Flowers and Lipstick


Lisa Lum pushed the re-stock cart through her parent’s video rental store as she had done almost every evening for the past six years. The tension around the store was thick enough to cut. First Blockbuster, then, and now Netflix was steadily eating away at the rental business, and Lisa’s father had become bitter and resentful. He pushed himself with a firm belief in ‘Asian Superiority’. Failure was un-acceptable. He pushed himself to the limit, and pushed his family as well.

As long as she could remember, Lisa was working. If not in the family laundry, travel agency and Video store, then on her studies and violin. There was little ‘down time’ for little Lisa. She envied other college students that played their time away at University. Every day she became just a little more frustrated with her life. She found herself fantasizing about doing something reckless and crazy – anything – anything that her father might disapprove of.

The dwindling Video business was close to folding. She worked here without pay most evenings and studied between sparse customer traffic. There was a time when re-stocking the shelves was a full time job for 2-3 people. Now it could be easily tackled in a half an hour. Their customers had shifted from families and locals to what Lisa called the ‘porn wierdos’. They were mostly middle-aged, nervous looking men. Some were actually pretty normal looking and there was even the occasional female. She found it particularly embarrassing to rent porn to women. She actually found it easier to deal with the shifty eyed perverts.

She had only watched parts of porn videos, usually in an attempt to repair them. She found the lurid sex scenes of men with huge penises and women with silicone breasts interesting but contrived. Months earlier, one of the regular ‘wierdos’ had reported a jammed VHS cassette titled “Flowers and Lipstick”. She had found from experience that running a video back and forth via fast-forward and rewind would sometimes dislodge a frozen tape. She ran the tape in the back room, forward, rewind, forward, and pressed ‘play’ to see if it had freed. The screen displayed two women kissing passionately. She watched for close to five minute before someone jingled the front-door bells. She stopped the video had hurried to the front. Ever since then, she had been fascinated by the idea of women kissing. It was so exotic and forbidden. She knew about lesbian sex, and had seen many of the video jackets. It was the idea of kissing that excited her and caused her nipples to stand erect that afternoon.

She finished stocking the ‘Perv Room’ and returned to here studies beside the cash register. When the door jingled, Lisa looked up to see a sophisticated looking tall, blonde woman who appeared to be in her mid thirties. She was lean and svelte, in a tailored pantsuit that accentuated her long legs. She smiled with a curt ‘good evening’ and proceeded directly to the back of the store. Lisa was a bit surprised when the woman made her way through the beads into the ‘adult selections’ room. She didn’t seem like the type. After several minutes, the lovely blonde emerged with a single DVD. She laid it on the counter. The title was ‘Flowers and Lipstick’. Lisa was immediately befuddled. As she reached for the video, she knocked the stapler and a cup of pens off of the counter. She nervously apologized, gathering the items from the floor. When she returned to the counter, the blonde was reading her textbook upside-down.

“Shelley. Studying poetry?”

Lisa answered quickly, tongue-tied. “Umm, yeah. I have a test tomorrow”.

“I love Shelley. Check out Love’s Philosophy. It’s my favorite”.

She smiled. “Yes, I will. Do you have a card with us?”

“No, I’m afraid not. Can I open an account?”

Lisa slid over a clipboard. “Sure, just fill out the top part, and I’ll need a credit card.”

The woman filled the form and produced a Visa card that Lisa ran through the Veriphone.

“OK, you’re all set. It’s due back Saturday, Enjoy.”

The woman gave a somewhat naughty smile and purred, “Oh… I will” and left with a girlish wave.

Lisa looked down at the form attached to the clipboard. The name read Carolyn Armstrong. She lived in the neighborhood, just blocks away.

She paged through her textbook and found Love’s Philosophy. The last verse made her heart skip a beat:

And sunlight clasps the earth
And moonbeams kiss the sea
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou not kiss me?

Before Lisa locked the store for the night, she grabbed a copy of ‘Flowers and Lipstick’. When she arrived home, she went straight to her bedroom and locked the door. She changed from her jeans into sweatpants, opened her laptop and started the DVD.

It was a somewhat contrived story about a stern female executive and her young ditzy assistant. After bringing, her coffee, the auburn haired assistant is approached by her boss. The scene Lisa had watched months before in the store unfolded, a long passionate series of sloppy kissing. Lisa was mesmerized. A hypnotizing dance bursa escort of tongues and lips played out for several minutes. As silly and contrived as the story was, she was sure that the passion between these to beauties was genuine.

