Authors: Liv Morris
the panty dropper
A Love in the City Short
Copyright © 2013 Liv Morris
Digital Edition: February 2013
mage Licensed: www.depostitphoto.com
Cover Photo Design:
Editorial Support: Dee Ward
book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from Author.
Table of Contents
It’s close to two in the afternoon on Saturday, February 14th. My heart pounds away due to a crazy mix of joy and nervousness. I check my lipstick and hair one more time in the mirror before my father comes to escort me. Without him, it’s unlikely I’d be sitting in this dressing room surrounded by yards of ivory satin.
I’m here because a year ago today my life changed 180 degrees on a holiday I had cursed for years. Who could have guessed that it would become my most treasured day of year? One can never underestimate fate.
Today is Friday, February 14th. Yes, it’s that day...
As a single, unattached woman, I’ve loathed this holiday for years. The fact that two serious boyfriends had conveniently broken up with me the week before Valentine’s Day is likely the main reason. And adding to the rejection, I had to return my already-purchased gifts for them, though I did keep all the chocolates for myself. A friend told me under the circumstances, the chocolates were calorie free.
A slight consolation.
When the calendar turns to February, I dread the upcoming parade of roses and candy. And stupid red hearts start appearing everywhere, seeming to mock me and my singleness.
I’m okay with being single for the most part. It isn’t my first choice, and truthfully, I would love to settle down with a sweet and decent guy. But so far, Mr. Right hasn’t shown up at my door. His appearance remains elusive in my life, but I have faith that he’s out there, somewhere... I’m only twenty-six years old and refuse to feel desperate or panicked yet. Instead, I’ll let my mother do all the worrying and hand wringing concerning my love life. God knows she’s become a pro at it.
My career as a flight attendant appears to be a stumbling block for many guys. In fairness, I’m away from home more than
I’m actually here in San Francisco. One guy I dated said he was tired of spending lonely nights by himself on his couch eating takeout for dinner. He even asked if I might consider quitting my job.
I couldn’t quit my job in this economy or any for that matter. I love what I do. When I told him that he was asking too much from me, I watched him get up and walk out the door. Deep down inside I know that I’m better off without him, but it still stings, especially today, the day anointed for lovers.
I might adjust who I am for someone, but I’m not willing to completely change myself just to please them. Looking into the mirror and seeing my frizzy hair is hard enough. I need to also see a reflection of someone that doesn’t make my stomach turn.
As Shakespeare said, “To
thine own self be true.” Words to live by I suppose.
My flight segments wore me out today. They bordered on tortuous. Friday happens to be the worst day of the week for Valentine’s Day to fall on. It adds up to planes full of couples canoodling in their seats as they jet off for a romantic weekend somewhere to enjoy strawberries and champagne. I tried not to scowl at them but my aggravation was likely obvious. My behavior was nothing to be proud of. Envy never really is.
During my last segment back to San Francisco, I’d had enough of all the couples for the day and was teetering on doing something that might make the nightly news. Nothing too violent, of course, but the thought of pouring a few drinks over a pair of steamy lovers to cool them off did cross my mind. Especially when one of them looked like an ex of mine.
It took some restraint, but I’m proud to report that I left the airport sans handcuffs. I decided that harboring ill will against something I really want in my own life creates bad Karma. And I’m not stupid enough to mess with her.
So now back at my apartment, I’m safe from a world which has gone painfully red for the day. My best friend, Monica, lives a couple of floors below me. We spoke yesterday and decided to spend tonight watching a movie, painting our nails, and crying into our wine glasses about how we need a man. Sounds kind of pathetic, really, but we need something cathartic to purge this day from our system. Wine and bitching mixed with a few tears usually does the trick.
After changing into an oversized t-shirt and black yoga pants, I go deep-sea diving in my large tote and find my phone swimming somewhere on the bottom. Monica is expecting my call, so I locate her number and press on the phone’s screen.
“Hey, Em. You’re back home?” Monica answers quickly. She’s likely ready to forget this day too.
Got back about thirty minutes ago. Both of my flights were filled with starry-eyed lovers. I could only take so much after a while.”
“My day wasn’t much better. By noon, I wished I’d called in sick. Everyone around me in the office received flowers. Even that witch, Melody. When the delivery man sat pink roses on her desk, I almost screamed, ‘What about me?’”
“God, that sucks, Monica. Maybe she sent them to herself,” I say with a laugh. “We need to wash away this day with a bottle or three of wine.”
Maybe we can watch a comedy tonight. I need something funny or I’m gonna need to hide all my knives.” Now we were both laughing.
“How about that Kate Hudson movie?
The ten days to do something one.” I couldn’t remember the exact title, but I enjoyed watching Matthew McConaughey squirm in it.
“Perfect. I’ll bring some...”
As Monica was speaking a loud knock came from my apartment’s front door. It wasn’t angry pounding but it was loud.
