Desperado

“I’m getting ready to go out with Michael,” I quickly slipped out and looked down at our drinks.

Janet rolled her eyes. “Really?”

I shrugged. “Yeah.”

“I don’t see what you see in him,” she shook her head.

“Well obviously, otherwise you wouldn’t be with Stanley,” I joked.

It clearly landed on deaf ears. Or unforgiving ears. “He’s an ass.”

“He wasn’t, though, it was his friends.”

“They’re all dickheads.”

“They’re not all dickheads I’m sure—”

“—I literally cannot believe you’re defending them right now.”

“I’m not I’m just saying that maybe his friends went a little too far because it’s a force of habit or something.”

“Ugh I don’t care, you want to hang with them then you go and have fun.”

“Janet…”

“No, no, it’s totally fine. Hey, it’s your life, he’s your boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend.”

“Thank God then because I’d have thought you moved on from Daniel awfully quickly,” she snipped before closing the door behind her.

Okay…

That wasn’t ideal… It’s not like I’m moving on quickly. Our relationship was on the decline for a while. I don’t even know why I have to be defending my relationships right now, I’m the one that’s dating him not Janet.

Michael was going to pick me up and I wanted to be in a better mood than I was earlier on in the day so I had a couple of drinks in me before getting dressed. Fortunately, I wasn’t so blind drunk that I couldn’t see how hot Michael in his leather jacket and jeans. It’s pretty much the same combo all the time and all the time he was hot.

“Hey,” I smiled, staggering for a kiss.

He chuckled breathily through his nose as we kissed. “Hey, you’re in a good mood.”

“I am.”

He narrowed his eyes. “A really good mood.”

I ran my hand down his chest and breathed in. “I am.”

He threw his head back and laughed. “Oh?”

I nodded. “Mm-hmm.”

He watched me as I brought my hands down to his belt, quickly unbuckling him as he stroked my neck, kissing me at the hollow at the base and bringing his lips to my ear. My weak spot. Instantly a wet-inducing factor. It invigorated my desire even more but it was hard pushing through such an incapacitating feeling that I willingly welcomed.

“You sure you want this now?” he asked in between kisses.

“Are you?”

He laughed devilishly in response. I walked backwards, holding him at his erection to my bed. He lifted my dress in front of mirror and shook my ass before grabbing tightly and pulling me into him. I wish I can say we eased slowly into it, but more so we charged like bulls.

All I can say is, I’m glad that our libido didn’t burst at the party.

We took a few minutes washing up, I obviously took longer because, as he says, I have that extra chromosome, and then we were on our way. It was the same friends at the party and either they were on their best behaviour because they were told to, or because they couldn’t be bothered riling someone up tonight.

I was having such a great time when I wanted to get a refill for a drink. I was hoping to get drunk tonight. I rarely do and felt like tonight was the right occasion. It helped in blocking out Janet as well, so there was that.

At the bar I met a girl named Louise. Tall, skinny, model-like, the whole she-bang except with fake boobs. We girls can detect that from a mile away. And I honestly think it’s a girl thing. One time I was working with a guy that wanted to play a game of ‘guess the fake boobs on the women that we see’. Needless to say, he sucked. I think he was more hopeful than realistic.

So Louise and I got to talking about who we came here with when I mentioned Michael.

“Oh, thee, Michael,” she said when I pointed into the crowd.

“Yes, thee, Michael,” I repeated confusedly.

“Isn’t he just great?”

“Yeah,” I laughed, “I guess.”

“I mean, to have that much respect for a girl.”

“Yeah, right…” I wasn’t liking the sound of where this was going.

“So, what number are you then?”

“Umm….what?”

“You know,” she shrugged, “exclusivity, the gifts, the friends who do the same thing as a sort of game to outdo the other,” she snickered. “It’s so fun. A lot of them cheat, as you can tell by my example. So, what number are you?”

***I once commented to a reader on another blog suggesting a book called “13 Reasons Why” to read and that it was going to be a movie. I don’t know if that same reader reads my blogs but turns out it’s on Netflix. Just wanted that person to know. Soul xo***

Apologies

Michael and I hadn’t spoken for a long time. We didn’t see each other, we didn’t talk, and we didn’t even text. I’d been swamped at work to even think about him but when I did, I missed him. I went over and over our fight in my head and wondered if we were both wrong, one of us, or none of us. How do parents spend their whole lives worrying about the kind of crowd their children mix with if friends aren’t a factor in who we are? Maybe when we get older, it becomes clearer. I can’t count the number of times I hear we’re not supposed to generalise an entire people based on just a few people, couldn’t it be the same for the people we know?

I honestly didn’t know, what I did know was that I wasn’t fair to him. I should know better. It’s not like me to just judge a man’s character based on his friends’, or anyone’s for that matter.

Colour me surprise (I know, totally clichéd phrase) when I saw Michael entering the office with Ahly’s ex and friends. As per usual they were having a great time and laughing their asses off. Ahly was smiling because obviously it was infectious, but I was immune.

“When are they going to higher security so they can be shot on site,” Toby sighed.

“Oh pipe down party pooper,” Ahly said.

“This is a place of our work!” He said.

“Uh huh, is that why you keep texting your new girlfriend?”

“What new girlfriend?” I asked.

Toby turned red and kept his warning eyes on Ahly. “No one.”

“I thought the only person you’ve been seeing is…” I stopped short when I thought of the only person I knew he could be calling a girlfriend by this point. But they just met!

“Who?” Toby asked.

I shrugged and acted like I didn’t know. If Chloe didn’t tell me then she didn’t want me to know, and that was a separate issue altogether. My best friend didn’t want me to know she was dating someone I was working with. Like, for real dating. Like, this wasn’t just a fling dating. Why though?

