MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “meeting”

Never a time waste

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©Dale Rogerson

The speech had just ended and Sarah thought it was the most boring two hours of her life. Jonas had the same view. “What a time waste!” he was heard saying in the reception area, glass of wine in hand. Sarah’s eyes met his glance and he approached her. “Politicians never have something new to say, don’t you think?” he suggested as he handed her a topped-up wine glass.

She smiled, blushing at his communicative spirit, the ease with which he started a conversation with someone unknown.

Yes,” she finally agreed. “But perhaps the evening will now be more interesting”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Lucky disorientation

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© Jan Marler Morrill

There is a reason she was told not to go out alone, even during daylight. She had no sense of orientation whatsoever, setting out for the beach and somehow reaching the mountains.

On that idyllic island, she realised what her horoscope had described as “luck or fate”.

On that white and blue deserted back alley is where she found him. Standing like a Greek statue under the scorching sun. As if he was waiting there for her to arrive. His eyes shimmering in the sun. She smiled, accentuating her dimples, and she could see him blush.

Her name was Aphrodite.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The second time around

French barThe first time it happened was during a full moon in a dimly lit French bar down town. He was working behind the bar and she was on a night out with girlfriends. The first instance their eyes met, the lights flickered and it was evident that a connection had been made. But it didn’t all start out so well.

Eleonore and her three friends were enjoying a glass of wine enjoying the musical background of classical jazz. A group of men who were drinking whisky at the nearby table wanted to try their luck at the flirting game. But when they were rejected, they didn’t stop and their insistence spurred a mini-brawl in the bar, resulting in Gabriel – the barman – rushing to the rescue together with the two waiters. The fight ended 15 minutes later with two broken chairs, three broken bottles and double the broken glasses. The rowdy men were thrown out and Gabriel went to wash up. Eleonore felt bad on the one hand that he got involved in a fight but on the other, every woman feels flattered when a man stands up for their honor.

Gabriel did not even approach Eleonore that night, and when the girls finally left in the early hours of the morning, just a few minutes before closing time, their eyes met, but he quickly turned around, pretending to tend to the machines and bottles behind the bar.

Eleonore was disappointed. She thought their instant ‘click’ would lead to more. Now, she would probably never see him again. Unless of course they kept returning to that bar. But she couldn’t show that she was so desperate. She decided to simply forget it all.

A week later, Eleonore’s phone rang. She didn’t recognize the number. “Hello?” She said, curiosity reigning in her voice. “Hi,” a chirpy male voice bounced on the other end of the line. “It’s Gabriel, I work at the bar downtown. We sort of met the other night with that scuffle. I just wanted to ask how you are?” Eleonore’s eyes opened wide and she began to tremble with joy. He had called her! How did he even get her number? But, he called! “I’m fine, thank you! It was very thoughtful of you to call,” she tried sounding calm and neutral. “I was wondering if perhaps you would you like to go out sometime, maybe get to know each other a little bit?” She wanted to scream “YES!”, but instead managed to contain her excitement and utter, “Sure, would tomorrow night be good for you?” “It would be great,” he said. He was just as thrilled but was also trying to hide it. “We’ll talk tomorrow on the details. Have a great day!” “You too!” she said as she took the phone away from her ear and swirled on the spot.

It turns out that even if first impressions don’t work out, that doesn’t necessarily mean the second meeting won’t be wonderful. You just have to believe that something wonderful is always about to happen. Sometimes, it might very well be true!

Also part of Daily Prompt: Night and Day

Don’t talk. Just listen….

unknown call– Don’t talk. Just listen. Did you see the fireworks yesterday? Yes, just after the new Prime Minister’s victory speech? It was as if the country was having one huge party. Well, I don’t blame them. I mean the guy’s just 40 years old. And he is not bad to look at either. Plus, the casual, no-tie look makes him more likeable. I think that’s one of the reasons why he won over so many people. He managed to convince them that he relates to them. He is one of them. And like he said, he wants to have a government that belongs to all the people. Well, good luck. It would be great if at least somebody managed to do so. But did you see the fireworks in the capital’s centre? It reminded me of those 4th of July fireworks. You remember then ones. That is when I met him. You know who. That bastard who broke my heart. He played me like a fiddle on the roof. You know I ran into him the other day at the supermarket? He was shopping for groceries. At least that is what he said. He looked good. Was wearing jeans and a shirt. A shirt I got for him. It felt very weird. To be honest I even forgot to buy half my shopping list after I saw him. I was so depressed by the time I got home, that I spent the entire night watching series on TV and going to bed by midnight. I know it’s pathetic, but what do I do? Come on, you know what I am talking about don’t you?

– I’m sorry, who is this?

– Becky? It’s me, Deborah.

– I’m sorry, I’m not Becky and I don’t know any Deborah.

– Oh. Well, this is embarrassing. I am so sorry.

– Not a problem. I hope everything works out. And don’t worry, we’ve all been there. It takes time. Stay strong!

