Authors: T. K. Leigh
Table Of Contents
The Other Side Of Someday
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or, if an actual place, are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Published by Carpe Per Diem, Inc. / Tracy Kellam, 25852 McBean Parkway # 806, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Edited by: Kim Young, Kim’s Editing Services
Cover Design: Cat Head Biscuit, Inc., Santa Clarita, CA
Cover Image Copyright Masson 2016
Used under license from Shutterstock.com
Copyright © 2016 T. K. Leigh / Tracy Kellam
All rights reserved.
To my other side of somedays…
Stan and Miss Harper Leigh…
in the luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets caressing my skin. A whisper of breath warmed my mouth, followed by a soft tongue. It had been ages since I had woken up to the feel of a man’s mouth on mine, so I didn’t want the moment to end. Keeping my eyes blissfully closed, I tried to remember the previous night. Nothing momentous stood out in my mind, and I certainly couldn’t recall meeting a handsome young stranger whom I would so willingly invite into my bed.
The mysterious tongue grazed my cheek and I inhaled, only to be assaulted by a vile stench. I flung my eyes open, my dopey beagle-terrier mix smiling his excited smile at me. Wiping my mouth, I turned away from the dog, pulling the duvet over my head.
“Sport, Mommy’s sleeping,” I groaned, still half asleep. I would give anything to return to the dream I had been having. There was a man… I didn’t recall much about what he looked like, but he had the most mesmerizing blue eyes I’d ever seen. Every time he smiled, my heart picked up just a little bit. When he leaned in to kiss me, my leg kicked out slightly, just like the leading lady’s did after her first kiss with the object of her desire in all those romance movies I watched…until the funk of Sport’s breath ruined my perfectly innocent fantasy.
Sport burrowed beneath the comforter and found me. He incessantly licked my face, his friendly reminder that he needed to go for a walk. He’d never let me fall back to sleep, so I sat up. Wiping my eyes, I stretched, yawning as I adjusted to my surroundings.
“California,” I murmured. The past few weeks seemed like a blur as I gazed out the sliding glass doors at the Pacific Ocean from fourteen floors up. The sunlight rising behind the building made the water sparkle and dance.
A month ago, I was living in the same town I had spent the past twenty-eight years of my life. I was still married to my high school sweetheart. I was happy to maintain the same life I had since birth…until something inside of me snapped, probably the result of walking in on my former husband balls deep in my former best friend on the kitchen island of the house I had paid for with my inheritance.
Despite Will’s begging and pleading, I filed for divorce, hired movers to pack my belongings, and left North Carolina with his dog. I knew it was immature and spiteful, but I couldn’t let Sport grow up in a house with a revolving door of women. Will was pissed and rightfully so, but I knew him. He would simply replace the dog, just as he would replace me with the flavor of the day.
A wet tongue met my cheek, bringing me back to the present. “Okay, boy,” I said to Sport. “Want to go explore your new home?”
The thirty pound dog barked excitedly and darted off the bed, running circles through my legs. I padded across the hardwood floor and rummaged through my suitcase, pulling on a pair of yoga pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt over my tank top. Sliding on my flip-flops, I made my way into the hallway and down a set of stairs, entering the open living area.
I hadn’t had a chance to take in my new home since arriving late last night. Still, I couldn’t really get a feel for the place, nearly every corner filled with boxes the movers had arranged in the condo while I took my time driving across the country. The lower level was flooded with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows adorning most of the walls. The architecture had an almost industrial feel to it. The kitchen was any chef’s dream and I couldn’t wait to finally settle in and put it to use, despite my relatively mediocre cooking skills.
Sport’s paws clicked on the hardwood floors as he ran around the living room, exploring. “Come on, buddy! Let’s go for a walk,” I called out. He ran toward me, sliding across the travertine tile in the kitchen area and practically slamming into the wall. I laughed to myself. “It’s going to take a bit to get used to not having carpeting, isn’t it, pal?” He sat on his hind legs and raised his liver-spotted paw.
Finding his collar on the kitchen island, I clipped it around his neck and hooked him up to his leash. He jumped, grabbing part of the leash in his mouth, and we left my new penthouse condo.
After the elevator whisked me down fourteen floors, I sauntered through the lobby and emerged onto Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, smiling at the doorman and inhaling the late September air. It was a comfortable day. There was a slight chill, but the sun was already beaming, even at eight in the morning.
“Smog,” I snorted. “Better than horse shit, I guess.” I glanced over my shoulder, hoping no one had heard me talking to myself. The doorman tipped his hat at me and I cringed. “You heard that?” I asked.
“Heard what?” he responded slyly.
I turned back around and waited for the WALK signal at the crosswalk.
“For the record, ma’am, you’ll get used to the smog.”
