Tag Archives: love

Fighting Chance

25 Feb

bus-stop

Amanda was mentally drained and a little irritated from a long day at her internship. As she waited for her bus, all she could think about was getting to her Muay Thai training so she could blow some steam off on the pads. She rolled her eyes as she caught an in-shape, handsome guy trying to pretend he wasn´t looking at her.

Brad was also waiting for the bus after what he thought was another exciting day at his internship. He was also thinking about his Jiu Jitsu training that he was on his way to. He was going over a move in his head when the most beautiful girl caught his eye. Brad was shy so he was avoiding looking at her at all costs.

A few minutes passed and Brad thought to himself, “Hey, you just got your brown belt, you´re kicking ass at the office, have a little self-respect. Be confident! Go over there and talk to her.” He took a deep breath. His feet felt like they were stuck in hot tar and his legs were frozen in plaster. His face was tingling. With great effort he freed himself from his mental mire and took a step towards her.

Amanda thought, “Oh no, he´s coming over here…”

“Hi. I´m Brad” he said to her offering a hand.

Amanda sighed and offered a limp offering of a hand in return, “I´m Amanda.”

“You work in the building?” Brad asked as he pointed back to the 50 story monolith standing behind them.

“Yeah, more like perform indentured servitude” she said, adding, “I intern.”

Brad nervously chuckled, “Yeah? Me too, that´s…”

Just then a lanky guy in a hooded sweatshirt appeared. His eyes weren´t quite looking at anyone or anything, it was more like they were looking out of, or into, a perverted void. He brandished a knife and muttered barely audible nonsense.

Brad and Amanda stood up off the bench and the assailant sliced at the air between them. He demanded they remain seated.

Brad saw an opportunity to act when the attacker had the knife in the hand furthest from them. He dove on the man´s lead leg and snapped him to the ground with lightning speed. He was shocked by the drug induced strength that the bean pole shaped man was able to produce.

He wrapped up the man´s legs and started to improve his position, pinning the man´s hips when he felt a searing pain in his shoulder. The man was cursing as he tried to free his knife from Brad´s flesh.

Amanda, having never for a second thought about retreating, was looking for her shot. Brad lost his grip due to the burning pain and the man was trying to get to his feet. With one hand still on the ground, the man was almost up. Amanda threw her hips into a kick that delivered a shin that all but caved the man´s exposed face in. He was immediately out.

Someone must have seen the tussle from afar and alerted the cops because they rolled up right on cue. Although he was in severe pain, Brad´s life was not at risk. The knife was still stuck in his shoulder though.

*     *     *     *     *      *     *     *     *     *

Amanda finished giving her statement to the police and went over to Brad who was being attended to by paramedics. “That was some takedown” she said.

“Thanks” Brad chuckled, pretending that laughing didn´t hurt. “You know, you kicked a down opponent, his hand was clearly down on the ground” he smiled.

Amanda jokingly rolled her eyes, “Yeah? Disqualify me”

“I´ll just give you a warning” Brad played back. “Maybe we can train sometime? I mean, together?”

“Well, I think it´ll be a while before you are training again” she said as she pointed to the shoulder being attended to. “Let´s get dinner sometime before that, I don´t want to wait that long”

Brad´s face lit up “I´d love that”

“We´re definitely driving, though” Amanda said.

Unwanted Wants Pt. IV

13 Dec

Please read Part III

 

Pay phone this

As Suzy walked back to her apartment, her thoughts were on how she could get Justin out of her home. The thought of confrontation made her shudder. She even joked to herself “What if I just moved out and took the loss?”

Just then her phone went off. It was a text from Amanda.

–CALL ME FROM A PAY PHONE!

Suzy walked for over ten minutes before finding a working pay phone.

“Hello” Amanda answered.

“What´s this all about?” Call from a pay phone?” Suzy asked.

“Did you?”

“Yes”

“I have an idea. There´s this contractor guy who illegally hooked up our cable box, you know, the one that unlocks all the channels; he told me he does all types of things. I think he meant shady things. He even winked at me when he said it!” Amanda told her.

“What are you getting at?” Suzy asked, perplexed, yet nervous.

“He could scare Justin. I´m not talking about hurting him. Just scare him into going away” Amanda said.

“I don´t know” Suzy said, but deep down she did know. She was relieved. This would avoid confrontation. She could throw a little money at the problem and it would go away.

While Suzy was thinking this, Amanda was pleading her case to deaf ears, and then Suzy cut her off. “What exactly are we talking about here?”