– Thanks! Sorry again for this awkward call!

[Dials Again]

– Don’t talk. Just listen…

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Unknown Caller

This title has been hoarded too

Hoarding1Roger decided it was time he attended an H.A. meeting when he reached the point when he could not even find his bed anymore. He was one of the lucky few who had a home in one of the biggest trees in the forest so the situation he was now in was more than just “a pickle”.

He had heard about Hoarders Anonymous (H.A.) from his Aunt Sara who in turn had heard it from a cousin of a friend of someone else and it just got too complicated for him after that to follow the timeline of who found out about it first. The point was, however, that they existed and they promised to help.

Roger was a compulsive hoarder, but not a severely obsessed one. He could restrain himself, something that could not be said about some of the other participants of H.A. One of them had even gathered all the teaspoons that were set out with the coffee and tea that was offered during the meeting. And when wooden sticks were brought out to replace the vanished spoons, he even gathered those too!

Roger began hoarding as a baby squirrel. He was born in a drought and his family was always afraid they would never have enough acorns to survive the winter. So he too was infiltrated with the mentality that more is never enough: it was better to have the option of having something, than not having it at all in the first place. Having grown up this way, he couldn’t help himself now. He, like many other of his H.A. ‘co-sufferers’, assigned too much value to all of his possessions, seeing things in them that other people didn’t, and thus making it difficult for him to get rid of them. He believed that things may prove useful in the future or they simply reminded him of something, some moment or some person and thus he became emotionally attached. So, slowly, Roger’s nest began accumulating stuff of all sorts. He was very organized so he did manage to keep his home quite tidy. You couldn’t even tell he was hoarding so many things. Until that week when he became too busy, too tired and too lazy to arrange things. So they just kept piling up. And piling up. And covering furniture. To the extent that one day he couldn’t even find his bed, and that is when he decided radical action was necessary.

At H.A. all participants struggled with their hoarding obsessions. They knew it was unhealthy and very often costly in many ways other than money. But at this point it was something out of their control. Listening to the other participants speak, Roger knew he was better off.

One of them stated that she couldn’t sleep at all, not only because she couldn’t find the bed, or the bedroom for that matter, because everything was covered under heaps of stuff, but because whenever she closed her eyes she saw nightmares that she was stranded in the fourth circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno. This was the one reserved for the “hoarders and the wasters”, where hoarders spend their lives acquiring wealth and material possessions—represented as giant boulders—and are forever doomed to push the crushing weight of the rocks against the opposing force of wasters. She thus had panic attacks added to her list of obsessive-compulsive traits. Another of the H.A. participants said that he became a hoarder when he found out that his idol, Andy Warhol, was also a hoarder and that his four-story Upper East Side town house was so jammed with items that the only rooms with paths through them were the kitchen and the bedroom. In fact, when Warhol died, in 1987, he left behind 610 cardboard boxes that he called time capsules and this fan wanted to live up to that.

Roger was now certain he was not the nutter anymore. When it was his turn to speak, he got up and said “I’m a hoarder and I know it”. They all gasped at his certainty and self-confidence. Roger had something these others didn’t. Self-restraint. He knew what he had to do. He just had to decide what was truly worth keeping and what was not. And if that didn’t work, he would just find another tree bark he could use as a storage room!

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done!

To love or pretend to live

Foot popping kissYou watch a movie and almost always it has a happy ending. Especially if it is a romantic comedy (rom-com), or like my brother likes to say, a “chick-flick”. But it does leave you with a fluffy feeling inside. One that brings a smile to your face, for no real reason. However, it makes you think: does this really happen?

How likely is it to find your soul-mate, the person you will spend the rest of your life with, in such a short time and live happily ever after with him/her? How feasible is something like that?

But who doesn’t want to fall in love? To feel the butterflies flutter inside your stomach at just the thought of this one person. To blush simply by their kiss, or their mention of your name in public?

Marcy always dreamed she would fall in love with an amazing guy. One who would sweep her off her feet, and make her foot pop up when he kissed her. She spent hours watching rom-coms, hoping that one day this would happen to her. With all the adventures, humor and romance they all encompassed. And she spent most of her life hoping. Because although she did date, they all, at one time or other, turned out to be jerks, who simply wanted to pass their time, who did not treat her right, or who just left.

But Marcy never lost hope. After all, she had her rom-coms for comfort.

One day, or night rather, she had gone out with her best friend. They decided to visit a new bar in town and have a drink to vent out their problems and concerns with each other. Marcy insisted she would buy the first round. As she turned around from the bar, two drinks in hand, she literally fell onto a person whose eyes seemed to light up the entire room. “I’m so sorry she said,” looking to see if she had spilled anything on what appeared to be an expensive shirt and designer jeans. “Not a problem at all,” he replied as they locked eyes and Marcy remained speechless. “I’m Shane,” he said, extending a hand. Marcy smiled nervously and lifted up the glasses she was holding in each hand. They both laughed. She already knew him. No, really. Shane was an actor. And a renowned one for that matter. He was a bit of a heartthrob and Marcy could now see exactly why. It was not just his looks. He had a certain charm about him. Something mesmerizing. “I have to go,” she said, “my friend is waiting”. He nodded, and as she moved, she heard him calling out “I’ll buy the next round”. She smiled and reached her friend clearly flustered. She recounted the whole story with her friend trying to control her excitement. By the time Marcy finished telling her tale, Shane and a friend of his were already asking if they could join the two girls. To the latter, it was an offer they simply could not refuse.

