Writing Partner: Writing with a Friend

Creative Writing with a Partner

Have you ever wondered how it all began?

Fictional Kevin and Dr. Meg

FK: Several months ago I had been bantering about with several new WordPress friends: Dr. Meg, Dr. Shell and Jason. In my typical snarky fashion, I touted my superiority, made fun of their posts and was generally a nuisance.

They all loved me (of course.)

Jason made a serious post about how he was NOT accepting guest posts on his blog. I, of course, took that as a challenge. I decided to write a short story featuring him and my new blogger friends. It was compelling, so he decided to repost it on his blog. Win for the Fictional Boy.

If you read The Post it is, like most of my fiction, concerned with death and gore. Dr. Meg read it and made some comments. The online love was obvious…

M: I had a new follower… Fictional Kevin. His first comments had been on my post about Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing. “Seems like a pretty funny guy,” I thought. Ok, I’ll follow back.

I visited and commented on his blog a couple of times and then this happened…

On a post about sending himself text messages to remember ideas while he’s out and about, here is our exchange:

Meg: Funny!!!! I use notes on my phone too. How is that harder than sending yourself a text, Kevin? Are YOU sober?

Kevin: Don’t mess with my mojo this morning, Meg. I will cut a bitch. And I am mostly sober. Well, sort of. Remember: Hemingway said “write drunk, edit sober.” So I’m just like Hemingway.
He was an American writer.

Meg: Fine, ‘Ernest’ I will leave you to your scribbling! *Stomping out the virtual door in a huff* “Bitch indeed,” she muttered.

Kevin: Shouts after her: “and put on something nice for once, geez!”

Meg: Sniff

The came The Post. Seriously, go read it and ask me why the hell I stuck around. I can’t explain it myself. I barely knew this guy and he slaughtered me (in the story) in a most gruesome way after insulting me, my blog and my writing. For some reason I didn’t run screaming, I responded:

There he was, on the park bench, waiting for her. It was strange that he’d suggested they meet in the park on such a dreary day. She hadn’t given it much thought. She was too excited to see him. After all Kevin was one of her few writer friends. He of all people would be happy that her book had made the best seller list. As she approached, he looked up at her smiling.

“Hey,” she said, returning the smile.

He rose and offered her the spot where he’d been sitting since it was dry. Instead of sitting beside her, he picked something up from the ground and stood to face her.

“You smug bitch,” he muttered, before landing the first blow.

The first one didn’t kill her, neither did the second. Through the physical pain, her heart was breaking. She thought he’d understand. She thought he’d be happy for her. She thought he was her friend.

Kevin’s response? “This is perfect.

It apparently was the beginning of a beautiful relationship…

FK: Dr. Meg responded almost positively to her untimely demise in “The Post”. I didn’t find out until later even her hubby, Harry, was concerned.

We continued to banter back and forth on our blogs and eventually she was able to see past my rugged good looks and charm to the real me.

For some years I had considered writing fiction. I make my living writing non-fiction, but I wanted to expand my horizons. Writing fiction is far different than writing non.

Reading Meg’s blog, I realized she is far more competent at fiction than I, so I paid close attention to the things she was writing, trying to learn. It helped. I wrote a couple short stories and also wrote more on a couple longer-term pieces I was working on.

After we got to know one another we exchanged emails.

I began to realize I needed help to be able to write fiction well. I struggled to write dialog and deadlines were an issue – with fiction, I had none. After getting comfortable with Meg and with her writing style, I proposed a limited collaboration. A mid-length story, 14 chapters around 1,000 words each, written alternately as a serial with each chapter appearing on our blogs weekly.

Foolishly, she fell into my trap.

M: Kevin thinks he’s so smart, doesn’t he? Well, he is, actually. And I immediately recognized what a great opportunity and challenge this would be for me. It would push me to write out of my comfort zone. Even though it was not without some misgivings, I left the basic idea for the story up to him, since he had suggested this whole escapade. I even let him write the first chapter, knowing that would give me the final word. And thus, more control over the story.*evil laugh*

You see, originally we thought we’d keep our alternating chapters secret from one another so that we’d have to “respond” to one another’s writing. But as the story progressed we realized that a true collaboration was going to have to happen if this tale was going to be any good. And THAT’S when I foolishly fell into his trap!

