13 Epilogues

Forward:

I got the premise for this story from a woman I met shooting pool. (Don’t the best stories come from billiard halls?) I never managed to hear her full story, so I have to take the premise and run with it, just making up shit as I go. Or should I say, recording what my characters do as I turn them loose.

This is an experiment for me, writing unedited rough draft straight to blog. My problem has always been over-correcting as I go, and grinding to a halt. I hope to correct that, and just pile up some words. No promises to write every day. I’ll just keep getting back to this when I can.

My dream is for this story to someday become a bad made-for-cable movie on the Lifetime Network. With no further ado…

Chapter 1:

Colleen found her soulmate at a party. It wasn’t much of party. More like a staff meeting, everyone talking shop. They bitch bitch bitch at work more than they actually work, but when they are free, act like they’re still fenced in, won’t let it go. Yak, yak, yak. Milky Way glowing above, showing them their insignificance, if only anyone would glance up and feel it.

Colleen didn’t need to look up. She already felt insignificant. And lonely. Everyone else was coupled up. Either they brought a lover along, or ewwww, were part of an office romance, a proposition inviting trouble, but now this evening, nobody on the outs, everybody was getting along. Colleen noticed each little touch or kiss, and felt sick. An outcast.

Or was it the wine? It came from a box. Distracted by the pleasant gurgle each pour made, she lost track of her top-ups. One little belch left a sweet and sour taste in the back of her throat, and she decided it was time to go. Casting about for her purse and scarf, she stood up too quickly, and felt the world spin.

Fine time for Ben to show up. Wise-cracking as usual. Some self-deprecating one-liner about the party starting without him. Loud clothes, loud gestures, loud mouth, the buffoon made her head hurt. Weren’t accountants supposed to be meek and mild-mannered?

And weren’t they supposed to stay behind a desk? It secretly irked Colleen the way he came and went at will, random missions to random plants, while she who surely outranked him, felt chained to her office.

Colleen always felt something was “off” about Ben. the stupid jokes, the flamboyance, silly hats and sunglasses, girly little sportscar; either over-compensation for deep-seated insecurity, or surely he must be gay. Colleen felt superior and impervious to this annoying man.

The spinning worsened, and Colleen felt herself begin to topple. Suddenly, a gentle, yet strong hand grasped her elbow and steadied her, disaster miraculously averted. Without anyone noticing. Except her rescuer. A sincere voice, soft as a whisper, absolutely no hint of flamboyance, “easy, dear.” Then a hand at the small of her back, her secret sweet spot, guiding her back to her seat.

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