Lisa was almost instantly aroused. She couldn’t remember ever being this horny, this quickly. She removed her bra beneath her t-shirt and began tugging absent-mindedly at her left nipple. Electric shocks pulsed through her body as the two women on the screen began to touch and kiss each others breasts. Lisa’s other hand found its way below, tickling her labia beneath the material of her sweats.

On the laptop screen, the red haired assistant was having her panties removed by her boss, exposing her bright red bush. The executive cooed, and kissed her assistant deeply on the mouth, breasts and stomach. It was a long, drawn out seduction, and Lisa was breathing deeply from arousal. Her hand now beneath her sweats, she teased the slick lips of her pussy. When the blonde’s face pressed against the redhead’s sex, Lisa furiously rubbed her engorged clitoris causing her to cry out in the midst a gut-wrenching orgasm. Every muscle tensed as she came, and her entire body was covered in sweat. Panting, she sat back on the bed, amazed at what had just happened.

She was out of breath and exhausted when she heard a knock at the door.

“Lisa, are you home?” She heard her father say in Chinese.

Slamming the laptop shut, she answered in English “Yes father. I’m here.”

“Ok then. Goodnight.” She was relieved. She certainly didn’t want to discuss the night’s gross in the store or her studies with him now. Not after what just happened. Feeling the need to pee, she went into the bathroom.

She finished, wiped, then stood and looked at herself in the full length mirror. She was pretty, in a very asian-waifish sort of way. She was short, 5′ 4″ and weighed only 103 pounds. She had long jet-black hair and pale, un-blemished skin. She stripped off her shirt and sweatpants and evaluated herself, turning from side to side. Her small breasts were topped by large, brown nipples. They were still hard from arousal. She had a sparse patch of hair curling up from her crotch, and a tiny waist. She turned to look at her backside. It was somewhat flat, but not unnoticeable. She turned to face herself and imagined another woman looking at her naked body. The thought aroused her again as she tugged her nipples. She sat down on the closed toilet and rubbed her whole pussy with an open hand with long, even strokes. The feeling was incredible, and she masturbated to orgasm again, there in the bathroom.

The next she found herself hurrying from school to the store. She couldn’t remember ever being in a hurry to get there; long hours for no pay didn’t provide much motivation.

When she arrived, her father was fretting over the books. “Business bad. Very very bad. I’m going to sell. Video business no good.”

“Sorry Dad” Lisa answered. He packed his briefcase and left. That was Dad. Unceremonious. She pushed the half-full restock card to the back of the store, through the beads into the Adult room. As she shelved the DVDs and tapes, she found herself lingering among the dust covers. They were the usual photos of large cocks in mouths, naked women with phoney breasts and explicit sex. Some of the women were beautiful. She realized that she was looking at women in a completely new way. The curves, the soft skin and silky underwear were so beautiful. She looked with great curiosity at the girls pussies. She never looked at one closely, even her own. They were quite lovely, like orchids. Each was different in its own way. She remembered being embarrassed when an art teacher had pointed out the most of Georgia O’Keefe’s work was inspired by the female anatomy.

She returned to the counter and her studies for the rest of the night. A couple of regular wierdos came by. There was the one she called Pigpen. He had a stained Star Wars tee shirt, and leered at her. He rented 7 ‘All Asian’ features, and acted as though she might be interested by that. She giggled as he left.

Five minute before she closed, Carolyn jingled the door on her way in. She was dressed in a pretty cotton top and a knee length skirt with sandals.

“Oh good, you’re still open” she said. “I wanted to drop this off before I stopped into Starbucks next door”.

Lisa smiled nervously as she checked in the DVD. “Yeah, I usually grab one on my way home too. I’m not the type that is kept awake by coffee”

“Me neither. I could drink and entire pot and go right to bed” Carolyn responded.

“I read the Shelley poem. It’s very nice”.

Carolyn smiled. “See, the mountains kiss the high heaven, and the waves clasp one another; If it distained it’s brother…”

Lisa continued “and the sunlight clasps the earth, and moonbeams kiss the sea… what is all this sweet work worth, if thou not kiss me”.

Carolyn smiled broadly. “Very nice! It’s one of my favorites”.

Lisa was blushing and embarrassed. She was escort bursa at that very moment imagining her and Carolyn embraced in a deep kiss.

“Would you like to join me for a cup at Starbucks?”

She nearly said no. It was her father’s answer. She could her him: “you’re having coffee with someone who rents porn!”

“Yes, that would be nice. Let me close up and I’ll meet you over there.”

