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About the author:
Olga Toprover was born in Russia, lived in Canada for a few years, but currently resides in Los Angeles. Olga holds Master Degree in Computer Science from Moscow State University. She is also a published media author.
Her scientific education and journalistic experience as well as living in different cities and countries formed her into the writer she is today. Olga believes that true literature is about people. Her stories, above all, are about us.
Here is a short sample from the book:
There never seems to be enough time in the day. And naturally when you expect it the least, everything takes a turn for the worst. The pump at the gas station was having none of it. The numbers on the ticker bar were rolling along but the gas stubbornly refused to come out. It was at this precise moment that she decided to look up at the driver next to her to see if he, too, was having the same problems.
He pressed the pump and cursed. Julia glanced over at his pump, and that’s when she noticed his jeans. Or rather, the legs in the jeans. And what legs! Strong, firm, straight – a work of art, not legs. She felt a shiver run down her spine. Shaking it off, Julia asked:
“This is crazy,” he turned towards her. “I’ve got places to be!”
My God, what a face. A perfect nose, and hair falling in thick dark waves to his shoulders. And two burning black eyes, supple lips. There was something about him, something she couldn’t put her finger on. He reminded her of Antonio Banderas. Actually no, this stranger was even more handsome. And younger! What had gotten into her? But then, there had to be something not perfect about him. Nobody was this good-looking. She could feel her jaw getting weak. Her nervous system was getting the better of her. No, it was impossible. She looked at him again, for any sign of a flaw. His face, perfect. Moving on, his deep, even tan. His shoulders – broad, arms – muscular, masculine. His legs…oh those legs! There was literally nothing wrong with him.
“Oh well, I guess I’ll go find out what’s going on,” he said.
“I’ll go with you! “ Julia announced, surprised at herself.
She could have stayed at her car, but something was stirring inside her.
“Is something wrong?” A cashier asked from behind the counter.
“I just wanted to let you know that the gas isn’t going,” the stranger replied.
“What about you?” The cashier turned towards Julia.
“Same with me,” she confirmed, feeling a sense of solidarity to the handsome stranger and turning to him as if looking for some support.
He nodded, gratefully. Julia smiled and accidentally leaned in his direction, her elbow brushing against his lovely, firm arm.
“Oops,” she whispered.
“That’s alright,” he winked and smiled at her.
My God! His teeth were snow-white and straight as an arrow. No, not just straight, they were Hollywood-esque! Even his teeth were perfect. She was beginning to feel light-headed.
”Okay, I see, I think I’ve figured it out,” the cashier declared, tapping away at his keyboard. "Well, sorry for the inconvenience! It should be up and running now.”
With that, they returned to their respective cars and in perfect unison, pressed on their pumps. The gas chugged along straight out of the nozzle.
“That’s practically a truck!” She said, sneaking a peak at his car.
“Not only that, it’s nearly prehistoric,” he laughed. “To be honest, it’s been through the mill. Just have a look inside.”
He nodded at the open door of his car. The material on the driver’s seat was threadbare and in the corner, a piece of cream colored foam poked out.
“I’m not exactly a BMW kind of guy, if you know what I mean,” he chuckled.
“My BMW is totally ordinary, thank you very much,” she joked. “But your car belongs in a museum.”
“Wanna go for a spin?” He winked.
That’s how it began…it was if time itself had stopped completely. All her worries faded away and she was left with this small momentary instant, just the here and now. Shedding all her inhibitions in one fell swoop, Julia lunged into the car next to the stranger. His dark eyes pulled her in, like gravity. She gently touched his strong forearm and in letting herself go, her palm landing on his denim covered knee. They drove quickly, twisting and turning until they found themselves in a far corner of a parking lot, dark and intimate, where no one ever thinks to look. She liked the mystery of this location. In his arms she realized how much she has missed being held, missed the weight of a man’s body. And this body in particular – strong, firm, unbelievably perfect…The car halted to a stop.
“Let’s move to the back” she panted.
In the backseat, feeling freer than she could ever remember, she leaned in, the adrenaline as if cliff-diving into the ocean. Her head was spinning uncontrollably. It was him…he was intoxicating. She felt dizzy from longing, from desire, from this taste of life. His strong hands found themselves under Julia’s silk blouse, sliding along her back, trying to undo her bra; clumsy, like a boy. But what else could you expect? Still kissing him, Julia nimbly unhooked herself and in one tiny little moment, she was free. Absolutely free, from the weight of the world. It was like an unlocked, almost forgotten bliss – to be wrapped in these gorgeous arms. She could feel reality ebbing, she was floating off somewhere far away. Flying, spinning, soaring towards the land of love, to some far off sinfully pleasurable island.
…All of this flashed across her mind in the blink of an eye.
“So, what do you think?” He asked her.
Julia found herself still staring at the foam poking out of the driver’s seat.
“Sorry, I’ve got to go,” she sighed.
In an hour she was sitting in Dr. Light’s office, watching her flip through the results of her tests. After some time, Dr. Light put down the folders and smiled.
“Well, congrats Julia! For the first time in all these years everything seems to be okay. I guess that means the hormonal treatment we went with worked. “
“They worked?” Julia repeated, somehow unsure. She felt a sudden flashback of the stranger’s beckoning lips. “Well, okay.”
“You should be thrilled!” The doctor said, surprised. “This is exactly what we’d been hoping for!”
