General Fiction posted January 13, 2021 Chapters: Prologue 1 -2- 3 


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A day in the life of Tatiana which includes a dangerous date

A chapter in the book Tiramisu, Tube Tops & Trouble

Warm-up

by Vanessa Newman

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.
The author has placed a warning on this post for sexual content.

"Wow, I'm actually going out tonight," I thought. I made a mad dash to my closet to check fashion options. A black halter jumpsuit, a funky see-through short jacket and some killer black heels beckoned from deep in the closet. It was a little retro, but we were going to dance, so I had an excuse. I was going to look good and in turn feel good too.

"Oh shit. Not again," I said out loud. I had a rare talent - first date equals arrival of my period. And of course, I had nothing remotely like a sanitary napkin in the house. Who decided to call these "napkins" anyway I wondered? Was someone eating fried chicken and pondering feminine hygiene and thought, "Hey, women need to wear undie napkins."

I suppose it would help to mark these things on the calendar, but I had never been a calendar girl. The thought of documenting it just annoyed me. What was I supposed to write -- Aunt Flo in town or a big red X? I always just knew about when it would happen. The problem was I never got around to going to the store to have feminine hygiene products on hand. Now, I was going to have to make this dreaded trip and before a date no less. I dropped everything and got in my car and headed to the closest store. I yanked the emergency break, grabbed my purse and power-walked to the front door of CVS.

Dashing down the aisles, I now stood in front of the familiar stash of feminine product choices. All I wanted was something without wings. Why would I want my sanitary napkin to fly? Was it some sort of marketing scheme concocted by a man to make women feel temporarily empowered while still being held down or an excuse to call us 'flighty'? Was it the same person, eating fried chicken, thinking about napkins who came up with the plan? I know the 'wings' are supposed to keep the darn thing in place, but my experience was they didn't hold anything in place, except toilet paper or part of your underwear stuck embarrassingly to your outerwear.

Occasionally, the adhesive would stop working on one part of the pad and magically become stronger in another spot, so that the whole thing would lodge horizontally. While attempting to remain dry, you walked like a diaper-wearing cowboy. And no tampons for me because I knew a client once with toxic shock syndrome who ended up going septic. I was not going to be attacked by my lady parts!

Oh no. I will still standing in front of the same aisle at this point. So, I surveyed my choices and found one opportunity to be free of "wings." Phew! No angel of menstruation today. I grabbed the product box, carried it out of sight, and made my way to the counter.

Yup. Not one but three attractive men in line. One blonde in front of me with sparkling white teeth, blue eyes, and a chiselled jawline. Behind him, brown wavy hair, olive skin, and a chin dimple. And a third Peruvian delight with dark skin, a candid smile wearing tight revealing jeans. I smiled and the blonde winked at me. Not sure if it was an 'I'm interested wink' or 'you've been caught with feminine hygiene products' wink.

If that wasn't bad enough, 'it' happened.

"Miss? Miss?" a male salesperson standing nearby with a nametag, Brad, shouted in my direction.

I pointed at myself to check if he was speaking to me and he nodded.
"I have a coupon for Kotex tampons if you want to purchase those instead and save money today," Brad announced.

What would possess him to do this?

"Um, Brad, no I am not interested in your coupon." I said in a perfunctory tone.
He went on to say, "Why not? Studies show that they are 60% more effective than maxi-pads and more cost effective too?"

"Well, Brad without the proper anatomy, you need to do some field research first so when your able to tampon up, let me know," I said trying to make the conversation stop.
"Do you have a pelvis that tips in the front because that could explain why you are reluctant to use tampons?" he asked.

There was no way I would be providing intimate details of my hoo-hoo hygiene to a man who had no business trying to assist in such an unfamiliar realm. It was like me trying to tell a male Smurf how to exist in his blue world from my pink one.

With hand on hips, I said sternly, "Brad, if I was sure which way my pelvis tipped, why would I share that information with you? What direction do you point?"

