Stacy Parsons 27, publisher
My life from the beginning like anything was controlled fully by me. I knew where I was going, and when I would get there. I knew the college that I would go to. That it would allow me to graduate early.
The career of being a publisher was exactly what I wanted to do. I loved the idea of shifting through manuscripts to find that one gem. That would bring a smile on a readers face.
My apartment was on the street, I’d been dreaming of living on since I was thirteen. Everything by the time I turned twenty-seven was perfectly in order.
Still, as I stood in my office staring at the awards, and the good sized name plate. I felt keenly the loneliness, the hollow feeling that gouged at my stomach.
Pressing a fist against it I tried to ignore the nauseous feeling that my thoughts aroused in me. Ever since, I’d gone to my younger sister’s wedding. I’d been feeling this way, like some invisible clock was ticking. Companionship had been important when I was in high school.
The “cool” girls would gather together and talk about wanting a boyfriend. Groaning about how their life was meaningless without one.
I wasn’t better than them, but at the time I thought myself so, for being more focused on my goals.
The sun slowly melted behind the tall buildings in the distance, the others outside my office quickly gathered their items and left.
Pulling myself out of my minds wanderings, I quickly turned off my computer. Grabbing up the long French coat that used to belong to my father. I smiled at the stain on the back ‘ah’ pleasant memories.
Juggling three new manuscripts, and holding my keys in my mouth I quickly kicked my door shut to my office.
“Are you going to the speed dating session?”
Lola was a lawyer, who’d managed to squeeze herself into my social circle after highschool. She was tall and brunette, and had a sharp haircut. Her last boyfriend had accused her of cutting her hair with her own tongue.
Sadly, that’d been the wrong thing to say when he’d just been caught cheating on her.
She crossed her long legs, and caressed the side of her wine glass.
“You’re sister sent me one of those invitations too. I personally have no intention to of going.” She waved the Bartender to pour her another one. I noticed how her blue eyes strayed over his figure.
“Instead of being worried about that, why don’t you stop dating so close to the crib.”
She jerked her eyes to my face, narrowing them, “Are you accusing me of something, hag?”
I smirked, sipping slowly from my own glass, “No, I think I pretty much said it. I don’t want your cougar ways preventing me from coming to the ‘spot’.”
“hah.” Turning on the stool, she fully faced me, “If anyone is going to get you kicked out of this place, it’s going to be the owner.”
Spot was an underground bar that sat between fourth and Second Street. I’d found it when I’d had a pretty bad fight with my mom. Now, I couldn’t even begin to tell you what it had been about. Still, as I’d taken a seat and the bartender had mixed my drink.
The dark purple painted interior, and quiet elegant atmosphere captured my attention. I’d found myself coming back every Friday, to the enjoy the buzz with other guest and smooth jazz.
“I don’t know what you mean. Who’s the owner again?” I purposely turned my eyes towards the empty stage, where the un played piano sat.
I felt heat on my neck, as Lola eyes stabbed me in the back.
“You’ve been coming here every Friday. The last Friday, I could have been screaming at Songz to rip off his shirt. No, you begged, me to come with you…here.”
My caramel cheeks warmed, under her scrutiny, “Here, so we could watch a scruffy man play piano. Stacy, Stacy Parsons you have a problem, maybe a dick addiction-.”
My eyes wide, and my face red, I stared into Lola’s shocked eyes. “Shh, it’s not like that.”
My hands covered her mouth, she nodded silent. I continued “I just have nowhere else to go, and well I feel less…”
I left off, I didn’t want to admit that I felt lonely, so lonely that coming to a small bar to listen to piano made me feel less so.
Hopping off the stool, I headed towards the back. “I’m going to bathroom, I’ll be right back.”
She watched me go, I pretended not to notice the worried look in her eyes.
Walking to the back, involved having to maneuver between tables avoiding servers. Eagerly I turned down the hall, leaning against the wall. I shook my head at my almost admission of my pathetic feelings.
“C’mon Stacy you’re stronger than this.”
Glancing up at the sound of something, I glanced down the hallway. Another bang followed by a muted groan, curious I walked down the hall towards the back.
An employee only sign was hung on the door knob, but the door was slightly cracked.