FK: Writing the first chapter was easy for me, but it lacked “something.” I am good at identifying the psychological makeup and backstory for characters. I had that down cold. I can even write a compelling bit of narrative if I work hard and hold my mouth just right.

When I got done, there was something missing. That first chapter was all “tell” and no “show.”

I sent it to Meg for her input. She agreed. She helped me craft some dialog that showed David “being” David, rather than simply me telling the reader about him. It improved the chapter dramatically (pun intended.)

This is one of the best reasons to get a writing partner: He/she can fill in the gaps in your own ability.

M: I have the same habits as Kevin in creating backstory for my characters. Write a little biography on them, things that won’t necessarily be included in the narrative, but information that helps you shape their behavior. Up to this point though, I hadn’t written a character into a situation as dangerous and psychologically manipulative as the one Dr. Melody Rivers was in with David Twichell. The difficult part was that I had largely based Melody on myself. I now had to really imagine how I would react in those circumstances. I had a mini freak out at one point. It was unnerving to put oneself in the crosshairs of a potential killer. Thus, being able to talk it through with my writing partner was invaluable. The experience of collaboration has made both of us better writers.

FK: After 14 weeks, we finished our story at 17,000 words or so. Our readers enjoyed it and we enjoyed creating it. We’ll be putting it up at Amazon and will do a free weekend if you want to pick it up. You can join our announcement list here.

Some things we learned from the process:

  • A writing partner can help you have deadlines for your writing
  • A writing partner who has strengths you do not have can make you a better writer
  • A writing partner can help you see your characters and their thoughts and actions in a different light
  • A writing partner can brainstorm plot and character ideas with you and help you both create a more compelling story
  • A writing partner can act out dialog with you to give it a more “real” feeling for the reader
  • A writing partner can become a good friend – this was the best part for me.

Once we got the story completed, Meg and I along with our significants met in Gatlinburg for a meal and beers. It was fun and I think Meg and I will be friends for many years to come.

If I don’t murder her.

M: Or I murder him first… See? I always get the final word!


Double Seduction 14

Double Seduction

Dr. Meg and I are writing a little novella we hope you will enjoy and keep you in suspense. I wrote the first chapter, she wrote the second. The third is here. To read the fourth, go here. The fifth installment is here. Read the sixth installment by clicking here. The seventh is here. Eight here. Nine can be found here. Meg has written chapter 10, go over to her blog to read it. Chapter 11 is here. Chapter 12 is over at Meg’s blog. Chapter 13 is here. Go over to Meg’s to read the exciting conclusion by clicking here.


Chapter 14 – The Solution

“The rope, Melody. Get it, now!” Anton commanded.

Mel, still in shock and reeling from what had just happened —from what she had done— shook herself into action. “The rope, the rope, the rope,” she repeated, willing herself to move. She stumbled toward the SUV while Anton… (Click here to read the rest at Meg’s blog.)


Double Seduction 13

Double Seduction

Dr. Meg and I are writing a little novella we hope you will enjoy and keep you in suspense. I wrote the first chapter, she wrote the second. The third is here. To read the fourth, go here. The fifth installment is here. Read the sixth installment by clicking here. The seventh is here. Eight here. Nine can be found here. Meg has written chapter 10, go over to her blog to read it. Chapter 11 is here. Chapter 12 is over at Meg’s blog. Chapter 13 is below – ONLY ONE MORE CHAPTER TO GO…


Chapter 13 – Lucky

“OK, but I just wanted to say…” David began.

“Not on the phone, in person. Tomorrow, 10am, I’ll meet you at Shipley Park near the fountain.” Melody’s tone was angry and resolute.

“I’m just glad you’re still talking to me. I’m so sorry. Can you just hear what I need to tell you now?” David pleaded.

“No, I can’t talk to you right now. I need to think. Goodbye until tomorrow.” With that, Melody disconnected.

David was both fearful and excited. He felt lucky she had called, wanting to see him. Still, her tone concerned him. She was certainly angry, and probably felt betrayed. He had never experienced her anger. She was a caring person, certainly she would get over it.  After all, she loved the “real” him. This wasn’t a big deal.

As soon as she hung up the phone, Mel’s eyes began to tear. She felt used. She felt angry. She felt betrayed. She needed comfort and realized the only person she had in her life to now comfort her was Anton. That was too humiliating to contemplate.

She opened a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, called up Billie Holiday on her iPad and fell into a chair. She found herself asleep next to the empty bottle at 1am and staggered to bed.

