In their years of friendship, Alise and Janelle never fought except over Chaz Monroe. He dated Alise in high school causing a huge argument between the girls.
“I liked him first you know that Alise,” Janelle had said. “Why are you still seeing him?”
“We’ve been going out three-years Janelle. We’re planning a life together.” They’d been drinking vodka and Janelle threw hers on Alise.
Then Chaz left for university and broke up with Alise. He dated another girl and Alise and Janelle reconciled over their disgust of Chaz’s tart.
Ten- years later, Chaz came back to town. He was still handsome and Alise and Janelle had both secretly been in contact with him.
Chaz visited Janelle first but when he came to Alise’s he told her, “I missed you so much, Alise. I’m sorry I ever broke up with you. Would you consider giving us a second chance?”
Alise agreed, she loved Chaz. But when Janelle found out about Alice and Chaz she invited her friend over under false pretences of congratulating her.
Janelle mixed neat vodka’s for them both and threw candied cherries in their drinks. Alise took a few sips, choking on the weird tasting cherry. She was shocked to see Janelle slumped over dead as she too succumbed; Janelle had poisoned them both.
They had always been bestfriends except when it came to Chaz Monroe.
Today’s prompt for Writing 101 is to write a series of anecdotes or vignettes which are defined as ” short, episodic scenes or moments that together read as variations on the same subject/story.” Therefore, each vignettes needs to have a similarity between them which ties each vignettes to the others.
Tessa feels afraid. Life has become unmanageable for her to take a risk in love because she can’t calculate the damage another man could do to her. One guy Ryan, she talked to for a year and he wanted be with Tessa but she was in a relationship at the time. Tessa told Ryan, she loved her boyfriend. She only wanted to be friends with Ryan. He wasn’t interested in being friends. The thought of not talking to and seeing him anymore, made Tessa bitterly sad.
Tessa was single and free. It felt wonderful to not have to go out and spend her weekends at her boyfriend Ted’s place, not doing much of anything. When she was out, Tessa wanted to be doing something, not laying around all day. A nap was one thing, but sitting and watching the same news channel hours on end as Ted did, Tessa couldn’t handle it. She wanted to visit their couple friends and go to fun events on the evenings and a week night once in a while. Her now ex-boyfriend Ted always sat on the couch, eyes on the news or searching the Internet. Tessa left Ted, never looking back.
Freedom flowed through her veins. Tessa was happy and her life was fulfilling. She was working hard each day. Doing the best she could, developing a career. But there were always men who wanted something from Tessa. She didn’t want to be mean and say: “I don’t want anything from you. You’d only mess up my life and I like my life how it is right now.”
To say that would be too honest and being too honest can sound brash and thoughtless and get a woman labelled. Tessa didn’t want to damage her career, but often it meant putting up with men, their sexual inuendo and advances.
Greyson is messaging Tessa again. No real conversation occurs between them. He doesn’t talk about his days or ask much about hers when they go on dates. Greyson gazes at her and says, “I like you. I like talking to you. Don’t you like me?” Tessa is tired of his games.
She tells Greyson, “We’ve been through this. You don’t want a relationship and I do.”
He remarks, “Let’s sleep together and see how it goes.”
Tessa is angry, her attraction to Greyson wanes and she ceases talking to him.
She is dating Phillip now. A new guy who keeps calling her at all times. Phillip won’t stop. He’s a stranger who somehow had her number in his contacts. Tessa recalls she hasn’t had her new cell number for long.
Phillip tells Tessa he is into having a relationship with her but with him too, it comes down to sex. After they have sex he tells her, “We’ll see how things go.” He is suddenly non-committal and distant towards Tess, except when he wants to sleep with her.
Tessa is exasperated. Isn’t she valuable outside the context of sex? Isn’t there a guy who will like her for her personality too and want to get to know her!?
Now, whenever Phillip texts or calls Tessa deletes any trace of him from her cell phone.
Some man starts talking to Tessa outside her hair salon, grabbing her arm. She doesn’t like it when people she doesn’t know man handle her. But Tessa attempts to be polite.
The stranger tells her she’s beautiful and keeps complimenting her. She’s not attracted to him in the least and he won’t let her leave. He keeps stepping in front of her as she tries to take the stairs down to the train.
