Author Topic: 30 and Single - Revised Chapter 1 Adult Language  (Read 452 times)

Offline Klezmer

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30 and Single - Revised Chapter 1 Adult Language
« on: January 26, 2012, 05:59:58 PM »

Chapter 1

When she asked me to pick up her bra, I knew I was in trouble.  A moment ago it laid across the top of the laundry pile, teetering above rosy towels, a silk bathrobe, and one pair of pink slippers with yellow bows tied neatly across the tips.  One treacherous readjustment later, one strap flipped down against the bathrobe, and then the entire piece tumbled on past the slippers and onto the dusty floor.  

“Um,” the girl said, as her face, pressed against the top layer of towels, turned their color.  “Sorry, would you mind picking that up for me?”

Permission granted, I put my detergent on top of the trash can and bent down to retrieve the underwear from the floor.  The bra, soft and warm in my hand, was no ordinary bra.  Partially sheer cups with lace bottoms put a gulp in my throat.  I deposited it on top of the pile, careful the straps wouldn’t brush across the girl’s face.  She widened her eyes without quite looking at mine and forced a tight smile.  A bead of sweat crept along the side of her forehead.  I pulled at my collar.  A pair of panties tumbled onto my shoes.

“Shit.  I’m sorry I’m throwing all my clothes at you today,” she said.

No permission needed this time.  Bend, dip, scoop.  “It’s not so bad.”  I coughed lightly as her face flushed again.  “Can I help you take your clothes back to your room?” I asked.

“I don’t live here.”

“But you do your laundry here?”

She glanced at the ceiling, bit her lip again.  “It’s complicated.”

I put my hands in my pockets.  “I’d hate for you to have to wash all those again.”  I moved out of the way as she took a few bold steps toward the door.  Her eyes, pockets of light under fine auburn lines, peeked out at me from the top of the pile.  

“Me too, but I’m already late.  Thanks for your help.  Maybe I’ll see you around.”

The girl was gone before I could ask her name.  Her name!  I knew I’d forgotten something important.  How could I have put my fingers through her bra and panties without the courtesy of even that?  Dropping your finest lingerie at a man’s feet was clearly a situation where an exchange of first names was in order.

I took the steps two at a time back to my apartment.  Once inside, I ran to my window hoping she would step out from my building’s front door and onto the bleach-white sidewalk.  A few minutes later there she was, shivering and tightening the coat around her waist, a waist that I would have liked to slip a loving arm around.  She was alone.  I thought she glanced up to my window, but that might just have been me imagining things.  If only I’d asked her name.  Perhaps our mere hello would have become more.  Hand-holding under the covers?  Thanksgiving dinners with her family?  Hasty breakfasts?  Life was full of too many hellos not to wonder.  

The girl plowed through the dense blanket of snow at her feet when it happened.  She fell.  And not one of those one foot sliding in front of the other half stumbles.  Not even close.  Her hands went flailing through the air, her long curls shot up like lightning, and she came down majestically on her ass.  For a moment I debated whether or not I should run down after her, but she gingerly pranced back onto her feet, pretending that nothing had happened in the hope that no one had seen her.  But someone else had.  She turned around as a hooded figure bounded through the snow after her.  I’d seen that jacket before.  It was the guy from 6E, and until that moment he seemed pleasant enough, no doubt a cover for his true douchebag self.  I frowned as he brushed the snow off the girl’s backside and helped her into a cab.

It was late March and snowflakes were falling from the sky for the first time in weeks, piling up on the streets so pretty girls I loved could fall on their asses.  Winter always made me remember.  It had been a year since Amy left.  I had hoped that a year would be long enough to escape the pain of that emotional stampede, but here were white snowflakes and a pretty girl with a boyfriend cracking open the door of remembrance once again.  

I left the window and headed to my room.  I dug through my nightstand drawer and there, underneath a pile of envelopes, were the pictures.  My roommate had supervised while I’d thrown most of the mementos away, but I’d managed to hide these two gems.

