***Been a very, very long while since I’ve been in here and I apologize to anyone who likes to read my stuff, life has interrupted my creative pursuits in relation to this blog. On a good note, I have still been writing, just in other media – you know, the ones where they discourage you from submitting “previously published” material (and that includes your personal online blog). Regardless, here I am and I am taking a journey into a previously unexplored area of my writing – the relationship. Oooooh, scary for me. I prefer to deal with the more real emotions that I can actually relate to, you know, terror and anxiety? So, here we go into an exploration of “love and relating”, the squeamish are welcome to stop reading now….****
She slammed the cover on her laptop and stared in disbelief at her reflection in the mirror. “Did he just say that? Did he just insinuate that he’s interested in me?” She looked down at the closed laptop sitting on the quilt her grandmother had given her for Christmas some 10 years ago. She backed away from it as if it was about to fly up and strike her in the face. Her feet found the cold wooden floor and she hastily made her way to the bathroom to splash cool water on her face; her heart thudding anxiously in her chest the whole way there.
She ran her hands through her hair and stared at herself in the mirror. She suddenly felt giddy as the tight ball of “ants” in her stomach began to march into her throat. A smile broke her face and her heart fluttered, as if flipping over, she giggled like a school girl. “OH MY GOD! He did, didn’t he? I’m not being a crazy lady, he did say he’d love to spend time with a woman like me.” A squeal escaped her lips and her hand flew up to cover her mouth. She kept her hand over her mouth as giggles and squeals bubbled in her throat threatening to spill out. She backed up two feet to the doorway, tilted her head and listened. The TV could be heard down the hall in the den where the boys were watching a sitcom.
It had been a year and a half since their father had “gone out for milk” one Saturday afternoon and never come home. Her heart had been shattered, she knew they had been having problems but she didn’t see it coming when he disappeared one day, taking none of his belongings with him. She remembered how she’d been so worried, calling the police after he’d missed dinner that night and having been reassured that he’d likely show up in a day or two, She was made painfully aware that “adults aren’t officially missing for 48 hours.”
It was two heart wrenching weeks before they located him, living in an apartment on the south side of the city with another woman. Her frustration had been taken out on everyone – including his employer who never once indicated to her that he hadn’t missed a day of work throughout the entire two weeks she had him listed as a Missing Person. Her attempts to contact him were ignored, the door remained closed when she went demanding answers. He walked right past her as if she didn’t exist one morning as she sat waiting to catch him on his way to work. When she grabbed him in a screaming fit, he simply looked at her annoyed, shrugged free and continued on his way as if he’d never met her in his life.
Her sister and best friend had sat consoling her for months, helping her find a lawyer, file the paperwork and wait for her 15 year marriage to officially end. It never did. His share of the paperwork remained unsigned and un-returned to the lawyers office. She was caught in limbo. So were the boys.
It was her best friend, Susan who had said to her, “TIsha, it’s time to get off the throne – you are not a Martyr, don’t let him do this to you! You are a sexy, intelligent and loving woman and you are letting him bury you here in this house – alone! While he gets to live a whole other life like you and the boys don’t exist!? No! No way! It’s time to get on with your life. It’s time to allow yourself to date. Get out there!” She’d helped her sign into one of those online dating sites but it wasn’t helping her self esteem to have only replies from lonely, abandoned men who were only looking for physical release. Where were the good men?
Apparently, they’d been sitting with her each day for 10 years having coffee, sharing stories, laughter and brushing off her embarrassment at her recent “separation”. Tom was tall, with dark wavy hair and striking blue eyes. His physique had always made each of the women in the teacher’s lounge swoon when he’d leave for his classes each day. Now here she was, swooning just like rest of them but this time, it was because Tom, a recently divorced man with two children of his own, had indicated an unarguable romantic interest in her.
“Or did he!?” Her reflection revealed eyes that were suddenly filled with anxiety. “Oh my gosh, maybe I’m just reading into this! Am I being a crazy lady? Oh no, I am, I’m over analyzing aren’t I? Oh shit! I’m not thinking clearly. Oh God, why do I feel like a 12 year old!?” She turned and bounded across the room to grab the phone.
“Hello?” Susan’s voice sounded like she was chewing on something.
“Susan! Oh thank God,” Her hand was clutching the phone in a death grip.
“What’s up – you sound worried – Oh No, what happened? Do you have a stalker?” There was almost no pause for breath between each sentence and Tisha wondered if calling Susan had been the right thing after all – this was not helping ease her anxiety.
“What!? NO! Shhhh, I have to think….” Tisha inhaled deeply to slow her racing heart. “Okay, so you know that guy at work, Tom?”
Her ear was filled with a sudden squeal, “Oh My God! The Hottie!? Tish, please tell me it’s good news, please, please tell me you landed yourself a total hottie right off the bat, you so deserve that….I will die if you tell me he got crushed by a plane falling out of the sky or something.”
“What!? NO!! Susan, just…okay, let me talk here. Ummm, so we’ve been emailing, right? You know, for the after school group that we’re planning? Yeah, so we were kinda talking back and forth, and well, we started, well, sharing y’know, like personal stuff….”
Her voice was interrupted by another squeal which she promptly ignored, trying to be the “cool cucumber” that she was always known to be.
“Okay, so we were talking….and, well, if someone said this to you, how would you interpret it?” She paused, closed her eyes and willed the anxiety fluttering around in her stomach to settle.
“What? What? What!?” Susan was giggling into the phone by now.
“He said, I’d love to spend time with a woman like you. Now does that mean what I think it means or am I just being silly? Oh God, Susan, I haven’t dated in over 17 years – do guys our age mean what they say or am I missing something?”
