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Giant Steps

Giant Steps

Ass

Author’s Note: This story has a fair bit of build-up, but it’s worth it 😉

***

It had taken far too long in his life for Sam to realize that sometimes all he had to do was ask. Confidence having been more of a question mark than a period, and certainly not an exclamation point for most of his life.

He was walking with his friend Carrie on a cool autumn Sunday when they decided to stop by a nearby mall and pick up some food. He was never a fan of mall food, but decided to keep his mouth shut, not having any better ideas.

The food court was made up of a series of fast food places along the wall with shared seats in the center. They decided to go halfsies on a pizza and dug in.

“Man, all the amazing pizza in this city and we had to eat here! I’m surprised Uptown even has malls like this.” Sam poked fun at Carrie as he swallowed his first bite.

“Hey,” She put her hands up. “I didn’t make you do anything. You’re eating it.”

“Touche.” He said with a glare.

“You know why I actually like eating here?”

“I really don’t.”

“People-watching is the best in malls.”

“Carrie, we live in a city, you can people-watch from your apartment.”

“Nah, not the same. In malls, people are either super stoked to be here, miserable, or both. It’s trippy.” She took a big bite out of her pizza.

“You know nobody thinks like this, right?”

“Or does everybody?”

“Geez, now I’m getting self-conscious.”

“Oh come on. Not this again!”

“What?”

“You still think you’re really unattractive.”

“It’s not that, I-“

“Well you know you’re not.”

“No offense Carrie, but you’re gay. Your ratings of guys are usually a little off.”

“Rude! I can still tell when a guy is good looking, even if I’m not attracted to them.

It’s not like you haven’t been in any relationships either!”

“Ugh, don’t remind me.”

Carrie was right, Sam was far from unattractive. He kept fit, worked out often and tried to eat clean, despite the occasional visit to the food court. But Sam had never really perceived himself as good-looking, and it showed in how he walked and talked. Maybe it was how some of those past relationships went, especially the last one…

“Sorry, Carrie, was just trying to poke fun.” He said, somewhat defeated.

“You’re fine.”

Sam looked around the mall at all the people while he ate. It was kind of creepy looking around at everyone, but also a little thrilling. By a hot dog stand was a guy haggling for extra ketchup, by the fountain were teen girls trying to make a wish and decide where to go to next, and moms carrying bags of clothes, half for themselves, half for others in their families. He started to notice the workers in each of the food stands. Most of them looked miserable, some looked bizarrely happy but ready to burst at the seams.

One person caught his eyes especially. She worked behind the Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand. She had a kind of energetic ambivalence to her, like she knew exactly where she was and why she didn’t want to be there, but was ready to do it until she didn’t have to. Sam admired her aesthetic. He found her dark and short boyish hair charming, as if Julie Andrews had gone a little bit punk and her green eyes gave her away from the rest of the crowd. They didn’t wander aimlessly; it seemed to Sam from just a couple seconds observing her that they were always focused on something-either the task at hand, or a far off thought.

“You know you’re staring, right, Sam?”

Her comment threw him out of his daze and he snapped back to his friend.

“Fuck. Was it obvious?”

“I don’t think anyone was paying attention…but yeah.”

“Girl at the pretzel stand, your 12 o’clock.”

Carrie snuck a quick gaze behind her.

“What about her?”

“She’s really cute.”

“Cute like ‘awww adorable!’ or like hot?”

“Hot.” Sam felt a little weird admitting it. Carrie snuck another quick glance back.

“Her? Hmmm, definitely your type.” She laughed. “I’m just poking fun. But seriously she’s exactly your type.”

“Fuck. You really have me figured out, huh?”

“You have no idea.” She flashed her eyes and took a big bite of pizza. “Why don’t you go talk to her instead of staring like some kind of creep from a rom com?”

“Isn’t it creepy to talk to her though?”

“Yeah, if you’re a creep. And if you spend all day staring at her.”

“I mean…”

“Come on, Sam! You’re not a creep.”

“Are you sure?”

“I honestly wouldn’t hang out with you if you were.” She said very sincerely. “Just go make conversation with her. She’s probably bored out of her mind. It’s not like you have to ask her out.”

“I’m good. But thanks for the pep talk.”

“Suit yourself.” She said as she finished her pizza.

Sam entertained the thought but kept shutting it down in his head. What would he say? What could he say? He finished up his own slice.

