Sunday, August 30, 2009

Discover all she wanted

Friday's writing prompt was: All she wanted. . .

Did you discover what she wanted? Did you write about it?

I did! And here it is.

All she wanted was to fall in love. To be loved. Was that really too much to ask? Jane didn’t think so. After going out with enough losers, who for the most part, either only wanted her money or wanted her body, Jane decided to take matters out of her own hands. She located and researched several online dating services, and settled on Love Online because they guaranteed she would find love or her money back. Her best friend Amy thought she had lost her mind and right now with her toes aching, Jane reconsidered her decision.

Bob stepped on the top of her foot again. “I’m sorry,” he whispered in her ear.
Jane held her breath as he spoke for fear she might pass out from his foul breath. For all she knew, his breath singed the hair above her left ear. She had offered him a breath mint, but Bob could not take a hint. She winced, biting her lower lip as he crushed her other foot underneath his much larger one. Holding tears of pain back, Jane tilted her head back, and offered the big man a thin polite smile. “No problem,” she wheezed out through tight lips and gave silent thanks to the Gods when the music ended.

“Would you excuse me?” Bob nodded and her hand slid free of his wet grasp. Jane whirled on pencil-thin heels and rushed for the ladies’ room, trying her best not to hobble. She reached the door with the universal sign for women on it, shoved it open, and let out a gush of air as soon as she crossed the threshold. Inside the lush restroom, Jane located the nearest chair and fell into it.

Her toes throbbed and her feet ached. She did not think she would ever voluntarily slow dance with a man again. “It just isn’t worth it,” Jane mumbled as she slipped one black sling back off and then the other. Her eyes widened at the combination of purple and red blotches that covered the tops of her feet. Her toes visibly pulsed, screamed in agony, demanding that she stop this nonsense.

“What had I been thinking?” Jane wondered as she massaged feeling back into her arches. This was her third date with Bob and she had no clue why she had agreed to the date. Had she been ill that day or did she just feel sorry for the man? Whatever the reason she needed to have her head examined.

The first date she met him at the restaurant, that way, she could leave when she wanted. At the end of the evening, he gave her a peck on the cheek and Jane thought that sweet. In spite of the actual dinner conversation boring her to tears, she decided to give Bob a second opportunity, shrugging it off to first date jitters.
The second date consisted of a light dinner and a movie. She had enjoyed that outing until they sat in the darkened movie theater and Bob wanted to hold hands. The man had all his sweat glands in his palms. By the time the movie ended, she needed a chamois cloth to dry up. At the end of the evening, he kissed her on the lips, a hard, fast, closed-mouth chicken lip kiss. Again, she chalked it up to nerves and onions the waiter forgot to leave off his hamburger.

Unbelievably, this date was the worst of all dates in the history of loser dates. Bob took her for dinner and dancing at a very posh restaurant. A red-carpeted foyer greeted the patrons of Top of the World as they exited the elevator on the twenty-sixth floor of a glass and steel building. Beautiful landscape paintings encased in gold frames adorned the entryway and acted as distraction while guests waited to be seated by the Maître-d. White linen covered round tabletops while sparkling crystal and silver shone in the light from the glittering chandeliers. A lone violinist traveled the room and played soothing and tender notes when the pianist took his breaks. The setting was beautiful and romantic, and had she been there with almost anyone else Jane would probably have fallen in love.

Instead, she was with Bob. Jane blew out a frustrated sigh sending her bangs airborne. Bob could not dance, and she had the swollen and bruised feet to prove it. Add to the purple toes, his slimy hands holding hers, and what could have been a very dreamy evening turned out to be the kind where she wished for an escape hatch in the ladies’ room.

The entire time he held her in his arms, her face buried in his stanky armpit, she kept picturing herself hiking up her ankle-length, hip-hugging dress, stepping up on a toilet lid, and crawling out of a window to freedom and fresh, dry air. Being twenty-six stories off the ground put the kibosh on that fantasy, not to mention that after much persistence from Bob, Jane let him pick her up from her place. He was her ride.

“Ouch ouch ouch,” Jane whimpered. She could not get her puffy toes back into her shoes. “Damn!”

“That bad, huh?”