In the morning, when Mel’s 6:30am alarm rang, she reset it for 7:30 and barely pulled herself out then. After a shower, she wandered downstairs and met Andrea waiting at the locked office door at 7:55.

“Good morning, Dr. Rivers!” then, appraising Mel’s appearance added, “are you alright?”

“I’ll be fine Andi. Just moving slowly this morning. You’re just doing the weekly billing this morning, correct?” Mel asked.

“Yeah, I should be finished by noon. I’ll stay until you get back from your workout,” Andrea answered.

“Shoot, I forgot that was today. I’m going back upstairs. Call my cell if you need me for anything.”

“Will do, Dr. Rivers. Feel better!”

As Mel climbed the stairs back to her bedroom, she pulled her phone from her pocket, calling up Anton’s texts.

“I’m not going to be able to make it today, an emergency came up.” Mel typed the lie.

Anton responded almost immediately, “Understood. Are you alright?”

“I’m fine, I just have to handle something.” Mel hoped he wouldn’t press.

Anton was sure the “emergency” was David. Anton began imagining all the worst case scenarios. Had she confronted David? Had David’s continual lies pulled her even further in? Was that even her texting or had David hurt her and was using her phone for an alibi?

He tried to call her back, hear her voice to make sure she was alright.

When the call came in, Mel spat at her phone, “Won’t you leave me alone for once!” She sent it to voicemail, started to shut off her phone, then realized she needed it on for Andi.

Anton tossed the phone on the counter when the call went directly to voicemail. He paced and thought hard about the situation. He called back every 10 minutes for an hour, getting only voicemail. With each call his worry for Melody increased.

Everything he imagined had Melody in trouble. Finally he couldn’t take it any more and grabbed his keys.

 

David wanted to arrive early. It was a 35 minute drive from his apartment to the park. He had spent a sleepless night trying to think of what to say to get back into Mel’s heart. Leaving at 9am, he rehearsed the dialogue in his head.

“Mel, I love you with all my heart. I am the man you know, I just don’t look like…”

“Mel, we love each other…”

It was going to be tough when she realized he is David Twitchell. It wouldn’t be just his looks not being the guy in the picture, but a guy who had met her in real life. He couldn’t figure out any way to make it better with words. His hands sweat on the steering wheel while his heart raced.

“I just needed to see you in real life,” he practiced out loud, trying to sound as if he wasn’t a crazy stalker.

David parked the Taurus out of sight of the fountain at 9:38. He didn’t want her to see the car. At 9:50, thoroughly out of rehearsed lines, he walked to the fount and waited for Mel to arrive.

 

Anton’s black Denali arrived at Mel’s just as her Acura pull away. He followed at a distance, trying to avoid her detection. He already upset her, and he needed to keep her safe without upsetting her more.

Right at 10, Mel’s Acura pulled into Shipley Park and settled on the pavement near the fountain. Anton didn’t see any other cars as he pulled off onto the grass 100 feet away. He could see a man standing behind the fountain, but he couldn’t make him out. He was obscured by the spray.

Anton reached for his telescoping baton and cracked his door, ready to spring to action.

 

David intentionally hid himself behind the fountain, trying to delay the inevitable reveal of his true identity. Melody approached deliberately, straight toward him. When she got within 20 feet, she spied a man, stopped short, and asked, “David?”

David emerged from the curtain the of the fountain.

Mel’s eyes widened in shock.”David Twitchell! Oh my God, do you lie about everything?” Her mouth gaped in disbelief.

“I’m sorry, Mel. I never meant any of this…” David said sheepishly, his head down.

Mel covered the distance between then and stood directly in front of him. “Look at me! I can’t believe you did this. I can’t believe you did this to me. Was this just some kind of game for you? Breaking my heart?”

David slowly raised his head. As he did, and their eyes met, she remembered his striking blue. Looking now, her own hazel eyes began to tear and her lip began to quiver.

The tone of David’s reply was calm and soothing. “It wasn’t a game. At least, not for a long time now. Yes, it started out as an experiment, but I fell in love with you. I think you feel the same. I’m so sorry I’ve hurt you.”

David shrugged as he added, “Now that you know, we can move on to a real relationship.”

He reached for her hand, but she pulled it away.

“I don’t love you, I hate you right now!” Mel’s eyes raged while tears flowed down her cheeks.