“The guy will do everything. The plan, the action, everything” Amanda paused, “I´ll even take care of this. I´ll call, I´ll set it up. Hell, if it isn´t too much, I´ll pay. You´ve helped me so much. It´ll be nothing”

“I´ll pay…but if you could set it up…that would be great” Suzy said.

“I´m on it. I´ll call you later with details” Amanda said, before adding “I love you, you´re going to get out of this soon”

“Thanks Amanda. I love you too”

*           *          *          *          *          *

Amanda found the crumpled piece of paper in her purse with the name “Sean” and a number scribbled on it. She reluctantly dialed the number from a pay phone.

“Hello?” answered a gruff voice that didn´t sound like it was very used to receiving calls.

“Sean?” Amanda stammered.

“Yeah. Who is this?” the voice barked.

“It´s Amanda, you hooked up our cable box a little while ago” she answered.

“Oh yeah, I remember” he answered and he did remember because he thought Amanda was hot “Is it working ok?”

“Yes, perfectly. I´m calling about something else. You said you did things. I think I have a job for you”

“You on a pay phone?” Sean asked.

“Yes, of course” she answered “And you, can you talk?”

“Yup, this is a burner phone” he answered.

Amanda went into details about the job she had for him. Sean was laughing to himself. At times, he even had to cover the mouthpiece of the phone. When Amanda was finished, Sean told her he´d reach out to her with the plan and his fee.

Sean hung up and immediately texted Justin.

“U ain´t gonna believe this shit”

 

Unwanted Wants Pt. III

12 Dec

Please read Pt. II first 

Couple

Three months have passed and there were only two weeks until Christmas. Justin hadn´t paid a dime in rent. He was eating a week´s worth of groceries in two or three days. Suzy was tired of him. Justin was getting restless as well. He could tell Suzy wasn´t buying what he was selling.

Suzy, on one hand, was proud of herself. In similar situations she would already have completely fallen for Justin. She would have already have lost a lot more money than just rent and groceries. Her heart and finances were still intact.

Justin, on the other hand, was wildly disappointed in himself. In similar situations, he would have had the woman, similar to Suzy, eating out of the palm of his hand. Room, board and sex weren´t enough to satisfy him. He wasn´t aborting this mission until he had more to show for the past three months.

Both parties were plotting. Suzy wanted to evict Justin and Justin wanted extract resources from Suzy. In the meantime, both maintained the façade that everything was in order.

On a warm Saturday afternoon, Suzy went to have a coffee with Amanda.

“Say it” Suzy said.

“Say what?” Amanda asked.

“I told you so” Suzy answered.

“Do I need to?” Amanda said.

“No. I saw it coming. I saw it a mile away. I saw it happening in real time and yet I was unable to stop myself. It felt as if I were floating in a somewhat bad dream, coming closer and closer to reality the more timed passed” Suzy looked down. “I´m not even upset that this happened. I am upset that I let this happen. I´m pathet…”

“Ok, girl, beating yourself up isn´t going to help anything. Let´s find a solution” Amanda said. She leaned over and comforted the sobbing Suzy.

*           *          *          *         *          *

Back at the apartment, Justin was smoking a joint and texting his friend Sean.

“U da man. How u still there?… I dunno” –Sean

“Yeah, but I aint´got nothing from her yet” –Justin

“Hahahaha! U nutted” –Sean

“lol” –Justin

“U gotta bounce soon…before she bounce yo ass” –Sean

“Not B4 I get mine” –Justin

 

(To be continued)

Please read Part IV

 

Unwanted Wants Pt. I

10 Dec

heart

“All I want for Christmas is a nice present” complained Suzy. “I don´t even want the ´thing´” she said, making quotation marks in the air with her fingers. “I really just want someone in my life that cares about me enough to give me one”

“Be careful what you wish for” Amanda said, “Bill will give me anything I want but I hate every second of my life I spend with him”

“Of course! In fifteen years of marriage he´s given you herpes and gonorrhea” Suzy said.

Amanda sighed “If it weren´t for the kids…” she lost her train of thought but snapped back quickly, “Hey, how´s that roommate search coming?”

“I have two interviews tomorrow” Suzy answered.

“Great! Both are girls, I presume?” Amanda prodded.

Suzy hesitated.

“No!” Amanda said, “Don´t do this to yourself, again. You know if the guy is halfway good looking, you´ll pick him. Then, you´ll be fucking him in a few weeks after moving in and your life will be a certain disaster in a few months”

“Therapy is helping! And besides, very few people answered the ad. I´ve filtered it down to these two; a guy and a girl. I want to see which I click with more” Suzy defended herself.

“We both know how this plays out” Amanda said, “I just don´t wanna say ‘I told you so’ again”

“Look, I´ll give more consideration to the girl if it makes you feel any better” Suzy said.

