#15: Take My Picture

Having gone to bed early the previous night, Whitley woke up around 6:30 and managed to leave the house before Alicia could intercept her for a jog. She walked down Empire St. to John Hardy's, where she enjoyed a double-order eggs benedict, a fruit bowl, and coffee. She spoke with the server Reggie as she left, who directed her to a prep cook who sold her an eighth of weed for $45. She'd have been happier about the deal if the product were not of such mediocre quality. Then again, she'd been running low for a couple days and couldn't afford to complain, mainly since it was the only remaining thing she worried about following her move. She stuffed the plastic bag into her backpack and jogged back down the street, taking a few side streets to extend her trip.

Arriving back home, she found Krysta on the porch, drinking tea and reading the New Yorker. She considered joining her but instead waved as she headed into the house and up to her room. She shut her door behind her and opened the window, letting in the autumn sun as she packed a bowl and took four long hits. Laying back on her bed, she relaxed and checked her email. She put off reading Coach Richter's Monday practice agenda until later, instead choosing to investigate a more intriguing message.

Google Alert - "Whitley Valentine"

The Google Alerts had generally tapered off since she'd left college and managed to stay out of the news. There were occasional rumblings about her on a message board here or there, but overall nothing substantial. There was a time when she read them daily, but she eventually found it tiresome and opted for the weekly digest. Today, there were three alerts. The first was from earlier in the week where the NU athletics page made a minor announcement of her hiring and added her to the website. The second was yet another spambot post message from the "Whitley Valentine Sexy Feet" Yahoo! group. The third, however, gave her pause. She followed the link, read the message, and sighed.

I'm back on the radar.

The fact she was a discussion topic on a giant women message board did not concern her since. The thread had started seven years ago when she was a junior in high school, and she figured it was due for an update. She'd been a fixture in the tall admirer community for years, and not even a legal name change to "Whitney"—which she considered at one point—would help with that. What she wasn't in the mood for, however, was some creep on campus possibly snapping pictures of her without her permission or knowledge. Whoever it was had apparently already seen her, which narrowed it likely down to college staff, student-athletes, and any others on campus in the early autumn...basically a few thousand people.

She pushed the thought aside, for now, figuring she'd save any real concern for when a candid picture of her actually appeared. In the meantime, she took two more hits, cashing her bowl, and emptied the ash out the window. She changed into flip flops, pajama pants, and a comfortable mini-tee, and stepped into the hallway where she found a squatted Krysta in a tank top and shorts gathering cleaning supplies from the hall closet. Whitley was amused with the way Krysta's breasts packed the space between her knees, arms, and neck. Krysta unexpectedly looked up, and Whitley blurted the first thing that came to mind.

"Wow...your tits."

Krysta grinned. "I will let that one slide, and simply say 'thank you.' Besides, I took a curious look at the inseam of your pants in the laundry yesterday so I cannot throw stones."



"Thank you. So, I assume first Saturday is cleaning day, eh?"

"It is part of the routine, yes. As normal, I will take the bathroom. My parents paid for the renovation, so it is my baby, of sorts. Alicia will get the kitchen since it is her second home after the basement. Are you okay with tackling the living room?"

Whitley shrugged. "Can I blast Songs in the Key of Life while doing so?"

"Whatever you need," Krysta said, tossing her a tub of Swiffer sheets. "And please, be thorough. I film myself topless in there, and I do have standards. I am not making some thrown-together girl-next-door smut."

Whitley was formulating how exactly to ask for a free membership to watch one of Krysta's shows when Alicia emerged from her room wearing a pastel-pink maid costume complete with tiara, gloves, stockings, apron, frills, and cat ears. Krysta picked up her bucket of supplies and slipped past Alicia into the bathroom, not giving her a second look. Whitley's half-baked mind struggled to process the full extent of the remarkable spectacle in front of her. The outfit was expertly crafted and flattered Alicia's powerful frame. It still didn't look any less absurd, and Whitley stared incredulously as Alicia pawed her face like a cat.

"Okaerinasaimase, Ojou-sama!"

"Why the hell are you dressed like that?"

"It's cleaning day, silly!"

Whitley wasn't sure what answer she had expected. Alicia presented her phone to Whitley, daintily holding the device at its bottom edges with both hands.