I slipped a glance Michael’s way and he caught it. He half-smiled and looked down then back up at his friends. It was so unbelievably awkward. I guess he wasn’t ready to talk to me either, which is convenient for me considering I wasn’t entirely ready to admit I was wrong.

He ended up leaving and I got back to work to what felt like a long time until I had my break. I asked if they wanted anything before I left, and all I thought about was food. I was mentally calculating what I should get that when I exited the building my name being called out repeatedly sounded like it was from the distance coming closer.

There was Michael, leaning up against the building, smoking a cigarette. “You sure do take forever to go for lunch.”

I fixed my bag over my shoulder and walked over to him. “I’ve been busy.”

He blew a puff of smoke. “Yeah, me too. I think this wall and I have become one with ourselves.”

I smiled at his ridiculousness, trying and failing to keep it composed. “Mm-hmm.”

“So, we haven’t spoken in a while,” he said, matter-of-fact.

I shrugged and gazed on into the distant traffic. “I’ve been busy.”

“Thought you’d say that.”

I sighed. “Yeah, well, I wouldn’t say I liked the freeze.”

He took a swig and then nodded. “Yeah, I’m more of a settle-this-here-and-now type. But can you blame me?”

I looked up through my lashes and smiled. He tilted his head and I shook mine, giving a little huffed laugh. “No, of course not.” I mumbled under my breath, “You can blame me though.”

“I fucking missed you.”

I shrugged. “I maybe, kind of missed you, too,” I joked.

“Especially when I saw some guy named Mark and you on Facebook having a good time,” he said, suggestively.

I rolled my eyes. “Just a friend.”

“Mm-hmm.”

“Mm-hmm yourself.” He laughed and I cleared my throat. “I’m sorry about the fight. I was an asshole and should’ve known better.”

He lifted his brow impressed and brought the corners of his lips downwards. “Say what?”

“Come on, don’t make me say it again.”

He laughed and clutched my jaw to angle his lips down and press them on mine. “I missed that, too,” he said when he pulled away.

“Me too,” I breathed.

“Come on—” he grabbed my hand— “let’s get out of here.”

I shimmied back and out of his grasp. “I have work.”

“Ditch.”

I tilted my head. “What are we in high school?”

“I mean take a personal day, come on let’s go.”

“Why? Got something Valentine’s Day related planned?” I winked.

“Yeah, right, like I’d celebrate a bullshit holiday.”

“Oh. You don’t like it?”

He shrugged. “I just think it’s stupid.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…” I nodded.

“But…I’m gathering you like it?”

“It’s whatever,” I said, waving my hand forwards.

“You sure?”

I nodded. “Hey, I really do have to get back to work.”

“Thought you were going to lunch?”

“Right. Lunch then work.”

“How about we have lunch together then, since you won’t ditch?”

“Uhh, you know, it’s going to be a quick one for me. In and out, sort of thing. I’ll see you later.”

“Anna—”

I was already on the curb about to set foot to cross the street. “Bye!”

First Fight

***BONUS post! Enjoy! Soul xo***

Literally everyone wanted to forget the night. When Stanley took a swing at Brandon I knew all hell was going to break loose. Michael tried to break up the fight while Janet and I rushed over to the side. I can’t help but feel proud over one person only: Stanley. It might be a medieval concept, but Brandon deserved what he got. Barely that actually, he was asking for it. Who says that kind of stuff and doesn’t expect backlash back?

Anyway, the party pretty much broke up after that and the crowd dissipated until we were left going home. I asked Janet wanted me to come with her but she was totally fine. I think she wasn’t as bothered by the comments as Stanley was. Janet was a fighter; she’s experienced a lot of bullshit all her life and I knew she thought this was just another day in the life. Which is why Stanley was the one that appeared to need more consoling, funnily enough. Even though it seemed as though he was there for his woman, Janet was there just as much for her man. It was pretty cool.

Michael and I were quiet in the Uber ride back to my place. I guess you could say it was an uncomfortable silence. I was still fuming over Brandon and what happened that I wanted to vent with Michael as well. He didn’t seem as outraged and it kind of bothered me.

“Did you want to come up?” I asked Michael once we stopped outside my apartment building. “I can fix you some ice for that hand.”

Oh yeah, he got in a few punches as well. Mostly from his friends which is so beyond weird for me.

He sighed. “Yeah, sure.” His voice unstrained and loose. He sounded way too calm for the ruckus that happened. I started to think I was overreacting.

“Didn’t think you’d be in here for ice,” I joked.

Michael chuckled. “Yeah…” he clutched the sides of my face and pulled into a long French kiss.

I pushed at his chest. “Hey come on. Now’s not really the time.” I placed the ice over his hand.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” I shrugged, “shit did just go down back there.”

Michael shook his head and scoffed. “It’s just Brandon.”

I lifted my brows. “Oh. So that’s normal?”

“They just like to mess with people.”

“Ummm…I think that’s a little more than just messing with people.”

“It was a joke.”

“A joke!?”

“Yeah, if Stanley was an actual friend of ours he’d be playing along, too. And Janet would be laughing.”

“And if Brandon was our friend he’d know he shouldn’t be saying shit like that about my best friend, but I guess we’re not the type of people to make those kinds of friends.”

Michael’s nostrils flared and he stood up straight. “Oh, and I suppose I’m a piece of shit to be running around with other pieces of shit.”

“I can’t believe you’re defending this guy!”

“And I can’t believe you think my friends are a reflection of me!”

“Well, some people say you are who you hang with!”

