“What do you think so far?”

“I like it,” he types.

“Thanks. I really want to explore this with you. Do you want to pick up the thread and go from here, or do you want to write your own version? We can do like a he-said, she-said thing. That might be fun…”

“Hmmm, I don’t know if I can do it justice. My version might read a little too much, too soon, if you know what I mean….”

“That’s too easy. And not how I see things unfolding in real life. I want to take it slow…really build some tension.”

“Yeah, you are right. But my version would be a lot of fun ;-)”

“I get that sense about you. Don’t forget, I’ve read your stories!”  I type back.

“Ha! I can’t wait to see where you take this…”

“Okay…I’ll keep going. Weekends are busy for me, but let’s check in when we can :-)”

“How could I stay away?”


I minimize the email program and reopen my Word document…

Hot House Flowers, Chapter 2

The honeymooners giggle playfully in the dark corner, whispering lovers’ secrets, shoulders crushed together so tight the young woman could almost be sitting on her man’s lap. As he nibbles her neck, the sighs are audible from across the room.

“Distracting, isn’t it?” Jim’s voice startles her reverie.

“You caught me.” She snaps her attention back, straightening in her chair just a bit.

“Yes, the unmistakable glow of young lust. Intoxicating.”

He turns toward the bar, eyes fixed on the wall of colored glass bottles.

“I remember it well…” she murmurs, taking another sip of her wine, looking up to catch  his reflection in the bar mirror. Their eyes meet for an instant and then the connection is lost.

“Some say the attraction phase of a relationship is the finest slice.”

She looks down for a moment, tracing her index finger around the stem of her glass. It’s a bold statement to so casually offer, but the mood of the day calls for a certain degree of candor.

“Intense, but fleeting,”she continues.

She is reminded of her old friend Andrew, the intellectual. A confirmed bachelor, Andrew used to lament his inability to maintain a long-term relationship due to this fact. This was the unavoidable reason for his romantic failures. His addiction to the attraction phase. His tendency to idealize women.

She had to admit, now, twenty years later, that he was onto something. But, Andrew loved her mind. It was the one part of herself she offered him. Only now, in retrospect can she appreciate the purity of his devotion. In a more cynical light though, she feared he idealized her, too.

“If the feeling could be bottled and sold…” he laughed, “I confess…I’d drink one after another…”

He sets down his empty glass and gestures for the check.

To be continued…