Anton, viewing from the distance, could tell the encounter was escalating. He exited the SUV and hurried toward them, baton in hand.

“Mel, please, we can get through this. You’ll see. It was just a mistake. Now that you know everything, we can have a genuine relationship.” David tried to sound confidently reassuring.

“You son of a bitch! Do you think after all your lying, all your deception, I will ever speak to you again? I only came here to tell you what a terrible human being you are and to break this off like an adult.” Mel turned on her heel and started for her car.

“Wait, you just need to listen!” yelled David as he grabbed her arm, spinning her around. “You can’t leave me! You can’t act like this! It wasn’t that big of a deal! I didn’t mean it!”

Mel was frightened. Her tricep hurt where his fingers dug in. “Stop! Let me go! I never want to see you again!”

“This bitch can’t do this to me,” David thought. With that David raised his other hand to slap Mel hard across the face. At the sight, Anton broke into a sprint.

Mel’s training instinctively kicked in. With one smooth motion, she pulled her arm free, parried his blow with her left arm, shifted her weight to her right foot and then put her body into a blow. She hit David cleanly in the neck. It was a move she had practiced with Anton often, designed to quickly disable an attacker.

His hyoid bone made a discernable “crunch” as it collapsed beneath the powerful punch. A “lucky” direct hit.

David fell to his knees, gasping for air. Melody dropped beside him, as Anton arrived behind her.

“Oh, my God David, I’m sorry. Just breathe. Take deep breaths. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Mel watched as David fell forward, holding his weight with one hand, while grasping his neck with the other, desperate for air.

“Are you alright?” Anton’s voice was breathless as he pulled Mel to her feet.

“Oh my God, Anton, help him!” Mel pleaded and knelt down again next to David.

Anton quickly felt the neck of the wheezing David. “You’ve broken his hyoid and crushed his windpipe. He will die.” Anton’s resigned tone was surprisingly calm.

“We have to call 911!” Mel pleaded, taking out her phone.

“No, it is too late.” Anton said, grabbing the phone from her hand. “He will be dead in seconds.”

Mel sat helpless and in shock as the two of them watched David take his last breaths, his body go limp. Melody was a mess of shock and dismay. She couldn’t fully grasp what she had just witnessed.

“Oh, David,” she whispered, covering her mouth.

Anton grasped her by both shoulders, forcing her to focus on his face. “Think, Melody,” he said in his thick Romanian accent,”did you tell anyone you were meeting David today? Anyone where you were going?”

“What?” Melody was confused.

“I need to know if anyone knew you would be here today. We don’t have time for me to explain, just tell me.” Anton shook her.

“No…I…I don’t think so.” Melody said.

“Go now, you can see my SUV parked over there,” he pointed, “in the back is a rope. Go get it.”

Melody just looked at him bewildered.

“The rope, Melody, get it now!” he commanded.

 


Double Seduction 12

Double Seduction

Dr. Meg and I are writing a little novella we hope you will enjoy and keep you in suspense. I wrote the first chapter, she wrote the second. The third is here. To read the fourth, go here. The fifth installment is here. Read the sixth installment by clicking here. The seventh is here. Eight here. Nine can be found here. Meg has written chapter 10, go over to her blog to read it. Chapter 11 is here. Go over to Meg’s blog to read chapter 12 and to comment…


Chapter 12 – Admission

Mel finally turned the phone off completely. David had called back repeatedly and when she hadn’t answered, he switched to… (click here to continue reading)


Double Seduction 11

Double Seduction

Dr. Meg and I are writing a little novella we hope you will enjoy and keep you in suspense. I wrote the first chapter, she wrote the second. The third is here. To read the fourth, go here. The fifth installment is here. Read the sixth installment by clicking here. The seventh is here. Eight here. Nine can be found here. Meg has written chapter 10, go over to her blog to read it. Chapter 11 is below…


Chapter 11 – Revelations

Mel was distracted all afternoon.  The text from Anton had rattled her and the day couldn’t be finished fast enough.  As her last patient left she turned to Andi.  “So Dr. Rivers?”  she began cheerfully.  “I was going to stay and file these…. Um, Dr. Rivers?  Are you ok?”

“I’m fine, Andi. It’s just allergies. We’ve had a long day, let’s just pick it up in the morning,” hurrying Andi out the door.

“OK…Dr. Rivers…um…have a good night” she said frowning.