“Because I know you, it doesn´t make me feel any better” Amanda said.

Suzy laughed nervously.

* * * * * *

The next day, Suzy was escorting a very handsome man to the lobby of her apartment building. “I had one other interview today, but she couldn´t come” she lied.

“Oh yeah?” Justin said.

“I don´t think I´ll need to reschedule, you are perfect. I think you´ll fit right in” she said.

“That´s great! But maybe out of curiosity you should see them, though” he answered.

“That won´t be necessary” Suzy said, looking into Justin´s eyes, imagining going to the beach with him.

“That´s great then! When can I move my stuff in?”

“Whenever you want, I´ll just need the security deposited we discussed…” Suzy said before Justin cut her off.

“Can I just bring a few things over tonight and get you that deposit next week?” Justin asked.

“That sounds great!” Suzy answered, but in her gut she felt a familiar twang that meant the opposite was true. “I´ll be home all day. Come when you want”

“Ok”, Justin said as he leaned in for a hug.

Suzy inhaled the sweat yet masculine aroma from the chest area of Justin´s cotton t-shirt. “Hmmmmmm” she thought to herself.

(To be continued…)

Continue to Unwanted Wants Pt. II

 

The Match

12 Jan

blood-test

The difference between one brother and another can be as vast as if the two have never lived under the same roof. That was the case for Brad and Erick. Brad was a giver and a pleaser. Erick was a taker and a seeker of pleasure.

The contrast was stark as far back as when they were babies.  Erick was always ripping the toys out of the Brad´s hands which was completely unnecessary because Brad would have simply given the toy if Erick had shown in the most miniscule level of interest in it. Erick preferred violently taking the toy because he would not want to see Brad feel any of the pleasure in giving. Decades of adulthood passed without the two having any contact. This ate at Brad and the latter fact delighted Erick.

One night both brothers received a call. The call came from the same person and had the same information. Their father was dying and both were being requested to take a donor compatibility test.  Brad relished in the opportunity to be a hero. Erick loathed the idea of being so inconvenienced and shuttered at the thought of a needle tearing a hole in his skin and penetrating his vein.  Besides, the thought of his mother being widowed and alone slightly tickled him.

As Brad sat in a thumbing a magazine, waiting his turn to have blood drawn, a disheveled bearded face plodded though the waiting room. “It couldn´t be” Brad thought to himself.

The man plopped down beside him. “Hey shithead” he said.

Brad fought a tear that was burning his eye with will to run down his face.

“Erick! Hey brother! You look, um good!” Brad said.

“No I don´t. But neither do you so we are even” he snapped, fighting the urge to smile. He didn´t want Brad to even dream that he was happy to see him, though he was a little.

“So, how´d they convince you to come?” Brad asked.

“The girl I´m banging said she wouldn´t put out for a while if I didn´t at least take the goddamn test. Even if it comes back positive, she ain´t gonna know” he answered.  The woman he was referring to is his live in girlfriend of five years.

“In that case, I hope I´m a match” Brad chuckled.

“Me too!” Erick roared with inappropriate and slightly forced laughter, sprinkled with a smoker´s hack.

Both men left the clinic with a band aid covered cotton ball on their forearm.  For the next few days Brad waited by the phone with waves of anticipation washing over him. Erick stayed drunk and even forgot why there was a dirty band aid clinging to his arm.

Neither had received a call but Erick´s arm had grown purple and painful to the touch. Brad´s impatience grew to epic proportions. Brad even tried calling Erick even though he knew it was of no use. Even if the number was correct, Erick would probably not answer it anyway.

After a heated, yet typical drunken fight, Erick’s girlfriend walked out promising never to come back.  Went it got this far it meant she´d be gone for at least a week. Usually, Erick relished in these recesses and basked in his freedom, usually getting drunker or higher than usual. This time he wouldn´t. Not even vodka and vicodin could mask the pain in his now swollen, multi color arm.

After seeking for more than three days, Brad finally acquired Erick’s address.  He would not rest until he knew that either he or his brother could be a possible donor. When he arrived to the house he was taken aback. Brad´s living conditions were even worse than he expected. “How could someone live like this?” he thought to himself.

He knocked on the door. No answer. He thought he heard moans coming from inside and they sounded like Erick. He slightly pushed on the door. It was enough to open it. The door did not close properly, let alone have a lock. Erick was on the floor. His face was white and covered with sweat. One arm was raw and swollen, it looked as if it has been burned. It was the arm the blood sample had been taken from. The smell was overwhelming.

Brad said in horror “Let´s get you to the hospital. That arm don´t look so good.”

