I am part of a teacher's writing group and as part of that group we are writing stories, memoirs, poems, whatever, each week. This weeks assignment was to take the sentence : We are Never Beneath Private Lust and turn it into a story or run with it in whatever way we see fit. The following is my creative writing piece.
We are never beneath private lust.
“I can’t tell you his name, or the last time I saw him. I certainly cannot tell you where he lives or how I know him. But sometimes when I am alone I think of him, I yearn for him. His eyes are green like a sour apple, intense and bitter too, with flecs of gold that sparkle when he’s angry. He holds contempt for me, and sometimes I think that is why I want him. The intensity of his hatred for me, and the power struggle of convincing him that he still wants me is so intense it’s hard to resist. My breath always catches when I watch him melt into me as I unbutton my shirt, let down his defenses just long enough for me to wiggle my way in again. It’s his inability to hold back when he sees the curve of my body that makes me crazy for him. His visable lust, and the way his breathing becomes uneven and desperate. I know I turn him on, I dress to impress and brush my body against him as he passes. He has strong, broad shoulders and a sexy, square jaw line that taunts me. The urge to run my fingers along his chin is almost impossible to ignore. I know that black, lacy things make him hard, and running my fingernails along his scalp make him close his eyes and force tiny murmurs of pleasure to escape his lips. Is it possible that we always want what we cannot have? Is it possible that humans can never be truly satisfied? Is there always something better out there? Am I always going to push away all the things that could be good in my life?”
Sara stood in the doorway of the dark, musty bar with her two best friends. They were on a mission tonight. Nikki and Kate called it “The Mended Heart Quest” and were giggling together plotting the MHQ festivities of the evening. Sara scanned the bar thoughtfully, Can I really do this tonight? she thought to herself. Kate grabbed her hand, they had already had giant margaritas at the house, and Katie was not great at holding her liquor. Her cheeks were already flushed, and she grinned.
“Buck up little soldier!” She ordered the gloomy Sara. “We are going to have fun tonight! Even if you don’t want to, and if you once mention that dick head Chad, you’re going to answer to me!” Her words slipped a little and Sara rolled her eyes. Katie never swore or said mean things about people unless she’d been drinking.
They were out tonight, for the first time in ages because Sara had finally gotten up the nerve to break up with her long time boyfriend Chad. Nikki was glad. She wasn’t sure why they had finally ended it, but she was glad to have her friend back. Chad was controlling, he had an uncanny ability to break Sara’s spirit and make her feel guilty for having friends. The three girls had dressed to impress and made pitchers of frozen margaritas. Their mission tonight: get Sara back to being Sara.
Sara had been spunky and opinionated, beautiful, passionate and outgoing. Then, late freshman year she mat Chad. Chad was handsome and manipulative, turning Sara into a diminutive version of her former self. He dictated what clothes she wore, when she could see her friends, and how she was allowed to behave. She had even caught him checking her bank statements and email. Nikki and Kate had secretly hated him, and they were not afraid to admit that they were excited for how this break up might positively affect their friend.
Nikki grabbed Sara’s hand. “Let’s get a drink.” She ordered. And try to get you to smile. She thought. Kate cozied up on the other side of Sara. “I’ll get the first round!” Nikki and Sara exchanged looks, Kate never, ever offered to spend her money. Nikki smiled. “Kate? Are you buying? You must be drunk!” Kate just laughed. “Maybe a little.”
The girls squeezed through the crowd and up to the bar. There were so many people there.
Finally, they caught the eye of one of the bar tenders. He was a big guy in a baseball cap. He slipped over to them.
“What can I do for you ladies?” He asked. Looking at Kate, as she had the money out.
“Our friend is having a baaaad day.” Kate announced. “We need something delicious…and PINK!” she smiled, proud of herself.
“Delicious huh?” He looked at the girls and grinned. “Which one of you is having the bad day?” He talked as he began mixing them a drink. It was clear that he was busy, but he was effective and a multitasker.
“Her.” Kate pointed directly at Sara; Sara felt her face flush.