Mel locked the door behind her and pulled her phone from her pocket, pressing Anton’s number.

“Melody, thank you for calling.” Anton’s deep voice answered in his thick Romanian accent.

“Why are you checking up on David? I thought you were going to drop this.” Mel’s voice was a mixture of anxiety and anger.

“Melody, please forgive, but I care about you and  I felt my talents might keep you from harm. You need to know: David is not who he pretends to be.”

Mel’s breath caught. She wanted to rail against him, release the anger she felt. At the same time his statement seemed firm, it caught her off guard. Before she replied, Anton continued.

“When someone takes a picture with a digital camera or phone, the picture has saved with it additional information. It can be read with the right software. The picture you sent me last week of David on his motorcycle, when did he say it was taken?”

“This is too much Anton, you are my friend and my sparing partner, but you have no right to mess with my life.” Mel fumed.

“Melody, please, just answer the question. It’s important. If you are still angry with me after you learn the truth, then, well, we’ll deal with that. But you must know the truth. When was it taken?” Anton’s voice was calm but firm.

“The truth? You make it sound like he’s an ax murderer. It was taken a couple weeks ago. Why does it matter when it was taken?” Mel’s jaw was firmly set.

“Bear with me. And where?” Anton again seemed unfazed by her tone.

“David was taking a ride. On Sullivan Trail. To the Poconos,” Mel snapped back.

“Melody, you need to know the picture you sent me was taken six years ago in San Bernardino, California. I don’t believe it is a picture of David.”

“You don’t know that! That doesn’t mean anything!”

Anton had never heard Mel so angry.

“So what? So what if he took it years ago? We’re talking. We’ve only met online. Lots of people use old pictures. Anton, if you keep this…”

At this point, Mel’s phone signaled an incoming call. From David.

“I’m done talking about this. I’m getting a call. I have to go.” Without waiting for Anton to reply, she ended the call and switched over to David.

“Hey, beautiful. How was your day?” David was light-hearted. Every time he talked to Mel it gave him joy. It usually did for her as well.

“I’ve had better.” The edge in Mel’s voice was obvious.

“What’s wrong?” David soothed. His voice was calming and sweet, caring. Just like always.

“Nothing, really. Just a meddlesome friend. I’m pretty angry right now. Maybe I should just go. We can talk tomorrow.” Mel was reeling. She didn’t want to talk to anybody right now, especially David. She needed to process.

David persisted, he didn’t want her to go. “What happened? Is it that bad? It will help you to talk about it.”

Mel hesitated, it was hard to resist the urge to pour all this out to David. Over the last several weeks they had become so close. They talked about everything. They knew everything about one another – or at least she thought they did.

“It might make you angry.” Mel said wearily.

“Mel, if someone has hurt you, we can be mad at them together. What is it honey?”

“Well…I sent Anton the picture of you on your motorcycle,” she took a breath,  “I’ve enjoyed all the time we’ve spent getting to know one another, I had talked about you often to him and..well…I guess I just wanted to share.”

“That doesn’t make me mad, I’m glad you’re telling your friends about me – even Anton.”

Mel’s voice trembled slightly as she gradually admitted what Anton had “discovered”: “Anton says the picture wasn’t taken a couple weeks ago, but six years ago, and in California.” Mel wanted to take back the words as soon as she said them, “but he probably just made a mistake, I mean, I don’t really understand how he could know that from a picture. I’m sure that’s not the case, is it David?”

David felt a jolt of anxiety burn through him. If he hadn’t already been sitting in his recliner, his knees might have buckled. He paused, trying to find the words. The silence stirred Mel to fill it.

“Is it an old picture? It is you, right?”

David recovered enough composure to answer. “I’m so sorry, Mel. I truly am. It’s definitely me, but that picture is several years old. I don’t think it was taken six years ago, but it’s not new.”

“You lied to me?” It was spoken as a question, but Mel knew the answer. “You know, David, I need to go. I can’t talk to you right now.”

“Let me explain…” she hung up before David finished his sentence.

David sat there in his recliner, staring at his phone, his hand shaking. He had been caught in a lie. A big lie. He wanted to crawl away.

It was at that moment he knew without a doubt he was falling for her. He realized the only way he could ever have her in his life was to come clean.


