Monday, April 13, 2015


She walked to the bar and stood there a moment watching the bartender.  He was good looking, the stereotyped tall, dark and handsome. He met her eye contact and nodded to her.  Knowing him, she knew that he'd be down her way soon and she turned around, leaning up against the bar with her elbows resting on the mahogany wood.

There was a local band that came in once a week warming up on the small stage in the corner of the bar.  The waitresses seemed to float around the bar with their trays bobbing between tables like some dance that only they knew.  There were some tables being moved around so that an area was created in case anyone wanted to dance.  There was a lot going on.

Some of the patrons that had been at the bar were making their way to tables around the floor to enjoy the music better.  Once a seat next to where she was standing became free, she claimed it.  Her brother was the drummer in the band, so she was a regular at the bar, especially when they were playing.

She turned herself around so she was facing the bar, looking at the mirrored wall with all the different colored and shaped bottles on the shelves that were both functional and decor.  It made a pretty wall.  She took a deep breath.

Today was the anniversary of the day her whole life changed.  She had a baby with a Trisomy 13.  A little girl they had named Eloise Hope.  She had been born a little early, and for thirteen glorious hours they got to hold her and love her and take photos.  And then she slipped away, growing her wings.  With her daughter’s death, came the death of her marriage.  Something just broke between them and the fun, loving, relationship was nothing but sorrow and anger.  He moved to a different state, and she sold and moved out of their home.  Her baby was buried there in the local cemetery, and she wouldn't be moving away.

It was two years ago.  Two whole years where you would think she would have started to move on, but she still had a crater sized hole in her heart and soul.  Something she knew would never go away.  Things may change, she may be able to deal with not only the loss of her child but the loss of her life she thought she would have.

It was all over.  But, she was creating a new life.

She got her degree and had started working as a kindergarten teacher at the local elementary school.  She got a new little house of her own.  She had plants that were still living.  She got herself a cat, and was thinking about getting a dog.

But right now, it was just her and Luna.  Her black cat.

"Hey," he said coming up to her from the other side of the bar.  She snapped out of the starring off into space, and thinking.

"Hey Eli," she said.  "How are you?"

"Great!" He smiled.   She actually loved his smile, his dimples, and his face.  She'd always been attracted to him.  They had a small thing freshman year of high school but it was one of those fleeting things that didn't last long but they were always friends.  Then drifted apart after high school.  Kept track of each other here and there through social media and spoke now and again.   "Divorce is finally final, no more ball and chain."

He had married his high school sweetheart.  He was the lead in every school play and she had been the cheerleader who was in most of the productions at school because she was crazy pretty.  No surprise, she was all looks, and the typical blonde.

"Congrats!" she said, and she meant it.  "Can I get a glass of white wine?"

"Low end or high end?"  He asked leaning closer to her.  He propped himself up on an elbow and she got a distinct whiff of his after shave.

She smiled at him and let a sigh escape her.  "The house wine is fine," she told him.

He nodded and moved around the bar effortlessly, coming back to her with a glass of white wine that was already dripping with cold perspiration.   "So, Hannah," he grinned.  "I have been meaning to ask you something."

She took the glass from him.  "What's that?"

"Will you save me a dance?"

She scrunched up her eyebrows in confusion.  "I don't follow," she told him.

"Tonight, I want one dance with you."


He leaned back on the bar.  "Why?"  He acted hurt by the question.  "Cuz I'm a boy, and you’re a girl, and we're both single and free, unless you started something up with Ralph that I don't know about."

Ralph, being a good friend of hers, and gay.  He was drop dead gorgeous like all the unattainable ones.   "I've tried to convince him but he just won't take a swing on my team."

"So, why not?"   Eli asked her again.

She smiled, half way.  "Are you flirting with me?"  She was starting to get those silly little butterflies in her stomach that made her want to run and hide from social situations.

"It took you this long to notice?"  He grinned.  "I've been flirting with you for weeks now."

"You flirt with everyone!" She countered.

"Yeah, but," he looked around the mostly empty bar.  He leaned in even closer to her, and whispered. "That's just for tips, I mean it with you."

The butterflies doubled.  She was slightly confused, extremely interested, and moderately terrified.  She'd been out on a few dates since everything happened with Eloise, but nothing that lasted more than one or three very awkward dates.  She tried dating sites, and couldn't seem to find anyone who wasn't just trying to get in her pants, which had been completely off limits.  Her ex-husband and her had what she referred to as "grief sex" after losing Eloise, before they truly split up.  She had spent most of it crying.  It ended up being horrible and putting a bigger spike into the heart of their relationship.

