Welcome and thank you for stopping by! In 2008, I was still living in Downtown Los Angeles, across from the Staples Center and writing was my security blanket and kept me home and safe. Really! Most of my stories are loosely based on people or events in my life, even if it is just a minor incident, like the inspiration for this story. I did meet a man in a supermarket in Alhambra, CA around 2008. During that time, I was lonely and if anyone showed me any kindness it was the greatest. Well, it did not end well. He was creepy and I think, but can’t prove, had a wife or partner during that short time we hung out. He wanted me to be wholesome and he often accused me of cheating, which I never did. He did call me the Devil but not for the reasons you guys are thinking, it was during a time we were joking around, I had thought.
What inspires you to write? Is it from life events or daydreams? I wonder as I have other ideas for stories but they are not inspired by any events and this is new to me. For years I have had this idea about a story of a women who doesn’t age rumbling around in my head as I have heard the statement “You never age!” Uttered by so many people to so many people and thought, hmmm, there is a story there. This one may have to have some fantasy involved in it. I use photography also, to help in my stories. I may see something when we are out that I don’t want to forget and will snap the photo to jog my memory for inspiration. You know, really, photos are stories from the photographers head that are just not told in words, this is what I have always thought.
Here is a little music to start the story. Happy reading and have a beautiful day! Happy writing to all you storytellers!
Under The World
Through out my life, I have been called many colorful names slut, tramp, cold-hearted bitch, my ex-husbands favorite, but being called the Devil was unsettling. Me? Mild mannered, fun loving, me? The Devil? The comment alone from this man I had only known for just over two weeks, stopped me, made me think. Had my hard work not made a difference? For a few years, I hate to admit, I had been leading a double life. During the day I played the shy innocent office worker. No cussing and swearing or fraternizing with co-workers. As a matter of fact, my co-workers knew about as much about me as I knew about them, a big fat nothing. During the week it was not uncommon that I had dates with several different men. Generally, I met them on-line and it was usually just that, a first meeting and nothing more. Often, I hung out in a local bar with friends that I had made there over the years. Occasionally, I would get lucky and meet someone and we would hang out for bit. Possibly, this was because they were drunk, and I instantly turn into a 10 when a man’s BAC (blood-alcohol limit) is near the legal limit. I knew what I was, as I had heard it a hundred times before, a nice girl with a pretty face. This meant I was not the desired weight but they could keep the lights on if they got lucky with me. Anyhow, I used this to my advantage. You see, I am no ordinary girl. True, I would like to be in love and in a steady relationship, but I get bored easy and have no idea what to do with a man once I have reeled him in. I get goofy and tongued tied, say all the wrong things and get lost in my head. I truly hated the friends with benefits label. True friends would not screw you out of convenience so I would always laugh when ever anyone brought it up. Variety, you know, is the spice of life. Know what I am sayin’?
Things, however, change. A year ago, I met a man and he became it. He was not the love of my life but the “booty call”. There would be no others, just him, that is, until either one of us was tired of the arrangement or had found someone else. We casually discussed the arrangement a few times after a handful of hook-ups.
“Can we do FWB thing? ” he asked one night. “I got so much going on right now and I would make a terrible mate. You know, you are not looking for a man, you have said that…”
“Sure. Like we are dating-ish right but not? No holiday bullshit and no one has to know…I mean, no one knows about this anyways.” I answered. Really at that time I had a bad attitude. The first few guys after my divorce acted like they wanted a relationship but in the end only wanted a no-strings attached thingy. “So, like dating but not dating? Huh?”
“We just have an arrangement, you know, just for sex.” he said as he made a goofy face and I started laughing and pushed him back on the bed.
“Okay….but…if you or if I, find someone or you know. Tell me okay and I will tell you before I bang someone else.” I held out my pinky and he locked his pinky with mine. “Pinky swear?”
He answered, “Pinky swear.”
