Random thoughts and musings of a single Mom striving to follow dreams and find pure BLISS.

Asking for Favors

So, here's the thing. About a month ago, I ran across a submissions page for a magazine that was specifically looking for short love stories. I thought "Hey I can totally do that" even though I've never written a love story in my life. I mean, I've written around it and in the vicinity of it, but never just something based on it. However, I figured good experience or whatever (ya gotta get a bunch of rejections out of the way in the beginning, ya know) and set off to bang out a paltry 2700 to 3800 words to send in.

I have 2447 words and I'm officially stuck. The first 2000 words flowed like the wine I rewarded myself with when I was finished, but I have fought for those last 447, guys. Fought I tell you.

I'd love for all of you to read this and offer thoughts, ideas, comments, questions, or advice on pieces, parts, the whole, or whatever. If I'm going to submit it I definitely need at least 400 more words, but I'm afraid to start picking at it. (For those who are CSI watchers, you remember the episode with the model who basically picked at her face until she went septic and died? Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of.) 

I need fresh eyes and honest (but nice please, I'm a bit sensitive since this is one of the first times anyone has ever read something fictional of mine).



PS- Things I know: it has no real title, the main character should have more background possibly, it's nowhere near reading for submission, and I'm a little nauseous that you guys will read it. Have Fun!

Love Story

I know it sounds crazy and you won’t believe me, but I swear my heart stopped dead when you walked into the door.

Those were the first words he said to me and when he spoke them as he looked deep into my eyes and brushed his thumb across my right cheekbone. There was an audible sizzle in the air when he touched my face. I heard it-felt it-as did he.

He was exactly the opposite of everything I’d ever found enticing in a man and the exoticism of that was intoxicating. Eyes a warm grey-blue instead of the usual liquid brown that drove my pulse wild, shorn dirty blond hair smattered with grey at the temples instead of the long dark locks of so many previous lovers, even the way he towered over me, instantly making me feel small and fragile was different. I was mesmerized by the sheer size of the hand that has been so close to my face moments before, hands that bore the calluses of hard work and yet the manicure of a professional at the same time. How curious.

I stood staring at this stranger who had spoken to me and touched my without consent, but who spoke so honestly that I didn’t even care. Instantly I knew that I would love this man forever.

And that is exactly why I laughed in his face and told him it was the most ridiculous pick-up line ever created. “So, hot shot, how many girls have gotten to hear that little jewel so far tonight?”

There was a smile on his lips even though his eyes looked hurt. I was satisfied he’d leave me alone for the rest of the night and pass the word about the “bitch in the red dress” so I settled into a corner table, feet up, and ordered my first drink, silently daring anyone to approach me. It was just my way.

Strangely enough “crazy guy”, as I nicknamed him, didn’t leave well enough alone-at least not completely. He nestled himself a bar stool that was near enough to overhear conversation, but far enough that touch wasn’t possible, but purposely in my direct eye line. The rest of the night I watched him talk, laugh, joke, and smile all while carefully meeting my eyes for mere second before resuming his conversation. Puzzling over this enigmatic presence, I began to consider the game that was afoot. Although I’d shut him down once that clearly wasn’t enough, he wanted me to see him as he was. He wanted me to watch his body and his movements to determine for myself whether he was harmless. Unfortunately for both of us, I knew he was harmless when he first stepped into my path

Harmless wasn’t an issue. The fluttering in my chest each time my eyes strayed over to him or I heard his voice over the dim of the room was the problem. I would not encourage this attention.

He had other plans. Each time I came in I felt eyes on my face and found those eyes on me. Caressing me. Challenging me to acknowledge him. He seemed to know my routine after a while and would have a drink waiting on me or send over one of several bottles of water I would always drink during the evening. He was always in my peripheral vision-almost close enough to touch, but far enough that I couldn’t overhear his conversation and he couldn’t hear mine.

Then he learned my name.