Double Seduction 10

Double Seduction

Dr. Meg and I are writing a little novella we hope you will enjoy and keep you in suspense. I wrote the first chapter, she wrote the second. The third is here. To read the fourth, go here. The fifth installment is here. Read the sixth installment by clicking here. The seventh is here. Eight here. Nine can be found here. Meg has written chapter 10, go over to her blog, read and comment there – comments are disabled here.


Chapter 10 – The Appointment

David parked in one of the spaces of the small parking lot outside Rivers Chiropractic. It was show time…. (Click here to go read the chapter at Dr. Meg’s blog.)

 


Double Seduction – 7

Double Seduction

Dr. Meg and I are writing a little novella we hope you will enjoy and keep you in suspense. I wrote the first chapter, she wrote the second. The third is here. To read the fourth, go here. The fifth installment is here. Read the sixth installment by clicking here. The seventh is below.


Chapter 7 – Texting

“Damn.”

David cursed aloud as he read the email from Mel. He pulled a beer soaked blur of a memory from his mind, recalling his rant on that bitch’s blog. He didn’t break character often, but he had there, and the revelation in Mel’s mind could ruin his plans. He immediately felt a shudder of anxiety. He felt exposed.

The Facebook question surprised him. He had assumed she would attempt to “Google” him, but he didn’t realize she knew how to do a reverse image search. Clever. But the image was easy to explain away. The comment would be harder.

“Think,” David spoke to the bare apartment walls as he paced,”I need to pretend I am being completely open and honest with her. Disarming. Give her no cause for fear or alarm.”

Mel,

Good to hear back from you!

I’m sure that comment sent you into overdrive, it did me too. I didn’t make it – or the other hateful comments I’ve managed to get deleted. Here’s what happened:

Someone, I don’t know who, got upset with me for some reason. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when you try to make a comment on WordPress and you are not logged in, you can put in whatever name, domain and email you choose. This person decided to “get back at me” by making hateful comments on other people’s blogs claiming to be me. I’m actually surprised they didn’t make any similar comments on yours. When it was brought to my attention I contacted the bloggers and told them it wasn’t me but someone posing as me and they deleted the comments.

He had actually done this to another blogger who had angered him. It was the perfect excuse. He was the victim, not the perpetrator. Mel would feel sorry for him rather than run from him.

Now to “thank” her for bringing it to his attention:

It’s a bit horrifying you thought it was maybe me who had made the comment. I’m glad you brought it up so I could give you the truth. I’ll contact B&R and let her know so she can delete it as well.

Now on to the Facebook sketch.

The Facebook sketch is NOT me. I probably shouldn’t have lifted the pic I found online, but I was just starting, had no readers and wanted to preserve my anonymity. I’m sure you understand.

She offered to “talk,” David thought it was the perfect opening to move along their faux relationship.

About Savannah…

Your empathy means a great deal. I too have felt a kinship with you and feel as if I know you despite us never having spoken and barely exchanged emails. I would love to “talk”. And though I suspect by “talk” you meant “email”, I’m going to give you my cell number. Feel free to use it or not. A friend right now to give me perspective would be welcome, but I’m cool with just email if that’s what your comfortable with. It is (484)555-1922.

Use it or not, it’s up to you.

David hoped she would call. He imagined late night sexually charged conversations moving her. But he needed to do one more thing to alleviate any fear she might still harbor.

Based on what you found online, I wanted to give you my “real” identity as well. I’m sure meeting someone online can stir up all kinds of fears in a woman – especially one who is smart, attractive and single. I don’t have a Facebook. But I have attached some pics of me. My real name is David Ridgeway. As you can understand, please don’t connect my name to my blog publicly. I want to remain anonymous.

He attached a few of the pictures he had pilfered from the obituary. Not all of them – he would dole those out to her over time. He wanted her to think they were “new” not taken of a dead man years ago. The idea of luring a victim using pictures of a dead man made him smile.

I hope you’ll respond with with email, text or call. I’ll be looking for it.

David

Within moments of hitting send, David’s phone chirped a text.

Mel: Hi David, it’s Mel. I just read your email. I’d love to talk in a few. Have to deal with something here at the house. 20 min ok? 9:29 PM

The trap was sprung and Melody Rivers was caught in it. David responded immediately.

David: Wow, thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate you sharing your phone. 20 min is fine. 9:30 PM

Mel: Ok 9:30 PM

David: I’m here whenever you get back. Excited to hear from you. 9:32 PM

Charming. Gracious. 21 minutes later, his phone lit up with another text.