There was silence on the other end of the line, no giggles, no squeals.
“Uh, ahhhh, okay, well, don’t hate me Tish please, okay? How well do you know this guy? Cause a guy who hasn’t dated you yet, who comes on like that, well, I don’t know, that’s a little strong and creepy don’t you think?” Susan stifled a laugh.
Tisha’s heart sank then flopped over as if landing in her stomach and crushing the nervous anxiety into dust. She sat in stunned silence, maybe she didn’t really understand men nowadays.
“Oh My God!!! I’m so Shitting You!!” Susan laughed hysterically into the phone. Tisha began to breathe again and placed a hand on her forehead. How long had she and Susan been friends? Since the 9th grade? Susan still hadn’t matured despite her three kids and two marriages!
“Ugggh.” Tisha groaned into the receiver. “Don’t do that to me. I can’t take that right now. You know how hard it is for me to even consider this, can I talk to adult Susan, please? Is he after me or is he just another horny lonely guy?”
Susan giggled again, “Awww, Tish, I’m sorry. I know this is hard for you, it’s just…Wow, I feel like we’re in highschool again and this is Jeremy Stevens all over again, remember?”
Jeremy Stevens had been the most conceited guy in all of Clarkway High; he was hot and he knew it….and he played both of them for an entire semester, winding them into a tizzy each day when he’d flash his dazzling pearly whites, only to end up caught behind the storage shed with Scott Peterson.
“Oh Susie! Why would you bring that up? Jeremy was so gay, I know for a fact that Tom is a raging heterosexual male – Melissa Smith had him shortly after he and his wife broke up.” She said it so matter-of-factly that she made herself cringe.
“No, I just mean, with Jeremy, we were on the phone giggling hysterically every night, remember? Awww, the good old days. You are so lucky that you get to relive this, Tish. Here I sit, Richard in the bathroom shaving his…well, shaving – so attractive – and the kids are down the hall screaming at a video game. You? You get to be free again, find love, have a first date!” She peeled into another squeal, “So jealous!”
“Uh huh, yeah, okay, but my question? Am I nuts? Am I reading into this? Maybe it was just an innocent comment?” Tisha was getting a little annoyed at the speed of their conversation, she wanted answers!
“Oh Tish, you’re so cute! You mean after all these years you still don’t get it? Sheesh, okay, yeah, after I dumped Al, I guess I was a little naive and afraid too…but he is a hottie and he wants you!! There will be no hitting you over the head with a stick and dragging you home. No tossing a basketball at your head and definitely no pulling on your pigtails. What he said is that he is interested in you – it’s that simple.”
Tisha’s anxiety suddenly burst forth and she giggled hysterically into the phone.
“He is, isn’t he? He wants to be with me!” She couldn’t stifle the squeal. she pictured herself in her dorm room the night her husband, John, had asked her on their first date. She had hardly slept that night. Her heart sank as she pictured his face.
“But what if he only wants to get me in bed? Geez, Susie, are adult guys like that too?”
Susan smiled, “Honey, you haven’t been laid in over a year….maybe longer come to think of it, John wasn’t exactly a warm piece of toast was he? Anyway, the point is, if this hot guy just wants to bed you, then let him! You are a full grown woman, and I don’t know about you, but I know I have needs” (her voice dropped an octave as she whispered), “that often aren’t met and I’d give anything to have a hottie want me right now.”
“So, its okay to do that kind of thing?” Tisha’s cheeks burned bright red, she’d slept with John on their wedding night – that was the extent of her sexual prowess.
“Oh Baby, you have got to play the field before the dust gets into every crevice! It still works, use it, you deserve it. You have never sown any wild oats girl, go forth and sow! You are a mature woman who knows what she wants and needs in life, don’t you?”
“Uh, well, uh, I guess.” Her face was still flushed and she was embarrassed to be discussing such an intimate topic so frankly. As a younger girl they’d mostly spoken in innuendo and giggled about it.
“I have one warning for you though, and yes, I can practically hear you cringing over there but you have to hear these words, Tish. Don’t fall in love. Take it from me, sometimes hot sex is just hot sex. Let it be what it is. If he wants more, then do so with a grain of salt okay? I’ve had my rebound phase and I know how it can hurt.”
Now there’s the jaded adult in her, thought Tisha. “Okay, I will work on that. Nothing is set in stone. I can have…bed, with someone and be an adult about it. I’m a mature woman and I can do this.”
Susan laughed out loud. “Oh Tishy! You so make me laugh! Tell me though, what did you write back to him? I wanna hear how cool you were – or how naive you sounded!” She laughed again.
“I, ummm, I didn’t write back yet. We were doing one of those email things – you know, the chat thing, I think it’s called – the things the kids are forbidden from using?”
Susan laughed louder, “Oh my God, you two were chatting!? Please don’t tell me you just closed the laptop on him, those things are real time, right?”
Tisha sucked in her breath shocked, “Oh Shit!!! Oh Shit!!! I gotta go, Shit, Oh Susie, I feel like an idiot!!”
Susan was howling on the other end of the phone. In her shock and confusion Tisha dropped the phone and raced back to her bed scrambling to open the laptop. There on the screen were three words,
“Hello? You there?”
Tisha slapped her hand to her forehead and began typing desperately – maybe he’d believe she had a sudden bout of diarrhea – was that over sharing? She took a deep breath and hoped he was still there.
***there you have it, a simple illustration of how adults and teens are never really all that far apart when it comes to love and crushes….Not based on real life. Hope you enjoyed.****