Feeling slightly guilty, but curious I leaned against the door making sure to keep it from moving. Peeking through the crack, my eyes widened in mild shock.
The owner, my piano men had a women pinned against the wall. His hair that usually blocked his face, was swept back. The skin flushed , and golden tanned was covered with a light shimmer of sweat. His broad shoulders were bare as he pulsed his hips against the women in his arms.
She clawed at his back, her own head thrown back. “Harder-er. Ugh, almost there!”
Dirty…sweaty, nothing he was doing to her was perfect. My arms fell to my side, my heart slammed in my chest.
Even though I screamed at myself mentally to run, my feet stayed planted.
“Yoji. Yoji…hah, hah!”
Yoji…the owners name was Yoji. He clamped his mouth on her throat, as they rushed to the finish line.
Jerking back from the door, my eyes widened when they came face to face with the baby bartender. Quickly I pushed passed him and rushed into the Main room.
Lola was flirting with some new dark skinned youth. Grabbing her hand, I jerked her off the stool, “We’re leaving.”
“What, what’s wrong? Stacy?!” She stared at me incredulously, as I panted from running up the stepps, and attempted to wave down a Taxi.
“What’s wrong?” She asked again pulling on her coat, and fixing her appearance.
I tried to shake the images out of my head.
“Nothing, I just don’t feel well-.” I trailed off, the Taxi stopped, quickly getting in we left towards my home.
Later in my apartment, I laid in my bed my mind repeating the scene over and over. Heat suffused my skin, what was wrong with me.
My hands drifted across my skin, and I found myself playing with my own chest. Instead of my hand, I saw Yoji’s as he roughly grabbed the women breast. I flinched, but the idea of the perfect me, with everything in order being messed up, mussed by a scruffy shot waves of lust through my body.
Blinking at the ceiling, the smell of my own essence permeated the air. Is this how I wanted to live my life, living off my dirty thoughts.
Well, luckily I wouldn’t have to run into the owner anytime soon. It wasn’t like we actually talked to each other or anything, I just loved watching his long fingers as he played his piano in the corner.
“No way.” My mouth hung agape as I pushed my finger through the hole in my dad’s old jacket.
“No.” Searching my purse, and apartment for the necklace that carried my parent’s old tarnished gold promise rings.
Staring at the hole now confirmed my fear, I’d dropped them somewhere. How could this have happened, I was so careful.
Waves of sadness hit me, my father had passed away from cancer ten years ago. The only thing in my life that hadn’t been perfect. My mother remarried fiver year later, but I’d asked for the promise rings my father had given her when they were in their twenties.
She’d handed them over with tears in her eyes, but she’d understood why I’d asked for them.
Knowing that I’d lost them, nearly brought me to my knees. Instead I stood and continued on my day, I had a job to go to.
Like my mother once said to me, “Grownups can’t break down, why, because shit don’t get done if they do.”
Through the work day, my mind was focused on where I could have possibly dropped it. Groaning, I threw a badly laid out manuscript into the ‘no’ bin.
When the day finally ended, I eagerly made my way to the bar. Despite it being a Wednesday, I felt like I needed a little cheering up.
Walking to the corner table, I ordered my drink, and prepared to have my mind relaxed by the quiet playing.
As usual, the Scruffy owner Yoji came out, with his cigarette dish and placed it on the corner. His black slacks slightly creased and his shirt untucked. He plopped down stretched his fingers, and placed his hands on the first key.
I froze, my eyes on his hands. Where two rings sat. I’d always noticed his hands and fingers, how slender and long they were. Still, I’d never noticed him wearing rings. As I stared at them, leaning forward a little, I saw the “J” stylized in dark red on the side.
The owner, and the center of my sexual dreams was currently wearing my parents promise rings.
How was I going to be able to get them back, the baby faced waiter stopped by my table.
I stopped, “Hey, where did you’re o-owner get those pretty rings, a girl?”
He laughed, “Nah, some body was peeking in on him and some girl, and left those rings behind. So, Boss said he’d keep them safe till the voyeur showed himself to get them.”
He left laughed, while my insides turned, “ah, safe, ha-ha.”
To Be Continued…