“Fuck this,” he threw the ice pack onto the counter, “I don’t need this bullshit. Call me when you can learn to separate me from the people I know.”

“Are you seriously leaving?” I scoffed and rolled my eyes as soon as he closed the door behind him. “What a cheap move.”

I checked my cell to see if Janet messaged but found a message from Mark instead: ‘Hey, sorry, I was out. Are you still up for a good time?’

Menopausal C****

***Thank you to all those who viewed and\or voted for FSo BLACK SILK; it’s almost at 100K views! Soul xo***

One of the better albeit not so evidence-backed test that a new relationship has potential to last is the meeting before meeting the parents. Meeting the friends. I was already on good terms with He Who Shall Not Be Named a.k.a Ahly’s ex-boyfriend\beat bunny, so I figured I was half in. To break the ice and make me comfortable Michael suggested I bring a couple friends to a gathering one of his friends was hosting. And by hosting I mean he had free space in his artsy loft that could account for a ton of people.

I wanted to drag all my friends to this party but only Janet and Stanley could come. On the way there I thought of Mark and texted him and when I got there he still hadn’t replied. I figured he was out busy but didn’t think too much of it.

“Hey!” I waved at Michael when I spotted him.

“Oh shit, I forgot he was cute,” Janet mumbled.

“Oh my God, like so cute!” Stanley piped in.

Janet slapped him on his chest. “Shut up and get us some drinks will ya?”

“Well, only because you said ‘please’,” he grinned at his own joke and winked at me. I giggled and stopped short when I felt a hand slide around my waist.

“Hey baby,” Michael whispered into my ear.

“Hi…” I grabbed the back of his neck as he kissed mine through my hair. When I turned around he pushed back the hair from my face and gave me a long kiss. We were that annoying couple for a moment that pushed Janet to clear her throat suggestively.

“Oh, Michael you remember Janet,” I said, wiping my lips.

“Of course, how could I forgot?”

“And her husband?” I gestured to Stanley who was holding a couple of beers. He will never learn that I don’t like beer, so I gave mine to Michael.

“Oh. That I did forget,” Michael said, unapologetically.

Stanley narrowed his eyes slightly. “That’s fine.”

Awkward. I think it was completely overlooked by Michael because he just kept getting handsy with me without a care in the world.

Later on in the night Janet, Stanley, Michael and I were chatting to a few of Michael’s friends, one of which was Brandon, a guy I regularly see attached to Michael whenever I saw them at the office. Brandon was definitely the heavy drinker, clearly with a high tolerance, he kept boasting about how it was his seventh beer and he wasn’t feeling a thing. I’m not sure if that’s an Olympic sport but apparently he’s super proud for some reason.

“…can you believe these marches that are happening? All because some people hate Donald Trump. A bunch of pussies if you ask me,” Brandon laughed.

“Nobody’s asking you, dude,” his friend laughed with him.

“Fuck off! Seriously, like why are we protesting anything anymore? World’s fucked as it is without a bunch of menopausal cunts holding signs on the street.”

“Well that’s a disturbingly vivid image,” I said.

“Exactly,” Brandon pointed.

“I meant it’s disturbing that that’s the only image you seem to have.”

Janet snickered. “You can say that again.”

“This is always what happens when politics get throw into the conversation. Don’t listen to Brandon he just likes to ruffle a few feathers.”

“As I recall, someone else likes to fuck with people, too,” Brandon eyed Michael.

“Yeah, I barely do it with politics.”

Brandon harrumphed and took a swig. “Did you go—” he pointed at Janet— “being that you’re black and all?”

“Ummm…” Janet responded.

“Hey man,” Stanley warned.

Michael dropped his arm from around my shoulder as we felt the intensity of the atmosphere grow threateningly dangerous.

“I think you had enough to drink, man,” Brandon’s friend said, laying a hand on Brandon’s shoulder.

Brandon pushed it away without taking his eyes off of Stanley. “Let me ask you something—” he leaned in and smirked— “do you gotta put on a night light on to see what orifice is where when you get down and dirty?”

More Soup

***BONUS post. Enjoy!***

“How’s the soup?” Michael asked.

I winced. “It’s sort of burning my throat.”

He grinned and wriggled his brows. “Good. It’s killing all the bacteria.”

“Oh God…”

“What?”

I heated up quickly. “This is just so weird to me.”

“What is?”

“You seeing me like this, in all my sickness, cleaning up my apartment—”

“—which I did a great job I might add. Almost impossible,” he joked.

“Shut up. I’m way too vulnerable right now.”

“Stop being so self-conscious.”

“I’m not.”

“You are.”

“I’m not.”

He tilted his head and lifted a brow. “You are,” he warned.

“Okay, fine, whatever.”

He chuckled. “Look, if it’s making you that uncomfortable then I can go. But believe me when I say that I really, really, really, like taking care of you. And I really, really, really like you.”

I narrowed my eyes. “How come you never came up?”

He blinked confusedly. “What?”

I shrugged. “How come you never came inside with me? Every time we went out on a date or whatever, sometimes I’d ask you up, sometimes it was obvious I wanted you to come inside but you never did. Why?”

“Oh,” he smiled. He sat opposite me on the coffee table, and I dropped my legs from it.

“I thought you wanted…”

“I do, believe me, I do. It’s not like me to wait.”

“What are you waiting for?”

“I just…I just don’t want to ruin this. Argh…I fucking hate getting all sensitive and shit. Should be your department.”

I laughed. “We’re making jokes to avoid this are we?”

“Lucky for me I’m actually funny.”

“Maybe you don’t know this about me until now, but I have no energy to be annoyed when I’m sick.”