From that time drinks or bottles of water were accompanied by silly notes. Some made me laugh, some made me puzzled, but none made me anxious. It was almost seemed like he just wanted a reason to write my name because it would be repeated several times in the span of a few lines. But always I could hear him saying my name in each note, whispered in my ear as though he were passing behind me, hot breath on my neck, and the slightest touch of his hand resting between my shoulder blades. I blamed the chills on burgeoning winter weather, but those words smelled of lie and my friends began to comment on my obvious ardor for my admirer.

Although he never tried to talk to me again after that first night, he made his presence and attention quite clear and waited on me to make the first step towards him. My friends joked that he must have the patience of Job himself, but I saw it as a careful man trying to tame a feral cat into domestication. Sadly for him that was the last thing I was willing to accept. I’d been “tamed” once before and I was damn sure not following that same path again. Lesson learned. It was too bad that he was growing on me.

We had been playing his game for almost two months when I noticed I was taking more care in getting ready for the night. I made sure I didn’t wear the same dress I had worn on previous occasions. Hell, I even bought a new pair of heels that accentuated my calves and actually made my legs look at least two miles longer than they actually were. My earrings dangled and brushed against my neck making my pixie hair look more feminine, more delicate, than normal. I craved his attention, but felt too frightened to make the next move. Here again, I’d wanted no part of the domesticated lifestyle.

I walked in determined to purposefully make eye contact and smile my best and flirtiest smile at him. In fact, I’d decided that perhaps I’d do it each time a drink or a note came my way, even if it meant I was smiling at him a majority of the night. Maybe, just maybe I’d even saunter over for a quiet thank you, but I’d wait to see how the night played out. Life had taught me to be flexible with my plans.

I arrived and met no eyes at the door. I sat and felt no caress. Nothing existed in my peripheral vision except groups of beer guzzling frat boys playing darts. I waited and nothing came my way outside of my own order. Devastation could only be the appropriate word. I was devastated that he wasn’t there to watch over me or to send my quirky notes, plus I couldn’t shoot him my best smile and make him want me more than ever. Most of all I was devastated that I cared about any of that. My friends snickered about my disappointment telling me I should have acted sooner. “That’s what happened when playing hard to get goes on far too long. You blew it girl. Oh, don’t tell us you actually liked the guy? That’s even more pathetic.” Yep, my friends have always been the comforting, supportive type or at least they were until they claimed I was being ridiculous to shun any and all relationships due to one sour one-even if the sour one almost took my life. “Live and move on,” they say. Panic and live in fear, I do.

So, I did what any self-respecting woman who is fighting crushing disappointment and anxiety woman would do, I turned my carefully practiced smile onto the first drunken frat boy who met my eyes. Much like my group, he and his friends were regulars, although that is where all similarities both began and ended. I’d caught his attention on several occasions, but my game of cat and mouse had been much more entertaining than playing enticing for him. He was cute in a plain, white-bread-and-mayonnaise kind of way: brown hair, brown eyes, even tan of someone who plays in the sun, not one who works in the sun. He’ll do to play with for now.

I brushed past his shoulder on my way towards the bathrooms and glanced over my shoulder to make sure he was watching me. Sure enough he was, so I toned down my smile to something as more feral, more dangerous, more me. He followed instantly as I knew he would. He caught up to me, inwardly congratulating himself; I could tell. Little did he know that I was caught only because I chose to be; he had no choice in the matter. His hands slid up my arms and I could feel the length of his body against the back of mine. I knew there were only mere second to make the choice: continue on this path or abandon it completely. The smell of his cologne mixed with beer and sweat clogged my nose and anxiety clenched my heart. “Abandon this ruse now,” my brain screamed and my body instantly stepped away. “I never said you could touch me,” I hissed turning around to view his alcohol bloated face slowly fading and being replaced by a face much more menacing. I face I knew well and would never let hurt me again.

“Stupid bitch! How dare you play coy with me?” His words were slightly slurred and spittle sprayed from his harsh, indignant mouth. I simply smiled as one would smile at an angry child, “Now, did you really think anything was going to happen when you walked back here? You were merely a point that I believe has been made.”

