“Am I really this shallow?”
Valerie and I were introduced through common friends.
I had tried the mingles and the harmonies and the matches but despite their claims, no one really caught my eye. There were nice girls. There were women wrapped in their own lives. And there was me not really sure what I was looking for.
We chose a restaurant on a crowded street; a restaurant we knew would be busy, loud, and could afford us a chance to disappear should the night go south. I got there first and sat at the bar scanning the people who came in watching for the girl my friend described. Great, she’s twenty minutes late, I bitched to myself.
She sat at the other end of the bar doing and thinking the same thing.
Awkwardly, our eyes caught one another and then we had a long distance laugh.
That was three dates ago.
“Valerie might just be the one,” I cheerfully told our friends. Encouraging smiles and comments followed.
I knew about her accident.
She didn’t talk about it, but I knew from friends it had been bad. It had been foggy, the traffic had slowed approaching a crest on the freeway, and the semi behind her didn’t see it. Weeks were spent in rehab. It was a hurt she’d rather not relive.
“You animal,” she purred as we kissed.
When she invited me to her apartment, I’ll admit I was surprised. She’d seemed so distant. I couldn’t figure out if it was me, her, or her accident. When she leaned over and kissed my lips, surprise became elation.
“I want to make love to you,” she said as she set my hand on her thigh.
And then I had to excuse myself.
Now, I find myself standing in front of the mirror questioning my own expectations.
“Seriously, Valerie is a great girl,” I tell myself in the mirror.
A fucking amputee great girl, the animal in me replies.
word count: 328
Studio 30+: hurt
Trifecta: “animal” 3rd definition: a human being considered chiefly physical or nonrational; also this nature