“It don´t feel no good either” Erick replied, “Ever since that goddamn test. Knew I shouldnt´ve  done it. That bitch tricked me” he was drunk and Brad could smell it over the stench.  “That asshole, son of a bitch of a father of ours is finally gonna get his way after all these years” he stammered.

“What do you mean?” Brad asked.

“Bury one of us! Especially me, the fuck up” Erick said, eyes rolling into the back of his head.

Brad convinced his brother to go to the hospital.  “You have an HAI Mr….”  the doctor trailed off. He couldn´t make out Erick´s last name.

“English, doc” Erick moaned.

“Hospital acquired infection, sir” the doctor replied. He continued ” It´s spread all through your body. Given your lifestyle it has already ravished your weakened system. Let me talk to your brother outside” he said with a forced smile and led Brad to the hall.

There he gave Brad the news that his brother would probably only live for another week. Brad took the news hard and asked if he could be the one to break it to his brother.  The doctor obliged. Erick took the news almost as a relief. There would finally be relief from the pain of his ailment and from the pain that was his life.

Erick was sent home with a smorgasbord of drugs to act as a bridge over pain from the current moment to his eminent death.  One day, high as a vulture with a good draft under its wing, he answered the phone.

“Is this residence of Erick….” the voice trailed off trying to make out the last name.

“Yeah, yeah, sure is” Erick answered.

“I have some good news and some bad news” the voice said.

“Hit me” Erick said.

“The good news is, you´re a match for your father” the voice informed.

“Go on, you said you had some bad news” Erick said with a smile.

“Yes, well, due to the infection I´m afraid we can´t use you and your brother is not a match” the voice said.

Erick sat there in silence with a smile from ear to ear.

“Sir….sir….” the voice on the phone called until there was an audible click.

“This is a great day to be alive” Erick said as he slipped a morphine strip on his tongue,  popped a rainbow of pills and washed them down with cheap vodka.

The Show Must Go On

1 May

show

Pamela worked for the reality television show Gotchya! The premise was simple. The producers would field requests from doubtful girlfriends to test the fidelity of their boyfriends. Pamela´s job was to be the bait. Pamela was a gorgeous woman. Even in real life she looked as though she was being photo shopped at any given moment. The show was a smash hit. Part of its success was the phenomenon that was Pamela. The other part was propensity for people to shut off their intellect and have their most base emotions tickled.

Pamela got her latest assignment. She was to seduce a young man named Ari. Ari was engaged and set to be married in a few months. His girlfriend was having unfounded suspicions, probably brought on by her own obsession with the program. Pamela´s intel told her that Ari liked to have a drink with his coworkers for around an hour every Wednesday after work. The sting was to go down in one month.

Pamela had a peculiar interest in this case. For one, Ari was an extremely handsome man. He had a fascinating background as well. He was a fighter in the Israeli special forces before coming to America and earning his business degree then MBA from a top school. Pamela poured over his files religiously after her mandatory two large glasses a wine every day. She could not get Ari out of her mind. She found herself mouthing his name randomly throughout the day.

The month passed and the set up was to go down the next day. Pamela was extraordinarily nervous. She could not sleep. She was confused by these feelings she was having. To make her job easier, she assumed the marks she was to set up were all cheating scum bags, guilty before proven innocent. She could not get into that mind set this time.

The day of the encounter, she took extra care in dolling herself up. Even the van driver took notice and told her that she was exceptionally beautiful that day. She shrugged off the compliments with a nervous smile. The bar had been previously wired for video and audio. The owner could not dream of turning down this free exposure on a hit TV show. She herself got wired up in the van. The producers noticed she was out of sorts. She convinced them it was nothing and was on her way.

As she sat down at the bar she immediately noticed Ari a few seats down. He was impeccably dressed as were the four gentlemen with him. “This looks like a goddamned Gucci perfume commercial” she thought to herself. As she normally did, she sent over a round of drinks. When the group of men asked who was the generous soul, the bar tender gave a nod in Pamela´s direction.

“My God!” said Mike, a handsome, single accounts manager. “I got this” he added with a smirk as he approached the beautiful woman.

“Thank you for the drinks, from all of us” Mike said.

“No problem” Pamela answered.

“You have a boyfriend?” he asked.

“No” she answered.

“Want one?” Mike asked, playfully.

“Sure, doesn´t every woman?” she flirted back. “I could see myself with the guy in the grey jacket and glasses” she smiled, referring to Ari.

