Past Forgetting

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Big Dicks

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May 1977

“So, any plans for the holiday weekend?” Amy Chen asked as she shifted through the small pile of mail that had been dropped off on her desk, putting aside two envelopes that required immediate attention.

“Not really,” Greg Ryan, who had just delivered that mail, replied. “I’m not in much of a holiday mood.”

“None of your friends are going to the beach or having barbecues?” Amy asked as she put the rest of the mail down.

“Yeah, sure, but… I guess I don’t feel like being around a bunch of people,” the twenty year old clerk said.

“Greg, it’s been nearly four months,” Amy pointed out.

Most of the staff at Russell and Clarke Investments had already left for the day, getting a head start on the Memorial Day weekend. Still, Greg paused long enough to turn from the Asian woman and look around them, making sure that none of the few still remaining were listening to their conversation.

It was hardly a secret that the two of them were friends, unlikely as it might seem, given the difference in their ages and backgrounds. Greg was barely out of his teens, having celebrated his twentieth birthday only last month, and, even if she didn’t look it, Amy’s next birthday would be her forty-eighth. Somehow, though, they’d found enough in common to form more than a casual office relationship.

“It could be four years and I don’t think it would make any difference,” Greg said, once he was satisfied that no one was paying them any attention. There was nothing wrong in the two of them having a conversation, of course, it was just that the young man didn’t like everyone knowing his business — especially about this subject.

-=-=-=-

A clerk down in the back office, Greg spent part of his day delivering mail and supplies to the upper two floors of the company. He’d met Amy about a year before when, on what had also been a Friday afternoon, the executive secretary had a problem with her IBM Selectric and no repairman had been available until after the weekend. The younger man had told her not to worry as he wheeled her typewriter off on a small cart just before the lunch hour, returning with it before she got back from her break. And it was now working.

It wasn’t until the following Monday that she figured out what had happened. Greg had surreptitiously switched her machine with one from the desk of Charlotte Myers, the secretary for Karl Wagner, head of media relations. It was pretty common knowledge that Charlotte hadn’t been hired for her typing, or any other work related skills, and if the repairman Greg had called Friday hadn’t shown up to fix the machine, it probably could’ve been weeks before the buxom redhead even knew it was broken. Impressed and grateful, Amy had told Greg that if there was anything she could help him with, he just had to ask.

As it turned out, Greg did have a problem, one a bit outside of what she had meant, but one that she turned out to be uniquely qualified to help him with. The then nineteen year old had a girlfriend, or at least a friend that he very much wanted to be his girl. How she viewed the situation was a matter of considerable debate.

Her name was Kathy Chu, and Greg had met her the summer following high school. At first, they had just been fellow members of the local library’s book club, but as time progressed, their relationship grew into more. Greg was smitten by the vivacious brunette, and while she had feelings for him as well, her life, as she tried to explain to him on numerous occasions, was complicated.

The youngest of three daughters, and the only one unmarried and still living at home, Kathy was responsible for taking care of her widowed mother. Actually, it was a responsibility that should’ve been shared by her sisters as well, both of whom were at least a decade older, but they’d had the foresight to move just far enough away that their mother was willing to visit, but not live with either of them.

Still, even the idea that Kathy and her mother were a package deal hadn’t been enough to deter Greg. The real bahis şirketleri problem was that, no matter what he did to win her over, Mrs. Chu couldn’t see him as a future son-in-law. It wasn’t that she saw any particular fault in him, she’d conveyed through her daughter since she spoke little English, it was the simple fact that he wasn’t Chinese. And that wasn’t something he could change.

Greg, however, had been unwilling to accept that. He’d asked Amy if she could help him better understand Kathy’s mother and possibly suggest ways he might get her to look at him in a different light. Although certain that any such effort was foredoomed to failure, Amy agreed to do what she could.

What she couldn’t get Greg to understand was that, even though she and Mrs. Chu were close in age and of similar backgrounds, their life experiences had been vastly different. Both women had been born in China before the revolution and both had moved to the States with their families afterward. That was where the similarities ended, however.

Amy’s family had embraced their new home, learning the language and customs as quickly as they could. Mrs. Chu, on the other hand, never saw it as anything other than a foreign land and tried to preserve as much of the world she grew up in as possible, even insisting that her children speak only Chinese at home. The loss of her husband a few years later only caused her to even more firmly withdraw into her small world of compatriots.

Having promised, Amy did what she could, tutoring Greg in Chinese culture and even teaching him some rudimentary Chinese. In the end, though, Mrs. Chu remained unimpressed and the only thing his efforts really did was highlight to her the lengths the young man was willing to go to influence her daughter, and the possibility that he might succeed.