He then fake spit in his hand and held it out to me and then I fake rubbed my undercarriage and then shook his hand.
“Deal.” We both said at the same time.
Okay so I kind kept my end of the bargain and only went on a few dates and I may or may not have told him. Generally, we saw each other a few times a month. I always looked forward to his visits. However, all good things must come to an end and that was the day the name calling man came crashing into my life, literally. I had never led him on. Scouts honor. The day we first met. we had crashed into each other with our carts at the local supermarket. Our carts met with a smash and a bang. My coupons that I had held tightly in my fist went flying and scattered about the frozen food aisle. Curse words were uttered from both of us and then apologies. He helped me pick up my coupons. I was looking quite attractive that day, okay attractive in that bag lady chic sort of way, my hair in a homemade beanie, my worn-out sweats and stained t-shirt. This may sound cheesy, but it was like time stood still. Before me stood the most handsome boy I had ever seen at that market. He had dark skin, and beautiful brown eyes. He was not thin, nice and thick and I wanted to squeeze him. He was beautiful. I was ugly and feeling it. I was 38, but my heart beat like it did when I was in high school. He handed me my wayward coupons, I thanked him and again apologized and hurried away with my cart. I thought nothing more about it. It was a chance meeting and I would probably never see him again.
So, that night, BC (booty call) was coming over. It was getting to be routine. I did enjoy his company but made no effort to take any take it any farther than what it was. We had an arrangement and it seemed to work. My friends knew of this arrangement and would encourage me to stop as they thought it was destructive behavior. I always assured them and told that I knew what I was doing. Besides, the sex was spectacular and would dare not deviate from the cleverly devised scheme that he and I had worked out. That would be like changing the formula of Coke. I was content, a tad bit restless, but content none the less. BC came over and let himself in. I was in my office and he quietly crept up, behind me and then touched my shoulder. I jumped and squealed a little.
“Hey!” I yelled.
“Gotcha.” he said back and then he grabbed my hand and we headed to our space.
We spent the evening wrapped up in each other. We barely spoke a few sentences to each other. Usually, we hardly spoke, I didn’t want to know about his life or birthday or anything. To me, he was much better than any battery operated friend could be. He kissed me that night. Kissing is a big no-no in my book. We had agreed that there would never be any kissing. Kissing brought feelings and an intimacy that I did not want to deal with. I pulled away from him and got out of bed. Things were great the way they always had been, why did he have to do this now? I felt cold and odd and weird. I kept thinking that something was wrong with me. I turned to look at him and I could see that he was bewildered too. He reached out to take my hand and I pulled away. Was he having feelings? Was I reading this wrong? Now I was frightened. He again held out his hand and I took it. He stared into my eyes and spoke.
“We have to talk.” he said.
Huh? We have to talk? My mind conjured up many scenarios and thoughts in a Nano-second before his lips started moving again. Oh noooo, this is were he tells me he has herpes!
“I have started getting serious with someone else.” were the words that came out of his mouth.
Time stood still. I could feel the blood rushing from my brain to my feet. The world went black. I awoke with him kneeling over me. He wiped my face with a wet wash rag. It took a few minutes for me to realize what had happened. Now came the nausea. He was a trouper though. He cleaned up every ounce of my stomach contents that I spewed on the floor and him. What a time for a seizure to strike and he being the only one of my acquaintances to know of my issues. You see, I did let him know that one secret about me as I never knew when one would strike and that could scar anyone for life, especially if it happened during sex.
“Are you going to be okay?” he asked. “I am sorry. Really, I am. You told me to tell you when I had met someone.”
Yes, he was right. We had agreed early on that we would be honest and with each other, you know for STD’s sake. I still was wondering why he had kissed me. Was that necessary? I had not spoken one word since he had let the cat out of the bag. I stood up and walked over to the closet. I was still feeling a little shaky and weak. I pulled on a shirt and walked to the bathroom. I felt like I was going to hurl again. He followed.
