Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 • 4 Comments on Believe in Yourself
Here’s a snippet of a story that was rejected recently. I think this part captures the essence of both the story and the title—“Here in Between.” I still love it. Now I just need to find a home for it.
I leave the door cracked open for him while I get in the shower. Maybe it’s not a good idea, inviting him back or leaving the door open, but driving cross country in a twenty year old car hadn’t been a good idea, either. My whole life to this point feels like a long list of bad ideas. So what’s a couple more in a string of them?
I take my time in the shower, knowing he won’t join me. I don’t know why I know that, I just do. He’ll respect my privacy because he’s a private kind of guy. Yeah, I’m sure of it.
When I come out, warm and wet and wrapped in my own robe and wearing my own fuzzy socks because cheap motels don’t offer things like robes and slippers, he’s sitting on the bed. There’s a bottle of whiskey—the good stuff—on the bedside table, along with two tumblers. I raise an eyebrow and look at him.
There’s that shrug again, like he’s letting everything slide right off his shoulders. “I was going to see if you wanted to go next door for a drink. When I heard you in the shower, I figured you’d rather stay in.”
I nod and sit down on the other side of the bed. His shirt sleeves are rolled up and the cuff rides up when he reaches across the bed to hand me a glass. I have a weakness for forearms and his are tan and muscular. He pours me some whiskey—enough that it’s a serious drink, not so much that I’m at risk of spilling it—then he pours his own. We sit there like that, me in a robe and him in well-worn jeans and a black shirt, like we’re old friends who just ran into each other and decided to have a drink in the middle of a motel bed that sags on the side closest to the bathroom.
He stares at the blank television while I stare at his profile. He has a nice face, a kind face. I wonder what his name is, but I don’t ask. I contemplate him and puzzle over it. He’s from New York, so it’s not some country name. They might call him Buddy down here in Tennessee, but his given name is something different, I decide. Something serious. Henry, maybe. Or Luke. Maxwell or Nathan, possibly.
I realize suddenly that he’s watching me watch him. He smiles again, softly. Tiredly. There is a scar at the corner of his lip, only about half an inch long, but wide enough that it looks taut and silvery against his tan. It must have hurt, whatever cut deep enough to leave a scar like that. I want to lean over and kiss that flaw on an otherwise perfect mouth.
There’s nothing stopping me. Nothing but a few inches of bed and a glass of whiskey that’s almost gone already.