"Oh. Well, that's none of your business and a bit rude. But just so you know tampons work better for women who have a balanced pelvic girdle, so you might just be anatomically incompatible," he said as he trotted off toward the aisle like a twottertale know it all.
The phrase, "Anatomically incompatible," hung in the air like a cartoon caption. I shook my head.

Soon after, the Peruvian Delight behind me mumbled under his breath, "Tip your pelvis toward me and we will be in business with or without a tampon."

I ignored him. His good looks could not make up for the sleaze he just vibed. I paid quickly for my items and then worried whether my tipped pelvis would reveal itself as I walked out of the store.

I truly hoped that this was not a foreboding of what was to happen on my date tonight.
Compared to my humiliating experience at the store, the rest of the afternoon was uneventful. I managed to put myself together in a way that didn't make me wince when I walked by the mirror. And I was looking forward to an evening of sanity. Could I be so lucky? I tried to remember my last good time with a male and I was drawing a blank. Maybe soon I would have a memory of being kissed by someone other than Max. Chocolate kisses sounded yummy.
I glided down the stairs with no wings and a positive attitude to my Geo Prism.

Meeting Roland at the bar instead of getting picked up gave me an excuse to go to the car for something if I needed one. When I got out, I adjusted my outfit, dabbed on more lip gloss, and pulled my belly in before I purposefully walked to the front door. As soon as I entered, Roland was front and center at the bar with a Martini in hand. Boy, he was a hunk of a man who had muscles in all the right places for the vertical or horizontal bop. But maybe more than I could handle at this juncture. With Max breathing down my neck, I didn't need any more serious romances just a little fun or a few memorable kisses. I didn't want to keep substituting food for intimacy the rest of my life, or did I?

I approached Roland and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Hi," he said.
"Hello again handsome," I said flirtatiously.
"Hey, let me get you a drink and we can head out on the patio where we can hear ourselves talk." Roland said.

So, the date began with small talk then rolled along into dinner. My fajitas were average, but they did not sizzle as much as Roland did. He steamed up the place with confidence. And the conversation got increasingly more interesting as I relaxed with another drink or two. But who was counting?

Roland turned to me and asked, "Do you want to hear a story?"

I said, "Sure," not expecting his instructor-like tone on a date. If I said no, I knew I would hear it anyway. Most men tell tales to listen to themselves talk anyway.

"You know that I teach CPR and a firefighter. Been doing so for 8 years. I have saved many people's lives in that time, but I only have one Heimlich story."

I listened and watched his lips intently. They were more interesting than the story for sure. Was he wearing lip gloss or just well-hydrated?

Interrupting my reverie, he said, "I was on a lunch break across the street from the firehouse when I saw this lady by herself eating an apple. Instinct told me to watch her. Next thing I know her hands were at her throat..."

I gasped for effect.

He went on, "I knew she was choking, so I rushed over. I gave her the Heimlich and removed the apple piece from her windpipe lickety split."

I thought the hero story was done.

"Then, I scolded her for eating an apple by herself. No one chokes on ice-cream or M&Ms. It's apples and meat and vegetables that are the real culprits."

The tale made me grateful that I had a whole bunch of M&Ms in my cupboard at home. My comfort food was now much safer to eat. Thanks, Roland for that!

Our talking was OK, but I was getting a bit fidgety. He was showing off and I wanted to dance; ready to leave the patio area where it was getting slightly cooler and transition inside to the steamy dance floor.

"Let's go dance," I said grateful for the chance to change the subject.
"Are you ready to get your groove on girl?"
"I am ready to shake the food from my gut to my butt," I jested. How culturally inappropriate! What the hell was I trying to be ... a ... soul sister?

This remark gave Roland an excuse to stare at my backside as I walked in front of him. I hoped I did not have any obvious horizontal waddage to add to my embarrassment. As I approached the dance floor, I put a bit more swing into my hips to even things out and I was working it like a champ. All eyes were on me. I strutted for a moment, until tripping slightly, and then pretended that I was picking something up off the floor.