Before she left, she went into the bathroom to freshen up. Her heart was racing. This was so unlike her; meeting a stranger, flirting, being generally reckless. She fixed her hair, and wished she had used makeup that morning. She dug out a lip-gloss from the bottom of her purse and applied it. She straightened her top and stood back to look in the mirror. It occurred to her that she thinking all of the things she usually thinks before meeting a cute guy. The idea produced a giggle.

When she entered the Starbucks, there were only two other customers besides Lisa and Carolyn.

“Over here!” Carolyn was sitting in a corner, waving.

Lisa ordered a cappuccino, then hung her purse over the chair and sat down. Her entire body was rigid. She didn’t know what to even say.

Carolyn flashed a warm smile “So, I don’t even know your name!”.

“L-lisa, Lisa Lum”.

“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Lisa Lum. I’m Carolyn.”

At a complete loss of words, Lisa blurted out the first thing that came to her mind. “So, you live in the neighborhood?”

“Yes, over on Chestnut. You know that big Condo complex on the corner?” She asked.

“Oh, yeah, I tutor a friend’s boy, they live in that building”. Lisa answered.

They made small talk for a while. Carolyn asked what school Lisa attended, about her majors, Lisa answered politely. Slowly, she was loosening up. Carolyn was very easy to talk to. She was warm and engaging, with a lovely laugh.

As they talked, Lisa examined her closely. She was quite beautiful and elegant. Her eyes were a sparkling blue, and her blonde hair framed her pretty face. Every detail of her look was perfect and precision. Her makeup, clothes, and expensive jewelry each complemented each other. She was a tall woman, with graceful curves and lovely skin.

“So Lisa, I realize that it’s a little embarrassing; chatting with someone you’ve rented porn to” She was grinning broadly.

Lisa tried to act cool. “Oh! No! I mean…. Well it’s your own business. We rent a lot of it, I mean…. People like it….” She was visibly embarrassed.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. I just wanted to get it out of the way. I’m a very open and adventurous person, and I have no problem admitting that I like that kind of thing. I am quite particular about the titles I choose, though.

Like ‘Flowers and Lipstick’ Lisa said, looking down at the table.

“Yes! Like Flowers and Lipstick.” Carolyn answer, with a laugh. “The director is a woman, and all of her films feature genuine sexual arousal. The casts also happen to be all-female.

Lisa was turning all colors of blush by now, from both embarrassment and arousal. “So, you’re a lesbian?” She almost whispered the word.

“Well, I wouldn’t say that. I still occasionally enjoy the company of some interesting men, but… yes, I’ll say that I prefer women. Does that bother you?”

“No!”. Lisa answered quickly. “Well, I’ve never, you know…. but its ok. There are organizations at school, and you’re free to do, I mean….” She was now thoroughly befuddled.

Carolyn laughed again. “Looks like tonight has been completely embarrassing for you, I won’t bring it up again”.

Lisa smiled, and loosed up. They talked until Starbucks closed, and Lisa told all about her frustrations with her father, school and life in general. Carolyn offered some very insightful views. Lisa wasn’t in the habit of discussing her life with people, and it was therapeutic.

When the store was closing, they paused outside.

Carolyn took her hand and said “well, I really enjoyed meeting you Lisa Lum. I hope we meet again”. With that, she kissed her briefly but warmly on the lips, turned, and said cheerfully “bye now!”

That night, Lisa masturbated again. This time, she didn’t need Flowers and Lipstick to become aroused.

The next day, she met Tommy Chu, a fourteen year old boy with bad grades in English and a sassy hip-hop mouth. She hated tutoring the disrespectful little shit, but his father paid very well. He lived in unit 242 at ‘The Coyotes’ complex, and upscale condo development. As she passed unit 202 her heart raced. It was the unit number Carolyn Armstrong had written on her video application days before.

She spent her hour with the little skateboard thug, trying to explain the relevance of Steinbeck’s works. She knew it was a waste of time, and felt more hurried than usual to be done with him.

When she left, she passed by unit 202 again but didn’t have the nerve to knock on the door and continued to the elevator lobby. When the elevator door slid open, there stood Carolyn with bursa escort bayan an armload of groceries.

“Wow! Hey there Lisa Lum! Wacha doin?” Her face lit up.

“Oh, just doing my tutoring job. I was just leaving.”

Carolyn stepped out of the elevator car and continued “I’m just getting home. I’ve got a bottle of Chardonnay in here with my name all over it. It’s my favorite way to end a stressful Friday!”

“Sounds nice” Lisa said. “I’ve had a crazy day myself”.

“Well, you’re welcome to join me! My place is just up the hall.”