“Hmm. I’m still hungry. I’m feeling a pretzel. Come help me mersin escort pick!” Before Sam could process what was happening, Carrie was up and dragging him along to the pretzel stand.

Thankfully the cute girl was occupied with a customer when the two went up. Carrie perused the pretzel selection and mocked the cheese-and-pepperoni covered one which clogged Sam’s arteries just thinking about it.

“Can I help you?” the girl said kindly, sending a sudden pang of fear deep into Sam’s body.

“I’m good, but my friend Sam here is really craving a pretzel.” Carrie said, indicating her friend.

“Uh.” Is all he could manage.

“I gotta go check something. Pick a good one!” Carrie said, starting to walk away.

The girl made eye contact with Sam, waiting to hear his order. Her eyes looked earnest, but just at the edge of their patience.

“I’m Sam.” He mustered with a nervous smile.

“Yeah I got that.” She said, now visibly waiting for the interaction to be done.

Sam started panicking internally, feeling he’d already fucked up. The seconds felt like hours until he blurted out:

“Can you settle a bet for me?”

“What’s that?” She said, her interest ever so slightly piqued.

“Uh…My friend Carrie says…uh…that you guys use frozen pretzels. Like y’all get a big shipment of em and just microwave them or something. I think she’s wrong”

“Well, honestly.” She leaned forward and looked around as if to see if anyone was watching them. “It’s a secret. But I will tell you this: Auntie Anne herself would accept no less than the very best pretzels being served at these stores.”

Sam started to relax.

“Oh yeah? Is there even actually a real Auntie Anne?”

“Of course!” She said in mock incredulity.

“What does she do? Come around incognito and try out all the stores?”

“No one knows, because she’s never been caught in the wild.”

Sam laughed at her faux serious tone and she broke character to laugh too.

“Seriously though, can I get you anything?”

“Oh. Shit. Yeah…um, I’ll have…” Having long forgotten his stated purpose for being there, Sam didn’t want to waste time choosing, so he just pointed to the only one that stuck out in his memory.

“The pepperoni pizza pretzel? The triple P? Well, that’s certainly a choice.” She said, lightly jabbing at his ridiculous choice.

Sam suddenly felt like he was on the spot again. She grabbed the pretzel with a napkin and put it into one of the special containers.

She started to ring him up and worried it would be his last chance, he tried to get her number.

“Hey, um, I was wondering if, uh, maybe I could, uh,”

“Your total will be $7.86. Were you saying something?”

“Uh, yeah, I mean… Wait. Eight bucks for a pretzel?”

“Auntie Anne’s best, remember?” She said with a smirk.

“Uh, yeah.” He laughed a nervous laugh. Feeling the time had past, he gave her his credit card. She promptly rang him up and handed him his cheesy demise.

“Thanks.” He said, walking away.

But before he could get too far, the girl called to him. He felt a rush of adrenaline.

“Hey, Sam. You forgot your card.”

“Oh, thanks.” He awkwardly walked back to take it back from her, feeling slightly disappointed.

“Here you go.” She handed it back but stopped when both of their hands touched the card. “By the way, my name is Jane.”

“Thanks a lot, Jane.” He said back with a sincere smile.

He didn’t quite realize what was happening, and before he could process anything he was somehow back at his table with Carrie. Jane was already helping a new customer.

Jane. He repeated the name to himself. Jane. He committed her face to memory. Jane.

“How were your two minutes in paradise?” Carrie said, teasing him and knocking him out of his daze.

“Two minutes? Two minutes?!”

“120 seconds. Had my eye on the clock.”

“Felt like ten hours. Two minutes?” He could barely process anything. All he had in his head was her name. Jane. What a great name, he thought. He’d found her incredibly endearing and sensed that there was more to her that he would also like.

“Jane.” He said, as if it would make it more real.

“What?”

“She told me her name when I went to get back my credit card. Her name is Jane.”

“Look at you, Ace. I’m impressed.”

“Is that good?”

“She really wouldn’t have gone out of her way to give you her name if she didn’t like you at least a little bit.”

“but, I-“

“You gotta stop second-guessing yourself, buddy. Now come on, I think it’s time we get out of here.” She said, as she started collecting their trash. They got to the trashcan by the door and Carrie dumped their plates and drinks. She eyed Sam’s pretzel.”

