I'm posting this earlier than usual, because I sent a query to Aphrodite's Apples, an e-publisher yesterday, and last night recieved word they want to read to manuscript! I've already decided to send the 3rd person version, based on comments of not switching POV's, and am spending the day going over it line by line, making sure everything flows. I haven't really touched this wip since I made the changes 8 years ago, so to get this delivered ASAP, I've got to spend the entire day on it. Wish me luck!
In this scene, it's Halloween. Enough said.
Several days later, Keri still had not heard from him, so she called and asked what time the Halloween party started.
"Around nine-ish," was his answer.
"Okay, we'll be there," she said, and hesitated. "So...did you get all your things stored away?"
"Yes. I'm sorry about that...she wanted to talk settlement arrangements also."
"Oh." Keri wasn't sure what to say..
"So...I'll see you on Thursday?" he asked.
"Yes. See you then." They hung up.
"I'm confused," Keri told Stephanie later that evening. "Why didn't he call me sooner? I hate making up stupid excuses just to hear his voice. I mean, geez, everyone knows the parties around here start around nine!" She flopped down on her bed. "Do you think I was being too obvious?"
"No, not really," Steph answered, munching on Doritos. "I mean, maybe he was embarrassed to tell you about the settlement plans, or whatever. In his eyes, maybe he's trying to protect you."
"That's a thought." Keri rolled over on her stomach and hugged her favorite stuffed rabbit. "He doesn't like to talk about his meetings with the lawyers and Lisa and all that."
"See there? The less you know, the better," she pointed out. "That way, you don't look as if you're the cause of the break-up."
"But that's dumb," Keri protested. "They split up long before he even met me! I couldn't possibly be the cause!"
Stephanie sighed. "I don't know! I'm trying to be a good, sympathetic friend and offer possible solutions! Go talk to Amy Callahan, in room 135: She's a psych major!"
"Who?" Keri asked. "I don't know her."
"Sure you do. She's the one who's boyfriend's in the Army, or Air Force, or whatever. He's military."
"Oh, okay! So...What are you dressing up as?"
"You're crazy," Sid puffed as he and Kyle were re-wiring the basement. "Why don't you just seduce her and get it over with?"
"She's a virgin." Kyle finished screwing the outlet plates. "Try that and see if that works. She's so trusting, and if we do have sex, I want to show her a good time. And that means waiting until the family jewels heal, and there's no chance of getting her pregnant."
"This is the eighties. Buy condoms!" Sid finished his outlet and they turned on the power.
"Yeah, but it's more than that...We really connect, you know? And do you know how long it's been since I've had a virgin?" Kyle took a drink of his beer. "Hell, neither of my wives were virgins when we met!"
"So you've never had one?"
"Yes, but it's been almost, well, I was a senior...so maybe twelve years?"
Sid whistled. "Long time."
"Yeah." Kyle swallowed the rest of his beer.
The two men turned their attention towards the oak paneling.
"So what is going on?" Sid asked.
Kyle shook his head. "Don't know. It's been a long time since I've felt this way. Keri's smart, she's funny, she's ambitious, she's..."
"Young," interrupted Sid. "She's a baby."
"But she doesn't act like it."
"I still think you're making a mistake. Screw her and get it over with and out of your system. Once you get deeper involved, it makes it harder to dump her. And you still haven't gotten rid of Lisa!"
"I know, I know. But I still want to spend time with Keri. I'll try to cool things down."
Halloween night arrived. Keri dressed in her oily coveralls and carried a small toolbox. She pulled her brown hair into a small ponytail and wore a baseball cap, plus smeared some mascara on her cheeks and forehead.
"Yuck," said Stephanie, who was dressed as a flasher. "You look like you've just crawled out of the grease pit!"
"So?" Keri said. "Ready Gretch?"
"Coming...How does this look?" Gretchen came out of the bathroom, displaying her punk rocker outfit. Her hair had been teased so that it flared out around her head, and was dyed purple, with a black streak down the middle. She wore a black miniskirt, multi-colored top belted over it, and electric blue tights with her feet encased in a pair of Stephanie's hiking boots.