His hands grabbed the tops of my arms. I hadn’t noticed how massive they were; I’d been too busy looking at the overindulged physique. I’m usually not so sloppy when choosing my play-toys, but my discontent distracted me. His words became harsher but my mind had already separated from my body, calming me, and assessing weaknesses for escape when another pair of hands only vaguely familiar to me grabbed frat boy’s throat. “You need to leave the lady alone,” whispered the darkness because my champion’s face was shielded by shadow.

I didn’t wait to see what happened next or even thank my defender before escaping out the back door. Gulping the night air, I became to feel my senses return to me and evaluate how stupid and dangerous my actions had been. What had I been thing? Why had I made such a mistake? He was the reason. It was his fault and I would tell him the next time I saw him-whenever that would be. That thought faded from my mind as my shivers began and a low and angry voice demanded my attention, “What the fuck was that?”

My shivers turned to electric pulses at the sound of his voice. I turned to see my hero, my champion, was my guy. The guy who I’d been playing cat and mouse with these last two months, the guy that I thought had abandoned the chase. He was here and standing in front of me-and incidentally quite angry. But I’d seen anger before. This anger was more a mixture of hurt and confusion, not pure rage, not hate; so, I unleashed the full force of myself on him.

One step. Two steps.

I touched his face tentatively, wondering if he would flinch or turn away. When he didn’t, I reached up and softly, carefully laid my lips against his. His surprise at the chaste kiss lasted less than a second as he pulled my body flush against his and deepened the kiss. Coming up for air, but still allowing him to cradle my body against his I looked up and whispered, “You weren’t here.”

He looked at me strangely, but I continued spilling my thoughts, hoping he wouldn’t interrupt, so I wouldn’t lose whatever moxy it was that kept the words flowing through me, “I had prepared for tonight. I was counting on it. I had made my decision or at least as much of a decision about you as I was prepared to make tonight and you weren’t here. I couldn’t swallow the feeling of regret. The feeling I had lost my chance; so, I decided to play a game.”

His grip loosened on me for a second and I thought he would walk away, but instead he tightened his grip and buried his face into the crook of my neck. “A game? A game? Leading men into a dark corner of a bar is a game to you?” He stared at me in disbelieve, possibly thinking he was also apart of the game, but he wasn’t. He definitely wasn’t.

“No, garnering attention was the game. Smiling and flirting and having him follow me like a puppy was the game. Had you not distracted me so completely I would have known he was the wrong choice. I would have known he could overpower me.”

“So, you are blaming this on me?”

“Damn right!” I stared deep into his eyes. In for a penny, in for a pound, my mom always said. “I was angry and hurt that you moved on and needed something to regain the power you took from me. I needed it back. You don’t understand.”

He face contorted and I couldn’t figure out if he was about to yell or sigh or call me an idiot; instead he touched my face, much like he did the first time we met and lowered his face to mine. What began as a soft, sweet kiss grew into intensity until I could feel all of the longing and frustration he’d felt over the past two months. His fingers curled into my hair and gently tugged until my neck was laid bared to him and I closed my eyes as his lips and teeth barely ran across my skin-ear to collar bone. A sound somewhere between a sigh and a moan escaped my lips, surprising me, but motivating him to continue exploring my neck with his lips and my body with his hands. Finally, he found his way back to my lips pouring all of himself into the kiss. I felt something inside me release and I clung to him as though he were the only thing between life and death.

Somehow understanding the meaning of that, he eased the kiss back and whispered, “I know it sounds crazy and you won’t believe me, but I swear my heart stopped dead when you walked into the door.” His whisper rang in my ears and this time I didn’t laugh because I knew he wasn’t reciting a line; this was a true and honest feeling that he was laying bare to me. He was attempting to begin again before our own game and before my dangerous error. This time I respected it and laid my hand on his chest and looked into his eyes, “I was waiting for you.”


  1. as requested i have read it. i'll put my comments/suggestions in a message on facebook for you so its not on display :)

  2. I read this and posted a comment, then it went away. So I am telling you again that I read you


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