Terms of Sweetness—Elaine Bonow

Terms of Sweetness

“I don’t know why you are so mad at him. He’s sweet. He don’t mean nothing by that talk. He’s just trying to be his cute French self.” Karma was busy at her stove. She was “Chef,” of their group of friends and the owner of the restaurant they all hung out in. tonight the gang was coming over to Karma’s house for a Midsommer’s feast. It was a fine Seattle afternoon, cooling off after a prior week of soaring heat, which helped ripen the cucumbers, zucchini, onions, carrots and herbs.

“It’s just in my culture we never ever call anyone any other name than our own given name or a short nickname. It would never ever seem possible for anyone to be called a pig, much less “my little fat piglet,” and then say, “ I could just suck the meat off your little sweet & honey bones.”

Karma started laughing so hard she had to go out to the back deck and sit down.” Keiko, turn the beans down and come out here for a sec.”

Keiko turned down the steaming pot of garbanzo beans, poured herself another glass of mineral water, added a couple of ice cubes, pushed open the screen door and joined Karma on the old fashioned porch swing.

“Girl, you are so funny. You find the sweetest dude and then proceed to find fault with the way he talks love to you. You’ve got to understand the culture he comes from just like he … well speak of the devil.”

“The devil you say. What’s happening mes petites abielles?” Eddie came up through the back yard and up the stairs. He popped into the kitchen and out again with a can of PBR. He squished himself in between the two girls on the swing setting all three in motion.

“Oh, we were talking about how French you are. How you talk about us girls using animal names. Is this something all French people do? How come you French people do this? What gives? Let us in on the secret. I mean what did you just call us now?”

“I called you my little honeybees. What’s so wrong with that?” Merde, girls, you have me cornered. How do you say in America, up the tree.”

“No we say up shit creek without a paddle.” Karma laughed aloud.

“ Ah le meme chose, être dans la merde jusqu’au cou, to be in the shit up to the neck.”

The happy trio enjoyed this perfect moment, the rush of the slight wind as they rocked in the gentle warmth. Birds sang in the trees as green as the tall green grass. Bees buzzed in the orange sunflowers and pink and purple gladiolas. Bigheaded dahlias stood tall against the sun-faded fence while the sprinkler lazily arched across the fecund vegetable garden.

“I’ve got to do some work to do in the kitchen.” Karma said breaking the spell of tranquility leaving the couple hugged up on the swing. “By the way Eddie. Your girlfriend thinks you are disgusting.”

“Me! But why, what have I done?” Eddie stopped the swing with his foot. He looked genuinely upset. Eddie was a very good-looking millennial hipster. He had on very skinny jeans rolled up a couple of inches. The thin faded plaid shirt a bit too small for him, kept him warm enough in the cooling afternoon. He sported a short well-trimmed blond beard and a pair of light colored shades. His hair was long; he usually had it up in a ponytail or bun when he worked at the restaurant.

“She seems to have taken offense at the disgusting animal names you call her all the time, my boy,” Karma shouted from the kitchen.

Keiko chimed in, “Yes I think you sound like a male chauvinist pig.”

“Wait a sec, wait a sec you don’t understand, Keiko. I am no chauvinist I consider myself to be a feminist. I am French and the French use a long list of, how you say terms of endearment.”

“Well, your Miss Japan Flower Blossom 2016 is getting pretty annoyed at your French, n’est ce pas!” Karma shouted and turned her attention back to her perfectly cooked garbanzo beans that she was getting ready to whirr into perfectly blended Hummus for the feast.

“Oh Eddie, I just don’t understand all this talk you do. It is so strange to me.”

“Ah Keiko, I’m so sorry to upset you. You know those words just come out when I touch your soft, soft skin.” Eddie climbed up next to Keiko setting the swing into motion. He put his right hand under her shirt and gently squeezed   her left nipple, which immediately responded, hardening and she moaned very softly.

She didn’t pull away as he pinched and twisted ever so gently. She could hear Karma busy with the blender in the kitchen in between the lilting beat of reggae music.

Eddie’s long arms had an advantage over Keiko’s small statue. He leaned over to kiss her and simultaneously slid his left hand around her back and into her panties, his fingers searching for her clit. She was already wet. He knew just how to make her cum. Without wasting any time his index finger pressed hard against her pubic bone and his other fingers stroked her to a swift orgasm.

Keiko’s eyes closed tight as she panted into Eddie’s mouth. He let go of her smoothing her clothing and laid his head on her stomach. If anyone had been watching they would have thought these two innocents were just swinging on the old porch swing.

Keiko’s thoughts reminisced about her old life in Japan. There she would have married a man that her parents knew. The arranged marriage wasn’t so strict anymore but there were certain criteria that had to be adhered to and choosing a proper husband was still important.

He would have a proper job and for her parents making a lot of money by working at least eighty plus hours a week. He would be dutiful in bed giving more of his real self to his fun loving mistress. Keiko would be very, very skinny not plump like she was now. She would be bound to the home, to his parents and to her parents. She would grow severe along with her two perfect children and that would be the confines of her world.

“Hey you two.” Karma called from the kitchen, “I need some help in here, plus I have it all figured out.”

The two were already in the kitchen before she finished talking. “Look you guys are obviously hung up on each other and I want to keep you both as my friends and of course at the restaurant.  So I think you, Eddie, need to find better French words to convey your admiration for Keiko.”

“C’est chouette, Karma, I can do that for sure. There are plenty of endearments for my little chou chou, that’s cabbage but a good thing.”

“And for you Keiko. You have to get off your high horse and find some new words to convey to Eddie some nice cute Japanese expressions.”

“Yes, we do have some for girls.”

“Yeah, they call the girls eggs with eyes.”

“Dang that is so wrong. I guess we being vegans could call her a …”

Eddie grabbed a white eggplant from the table and pretended to kiss it “ My beautiful eggplant girl. Come here and tongue me!”

“I know, I know, I could call you my daikon-san. You’ve seen those big white long radishes at the store. Yes, today I will name you Monsieur Daikon”

“I quite like that nickname Keiko and I will try and live up to my reputation. No more sucking the meat off your bones. From now on we’ll just endear each other in pure vegan terms.”

“Okay, I agree bettarazuke-san”

“Bon ma chichoree doux.


About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on May 27, 2016, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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