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Coy Caroline

Caroline was never my girlfriend, though I always wanted her to be. I can't even remember how we met, but it was when I first moved back to Portland. I was renting the upstairs of an old bungalow owned by a burned-out hippie. Upstairs I entertained my artistic friends, filmmakers, painters, indie musicians. Caroline was from Canada on a student Visa, and seemed to have lots of time to hang out, paint, do crafts, and just listen to old records from the thrift stores. She had a boyfriend, who was nice enough, but didn't seem particularly artistic. I was Caroline's "art" friend, part actual friend, and probably just as much, a creative outlet.

I was always flirting with her. And when we went swimming in the summer, I was always checking her out in her bikini. She was pretty as a model, with long, straight red hair, light freckles and a devilish smile. She always kept her mouth closed when she smiled, like the Mona Lisa, because she had one slightly crooked tooth. I thought she was stunning. 

No matter how much we'd go swimming, or how many cocktails we'd have, she wasn't going to leave her boyfriend and have the passionate affair with me that I felt we both so deserved. 

Finally, I realized that she loved photography and that I could at least appeal to that. I showed her some arty nudes I'd taken of a former girlfriend and she loved them. I casually suggested that she'd made a great model. She grinned coyly, and considered it with saying anything for a while as she flipped through the images. I could tell she was really giving it some thought. Even her forehead was crumpled up. And her lips were trembling a little. It was very cute. As hot as she was, she was also just a really nice girl. Not spoiled or stuck up. She was nice to everyone. Smart, but shy. Pretty and liked being pretty, but never conceited. The kind of girl in high school that was in sports, but also in the French club, and talked exactly the same to the popular kids as the unpopular. 

She loved photography, art. She wanted to be part of that world. She had grown up looking at images of models and movie stars. Of course she projected herself into those images. She also wanted to be a rebel, a little, because she'd always been the A student. But she also was scared and shy about herself, and didn't want to admit that as much as she intellectually accepted her A-cup breasts, she really wouldn't have minded being at least a B cup. She wanted to feel and look beautiful and sexy. And, if she was really honest, she actually loved attention.

"Ok," she said. And smiled her closed smile. "Let's do it."

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