Mel: I’m back! Heard a crash outside, had to check it out. It’s all good. Anyway, thanks for letting me know what happened with the comment, that’s terrible. Also, I appreciate you giving me your personal info. I know you’ve been trying to stay anonymous. Thanks for sharing that. 9:53 PM

David: I figure you probably aren’t a serial killer. What’s the chance of TWO serial killers meeting online? 9:54 PM

Mel: You’re such a smart ass! So I’m sorry to hear about S. Are you ok? 9:56 PM

David: Thanks. It’s hard right now. I thought after a year of mostly ups and a few downs, she felt pretty much as I did – as I do. 9:57 PM

David: BTW her real name is Joan. She’s from Savannah. Moved to Allentown a few years ago. 9:57 PM

Mel: She wasn’t being honest with you. I know how that feels… 10:00 PM

David: You do? 10:02 PM

Mel: I think I’ve mentioned that I’m divorced… he cheated. 10:02 PM

David: I’m so sorry. But like I have been telling myself the last few days, it’s in my past. My future is going to be awesome. It’s a bump in the road. 10:03 PM

Mel: That’s a great attitude! I’m glad to see that! Your post really made me sad… 10:04 PM

David: Now I can find another amazing woman who finds me amazing too. It will happen. My life is always good. 10:06 PM

David: amazing is rare, but I seem to find it in many people. Like you, for instance. You’re pretty amazing. 10:06 PM

David: What was your big 20 min crisis? 10:12 PM

Mel: Something crashed outside. Twice. I had to check it out. My firewood pile toppled over and hit the trash can. Probably squirrels. It made a mess though 10:15 PM

David: Wow, do you live in a wooded area? 10:16 PM

Mel: Well… Sort of. It’s an older neighborhood with lots of mature trees. But I am still in the city 10:18 PM

David: If you don’t mind my asking, where do you live? You don’t have to share. I live in Allentown, PA. 10:21 PM

Mel: No it’s ok. I’m in Bryn Mawr, not far from the college. 10:22 PM

Mel: You ever go to the Allentown Fair? 10:22 PM

David: I have, several years ago. I’m drawing a blank on where Bryn Mawr is? What’s it near? 10:23 PM

Mel: Seriously? It’s just outside Philadelphia, north and west on the way to Valley Forge. You should know that! Allentown isn’t that far! 🙂 10:25 PM

David: I haven’t gone to Philly much. I just tell my chauffeur where I want to go and he takes me. Don’t you do the same? 10:26 PM

David: I figured your 20 min crisis was you getting finished with your latest boy toy 10:27 PM

Mel: Ha! You’re funny! 10:27 PM

Mel: I need more than 20 min… 10:27 PM

David: Well, if he knows what he’s doing. I can assure you, I always know what I am doing. 10:28 PM

Mel: Do you now? 10:28 PM

David: To make love to a woman properly you have to cherish her. Sex is banal. Making love means cherishing, savoring her completely. Taking over mind before body 10:29 PM

David: Captivating, teasing, being in control of her experience and eventual release. It takes time. Hours. 10:30 PM

Mel: Well…. You do have my attention! 10:30 PM

David: Women are typically unaware of even their own body. They never give it much thought and men certainly don’t. I studied to learn techniques that are unusual 10:31 PM

David: It’s hard to think about giving up sex, but I also won’t have sex with someone I’m not in love with. Been there, done that. 10:34 PM

Mel: And that’s how I feel too. I’m not shy but I didn’t expect that… Not yet anyway. 10:35 PM

David: You’re single single? No man in the shadows? 10:35 PM

Mel: Not really. Ha! Unless you count my friend Anton. He’s just about my only RW friend right now. 10:36 PM

David: I love full-out. I want to cherish someone again. I know it will happen. Finding “amazing” once again. 10:36 PM

David: How long have your been divorced? 10:37 PM

Mel: I can’t keep up with you! 10:37 PM

David: “That’s what she said…” 10:38 PM

Mel: I’ve been officially divorced for a few weeks, separated for 18 mos. it was a nasty divorce 10:38 PM

Mel: Lol!!! 10:38 PM

David: Wow, so did the decree sting? 10:39 PM

Mel: He tried to ruin me financially as well as emotionally. I’m all right tho. Getting back on my feet! 10:40 PM