"No, really?"  She said.  "You flirt shamelessly."

He laughed.  "I know, but really... I mean it with you.  I want to dance with you tonight.  Just say yes Hannah.  One dance."

"Okay, okay," she said giving in.  She shrugged.  "Okay."

He smiled from ear to ear, his dimples digging deep into his cheeks.  She shook her head and pivoted her stool so she could see the band as it started up on stage.  Her brother Max started swinging his drum sticks to the beat of whatever song they played.  She was proud of him.  No matter what their Dad had said to him about his choices in life, he continued to just do him.  Be exactly who he was and who he wanted to be.  He was going for his dreams and she was proud of him for that.

Hours went by, she ended up moving to a table and she seat danced some while sipping on a few more drinks that she had ordered through the waitresses.  She cheered and clapped for the band.  Completely forgetting that Eli had wanted a dance.

The patrons slowly weeded themselves out.  Cabs had been called.  Family had come to fetch some of the drunk ones.  She helped clear off tables and the band break down.  Last call was thrown out there.  The lights came up, and the last few stragglers were pushed out.  She was still helping some of the girls clean up the main room.

"Toilets are clean, Eli." Dotty said coming out with a scrub brush.  She had her red hair pulled back in a tight pony tail tonight.

"Thanks Dot," he called back.  She went up to the bar with a few glasses and when she turned to leave, he put his hands on hers.  "Wait." She turned to face him, looking at him questioningly.  "I still want that dance."

"But the bar is closing Eli," she reminded him.

"That's fine, just stick around."   So she nodded and went back to fetching some more empty glasses.

Within a half hour it was only Eli and her in the bar.  The waitresses had all counted out their tips, let mostly together, laughing.  Talking about going to the all night diner and wondering if Eli was coming.  He told them, "maybe next time," and locked up behind them.  He grabbed the broom and leaned it up against the bar and walked over to the jukebox.  Sliding his hand in his pocket he pulled out a couple of quarters and dropped them in.  After pushing a couple buttons he walked over to her and held out his hand for her to take.

"Eli, really?"

He smiled.  "Really, come on Hannah Banana."

Oh she hated that.  She rolled her eyes because he was the only one who had gotten away with calling her that all through high school.  "Don't call me that," she whispered putting her hand in his and letting him pull her to him, where he pressed against her, tight.  Putting one hand against the small of her back and the other just above it.

The song came on and she instantly recognized it as one of the songs they had danced to at the first dance they attended together.  She had joked it was "their song" back then.  They actually went to a lot of dances together.  He took her to prom one year, just as a friend.  But anytime they were at a dance together, didn't matter if they had come together, with a group of friends, or with other people, anytime the song came on, he would always seek her out and pull her into a dance.

"You know I have always had this crush on you," he said as they started to sway back and forth to the ballad, barely shuffling their feet.  "Remember in Earth Science I sat right behind you?"

"Yeah, I remember, Mr. Orsaw kept making comments on how you'd give me goggly eyes, but I never took him seriously."

"You should have, it was true.  The smell of your hair drove my hormones crazy."

She leaned back a little so she could look at him, to tell if he was really serious.  "You are the one who broke up with me, need I remind you?"

"Stupid teenage mistake," he countered.  "We both dated around after that, it always seemed like if I was single, you were dating someone, and the other way around."

"Yeah, but, I always just thought we were friends."

"We were friends," he looked down at her.  He was over six foot and she was just a little thing at five feet five inches.  He was always looking down at her.  Well, unless he was sitting and she was standing.  "But I thought you just put me in the friend zone and that was that."

"You married Gia," she told him.

"You married Hank, and you were engaged before me."

She laughed.  Shook her head.  "We were just teenagers."

He nodded in agreement.  "That we were, but, we're not anymore.  We're both finally single at the same time.  And I want to ..." he trailed off.  She wasn't looking at him, so when she looked up at him to see why he stopped, he grabbed her hand, spun her around, tilted her back and pressed his lips hard against hers.

Suddenly there was electricity zinging from her head to her toes and doing funny little things to those butterflies residing her her stomach.  She opened her mouth slightly, letting out a little moan, and he took the opportunity to dive into her mouth with fierce heat.  She couldn't help but to meet his pace, kissing him back with just as much as he was giving.

When she was upright again, she was extremely light headed.  She actually ended up leaning into his chest as they started to sway again.  "Hot damn," he finally muttered after a moment of catching his breath.

"Tell me about it," she muttered.

"I remember we had sparks, but I didn't realize we had an inferno."

