Rainy Day Out -part 5 FINALE

Rainy Day Out -part 5 FINALE

A Story by MarkAndTheOcean
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A little short story about a woman and her man during a rainy day.

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Characters:

-Paula Porter -AGE 24
-Richard Rhodes -AGE 28


-8:30PM-

 

The two were roaming the streets of the city, rain continued to fall lightly as they walked, it wasn’t too bad, but it was bound to pick up as the night got late. They made their way back to his car parked blocks away from the music store. After walking around in the rain, it felt like heaven to sit inside and feel the heater blowing warm air. It wasn’t a fancy car, it was a slightly used Ford, there were no gimmicks or high-priced special effects, the only fancy tricks it had was power locks and power windows. Thank God it had a CD player, she would abuse it plenty of times whenever Richard drove her anywhere.

It also had automatic start; Richard loved his automatic start. Paula could care less when he told her about it for the first time, but later on it occurred to her that she didn’t know too many people that had it. It had a sexy dark blue color too she thought. 

Paula chucked her stuff in the back seat and began warming her hands. They drove off into the streets and made their way to their favorite club, well it was Paula’s favorite, Richard didn’t care too much for it, all he wanted was to have some food and then go back to her apartment.

“Could I play my CD?” Paula asked gleefully.

“Sure.” Richard chuckled, rolling his eyes as the stopped at some traffic lights. She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before reaching in the back seat and grabbing her new CD that he bought. Usually when they headed out in his car, she would bring a stack of CD cases. That always made him laugh. She popped it in the player and turned up the volume, Bob Dylan began blaring.

He reached over and turned down the volume a bit with a chuckle. “Don’t be greedy.”

She did that tongue-in-cheek thing and giggled at her boyfriend, teasing him a bit.

“You’re such a square.”     

The rain pounded down on the car, windshield wipers flapping away as it wiped off water everywhere. Cars passed by along with the lights of city, it was kind of mesmerizing driving around the rainy city at night. The mixture of the different colored lights with the moisture in the air made a hazy and dreamlike atmosphere around them. It was kind of romantic and she enjoyed it, he did too. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it.

“Roll down the window.” Paula said.

“Yeah, yeah.” He replied as he rolled down the driver’s side window.  

After ten minutes of driving, they arrived at their destination. The club was called Pandora, it was a sort of angsty-hipster place, in fact it was the place where they met for the second time; first time officially. He pulled into the parking lot but the two were surprised at how empty it was. Paula looked around in confusion, trying to spot any other cars or people. They hopped out and Paula walked up to the front entrance. The doors were locked as she tried yanking on them to no avail. Richard stood beside his car and watched her, the rain falling on his head as he watched his girlfriend slowly get a little agitated. There were no windows to peer in to, so you couldn’t tell if anybody was inside or not. She noticed a sign on the door saying:

 

CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS

 

“Renovations!” She yelled out, giving a bitter laugh with her hands on her hips, looking up at the building almost like it was a joke.  

She turned around to look at Richard before repeating. “Renovations!”

Richard stared at her and gave a sympathetic shrug, then gave a suggestion.

“Let’s go somewhere else.”

Paula took a minute to stand in the rain and fume at the world before finally giving in and walked back to the car. She opened the passenger side door and plopped into her seat, crossing her arms and looking out at the rain.

“Alright, where to next?” Richard asked as he started up his car.

“I don’t care.” Paula pouted.

Richard laughed a bit. “Okay then.” He thought it was a little cute seeing her pout over something like this, he was also happy that he didn’t have to go to a noisy hipster club.

“Could I play my music loud?” Paula asked, trying to earn some loving sympathy from her loving boyfriend.

“Sure.”

 

 

 

-

They decided to go to a pub downtown. It was a fairly fancy place, big with plenty of space inside with nice furniture and black leather seats with sleek black tables. There was lots of people inside chatting and eating, the waiters and waitresses were young and nice looking, and the atmosphere was great. They got a booth on the far end, as they sat down their waitress asked what kind of drinks they wanted.

“Rum and Coke.” Richard answered.

“Red wine.” Paula answered.

After a short bit, she came back with their drinks and was ready to take their orders. Paula ordered some salt and pepper wings with some dip on the side and french fries. Richard decided to treat himself, so instead of anything fancy, he just ordered a cheeseburger with fries. Paula snickered at this.

“We’re at a nice restaurant and that’s what you order?” Paula teased.

“It’s the weekend and I can eat whatever I want.” Richard flashed a satisfied smile causing Paula to roll her eyes.

Paula was in a better mood now, drinking her wine and listening to the nice jazzy music playing on the restaurant speakers. The two began to wind down and relax as they took in the atmosphere, Richard was looking around at the restaurant, the place was great, it even had a big gas fireplace in the middle.

Expensive place, he thought as he drank his rum. Probably gonna be expensive food too. 