I thumbed between the prints, two smiling faces, two happy places, and sat back down on the window ledge.  The snow was coming down harder now.  It became difficult to see as a flash of snowflakes piled on the edges of my vision until I blinked them way.  My cell phone buzzed.  I wiped my eyes and read the text.  

Are you grabbing your hat or taking a shit?!  We’re leaving.

I took the steps two at a time again.  The laundry room was heavy with missed opportunities when I reached into the dryer, grabbed my knit cap, and bolted for the lobby.  My friends, full of nothing but empty threats and text message bluffs, hadn’t left yet.  I joined them as we headed out into the winter air.  Walking with me through the white dust was the usual gang of big-talkers: Brad, Nick, and Sean.  We were on our way to Park Slope, to that bar whose name I never remember with bocce ball in the back.  The bar was a favorite of Nick, who weeks earlier met a midnight rendezvous before dropping his phone, along with the girl’s digits, into the Hudson.

Nick gave the bar a quick once-over as soon when we arrived.  “Son of a bitch!  I don’t see her tonight.”

The script for the night commenced, as the three of us reassured Nick that she’d turn up eventually.  I was too timid to ever suggest to Nick that perhaps his soulmate for the night had been extremely intoxicated and vowed to never return to the scene of what may have been one of her biggest mistakes.

“Why the hell doesn’t she ever come back?  I can’t believe I lost the number of the hottest girl in the world!”

I was also too timid to suggest that she was nice from far but far from nice.

“Relax, Nick,” Brad said.  “You scored here once.  Are you saying you can’t land another marlin?”  Brad was really good at reverse psychology.

“Hell, no, man.  Let’s do this.”

The night started like any other.  A large crowd of mid-twenties to thirties women pretended they were there to gab with their girlfriends and not to entertain the notion of giving a guy their number.  The appearances of the hopeful betrayed their intentions.  A sculpted neckline here, a bare-armed twenty degrees inappropriate top there, meticulous eyeliner everywhere: hardly the effort of women who didn’t care.  Amy had cared.  The button down shirt fastened with a chubby cream-colored bow teetering over a thin ribbon, one edge longer than the other, caught my eye first.  I noticed the way her fingers slid up and down the edge of that ribbon as she smiled at me, and I knew it then, that I cared, and that she was the one.

After a few minutes of mindless chatting, Sean saw a girl he’d met at an office party and Nick, harboring the two-year blues from the girl whose number he lost, clung to Sean’s hip as he paraded over.  That left Brad and me.  

“Three rules for tonight,” he said.  “One, no thinking of Amy.”

I took a deep breath and nodded.  “Fair enough.”

“Two, no fricking thinking about fricking Amy.”

“I heard you the first time.”

“Three, thinking about hooking up with anyone else is encouraged.”

I almost smiled.  I had two issues meeting women with Brad.  One, we had almost completely opposite tastes.  He liked punk and flashy.  I liked quiet, short, and girl-next-door.  To illustrate, he wanted to meet Avril Lavigne or Gwen Stefani.  I wanted to meet Kate Beckinsale (sans cigarettes), Miranda Kerr, or basically any petite figure skater.  Two, Brad was content to go home with a woman and sleep with her immediately.  I was on the prowl for my soulmate, or maybe just another Amy, and I knew for a fact she wasn’t a one-night stand kind of woman.

Ten minutes later I found myself talking to Gwen Stefani.  At least I wasn’t talking to Gwen Stefani on acid.  She was talking to Brad.

“I just got my tongue pierced and it hurts so bad.”  The woman grabbed her chin with long half-pink/half-black fingernails and stuck her tongue out at odd angles.

“Your voice sounds fine, considering,” I said.

“Do you have any piercings?” she asked.

“Just a few broken hearts.”

She laughed.  I turned my head to wipe away the gobs of spit that struck my face.  “I bet you’ve broken a few of your own,” she said.

“If I hurt them as much as your tongue hurts you, I’ll vow never to break any hearts again.”