Kathy had always been honest with Greg about the fact that, even though they went out on a more or less regular basis, she also felt obligated to spend time with young, and some not so young, men that her mother introduced her to. Feeling those dates were just obligatory outings to keep her mother happy, Greg didn’t pay them much heed, at least until the night four months ago. Mrs. Chu’s latest favorite, a recently graduated medical student, ten years Kathy’s senior, had asked for her hand. And Kathy had said yes.

Greg had been crushed, even though Kathy had reminded him that this could happen. Part of her had always seemed to hope that one of her sisters would step up and take the burden of care off of her, but neither seemed interested in doing so. So, in the end, she gave in to what was expected of her.

“I really did care about you, Greg,” she had told him, “but I’ve come to care about Jun-feng as well, and being with him is just the easier path. I’m sorry.”

-=-=-=-

“Don’t worry, Amy, after tonight, whatever I feel about Kathy won’t matter anymore,” Greg assured her when he saw the concern on her face.

“What happens tonight?” Amy asked, not understanding what he meant.

“Oh, that’s right, I didn’t tell you,” Greg replied. “It seems, now that she’s made up her mind, Kathy’s not wasting any time. A mutual friend from the library, Kelly Moskowitz, called me the other day asking if I was going to Kathy’s wedding this weekend, and if so, would I like to share a ride? Just as friends of course.”

“They’re getting married tonight?” Amy said in a surprised tone. “They’ve barely been engaged four months.”

The most obvious reason for a rushed wedding was the first thing that came to Amy’s mind. It definitely was a possibility, one that she hoped Greg hadn’t considered because it might make him feel even worse. It was also just possible, however, that Kathy’s mother didn’t want to give her daughter a chance to change her mind.

“I really didn’t want to explain why I hadn’t been invited, so I said that I was going out of town for the holiday weekend.”

“Oh, Greg, I’m so sorry,” Amy said.

Greg just lifted his hands in a what are you going to do gesture, then picked up his basket with the remainder of the mail, going off to deliver it.

‘I wish I could do something for him,’ Amy thought as she watched him walk down the corridor.

-=-=-=-

Two bahis firmaları hours later, Amy was the only secretary still at her desk. Her boss, who had left at lunchtime, had asked her to wait around for a special delivery letter and fax a copy of it to his lawyer. She didn’t mind, as she had no plans other than a quiet dinner at home, and besides, she only lived a short walk away from the lower Broadway offices.

“Here’s that letter you’ve been waiting for,” Greg said as he approached Amy’s desk. “The mailman just dropped it off, so I brought it right up.”

“That was very nice of you,” Amy smiled.

“Hey, for you, the world,” Greg grinned.

“You certainly seem to be in a better mood than a few hours ago,” the older woman noted.

“I guess I just finally convinced myself that there was no sense in freaking out about it,” Greg replied. “It’s not like it’s going to change anything.”

Amy thought that was a good attitude, but at the same time wondered how long his sudden mood swing was going to last.

“You’re here to seven, right?” she asked him.

“Yeah, eleven to seven today,” Greg confirmed. “Why, do you need something?”

“No, but I was thinking,” Amy said. “If you don’t have any plans after work, why don’t you come over for dinner? In fact, we can even watch a few of those shows you’re always talking about. Wonder Woman and the Hulk, they’re both on Friday’s, right?”

“I thought you said you hated those programs?” Greg replied.

“I didn’t say I hated them,” she corrected him, “I just said they were strange and I didn’t understand their appeal. Maybe if you explained them to me I might.”

“You’re just trying to take my mind off of tomorrow, aren’t you?” Greg offered.

“Would that be such a bad thing?” Amy asked.

“What would you be watching if I wasn’t there?” Greg asked.

“Oh, probably Donny and Marie, I guess,” she replied.

“A brother and sister who sing love songs to each other,” Greg quipped, “and you think the Hulk is freaky deaky?”

“Then you’ll come?” she asked.

“Sure, why not?” he smiled.

“Great,” Amy smiled as well. “You remember the address, right?”

“Just down the block from J after all, there were only four rooms, living room, bedroom, a combination kitchen and dining area, and of course the bathroom. The last Greg found particularly interesting, as the old style bathtub also had a shower curtain hooked up to a railing that hung from the ceiling. A makeshift showerhead attached to a hose that you plugged into the faucet completed the setup. He’d never seen anything like that before.

“I know it’s not much, but it’s home,” Amy remarked as she led him back into the center of the apartment. “We always planned to get a bigger place when we had kids, but that never happened and then… well, then it was just me.”

Greg wondered why Amy had never remarried. She was still an attractive woman, one who definitely didn’t look her age, and doing the math, she was still in her thirties when she became a widow.