What was she getting herself into?  She took a deep breath, smelling that smell that was just him. Always was him.  He hadn't changed his cologne or after shave since high school.  She was always drawn into his smell.  He was the only one she had ever reacted to like that.  He always had a crush on her, she had always had an unspoken crush on him.

"Remember when we did Romeo and Juliet in the school play?"

"How can I forget?  That's what started our little relationship."

"First play we did, freshman year.  I had so much trouble memorizing my lines and constantly cussed out Shakespeare."

"Who doesn't cuss out Shakespeare?"

"That first time we kissed during rehearsal, it was so awkward with Mrs. Jaspin watching and half the student body."

"It wasn't half," she laughed.  "It wasn't even half the cast!"

"But it was our first kiss and it was awkward."

"Our first kiss after we started dating wasn't." She remembered.  "Until you tried to choke me with your tongue that one time."

"You said tonsil hockey, I took you seriously."

She laughed, as he did, at the memory.  They stopped swaying as the music ended.  She looked up at him, and felt things she hadn't in a long long time.  Things that scared her.  She didn't want to be some re-bound.  She didn't want him to be some re-bound.  He spun her one more time, and then let go of his embrace on her.

She smiled at him.  "That was nice," she said.  Nice?  Nice?  That's all you can think to say is nice?  But then again, she felt like she couldn't, shouldn't, encourage this.  She was twenty five years old.  Divorced.  He was divorced.  Just divorced.  "I should go home," she told him.  She glanced back, seeing him stuff his hands in his pockets.  He looked a little disappointed.  "It's almost three in the morning," she reminded him.  "I have this huge photo shoot around 1," she muttered, basically rambling a bit.  "How about we get some lunch, or dinner together.  We can talk." She offered.

He looked up, didn't look so disappointed anymore.  "I'd like that," he said.  He was closing the distance between them.  She knew what was going to happen next.   She turned to grab her coat off the stool she had put it on.  He grabbed her shoulders and spun her around.  His lips crashed so hard against hers she was sure they would be bruised in the morning.  Oh wait, it was morning, she reminded herself.  Then, her mind when utterly blank because the only thing her brain was even responding to was the sparks of heat flying everywhere.

When he stepped back a minute, she knew she was going to have to fly out the door.  Fly out the door and not look back or it would keep happening.  At the door, at the car, on the hood......

She shook her head.  "Goodnight Eli," she managed a horse whisper.  "Stay there," she warned.  "We are likely to implode."

She went up the door, fumbled forgetting it was locked for a moment.  When Eli started to take a step towards her, she held up her finger and made a short sound telling him to stop.  He did, stop that is.  She managed to unlock it.  "Call me tomorrow," she whispered before opening the door to the cold harsh wind.   She let it go after she walked through it, and all but jogged to her car.

She couldn't wait to get inside, to safety.  To warmth, in about five minutes anyway.  To at least get out of the wind.  Get out of the bar.  Get some distance between her and the man who was making her hormones dance around like a pubescent teenager.  She got in, closed the door quickly and started her car.  It roared to life as she looked back.  Seeing him silhouette the doorway, watching her, watch him.

She threw the car into reverse, backed up a bit, and then into drive.  She drove home numb.  She couldn't even form a rational thought.  How could she?  He turned her brain to mush.  She was surprised she made it home in once piece.

She jumped out of her car, after putting it in park and turning it off.  She practically ran to her door, fumbled getting the front door unlocked, and when she did she flew inside, locking it quickly behind her, as if he was going to burst through the door.   Her back to the door, she just sort of slide down it until she was sitting on the cold tile floor with the rug all messed up under her.

The cat slowly walked towards her with her little bell ring-a-ding-dinging and her tail standing straight up like she's some royal animal prissy pants.  She stopped right beside her and started to purr.

She gave the cat the eyes.  "Don't judge me," she muttered.  Pushing herself up, she ditched her coat on the floor, kicked off her shoes, and she walked up the stairs, into her room, and fell into bed.  She didn't even bother getting undressed, she just plopped belly down on her bed, cockeyed ... and was sound asleep in two minutes, with the cat on her back - kneading and purring.

Goal for the next 30 Days....

I have been making it a point to write in my main blog since the beginning of the year, and so far - so good.  Actually - it's the most I've written in ANY year since starting my blog.  I have more entries for this year than any other year, and it's only April.  

But - that's just life writing.  Recording my days, feelings, etc and so on.  Truly - very boring crap.  

So ..... for the next 30 days ..... today (April 13th) to May 13th (funny, Nathan's due date anniversary) .... I am going to be making it a point to doing short little bursts of writing in here with writing prompts .... OR .... and.... working on finishing my book.  I want it finished.  NEED it finished.