“Or no energy to fight back because you know you’ll lose?”

“Michael,” I tilted my head.

“Anna,” he mimicked me.

I laughed. “Wow you really can’t open up can you?”

He sighed, running a hand through his dark hair. “I want to see where this goes. I just don’t want to fuck everything up because I want to fuck you.”

“Ummm….”

He shook his head. “That’s not what I mean. I just mean, I have this on-to-the-next mentality and I don’t want to be on to the next.”

I smiled. “Does this mean we’re exclusive?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “Do you want to be?”

I feigned my sigh. “Guess that would mean I’m going to have to cancel all my booty calls.”

He narrowed his eyes and I laughed. “Oh you got jokes, huh?”

“Okay, serious question. What if we’re building this up and in the end it’s not going to be great.”

He shrugged. “Then we fuck up and try again. Easy.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that. Oh now don’t tell me you’re one of those first time quitters. Because I’m not a quitter.”

“You sound like Rocky.”

He huffed a little laugh. “Stella!”

“It’s Adrienne.”

“Whatever.”

“Okay. We’re exclusive,” I nodded.

“Jeesh so demanding, okay fine, we’re exclusive,” he grinned.

I rolled my eyes. “Shut up.” I handed him my empty bowl. “Go make me more soup.”

“Like a vacuum, you are.”

“Fuck you.”

“Gladly.”

***The Alice in Wonderland reference in the previous post was in the title: Beautiful Soup. Soul***

Beautiful Soup!

So every date Michael and I have been on we’ve been ending the night with a kiss before my apartment door. The date was always fun. We’d go anywhere and let loose; it didn’t even have to be dinner, sometimes we grabbed breakfast, or we took a walk on the beach. We were just so comfortable around each other, not to mention Michael being a self-proclaimed asshole was somewhat enjoyable whenever I had a chance to annoy him as much as he annoyed me whenever he got the chance. It was great.

There was only one problem. He never ever came inside the apartment, even when I asked.

He always had some excuse waiting at the seams of my proposition and it became increasingly apparent it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. I started second guessing myself then, as you do. Must be that extra chromosome thing he’s always said (jokingly). I started to feel pathetic at one point and ended up just holding back from asking. Oh, it isn’t without difficulty I could tell you.

I’d be up against the door with my back, and he’d have my hands running up and down my body. I’d taste the aftermath of a cigarette lingering on his tongue and it wasn’t so overpowering that I couldn’t stand it. It was an interesting, almost bitter taste. I’d want him so badly; he’d make me so wet to the point where I’m gripping him and pulling him closer into me. I’d grab a fist full of his white shirt and pull him forcibly. He’d place his hand on my neck just under my jaw line and push me back to make way for a string of kisses down my neck. We all but had sex in the hallway! But he never entered the apartment with me. And I always wondered why.

That was until I got sick.

I’d been obsessing to the girls over this situation when I fell sick. They of course had no clue what to do and my brain kept rattling for understanding, but nothing came up. When I left I came home with nothing but a sickness that I had to cancel my next date with Michael. The weekend would just have to be spent wallowing.

On Saturday at around noon my phone started vibrating up on the bedside table. Did I tell you I got a new phone? Yup. It buzzes a lot less shockingly than my old Blackberry so now I can stand it being on vibrate.

“Hello?” I answered coarsely.

“Whoa. You don’t sound too good.”

“Mmm Michael?”

“Yeah, babe.”

I groaned. I so did not want him to hear me in all my sick glory. “I thought I cancelled already.”

“You did. I’m just checking to see how you are.”

“I feel like shit.”

He chuckled. “I can tell.”

Groan number two. “Do I really sound that bad?”

“Of course not. Like a sick angel.”

I laughed and it hurt my chest. “Fuck you,” I squeaked.

He laughed. “Aww poor baby. That’s what you get for acting all sass with me.”

“I’m not sass.”

“Oh, like a cat.”

I chortled throatily. “I better get to resting up then.”

“Have you eaten?”

“No, not yet. I’m too tired to make myself something. And I didn’t eat too much last night because I was too excited for our date tonight.”

“Well I was thinking about that and figured, why do we have to cancel?”

I paused. “Huh?”

“I mean, I’ve been looking forward to it too.”

I moaned. “Sorry.”

“You better be.” We both laughed. “Which is why I’m bringing the date to you.”

I hesitated just in case I was hearing things, but there was a rather large lull that I was forced to break. “Say what?”

A knock sounded on my door and I lifted the 8-ton blanket. “Are you seriously here?”

“Yup. And I come bearing gifts.”

I started to panic. I wouldn’t say I was entirely a neat freak, but on my sick days my dwellings tended to look like a wild habitat. Clothes were strewn everywhere, opened food packets and cutlery covered nearly every table top, and towels were all over the bathroom floor. It was a sty and nothing a pig would be proud of, just saying. So lucky me, the guy I’m seeing is going to be seeing my apartment the one time I haven’t prepared for it. On a day where I look as shit as my apartment too.

“I didn’t exactly prepare for this, Michael,” I blushed, trying to fix my frizzy hair in the entryway mirror.

“Just open the door. I’m sure it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

I hung up and did as he said, pressing my head up against the door as I leaned into it. “Hey,” I greeted, sleepily.

“Wow.”

“I know,” I looked down.

“Who’s looking after you?”

I eyed the plastic and paper bags he was carrying. “You apparently.”

“I really wasn’t kidding when I said I was coming bearing gifts.” He grinned. I smiled. “Arrrrre you going to let me in?”

“My apartment is a little messy.”

He shrugged. “I’m a guy with a crazy sister and a deeply dysfunctional family. I think I can handle it.”

“Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

He made a beeline for the kitchen and placed the bags on top before turning around and scanning the apartment. He looked at me and smiled. “I won’t say it.”

“Oh my God,” I hid my face into my hands.

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Nothing I can’t handle, remember?”

I nodded. “So what did you get?”

“Oh, a secret recipe for homemade soup. Plus chicken soup I picked up to hold you over until the cooking and cleaning is finished.”

I widened my eyes and it felt like it took all of my energy. “No way.”

“What?”

“Cooking and cleaning? You’re not my personal maid.”

He laughed. “Oh come on.”

“No, this is so embarrassing,” I mumbled, shaking my head. “It’s just…I didn’t…I wasn’t…”

“Hey,” he walked towards me, “shut up okay. Fucking relax. I want to take care of you.”

I eyed speculatively. “Why? I don’t get it. Why?”

He shrugged. “Why not?”

“Don’t do that.”

He laughed. “Okay, okay. Aww you look so cute when you’re all pissy and dishevelled.”

I weakly shoved him and he barely nudged. “Shut up.”

“Come on, let me take care of you. I swear you’ll start feeling better once you have two bowls of soup. Lots and lots of lemon. The whole shebang.”

“Mmmm…” I moaned. “Okay. It seems I have no choice,” I said, jokingly.

“Good.”

“Good,” I nodded.

He gently brushed his fingers across my cheek. “I wish I could kiss you right now.” I smiled, about to gush and turn into a puddle of mush. “Alright, go rest with the bought soup and then go to sleep. I’ll wake you when the cooking is finished.”

***Can anyone guess the Alice in Wonderland reference? Soul xo***

NYE

Jodie rarely hosts parties because she hates having randoms over to her apartment, not to mention the clean-up and the constant pressure to host and make sure everyone has a good time. However, she picks one day out of the year specially designed for just that. Jodie lives in a high rise roof top that pretty much has the best view of the city out of all of us. New Year’s Eve we were packing it in. She told everyone to invite everyone. Naturally, since Michael suggested to split our parties last time, I decided to ask him out.

I didn’t know how to start since everyone is usually booked out like a year in advance, but for guys like Michael, I imagined he was waiting until the last minute. So I called him up.

“Hey,”

“Hey you,” I said a little too eagerly.

“How are you?”

“I’m good, good.”

He chuckled breathily over the line. One of those chuckles to be polite and fill the air with. “That’s good.”

“Yeah…” Why was I feeling so jittery?

“So…”

“So, yeah,” I laughed awkwardly, “reason why I called.”

“Mm-hmm.” I heard the popping sound of when he detached his lips from his cigarette and blew smoke.

“One of my friends is having a party for New Year’s Eve and I was wondering if you wanted to come with me?” I cringed, lifting the top corner of my mouth and closing one eye as if I was in pain. Hearing the words now, inviting him out, I should’ve waiting for him to invite me out. This is a true testament to me not being one of those type of confident girls that can walk right up to a man and ask them out.

“Are you asking me out on a date?”

“Shortof,” I said, emphasising the ‘r’ and accidentally sounding like Mugsy.

“You sound so cute when you’re uncomfortable,” he muttered, chortling.

I smiled, slightly relieved he found it a somewhat endearing quality. On the other hand I’m sitting in my underwear with conflicting emotions getting ready for a date with my girls while thinking of how early it is that I’m calling him up.

“So…?”

“I can’t.”

“Oh,” I said, trying to not sound so obviously disappointed.

“Yeah, I already made plans to go to another party.”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Sorry.”

I shrugged and held it up. “No it’s fine, it’s fine. I mean, of course you do. I just thought if you weren’t doing anything…” I sighed, dropping my shoulders. “It’s good.”

“I’ll see you soon?”

“Yeah, see you next year, ha!” Oh God, lame joke, much? My little laugh faded.

“Okay. Bye.”

“Bye.”

I rolled my eyes after we hung up and fell backwards onto my messy bed. That was a headache.

***

New Year’s Eve came quicker than I had anticipated, and so did the crowd. Jodie wasn’t playing when she said she goes all out. Unfortunately I was the only one without a date; Janet was with Stanley, Jodie has been seeing someone for a couple months now, Chloe even came with Toby. Is it weird that I’m a little weird about them two being together? Anyway, it was totally out of my comfort zone spending New Year’s without a date; I don’t even remember the last time that happened.

“You can kiss me if you want,” Jodie said and puckered up.

I rolled my eyes. “Jodie…”

“Or him,” Janet pointed to a beer belly bearded beau ogling me.

“Oh come on,” I whined.

“What,” Chloe shrugged, “he’s cute.”

“Hey” Toby said.

Chloe smiled. “Sorry, but he is.”

Toby fluttered a laugh, shaking his head. “What’s with the need to kiss at midnight? It’s become such an obligation to bring a date now that there’s so much pressure involved. So tense round this time in a year. Party planning, looking good, and now we have to bring the vessel we’re going to kiss at midnight? It’s so much.”

“First of all,” Chloe began, “you better not be calling me a vessel. Second of all, you better be kissing me at midnight.”

“Oh, I’m definitely kissing you at midnight,” Toby laughed.

Chloe shimmied her shoulders bashfully. “Cool.”

“Great, so I guess we can all agree we can take that speech and throw it out the window,” I said.

“Or off the roof,” Janet said. “Seriously, Jodie, this is an awesome spot you have here.”

“Thanks,” she replied high-pitched. Then she pointed to me. “Offer still stands…”

I rolled my eyes. “Thanks guys, but I think I’m going to go.”

“Oh come on, we’re just joking,” Chloe whined. “Don’t be such a party pooper.”

