Tag Archives: Criticism

Short Story Thursdays: The Second Date

The phone rang but before it could ring a second time, I lunged in its direction to answer the call I had been waiting for all day.

‘I am here, – in front of your house I hope’. He said with a subtle voice.
‘Ok, will be out in a minute’, I replied. I prayed he hadn’t read the nervousness in my voice as I hurried to join him. On my way out the door, I took a last glance in the mirror and heaped a heavy sigh, ‘Calm down Maggi’ I told myself and rushed out.
‘hmmm, you look very beautiful tonight’ he quipped as he unabashedly examined my contours and outfit. I had donned my favorite pair of blue jeans and a beaded cream top, complete with a pair of nude flats. I had very light make up on and though I was nervous, I was wearing confidence too. I could feel his glare on every ounce of my body but I managed to utter some words in reciprocation.
‘Thank you. You look gorgeous yourself….’ Barely did I finish my sentence when the door to the passenger side swung open, he held it with one hand and with the other, ushered me in. It was the first time I remembered a guy opened the door for me and I felt like a princess. He was clad in sleek jeans and a plain white tee, a navy blazer with a clean fit-to-size sneaker. He accessorized his clean-shaven face with a flat cap.
It was 7pm, the time we had fixed for the date after I took him up on his offer. From the house, he was the sublime gentleman; not just with opening doors before me, but checking in between conversations if I was comfortable. The drive to the restaurant couldn’t be any more pleasant. We had an easy flowing conversation like we knew ourselves for a long time. Heck, we had known each other for a long time, only, not in this intimate sense.
I met him a few months back, when I walked into the Five Guys restaurant to have my first burger. He was the manager on duty and the cashier who took my order; a dialogue stemmed from my revelation that it was the first time I was trying the “best burger” in America as it had been dubbed. My next visits were short but filled with chit-chats here and there. We became good acquaintances who seemed to enjoy short conversations with each other whenever we could. But on one of such visits, we didn’t just chit-chat; we had a good and thoughtful conversation that clearly couldn’t be finished while he worked. So he gave me his number and asked that I call him; normally, I would have disposed of it but figured I might need the distraction sometime and kept it. I liked him enough to want to talk some more, so I called him three days later and here we were, on our way to the date.
He planned for us to dine at a Cuban restaurant after I told him I had never had Cuban food. Unfortunately, arriving at the restaurant, it was closed for renovations. He was disappointed and it was understandable. To be a good sport, I suggested other venues I was comfortable going to. We drove around a few minutes and finally decided on the Olive Garden.
Dinner was wonderful and it wasn’t even the food. It was the way he went about the evening, it was as though I could see through him. His appetite for food and the fine things in life and how free he felt with me, spoon-feeding me in public. We talked over dinner and the conversation was the regular boy-meets – girl-first-date conversations. Our likes, aspirations, families, cultures and stories. He was pretty straight forward and unapologetic about his views on life and other things, which was very refreshing to see in a man.
One of those views was pre-marital sex which he didn’t think was wrong as long as both parties agreed to it and he thought religion was overrated. My view was different from his and we spent a good time on the topic, with him trying to convince me to see things his way and I vice versa. It was a civil discussion with no angst or misgivings.
He asked me to a movie after dinner, to which I agreed. He had been sweet, caring and doting all evening and I wasn’t ready to leave him just yet. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was the movie, and for such a late showing, it was packed. We sat at the last but one row in the back to the left. As usual, it was freezing cold in the hall. He noticed me shivering and gave me his jacket, holding me in a tight embrace. The cold seemed to vanish instantly. The warmth radiating from his body coupled with his scent, drew me in deeper and I cradled even closer. It felt good and safe just sitting there, wrapped in his arms.
Assuden, half-way through the movie, in a very soothing voice he asked ‘can I?’
‘Sure’ I replied, not fully understanding what he meant. Before I could process the question further, he launched forward and his lips were against mine. In no time, I grasped what was going on and I leaned in and indulged him. It was a hot, steamy and passionate kiss. Best one I have had yet.
A few hours later, he dropped me home. We both had a great time, evident on his demand for a second date, to which I gladly accepted. He walked me to the door, hugged me so tightly I didn’t want to let go, and kissed me again. He promised to call once he got home, which he did.
It was Sunday evening and I had waited all day for his call, I had anticipated this second date all weekend long. My anxiety gradually dissipated as time went by and by night-time; it dawned on me I had just been stood up, for the first time in my life.
It turned out I would be waiting for days and weeks on end for an explanation from him, detailing why he stood me up which never came. I tried to stop myself from contacting him severally but eventually caved to the temptation. So I sent him a text pretending to check on him but he never replied.
Six weeks passed before I walked in to the Five Guys restaurant to get a burger and there he was. The manager on duty and available cashier who took my order, – yet again. I became nervous and could only hope he didn’t think I came to shove myself in his face but at the very least; he would apologize and explain himself, an explanation I wasn’t sure I fancied anymore.

He didn’t even look me in the face as he took my order. He was very civil and cold at the same time. I was just another customer and he was just doing his job. He never said a word and I stood aghast for what felt like a lifetime. With whatever dignity I had left, I collected my order when it was ready and ran for my car.
It was a befuddled ride home. Like most girls, I had already planned so many adventures for our third and fourth dates. But how was that to ever be if he never showed up for the second?

New Series: Rosalind.

NB: Dear reader, thank you for stopping by. As my about page says, I am an aspiring author. Trying to better my skills, so I hope you enjoy the new series I have begun titled Rosalind. I will try to update every week. I would love criticism/feedback on the story itself and how I am doing as a writer. Thank you again for stopping by.

ROSALIND.