It did not take long for Shane to win over Marcy, head over heels. She was in love with him and the very idea of being in love. He courted and sought her and that made her feel special. He sent flowers for no apparent reason, showed up in surprise visits and prepared romantic outings. Everything a girl would want, according to Marcy.

But despite the dream she was living, Marcy could not shake off one thing that was spinning in the corner of her mind – he was an actor, how could she be sure he was not acting with her? She always fantasized herself dating one of those handsome young men who held the lead roles in the rom-coms she so loved. But she never actually considered the practicalities of dating one. Because now, how could she really know when he actually stopped acting and was speaking the truth?

One day she told him about her preoccupation. He smiled and told her that the only thing that could reassure her was what she truly felt by what he said and did, and the way he treated her. “The answer is found here,” he said pointing to her heart, “not here” in her head. Marcy immersed herself in Shane’s arms where she felt safe.

But even after years passed and they were still together, she could never shake off that feeling. How can you truly trust a person who pretends for a living? In the end, she thought, she too had learnt to pretend, because it was the only way to survive in a world where nothing appears to be ideal, or even remotely close to that.

Surprisingly weaved together

Security-CameraHarry would enter the ATM branch on the corner of the street with the best bagel-shop in the entire city center every Wednesday around midday. Silvie knew that. She had been watching him for the past couple of months. But he was not aware of it.

Silvie worked as a security guard and was responsible for monitoring all action in the ATM room from the cameras situated at every corner of it. There was rarely something suspicious going on, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. The last time something out of the ordinary occurred in that specific branch, the security guard had stepped out for a quick smoke and missed the masked man entering and dropping a smoke bomb which mystified the cameras and allowed him to blow up an ATM and run out with the cash. It took three weeks for the police to find him. And the security guard was re-assigned to another post. He still cannot forgive himself for the incident and like everyone is very thankful no-one got hurt. He now quit smoking.

Silvie, however, was much more diligent. And she didn’t smoke. On Wednesdays she would not even get up from her seat until Harry would appear. Of course she did not know his name. She didn’t know anything about him. Simple that he was elegant and charming and always came in wearing a freshly pressed suit. One time he looked up at the camera while he was waiting for an ATM to become available and Silvie blushed.

Her colleagues made fun of her. They even encouraged her to go ask him out herself. But she was more traditional. She preferred to charm him and get him to want to ask her out. So she persevered and continued to admire him through a screen.

One Wednesday though, Harry stood staring at the camera. He was looking straight at it and Silvie felt that he was looking right at her. She felt the need to fix her hair and began to feel on edge. What happened? Harry kept staring. He completed his weekly ATM ritual and before leaving the room, he once again looked back at the camera.

Silvie was baffled but simply forgot about the incident.

To Silvie’s surprise, however, just a few hours later Harry appeared right outside her glass door. Silvie almost fell off her chair and had to rub her eyes and even pinch herself to make sure she was still awake. She opened the door with a trembling hand.

Hi, I’m Harry Woodstaff,” he said, extending a hand. Silvie shook it and in her bedazzlement managed to utter “Silvie Goldtie”.

She couldn’t help but stare into his chestnut eyes. He smiled. She blushed. She offered a drink. He politely refused. She was disappointed. She thought that would have done the trick to keep him there a bit longer.

He began to tell her that he goes to that specific ATM every Wednesday (Silvie was about to shout “I know!” but managed to suppress it). Harry continued that today as for the past two weeks he has noticed something strange about the camera that is facing the door. Silvie was alarmed. This could raise an alert. She jumped to her desk and took out a notepad and pen ready to record any irregular sign witnessed.

You see,” said Harry, “it’s been there for quite a while now, and I didn’t pay any attention at first, but now it’s been growing and it’s actually hard to miss.”

Silvie’s eyes opened wide and her heart began to beat faster. Did someone plant something in there on purpose?

It’s this gigantic spider,” said Harry in all naturalness. “I am not really afraid of them, but it is strange this one is there and to be honest it is a bit unnerving, so if someone could come clean it out, it would be great.”

Silvie smiled, noted down “spider” and reassured him that it would be taken care of. “Don’t worry,” she said, “it will be gone by next week when you return to the ATM”. Harry looked at her and smiled. She was either a really good and attentive listener, or a stalker. Either way though, her smile had won him over, and as he turned to leave, he said “would you like to go out for a coffee sometime?” Silvie was ecstatic. Mission accomplished. And to think she didn’t even like spiders.

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