“Come on, tell me what you are feeling. Are you going to be okay?”
The voices in my head were screaming out, “Are you fucking kidding me?” When did he become such a girl? Feelings…HA! However, I kept that to myself.
“You know how much I like you. I just don’t love you.” He just kept right on talking. “You knew that this was going to happen eventually. You knew this could not go on forever.”
Yes, I knew this and I was not sure why I was feeling this way. Now I don’t know if I was more worried about the fact that he may have been banging this new girl and me concurrently, and now I could have herpes, or syphilis or the clap or did I really like him?
“Look at me!” He spoke loudly and with conviction. “Speak. I know you have something to say.”
Yes, he was right; I did have something to say. However, at this moment in time, I lost the connection between my brain and my mouth. All I could do was stare and look dumbfounded. Maybe my little fainting episode jarred something loose in my head. I went and sat down on my bed. I stared at the floor and tried as hard as I could to make noise come out of my mouth.
“Please talk to me. Please say something, anything.” I think that is what it sounded like. Now my ears no longer worked and all I could hear was blah blah blah blah blah blah.” I looked up at him as he was now standing before me, naked and I could see that he was cold too. He reached out to take my hand again.
“You know, you are the best I have ever been with, so far…” This is when I regurgitated every single thought that was spinning around in my head. I sounded like every boss that I had ever hated.
“Are you fucking kidding me? Okay, listen.” I said as calmly as I could. “You knew the rules. No kissing…Ever! Why did you do that? Why tonight?” I interrogated. “Have you fucking lost your mind?” I stopped to take a deep breath and went right on talking. That kiss though, it had me mixed up in a bad way. “Did you not think it would have been better to have given me a chance to decide if I wanted to be the other women for fucks sake? You know how I feel about this, I have not been banging other guys, and I would have told you. Friends with benefits?!”
The thing is, I knew all to well that when sex is involved, feelings get muddied. At least for me. Life was so much easier when I was juggling a couple casual men friends around and knew that even though it had sounded good, it wasn’t going to be. Really, the sex was great because of familiarity with each other even though I tried to lie myself.
He tried to explain, I got up, grabbed his clothes and threw them at him. I knew that we would never have a serious relationship or ever go on a date or meet each other’s family. I liked things the way they were. Maybe there was something wrong with me. However, I was not ready to be the other women. Could this mean that I am not capable of ever having a normal healthy relationship? I just didn’t want to hear anything from him, even though I later realized that I was the crazy one, my feelings had gotten in the way.
“I guess I will leave.” he started to put his pants on. “I am sorry that I hurt you.”
Hurt? No, I was not hurt. Yes, I was sad. Maybe a wave of jealousy hit me. Would I ever find another man that could make me have the most mind-blowing orgasms? How could this be over? Jeepers, I was just being selfish, or did I fall for him? No, I think I was jealous, jealous that some other girl would be getting him all to herself. He said that we could still see each other if I wanted. No, I didn’t want that. Told him good bye and got into the shower. I heard the door slam as he left. I stayed in the shower till the hot water ran out. I tried with all my might to cry and I couldn’t. Not one tear. I was alone and adrift in this misery that I had created.
Days passed as usual. Every morning and I went to work, went through all the motions as I had done every day before Booty Call dropped that knowledge bomb on me. Really, I knew that it was not his fault. I knew that we both played a huge part in it. He was, at least honest with me. I respect him for that. I went to bed, alone every night. I often wondered how long this mourning period would last. He would call, sometimes two or three times a day and it took every ounce of strength in my being to not pick up and answer. I downloaded a special ring tone for him and edited his name in my cell phone to flash “do not answer” when he called. After a few weeks the calls became fewer and far between. I had nothing to say to him.