“Oh, Ari? He´s taken. Gonna tie the knot soon”

“What a pity” she said adding “Well, maybe he and I could just have a little fun then. I won´t even be in town that long anyway”

“Good luck. Ari is so in love with his fiancé, I don´t even think he…..if you know what I mean” Mike said chuckling and he made a fist and moved his hand in an up and down fashion.

“We´ll see, could you call him over here, please?” she asked.

“Sure” Mike said as he whistled and motioned for Ari to come over.

“This young lady would like to say hi, Ari” Mike said before going back to the group.

“Hello, I´m Ari” he said.

“I know, Mike told me all about you. I´m Samantha” she said. She always used an alias for the show.

“Nice to meet you, thanks for the drink. I think I´m gonna get back to the group. Would you like to join us? A lot of shop talk but I am sure we can come up with another topic on your behalf” he said.

“No, I am only interested in one man at a time” she said, running her index finger down his chest.

“Oh, I´m very sorry. I am engaged. Did Mike tell you he´s single? He is a really good guy, too” Ari said.

“I am very good at keeping secrets. Besides, Mike is not my type, you are” she said, trying her best. This is the point where ninety percent of the marks melt. Ari was not budging. She could sense it.

“I´m sorry, I´m just, I mean, I´m not that guy. I love my fiancé” he said. He was so stoic, yet so empathetic for Pamela that it was making her crazy. Crazy for him.

“Are you sure? I won´t even be in town for long. I will be long and so will our little secret” she insisted.

A big smile flashed on Ari´s face “I am. I am very sure. But again, you can join us. Have a laugh with us. You don´t have to sit here alone.

“That´s ok. I was just leaving” she said. Pamela was crushed. Not because the mark didn´t take the bait. That has happened before and those shows were just as popular as the ones where the mark took the bait. She was personally crushed. She went out to the production van and told them it was a no go. The producers were thrilled. They told her they had enough footage and that this episode would be a smash hit. The hot, young successful businessman, faithful!

The production team wanted to shoot the reveal and get the parties involved to sign waivers so their likeliness could be shown on the program. Pamela refused to be part of the reveal. After some heated debate, the producers agreed to film the reveal without her.

That night Pamela could not sleep. She tossed and turned and Ari´s big smile kept flashing before her eyes. She could not get him off her mind. Around two in the morning and a bottle and a half of Merlot later she found herself calling Ari´s cell phone. When he answered, she hung up. She did this for half a dozen times. She forgot to block her number.

A half hour she received a call from Ari´s phone. She hesitated to answer. She had no idea what she was going to say. Finally she swiped right.

“Hello?” she said.

“Who is this? Why are you calling my boyfriend?” a woman´s voice asked.

A stroke of what Pamela thought was genius crossed her mind. “I´m Sarah. I served with Ari in the Israeli army. We used to hook up back then. I´ve been in town for the past four months and we have been hooking up almost every day since. For old times sake”

There was only a gasp from the other line. The phone hung up. “What did I just do?” Pamela asked herself.

Months went by and Pamela´s obsession subsided. So did the national scandal her actions caused. The scandal only made the show more popular, though. Pamela was made a host of the show. She became so famous that there was no way she could pull off a sting again. Pamela hired a private investigator to catch up on Ari. He was happily married.

One night, as she was halfway done with her second glass of wine there was a knock on her door. She thought it strange, the protocol for visitors in her building had the doorman call before sending a guest up. The knocking was insistent.

She opened the door. Two olive skinned men pushed their way in. “What is this” she gasped.

“Be quiet” one of them said with a thick accent as the other put a gloved hand over her mouth.

“This is for a friend” he said as he produced a silenced IMI 9mm Uzi.

Pamela didn´t hear or feel a thing.

 

 

Home Is For The Birds

28 Jul

birds

Pilot and Skye had a beautiful home, high up in the trunk of a dead tree. A wood pecker hollowed out an already rotting part in search of a meal. He found what he was looking for and abandoned the site when the food ran out. It was  a perfect home for a young couple of swallows.

One day Pilot went out to look for some food. He gave Skye a kiss on the beak and went his way. He flew almost a full mile until he found a promising location. He looked around for a perch to assess the area. He saw a branch with a wide angle view of the ground below.

Already on the branch was a beautiful female swallow.  Pilot thought he should maybe find another branch but she waved him over with a wink.

“Hello” she said.

“Hello” Pilot said.

“Name´s Libi” she said.

“I´m Pilot” he said, blushing.

“That´s a strong name. Are you a strong bird?” Libi asked.

“Well, not really, I guess I can be” he answered. Libi stayed quite. She knew that silence can drive a male mad.

Pilot´s mind raced, searching for something to say, to break the deafening silence. All he could come up was, “Do you live close?”