Tessa had worked in the morning and taken the afternoon off to have her hair done and now this weird man won’t let her go home. It’s only 4:00 pm but Tessa smells the liquor on the stranger’s breath.
“Let go. Leave me alone. My boyfriend wouldn’t like you bothering me like this. I need to go home.” She tells the man.
The stranger acts offended and she shivers in disgust at his repulsive corporate ego. She hates having to lie to protect herself. To ensure her own security.
Tessa meanders in a popular shopping district, alone on a Saturday afternoon. She’s in a boutique and is enthused the clothes are stylish but not overally expensive. Tessa models a blue halter dress and she hears a deep voice remark: “I’d take you out in that dress. You’re gorgeous.”
Tessa turns, regarding the man who complimented her. He’s a bit older, but it doesn’t bother her. The handsome man’s blue eyes are breath-taking, bright against dark hair and attractive full lips. He wears dark jeans and a blue t-shirt matching his eyes.
Suddenly, Tessa realizes she’s been staring at the attractive man and hasn’t responded to his compliment. She blushes and her skin goes red.”I’m happy you like me in the dress. I wasn’t sure about it, but you’ve made my mind up for me.”
The attractive man chuckles and comes up to Tessa, running a hand gently down her arm. She’s surprised his familer touch doesn’t bother her. He gazes into her eyes and smiles.
“What’s a pretty girl like you doing all by herself shopping? You need a guy to hold your bags and make sure douch men don’t bother you.”
Tessa laughs. “Are you offering to do the job? Because I would definitely have to take you up on that offer. I’m Tessa by the way.” She holds out her hand which is shaking a bit and his strong hand engulfs hers and shakes it firmly. A firm handshake, Tessa is impressed.
She smiles as the attractive man runs a hand through wisps of her loose hair. “What’s your name?” She asks him.
He grins at her question. “I’m Blake and I’m a university professor in economics. What do you do Tessa?”
” I work in HR for a company. I like talking with different people and helping them.” Blake stares at his hands in his jean pockets, smiling at Tessa before touching her cheek with the back of his hand.
Again, his touch doesn’t bother Tessa. She craves it. Blake smells wonderful, like the ocean with a note of sandlewood. Blake and her are standing close and Tessa’s breathing is picking-up speed with Blake’s breath.
“There you are.” An elegant woman in a red dress sweeps in. She’s thin and willowy and seems like she’s a model, on trend and waifish.”Who’s this?” The model asks, regarding Tessa as if she were a peculiar creature for Blake to be flirting with.
The model’s eyes rove over Tessa and back to Blake. Blake sighs and he doesn’t appear glad to see the model, in fact; he seems annoyed. He gazes at Tessa appearing apologetic. Tessa has pity on Blake.
“Oh this must be your girlfriend you were telling me about.” Tessa remarks to Blake. “She is stunning and you’re lucky to have her. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I’ve been busy and I know you have been busy too. I’ll let you get back to your girl.” The model gives Tessa an odd look and then giggles.
Tessa can’t help but feel she’s missing something and that the model is making fun of her.”Lovely to meet you, ” the model says.”I’m Cherise.”
“I’m Tessa and Blake really loves you.” She says. Cherish chuckles and so does Blake.
Cherise smiles at Tessa and Blake. Tessa doesn’t know what to say. She feels miserable. because she has met a nice guy and he isn’t actually a nice guy. He has a girlfriend named Cherise who’s laughing at her.
Tessa was hugely attracted to Blake and wanted to know him better. He pressed the back of his hand to her cheek as Cherise walked away to look at a dress.
“I’m going to try this on,” she tells Blake who nods at her. But his blue gaze is focused on Tessa.
“Why did you do that?” Blake says, laughter in his voice. ” Cherise is my younger step-sister. She’s not my girlfriend. It’s gross thinking about her that way. We have the same Dad and I grew up with her.”
Tessa’s face turns bright red. Redder than it was before. “Oh, I didn’t realize. I was trying to give you an out because I thought Cherise was your girlfriend. But I’m glad she’s only your sister. You had me worried for a bit.”
Blake chuckles again.”Are you going to let me take you out tonight in that dress you’re buying? I have to drive Cherise to her boyfriends but I can meet you down the street at the Manterra Hotel dining room at 7:00 pm?”