“How about if we make a pact that we all don’t kiss at midnight,” Toby suggested.

“Or we all kiss each other?” Janet wriggled her brows.

Toby and Stanley scanned the girls with keen interest before landing their eyes on each other. They both shivered and warped their faces into disgust and tore away.

“No, fuck no,” Stanley shook his head. Janet laughed, the only one in the know.

“I’m out guys,” I said, above the persistent protest. “I’ll see you next year!”

I wasn’t even in a bad mood or anything, I just felt like going. Imagine watching the fireworks on the beach, or through the window of my place, or—

“Hey, thought I’d find you here,” Michael said, climbing up the fire escape I had only just started.

I grinned. “What are you doing here? I thought you had other plans.”

He shrugged and crinkled his nose. “Yeah, well, wasn’t as good.”

“As good as…?” I stepped down a couple.

He grinned and shrugged again. “As good as…well, I sort of missed you okay.”

“Wow.”

“So?”

I laughed. “You’re cute when you’re uncomfortable.”

He chuckled, and I hoped I could see him better to analyse if he was blushing or not. He sounded like he was. “Alright, I guess I walked right into that one. So what’s going on, you leaving?”

I hopped down the final step and gazed over the city. “Yeah.”

“Feeling like a home buddy?” He leaned over the railing beside me.

“I don’t know. I’m in a weird happy funk right now. Can’t explain it.”

“Maybe it’s good because you can’t explain it.”

“What are you saying? I’m happy because I don’t know how to identify what I’m feeling?” I chuckled. Seemed a bit farfetched.

“Or maybe you’re happy because you’re letting yourself be.”

“Mmm,” I pouted in thought, “deep.”

He chuckled. “Yeah well, they don’t call me Socrates…” I waited for him to finish but then realise that was the joke and giggled. “Took you long enough,” he bumped me.

I rolled my eyes. “Shut up. So what are you planning going to do, kiss me at midnight?”

He straightened up and clutched my arm, pulling my backwards against the brick wall of the building. His lips inches away from my mine, his breaths warm, his eyes intense. “I don’t need midnight.”

His lips were cold when he brought them down onto mine, but his tongue was pressing a warmth deep into me. His skin was so smooth, and his hair was a playground for me to hold onto. I could feel his erection instantly.

I could hear the party counting down above us; ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, THREE, TWO, ONE! Cheers sprayed as fireworks lit the sky. People shouted Happy New Year. And I was kissing Michael through it all. I opened my eyes to sneak a preview of the fireworks and smiled through his kisses.

He parted. “Happy New Year.”

I grinned and whispered, “Happy New Year.”

***For those that want to know I am continuing posting on Samson&Delilah. Currently there are two latest ones “Five.Five” and “Six”. The beginning of that particular story is from “The New Chapter: One”. I hope to keep it up and I hope you are looking forward to reading that story. The comments section over there is not closed so feel free to flourish. If you missed the previous post also, please know that posting will most likely be sporadic from now on. I’m hoping to keep it to the same day once a week, but at the very least once a week. Thanks for your patience! Soul xo***

An Edition

***So clearly I’m going to have to change at least the time in which I post. From now on it’s the same day; any time***

“Daniel,” I said, a little too cheerily. I hopped on my tiptoes and hugged him. “Hey. How are you?”

“Not bad,” he nodded, putting his hands back into his jean pocket. Then he eyed Michael.

“Oh, Michael this is Daniel, Daniel; Michael.”

“How’s it going, man,” Michael said, holding out his hand.

Daniel chuckled, shaking Michael’s hand. “Good, good.” For a split second he angled his brows downwards.

Mmkay, so this is weird. A gap in the conversation spilled over us and we were just giving polite glances to each other.

“So, how do you two know each other?” Michael asked.

“Oh, Daniel and I—”

“—We go way back,” Daniel cut in.

“Okay.” Michael nodded. “I guess I’ll leave you to catch up then.”

I smiled, trying to figure out if that was the way to go when it was too late. Michael had already left.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“Stanley invited me.”

“No, I mean, don’t you have anything going on in New York.”

He sighed. “So you think I’m that sad, huh?”

“No, of course not, I—”

“—Relax,” he laughed, “I’m kidding.”

“Oh, okay,” I breathed.

“Do you want to go for a walk?” he asked.

“Umm…” I looked down and then at Janet who was waving a hand from side to side mouthing ‘go, go’. Oh, Janet. “Sure.”

***

“It’s so much quieter outside,” I said after we were walking in silence for what seemed like a stupendous amount of time, “usually it’s the other way around.”

“Mmm. So, Michael, huh?”

“We’re just…” I shook my head. Here we go.

“No, I mean it’s good.”

I looked up, astounded. “Say what?”

He laughed. “I thought I’d be my usual angry self but, I don’t know, seeing you two together—”

“—We’re not together.”

“Just the same. Seeing you happy made me happy.” He shrugged. “This might be weird to say but he sort of reminded me of me back when we first met. God, I remember being so carefree, riding around with my bike.”

“Having a reputation with the ladies,” I added.

He laughed, nodding and blushing. “Yeah, that, too.” He sighed. “I don’t know. Suddenly, I just wasn’t angry.”

I smiled. “I’m genuinely glad.”

“Doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”

Argh, what a blow to the chest. “Daniel…”

“Janet said you still have feelings for me so I, of course, jumped on the first plane out of there. And of course that wasn’t true.”

“I’m so sorry.” I’m going to murder Janet. And Stanley! Guarantee he was an accomplice.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m not saying it for you to pity me I’m saying it because I know seriously have to move on, but I’m starting to realise I can’t.”