"Whitley, will you please take my picture?"

"What on Earth for?"

"Internet!" Alicia exclaimed, with a touch of impatience. Whitley took the phone, and by the time she had opened the app and held it up to her face, Alicia was fully posed with her hands folded, head cocked to the side, and her body tilted forward in a slight bow.

"You look like the Terminator version of Rosie from The Jetsons," Whitley said, snapping several pictures.

Alicia snorted with amusement while assessing Whitley's undersized outfit, complete with side-ponytail. "You look like a Titan not-so-cleverly disguised as a college coed."

Whitley handed the phone back to Alicia. "You look like the housemaid for an eccentric submissive."

"You look like you ate a pot brownie with 'Eat Me' written on it."

"You look like Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Sylvester Stallone."

"You look She-Hulk cosplaying as a normal person."

"As much as I sincerely hate to cut in," Krysta shouted from the bathroom. "I am going to go ahead and insist you two get cleaning. If we get on this now, we can be done in time for lunch." Alicia smiled a bright, beaming grin and proceed down the stairs to the kitchen, her Maryjane clogs clicking loudly on the wooden floors. Whitley stepped into her room to raid her record collection for Stevie Wonder's Greatest Hits and snagged the broom and Swiffer on her way to the living room.

"So, look at what I found behind the couch." Whitley held up the wrinkled jeans she'd extracted while cleaning the living room floors. The three girls had blasted through the morning cleaning with vigor and had mostly finished in time for lunch.

"I was wondering when those would turn up." Alicia served a tray of mini-sandwiches, sugar cookies, and tea, her maid outfit still impeccably clean despite having thoroughly scrubbed, mopped, and dusted the kitchen to perfection. "I figured they were still here somewhere."

"Yeah, but it doesn't explain how I lost them in the first place."

Krysta scratched her head, struggling to piece together her recollection of the impromptu 'wine and weed' party they'd had during Whitley's inaugural visit. "I am fairly certain you had them on when we were on the balcony. You would have been cold otherwise."

"You were only out there for, like, a half-hour tops," Alicia said, refilling the tea. "You came in before midnight."

Whitley tried her best to recall the events of the evening, but both her current and past impairment worked against her. "I...think I remember."

"That was before midnight?" Krysta said, puzzled.

"Well, the first time was before midnight, but that was before you guys came back for more wine, and Whitley said she wanted to—" A chime sounded from the kitchen. "Time to wipe the oven!" Alicia announced, pointing a finger in the air. She set down the teapot, placed her hands together, bowed, and promptly left the room. Krysta continued pondering the events of their hazy night, but Whitley had already moved on to more recent matters.

"Hey, Krys. Do you do Google Alerts?"

"No. I have a good idea of what I have put out onto the internet. Outside the context of my live chats and feedback in the comments on my videos, I am not particularly interested in what people have to say about me. Why?"

Whitley held up her phone. "Google Alert. Apparently, someone on campus was excited to see me in person. Posted on a message board for giant women admirers."

"You must have seen that coming."

"I started taking the quiet for granted. Turns out I wasn't as much off the radar, as I'd stepped away from it for a while."

"Does it worry you?"

"I dunno. I guess I'm not in the mood for this same, tired...routine." Whitley seemed to hang on the last word and stared into space for a few seconds before she stood up and dropped her pajama pants to the floor, baring her breathtakingly long legs. Krysta watched with both surprise and fascination as the near-bottomless Whitley gave her jeans a few rigorous shakes before stepping into them and fastening the buttons. She tossed her pajama pants onto the couch and gave her legs a final pat-down.

"Just had that denim urge?" Krysta asked, feeling a vague sense of deja vu.

"Not exactly." Whitley slipped her feet into her sandals, which laid next to the shoe rack near the door. She looked at herself and gave a satisfied nod, sat back in the chair, and tossed her phone to Krysta, the large handheld device landing on the couch next to her with a dull thud.

"What are you up to?" Krysta asked.

Whitley pulled the tie out of her hair, letting the unmanageable tresses settle behind her. She took one more long hit from her bowl, carefully placed the piece back in her bag, and zipped it shut before exhaling a long plume of smoke.

"Krysta, will you please take my picture?"

"What on Earth for?"


Image by DarkestHour55