I spent most of my free time reading and watching movies and took a liking to self-help books. After I read several and self-diagnosed that I needed to change my ways and thinking. I had been wrong in leading my life the way it had been. Sex was a drug, my drug of choice. Now, I needed to become healthy and wise and change my lifestyle and appearance. I started hanging out in coffee houses and gyms and gave up the bar scene. I even learned how to put on make-up. I hated makeup only because I did not know how to put it on. I gave up my addiction to sweets and started walking and taking yoga classes. I discovered that I was the creator of my destiny and that I and I alone was responsible for making me happy. Daily I drove past my old haunts but did not venture into them. It takes a few weeks to break a habit and I was well past that stage. Life was…was…uh…boring! I was completely and utterly bored out of my mind, but I knew that this would pass, and all would be alright.
After a few months had passed, I noticed that simple things brought pleasure. I quit smoking and drank sparingly. The new me had lost a few pounds and was not so critical of the face staring back at me in the mirror. Still, I dressed like a bag lady from time to time but actually started to enjoy combing my hair and applying some make up to my face when I left the house. Now I was able to look people in the eye and smile. Things were looking up. This is when he re-entered my life. No, not Booty Call, but the boy that I collided with in the market on a Sunday morning, my favorite day to shop. Sunday was Double coupons day. I wandered the supermarket aisles guiding my cart along with one hand and my coupons clenched in the other.
“I see that you are still a bargain shopper.” I heard this, but was he talking to me? I looked up and smiled. Heat was radiating from my cheeks and I knew all too well that I was blushing
“Yep, uh yeah.” Old habits die hard and I was tongue tied and flustered.
He reached out his hand and said, “Hi, I am Ed.”
I stuck out my hand and said, “Uh…uh I am.” Oh my gosh! I had forgotten my own name. “Nice to meet you.” What was my name again? “I am Jane.”
I shoved my coupons in my pocket and then tightly gripped the shopping cart. I could feel little beads of sweat forming on my upper lip and forehead. I wiped them away and with the back of my hand hoping that he did not notice.
“Yeah, it is a bit hot in here isn’t it.” he said. He made light of my embarrassing body function. I could feel my stomach start turning and could tell that a stinker brewing.
“Yeah it is.” I answered as I started pushing my cart forward. I felt like an antelope before the lion’s attack and devour it. “Uh, it was nice to run into you again. Maybe I will see you here again?” I said nervously.
“Sure, next Sunday perhaps?” he answered.
“Oh yeah, you know it. Double coupon day.” I could not believe what had come out of my mouth. Why couldn’t I be like those girls that are witty and charming, poised and confident?
“Sure, I could do that.” I replied. Although, there was no mirror around. I knew all too well that my cheeks were awash in bright red. Like to huge Washington apples. Where was Scotty to beam me up?
“Sorry to impose on you, but I am new to this city and do not know many people here aside from my co-workers.:” he stated. “Perhaps we could grab a coffee?”
My brain went into overdrive and I am sure I had a blank stare on my face. First and foremost, I do not know how to behave with males. I was not a looker by any means. I had an uncanny ability to make people feel comfortable with me. Not comfortable enough to have a relationship with but comfortable enough to tell me secrets that they would never tell another soul. Comfortable enough to have sex with me and never take me on a date. I was a mess. I had created this misery in life. I just did not know what to do. Have coffee with him? Run away and hide? I was beginning to like that idea. Yes, the fight or flight response. I was ready to flap my wings and fly. He hung tough though.
He asked again, “Coffee? There is a Starbucks next door.” as he pointed out to the left. I took a few deep breathes and then nodded an okay. Oh my gosh, what must he be thinking?
Finally, after a few seconds, I answered, “Uh…Okay. Sounds like fun” I scanned my cart and saw that I had some perishables. “I need to put a few things back.” He nodded and then said, “Yeah I need to put some things away too.”