She flipped unto her side on the tiny mattress topper which served as her bed and the motion was interrupted by the wall. She adjusted herself to allow her petite frame back unto the bed. She squeezed her eyes tight as if trying to glue them together. It was at times like these that she wished she was blind. Recently, she fancied the idea a lot and wouldn’t have minded trading places with one if she could.

Not that there was anything to see.This night was just like all the others, nothing new about it. She knew the corners of this room all too well, it had been her Bastille for….? She couldn’t remember. How long had she been in here? She might have as well lost her memory, because she wasn’t sure of anything anymore. What month was it? Oh wait, what year was it? She sighed. Disappointment washed over her. She tried to see the room in her mind’s eye.

The 1-inch mattress topper was lying in the right corner of the room, there was a tray of food next to it but she couldn’t remember what food it had been. Her clothes were sprawled all across the room and in the far left corner, there was a pink potty trainer. She gasped and tightened her eye muscles, there was really nothing to see in here but for smell and hearing.

The room had a stench to it, the air was a mixture of feces, pee and vomit. She had learned rather sooner to get use to it, so it didn’t bother her anymore. It was all hers. She slept in it and lived with it. It had soon brought her some unwanted guests that she wasn’t sure how to deal with – rodents. She called them her room-mates.Many a days she had found herself talking to them like they could actually hear her. Those were her good days.

She could hear the melodies drummed up by the different appliances through the house. The engines from the fridge and A/C unit were going at full speed forming a breezy noise. The doors were releasing crackling noises and the TV was at maximum volume. With all of that, she wondered why he still needed extra sources of noise when he came for her.

The lone window was completely sealed with aluminum foil so she couldn’t hear people outside. Or so she thought. She lived in abstract darkness. She imagined it be a beautiful night out; the sky would be clear, no signs of any clouds, the moon bearing down on earth like it was God’s night watch for it, the air crisp and the atmosphere alluring.

She imagined walking on the curb, alone or maybe with someone, chatting away, listening to the varied laughs and watching people go about their business. A faint smile curved the corner of her mouth.She stumbled on her own laughter,happiness. You have such a beautiful smile. She had heard that a lot but now wondered, if any one would see past the smile, when she forced one.

She jerked forward at an angle so high, her head hit the floor hard when she landed. She ignored the pain from the encounter but started trembling terribly, her hands and feet setting in motions that she couldn’t seem to stop nor control. It was that time. It was the hour.

You are ok. You are ok. You are ok.You are ok.

She started chanting to herself slowly. She could hear his footsteps, he was getting closer. Her heart was pounding against her chest, her chants were quicker now. Her limbs were oscillating faster, up and down the topper. She thought about commanding them to help her run, but decided against it. It was going to be a circular run in a square room. No, she wouldn’t try that, she would save her energy.

She heard the door handle turn and the door swung open, a gust of cold air enveloped her. The door slammed shut and the footsteps continued their journey, intent on their mission, then stopped. She heard thumps of breath above and felt a presence towering over her, her teeth started gritting.

“You stink” said the husky voice.

 

Reflections

We are three weeks away from 2014. I have had enough time in the last few days at any given opportunity to think about this year: its highs and lows, successes and failures, achievements and under achievements, and especially the resolutions that i had set at the beginning of 2013 that i now realize did not materialize.

If there is anything i had hoped for and prayed for most to have this year, it was focus and drive but examining the days past, i realize it eluded me as usual. I knew that setting numerous resolutions as i always did in the past from loosing weight, to finishing a writing project, to traveling and exploring more would not have come to pass, so instead, i resolved to be more focused and driven.

Focus and drive because i knew that if i had those two, i would somehow be able to achieve anything i put my mind to, but i think i just didn’t have enough of it. Sometimes i was more focused and driven than at other times and with particular objectives. I wish it had translated to all of my projects but i know that 2014, a new year, is always a time, a second chance to do it better and well.

So i decided this morning i am not going to wait for January 1st of 2014 to resolve to be focused and driven and i begin today. Starting with my writing which is why i resumed today. I have made countless excuses as to why i have not written since my first post, saying i was busy with school. But somehow, i found time to watch movies, shop and visit friends but couldn’t find the time to do what i am passionate about which is writing.

I also know why i was reluctant to write, which is the fear of rejection. If there is any lesson i have learned in this year, is that people will always criticize even when they don’t know why they are criticizing. That i will not and cannot make every body happy all of the time. That no matter the criticism and rejection, as long as i am confident with what i put out and in myself, i will be just fine and to not reject all criticism because some are actually my learning tools.

So with all of these lessons, i set out today to make this my official first post, promising myself to be focused and driven to write at least one post a day, even if it is just a word. To focus on my writing this year and do a lot more reading than i have in the past, to read one new book every month starting from now and to finally loose the weight.

To keep myself motivated and focused, i have decided to chronicle my weight loss journey here,my workouts if i do, what i eat through the day with the hope that it keeps me accountable to myself and inspires me to go further.

I cannot sit by waiting for January which is three weeks away to effect changes in my life when i could start right now. I hope you who stumbled upon this post can realize like me that three weeks is too much time to waste and get on with whatever it is you resolve to do next year and start now.

To move forward in life no matter what area it is, we have to accept and come to terms with our failures, examine why we failed, accept it as a learning experience, seek the solution and act on it. I will not lie to you that i am not disappointed sometimes or even mad when i reflect on the past, but that is just what it is, the past. I have accepted and i am looking to move forward.

So my new year begins today December 11th when i had the wake up call and made the decision to act on it. I have so many goals for this new year and hope to accomplish them but my resolve remains the same as last year’s ; i resolve to be more focused and driven because with these, i can accomplish those goals.

Forgive me for jumping the gun because while i celebrate Christmas and wish you a marvelous one with family and friends, i would like to wish you a Happy New Year first, that way your Christmas would be extraordinary.

peace,love…..