“What was that noise?” Monica asked after the knocking stopped.
“Someone’s at my door. I didn’t buzz anyone up so it’s probably my neighbor,” I say approaching the door.
I peek through the peephole and nearly faint dead away when I see who’s standing on the other side.
“Oh my God. You’re not going to believe who’s at the door. It’s The Panty Dropper.”
“You know. The hot guy in our building I call The Panty Dropper. The one I’d willingly be a sex slave for.”
“No way. What the hell is he doing there? Wait don’t answer that. For God’s sake, Em, answer the damn door.”
I look out the peephole one more time and am startled as he knocks forcefully once again. He’s probably ready to give up on anyone being home.
“Hold on,” I whisper to her.
I place the phone down on the entryway table and laugh when I see myself in the mirror above it. Not exactly the look I would go for if I had a choice, but he’s at the door and I can’t let him get away.
Quickly, I smooth down my frizzy hair and bite my lips for a little color. And with a shaky hand I turn the knob and pull. But I’m simply not prepared for the sight and close proximity of the most beautiful man in the whole universe, or my building at least.
So instead of saying hello, I find my mouth gaping open, guppy-fish style, as I stare up into his ocean blue eyes. I’ve never had an opportunity to see him this close up before and it’s completely overwhelming and paralyzing.
“Hi, are you Emily?” He finally speaks and hearing my name roll across his tongue warms me up in a place somewhere between my head and toes.
“Yes,” I purr back at him trying to channel a sex kitten of some kind. It’s probably isn’t working considering my hobo attire.
He smiles at me sweetly and I just know he witnesses silly girl behavior like mine daily.
“I’m Ethan Murphy. I live upstairs in apartment 814 and these roses were left at my door. I’m pretty sure there was a mistake.”
Roses? I shake my head a bit to bring myself out of a fixed stare. As I do, I notice a pretty bouquet of red roses in his hand. I look back up at him confused.
“I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.” And before I know it, I’m throwing the door wide open and asking him to enter my apartment. “Come in.”
Right now, I don’t care if he’s like the crazy from
. Watching his suit-covered body walk across my threshold makes any thought of danger slip from my mind. His suit is navy blue, add a tie to match his eyes, and he looks like he just walked off a photo shoot for Brooks Brothers.
He moves closer to me and steps to my side, shoulder to shoulder, and holds up a small envelope, the kind given with flowers. Before I can really focus on what’s in his hand, I take a calming breath and get a whiff of his cologne. It’s woodsy and crisp. Nice, dreamy nice.
“I think the doorman misread the envelope,” he says. “It clearly says 614 not 814 on the front.”
My eyes glance over the envelope and it’s clear that the flowers were supposed to be delivered to my apartment, 614, not his.
Staring at the lone apartment numbers on the front, I realize my name wasn’t written on it... just the numbers, which is odd, as he knew my first name. Since we’ve never met, he must have opened the envelope to look at the card inside.
“Do you mind?” I ask while reaching for the envelope. Once in my hands, I turn it around to the back, and sure enough it’s been opened. I pull the card
out, dreading to see what I already suspect is on the little piece of cardstock. The words jump out at me, making my face turn a deep red, not quite the color of the roses, but pretty damn close. They’re from my father. He’s given me flowers on Valentine’s Day since I was a young girl.
I cringe even more as I read over the card.
Will you be my Valentine?
I love and miss you,
After a few more moments of silence, I look up to see Ethan’s eyes focused on my face. Relief rushes over me as I see him smiling all sweet and sexy.
“My dad,” I say shyly while raising the card. “He does this for me every year.”
“That’s really cool,” he responds sincerely. “Sounds like a great guy.”
“He is, but it’s rather embarrassing.”
We’re now leaning against my entry wall facing one another. He’s looking at me and I’m looking at him, both of us smiling. It feels nice, different. I’ve almost forgotten that I’m decked out like a slob. In this moment, it doesn’t seem to matter.
“I guess it gives your boyfriend a little competition.” His words end almost like a question. “He has to top dear old Dad.”
I wish.” Wait, did I just say that? My eyes immediately fall to the ground, but his slight laugh brings them up again.
“So, no boyfriend?”
This time he asks a definite question like he cares whether I’m dating someone. Oh good God. Would someone please pinch me?
I say with a stupid pop to the “p.” But that makes him smile even more and I see this little dimple on his left cheek. I stare at it and bite my lip to hold myself back because he’s beyond gorgeous.
“Well, here are your flowers.” He moves the roses toward me. I want to touch his fingers when we make the exchange.
Just a little touch. Who knows if I’ll ever have this chance with him again?
I place my forefinger over his pinky and glide my finger against his as I grasp the flowers. His composure stiffens, but more out of surprise than retreat.
Hmmm... I think we have cause and effect here.