My chest started blossoming when I was nine years old. I tried to hide the budding embarrassments by hunching my shoulders forward and wearing loose clothing. Nobody else my age had these “things” growing on their chests. Why me?
One day as I walked home from the “Corner Store” as we referred to the relatively small supermarket three blocks away, distinguishing it from the much smaller local stores owned by Mr. Taylor (the mean one) which was right across the street from our apartment and Mr. Daniels (the nice one), which required a five-minute walk across an empty field.
With a small bag of the purchases I had made in one hand, I watched as Alex Rawlings walked toward me. Alex was tall for his age and I had become aware at school and around the neighborhood that he noticed me. I was not impressed and always ignored and avoided him.
As we passed each other on the sidewalk, Alex reached over and grabbed one of my budding boobs and squeezed. I screamed in embarrassment and horror and ran the rest of the way home suppressing tears as I ran. As I entered the door, my father looked at me and said “Baby Girl, what’s wrong?” I replied, “Alex Rawlings messed with me” as the tears broke loose as I held my hand over my chest. My father did not say another word. He went over to the closet, got a baseball bat and disappeared into the fading sunlight for about three hours. When he returned, night had fallen; he said nothing to me.
I didn’t see Alex for quite sometime after that; however, whenever I walked through the neighborhood and he saw me coming (or going), Alex hastily crossed to the other side of the street or turned and went in the other direction. I always smiled when I saw him.
I miss my dad.