Since the last writers group I’ve had such limted time for writing that not only did I get behind with my Nano… writing I also failed to add the story I wrote at the last group to the blog posts. I am now about to change that…
At the last group I facilitated and offered the titles of the current music chart as prompts, or if they didn’t resonate then a song title of our own choice. I opted for both. I had just been in the dentist’s chair when they played Annie Lennox’s ‘ho’s that girl?’. Immediately a story started to form in my head. However I still chose another song title by a random number, and managed to squeeze that in too. The title from the charts was ‘Rockabye’ about which I know nothing.
Who’s that Girl?
It was a cold and dank Friday evening. From the clouds that had started gathering since midday it looked like there would soon be a downpour and probably a good storm. Steve had just finished a long week’s work and had arrived home shattered. He was as grateful as ever that the weekend had finally arrived. Pushing through the flat door he dropped his briefcase carelessly by the hall stand and threw his keys atop it.
“Matt? Are you home?” he shouted, not sure if his flatmate was in yet or not. At 35 Steve had always assured his parents that he was a late starter with women, and not gay as they had suggested one Sunday during his weekly visit. Moving Matt into his two bedroom apartment only fuelled their suspicion, but Steve had only moved him in to help with the monthly bills. It was true he was a late, and very shy, starter.
“In here…. I’ll be out in a bit,” Matt called from his room. “Just….” the sentence was left unfinished. “Oh and there’s some chilli on the stove if you want it. I overcooked again.”
Steve threw his jacket over a chair and moved to the stove to get himself a bowl of chilli, which he planned to heat up in the microwave. He was also more than keen to grab himself a bottle of wine and start his Friday night wind-down. He needed something after such an awful week. He tried to close his mind off to the week’s dramas.
Turning round with the bowl in his hand he reached for the microwave door. He stopped suddenly, almost dropping the bowl. Out of the corner of his eye he had seen a petite brunette sitting on the rocking chair in the corner and she had been staring wistfully his way. She had looked helpless, lost and vulnerable there. They had made just a second’s eye contact in which time Steve’s heart sped up and his mouth went dry. Steve had been open-mouth shocked. He had no idea who she was but for the first time ever in his life he considered the notion of love at first sight.
In the split second in which he had noticed her he also heard her soft voice humming Rockabye, a lullaby that his gran had always sung to him when he was scared of something to help him sleep.
When he looked directly at the chair a second time his beautiful vision was nowhere to be seen. He stuck his head round the door jamb to see where she had gone. Nothing, although there was a lingering scent of delicious perfume.
“Matt?· he called out again putting the bowl of chilli on to heat up.
“I’ll be out in a minute,” Matt called back, slightly impatiently Steve thought.
“Steve guessed Matt had been out for an early evening drink and had brought someone home again, another conquest, another notch on his bedpost. If Steve’s parents had known how much of a player Matt was their suspicion about Steve’s sexuality would be gone in an instant.
Matt suddenly appeared in the doorway. “OK buddy?” he asked. “Another hard day?”
“Never mind that for now. Who is she?” Steve whispered.
“Who’s who?” Matt asked shrugging his shoulders and holding his arms out in the international gesture of innocence.
“Tonight’s conquest.” Steve clarified his question.
“What are you on about?” Matt truly looked perplexed, but he was an actor. Steve wasn’t fooled. “I haven’t been out tonight yet. I thought we could go out together and try our luck together. A Friday night out of season will work in our favour.”
“I saw her… ” Steve began. ” … she was sitting in the rocking char when I came into the kitchen. Petite brunette?”
“Sorry man, you are so wrong. There’s no one here but us. Are you losing it? YOU really need to cut down on that stuff..” Matt indicated the empty wine glass in Steve’s hand”OR perhaps take a break from work. You’re over-stressed.”
Steve didn’t believe a word of what Matt had told him. He barged past Matt and knocked on his bedroom door. Pushing it open slightly he shouted through the gap, “You can come out now: the game’s up and I don’t bite.”
“Okay I’m coming in” Steve said and pushing the door wide stepped into Matt’s room. Despite being in it’s usual state of disarray the room was clearly empty. Had the wardrobe doors not been wide open Steve knew he’d have had to go across and open them. He was sure this was where the girl he had seen would be hiding.
Leaving Matt’s room Steve went to his own and then the bathroom. He found no one nor nothing amiss.
“What is wrong with you, man?” Matt asked concern in his voice. He had followed Steve from room to room unsure what the game was.
Steve explained what he had seen; someone sitting i the rocking chair.
“Well there clearly is no one here,” Matt said. “Time you chilled, or do I mean Chillied?” Matt tried to lighten the situation.
Steve moved across the living room to the rocking chair and set it in motion. Once again he sensed the delicious perfume. He knew full well in his own mind that he had seen her. All he wanted to know was, ‘Who’s that girl?’