“You gotta at least try it. After all that!”

“Fuck, you’re right.” Sam said, half laughing, and half genuinely frightened by it.

He looked around to make sure he was out of Jane’s kocaeli escort sight and then eyed the pretzel. Tentatively, he brought it to his mouth and took a bite. Carrie watched in delight as he chewed the bite and processed the tastes, his face transforming into a comical expression of revolt. He spit it out into the trash and sent the rest of the pretzel with it, sensing he would vomit if he were to have anymore.

“Ugh, yuck.” He said, scratching his tongue between his teeth as if it would get rid of the flavor. “Way too rich. Especially right after that other shitty pizza. Ew. I almost feel bad, but I have to throw this out.”

Carrie laughed at her friend and patted him on the back as they walked out of the mall. Sam was happy to have a friend like Carrie, and he was especially glad she made him talk to Jane.

Monday came and Sam woke up at his typical 8:00 am feeling refreshed. He was still thinking about Jane. It hadn’t gone as well as it could have-he still didn’t have her number or anyway to talk to her-but he had gotten her name, and possibly left a good impression. If he really had to, he could go back to the mall and try and talk to her at work, though he hoped he wouldn’t have to as the mall made him uncomfortable. He had two classes that day but it was still early enough in the semester where he didn’t have to do too much work. The dawn of his Senior year at Columbia University had started off smoothly though he knew it would soon ramp up. He was majoring in music production because he liked it and he figured it wouldn’t be impossible to get a job afterwards. Luckily for him, his parents had done pretty well for themselves, so they could afford to send him to college and set him up with his own apartment just barely off-campus.

Later in the day, closer to 11:00 am, Jane woke up but stayed resolutely in bed. With no work and no rehearsal, her day was totally free. She rolled over to the side of the bed to pick up her phone that was charging on the floor of her tiny room.

She’d gotten the smaller of two rooms in her Morningside Heights apartment, which she shared with her friend Holly. They’d gone to High School together and later, when Holly transferred to Columbia, she jumped at the opportunity to live with Jane and reconnect with her. Holly was mostly a good roommate, except when her Boyfriend Chris would come over and they’d fuck incredibly loudly. Holly loved being fucked, and Jane had heard some wild stories from Holly’s freshman year at her other college.

Jane decided she’d write a song that day.

Meanwhile, Sam was in class. Though he was generally a good student, he found it incredibly difficult to focus that day. He found himself looking around his relatively small class. Though he knew most of the people already, he looked at them as he looked at the people in the mall. Suddenly these familiar people all seemed strange to him. His thoughts were wandering; did Jenny always where such weird shoes? When did Mark dye his hair? It looks good on him. Should I dye my hair? He looked around half-hoping he would see someone as cute as Jane, but to no avail. He kept picturing her green eyes and her face scrunched up with laughter. He wanted to talk to her again. Thinking about Jane and thinking about himself, made him wonder how the two ideas could become one.

After hours of hammering away at the guitar Jane felt she’d had the basics of a suitable chord progression and melody worked out. She recorded the tune into her phone so she wouldn’t forget it and put the guitar away. Coming up with lyrics was always the most difficult part for her. She decided to take a break. She walked over to the milk crate that held her records and fingered through them, hoping to find some inspiration. She landed on her most prized record, her LP of the Velvet Underground’s third album. She’d always found it relaxed and loosened up her brain.

Days off were always strange to her. The nothingness should have been relaxing, but it only made her feel like there were a million things still undone in the world. She got up to look out of her window. Her side of the apartment faced west, and despite all the nearby buildings, through some kind of miracle, she could see all the way out to the Hudson and its calming waters. Still feeling restless however, Jane decided she would go outside for a nice walk and let the lyrics come to her.

She was still dressed in the panties and camisole she’d slept in. She slipped her top off sloppily, letting her boobs flop down. She walked over to the bathroom and threw the top into the rapidly filling hamper. She spotted yesterday’s Auntie Anne’s uniform and groaned. I really ought to find something better, she thought. Still, there was the cute boy yesterday. He was kind of funny, but pretty shy. I kind of want to see him again.

