Marla, from Marla’s World, has created a writing challenge. The challenge is for multiple authors to write a single story. She will choose a story that she has written, or that another author has submitted for this challenge, and she will nominate the next person to continue writing it. Once that person has added their section, they will nominate the next author. It will continue like this until the story is complete.
She sat across from him, taking him in.
He was somewhat physically attractive, but it was his personality, his humor that got her to accept a date with him. Over the course of the last three weeks, they had talked for hours, sometimes getting so caught up in the conversation, neither slept.
Work had been a nightmare.
The pictures he chose for his profile were of the man sitting in front of her, no filters, no hazy images, and certainly not a single image from when he was practically in second grade; no, he was honest. She truly appreciated his honesty.
He asked her out, and she couldn’t say no — she liked the person she got to know too much.
As she looked at him, she thought….
As she looked at him, she thought: How bad could it be? His eyes expressed joy, a little laughter, and his mouth was soft, without a hidden grimace.
Her experience with blind dates hadn’t been good, but her romantic inclination always implored her to give men the benefit of the doubt. It hadn’t worked out well so far but she thought: Truly, how bad could it be? Buy a meal. Drink something. Walk a ways. Maybe hold hands. Maybe even get in a kiss at the door of the taxi. She’s wasn’t taking him home, or going home with him, but she did so want to smell what he smelled like in a hug. She wanted to feel the texture of his skin, run her fingers up his hairy forearm. She wanted to check his teeth, to see if he was clean, and read the lines in his hands to see if he will live long.
While she was thinking all these things that he couldn’t read, he thought: I need to get you into my bed. Not a romantic but he wanted to hold her hand and look at it. He imagined putting a ring on her finger, not the ring. He also wanted a silver glittering bracelet on her thin wrist. He wanted to smell her skin and the top of her head and run his lips across her cheek. He really just wanted to feel whole.
There was something magical happening between them and they were both feeling it. After they finished their coffee and dessert, Peter grabbed her hand, gently squeezed it and said, “These last three weeks have been life changing for me, Liz. I feel as if we’ve known each other forever. I know this is our first actual face-to-face date, but I am hoping I can persuade you to come back to my place for an after dinner drink. I only live a few blocks from here and I promise to be a perfect gentleman.”
Not too perfect a gentleman, I hope, Liz thought to herself. She felt flush. A slight tingling ran through her whole body. She was trying to decide if it was a warning sign or if it was an erotic rush. Perhaps it was both. Like Peter, she, too, felt as if it had been months, not just three weeks, since they first started talking, and she knew that she wanted him as much as he seemed to want her.
She was about to say yes to his proposal to join him for an after dinner drink at his place when a man, obviously intoxicated, walked up to the table, put his hands on Peter’s shoulders, and said, “Petey! Of all the gin joints, dude.” The guy looked over at Liz, ran his tongue across his lips, and said, “And looky, looky, looky at this hot chick you bagged. I see your mojo’s still running hot and heavy.”
Peter stood up and …
… flung down a wad of bills to cover the check, grabbed Liz’s hand, and said “Let’s get out of here. I know a shortcut through the kitchen. Hurry up!”
Liz was not happy about this turn of events, nor Peter’s sudden nasty tone of voice, and her desire for him evaporated instantly like a snowflake on her tongue. God, another loser, with a bunch of loser friends. Why does this always happen to me?
She pulled her hand away and stated, “I’ll get an Uber. Thanks for dinner.”
As Liz strode in the opposite direction to the lobby of the restaurant, she took her phone from her purse and tapped the Uber app. She sensed a presence behind her and whirled around, expecting to see Peter, but instead his friend stood there.
“Hi,” he said. “I want to apologize for my behavior at the table. I, uh, reacted badly when I saw Peter, and I wanted to get revenge for something he did years ago. Unfortunately, I put you in the middle of it, and that was inexcusable.”
Liz scowled at him. “If it’s inexcusable, then quit making excuses. I don’t want to be part of whatever petty drama you two are caught up in. Now, I’m going to get a ride and try to forget this evening ever happened.”
“Petty drama?” he laughed bitterly. “Peter was responsible for the death of my fiancée, is all. But OK, you didn’t know. I’m Charlie, by the way.”
“Whatever,” she muttered, noting that he seemed perfectly sober now.
Charlie continued, “Look, I can’t let you get an Uber. Haven’t you read the news about the serial rapist? We think he’s posing as a driver.”
“‘We?’ We who? You and your imaginary friends?” Liz snarked as she continued the procedure for getting a ride.
Then Charlie flashed a badge…
I’m going to pass the baton to Jim at A Unique Title for Me to continue this story. Please note that the image wouldn’t load, so backtrack to one of the other baton-holders to grab it if you want to try to make it work.
©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.