“Close to what?” Libi giggled. Pilot blushed again. Libi leaned over and kissed him on the beak. An explosion of emotions rushed over Pilot. The thought that rose to the top was “What am I doing?”

Swallows are hard wired for monogamy. They take a mate for life. This went against thousands of years of evolution.

Pilot pulled away. “I cannot do this! I already have a female”

Libi said with a devilish look, “You do and you don´t now”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the moment you return home, your “ex” will smell my pheromones on you, so you don´t. But, you have me now” she said.

Pilot wanted to protest but he couldn´t. She was right. Dejected, Pilot asked “Where do you live?”

“I don´t have a home, dear” she answered. “You have to make one for us”

“Oh great…” Pilot thought.

Over the course of a week Pilot made a home just as good as the one he left.  Two days after, Libi kicked him out.

“I thought we were going to be together forever” Pilot said.

“That´s so old fashioned. That instinct must have passed over me” Libi said.

“What am I going to do?” Pilot cried.

“I don´t know. Do the same as the others. Go crawling back to your old home” Libi said.

“Others?” Pilot asked.

“Yeah, the others that I tricked into building me a house. I´m just going to flip it for some quick cash” Libi said.

Pilot wanted revenge but realized this would just get more of her pheromones on him. In fact, he was so busy working, he hadn´t had contact with Libi for days. He flew off to see if he could get his life back.

The Connection

18 Jun

Remote-desktop-connection

Beverly´s only real skill in life was being attractive to the opposite sex. She honed this skill the way a fighter hones various angles of his game, only with less hard work, dedication and honor involved in the process. She was constantly changing looks. Beverly didn´t really like men. She was not a lesbian, but she was in not sexually attracted to men. In fact, she really didn´t like much of anything about them. There was one thing she like in a man, money.

Beverly´s lack of attraction didn´t matter because she could fake it like an academy award winning actress. She could make a man feel like he was the only man she had ever truly loved. Many men to this day think of her as the women who fell the hardest for them.

In her younger days, Beverly would just drift from city to city spending a few months here, a few years there. She always found her way into the most posh apartments, finest restaurants and rubbing elbows in the highest social circles wherever she was. But now her years were catching up to her.

It was not that her looks were diminishing. She seemed to become more beautiful with age. It was that moving so often was getting tiresome and lonely. She wanted to stop. She wanted to live in familiarity for once. New was becoming boring.

She created a profile on a website specifically for women looking for men with money. She went to the trouble to buy a few expensive outfits and had professional pictures taken. She threw the bait out. Now she waited to land her whale.

Among the many messages she received over the first week. One caught her eye in particular. His name was Henry. His profile stated he was an entrepreneur, a very wealthy one at that. Beverly was not destitute by any means. She was smart over the years creating various accounts, depositing gifts from her suitors.

Beverly exchanged many messages with Henry and became very interested. He might be able to provide the soft landing she was looking for. And strangely, she felt that she might like him.

After a few weeks of back and forth they decided to meet. They decided to do it in a big way. They were to rendezvous in Cancun for an extended weekend. Henry had given Beverly a long story of how he had some funds frozen due to litigation in Europe and he asked her to spot him. He would pay her back as soon as the matter cleared. Beverly obliged. It was a mere investment in her eyes.

They spent the most fabulous weekend imaginable. Beverly was more sure than ever that she was on the right path. Henry, besides demonstrating great wealth, was handsome and fun to be around. His legal woes in Europe had increased and now a Chinese court was looking into a business of his. Beverly did not think twice about helping him out. Help him out now, help me out in the future, she thought.

After a few more sob stories and a few more wire transfers, Beverly´s funds started to get alarmingly low. When Henry asked for help again, Beverly had to deny. She hadn´t the funds he required. Soon after, Henry disappeared. He no longer answered e-mails. His cell phone was disconnected. Beverly was devastated.

She took what little funds she had and hired a private investigator to track Henry down. After a few weeks, the investigator found all he needed and closed the case. He brought his findings to Beverly. Henry, or Roberto, his birth name, had a criminal record thicker than Beverly´s passport from all the extra pages she needed. All of his crimes were of the white collar ilk. He had never done time. He was good. Apparently, better than Beverly.

Questions Answered

26 May

daddy

Reed stood in his large office with his glare fixed on Central Park through the plate glass window as he was apt to do right after lunch. The same thought, like clockwork, echoed through his mind as it always did at this time. “How did I get here?”

Reed came from two parents that stayed together for his sake although it was probably more damaging for them to have done so. He had no guidance growing up. He had no positive role model to follow. The role models he did have to follow, if he had followed them, would not have led him to this current location in time and space. He was deathly aware of this.