“What about the girl you’re dating?”

He shrugged. “What girl?”

Wow. Just like that, huh?

“This is me,” he pointed to a car on the curb. “I’ll drive you back.”

“That’s okay, I can use the walk back.”

“Oh come on, don’t do that nice thing we’re people do one thing but really want the other,” he eyed me.

I laughed, feeling put on the spot and my cheeks burning. “No, I’m being serious. I want to walk.”

“Okay,” he grinned, opening the door and pulling out a present. “This is for you.”

“Daniel…but I didn’t get you anything…”

“Who cares? Open it.”

It wasn’t in the usual colourful wrapping paper. He was gloved in cardboard paper, tied by a wiry piece of white string. My hands were shaking and I didn’t know if it was because of the weather, or just Daniel. He uncovered the paper back and held it as I inspected the present.

“It’s an early edition,” he said.

I looked up. “Oh my God. It’s Wuthering Heights.”

“I knew you’d like it.”

“Like it? I love it!” I gasped. “How did you even…?”

“I always knew you like that.”

I held the book against my chest. “Daniel…”

He leaned in and pecked a kiss atop my head. Then, he pressed his forehead against mine and whispered, “Merry Christmas, Anna.”

***Happy New Year! Soul xo***

Ghost of christmas past

Michael was busy imploring me to stay and I couldn’t help but enjoy watching. It was so rare to ever find this usually suave guy grovelling. That’s when a flash went off in the room and snickering started to break the tension.

“Oh my God,” a girl jumped out of the bathroom, “you should see your face, bro.” She turned to her friend, who was gnawing apologetically at her bottom lip and blushing like there was no tomorrow. “Do you think we got the picture?” Her friend nodded, avoiding everyone’s gazes and finally hopping into the bathroom. “I think we got it.”

Michael sighed, albeit half-relieved, half-frustrated. “What the hell, Maggie?”

“As soon as you texted me I just had to do it—”

“—and she made me do it!” the other girl yelled from the bathroom.

Maggie laughed and walked over to the tallboy. “I had to quickly talk Christina into it and open up all my jewellery boxes—” she eyed me and lowered her voice— “some of which are my mom’s so shh—” she returned to her attention to Michael whose eyes were so slanted from the mental exhaustion he looked like Droopy— “she’s cute by the way.”

“Well executed plan,” Christina popped out of the bathroom, “can we go now?”

“Yes,” Maggie nodded. She snapped another picture of Michael and the flash almost blinded the both of us. “One for the road.”

“Why would you do this to the only person helping you out?” Michael asked as she passed him. He didn’t seem that annoyed anymore.

Maggie laughed. “Payback for the chilli.”

“Oh,” Michael smiled. He looked at me and then looked down abashedly. “I’ll explain later.”

I giggled.

“Bye guys!” They said.

“Bye,” I waved before she shut the door behind her. “I really like your sister.”

“Well, that makes one of us.”

“Aww,” I walked closer to him, “sad or mad?”

“Shut up,” he smiled.

I laughed. “You’re cute when you’re angry,” I said, making sure he knew I was reiterating his exact sentiment one of the first times I met him.

“Funny.”

I shrugged. “I thought so.”

A lull entered the conversation and for what felt like a few minutes we didn’t do anything besides titling our heads from side to side as our smiles grew wider. The quiet play was silly enough to make him chuckle.

“Want something to eat or drink?” he asked, taking a step back.

“No, I better get going.”

He nodded. “Right, right…”

“So…thanks for the tour.”

“Yeah,” he breathed. “Sure.” I passed him heading to the door. “Hey—” I stopped and twirled back— “are you going to Ahly’s party?”

I nodded. “Yup.”

“Want me to pick you up?”

I smiled. He was getting his confidence back. “I can’t. After Ahly’s I’m going to a friend’s party.”

He lifted a brow. “Two in one night. How adventurous. I would never have guessed.”

I rolled my eyes. “Both Christmas parties happen to be on the same night, plus a work party. All in the same week.”

“Sounds tiring. Have fun.”

I turned half-way and stopped short. “Did you want to come with me?”

“Where?”

“I mean, to Ahly’s and then my friends’?”

He sighed dramatically. “If you insist.” I shook my head and walked out. He came to the door. “I’ll call you!”

***

The office party turned out to be more fun than I expected. No one got super drunk, but there was some twerking on tables that I couldn’t wait to show to the person who didn’t remember. Or pretended not to remember. Technology is so wonderful these days.

The office was going to be closed until about beginning to mid-January. Plenty of time to do our usual family visits. Speaking of family, my mom called and asked if I was coming around for Christmas. She’s never had to ask and I always came so it was a bit weird. When I acted like I’d have to fit her into my busy schedule, she asserted that I basically had no choice. I deserved her stone cold attitude; I mean, who am I to say that I’d have to check my schedule. I can be a real asshole sometimes; and to the wrong people too.

Tonight was the double-booked Ahly and Janet party. Ahly’s was first and then I was on my way to Janet’s. I opted for an all-over-sequinned shorts with sheer black panelling, a white cashmere top with a high-low hemline—to show off the shorts—with a split at the side the rose to the halfway mark; black booties went with it. I figured I wasn’t channelling the Christmas colours in my ensemble enough, if at all, so I wore ruby earrings. Green is nowhere to be found.

Michael was waiting for me downstairs so I quickly grabbed my black, leather clutch and rushed to the elevator where inevitable Eric was waiting.

“Oh, hey,” he said.

“Hi,” I smiled. The ride down used to be so short, now whenever I was near him it always felt longer than usual. Funny that.

