I think he really enjoys
being kind of a sissy, to tell you the
"Sissy? Caryn, that's uncalled
"I'm not saying it's a bad
thing!" Caryn said. "I just don't
know any other word for a guy who doesn't
mind if he's more like the girls in some
ways. And Dave doesn't. He's so much
more confident than he used to be, and I think he
loves being the only guy in the gang, really. But
we've never talked about it, because we
really don't care."