Paula was looking out the window to their side, the rain was coming down a bit harder now. She was watching cars pass by on the busy streets, their lights making colorful lines in the dark night. Richard looked at her, silently watching her as she was lost in space. He loved that way she looked when she was deep in thought, elbow on the table with her hand holding up her chin, her delicate fingers on her smooth cheek, her calm and relaxed eyes framed with her dark eyelashes. He didn’t just enjoy her for her body though, although it was terrific, but he also enjoyed listening to her talk, whether it’s a bout music or people or whatever, she had a way with words sometimes and her voice had a natural soothing pitch to it. It was no surprise to him that she pursued music, although she didn’t sing too often. She was a gorgeous young woman, he enjoyed just being around her, especially after dealing with all sorts of troublesome people and the stress of everyday life, it was wonderful to just spend time with someone like her.

Things seemed a little off earlier today and at other moments, but now things were alright.  

“What are you looking at?” She asked as she noticed him, looking at him from the corner of her eye.

“Oh, nothing much…” He answered. “What are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking that it’s nice that I don’t have to walk home tonight.” She chuckled, looking back outside.

He chuckled a bit. “Am I just a driver to you?”

“I’ll treat you good.” She snickered. “But you have to wear a little hat and suit.”

Richard laughed and playfully kicked her leg under the table, causing Paula to laugh and kick back. Soon after, their food arrived, and they couldn’t be happier. The two began eating, commenting on how good the food was with mouths full of it. Richard eyed Paula’s french fries and smiled.

“I thought you were trying to cut back on fatty foods?” He teased.

“Well, I was cutting back on bread mainly.” Paula explained, holding up a French fry for dramatic effect. “These are French fries; these are made of potatoes. They are vegetables, hence forth, they are not as fattening.” 

“They still deep fry them, though.”

“Yes, they do.”

“That’s pretty fattening.”

Paula was quiet for a second, staring at her boyfriend as he held a cheeseburger in his hands and chewed away, his eye staring back at hers. She was thinking of a clever thing to say, she was the clever one of the two after all. Then she snickered at a thought and smiled, waving her fry around with some dramatic flair.

“It’s the weekend and I can eat what I want.” She recited Richard’s words with satisfaction, chomping on her french fry with no shame. 

This made him chuckle, finding it cute that his girlfriend is quoting him to win some kind of silly little back and forth. The two continued eating, drinking and chatting for an hour, finally after running out of things to talk about, Richard began thinking about their weekend plans. 

“What do you want to do tomorrow?” Richard asked as he chomped into his burger.

“I don’t know, not really much to do…” Paula sighed as she drank some wine, feeling full despite there being about four more wings to eat; she mostly filled up on fries.

“We’re in the city, there’s always something to do.”

Paula raised an eyebrow. “Like what?”

“We could go to the zoo?”

“We could.” Paula wasn’t too enthusiastic about that idea.

“We could go walking around the mall?” Richard suggested.

“I guess.” That didn’t sound too appealing either.

Richard was racking his brain for ideas.

“What about the park? Down by the river?”

“What do you want to do there?”

“If the weather is nice, we could just hang out. Maybe walk around the area? There’s probably some stuff to do.” Richard shrugged.

Paula shrugged as she looked at her food, playing around with a chicken wing absentmindedly.

“Isn’t there a little shopping district down there? We might find some neat stores.” Richard was chewing some fries as he thought about different activities.

“I don’t know.” Paula didn’t care too much.

Richard picked up the hint and stopped talking, choosing to focus on his food and let a long silence fall onto them.

They just ate and listened to the sounds of the restaurant around them, all the people chatting, the footsteps of waiters, the clings and clangs of their forks on plates and jazzy music playing. The atmosphere was nice and more comforting than anywhere else they’ve been that day. It was nice to just sit down and loosen up, especially after running around in the rain.

The food was pretty damn good too; it better be for that price.

“Let’s just stay home, spend all day in the apartment.” Paula finally suggested.

Richard was a little surprised, but it wasn’t a bad idea. Honestly, it would be nice to just hang out and relax with his girlfriend without having to run around the city all day.

“Okay, sounds good.” He answered nonchalantly, then chuckled. “Just spend the whole day on the couch watching TV?”

Paula smiled a cute little smile as he eyes looked up at him from across the table. “Is that a bad thing?”

“Just sit in the place by ourselves?” Richard chuckled. “Can I walk around in my underwear?”

Paula chuckled. “If ya want.”

“Are you gonna walk around in your underwear?” Richard smiled.

“Maaaybe…” Paula snickered.

“Sounds good to me, baby.”

The two shared a good laugh, Paula kicking Richard’s leg under the table in a playful flirty manner. It was the kind of night that he wanted, that they both wanted. Just to be with each other, away from the hassles of the world and free from all the stress that they carried.

Moments like this reminded Paula why she enjoyed being with Richard, he wasn’t like other men, but in some ways he seemed familiar. She thought that maybe he felt familiar because he possessed traits that she wanted in a man, things that she would think about at night when she was alone, when she dreamed about what it would be like to live with someone she loved. It was silly, but it made her smile to think like that.

She was an artist after all, she was a sucker for poetry.      