“Hey, sorry I never called you. I’ve just been so busy.”

“Okay,” I said and then shrugged. “It’s fine.”

“Didn’t mean to leave you hanging like that.”

“I wasn’t waiting for a call, Eric.”

“Mmm,” he brushed off, nodding and appraising me with a deep though, “you look nice.”

“Thanks.”

The bell dinged me into freedom and out I went when I saw his date. She threw her arms all over him cheerfully. I strained so hard not to roll my eyes. This didn’t bother me; it was my first impressions about him being wrong that bothered me. So annoying when you’re wrong about a guy. Am I right?

“Oh, shit,” he patted himself from top to bottom, “I forgot my wallet. I’ll be right back.” He quickly scurried away.

“Isn’t he just the cutest?” the girl asked.

“Mm-hmm, super-duper. Can I…” I pointed to pass her at the entrance. Move bitch, get out of the way. Great song. Stuck in my head now.

“Never thought I’d meet a sexy lawyer in training. He’s going to do so much good one day. I can feel it.” I grinned, unable to help myself. I always want to warn a girl from my own experience but am afraid it’ll come off the wrong way. So I just remained quiet. “Oops,” she said, stepping aside, “sorry. Merry Christmas.”

“And to you!” I said, never so glad to see Michael’s face.

“Damn,” he frowned, looking me up and down.

I gasped. “What? Something ripped?”

“Just thought you’d be wearing sexy dress.”

“That is saved for New Year.”

He wriggled his brows. “Can’t wait.”

Is that foreshadowing I hear?

***

“That’s Chloe, Janet and her husband Stanley—”

“—husband?” Michael repeated.

I nodded. “Yeah, why?”

“They’re so young. I can’t imagine being strapped down so early on.”

I gulped and continued. “And over there is Jodie with her date.”

“Nice. Hey, I think I see Toby,” he said.

“Yeah, he and Chloe really hit it off.”

“Do I sense resentment?” Michael grinned.

I scrunched my face. “No!”

He laughed and held up a hand. “Alright. I’m going to grab another drink. You want?”

“Sure.” I handed in my cup and walked over to Janet when he went for a drink run.

“Hey, Janet!” I swooped her into a hug.

“Hey! Great party?”

I nodded. “Great party!”

“Okay, good. I was hoping people didn’t think I was a boring housewife now. On that note, feel free to get as drunk as humanly possible.”

“Duly noted.”

“So, who’s your plus one?”

“Oh, he’s getting refills.”

Her smile dropped. “It’s a ‘he’?”

“Umm…yeah?”

“Okay, don’t be mad, okay?”

I tilted my head. “What did you do?”

“Nothing! Not me,” she chuckled shakily. “Stanley.”

“Start with pointing the blame, always a good start,” I joked.

She laughed, still concerned. “What could I do? It’s his best friend.”

“Who?” Then, it started to slowly fade in. I quickly scanned the room. “Daniel’s here?”

“Well, no, not exactly. He said he might not be able to make it considering.”

“Considering what?”

“He lives in New York.”

“A little warning would’ve been nice.”

“Again. Stanley.”

I smiled a little. “Ugh, whatever. I’m not going to let it bother me.”

“Right.”

“I mean, for all I know, he might not even show.”

“Good,” Janet nodded.

“Who won’t show?” a voice intruded into the conversation.

“An old friend,” Janet said to Michael as he handed me my drink. “She might be sick with…ebola…”

I widened my eyes a split second and almost burst out laughing. Out of all the things she could’ve said she chose that. Michael furrowed his brows. “Right, well…that’s…

“Hey, I don’t think you guys have formally met. Michael; Janet, Janet; Michael.”

“And that’s Stanley,” Janet pointed. “My husband.”

“She loves to make a note of that,” I said.

“She’s right, I do.”

Michael laughed. “Well, it’s a great party you got going here. Great drinks too.”

“Please, get blind drunk tonight,” Janet said.

Michael paused. A smile still attached to his lips. “Okay.”

“Awesome,” Janet said. “I’m going to join my husband.”

“See you!” I said.

“She’s funny,” Michael said.

“Yeah, and crazy.”

“Mmm, ebola?”

“Ha! Ignore that.”

He grinned. “Got it.”

Michael caught the attention of one of the girls at the party and asked for a refill. He handed her a twenty and just like last time, she magically came back.

“And keep ‘em coming,” he said, handing her a fifty.

“How do you do that?” I narrowed my eyes.

He put his hand up the wall beside my head and leaned in. “Do what?”

“Get your own personal butler ten minutes into a party.”

“Money talks.”

“On that note, what do you do?”

“What?” he smiled.

“For a living. What do you do? You know what I do.”

“Ah, yes, you sit at your little desk and find little books. It’s cute.”

“Shut up.”

“Hey, I said it was cute,” he smiled, bringing his fingertips to play with a lock of my hair.

“Don’t avoid the question. How can you afford to throw money at people and live where you live?”

“Oh-ho…” he laughed, pretending to be offended.

I blushed. “Not what I meant. It’s just the contrast is a little opposite sides of the spectrum, you know?”

“I know.”

I narrowed my eyes again. “You really won’t tell me?”

“I prefer mysteries.”

“Is that why you’re so attracted to me?” I somehow managed to ask.

He grinned. “That and other reasons.”

I smiled, blushing deeper. “Oh.” I really wasn’t expecting a serious answer.

“I’m going to kiss you now.”

I looked up expectantly, but beyond he caught my eye. I pushed Michael away. “Daniel.”

“Daniel?” he furrowed his brows, straightening up. “Who’s Daniel?”

“I am.”

***Merry Christmas! Soul xo***