For November Notes Day 28, the song Prompt is “Into the Night” by Beacon. I’m using the the same song title, but by Santana and Chad Krueger, different musicians.
Credit: Patrick Kool
“Into the Night” by Santana and Chad Krueger
The pub was overheated and dim but Sam’s blood felt alive with promise as he sipped his third Corona at the bar. A slim woman wearing red silk floated onto the dance floor and he was struck still. The dancer was gorgeous. A gift from the Heavens.
Sam’s dark eyes held the beautiful dancers blue-green ones and he instantly knew how she felt about him from the widening of her eyes, the simmering gaze held between them. Even as she positioned herself to dance, the woman glanced at him. Then, closing her eyes she whirled, her footwork effortless, and her dancing lively, a dervish to a fast-paced song.
When Sam wasn’t looking, she grabbed his hand insisting he dance with her, entrancing him as she brushed against him with each complicated step. It was three songs before he realized every soul in the room had been keeping time with them, clapping their hands. Sam wasn’t a talented dancer by any means, but the woman in his arms, made his stumbling appear sensuous.
Her long golden hair flew about them unbound as they spun around in circles, the moon gleaming down from windows near the dance floor. Sam spun the woman one last time, lifting her body against him, before the tenth song ended.
“What’s your name?”
“I’ve never meant a woman as beautiful as you dancing, Manon.”
“Thank you, but I think that’s an overused pick-up line on me, ” she laughed winking at him. “What’s your name?”
“My friends call me Sam.”
Manon smiled. “I’m glad to be your friend, Sam.”
They continued dancing at a slower pace, finally, noticing the couples and groups of friends on the dance floor beside them.
She snuggled her head into the crook of his neck. “It’s easy to lose track of time, dancing through the night, singing along with you to the music.”
Sam grinned, “I don’t sing much, but I know the words to the songs.”
Manon brushed her hair back from her smooth face perspiring. After a couple of more songs, she stopped dancing for a a few minutes. Sam left, retrieving some vodka-water limes for them both.
Manon took an indulgent sip and grinned. “You say you know the right words to these songs, but do you know the right words to ask me, next?”
She put down her empty drink and looped her arms around Sam’s neck. They swayed slowly, no room between their bodies but her silk dress and his button down.
Sam inhaled Manon’s jasmine perfume. “I know what I’d like to ask you, Manon. What I’d ask any beautiful woman in my arms, but you’re not just any beautiful woman.”
“You’re saying the right words so far.”
He laughed, “What I was thinking was that maybe I could take you for an early breakfast and we could talk. Then, I could drive you home and you could give me your phone number. After, we could go on date number two in a day or so.”
” I’d love that, Sam. I’m a little surprised you didn’t ask to take me home and stay.”
“Would you have said, yes?”
Manon blushed, ” I’ll never tell,” but Sam knew the truth.
“I want to get to know you, Manon, and this kind of knowing takes more than one night; it’s old-fashioned, I guess.”
Manon’s smile was radiant. “Old-fashioned is new for me. Few men have ever wanted to actually know me or have taken the time before we even, you know.”
Sam chuckled and kissed her knuckles. “Old-fashioned is new for me too and it was there loss, just so you know.
Manon slipped her arm through Sam’s and they strolled off the dance floor laughing about what they both craved for breakfast.
“The Judgement card calls for a period of reflection and self-evaluation. Through meditation or quiet reflection, you may come to a point of deep understanding about the common themes throughout your life and what you can do or change to avoid these situations in the future. Judgement tells you that you are close to reaching a significant stage in your own journey. . .”
“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you,” Jared told his girlfriend Ashlen. The words tasted bitter in his mouth. He hated having to apologize to her; it made him panic.
“Are you really? I’ve heard that so many times before from you, Jared. Are you sorry because I caught you or sorry for flirting with Sara and leading her on?”
Jared stared at his feet and scrunched his eyes. He didn’t mean to flirt with Sara. She was one of thosegirls, the kind who put out easily and hit on every guy she thought attractive.
“I’m sorry Ashlen. I don’t like Sara that way, she’s just like that you know –a whore; she hits on every guy and probably sleeps with many of them too,” Jared said.
“Well, why didn’t you brush her off right away?”
He shrugged, sighing.”She doesn’t mean anything to me. I love you Ashlen and I’ve been with you two-years; I’ve told you — I want to be with you forever.”
Ashlen blushed, Jared had said exactly the right words. But something he said about Sara earlier, bothered her.
“Okay, I forgive you for flirting with Sara, but don’t let it happen again,” she said. “If Sara bothers you too much when we see her, wave to me or text me in the bar — I’ll get rid of her fast. I don’t flirt with random guys, Jared. So, don’t flirt with girls like Sara, is what I’m trying to tell you.”
“But I will say this: I think when you and your guy friends pay attention to Sara –her sexually explicit behaviour, her itty–bitty clothes, and when you guys all let her touch you —-you’re all leading her on. She thinks she has a chance with one of you –but you all have girlfriends or fiancées.”
Jared started to get mad. “It is what it is, Ashlen. I can’t control how Sara acts. If you forgive me, let’s not talk about her. I don’t want to spend our night talking about some girl who doesn’t matter to me. I’m grabbing another beer.”
(10 minutes later)
“Jared, you know you not wanting to talk about Sara, it’s kind of a problem for me at the moment,” Ashlen said.
