When Warren Met Gwen, part two
Sleepless in Suburbia
Gwen lay in bed that night struggling to find sleep.
She was ruminating over all of the brash statements she’d made to Warren at the pub earlier that evening. While she hoped she’d redeemed herself during the lovely walk they shared thereafter, she couldn’t shake the cringey feeling that accompanied her reflections.
“Are you a moaner or a screamer?” she said aloud, reminding herself, staring at the ceiling, aghast at her own boldness. Although proud that she’d had the figurative balls to be so daring, she was also shocked at her bluntness. Was she being true to her own character? Or rather, was she simply coming into her own, evolving into a new and more undaunted version of herself? Was this Gwendolyn Vera Madison, version 2.0?
Unlucky in love a few times over, this was Gwen’s first foray into the world of on-line dating. Warren had popped up as a possible prospect and they seemed to hit it off. Their initial messages were friendly and innocuous at first, gradually becoming more familiar. They had similar backgrounds - each of them was an only-child from a working class family, neither of them had previously been married or had children, and both had recently ended long-term relationships following a series of attempts at serial monogamy. Neither of them was necessarily looking for love, per se, but each identified as being interested in companionship of some sort… and hopefully with a chance of physical interaction, romantic or otherwise.
After a week of emails and text messages, it was Warren who suggested that they meet in person. She was only too happy to agree - even if scared sh*tless. It’s one thing to flirt through a virtual medium; another thing entirely to take the show on the road. But it was the next logical step in their burgeoning relationship, so she plucked her eyebrows, highlighted her hair, and hauled out the fancy shape wear to mask her FUPA (fatty upper pelvic area, according to women’s magazines).
She’d suggested they meet for a drink, which was ironic, considering they’d both voiced their distaste for meeting people in bars. Yet it was neutral ground, centrally located, and provided lighting that suited her complexion.
So she was nervous when he arrived. She wanted to make a lasting impression but also exude some measure of confidence. Pleasantries had been exchanged, of course. “Hello,” “Nice to meet you in the flesh”, and “Thanks for doing this” were uttered. But as if by impulse or perhaps demonic possession, she blurted out her comment about moaning and screaming and even caught herself by surprise. Christ! From “hello” to “how do you behave in the sack?” isn’t typical ice-breaking material … or is it? Maybe so for a forty-something who doesn’t want to waste time on idle chit chat…
But it did beg the question: what was she looking for? What did she want - a relationship or a f*ck buddy… or both?
Warren seemed like a good guy - straight up and honest, handsome and fit, funny, and he filled out his jeans very nicely she had to admit. He seemed like the kind of fellow who might be a lot of fun to hang around while also someone who would call her out on her bullsh*t. Which could be good… but could also be not so good.
Sometimes, she acknowledged, she surprised herself.
She reached into her night stand drawer and grabbed her battery-operated boyfriend. Then she lay back on her pillows summoning thoughts of Chris Hemsworth and turned on the instrument. At least she could distract herself and perhaps attain some semblance of gratification before falling asleep. Then she could awaken the next day relaxed, refreshed, and in a better frame of mind to answer her own burning questions.
Want more? Check out Part Three, available here:
About the Creator
Ms. Carroll is a 40-something year-old veteran public servant and mother of three adult children. She and her partner Hal live in Amherst NS with a sweet, anxiety-ridden rescue dog. Shelley loves running, red wine, and laughter.
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