We spent every day together from that point on. By day three I was bored out of my mind. I knew everything about him, every bump on his hand and scar on his face. He was a genuinely nice man. He had a good heart and soul. Maybe if we had become intimate, I would not have been so bored. He was bit old fashioned and wanted to wait till we knew each other better. At the end of our dates he would open the car door for me and walk me to my apartment door. He never asked to come in and I never invited. I guess that I too, may have an old-fashioned bone in my body. I was waiting for him to ask. Part of my brain screamed out to hold on and let the listlessness that I was feeling pass. However, my hormones had other ideas. On the tenth day of our friendship, my brain decided to sabotage any chance of happiness as it sent me looking for BC. Day 10 and I went for a walk as Ed was not due over till 8 pm. I walked a few miles to a local coffee shop that I knew Booty Call frequented. I was in luck BC was at the counter ordering.
“Hey Jane! Long time, eh? He said as he scanned me over. “Wow, you are looking great!”
Mad, angry, butterflies moshed in my stomach. Could it be vomit? No, my body felt hot and I tried to speak. Nothing came out of my mouth all I could do was smile and nod my head. I looked him over to. The only thought in my head was how was I wanted to push him onto the table and bang the bajeezus out of him. It was hard to maintain composure.
“Jane? Jane? You in there? You must be daydreaming… it better be about me.” He joked.
“Huh?” I answered.
“Yeah, I’m okay. Good to see you again.” I looked at the floor again. “Oh, it’s my time to order.” I then ordered and paid for my iced coffee.
BC had walked over the sugar and cream counter and waited for me.
“I meant what I said, you are looking good.” He complimented.
It was harder than I thought and felt the need to get out of there quickly. “Thanks.” I replied. “I have to go. See you later.” I them walked out the door. He followed.
“Jane, wait please.” He called out. I turned around and faced him. My eyebrow rose and I am sure my nostrils had flared. The scared look on his face was comical.
“Dave, I think we have been through this before. You and me. What is that you want? You want to hurt me again? What?” I stared right through him, this man that I pretended to only use for sex. My self-help books made me realize that I did have feelings for him and that I was using our casual sex affair as a way to deal with the rejection that life usually brings. However, I am human, and sex was the greatest with him. I wanted to be naked with him at that moment. I knew that this was not a good thing and kept quiet.
“Girl, I broke up with her. I tried calling you. Why didn’t you pick up the phone?” he questioned. “I called you the very next day to tell you. After I left your apartment that day, I realized that you were the one, you are the one I want to be with if you would have me. That kiss was…”
No, I couldn’t do that. Could I? This can’t be healthy. I started walking away and left the coffee shop. He followed me all the way back to my apartment.
“Jane, talk to me please.” he then grabbed my shoulders and pulled me to him. “I love you.”
Oh, now he loves me. Jimminy Christmas!
“Are you insane?” but wait a minute, he said he loved me. He loves me. I looked up at him and could not fight the urge. I leaned into him and kissed him. I knew it was wrong but did it anyway. We stood there in front of the apartment kissing for a long time. I wonder how long Ed stood across the street and watched. I wondered how long it took him to cross the street and get the nerve up to tap me on the shoulder.
“You are the devil, you really are.” Ed commented before he turned and walked away.
There it was. My newest label, “The Devil.” At that point, I just wanted to crawl into the sewer and scurry away like the rat that I felt like. Then again, why should I feel like a rat? I then turned to Dave and said, “Hey, I gotta go. Ummm. I don’t know what to do or say right now…ummm…you know…” I just couldn’t make any sense and then the tears started. This was my cue to leave.
“I gotta go. I gotta go.” I repeated as I turned and walked away.
“Jane, Jane wait for me. Let’s talk?” He asked. I just couldn’t. I felt horrible.
“Please give me some time, okay?” I said to him.
“You got it. Hey, are you and that dude serious?” He asked.
“No. We were just starting to try and get to know each other.” And I was right. We were just trying to get to know each other. Yes, in a slow old fashion way. He really was a nice guy and now he just walked away from me. What had I done? Maybe I was the ruler of the underworld…
To be continued…
Under the World M.L.Keena 2008