"Great color..." Steph opened her black trench coat to reveal her purple bodysuit and black shorts. "What kind of dye did you use?"
"The power of mousse and hairspray. Want to borrow some?" Gretchen cheerfully clomped to her box of earrings and selected some gold dangly stars.
"Excellent!" Steph went in and worked the purple goo into her hair, creating a light lavender streak above each ear. "We almost match. Maybe Lance will take one look at you and think you're too weird for his taste!"
Gretchen sighed. "Can I help it if he likes me better? At least I can remember his name when I'm drinking! That really bothered him, you know. His name's not George!"
Steph shrugged. "I don't care. He wasn't that great of a kisser, anyway!"
"How would you know? Lance said you nearly gagged him with your tongue! It's not necessary to lick his tonsils!"
Gretchen rolled her eyes. "Steph, never mind. Just drop it."
"Have you slept with him yet?" Stephanie demanded as they left the room.
"That's none of your business!"
Minutes later, the three arrived at the party and made themselves at home. Gretchen immediately involved herself in a Euchre game, while Stephanie scoped out the men. Keri, too, was keeping her eyes open. Kyle didn't seem to be anywhere, but she told herself he'd be there soon, and mingled around.
Sid, dressed like a green beret, fired up the stereo, and several people started dancing. An hour later, Keri couldn't stand not knowing anymore, and made her way to the bar.
"Where's Kyle?" she shouted over the noise.
"Don't know," he shrugged. "He'll be here soon, don't worry! Have a beer!"
"No thanks." she declined, then swiveled around in her seat to watch the dancers. Bob Seeger was belting out "Old-Time Rock-n-Roll", and realized she must have been moving her body in time to the music, when a guy dressed as Dracula asked her to dance. "Why not?" she accepted, and one dance led to another, and soon they were back at the bar, talking.
Dracula turned out to be a rather nice-looking boy named Tony, who had been in Keri’s English class the previous semester. She had mentioned she was waiting for her date to show up, not wanting to encourage him.
"Well, I'll keep you company until the lucky one shows," he decided.
Keri was starting to get a little worried and irritated when eleven o'clock rolled around, and there was still no sign of Kyle. Where could he be? Suddenly, Sid grabbed her arm and pulled her off the dance floor.
"Just a minute," he told Tony.
"What are you doing?" Keri demanded.
"I've got to tell you," Sid said. "Kyle and Lisa just arrived."
"Lisa's here?" she squeaked. "Why?"
"Don't ask me," he answered. "I just thought you should hear it from me instead of seeing her first. There they are," he pointed.
Just coming around the partition was Keri’s boyfriend, dressed in karate clothes, and an attractive blonde woman in surgical scrubs. Kyle obviously had not spotted Keri yet, and he whispered something in the other woman’s ear. She laughed, then patted him on the back as Kyle made his way through the crowd.
Keri was devastated. She wasn't sure of what to do, so she stood her ground when he came closer.
"Keri! Thank God...Here you are," he smiled and touched her arm.
"Hi Kyle," she answered stiffly. "I thought we had a date tonight."
"I'm sorry...Lisa got word of the party and arranged to have the night off. I didn't find out until it was too late to call you." He looked around to make sure she wasn't around.
"She's pretty," Keri commented.
"So are you." He bent down to kiss her, but she pulled away. "I'm going home."
Keri retrieved her toolbox and went upstairs to the bathroom, letting the tears fall for a few minutes before composing herself and locating her coat. She felt humiliated, hurt, and extremely angry. She wanted desperately to take apart a car.
"Kurt!" Keri called. "Tell Steph I've gone home, will you? Headache..." She continued through the house. Dracula caught up with her and offered to walk her back.
"No, I need to be alone," she answered hotly. "My date's wife showed up, and I need to break something."
"Whoa!" He swung around to face me on the sidewalk. "Your boyfriend's married?"
Keri closed her eyes. "Not exactly. They're in the process of getting a divorce. I'm not sure why she's here, and I don't want to talk about it!"
Well? What's the verdict? Again, if you don't want to leave a public comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me everything you hate about it, or even like? Yes...insecurity reigns at this point!