Thinking of boys made her conscious of how attractive she looked. She strolled over to look over herself in the mirror. She stood sideways and felt out the little samsun escort roundness of her belly. She’d once been hypercritical of her appearance in the mirror, but now found she usually liked who she saw staring back at her. For a long time she’d been so unhappy with her body and herself that it was hard to get up in the mornings, but over the past year she had finally begun to seriously enjoy her body without an ounce of shame, guilt, or doubt. She brought her hands up to her boobs, propping them up and playing with them slightly, then smiling. She was happy with how the hormones had worked, giving her defined, proportional breasts which made her not only feel more femme, but sexy too.

She sent her hands down to her panties. She turned around to examine her butt, round and firm and always impressive to her. She brought herself sideways again to the mirror and examined her slight bulge. She caressed it with the back of her hand, feeling the ridges of her knuckles on her penis through the soft panties, making her ever so slightly harder. Her penis had once been a source of dysphoria, but over some time she’d decided she liked it and that she would keep it. She vastly preferred penetration to being penetrated anyway, and she knew she had a great penis which she was proud of. She took off her panties and let them drop to the floor, letting her penis flop out and grow a little with the increased space. It was just hard enough to reach over her balls. She lifted up the shaft and examined it to make sure all was normal. Having it in her hands and feeling the heat of her cock made it start growing in her hand. Before she knew it she was fully erect. She was impressed with the length and thickness, and how full it felt in her hands. She hadn’t ever formally measured it, but she once put her phone up to it and guessed it was about 7 inches long, big enough to fuck, small enough to tuck. She pulled the foreskin back and admired the head.

She bent down to pick up the panties and threw them in the hamper. She brushed her teeth, slowly going softer until her cock was back in its smallest form. She spit out the remaining toothpaste from her mouth and rinsed it with water.

Back in her room she got dressed while Some Kinda Love played from the record. She picked out a new pair of panties, her favorite comfy VS pink and white striped panties; pulled on some slightly-ripped jeans; picked out a simple bra; pulled on London Calling shirt which she’d modified to be sleeveless and look sort of tattered. She tucked it slightly into her pants. She couldn’t help but sing along to one of her favorite tracks on the album.

“Situations arise Because of the weather

And no kinds of love Are better than others”

She sang, trying to put on a jokey Lou Reed Affect. Jane took the needle off the record and gingerly put the disk back in its sleeve, sad to hear it end but excited to get some fresh air. To complete her outfit she grabbed her denim Jacket from Holly’s room. Holly had borrowed it and forgot to give it back. She’d also forgotten to put away her dildos. Typical. Jane slung her little backpack over her shoulder and made sure she had her wallet and keys in it. Maybe she’d walk through Columbia. She left the apartment, grabbing a banana from the counter as a quick breakfast.

It was 3:00 pm.

Sam’s class had finished and he had half an hour to kill. He decided to sit in front of the great steps. It was a perfectly crisp Autumn day. Just breathing felt good, and he noticed how comfortable and free he felt on those steps. He was wearing neat blue jeans and a grey ringer t-shirt and wrapped himself in a dark hoodie with the sleeves rolled up. He’d made an effort to dress in what he deemed neutral clothes because he’d been afraid of making a statement, failing to recognize that it was impossible not to make a statement. He felt good sitting on those steps, thinking about his time in college soon coming to an end. He tried to take stock of the things he’d gained, but found it hard to put into words all he’d learned. He sometimes worried that at heart he was still the shy kid he was in High School.

He gazed off into the west side entrance and saw the people streaming in and out of the campus. He noticed a cute girl with short hair in a denim jacket. It couldn’t be? It was Jane! Jane!

She was heading his way intent on just walking through the campus as she thought of rhymes for luck.

Fuck! Sam thought. She looked busy, maybe he shouldn’t bother her. But when would he get to see her again? His time to decide was drawing near as she approached his spot. It would have been awkward to have to run up behind her, but what to say? What to do?

Jane thought of some more rhymes, this time for sane. Pain, train, drain…

“Jane!”

He called her name.

“Jane.”

She heard her name.

She had a confused look on her face as she tried to follow the sound. She saw it’d come from the steps, but couldn’t see anyone in particular.

Sam could see he had drawn her attention but she looked confused. He got up to approach her.

Jane identified the call as coming from a cute but inconspicuous boy in a hoodie who was rapidly approaching her. He looked vaguely familiar but she couldn’t place him in her mind.

“Jane! Hey!”

“Do I know you?” She said halfway cautiously.

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