Tessa smiles genuinely. “I’d love to have dinner with you, Blake.” She leans up towards Blake and kisses his inviting lips gently for a few moments, keeping her lips against Blakes a meaningful second before walking towards the cash register.
Blake repeats behind her: “7:00 pm at the Manterra Hotel.”
” Cause I’ve got a blank space baby, and I’ll write your name . . .” Taylor Swift played on the radio as Dianne sat at the bar scoping out the possibilities for a good date.
Baldy was cute but not her type. The handsome guy in the tailored suit was probably devoted to his work; he made her shudder. But the guy in jeans and a t-shirt with green eyes was attractive. He seemed more the type of man Dianne was seeking.
‘Green eyes’ caught her eye across the room and she smiled invitingly. Fifteen minutes later, he made his move to approach her at the table, giving her a freshly poured glass of red wine to drink. It was a nice gesture. Dianne was pleased.
“Hey, how are you?You look beautiful, too beautiful to be sitting here alone. I’m Trent, nice to meet you.”
Dianne shook Trent’s rough hand with her delicate manicured one. She left her hand lingering in his for a few moments, peeking at him while fluttering her eyelashes.
“Nice to meet you Trent,” she said, “I’m Dianne, how’s the football game?” Trent grinned.
“Oh it’s good. Montreal is winning. They’re my team, so I’m happy.”
“Oh, I’m a Saskatchewan fan myself. Grew up that way.” Dianne commented.
“Saskatchewan, huh? Seems like they have fans across Canada. But they stole Edmonton’s coach. I didn’t like that move. It wasn’t a classy thing to do.”
“Oh, yeah. It was a bad situation…” Dianne didn’t know much about football but she talked with Trent for awhile, nonetheless.
He appeared to be a nice guy and conversation flowed easily between them after they left the topic of football behind.
Yes, Trent was the kind of guy Dianne craved right now. Solid, stable, a skilled tradesmen. Not a corporate CFO forever working.
“So, can I have your number?” Trent asked Dianne an hour later.
She smiled stunningly at him.”Actually, I was wondering if you would like to come over for dinner Thursday?”
“Um, I’m actually busy that night. How about another day this week?”
“Sorry do I know you?” A handsome man around her age asked Jolene.” You seem familiar. And well, you’re beautiful, who could forget you.” Jolene indulged the man with a smile. She was anxious to return to Kasia and Aunt Cathy. No doubt Auntie Cathy had spilled all of Jolene’s carefully guarded secrets to Kasia.
“I don’t believe we’ve met before,” Jolene told the man. “I’m only visiting Cathy Lumiere, with my daughter. I’m Cathy’s niece. I used to live with Cathy when I was in highschool.”
” High school that’s it,” the man mused smiling. He had beautiful lips Jolene thought and such long dark lashes covered his chocolate eyes. “You were the head cheerleader and Prom Queen, you dated Scott Jeune. I never liked that guy. He was obnoxious and a narsaccist if you ask me.” Jolene looked at the man thinking he didn’t realize how true his opinion of Scott was.
” What’s your name, Monsieur?” Jolene asked the man.
“I’m Luc Devreaux, Jolene. I own Chateau Blanc.” Jolene’s eyes went huge when she learned Luc owned the Chateau. She studied his face, staring. Jolene tried to remember if she’d ever seen a Luke Devreaux at the Chateau.
Luc cleared his throat and Jolene realized he’d been holding out his hand for her to shake. Instead of shaking her hand though, he went in for a kiss on each of Jolene’s cheeks. Jolene blushed. Luc smelt delicious, spicy, and citrus.
“How French of you,” Jolene said and Luke gave her a charming grin.
“You have been gone so long you have forgotten about your French roots?” Luc asked Jolene and she hesitated at Luc’s question.
“Well, I travel a lot for work. I wasn’t from Nice or even France originally. I was born in Montreal, Canada. And except for business I have lived in Ottawa with my daughter for five years now… I’m trying to picture you Luc as you looked when I was in highschool, but I can’t remember you. I’m sorry, I was a wild girl at sixteen and seventeen -years-old. I went out with many boys until I met Scott. Lucky, the thing with Scott was only temporary.” Jolene felt she was rambling but Luc made her nervous in a wonderful way. He made her feel as if it were fine for her to be herself.