David: Now that it’s official, is Anton going to be more than a friend? 10:40 PM

Mel: Ha! No, it’s not like that! 10:41 PM

David: A smart, accomplished woman like you deserves to have someone cherish their every breath. You need to find that someone. 10:42 PM

Mel: Thank for that. Maybe someday… 10:43 PM

David: Life is short. I grab it by the balls and hold on for the ride. You should try it. It’s liberating. I asked you a Q you never answered… 10:44 PM

Mel: I celebrate life, now that it’s my own again! What Q? 10:45 PM

David: May not matter now, but I’m curious: What would make a romantic day for you? 10:46 PM

Mel: Oh! From the email! Sorry, forgot! Mm, let’s see… Depends on the time of year. Maybe a day hiking? Dinner at home later, cooking together, wine, and um dessert…. 10:50 PM

David: “Dessert” is the best part after a wonderful, intimate, joy filled time. I’m missing the idea of “dessert” 10:51 PM

Mel: Haha! Sweet tooth, huh? Me too! 10:52 PM

David: Yeah, something like that. We’re sexual beings but we’re also mental/emotional ones. The only way sex is great is when there is the other connection, ya know? 10:53 PM

Mel: I hear that. 10:53 PM

David: Right now my chest aches as I think about how it felt to wake up with Joan’s head pressed against it, my arms around her soft body… 10:54 PM

David: Sometimes, most times, that was better than making love. Tho it usually lead to the latter. 10:54 PM

Mel: I’m so sorry. 10:54 PM

David: Have you experienced that in your own life? Did your husband, at least for a time, cherish you? Your mind? Your heart? Your body? 10:55 PM

Mel: I thought he did. But looking back I’m not sure 10:56 PM

David: If you’re not sure I wonder if he ever did. Tho I can’t speak for your relationship. When one is cherished soul and body, one would know. 10:57 PM

Mel: Do you think so? I’ve been fooled once… 10:58 PM

David: If someone cherishes you, it’s more than words, more than sex. It’s how they hold you, touch you. It’s how they make your coffee. Listen to your words. 10:59 PM

David: It’s knowing, without them even saying, you can trust them to never betray you, to have your back. 11:00 PM

Mel: But I do want that again 11:00 PM

David: Are you a bit jaded now? I refuse to be. 11:00 PM

Mel: I guess so. I’m trying not to be. I want to be in love again, to be loved and to give love. Maybe it’s just too soon. 11:01 PM

David: Based on what you write. Based on who you are. You deserve to love and be loved in the way you’ve always dreamed of. We both do. 11:02 PM

Mel: You’re amazing, David. 11:03 PM

David: What does Anton advise you about men? 11:03 PM

Mel: Anton wants me to be careful 11:04 PM

Mel: I can take care of myself! 11:04 PM

David: I know I’m amazing and that’s why I won’t settle for less than. Anton is right, you should be careful. You’re a catch in every way. I’ve thought about it… 11:05 PM

David: And I’m sure you can take care of yourself. 11:05 PM

Mel: Stop! 🙂 you’re making me blush! 11:05 PM

David: It’s just this: When I was in my recently ended relationship, I still appreciated other women’s attributes. I am not a cheat, but I still said to myself “someone would be lucky to be with that person” 11:07 PM

David: I recognized your amazing a long time ago. 11:07 PM

Mel: “That person” meaning me? 11:07 PM

David: Of course. If I had been single, I would have certainly tried to get to know you personally. Kinda like we are now. 11:08 PM

Mel: What are you thinking? 11:08 PM

David: I’d like to get to know you better. See if we click IRL as well as we do on the blogs. This is a good start. We’re both attractive in many ways and we find each other so. Not anything serious, but we should talk. Get to know one another. I have a sexy voice… 11:10 PM

Mel: Then you should call me next time. Now you have my number… 11:11 PM

David: Honesty: I’m not sure I’m ready. My emotions are a mess right this minute. Despite my bluster, I’m hurting pretty deeply. But I think I might like that. 11:13 PM

Mel: I get it. Believe me. Whenever you want, then. I’ll wait to hear from you. 11:14 PM

David: I’ve enjoyed texting with you. Thank you for connecting. We’ll do this again soon. Maybe something even better. I need to go get some things done. 11:16 PM

Mel: Ok goodnight! 11:16 PM

David: Sweet Dreams ; ) 11:16 PM

Mel: 😉 11:17 PM

(Continued reading here…)