|PART ONE| : Chapter 1
‘Please forgive me if I’ve made you feel awkward in any way.’
It was the sweetest line Kale ever heard in his life, a line that easily engulfed his poetic soul. Forgive me? Never heard those endearing words from the wife.
Many of the words hung on the air like ethereal nectar. Kale remembered holding the short letter up to his chiseled nose. The flirt’s driver’s license indicated she was twenty-seven when he carded her for beer, far from a young pup. Both things made her fervently alluring. He wondered how the woman could touch him with her new, soft, and unassuming lips. At least his imagination often told him it would be so. Careful droplets of enticing perfume were well deployed on the single, folded sheet of narrow-rule notebook paper, as if Joselyn knew Kale would find the scent heavenly.
‘I was wondering if you would like to have a drink with me sometime?’
Although Kale was often sober as a television evangelist, from his conquest it seemed like a seductive challenge. Topping off the tempting pitch, the words flowed, there were no errors or pregnant pauses, never mind any missteps of the pen. In fact, any third party seeing the letter would come to wonder just how many times ‘this’ Joselyn had edited or re-written the six fairly lengthy and thought-provoking sentences.
At forty-seven, it was the first time any woman Freely offered up her number. Because my smile is absolutely gorgeous! That was the line that turned the troubled man to mush. Kale was never tall dark and handsome, or the feminine archetype that would easily loosen the legs or make a woman’s nipples hard. This (complete) stranger wanted him. It took Kale’s breath away. The five seconds it took for the letter to change hands allowed the man’s eyes to peruse the profile of the deliverer.
Kale’s mind quickly asked itself, Is this a joke? Is this like when I was sixteen, and a more mature woman put a like declarative love note under the wiper of my muscle car? That woman had cackled and ribbed him about his excitement over her farce. As if stomping on his masculine ego was the best thing she could do with spare time. Was the messenger even the person that wrote the letter? Also passed through his inquisitive mind. Until Josey returned again. And again. For Kale to take a longer gander at what she was offering. To go wobbly kneed when he smiled.
Joselyn fueled the desire by continually picking up food where he worked a self-checkout, in order to lure him to further assess her merchandise, because the woman wanted more than a stiff drink, more than just a captured smile. It was carnal lust. It may be a replacement for her daddy, with a pulsing thing between his legs. And a smile that made her heart race. Kale didn’t think a simple drink could hurt anyone. In fact, he often thought he was more apt to find this woman a Freak. She had to come on strong and sink the hook, because a shrieking laugh would slice right through his sternum. A woman who could write an eloquent love letter but wouldn’t be able to hold a spit-wad of decent conversation.
For weeks….That’s what Kale told himself. He liked it when the writer walked in—in a perfect pair of formfitting jeans. Not a skin-tight leotard. Not an ultra-short, pleated skirt. Just form-fitting jeans without large holes in them. And enough of a pocket to stick his long fingers inside.
She liked it when he smiled.
The doorbell rang. Joselyn answered the door in her best Kohls work-out sweats and Islanders T-shirt. Her best friend, Denise, stepped inside her apartment. They both succumbed to a quick hug.
Denise removed a hair band from a pocket and tied up her ponytail. She preceded to tighten the laces on her shoes. She sensed something odd with her friend.
“What’s up, Josey? There’s a twinkle in your eye.”
Joselyn’s face lit up. “I think the ice is cracking.”
“The self-checkout guy—again?”
Josey stretched to the side.
“I know. You like that guy studying pre-law.”
“He likes you. He will be patient. He has a future.”
They both left the apartment and headed for the elevator.
Josey changed the subject. “Do you realize, we’re using an elevator to go jogging?”
“I’m up for a promotion.”
Once out on the sidewalk, Joselyn touched her friend’s elbow, “You do something with Tom?”
“Why do you ask?”
“You appear different.”
“He’s asked me to move in with him.”
They picked up the pace. Josey enjoyed the air flowing through her hair as they ran, side-by-side.
Denise giggled. “I’m thinking about it.”
They both rounded a bend in the park.
“I would do anything to make him blush!”
“Who? The older guy?”
“I think he’s hot!”
“Do you ever stop to think…. If he had a child at twenty, you’d be old enough to be his daughter.”
“And Tom wants the milk for free!”
“Touche’. Why don’t we become a couple?”
“If you’re bi, I’m one of the royal family.”
“And you think my ass is big!”
“It’s why we’re jogging.”
A man on a park bench smiled at them. They were unaware he took photos of their backsides as they moved away.
Willpower was stronger in happily married states, when holding a hand wasn’t awkward, when a mate could ask to be forgiven. Vulnerability showed weakness, weakness wasn’t the professed feminine mantra in modern times. It was seen as giving in to a male-dominated culture. Josey knew that even a knight in shining armor found appeal in a maiden who could be both classy and vulnerable. Jousting for a female gladiator proved ridiculous. Gladiators could fend for themselves. Which made knights completely unnecessary. Women who truly wanted chivalry and romance kept men up at night thinking about seductive kindness, when others attempted to rule with their own iron fist.
Kale picked up his cell phone to dial the letter writer’s phone number, and he stopped.
In his dreams, Joseyln’s persistence continually wore him down. It helped that his profession was manning a bank of self-checkout machines, especially when Josey casually maneuvered into the same open space. Again.
Kale smiled because she liked it, causing her heart to pulse through her pert nipples. He knew she often giggled to her girlfriends, who were often torn between jealousy and pity. Twenty years seemed like a leap towards death, not a wild and inspiring tryst to wet the young appetite.
The young woman’s letter writing hands gripped his bare shoulders as she mounted his steed. And this made her man vulnerable. Not seeing in the dark, instead feeling the warmth swallow him underneath a thigh long ruffled skirt. Kale’s smile was a lasting part his lover would take with her—forever. A gold digger did not approach an older man on a grocer’s salary toting a teenage-inspired love note.