And that was the truth. Her hormones sort of just gave up after her divorce. Maybe it was the divorce, maybe it was all the stress Julia was under, it was impossible to tell. And it didn’t really matter. What mattered was the change – it was as if men didn’t even exist anymore. Literally, nothing! In suits, in jeans, with nice dress shirts, muscular, trim, chubby, stocky, tall, bald, hairy…they all seemed to melt into the background of her life. At work, on the street, in the elevator, whenever she passed by, they just disappeared to the outskirts of her mind. Nobody could manage to stir anything up in her. She could barely even smile at a man. Forget smiling, she couldn’t even look at a man. That part of her life had long fallen off the grid.
But then, just like that, it was back. Unlike the rest of them, floating around somewhere at the back of her mind, the tanned, jean-clad, undeniably handsome stranger, with those legs… He had caught her attention, that Southerner with black eyes. And those magnetic lips…And if even for a moment, she was ready to forget everything…
“We’ve dreamed about these results,” the doctor repeated.
“Yeah, I know we have,” it dawned on Julia. “Except…I’ve gotten kind of used to dealing with these stupid hormones. Look at my career! I only got this far because I wasn’t distracted by dumb stuff, like looking for someone to screw. I had the time and the energy to actually get my work done, to raise my kids. I could do anything! My life has been perfect. Right up until today… And what now? Back to square one?!”
She buried face in her hands and broke into tears.
“What is going on with you?” Dr. Light through her arms in the air, confused. “Everything worked out. Just think of the color and vivacity that love can bring back into your life. You know, they say there are seventeen shades of love!”
“Seventeen shades?” Julia sobbed eve louder. “What am I supposed to do with that? Only an hour ago I was ready to jump a guy I’d just met! Work, kids, my daily routine, this stupid appointment… Everything… Gone, right out of my head.”
“Don’t cry,” The doctor tried to calm her down. “I mean, you came! Doesn’t that mean you dealt with all of your obsessions and neuroses? Trust me, everything will be fine.”
“But it was just a coincidence that I’ve de-e-ealt with it at all,” Julia replied. “I saw him at the gas station, just around the corner at Bay and First street. There was only one tiny thing that turned me off – a piece of foam sticking out of the driver’s seat in his car. I don’t know why, but it brought me back to reality, somehow.”
“You see, your inner rationality kicked in!” The doctor tried to sum it up.
“No-o-o, not really,” Julia answered. “If the car had just been closed or if he hadn’t shown me that stupid worn out seat, I couldn’t have turned him down. It was the only flaw, but my mind just grabbed onto it. You know I looked at him and I couldn’t for the life of me find anything wrong with him. If it wasn’t for that piece of foam, who knows what might have happened?! I mean, my god, I was ready to jump at a stranger I knew nothing about! Just because of his gorgeous lips and his legs. And his hair…and his shoulders…oh my god, what is wrong with me?
“Wow, well if that’s how it was…” The doctor laughed. “Maybe you should have let yourself have a bit of fun? He sounds like a pretty fantastic guy.”
“Totally!” Julia exclaimed, and then caught herself. “You know what, Dr. Light? I don’t think I’ll be needing your services any longer. I want to go back to my simple, calm old life. A life without any room for strangers in gas stations…”
“Okay, how about this,” the doctor wouldn’t give up. “Keep up the treatment for the next two weeks and see how your emotions are doing. I mean, what if it was just an accidental burst of passion? Let’s just conduct one more experiment, to double check. And next time, we can talk about it and figure out what to do.”
“…Alright,” Julia agreed, hesitating.
“Terrific! The nurse will write you out a prescription for the medication,” Dr. Light said, relieved, as she walked out of the room.
…It’s crazy the kinds of patients that come in sometimes! Honestly, to go back in time to when she was crying and whining about not feeling feminine? It was a miracle that such a funny situation had worked itself out! The worst thing that could happen is that the patient walks out on their treatment. Next time, she’d have to give her a more convincing talk. But that’s next time!
And today she was on the run. In fact, she had to gun it. She was already about 20 minutes late. Always complaining about their own lives, patients never seem to consider the Doctor’s life – a woman herself, with every right to a private life. Pulling off her white uniform and waving to the nurse, she grabbed her purse and dashed out of the clinic. The elevator took forever, so she had to take the stairs and run across the foyer of the first floor…
Mario was waiting for her. His car stood, very noticeably, outside the entrance to the building. Dr. Light hopped into the passenger side and before even buckling in, she leaned over to Mario, clinging to his lips. Pure happiness! Especially after such a crazy, prudish patient.
Without saying a word, Mario pulled her to him, and oh how she wanted him! Swept up by him, Dr. Light nearly lost her balance, her hand slipping from Mario’s knee to the seat. When suddenly…what on earth?! Her index finger slipped into something…soft. She ripped herself from him and looked down to find a piece of foam, peaking out of a little hole in the seat.
“Mario,” she asked, unsure of herself. “When was the last time you filled up?”
“About an hour ago,” He replied.
“Was it somewhere far from here?” She said questioningly.
“Well no, right around the corner, at Bay and First street.”
Oh boy, Dr. Light sighed to herself. On second thought maybe next time I’ll tell Julia to stop the hormone treatment! She was absolutely right – she doesn’t need this at all.
And she leaned in to Mario’s lovely, soft lips. Utter bliss…