“Listen, you and your buddies call Sara a slut and you’re really just being disrespectful to her as a woman. When you openly call her names, especially to her face, you’re encouraging her to act exactly like the names you guys call her.”
“If you ignored Sara and acted uninterested and normal around her, she’d stop acting how she does.You guys flirt with her and call her names, instead of finding a way to politely tell her to get lost,” Ashlen explained.
“She’s a skank and isn’t going to change her ways because of how my friends or I treat her,” Jared reasoned.
Ashley punched him in the shoulder, not too hard, but hard enough.
“What was that for?” Jared asked.
“You’re not paying attention to what I’m saying,” Ashlen remarked. “How you treat Sara, yourjudgement of her, directly correlates to how she acts. Understand ‘College Boy?'”
Jared started to speak and Ashlen cut him off, “She’s not a slut. No woman is, even if she chooses to sleep around. I mean presumably if she is doing it as a career, it’s different. But what I’m saying is, don’t call women degrading names, especially, when you don’t know anything about Sara forsure.”
“She may talk and flirt a good game, but it doesn’t mean she’s slept with all these guys you think she has. I think most of her bad reputation is nasty rumours. She thinks acting how she does will get her friends and guys –what she believes is the right kind of attention.”
Ashley studied her nails before continuing to talk: “I don’t like Sara because she hits on guys she knows have girlfriends, namely you. But on the other hand, I can’t judge her entire character because I don’t know her. I wouldn’t want to be a called a whore over rumours about me. And I don’t want to put-down other women just because,” Ashlen said hands on her hips.
Jared listened to Ashlen, he knew she’d be mad if he didn’t. Plus, what she said made sense strangely. He wouldn’t want anyone to judge him, when they didn’t know what circumstances he came from. He probably wouldn’t care, but he knew from having a younger sister, judgement of a girl’s reputation was exceptionally tearful and mean.
“Okay fine. I’ll be nicer to Sara and I won’t flirt with her again,” he said carefully, hoping he’d chosen the right phrase for Ashlen.
She smiled and hugged him around the waist, her head resting on his chest. “Yeah, in fact, if she tries again, lets tell her she doesn’t have to act how she does to have friends or a boyfriend –in a nice way.”
“Sara may not care, but then again, it might help her and us.” Ashlen mused. “She can actually find a guy who’s single and likes her, and leave my and my friends’ boyfriend’s and fiancé’s alone.”
Jared nodded subtly, taking a swig of his second beer.”We could try. Maybe it’s better coming from you, than me?” he said.
“I think those words coming from a guy might be more effective actually. We’ll see how it goes.”
“Okay babe. Sounds like a good plan for next time we run into Sara. Do you want to go home now?” Jared asked, draining his beer.
“Yeah,” Ashlen said. “2:00 am is a long night with work in the afternoon tomorrow. I’ll drive don’t worry.”
The couple headed home, satisfied with how they would handle Sara in the future.
” What is your great novel/novella/collection of short/flash fiction/poetry/ pulp paperback/graphic novel? Of course, you don’t have to write it, just write about it.
Weave any sort of tale; in the abstract or concrete; as you or a character of yours; being accepted for publication; editing process; book tours – remember you ‘just wanna be a paperback writer.'”
I’m still working on a novel called: How Was Last Night For You? I’m editing it in second draft. Still a lot of work to do and haven’t had the time to work on it lately. This Octelle poem illustrates the story line roughly:
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.”
I was young. It was 10 years ago now. How was I to know that the chemistry I felt between us was nothing more than physical. How was I to know that you and me would never be anything, that you would follow me in the back of my mind for the next 10 years. I wonder if you understand how insignificant you made me feel. I wonder if you knew I didn’t want to be part of all the other girls who followed you around and sat beside you. I wanted to be different from them. For years I thought it was my fault that we never worked out. I thought because I was shy and felt great anxiety around you that I was the reason you never made an effort to talk to me. I believed that because what I felt for you was greater than anything I’d felt before and that the chemistry (to this day) was more than I had ever felt, that I should have done more, said more.
This story is not about a conversation that was significant; this story is about one hundred little conversations that never existed. It’s about one hundred little waves of the hand that we shared and that’s where the connection stopped. But I never understood how for years I thought of you, when I saw another guy. I compared the feeling I got around you to the feeling I got around him. I put you and guys like you on some pedestal, until one day after so much had happened to me I learned how to look guys like you in the eye. I learned how to flirt. I learned to look for other guys not like you — to ignore that huge sense of attraction — because guys like you were fake, thought they could have any girl. Guys like you got off on attention from pretty girls, they didn’t know how to treat pretty girls. Guys like you didn’t know how to be with a girl and make her feel fantastic. Guys like you were users. I hope today your still not like this.
Still, for years, I wanted the guy I thought you were. I never found him. I found another guy who loved me and took care of me and talked with me. But the chemistry is not like it was, the excitement isn’t there. I don’t know if I have just grown up or if I’m settling. I love him, but a part of me doesn’t, a part of me belongs with you. I think you stole it the last time I saw you walking down the temporary pathway to the university library. Your thickly lashed blue eyes looked at me and became huge and then we said “Hey” to one another. It was the last of one hundred conversations we never really had. My first step towards freedom.