Luckily, it was still early enough that there was ample room on the dance floor. I thought, now I can show my date how to dance. I boogied like I was leading a cardio dance class - all high energy and hip thrusts galore. Roland acted amused but his dancing vibe spoke otherwise. His moves were small and safe - not like someone who was trying to bring on the heat or prolong the evening. After about 30 minutes, I knew I had lost him. He feigned a full bladder and was headed back to the bar. I reluctantly followed. And although, we continued to talk for a while, I had offended Roland. My whole soul sista act was failing. I could feel it.

He turned to me about twenty minutes later and said, "I hate to be a party pooper, but I need to get up early tomorrow..." and then his voice trailed off.

Maybe I had thrusted a bit too much and he knew I was menstruating or maybe he saw something better on the dance floor or maybe he liked alcohol more than me. Max did.
Either way, the date was dead. I got the hint and reiterated that I needed to be up early myself. But just then, the DJ threw down the song, Brick House. Now, that was my song.

"I'm sorry Roland," I said. "We've got to stay for one more, please."

Roland gave me a look, "Oh, c'mon, Lionel Ritchie is a sell-out," he said. "He should have stuck to the Commodores. I'm not Dancing on the Ceiling with him." Then, he walked off.

I ran to the dance floor anyway. What was one more dance especially if he had already written me off as offensive? He didn't join me, but I didn't care. I gave up on his chocolate kisses, and my Cardio Queen took over, what can I say? I thrusted and busted and shook the mangos from the tree like no one was watching, but people were. And when the five minutes of funky fun was over, I looked toward the door I did not see my date anywhere, but a large crowd was forming. What was so exciting besides the Commodores?

Pushing my way through the gathering crowd, the front door was open. A random flash hit my eyes. There were six police cars all with rotating lights. I had no idea what was happening and still couldn't tell if Roland had hit the road without a good-bye. It was only when I exited into the parking lot that I spotted him having a conversation. A menacing police officer next to Roland frowned. My mild annoyance at him for leaving me on the dance floor was replaced with surprise as I got close enough to notice the look on Roland's face.

He saw me and turned and asked, "Can I stay at your place tonight?"
"What?" This was the worst time ever to be making a pass at me after dissing Lionel!
Roland went on to say, "My car was involved in a drive-by shooting."
I exclaimed, "There was a shooting! Here? When?"
I gasped and looked at him suspiciously. I knew it. I shouldn't date, I thought.
Roland answered, "Yes. A couple of gang members. And the driver who got shot hit my car with his Datsun and wrecked it while expiring."
Shocked I asked, "The car or the driver expired? Are we talking overdue registration or bad people?"

He then pointed across the parking lot. We inched slowly in that direction.
As we got closer, I observed a severely dented Toyota surrounded by caution tape. "Holy Crayola." It looked like a giant kid had gotten a hold off it and smashed it angrily. The front end was accordion-folded and mangled. Then, like a slow Polaroid, the phrase, "as he expired," developed. I did not dare look at the Datsun. Roland could have died! I could have been shot! I might have been killed on a bad date! I could have expired while on my period! How brutal!

Roland and I both had been saved by the song, "Brick House!" I began hyperventilating and my heart was beating like a drummer on acid. Great. My period, a shooting, and an anxiety attack all in the same date!

But we were alive. "Do you still think Lionel Ritchie is a bad guy now?" I asked Roland.
Roland pouted and ignored my question. "I'm not an axe murderer and the cop I was speaking with will vouch for me. So, can I stay at your place?"

I said, "Yes," and hoped acquiescing was not my last-ditch desperate attempt to have sex for fuck's sake.

No hope of that. He could never admit Lionel Ritchie had anything to do with his survival. He was a coward.

Based on the most recent turn of events, I became even more inspired to do something with my life.

Fifteen more minutes of dialogue with the city's most intimidating officer, Roland was in my car along with a yard of caution tape from the crime scene. His friend had gifted it to him. Nobody was going to believe what had just happened to me. Nobody.

"You're sleeping on the couch. I just need to say that right now."

Roland gave me a slightly disgusted sideways glance and nodded. I had a feeling that this would be one of the few times that a man came home with me and slept. My life was too complicated, but I was still insulted that he did not seem interested in me either. Hormones lubed my self-deprecation. Better just eat.



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