Eyes Wide Open, Part 3

If you haven’t read the beginning of my story, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

 

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What am I going to do?  If I don’t get this article written, I’ll ruin any chance I have of getting a position at the paper.  I don’t want to always be the temp in an office.  I’m so sick of fetching coffee and ordering lunches for meetings and answering phones.  I thought this would be my big break and I’d finally get to use my degree.

So maybe I overstated my qualifications just a teensy bit when I begged for this freelance assignment.  Maybe I didn’t have a huge portfolio of published stories, but I did have a couple.  There was that story I did for the Arlington Library about the kids’ Columbus Day posters, complete with pictures.  They did publish it in the library newsletter, full color, no less, with byline.  And the story I’d done for my creative writing class at Northern about the lack of ridership on the west suburban PACE bus route had earned me $35 from the Brookfield Sun.  So, yeah, I can say I’m a published author.

I think the wine was going to my head just a little bit and making me kind of giddy.  Or maybe a little maudlin, I can’t tell for sure.  I feel something bubbling up in my throat but I’m not sure if it’s a giggle or a sob.  And when it came out, it was more like a sobbing snort. Mike looked over at me and headed my way from the other side of the bar.  I was pulling my phone out to check if I had any messages when I heard him say, “Last call.  Closing up in 30,” to the few stragglers who were left after watching the end of the hockey game.   I’d be lucky to stay awake for 30 more minutes, but I knew Mike would pitch a fit if I tried to leave alone at this time of night.

“Hey, pull it together, Princess,” he said, frowning down at me. “What have you had, two whole glasses of wine, not counting the one you threw –”  I held up my hand in his face to get him to stop talking, cause that last glass was hitting me kind of hard.  “I’m all right,” I said. “I just didn’t have much dinner before I came over tonight.”  He scowled again, shaking his head.  “You are a such a lightweight — wait, why didn’t you have dinner?  Don’t tell me you didn’t get groceries again?”

“Jeez, who are you, the food police?”  I hated to admit he was right and hated even more that I didn’t have the cash for food after paying for the silk blouse and the eyelash extensions and my new pair of hooker heels.  “I had some popcorn earlier,” I said, trying not to sound defensive.  I knew Mr. Fitness wouldn’t approve and, yep, he was shaking his head again.

“C’mon, you know you need to eat protein, we talked about this.  Why do girls always think a handful of carbs is fine for dinner? Your body needs fuel like protein, especially if you’re gonna be drinking! ” Blah, blah, I’d heard it all before.  Mike works as a personal trainer during the day and we live in the same building.  In fact, I first saw him when I was bored one night and popped into a class he was teaching on exercise and nutrition in our building’s community room.   His arms are roughly the size of my thighs and I’m pretty sure he could bench press me if he wanted.  Muscle bound guys never really appealed to me, but Mike is nice and looks out for me like a big brother.  Sometimes an annoyingly overprotective big brother, but that’s okay.  I already have two brothers of my own so I’m used to it.

“Okay,” he said, “everyone is gone so I’m shutting down the register and then we’ll go.  And before you turn in, I’m making you some scrambled eggs and toast at my place so you get something in you to soak up the alcohol.  Maybe your head won’t hurt so bad in the morning that way.”  “Sure thing, Mikey,” I said, grinning at him.  I was feeling a little loopy and Mike was a big sweetie for worrying about me.  I should tell him so.  I grabbed his hand and pulled him toward me, planting a big, sloppy kiss on his cheek, clutching at him to keep from falling off my 4 inch heels. “Mikey, you are just too good to me,” I said, my eyes tearing up a little.  “You know I love you to pieces.”

Mike turned toward me and something flashed through his hazel eyes.  For a second, I thought he almost looked sad, but it was probably just a trick of the lighting.  He steadied me then moved me gently away from him.  “Okay, babe, sure you do.”  He patted my arm softly.  “Let’s get you home and get some food in you before you fall and hurt yourself.”

Waving goodnight to the remaining staff at the little golf club restaurant and bar, Mike steered me toward his car in the lot.  I started to protest that I could drive myself home but he cut me off with a look.  “Do not even think it.  Just get in.  Please,” he said as he unlocked the door for me.  “I’ll bring you back tomorrow to pick up your car –” and that was all I heard before my eyes closed and I drifted off.  I didn’t hear his door shut or the engine start up.   I never even felt him lean over and fasten my seat belt.  And I didn’t feel his lips as he smoothed my hair back and pressed a kiss to my temple.

~ Diane D.

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26 responses

  1. I LOVE it!!!!! I knew Mike was the guy! More! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m already thinking more twists but maybe I need to make an outline before I confuse myself!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh you could have all sorts of fun with this! The handsome guy from the bar could end up being her boss, for example… It’s really great!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh, I like that! I see now why authors have writing groups to help plot — so should I just keep posting a little at a time or maybe combine like five pages into a chapter o r just make it a short story?? Tell me, oh wise one! Don’t make me have to ask F. Kevin (couldn’t he just be Kevin??) But if that’s his real name then he’d probably have to kill me…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Depending on how much you want to flesh out your characters, it could be a novella – 10,000 words or so. That could be written as a 10 part serial piece of 1000 words each. F. K. wants us to be scared of him. Don’t let him fool you. I think he’s a big mush in real life.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think so too. He once said he was like a big golden retriever and Waco was like a cat — I don’t know about her, but he’s definitely a big huggy, kissy type —
        So a novella is only 10,000 words, huh? Not as bad as I thought. Maybe I’ll go to forfriendswithoutborders and do a more R rated version — wow, look at me, not even past page 3 of this one and I’m already planning my next move. You’d have been so proud of me! I figured out how to put the stories under my page headings from what you and Sandra were saying. Next time I’ll go watch TV with Rob!

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I think the lower limit for a novel is 50k words so less than that is a novella. Below 10k is a short story.

        I saw you talking about that on ffwob (we need an acronym- that’s too long a name)! You’ve got this whole tech thing down! Woo! Yes, hanging out with Rob is fun! And he’s a nerd, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was right yeah I knew it! I love this please keep them coming! Wonderful story and her character is developing so nicely. I really like this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks, Lynn, you’re the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really like this and how it is developing and I like Mike- what a sweetie!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Liking this a lot. I always fall for a nice guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, me, too! Bad boys are overrated…

      Like

  4. NICE!.

    I like the character development in the scenes. I don’t want them to get it on so quick though. I want some drama before they do the do, but I want the do done, too.

    Where is part 4?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coming…(Ooh, like when they do the do?!)

      Like

  5. The words flowed very well, Diane. The scenes sound authentic, too. I love Mike and am shivering with delight! ♡ Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, good, me, too. I was going to try super sexy, but I just don’t know if I have it in me 😀

      Like

  6. […] up with the beginning of Eyes Wide Open, Part 1, Part 2 and Part […]

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  7. Ooh, I’m liking where this is going…you’re writing is very captivating and enjoyable to read. It has a nice flow to it.

    Like

  8. Oh ya, now on to Part 4…

    Like

  9. […] you haven’t read them, catch up with the beginning of Eyes Wide Open, Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3 and Part […]

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  10. Playing catch up. This is great …

    Like

  11. […] you haven’t read them yet, catch up with the beginning of Eyes Wide Open, Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 and Part […]

    Like

  12. […] you haven’t read them yet, catch up with the beginning of Eyes Wide Open, Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5 and Part […]

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  13. Write a book girl. Mike mmmmhhhhh

    Liked by 1 person

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