She hung up the phone, and I swear I
threw the phone clear across the room and heard it crash against the wall. I
went on to take my bath, and I think I stayed in there for about an hour, until
it got too cold for me to stand.
“I have someone that I want you to
Those are some of the most stomach
churning words to make into a sentence, but that is what I heard over the phone
earlier that day.
“Who is it, Marie?”
“This guy I work with in accounting,
he is really a sweetheart of a guy, and girlfriend, and he is really hot.”
That meant he was dull and boring and
probably had a 5 o’clock shadow.
“He wants to meet you because I’ve
told him a lot about you and you being a writer. So, I set you up for a dinner
date at eight, and you’re to meet him at The Japanese Steakhouse on Calhoun
Avenue,” Marie instructed.
“I can't believe you made a date with
a guy that I don’t even know. How dare you, woman!” I shouted as I put lotion
on my legs.
“Whoa, woman, what got up your butt
“A skinny little Southern twig name
Laura, she thought I was sleeping with Richard.”
“Say what? Oh hell no! She thought
you and Richard were sleeping together?”
All I could do was shake my head in
disgust as Marie continued to tell me about my “mystery date” for tonight.
When I got to the Steakhouse, I stood
outside and watched for my date. It was 8:05, and I was really hoping he wasn’t
going to show up. “Marley?” said a voice from behind me as I turned around.
All I could see was a chest. I had to
look up to see the rest of him, and I had to admit, Marie made a good choice
for a blind date. He looked at me puzzlingly, but when I told him yes, he
flashed a very impressive smile.
“Marie has told me a lot about you, a
lot she didn’t tell me though, but that’s ok. I am Todd Lewis by the way.” He
took my hand and softly kissed it. We both walked inside and went to get our
What does he mean by “A lot she didn’t
“So, Marie told me that you’re a
writer. What do you specialize in?” he asked as he poured me some sake.
“I write about Romance, mainly
contemporary. I turned in one of my novels just yesterday and I plan to do some
book signings soon.”
He smiled and it seemed to make his
brown eyes twinkle a little. He was handsome, reminded me of that model Tyson.
I sipped some sake, and before I could put down my cup, he was pouring me more.
“Do you write any erotica?” he asked
when the waiter came to our table. I looked at him and I had to laugh a little
as he did the same.
“Um, no, I sure don’t. I don’t think
I could do anything like that in my writing.”
“You don’t know what you have, there
is probably a little sex demon lurking inside that mind of yours.” He said then
stuffed his face with sushi.
I had to keep myself from laughing so
damn much at his comments because they were too funny. But what wasn’t funny
was the fact that he kept trying to get me to drink more.
“I don’t think I should drink anymore
of this Sake, it’s going to get to my head pretty soon.” I said as I took a sip
“The night is young, come and live a
little. Besides, I told Marie we would go down to this bar and meet her and
some others there. Let me pay and we can go.” He snapped his fingers to get the
waiter as I got my purse and made my way to the bathroom.
It took me some time to get to the
bathroom. I didn’t want to look like a complete drunk while I was walking back
to the bathroom, so I took small steps. When I did get there, I looked in the
mirror, and even though I knew I was a drunken mess, I still looked good.
When I came back, I walked into the
bright red waiting area and saw Todd standing there. “You ready?” I asked him
with a smile. He nodded and we walked out of the restaurant. When we walked
outside, I almost felt as if I was going to fall, and that’s when he caught my
arm, “Are you ok?”
I felt so damn lightheaded it was
unreal, so I held onto him until we got to his car and he helped me in.
* * * *
“Hey you guys, over here!” shouted
Marie, waving us over to our favorite table when we got to the bar.
Andrew was there along with another
woman who ended up being Laura behind some shades
. Oh my God, I know she isn’t
wearing shades inside of a bar at night.
I plopped down next to Andrew as
he gave me a hug while Marie introduced Todd to everyone.
When Richard came to the table and
saw me sitting with Todd, he looked concerned or something. Maybe it was the
Sake playing with my mind.
“Hey, Marley, how you doing?” he said with a smile.
“Fine, Richard. This is Todd, my date
for the night.”
Todd stood and went to shake his
hand, and I saw the look in Richard’s eyes, it looked weird as he shook Todd’s
hand and pulled off a fake smile as he sat back down next to Laura.
“Does anyone want a drink, let me
refresh everyone’s. I’ll be right back.” Todd said, heading toward the bar. I
started sipping water and Marie asked, “So, how do you like him?”
“He’s nice, really nice. He seems
like he’s really interested in my writing.”
“You know it’s interesting that I
haven’t seen any of your books around the book stores, Marley,” Laura said as
she sipped some of her drink.
I ignored the little wench because I
was still pissed at her, but I couldn’t pass up making her look like a complete
ass at that moment, “I’m shocked that you even went to a book store, Laura.” I
said with a coy smile as Todd brought the drinks back to the table.
Everyone grabbed their drinks but I
didn’t see mine, “Where’s my drink?”
“Damn, hold on, let me go back and
get it,” Todd said as he walked through the crowd.
He came back with a coke, which I was
happy about. I really wasn’t interested in drinking anymore alcohol. “I thought
I would get you some coke instead.” He smiled as he sat down next to me and I
took a long sip.
