Chicago — An Unusual Love Story

My last couple of posts have dealt with a flash in my head that made me want to write a story.  Unlike the many short stories I have written in the past where I generally write them in a few days or maybe a week or two, this one is slow going, but I thought I’d share a bit.  Just so you know where it may be headed.  So, here’s the opening 700 words or so.  More to follow as I continue down this story’s path.

I called her Chicago because that was the only name I had for her. She sat down at the bar stool next to mine, throwing down a purse that looked more like a horse’s feed bag and rattled with keys and loose coins as it hit the bar. Before I had the chance to take another sip of my beer, she popped the question. “Will you marry me?”

I barely paused, but took that sip. Nah, probably it was a gulp or two, but then I replied, “The question is, would you want to marry me?” I looked over my glass at her and saw the hidden beauty in her. She smiled at me and went slightly lopsided. One eyebrow lifting up, a dimple in her left cheek, her mouth oddly slanted. Chicago wore almost no make-up, but it really didn’t matter. In the dim glow of the bar, her eyes sparkled, and something radiated from her.

“I could be a child molester, a serial murder,” I continued before she could answer. I motioned to the bartender, thinking I’d order my new friend a drink. “Or worse,” I laughed, “I could be a Republican. Or, a Republican serial murderer.”

“As long as your politics aren’t Republican and your many victims are the Republicans, I don’t have a problem with that.”

The bartender approached while she reached into her purse and rummaged around inside, leaning into the thing, trying to find lord knows what. I mean does any man really know, or want to know, what’s in a woman’s purse.  The secrets buried deep, the hidden implements of torture. “Ummm … can I get you something to drink?” I asked her. “I mean, after all, if we’re going to get married … wait a sec, you were serious, right?”

She rustled around for a second or two more and then stopped, her hands still in her bag, she tilted towards me. “Sure, why not,” she shrugged before returning her attention back to her deep search. “I’ll have a beer. Doesn’t matter what.”

Doesn’t matter what. Okay. This was a test. Actually, the whole thing was a test. Was she serious? Was I deluded to even think she was? Was this all it took for me to jump? A cute girl sitting next to me, her arm brushing mine, sending little shock waves deep inside, as she searched back and forth in the depths of her purse. The dimple and the sparkle. Was I that desperate to … yes, I was. Now I just had to figure out how not to blow it. Sure, we weren’t gonna get married, but maybe there was something else there akin to a negative that just needed to be developed. I had to be steady and not scare her away.

And she wanted a beer but she didn’t care what I got her. If I ordered her a Coors, would she be offended because she’s a beer snob who only drinks the latest craft brew? If I ordered an IPA, would she claim it was too bitter? And if we were to be married, wasn’t this something I should know? Damn, I could blow it all in the first few seconds.

I drained my beer and pointed at it. “Two more. For me and for …” I didn’t know her name so I just flipped my thumb in her direction and held my breath.

I drained my beer and pointed at it. “Two more. For me and for …” I didn’t know her name so I just flipped my thumb in her direction and held my breath.

“Sure thing,” the bartender replied and turned back towards the taps and began to fill a pint glass.

When he placed them in front of us, the foam just leaking over the edge of the glass and leaving a wet trail down the side, I slipped him a $20. “Where you headed?” I asked her.

“Chicago?”

“Yeah?” I wiped the foam off the glass, running my thumb from bottom to top. “You from there? Or is it a vacation?”

She turned to me, her head slightly dipped, and looked at me through a curl of blond hair that dropped across her face. “It’s where the wedding is,” she sighed. “You should realize that by now.”

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About kingmidget

About the name. I was the youngest of four. Until I got to kindergarten, I didn't have much to say. All I had to do to get what I wanted was to point, and a sibling, or loving parent, would fulfill my request. As a result, my father coined the nickname -- King Midget. At least that's the way the story goes. I am a father, husband, friend, and lover, writer, runner, pizza maker, baker, and many other things. What I am not is my occupation. It is my job that pays the bills and provides for my family. But, it does not define me.
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4 Responses to Chicago — An Unusual Love Story

  1. You need to like her without makeup if you’re gonna marry her anyway. Did you mean to repeat these lines?

    I drained my beer and pointed at it. “Two more. For me and for …” I didn’t know her name so I just flipped my thumb in her direction and held my breath.

  2. Pingback: Chicago — A Different Take | Novels, Short Stories, and More

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