Reed had the fortune of having a professor at his local community college take an interest in him. This professor recognized that Reed had potential. He took him under his wing and when he felt it was time, unleashed him unto to the world. Reed has since been directly responsible for creating at least 1000 jobs in the metro New York area, indirectly 1000´s more and generating countless millions of dollars in wealth.

None of these accomplishments satiated Reed. He still felt like the kid in class with the cheapest sneakers despite now wearing thousand dollar shoes. He still felt like the kid cut from the high school football team despite funding three local high schools’ football programs for over a decade. He still felt like the kid who was rejected by the only girl he had a crush on in all his short pubescent years despite being pursued by some of the most beautiful women New York high society has to offer.

He felt empty. He felt he had to do something with his life.

One morning on his way into the office he was listening to an interview with a musician he had liked since he was a kid. The interviewee went on about an experience he had in the jungles of Peru. He had taken a substance called Ayahuasca, a hallucinogen made from jungle plants, and he had a profound life changing, spiritual experience.

Reed felt this was just what he needed to find what it was that he was looking for. He briefed his secretary, Meredith, on his wish and gave her the order to book a trip. He also asked her to book herself on the trip because she was going along with him. She was taken aback at first but she soon warmed to the idea.

Due to the popularity of the interview Reed had heard, trips of this nature were booked for months in advance. He only wanted the best retreat so he obliged to wait ten months. Knowing this was to be a life changing experience he wanted to get closer to his travel companion. He and Meredith decided to have dinner at least once a week, twice if schedule permitted, to get to know each other a little better. Clear ground rules were laid down as to the platonic nature of the encounters.

Due to Reed´s charm and aided by Meredith’s stunning good looks, those rules went right out the window. On the third dinner they could not keep their hands off each other as they went to say goodbye. From that encounter on, they followed each dinner with a trip to a five star hotel where they would take out their lust on one another.

Two months into this situation, Meredith stopped getting her period. She was pregnant. There was no doubt in her mind as to who was the father. Reed´s mind was not so free of doubt. He fathomed, if he could have her so easily and her being as attractive as she was, surely there was a line of suitors.

This doubt did not stop Reed from financially supporting Meredith’s pregnancy, but it held him back emotionally. He kept her at a distance. The months went by and Meredith’s belly grew.

Meredith came into Reed´s office with some news from the doctor. She explained that the doctor was afraid there were some complications and that a cesarean section was to be performed instead of a natural birth. There was even a chance the baby, Meredith or both would not make it. Reed felt a shameful wave of relief and it made him sick.

The day came for the baby to arrive. Reed had everything arranged but was not planning on being present for the delivery. At the last minute he got in a cab and made it to the hospital on time. Meredith was in the operating room. Reed was prepped and allowed in. The doctor kept asking Reed if he wanted to see the work in progress. He said no thank you and stayed by Meredith’s head. She did not look so well. Tears were streaming down her eyes though she was not visibly sad or in pain.

Reed picked Meredith’s limp hand off the bed and held it. He looked at her and felt pity. How did he get here, he asked himself. A sharp cry pierced the air. It was the baby. He, as the doctor informed them, was born.

Reed´s first thought was that it looked nothing like him. Of course, like most new borns, it barely looked like a human. Some of the monitors that Meredith was hooked up to started to make awful sounds. Even though Reed did not understand the beeps and the flashes, his instincts told him they were not good. The doctor asked Reed to go to the father´s lounge and that everything would be okay and he would see the baby in just a little while.

Reed paced nervously in the lounge. The other fathers noticed how he was exceptionally agitated and tried to calm him down. How did he get here, that infernal question raced through his head. After around a half an hour the doctor came in with bad news. Meredith did not make it. She passed not long after he had left the operating room. All Reed could think of was the moment took her hand out of his and put it back on the bed. That was the last contact he had with her while she was still on this planet alive. The scene of the hands flashed in his mind on replay. He felt like punishing himself with the pain the scene made him feel. Finally, the doctor interrupted him.

He asked if he wanted to hold the baby and Reed said yes. He sat down in one of the over sized chairs and the nurse came in with the baby. She place it in his arms. He trembled. For the first time in a long time, the question of how he got there did not bounce off the walls of his inner mind. He saw this being and his mission became clear. He cried like he had never cried in his life.

Reed never took that trip into the jungle. In about a month´s time all doubt was lifted as to who was the biological father. The baby looked just like him. It didn´t matter to Reed though, he already was the baby´s father. Everyday upon waking, Reed spoke with Meredith for five to ten minutes. At first he thought it was a little insane. Now it is as necessary a part of his life as breathing. He has stopped asking for forgiveness and now just tells her how the baby is and tells her of his progress.