“Is that your husband?” Greg asked in a clearly surprised tone as he spotted a photograph of a much younger Amy and a handsome young man, both in their early twenties.

“Yes, that’s Tom,” Amy said as she lifted the frame off the mantle and handed it to him so he could get a better look. “That was taken about six months after we got married.”

“But he’s… I mean he’s not Chinese,” Greg said, realizing as he did that didn’t sound right at all.

“No, he wasn’t,” Amy simply smiled.

“But your last name…” Greg asked.

“Is actually O’Shaughnessy,” Amy explained. “But when I first started at the firm, there was, believe it or not, another secretary named O’Shaughnessy already working there. What are the odds? Anyway, I didn’t want people tagging an appendage like ‘the Chinese one’ after my name in order to differentiate between the two of us, so I figured that the easiest thing to do was use my maiden name.”

“That doesn’t seem right,” Greg said.

“Right or wrong, it was my choice, so I didn’t mind,” Amy said. “Besides, nowadays a lot of women use their maiden names professionally, so I was just ahead of my time.”

“How did he…” kaçak bahis siteleri Greg started to ask as he looked at the photograph a second time, only to pause as he realized it might not be something she liked to talk about.

“Tom died in Vietnam,” Amy answered, not bothered by the question at all. “He was a Captain in the Army Reserve.”

“I’m sorry,” he said as he handed her the picture frame back to her.

“He did what he thought he had to do,” Amy reflected as she placed it back on the mantle. “It’s funny, but in a way you remind me of him. Not that you look anything like each other, of course, but you have similar personalities. You’re both pig-headed Irishmen.”

Greg smiled.

“Well, like I said, dinner is ready and the first show is about to start,” she said, gesturing toward the couch.

-=-=-=-

Amy had previously set out two standing trays so that they could sit in front of the television and eat while they watched the show. They finished their meal by the time Wonder Woman had reached the halfway mark, and Amy took the opportunity of the long commercial break to clear the dishes and put aside the trays.

“It’s starting,” Greg called out as the last commercial ended and, after a flash of the show’s logo across the screen, the episode resumed.

Amy returned from the kitchen with two bottles in her hand, stating that she usually relaxed with a beer after dinner and had brought one for him as well if he liked.

“I also have soda in the fridge if you’d prefer that,” she said as she extended one of the drinks.

“No, this would be fine,” Greg replied as he accepted it.

They watched the show for a few minutes; then, as yet another commercial break interrupted, Amy had a few questions.

“Okay, let’s see if I understand this correctly,” she began. “This guy, Steve Trevor, he’s the son of her previous romantic interest.”

Greg nodded his head.

“But she’s still the same age, thirty years later?” she added.

“Actually, she’s the same age she’s always been, the Amazons are immortal,” Greg tried to clarify. “Diana is supposed to be at least a couple of hundred years old.”

“So, she’s sort of like the ultimate older woman,” Amy laughed. “Greg, I never imagined you were into that.”

Greg blushed.

“I hope I look that good when I’m sixty, much less six hundred,” Amy further quipped before adding, “but isn’t the idea of her being with the younger Steve just a bit kinky, after she’d been involved with his father?”

Greg tried to explain that the only reason they even created the second version of Steve Trevor was that when the show went from CBS to ABC after the first year, they updated it from taking place in World War II to modern times, because it was cheaper to film that way. Steve would’ve then been in his sixties in the second version, so they killed him off and replaced the character with his son, keeping the same actor in a new role.

He also thought that he couldn’t imagine Amy not looking great at any age. People said that Asian women maintained their looks longer, and in Amy’s case that certainly seemed true. In fact, now having seen the photo of her when she was his age, he thought maturity had only made her more attractive.

The show finally ended and as she gathered up the now empty bottles, Amy admitted that, while she still thought the premise a bit silly, she could see the appeal of it, especially given the skimpy outfit the central character wore through most of it.

“Do you want tea or coffee with the cupcakes?” Amy called out from the kitchen as she lifted them out of the box and placed them on small plates.

“Ah, Amy, I think there’s a problem with the TV,” Greg called back instead.

Walking back into the living room, Amy saw a test pattern filling the screen, along with a running message on the bottom requesting viewers to please stand by.

“Oh, that happens every so often,” she explained. “It should be back on in a bit.”

She didn’t add “hopefully”, but she knew from experience that more times than not you often missed enough of a show that it was hard to catch up on what was going on. Still, from what she’d heard of the Hulk program, it was about some really muscular guy in green makeup running around as naked as the censors would allow, smashing things as he went. Not too hard a storyline to follow.

“Why don’t I help you in the kitchen, then?” Greg said as he got up from the couch.

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