Lisa heard her sensible, or ‘Dad’ voice warning her. A stranger, who rents porn, and drinks alcohol. Alcohol was forbidden in her family. She had gone out with friends when she turned 21 earlier that year, and had gotten very tipsy from just a single glass of white wine.

“Ok, sure. I really don’t have any plans tonight. I’m pretty boring, I guess” Lisa lamented.

“Oh, you’re not boring at all” Carolyn said in a singsong voice. It made Lisa both uncomfortable and excited.

Carolyn’s condo was as beautifully appointed as the owner. There was simple but elegant furniture, expensive looking original art, and a warm, inviting color palate. A breakfast bar separated the living room from a deluxe kitchen, filled with every expensive appliance and gadget one could imagine.

“Get comfortable while I change” Carolyn said. She turned on some soft jazz, dropped her purse and disappeared down a hallway.

Lisa examined some of the art hung in the living room. Sure enough, there was an O’Keefe print, a large, pink orchid. There was a black and white photograph of a woman in a bath, and a huge watercolor of the Hollywood sign. Carolyn had mentioned the night before that she was a talent agent. As she sat on the couch, she imagined Carolyn in the adjacent room, undressing. She had been so lovely in the pale blue tailored suit. Lisa was sure she had never seen anything quite so lovely.

When Carolyn returned, she was wearing a pink sleeveless cotton v-neck top, and black Capri pants. She was wearing no bra, and her nipples could be seen clearly through the thin material .She put a bottle of chardonnay in the freezer to quick-cool, and retrieve a half full bottle from the sub-zero refrigerator.

She held up the bottle. “I can get a couple of glasses out of this one while the other is chilling”. She poured two glasses, and walked into the living room. She handed a glass to Lisa, raised hers and said “Well, here’s to new friends”, took a sip and sat with her legs folded at the opposite end of the couch.

“You have a really beautiful apartment, Carolyn”.

“Thank you. I’m very comfortable here. It hasn’t always been like this. I’ve had to fight for everything I’ve ever gotten. I work in a man’s world, and successful women have to constantly prove themselves there. I think of this apartment as my reward, so I spare no expense on it.”

She told Lisa how she fought her way up from executive secretary, beat her bosses at their own game and became one of the most successful agents in Hollywood. She told her about the music they were listening to, an up and coming jazz diva named Christy Black, who she had just signed. Lisa was mesmerized by her. She was everything that Lisa was not; confident, stylish, strong and independent. She admired and envied her.

As she finished the first glass of chardonnay, Lisa was feeling a little drunk. She kept giggling uncontrollably. “What’s so funny” Carolyn asked with a smile.

“I’m sorry, this always happens when I drink. I get a little silly”.

“That’s ok. I like silly!” Carolyn said, raising both hands.

Carolyn returned the kitchen and popped the now chilled bottle, then refilled their glasses. Lisa was becoming bolder as the wine took hold.

“You know, I wish I could be more like you” Lisa proclaimed.

“How so?” Carolyn asked.

“Well, you do and say what you want. No one bosses you around, you speak your mind and you kiss who you want.” Lisa was amazed with what just came out of her mouth.

Carolyn laughed again, loud and happily. “Honey, I still get bossed around, I just make sure that it’s on my terms. I do speak my mind, sometimes to my own determent. As for who I kiss, well nothing ventured, nothing gained”. She paused. “You’re referring to that little peck I gave you last night outside of Starbucks, Right?”

Lisa smiled sheepishly. “Yes”.

“You’re blushing, Lisa Lum!” Carolyn teased.

“I’m sorry if it made you uncomfortable. I’m and impulsive person, and it was an impulse. I won’t do it again” she assured Lisa.

“No, it was nice. I didn’t expect it. I’m not sure how I feel about it.”

“But you’ve been thinking about it a lot, right?”

“Almost constantly”.

“Lisa, just because you enjoyed kissing another girl doesn’t mean that you’re a ‘Dyke’. I know plenty of women who have done a lot more than kiss, and still consider themselves wholly heterosexual.

“Like you?”

“Well, I’d consider myself a little left of Hetero. I’m not even sure that ‘Bi’ is the correct definition. I prefer women, and enjoy the occasional man. I’ve had serious and loving relationships with both. That’s where I am now. It might be different in a few years. I like to keep my options open”.

Lisa Lum pushed the re-stock cart through her parent’s video rental store as she had done almost every evening for the past six years. The tension around the store was thick enough to cut. First Blockbuster, then, and now Netflix was steadily eating away at the rental business, and Lisa’s father had become bitter…

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