Posts Tagged ‘cam’
Friday, September 2nd, 2011
A single orange-brown leaf broke free and spun to the sidewalk in front of my feet, reminding me that summer was not forever and change was coming and there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing at all. Time continued to move on and, so, took me further away from him.
Which was the way it was supposed to be, I guessed. Justin died almost two years ago and I needed to move forward. Which is what I was doing. Although stumbling would be more appropriate.
It was close to 90 degrees, even though the sun would set in an hour. I should’ve taken a cab but I’d wanted to walk and make sure my head was clear. But now that head was covered with sweat. My shirt clung to me and the hair I’d carefully curled now hung limply to my shoulders.
Ryan was leaning back against the metal railing in front of the restaurant. He straightened and smiled when he saw me and my stomach flip-flopped.
“Hi,” he said. He reached out and hugged me and for a moment I forgot about my damp shirt and simply inhaled the scent of a man. A man who was not Justin.
I stepped awkwardly out of his embrace.
“I’m so gross and sweaty, I apologize. I thought it’d cooled off so I walked but then I realized that it’s still really hot and I should’ve taken a cab…” my voice trailed off. I knew I was babbling. But I was nervous. When was the last date I went on?
“No worries,” Ryan said. “Let’s go in.”
He opened the door of the restaurant and the cold air inside immediately brought goosebumps to my skin. I rubbed my arms as we were seated in a wooden booth. Ryan ordered a bottle of Chianti and, when our glasses were poured, he lifted his toward me.
“To beginnings,” he said.
“To beginnings,” I echoed softly, taking a small sip. I carefully set my glass back on the dark wooden table. Three tea lights sat in a glass bowl in the middle and I watched them flicker. I didn’t know what to say. He’d given me his number that night I’d met him and, as he’d asked, I’d texted to tell him I got home okay. We exchanged more texts over the following week, and then he’d called and asked me to dinner.
I felt Ryan looking at me and I met those light blue eyes that made my breath catch.
“Hey,” he said, reaching across the table and putting his hand on mine. I looked down, noticing the small dark hairs below his knuckles. I slowly lifted my gaze to him again. “Are you okay?”
“Yes. No. I mean, I’m just not sure I’m ready for this. Whatever this is. There’s been no one since Justin. And you make me feel… I just don’t know what I’m capable of giving, you know? ” I felt my face get hot. Clearly I had no clue what to say on a first date. We barely knew each other. It was all a bit heavy and I wondered if he was going to excuse himself to go to the restroom and duck out the back exit.
Ryan squeezed my hands before letting them go and picked up his glass to take another swallow. The candlelight made his skin glow and I thought about reaching out and touching the dimple on the side of his cheek.
“If it makes you feel any better, I don’t know what this is either,” he said. “But I’m willing to find out if you are.”
This is a work of fiction inspired by the prompt “Change of Seasons” from Write on Edge. It is the continuation of a story, You can read previous installments Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five and Part Six.
Friday, June 24th, 2011
I left the bar and the boy with the turquoise eyes and wobbled down the sidewalk in search of a cab.
I had not had more than an occasional glass of wine since Justin died. And so three beers on an empty stomach made me wonder what happened to my feet.
I stopped and looked down, half-expecting my havaianas to be a few inches off the concrete, or possibly completely gone. But there they were, the bling politely winking at me.
There were no taxis in sight but there was a pizza by-the-slice place at the corner and I floated down there, the spicy scent of tomato sauce and oregano hitting me before I even opened the door. The windows were steamy and the place was busy, but not like it would be after midnight when the bars stopped serving food. I ordered two slices of pepperoni and a Coke and found a high table where I plopped down my plate and shoved half the slice into my mouth – which is when I lost half the skin on the roof of it.
I guzzled down some Coke and then I burped, not quite getting my hand in front of my face to block it. Which is exactly when the Windex-eyed bartender suddenly appeared in front of me.
“Bless you!” he said, smiling widely.
I should’ve been mortified. But I instead toasted him with my second slice of pizza.
“Saw you wander down here when I stepped out to get some air on my break. I was hoping I could get your number. I should’ve asked before you left.”
He looked expectantly at me.
“Sorry, ” I said after another swallow of Coke. “I’m married.”
This story is a work of fiction inspired by the prompt, “Write a 300-word flash fiction piece on the topic of life,” for The Red Dress Club. It is the continuation of the story of Cam: Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.
Friday, April 29th, 2011
Kristi was somewhere in the back of my closet.
I could hear her occasional muttering and the screech of hangers across the metal bar.
“Aha!” she said “You can wear this!”
She emerged from my closet, waving an emerald green silk dress triumphantly in her hand.
“Sure,” I said. “Just put it on the bed.”
“Okay. I’ll be back at 8 to get you. I’m so glad you’re coming, Cam. It’ll be fun!”
My front door closed as Kristi left. I hadn’t moved. The dress pooled on the bed. I watched it like it was a snake poised to strike.
I didn’t want the memories to come back, but I was powerless.
I had bought the dress specifically for Justin’s friend’s 30th birthday party at The Edge, the hottest bar in Chicago. I wanted to look amazing and found the dress at a small boutique and I splurged. It was simple in the front but dipped low in the back and fit like a second skin.
We were almost late to the party. I sauntered into the living room where Justin waited on the couch and twirled in a slow circle. He let out a low whistle before he stood and pulled me to him. His hands were hot over the cool silk as he kissed me.
“No way,” I said, pushing him away. “I do not want a wrinkle on this dress.”
The bar was packed. House music blasted and there was a special drink in honor of the birthday boy. It was some sort of martini, maybe. I wasn’t sure, but they were good. And strong. I’d had more than a few when a couple friends dragged me out to the dance floor. This was a dangerous combination, me and alcohol and dancing. It’s like someone else takes over my body.
I had no idea where Justin was. Probably out on the roof deck smoking cigars. We were soon joined by some guys I didn’t know. I started dancing with a tall, cute guy. I tossed down another drink and we kept dancing. He put his hands on me, my waist first, and then traveled lower. I pulled away but his hands were all over me, and that’s when Justin grabbed me.
“Get your fucking hands off my wife,” he shouted.
“Sorry, bro, I didn’t know she was married.”
Justin pulled me out of the bar and I stumbled on my sky-high heels.
“What the fuck, Cam?” he yelled into the sudden quiet as the bar door closed behind us.
“I don’t know, I was just dancing, and then…”
“You didn’t seem like you did much to stop him. That guy was two seconds away from shoving his tongue down your throat.”
I couldn’t remember the last time I saw Justin this mad. I wondered how much he’d had to drink.
“That’s bullshit, Justin. We were dancing. It got a little carried away. That was it. Calm down.”
“Really? Then why don’t you go back in there? I’m sure he’d be happy to feel you up again.”
I smiled as it hit me. He was jealous. My always-chill husband was actually jealous.
“Justin. Please. It was just dancing. You know I only want you. I love you.”
I wrapped my arms around him. His body was tense and it was a few moments before he relaxed. We caught a cab and when we got home he practically ripped the dress off me. We made crazy love on the floor, my head resting on the dress.
The next morning he left to get bagels from the shop a block away. He collapsed on the sidewalk from a brain aneurism, the bagels falling from the bag and rolling onto the street.