🙂 Tuesday is upon us once again!! Let the #Blogbattle begin!!
#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey. Feel free to join in, or click here to read the current week’s stories and vote for your favorites.
This week’s word: Head
Genre: Romance ❤
All I wanted was a nice evening out, like we used to have in the beginning. It was a beautiful night, not too warm, not too chilly, perfect actually. So I suggested to Robert, we walk to the little Bistro a couple blocks away for dinner. I should have gauged his mood before I made the suggestion, but I didn’t, and right now all I want is this night to be over. It’s like our whole evening has been clothed in a dark cloud from his mood.
When we walk up to the front of my brownstone apartment, Robert doesn’t stop and proceeds to head up the stairs, assuming I want him to come in. He stops half way up and turns around, I am still standing on the sidewalk. “What’s the matter? Are you coming?” He questions with a gruff tone.
“Actually…I think we should call it a night. I’m tired. I just want to sit outside for a few and then go to sleep.” Not at all hiding my weariness.
“Whatever Kelly. That’s fine, I’ve had such a lousy day, I need to clear my head, anyway. I’ll call you…whenever.” He snaps as he pushes past her.
I sit down on the stairs, and lean my head on the banister, and close my eyes. I hear quiet footsteps approaching, and then stop right in front of me. I slowly look up and see it is my neighbor from downstairs.
“Hi,” he says with a raised hand, “Is everything alright?” He asks concerned.
“Yes, I’m just enjoying the nice night.” I say as I look up at the moon.
“Mind if I join you?” He asks hesitantly.
“Not at all, have a seat.” Kelly gestures to the spot next to her. “We’ve never been formally introduced, I’m Kelly…You’re Shane right?” She extends her hand.
Yes…I know, Kelly. It’s nice to meet you…formally,” he shakes her hand. “Was that your boyfriend I just passed about a block down. He was clearly upset…almost walked right into me…you sure everything is OK?”
“Yes…Robert is just being Robert. He’s having a bad day, I ended the night earlier than he expected, so he left, saying he had to clear his head.” She emphasizes the last part gesturing in air quotes. “He’s usually a nice guy, but once in a blue moon this other guy rears its ugly head, and he’s a far cry from the guy I was first attracted to. It seems that it’s happening more and more though. He’s the head of his company, so he likes to be in charge, and when things don’t go his way, he’ll bite your head off. He was such a sweet, charming guy when we first met, someone a girl could fall head over heels for. But I’ve since realized that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Sometimes I wonder why we are still together.”
Shane can’t help but smile when he says to her, “Yeah…he sounds like a real idiom.”
“Don’t you mean idiot? And isn’t that a little harsh?” She asks with feigned offense.
“You’re the one who said it. What I said, and meant was idiom.” He playfully defends. “Do you realize how many idioms you used to describe the situation?” He inquires.
“Oh”…Kelly lets out a little groan. “I’m doing it again. I tend to talk in idioms when I’m upset. But there is a method to my madness.” She stops herself and slaps her hand across her mouth. “I should go…I should really go,” she says shaking her head, clearly embarrassed.
“Don’t go, I actually find it endearing.” He leans his shoulder against hers and gives her a little nudge. “Will you stay if we change the subject?”
“Yes…please!!” She says with mock desperation.
With a quiet laugh, Shane responds, “Ok then. So where do you work and what do you like to do?”
“I work at the library. I like to read, and I would love to write a novel one-day. I’ve started quite a few manuscripts but have yet to finish one. But I have set a goal to complete one by the first of the year. I enjoy taking walks especially when the weather epitomizes its season. Chilly fall evenings, cold snowy days, or warm spring afternoons. What about you?” Her face radiates with pure joy as she speaks.
“I’m a graphic artist, and I work for an ad agency. In my spare time I like to paint, and I’m constantly sketching something. I love to listen to all kinds of music, so I usually have it on all the time. I hope I don’t play it too loud that you hear it in your apartment.”
Kelly shakes her head, but then says, “Actually…sometimes I do hear a certain type of music from time to time coming from your apartment.”
Shane puts his head down, and looks at his shoes, a little embarrassed to admit, but he plays it off with a laugh and says, “That would be the swing music, its my favorite, and I can’t help but listen to it loud.”
“So…you are just listening to swing music?” She asks playfully.
“Uh…what are you implying?” He asks with exaggerated annoyance.
“Who just listens to swing music? Doesn’t one tend to dance to swing music?” she taunts.
“And you would know this because…why?” Shane teases.
It’s her turn to put her head down and look at her shoes, then quietly replies, “Because I can’t seem to not dance around my apartment when I hear it.”
When she looks up, Shane is looking right at her with a hint of a smile on his face. Their eyes are locked for one extra moment, but he suddenly looks away to break the connection and says, “Kelly, you seem to be a very passionate person. I’m going to go out on a limb here, and play devil’s advocate, give you some food for thought.” His smile gets bigger with each idiom he strings together, and ends the exhortation with a nod of his head, proud of his accomplishment. Kelly answers him with a dramatic eye roll.
“OK, OK…you seem to be the type of person who follows her heart. I just think you need to look at your situation with Robert and follow your head and not your heart. I think you already know the answer.”
Kelly lets his words sink in, and then begins to nod her head in agreement and replies, “You know…I think you hit the nail on the head.”
Shane stands up, brushes off his jeans, looking directly into her eyes he says, “So Kelly, if you ever cut Robert loose, you know where to find me. I may not be the type of guy that turns heads, but I do have a fantastic collection of swing music we could listen to, my door’s always open.” With that he gives her a wink, reaches for her hand, lifts it to his mouth and softly kisses her knuckles.
“Good night Kelly.” He declares then quickly retreats, taking two steps at a time.
“‘Night.” Kelly says in a whisper. She crosses her arms against her midsection and rests her arms against her thighs. Subconsciously she rocks back and forth as she thinks to herself. Every cloud does have a silver lining.
© 2015 Carrie Ann
I have always wanted to see how many times I could actually use the prompt word in a story. I used it 17 times. Yeah…hope it wasn’t overkill 😉