Jane’s head whipped up to see a stunning older woman dressed in red smiling at her while she patted her lipstick in place. “The worst.”

“I have just the cure.” The woman turned from the mirror and moved to Jane.
“You mean besides cutting off the feet.”

She chuckled and opened her six-inch red sequined evening bag. “That would be painful. Besides, better to cut off his feet.”

“That’s whose feet I meant.”

The woman laughed again and handed her a small bottle. Jane took the offering, unscrewed the cap, and gave it a sniff. Her head snapped back in dismay. “It’s baby powder.”

Her savior nodded and gave a wide, perfect grin. “It’s a miracle cure for a great many things. Rub a little on your poor twinkle toes and it will cool the heat and help you slide on your dancing shoes once again.”

Jane wasn’t so sure she wanted to wear her dancing shoes.

“You can also put a little between your d├ęcolletage and it will keep the sweat away as you kick up the rest of the evening.”

“Does it work on sweaty palms?” she muttered as she took the woman’s advice and rubbed some talc onto her feet. “Ahh.” The instant the powder made contact, the scorching heat dulled to a warm simmer.

“Amazing stuff that baby powder.”

Jane slid her inflamed toes into her strappy high heels. “A miracle.” Closing the cap back on the bottle, she held it out for the woman.

“No, you keep it. I think you need it more than I do.” She winked at Jane, wished her luck and left the ladies’ room in a whirl of red silk and a light scent of gardenia.

“Thank you,” she said but the door had already shut. “Well, it’s now or never.” Jane pushed on the chair and rose to her feet. She only winced once as she moved to the mirror to check her appearance.

Slipping the powder into her evening bag, she slid out a sample size of her favorite lipstick and glided it over her lips. She pressed her lips together, moved them back and forth in a rolling motion, and then smiled at her reflection. “Perfect.” The natural shade accented her warm skin tone but did not draw attention. She dropped the lipstick case back into her small bag, zipped it shut, then throwing back her shoulders steeled herself for the rest of the evening, which she hoped would be short lived.

The rest of the evening consisted of a third glass of wine which she rarely indulged in, but needed in desperation as she listened to Bob drone on about his accounting business. Thankfully, there had been no more dancing.

As Bob drove her home, Jane’s stomach churned with dread for the upcoming goodnight kiss. Nerves had her wringing her hands and she had to sit on them in order to stop the fidgety movement. Could she get out of the obligatory kiss? Was there a graceful way to exit an evening without an embrace?

By the time Bob pulled up into her drive, Jane did not have a plausible excuse to end the evening at the car and without a lip lock. Standing on her front porch, she braced herself for what she knew would be the worst kiss of her life. She had not been disappointed.

Hands behind her back grasping the teak railing, Jane held on as Bob moved in. He fumbled the slick movement of gliding his hands around her waist and ended up hitting her in the stomach with a beefy hand. As she gathered air back in her lungs, she knew she would have another bruise tomorrow morning. He lowered his head and their noses bumped.

“Shoot,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, maybe tonight is not a good idea for a goodnight kiss.” She offered him a sympathetic smile and hoped he would take the hint. No such luck.

With quick, more surefooted movements, Bob wrapped an arm around her, tugged her in, and slammed his mouth down on hers. His tongue went everywhere, reminding Jane of an inner tube gliding down an ice-covered slope. It slid everywhere, up one side then the other, leaving her mouth and half her face wet and feeling as if an airplane toilet had sucked her lips off.

“Thank you for a lovely evening, Jane,” he said when he finally came up for air. “I’ll contact you again soon.”

Oh, geez. How was she going to end this? “Thank you.” She waited until Bob’s non-descript sedan pulled away then slipped into her house, shutting the door behind her. Turning the lock with a sharp twist, she rested her head against the heavy wood panel and sighed.

“Why me?” Was it written in ancient scrolls that Jane Doe would not find love and was destined to date losers who hadn’t a clue how to make a woman’s, make her toes curl in a breathtaking, heart-pounding, nipple-hardening kiss? All she wanted was to find true, undying, sparks-flying, mind-numbing, hearts-fluttering love. The kind she imagined existed but had never witnessed. Was that too much to ask?

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