Another piercing shriek.  “That might be an offer I can’t refuse.”

I bit my lip and looked over at Brad.  He was stroking the other girl’s hair with one hand and pretending to drive a car with the other.  I wonder if he knew how ridiculous it looked.  But the girl was eating it up.  That’s the thing with love.  Being ridiculous only gets you deeper into it.

After ten more minutes of heavy hints from me, Brad got the girl’s number and I politely gave out mine.  It was my turn to decide where to allocate our resources.  To Brad’s chargrin, I maneuvered us toward a bar corner nursing two brunettes, one shorter and with two thin muscles rippling the skin on her neck when she turned her head toward the crowd.  

Brad and I hovered near a broken jukebox, waiting for the right moment to break in, when serendipity struck.  A short, rosy-cheeked woman tore across the bar.  There was something odd about the way she walked, something unique to her step.  A few sheets of toilet paper clung resiliently to her shoe.

I moved in, but not before someone beat me to it.  The toilet paper came off in a flash as a blonde-haired woman stepped on it defiantly.  The rosy-cheeked woman had no idea, would most likely spend the rest of her life totally ignorant of the fact that tonight she marched through the bar with a white flag strapped to her shoe.  The blonde-haired woman smiled after her, and with Brad breaking formation to give me a go, she was soon smiling at me.

“You know, you’ve got toilet paper stuck to your shoe,” I said.  

The woman’s smile disappeared.  She shook her head.  “Oh, no, no.”  She pointed across the bar.  “See, that girl over there had it stuck to her shoe.”

I bobbed my head looking across the bar.  “Which girl is that?”

“She just left.”

“That’s convenient.”

“Really, I’m serious.”

“I thought I was being a gentleman coming over to rescue you.”

Her face wrinkled with concern.  I tried not to laugh.  “Listen, honestly, I just stepped on this for someone else.  There was a girl running out of here with a shit-stained lightning bolt hanging off the back of her shoe.”

“Ok, ok, you got me," I said.  "I saw the entire thing.  That was sweet of you.”

She brightened.  “Why, thank you.”

“But you know you really fucked me over, right?”

Modified to remove all capitals & add warning. Please read forum & board guidelines.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 09:45:03 PM by Alice, a Country Gal »

Offline 510bhan

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Re: 30 and Single - REVISED Chapter 1
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 06:32:37 PM »
Hi -- not much to pick ;D There are a few areas where you could tighten up by getting rid of 'was' and I was confused by the end . . . wasn't sure which woman he was interested in. Why? Well, you bothered to say your MC preferred 'girl-next-door' types so when you bothered to describe the short, rosy cheeked woman, [the serendipitous moment] I thought she was the object of interest -- not the blonde. If the blonde turns out to be the more important character, perhaps give her the benefit of more description. Took me a few reads of that last bit to work out it was the blonde he was talking to because when you mention you were moving in [on the short, rosy cheeked woman] she seemed to be your focus and not the blonde-haired woman. Perhaps it's the way Brad breaks formation to give 'me' [what is your MC's name?] a chance to approach -- oops it's not rosy, it's blondie he decided to talk to. JMO

Whoops -- forgot to mention . . . tiny POV slip when the girl 'pretends' -- how can your MC know that?
For a moment I debated whether or not I should run down after her, but she gingerly pranced back onto her feet, pretending that nothing had happened in the hope that no one had seen her.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 06:42:22 PM by 510bhan »
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Offline Klezmer

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Re: 30 and Single - Revised Chapter 1 Adult Language
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 11:16:35 PM »
Good catch, thanks!!  This is only half the chapter (3800ish words total I think), not sure knowing that or seeing the rest would make the lack of blonde/rosey hair detail compelling.

Offline Joe Mynhardt

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Re: 30 and Single - Revised Chapter 1 Adult Language
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 09:37:52 AM »
You really got me there in the beginning. I was picturing an entirely different scene at first. Well done.

Rest of the piece looks good.
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