Reed no longer asks how he got here. He just knows that he is here and that is all that matters.

 

The Ride

23 May

Scenic Curve

Nate, despite a great fear of speed, always wanted a motorcycle. It was not that he thought it would make him cool, it was that they aesthetically pleased him. He loved the curves of sports bikes, the forward leaning aggressiveness and the color schemes. When a bike would pass on the road, it would captivate his attention and imagination long after it had left his sight.

What kept Nate from fulfilling this desire was fear. He had dreams where he would be on a motorcycle and it would accelerate against his will and ultimately he would lose control and crash. He would always wake up before impact. Nate didn´t even like to ride his bicycle fast.

Nate was in line at a coffee shop when a beautiful woman caught his eye. She was sitting at a table with a helmet in front of her and she was wearing a European racing style motorcycle jacket. Nate was afraid of speed but he was not shy.

He got his cup of coffee and went straight for the table where the woman sat. He walked up with his eyes fixed on the helmet.

“Full face?” he asked.

“Always” she responded.

“Yeah, me too” Nate said.

“You ride?” she asked.

“I´m very new to bikes, but yeah” he lied.

“What kind of bike do you have?” she asked, clearly interested in Nate.

“Yamaha R1” Nate answered. This behavior was very out of character for Nate. He was not a liar In fact, one of his strongest traits was his honesty. He didn´t know why he was doing this. He only knew, he couldn´t stop now.

“Very nice. I love Yamahas. Do you want to sit down?” she asked.

The talked for a while about motorcycles. Although Nate had never even been on one in motion, save for his dreams, he was very knowledgeable due to his intense interest. At least an hour and a half passed when the woman said “Oh, gosh, I didn´t even notice what time it was! I have to go. You want to go riding some day?”

Nate swallowed hard, “Uh, sure”

They exchanged numbers and both were on their way. For the rest of the day, Nate thought about that woman. Ashley was her name. He caught himself mouthing the name to himself a few times that day. Every time he did, his stomach fluttered. What am I going to do?, he thought.

He knew the only thing he could do. Buy a motorcycle, learn how to ride it and ask her out. The next day, Nate went on Craig´s list and as luck would have it, there were a few Yamaha R1’s for sale.

He picked the newest looking one. He arranged a meeting in a Wal-Mart parking lot to see the bike. The owner was willing to teach him how to ride it under the condition the money was exchanged before the makeshift lesson.

When he arrived the seller was already there. The bike was impeccable. Nate handed over the money, in cash and the seller handed over the documents. The deal was done. After an hour or two of coaching, Nate actually felt comfortable on the bike. The seller was extremely patient and only left when he felt sure that Nate could handle the bike. The owner stressed to Nate to take it very easy because this was a powerful machine he was dealing with.

Nate felt so comfortable that he decided to leave his car in the parking lot and ride the bike home. The first thing Nate did when he arrived was call Ashley. He felt relieved when he noticed she was excited to hear him call. They arranged a date to ride the Turnpike down to the beach for lunch. It was only a forty minute ride. Not so daunting for a new rider.

The big day came and Nate was so nervous he woke up way before the alarm. He decided he would make use of this time. He decided to wax his bike. It also calmed his nerves to spend some of his nervous energy. He had be practicing on his bike one hour a day since the plan was set. He felt ready.

He swung by Ashley´s house and they were off. Ashley is not a fast rider and that was good for Nate. As he saw the Turnpike entrance his stomach shuttered. He was still a little uneasy on the highway at high speeds.

About fifteen minutes on the Turnpike, Nate was settling in. He was feeling at ease and finally started to enjoy the ride. He decided to speed up a little and Ashley followed suit. She passed him. Then he passed her. This was fun. All of a sudden, Nate´s bike started accelerating. He took his hand off the throttle. The bike did not respond in kind. The throttle was stuck. It accelerated even more. Ashley was now far behind. She was flashing her high beams. Nate panicked. He was coming up on a big curve. He had never taken such a curve even at low speed, let alone on a bike that was going this fast.

He lost control. The bike slammed into the median. Nate went flying. He bounced upon the asphalt for what seemed like an eternity. Ashley quickly came up upon the scene. She was in horror. The bike was unrecognizable and Nate laid on the ground not moving.

Nate woke up in the hospital. Ashley was there by his side along with his family. He was alive. Thanks to his protective gear he was relatively in good shape. He had a few broken bones. He looked over at Ashley and she looked back at him in a way nobody had ever looked at him before. He was in love, with her and motorcycles. Both would go on to play a big part in his life from that point on.