“Well we went out a few weeks,” Luc began, “but I wasn’t living at the Chateau then. I inherited it from my father later. Mon pere and ma mere have been divorced since I was twelve and I lived with my Mother, who had custody until I was eighteen. But I visited my Dad here in the summer. I remember you well from when you went to high school. You were amazingly pretty, full of yourself, but what pretty teenage girl isn’t. I wanted to keep seeing you, but Scott asked you out. Even though, I was a few years older than you, all you cared about was Scott.” Luc said sadly.
Jolene thought hard. Slowly, a few threads of memories came together in her mind. She remembered a handsome guy, older than herself, who resembled Luc. She had met young Luc on the path to Chateau from the beach where she had been sun tanning. Luc had been good-looking in a classically handsome way, lanky and athletic. He wasn’t charismatic as Scott had been. But Luc as a young man was an unwavering presence. He was thoughtful and concerned about what she had liked and wanted to do. He had manners and everything wasn’t about himself. In addition, as he said, Luc had been older than Jolene. She had been attracted to the fact he was a university guy back when she was seventeen-years-old.
” I remember you Luc,” Jolene said happily. “You were visiting your father and we met on the pathway. It was dark and thundering and the waves were splashing high on the path. They waves were making it hard for me to stay standing on the pathway as I ran to the Chateau. You came and helped me across and we had hot chocolate together. We dated three-weeks, you were caring and concerned. I thought you were a real catch — until Scott. I was obsessed with Scott for far to long. I’m sorry if I hurt you, dumping you for Scott. You were the better guy.” Luc laughed and grasped Jolene’s hand between both of his larger hands.
“I’m glad you remember, finally,” Luc murmured. “I heard from some of the other staff that Cathy’s niece was going to be staying here awhile. I’m glad you are. I seem to remember we had quite a bit of fun in my old apartment when you were in senior year.”
Jolene lifted her eyebrows, “I believe we did.” Luc laughed.
“When you have time between visiting with your Aunt, come see me in my office. We can catch up… I never heard you had a daughter.” Luc added.
Jolene grinned her hands still enclosed in Luc’s warm hands, ” Yeah, she is great, fifteen now. I will come see you in a few days. I’m a bit run down from travelling and I have a lot of explaining to do with Aunt Cathy. . . when I left years ago it was quite sudden and we haven’t seen Aunt Cathy since.” Jolene admitted to Luc, unsure why she felt like being so honest with him.
” I’m not used to this again Luc. I haven’t dated or really done anything since my daughter was born. There’s been a few random dates but nothing concrete. It’s hard to trust someone for me Luc. Especially, after Scott . . .” Luc nodded brushing a stray hair out of Jolene’s face.
“It’s okay Jolene. We’ll just enjoy each other’s company while your here and see where things go. There is no pressure to do anything you are not comfortable doing.” Luc assured Jolene holding both her hands again.
Jolene looked into Luc’s eyes which seemed to pull her in and hold her close, like she wanted his arms to do now. She realized she had an affect on him as he tightened his hands around her hands and Luc’s breathing quickened.
” I work, I model a little and I run a chain of clothing stores for woman. I am with Kasia, my daughter as much as possible. I wasn’t always able to be with her when she was a bit younger as much.” Jolene said feeling herself flushing again under Luc’s stare.
“What a lucky girl to have a mother with such beauty and intelligence. I’m sure she inherited those qualities from you. I would like to take Kasia’s pretty mother to dinner, after she comes to visit me in my office. Oui?” Luc said. His voice sounded sexy to Jolene.
“Oui, Luc,” Jolene said quietly. ” Kasia will be surprised. She has gone on more dates than her mother has in many years.” Luc smiled at Jolene squeezing her hands in his still. Luc let Jolene’s hands go slowly, trailing his fingers along hers as he let his own hands drop and hers.
Jolene walked away from Luc back to her Aunt Cathy’s sitting room, willing herself not to catch her black boot heel on a carpet edge. She looked back once to see Luc standing where she left him in a hallway, watching Jolene walk away. She gave him a small smile and Luc waved.