It had a strong kick, even for coke,
which always made me kind of growl a little from the soda taste when it hits
your throat and makes it feel like it was burning.
For some reason, it hit even more
when I took that long gulp. I took another sip, put the drink down, and
listened to everyone talk. The room seemed like it was tilting for some reason,
and I was just sitting down. I looked over at Marie who seemed to be talking in
slow motion, all of her movements were in slow motion, and my head felt
heavier. I looked over to see Richard talking to Laura and pouring beer in a
glass for her. That beer was going so damn slow into the glass it was unreal.
What the fuck is going on?
Richard looked at me really
concerned, “Marley, are you ok?”
Why was he talking so slow, and why
was the chair I was sitting in sinking. Andrew looked at me, and I was sweating
really badly. He stood, along with some of the other people at the table.
“Are you ok, Marley? We need to get
her outside, come on.” Todd stated as he and Andrew helped me out of my chair.
I tried to walk toward the door, but
before I could get up, yours truly ended up falling down on the hardwood floor
in a slump.
I don’t remember anything after that;
everything went completely black once I hit the floor. When I woke up, I found
myself in a hospital, and Richard and Marie were in the room with me. My head
felt like a two-ton truck ran over it, and I was still dizzy.
“Where am I?” I mumbled, rubbing my
“You’re in the hospital. You’ve been
here three days now. Oh Marley, I am so sorry for setting you up with that
idiot, Todd.” Marie started crying a little, and I didn’t understand why.
“What the hell happened, and why am I
“You were drugged that night with
Todd, he put that date rape drug in your drink when you went to the restaurant,
and then he put it in your coke, but he doubled it and that’s what got you so
I looked down and saw his hand taped.
“What happened to your hand?”
“I ended up punching the hell out of
that son of a bitch. Got in a big fight with him in the bar, it was pretty
wild.” He smiled as he sat down next to me in the bed.
I started laughing a little and then
I laid my head back down on the pillow. “I’ve got to get back to work, but I’ll
be coming by your place today. The doctors said if they think you’re well
enough, they will let you go on home.”
She walked out of the room and we
both sat there in silence. Then he took my hand and squeezed it softly.
“I’m just glad that you’re ok. You
had me scared, woman, thought I was going to lose you there for a while.”
I snickered a little and squeezed his
hand some more. “It’s going to be a while before I leave you.”
Leaning over, he kissed my forehead,
looked into my eyes, and smiled, “I’ll let you get some rest. I’m going to see
where the doctor is because I’m taking you home today.”
He walked out of the room and left me
alone as I sighed. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest, he
knew I was in trouble and he came to my rescue.
* * * *
“Do you think you can make it inside,
or should I just carry you over the threshold?” Richard joked as I started
walking inside of my apartment.
“Ha, yeah, and if that was to happen
then we will be right back at the hospital for your broken back.” I walked in,
went to the window, and opened it a little to get the stuffiness out of the
Richard answered his phone and walked
toward the kitchen, talking while I took in a deep breath of air. It feels good
to be in my own place and able to relax finally. I decided that I wouldn’t be
going out on any “blind dates” for a very long time.
“That was Laura; she wanted to know
if you were ok and all.”
That was a surprise, she wanting to
know how I was. I sat down on the couch as he came around and plopped down next
“You know, Marley Mar, you really
gave me a scare that night. I didn’t know what to do when I saw your eyes roll
to the back of your head like that.”
He took my hand and held it tight in
his, and I swear I could see that he was trying not to cry.
“You and I have always been a team,
through thick and thin, we have been there for each other.”
He kept looking at my hand as he held
it in his. The Band-Aid from my IV was still there and he softly kissed it. It
felt like a million points of light were shooting through me when his lips
touched my skin.
“So what would you like to do
tonight? We could order in some food or I can go to the marketplace and grab
something to make here.”
I started laughing for a second and
he looked puzzled, “What?”
“You can’t cook worth a damn and you
know it.” I chuckled as I grabbed my purse and got up.
“Yes, I can too cook. How can you say
that I am a bad cook?” he asked as he too got up.
“How about the Kitchen Fire of 1993
or did you forget about that?”
He rolled his eyes and shook his head.
I continued laughing as he opened the door.
“I swear you will never ever let me
live that down, will you?”
“Hell no! You will be constantly
reminded of that day even when we are sitting in our rocking chairs in some old
folks home.” I laughed as we walked into the hallway.
The Kitchen Fire of 1993 will
probably go down in history as the “Ultimate Blunder of All Time” or what I
would like to call it, “The Biggest Achievement to Impress a Girl that Ended up
Almost Getting Everyone Killed.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to
help with cooking the food?” I had asked him that night in 1993 at his
apartment. He had told this girl that he had been dating that he would cook her
dinner that night, the only thing was…well Richard couldn’t cook worth a damn.
“Yes, I am positive that I don’t need
you here. If she sees that I had someone cook for me, she will know that I am
lying,” he told me as he got the chicken out of the fridge.
“But you did lie, about everything
you told her. I almost had a heart attack when you told me all the crap you
said. Man, you guys will do anything to get a girl to like you or jump their
bones.” Richard laughed as I shook my head while he scrambled around the small
kitchen, making sure that everything was together.
“You better go because I’ve got to
get ready for Emily. I’ll call you tomorrow and let you know how everything