This story contain’s sexual content, violence, coarse language and consumption of alcohol it is rated R and 18+
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Just Jazzy (Waking Up Jayla)
Being vague and not answering questions saved me from having to face or talk to Curt again. Ona was pissed at me for stiffing Tripp even though I told her what he did. She took his side and his story of me being crazy and emotionally unstable. In a blast of anger I, told Ona to date Tripp herself is she was so worried about his happiness. I haven’t spoken to her since.
Two weeks passed and I still wondered why I ran from the charming Curt. The odds of meeting someone like him again were slim to none. I resisted the urge to search him on the internet. I don’t need to be creepy and after how I behaved I wouldn’t even acknowledge my existence if I were him.
Things were looking up at work. I was in line for a promotion and without Paul’s constant belittling (That I didn’t realize was there) I’m flourishing with confidence. It’s being noticed and for the first time.
Bill from accounting confessed this morning to needing to work up the courage to ask me out. He’s nice and a decent looking man. Average, but then I am as well. Maybe if I can go on a couple real dates I wouldn’t be dragged into the blind ones or blind double dates. Which are even worse.
Mandy, my best friend, said that my problem wasn’t what Paul did, but what he didn’t do. I’m not entirely sure how that figures, but she’s notoriously good at assessing things. I finished applying the mascara and assessed my overall appearance. A nice summer dress, hair up with some loose strands. I loved my blond hair, as it’s my favourite feature. I put on some strappy-heeled sandals and grabbed my smallest purse. I said no to dinner since that never seemed to go well. I told Bill I’d go on a date as long as he came up with something fun to do. This felt right, I knew Bill a little and that was more than I can say for Tripp or any of the others. It was a step in the right direction.
I reached for the door as Bill approached and for a split second, I envisioned Curt as I swung the door open. The idea was gone as quickly as it came. There looking at me were a pair of pale blue eyes not warm brown ones. Bill smiled and looked me over. His approval was apparent and it made me feel good.
“Wow, you’re as punctual as you are beautiful.”
I closed my door and locked it before taking Bill’s arm. He was taller than I am by more than foot. Wearing beige slacks a white short-sleeved button dress shirt and blue… suspenders? I’ve only seen him in full on suits so maybe he wears them all the time? Not the worst thing he could be wearing.
I let Bill pick me up because he had an old-fashioned sense of romance. I got to say that we do something fun and he got to pick me up. I would have rather met him somewhere.
I did my best to listen to Bill talk. He did most of it. The subject was often work and that annoyed me. Maybe he’s just nervous? He pulled over and parked downtown. What on earth would we do here? He got out and opened my door. I let him hold my hand. It was nice to feel the warmth of another person.
“Where are we going?” I asked. I should have maybe asked that before tonight.
“My favourite show is in town.” He said as we walked toward the theatre. It was a live theater. I have only been a couple of times to see a play and a strings concert many years ago. I looked at the large marquis. “Quincy Ray’s Jam Session Live.”
“You’re going to love it Jayla.” Bill grinned like a giddy child.
Okay so he’s quirky. At least he’s excited and fun.
“It’s a collection of local artists playing classics and some smokin scat.”
I presumed that didn’t mean animal droppings. The only scat I know of is the kind my cousin cleans out of attics after an infestation. Bill’s pale blue eyes glittered as we approached the theater. He handed over the tickets and I looked around. I should have asked if there was a dress code. I wasn’t the worst dressed, but the majority wore much nicer dresses than I was wearing.
We found our seats, very close to the stage and Bill leaned closer to tell me all about the musicians. Too many names I didn’t know.
“Do you like Jazz Jayla?”
“It’s the best most down to the soul…”
I’ll admit I tuned him out. Once the man on stage came out the conversation died. He started playing a saxophone in a long and shrill clutter of notes. I couldn’t discern any pattern or tune. That instrument’s jumble melded into more musicians coming out and picking up various instruments. Sometimes they played a melody and others it was such a clutter I had to close my eyes. It was the best I could do since plugging my ears seemed ultra-rude.
Every time a song ended, and I never quite knew when that was, the crowd went wild with cheers, whistles and clapping. The energy was infectious and if nothing else, I enjoyed the atmosphere.
After four encores of only God knows what songs, we left. Bill was over the moon with glee and joy and he made me smile. We decided to walk to get gelato.
“You’re quite passionate about Jazz Bill.”
“Wasn’t it wonderful?” He took my hand in his. The street was busy with a wide range of people. Many couples of various varieties
“Yes.” That was honest, only because on a whole it was, the music was not something I was in to.
“I knew you’d love it.”
We arrived at the gelato shop and picked our flavors. I chose strawberry and lemon. He got orange and pineapple sorbet. We walked slowly down the street. He asked me what I thought of the music and after my polite answers; he filled in the gaps with his own impressions.
“So tell me Jayla what’s your favourite music?”
“I don’t know. I like the piano guys, Adel’s good. I love Christina Perry right now. Can’t get enough. Oh I have a pretty awesome dance mix for when I’m cleaning.”
Bill went quiet. Good or bad, I couldn’t tell. I finished my gelato and he found his voice again.
“What sort of dance mix?”
I shrugged and dropped my empty container in the street recycling bin. “You know, Katie Perry, Bruno Mars, Rhianna, Ooh Meghan Trainor, KOS… To name a few.”
“Huh.” Bill dropped his half-finished sorbet in the bin. “Do you like classical music or Jazz?”
Ah the loaded question. I liked Bill and his company. However, I learned one thing from Paul, faking it was never a good plan.
“Sure I like it, but I can’t say I’d choose it on my own.”
Bill nodded as we approached his car. He said nothing until we started driving.
“Are you a music snob?” I chuckled. “Do you hate that I like pop?”
“No, no. It’s fine.” He smiled. “Maybe. But you know what?”
“The differences between people can make things interesting. I’ve tried dating women too much like myself. They bore me.”
I laughed. That was so honest and true. Paul and I liked all the same things. Sort of. I spent a lot of time pretending to like what he did to make him happy.
“I think it would be a problem if I said I hated Jazz. I don’t. I really like how enthusiastic you are about it.”
Conversation got a heck of a lot easier after that. I steered conversation away from family and work. We were talking about gardening of all things by the time we pulled up to my house. I had a small garden that I tried to keep tidy and full of blooms.
Of course, he walked me to my door.
“I had a good time with you Jayla.”
“Me too.” I chuckled. “But about you. Thank you for the not boring dinner date.”
“I’d like to kiss you goodnight if that’s alright.”
Now why did I find that so peculiar? Too polite. I smiled and nodded. Why not? What’s a kiss? Nervous butterflies fluttered about in my stomach. I liked kissing. This was definitely a perk of not being with Paul. I get to kiss again.
I watched as he leaned down and his nose got closer. I remembered to close my eyes as his mouth touched mine. He moved his lips a little in a chaste and sweet kiss. I felt the beginning of excitement in my chest as he backed off. Would he kiss me again? With more passion?
“I hope we can go out again sometime.” Bill said.
Oh. That’s it? Well I wouldn’t mind seeing how this went. He was fun company.
“I’d like that.” I replied.
“Then I suppose you can pick the date and venue next time. Good night Jayla.” He smiled and went to his car.
I went into my house. “That was… fun.” I said to myself as I prepared for bed.
To be continued…
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Next Chapter: Sunday Reading