“Here you go,” he handed her a drink and a shot. “Feel better. Cheers.” He held up a shot of his own, tapped his glass to hers and drank. Sara tipped her head back and obliged him with a smile of her own. Success. Thought Nikki, the first smile of the evening. “Shots are on me,” the bartender said. “The rest comes to eight dollars.” He took Kate’s money, shot them a smile and went back to work.
“Oooooh he’s adoreable!” Kate cooed. Nikki affirmed this by giving him a once over. He was tall, and thick, she thought. But, he had beautifully piercing green eyes and broad shoulders. Yeah, he was cute. Sara just smiled and sipped her drink which was both delicious and pink.
It was Kareoke night at the bar. The girls sat on stools watching the action. Nikki had a mischievous thought. “Let’s sing a song!”
Sara groaned. “Are you serious?” Nikki nodded, grabbed both of their hands and dragged them out to the dance floor where the DJ was set up. Sara used to be a performer. She was in the drama club in high school, a member of the college choir, and part of a private acapella group. This was of course before Chad.
“MHQ! MHQ! MHQ!” Chanted the drunk Katie. “We haveta siiiiing!” She cheered, “it’s fun! We’re supposed to have fun!”
Nikki grinned evilly, “See?” She reached for the book of songs. They settled on “Girls just wanna have fun” and went up to the bar for another drink.
“Did I see you ladies signing up to sing me a song?” the bar tender asked, winking, already concocting them something yummy to drink.
“Yup!” Kate answered for them. “It’s gonna be fun!” The bartender smiled at them, handing them their cocktails.
“On me this time girls.” His hand brushed Sara’s as he handed her the cup. “Are you feeling better yet? Hate to see a pretty girl sad.”
“I’m fine, really. My friends are just crazy, they can’t help it.” Her hand lingered next to his for a moment longer than it should have. Nikki cocked an eyebrow at her friend. Maybe this would be easier than she thought. Sara’s cheeks were pink, from drinking or from a cute boy Nikki couldn’t tell, but she was willing to bet the boy had a lot to do with it.
Sara turned away from the bar, and Nikki watched as the bartender’s eyes followed her away. She elbowed Kate, “I think we may be on to something here… check out hot guy watching our little Sara.” Katie looked, obviously staring. “Knock if off guys!” Sara grabbed their hands, “I have to pee, come on.”
In the bathroom they stood before the grimy mirror. Adjusting their outfits and reapplying their lip gloss. Sara was pretty, although it had been a while since anyone had told her so. She stood there with her friends. Arms linked together.
“We are beautiful!” Kate affirmed. She was wearing a low cut black tank top, tiny sparkling barrettes pulling her hair back from her face, she looked young and innocent, and she was. Nikki, several years older than Sara and Kate, had on a plain white T-shirt that made her skin look tan and healthy. Sara wore pink. She loved pink, and how it made her hazel eyes stand out, her dark hair contrasted by its brightness. Sara was just 21, slender but curvy in all the right places. She might have been considered sexy even, if she had more confidence in herself, but her confidence had been long ago smothered by Chad. Sara squared her shoulders and smoothed her hair. “Ready ladies? Lets go get our inner Cindy Lauper on.” Sara smiled, already feeling a little more like herself.
The bar smelled like stale beer and sweat. Bodies were pressed against each other on the dance floor, and Sara noticed that her flip flops stuck to the floor as they walked. It was kind of gross if she thought about it. So she didn’t. Sara snuck a look over to the bar, her eyes found the bar tender, she didn’t even know his name but her belly flipped a little as she watched him work. Nikki noticed her staring. “Come on, we’re up next, you can ogle the bar man later.”
The girls sang, and they danced, liquor making them unashamed and free. Sara caught herself laughing, and hugged her friends. They were truly wonderful and it made her feel warm and fuzzy inside to know that they cared so much about her.
They sat together on bar stools in the corner, sipping their drinks and laughing together. Sara realized that it had been a very long time since she had been out to a bar, or that she had had so much fun. Nikki looked at her friends. Good, she thought, they look happy. She had traveled two hours to make sure that Sara got out of the house. She was not happy with the fact that Sara refused to move out, that she was still living with Chad. They had their separate bedrooms, but still he was so close. It made Nikki nervous to think about how violently angry he got sometimes, and irritable that he would know when she was coming and going and who she was with.
