This story is by Michele Holcomb and was part of our 2016 Winter Writing Contest. You can find all the Winter Writing Contest stories here.
I was living the life; a bachelor’s dream. I was young, successful, and handsome. Attending lavish parties with beautiful women. I was taking a new girl home every night. What more could I ask for.
No way was I ever settling down; this was the life. So I thought. I was beginning to think the life I was living lead to a lonely one at the end of the day. I wanted more, but from whom? The girls I was taking home I would never commit to.
Love…why was it so hard to find love. I felt like I had a lot to offer. I was attractive, funny, sweet, caring, and always thinking of others. Somehow that wasn’t enough. Every relationship I ever had ended with me getting emotionally drained and hurt. I am over trying to find love.
Why did I have to care so much? Why couldn’t I just meet a guy, take him home for one night and be done. I was young. There was plenty of time to find love. I was so confused. What if while I was going through this phase, I missed out. Missed out on the love of my life.
“What can I get ya,” I asked.
“Whiskey neat,” the gentlemen replied.
I placed the short round glass on the bar in front of him and poured the whiskey from the bottle. He was very attractive with his short dark spiked hair. He had just enough facial hair, but not yet a beard, with the most mesmerizing hazel eyes. Watching him, thinking how it would feel his big masculine hands touching me while his lips trailed down my body leading to a spot of pure pleasure.
I watched her long manicured hands pour my drink. I could tell she was daydreaming about me by the pink rose color appearing on her cheeks and the biting of her lower lip. Oh, how I wanted to bite that lip. Charlotte was very attractive, dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt with her dark brown hair hung low past her breast.
With my back turned to him I could feel his eyes looking at my ass. That’s why I was happy to turn around when he asked for another round.
“What’s your name,” he asked politely.
“Charlotte, huh,” he replied thinking slowly about it and then smiling; seeming amused as he sipped his drink.
“What,” I asked.
“Nothing, Charlotte’s a very pretty name…it suits you,” he replied cheering his glass to me.
Smiling at the thought of his compliment, I asked, “what about you”.
“What about me?”
Swishing the amber color liquid around in his glass contemplating his answer he replied, “Cane…my name is Cane”.
“Nice to meet you Cane,” I said watching the mystery in his eyes draw me to him.
“Why bartending,” he asked curiously.
“I wasn’t gonna be a waitress,” Charlotte replied pointing to a waitress nearby.
“I think you’d look attractive in that,” Cane said looking at the waitress wearing a very short jean skirt with a low-cut top.
Talking the rest of the night; we had so much in common, it was amazing.
One drink turned into two, two turned into three and before I knew it I was feeling a little tipsy. Charlotte was kind enough to call me an Uber once the bar was closing. I could tell she wasn’t ready for the night to end when she offered to wait with me for my ride. Stepping out into the crisp night air, the moon was full and the sky was clear.
“Do you smoke,” she asked pulling a rolled cigarette filled with cannabis.
“Yeah, it helps calm my anxiety.”
“Do I make you anxious,” I asked with my lips so close to her neck I could feel her pulse beating without touching her.
He was so close. I could feel the heat of his breath on my neck making my heart race and my core tingle from thoughts of him touching me. I quickly placed the cigarette between my lips and lit it. Inhaling two deep puffs, and passing it to Cane. I knew I couldn’t just leave him here by himself, but I knew I had to get away before the situation turned into something I didn’t know if I was ready for.
I’m surprised when Charlotte offers to drive me home. Twenty minutes later we pulled into the parking lot of my apartment complex. The mixture of alcohol and marijuana was invading my body. I felt the urge to take her right there in the backseat of her car. I wouldn’t even need to invite her up and we could avoid the awkwardness of the morning. My conscience kept stopping me though, Charlotte was different. I wanted more from her then one-night in the back of her car.
My plan was to drive Cane home and leave, never to see him again. I kept staring in his eyes drawing me further in further into his world. I never went home with a stranger or had a one-night stand before. This was crazy, I was newly single. I couldn’t sleep with a stranger, this wasn’t who I was…could I? I could sleep with him and leave. No feelings. No attachment.
To my surprise, I was grabbing for Cane. Our lips crashing with hunger, Cane forcing my lips apart as he slid his tongue between my lips. His hands trailing all over my body and his masculine scent was pushing me near the edge. I needed this, after many failed relationships. I’m convinced I needed to forget love, live in the moment, and just enjoy.
Making our way up to Cane’s apartment, I was nervous for the unknown, not knowing how this worked or how to act. Did I just up and leave when it was over, or was I polite and stay till the morning. Seeing the nervousness on my face Cane caressed my cheek with the palm of his hand, his thumb trailing over my lip.
“We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” Cane said.
“I want to,” I whispered not knowing if in the morning I would feel the same way.
What should have been one night for both of us turned into something more. Gripping the porcelain sink in my bathroom, staring into the mirror curious of the reflection looking back at me. Was this me wanting to change? Could I do the relationship thing? Charlotte was different. She was a good girl, a good girl I didn’t want to ruin. I kept wondering what was happening. I never had anyone stay over yet alone a whole weekend. Being with Charlotte was different.
Sex with her was the true definition of making love.
When we were making love it was like we were both there in the moment. Not trying to hurry to get a release. I enjoyed being in her company, listening to her talk. Now here I was in the bathroom trying to figure out this conundrum I was feeling. It wasn’t lust, it was more than that. I think I was falling in love with her.
Laid between the sheets with Charlotte wrapped around me. Her head laid on my chest listening to the rhythm of my heart beating like a song of two lovers.
“Cane, I should go,” Charlotte said.
I held her tighter not wanting her to leave knowing this moment would come. Not knowing if I would see her again. I replied, “Charlotte, can I see you again?”
Knowing that was lie, I replied, “I was just kind of hoping that you’d fall in love with me”.
There was an awkward pause as she searched for the words to say. “Cane, you don’t have to love me. Sorry, but love’s not for me. I’ve given up on love.”
I could tell she had been hurt before by love.
“Listen Charlotte,” I said. “I never believed in love until you walked into my life. You changed my world all in one weekend. I can’t promise i won’t hurt you. Not on purpose though. But, I can promise I’ll try my best not to.”
Charlotte grabbed Cane by the shoulders closing the gap between them whispering in his ear, “Promise”.