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My Lupe

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Once upon a time...

When I was twelve we lived in a run-down apartment building in Queens. Ma was dating a total asshole. Whenever he showed up, I’d go hang out with our neighbor. She would bake me cookies, do my braids up nice and tight, and help me with my homework. I called her grandma, and it always made her laugh; Lupe was younger than my mama.

I hadn’t seen Lupe since we moved away, but she kept in touch with Ma.

When we sat down to watch TV after Sunday dinner, Ma told me Lupe had bought a nice little house out in Flatbush. “You should go visit her, Red,” Ma told me. “Lupe went through a messy break-up last month, and she’s been down ever since. Bring her some left-overs and a bottle of wine. She’s always asking after you; it’ll cheer her right up.”

Ma filled a bag with Tupperware containers. I packed them in my panniers, pulled on my custom fire-streaked helmet, and settled onto my sweet little Kawasaki for a ride out to the wilds of Brooklyn. I stopped off at the store on the way and picked a bottle of $10 wine by the picture on the label. There was still a thrill in showing my ID to the cashier. On impulse, I grabbed a bouquet of red roses from a bucket by the counter and bought them, too. Lupe loved the smell of roses.

I drove up to the address Ma had given me, a tiny brick house on a quiet residential street that echoed back the loud purr of my baby’s 600cc engine. There wasn't much on-street parking, so I nestled my little cherry-red bike up behind the big black Camaro parked in front of the house, took off my helmet, and shook out my braids. I took a deep breath, unpacked my panniers, and walked up the path, hands full with the food and the wine and the dozen roses, helmet hanging from my wrist by its chin-strap. A woman opened the door.

“Grandma?” I asked uncertainly. Lupe looked different. She filled the doorway like always, big-boned and with a personality to match, but the hair she’d always viciously straightened to keep it all pelo bueno was a kinky puff around her head.

Lupe looked me up and down. “Damn, chica, you grew up fine,” she said. Then she laughed, a deep, booming laugh like I remembered. “And you brought me flowers, too!”

I shrugged, suddenly shy about it. “I remembered you liked the way they smell,” I told her.

She nodded, with an odd, considering look in her eye. “Come on in,” she said. As Lupe turned around, I caught sight of her huge, peach-shaped ass, looking like it was about to bust out of her tight jeans.

“My, my, grandma,” I murmured under my breath. “What big …”

Lupe heard me. She turned right around and got all up in my grill. “Nothing small about me,” she said. “Big hips, big lips, big tits, and a big booty. All the better for pinning a woman down and making her scream – that’s what my girlfriend always said.” She gave me a little head shake, daring me to make something of it.

I stepped back and held up the wine and bag of left-overs. “Can I put these in your fridge?” I asked her.

Lupe huffed at me. “Yeah, the kitchen’s in through here.”

She led me down the hall and into a cozy little kitchen with warm yellow walls. I tucked the wine and the food away while Lupe found a jelly jar in the cupboard for the roses. She arranged them on the kitchen table, and then pulled out a chair for me. I hung my helmet off the back of it and sat down, legs splayed wide like I owned the place.

Lupe bustled around the kitchen for a minute. She plunked a plate of home-made cookies down on the table with a glass of milk and settled into the chair next to me with a sigh. “So, you in the mood for something sweet?” she asked, as if I was still that kid that used to hide out in her kitchen.

I looked at the plate of cookies, and then back up at her. I licked my lips, deliberately. “Always,” I said. “But I’m a little old for cookies, don’t you think?”

Lupe leaned in towards me. “Red,” she growled, “Don't play. I swear, little girl, I will eat you right up.”

“That a threat?” I asked her, unzipping my leather jacket one slow inch at a time while she watched hungrily. “Or a promise?”

Turns out it was a little of both.