Sara kept checking her cell phone, Nikki supposed it was to see if he had called. “Sara I swear to God if you are texting that creep I will throw your phone in the canal.” Sara smiled sweetly, “Of course Im not Nik, tonight is MHQ, I would never ruin that…” Nikki grabbed for the phone in Sara’s hand. “Gimme it.” She caught Sara’s arm, snatched the phone and dropped it into her own purse. “You can have it back later.” Sara pouted until Katie jumped up excitedly. “Look: the bouncers and the bartenders are going to sing karaoke!”
They assembled. Seven guys, sitting in a line of bar stools and crooning the words to Garth Brooks’ “Friends in low places.” Sara was a sucker for a man who can sing. Nikki and Katie were whispering to each other, watching their friend all but drool over the same hunky bartender that had been serving them all night.
“I will give you ten bucks if you kiss him.” Nikki whispered in Sara’s ear.
“Me too! That’s a twenty dollar bet Sara. Mended heart quest, remember?”
Sara blushed. “No way. Not a chance. I don’t even know his name.”
She looked up at them.
“…oh I’ve got friends in low places, where the whiskey drowns and the beer chases my blues away, and I’ll be ok…” He caught her watching him and winked. She lowered her gaze. Why not? What would it hurt? She thought, trying to get up the nerve as the song ended. She would have to catch him before he went back behind the bar. He took a long swig of his Miller Lite.
“Ok, get out your money girls!” She took a deep breath and a few steps then looked back over her shoulder. What am I thinking? I can’t do this! But Kate gave her a thumbs up and a smile.
“Go get him Sara!” Nikki encouraged.
Sara walked up to the row of boys courageously, even though it felt like her legs were made of Jell-o and she couldn’t hear over the pounding of her heart. She walked right up to the bartender and positioned herself between his legs, inches from him. She could feel the heat of his breath and feared he could sense her heart beating rapidly.
“Hey,” he smiled. “What’s up?”
“Listen, this is going to sound crazy, but…. My friends bet me twenty bucks I wouldn’t kiss you… I, uh…”
“Well we can’t let you lose that bet.” He interrupted her, his green eyes sparkled with mischief as he reached for her waist, looped a finger through her beltloop, and pulled her closer to him. Sara angled her head and felt his soft lips reach for hers, the warmth of his kissed reached all the way to her core and left her toes tingling. Oh. My. God. She thought, her breath catching in her throat. He reached up and brushed her hair out of her face.
She turned, embarrassed.
“Wait,” he caught her by the hand and tugged her back. “We have to do that again, they weren’t watching.” Had she not been drunk she might have seen this as a line, but she was adamant that she would win the bet and let herself be drawn back into his embrace. Out of the corner of her eye she saw the bouncers look quizzically at them, and high-five each other, but she didn’t care. His lips brushed softly against hers, his tongue moving her lips apart gently and making her heart explode with tiny fireworks. Finally she forced herself to pull away. “Well, that’s the best bet you’ve ever won.” He smiled, squeezed her hand and ducked away amidst the taunting and cat calls of his coworkers. Sara floated back to her seat.
“That was amesome!” Katie beamed. “I cannot believe you did that, and twice!”
Sara started. “What? He said you weren’t watching!” Nikki and Katie laughed. “Oh he’s smooth.” Nikki remarked. “He wanted to kiss you babe. What a perfect ending to the night.”
The girls began to gather their pocket books for the walk home. Sara searched the crowd for a final glimpse of the mysteriously handsome bartender. What would become of this? She thought to herself. Just as she was walking out the door, she caught his eye, held it for a moment and left. Maybe, just maybe MHQ was working, and maybe that boy with his sparkling, green eyes would sweep her off her feet. If not, she mused, no one would know what she would think about in her private dreams.
“I know that all people make mistakes. Its not the mistake part that worries me the most. It’s the moving on part. Its knowing that I can never go back to the way things were, its knowing that there is no such thing as “might have been”. The problem is that sometimes, when I lie in bed with another man, I still want those green eyes to be looking back at me. “