I couldn’t help but laugh as I crossed the street to Palisades Park, a grin on my face. For the first time, I actually felt grateful Will couldn’t keep his willy in his pants. If he hadn’t been stupid enough to bang my best friend at the precise time he knew I would be home every night, I would still be stuck in North Carolina, miserable and waiting for my life to truly begin. Now, I finally had the opportunity to make my dreams a reality, and what better place to do that than somewhere with sun, sand, and surfers?
“What do you think, Sport?” I glimpsed at the amused expression on his furry face as he set his eyes on the ocean for the first time in his life. “Happy to be out of Carolina?” He looked back at me, his tongue hanging out of his mouth as he sniffed every tree and bench we passed, and I knew he was thrilled with his new zip code.
“And the best part? It doesn’t snow here, bud! No more having to go out in nasty weather!” I surveyed his reaction, which remained the same. It didn’t take much to make a dog happy. Give him a place to shit while looking at the crashing waves of the ocean and he’s as happy as can be.
Allowing Sport’s leash a little more slack, I stared at the water, tuning out the sound of horns and cars as they drove along the coast of Santa Monica. The waves were peaceful and serene, and I felt a renewed energy. When I pulled away from the small town in North Carolina I had grown up in, I almost turned my car around at least a dozen times. The thought of leaving the only life I had ever known petrified me. Most women my age probably went through that when they were eighteen and headed off to college for the first time. I never had that experience. Now, as I stared at the Pacific Ocean, sailboats and surfers bobbing up and down in the water, I started to think I was finally where I belonged.
“Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?” I mused out loud.
A sudden and unexpected strong yank on Sport’s leash woke me from my thoughts, startling me. Unable to react quickly enough, his leash slipped out of my hand and I watched in horror as he darted down the paved path, apparently on a mission.
“Sport! Heal! Stop! Slow down!” I shouted, trying to get him to obey my lackluster command. It was completely useless. I was never the dog’s master. This was just another reminder of that fact.
Chasing him through the park, I was relieved when he finally slowed his pace. However, that relief was short-lived once I saw what had captured his attention so suddenly.
“Sport! No!” My eyes growing wide, my face turned red in embarrassment when he attempted to mount a light-haired dog that easily outweighed him by twenty pounds.
Struggling to catch my breath, I grabbed Sport’s chest, doing my best to pry him off the other dog, who didn’t seem to mind the affection. “I’m so sorry,” I said to the owner of Sport’s new girlfriend, keeping my eyes cast downward. For a small dog, Sport was freakishly strong, especially when he was about to get some. “He’s fixed, but he has a tendency to take after his daddy.”
“Don’t worry about it,” the stranger replied, both of us attempting to separate our dogs. “Enjoying the love, are ya, girl?”
Just when I couldn’t be any more horrified, things took a turn for the worse. “Oh, my god, Sport! Lipstick in! There are people around, buddy! If you were human, your ass would be on the sexual offender registry!”
He ignored me and continued to hump the other dog’s leg, his size prohibiting him from getting any higher.
“This may just be the most embarrassing thing ever,” I remarked, my breathing labored.
“I’d say more amusing than embarrassing.”
“All right, buddy. That’s enough.”
I leaned in with the intention of using every ounce of strength I possessed to pry my dog off his girl, my motions fast and quick… Too fast and quick. Giving one final tug, my head slammed into the stranger’s nose, a faint crack echoing.
“Shit! I’m so sorry,” I apologized, no longer worried about my dog’s sexual promiscuity. Embarrassment turned into absolute humiliation as I looked up to see this complete stranger holding his nose, blood streaming down his face and into his hands.
you can probably call this the most embarrassing thing ever.” He laughed, remaining composed, despite my reaction.
“Here.” I rummaged through my bag, pulling out a messy pile of tissues. “Use this to stop the flow of blood.” I held the tissues out to him. “We need to get you to the hospital.” I frantically scanned the park, unsure of how far I was from my condo building.
“Thanks, but it’s not a big deal.”
“But your nose… It’s got to be broken.” I observed his blood seeping through the tissues.
“It’s not broken,” he assured me in a nasal tone. “I’d know if it were. You know that kid in elementary school who always suffered from bloody noses? Well, that was me. And it never goes away. All I have to do is bump it and the flood gates open, but it stops pretty quickly.” He winked as a warm smile crossed his full lips. In the midst of trying to pry my dog off his, I hadn’t taken a second to even look at him. Now that I was, I wanted to rewind the clock so I could perhaps brush my teeth and run a comb through my hair before leaving my condo. He had to be in his thirties and was at least six feet tall. As he lifted his arm to keep the tissues pressed to his nose, he revealed a slight sliver of skin between his t-shirt and shorts.