Things were looking up; the night was getting late and their day out in the city was almost over. But Richard couldn’t help but keep feeling something was wrong with his girlfriend. All day, she felt aloof or on edge, their conversations turned sour a few times and when they encountered Tambourine Jane, she felt so damn hostile and bitter. He couldn’t shake that feeling and since she was in a better mood, even though he’s probably going to regret ruining this pleasant atmosphere, he had to find out.

“So, what’s been going on with you lately?”

Suddenly, the tone changed within a second. Paula was silent for almost a minute, staring at the table before finally saying something.

“What do you mean?” Her voice was quiet.

Richard felt uneasy, but he kept his poker face and marched forward. “Well, since we met up today you’ve had this… mood.”

“What kind of mood?”

“Like a…” Richard picked his words carefully. “A sort of hostile mood.”

That was a mistake.

“Hostile?” Paula looked up at him quickly, a sharpness to her voice and her eyes narrowing. The word dripped from her mouth like venom.

“Not so much hostile…” Richard was doing damage control. “More like… distant.”

There was a minute of silence.

“I’m… distant?” Paula asked the words as if she didn’t understand what he meant.

“Well… Yeah.” Richard replied, his eyes holding onto hers, staying stern and unflinching.

She shifted around a bit then rested her arms on the table and leaned over a bit with a puzzled and slightly agitated face.

“So, I’m distant? What’s makes me so distant today?”

Richard shook his head. “I’m not trying to be rude,”

“Well you sound rude.” Paula cut him off, catching him off guard. He stared at her for a second before continuing.

“Paula.” He was trying to calm her down.

“Richard.” She didn’t want to be calmed down.

He tried to be direct, in a delicate way.

“I just want to know what’s wrong?”

Paula shook her head, trying to kill the topic.

“Look, there is nothing wrong with me, everything is fine, let’s just finish supper. Okay?” She hoped that would be the end of it.

“You promised me in that music store that you’d tell me tonight.”

Paula sighed; her eyes were looking around the restaurant at the other people enjoying themselves. Her mind focused on their laughter, their smiles, the warm atmosphere, the lovely jazz music, anything other than this conversation with her boyfriend.

“Richard…” She didn’t know what to say.

“I just want to know what’s the matter with you.” Richard said calmly.  

Paula scoffed. Again and again, she thought.

“There is nothing the matter with me! I just don’t want to talk about it!”  

“Well, I do! Obviously, there’s something wrong since you’ve been so moody all day and every time we talk it feels like I’m walking on eggshells or something!” Richard’s voice was getting angrier.

“Just stop it already!” Paula’s blood was boiling.

“Come on already! What’s wrong? Talk to me! Don’t you trust me?” He kept pushing.

“Just stop it!”

“Quit running away from this already!” Richard spat back.

“Stop trying to pry into me!” Paula shot back, her voice quivering a bit, she felt like she could begin to cry if this kept going.

“I’m not prying into you! Stop being so damn dramatic!” He didn’t think before he said it and it hit her hard, it was something her parents would say.   

After pushing so much, she finally snapped.

“Bull crap, you just can’t let things go! You are just so damn nosey and so damn obnoxious! Get it through your thick head already! Just drop it!” Paula spat out, slapping her hands on the table and raising her voice.

It felt like the whole restaurant stopped, as if the world was suddenly staring at them. In reality though, it was only a couple people sitting nearby, the rest of the place went on like normal; people chatting, people eating, jazz music playing.

Richard just glared back. After a minute, he finished his drink, stood up and grabbed his coat. She wasn’t quite sure what he was going to do, was he going to the bathroom? Or was he going to walk out of her life? He took a few steps so that he stood beside her, looking down into her eyes. Then, he spoke to her quietly.

“I’m gonna go pay the bill, and then I’m going outside to have a smoke. Come out when you’re ready.” That was all he said before he walked off, leaving her alone. She sat there by herself for a bit, she turned her head to watching him from afar as he walked out the front door. She turned back to her food and stared at it for the longest time, her appetite suddenly disappearing. She didn’t know what to do anymore.

After a few minutes, the waitress came by to ask if she needed anything, to which she politely declined. Then finally, she got up, threw on her coat and made her way to the restroom. She washed her hands, silently and splashed some cold water on her face and dried off. Her reflection in the mirror showed how tired she was and how miserable she looked. Either she was going to go outside and face the music or spend the whole night hiding in a toilet feeling sorry for herself.

Eventually, she walked out the door.

 

 

 

She came out of the front entrance and looked around. There were a few people standing around smoking and chatting outside of the pub, leaning against the wall or sitting around. The sky was dark, and the rain kept falling lightly, making puddles on the street as cars passed splashing about. She looked over and saw her boyfriend standing alone alongside the building, hands in his pockets and a cigarette burning in his mouth. Paula took in a deep breath and exhaled as she walked over to him.

He noticed her come by and waited until they were a couple feet apart.   

“Okay,” Richard began as he leaned back on the brick wall and crossed his arms, puffing smoke as he looked down at Paula. This time, he cooled down and his voice was calmer. “What’s been eating at you already?”

Paula looked up with no fear, only defiance. She mimicked him in a mocking way as she crossed her arms and leaned up against the wall beside of Richard, glaring up at him.

“You know, you do don’t look tough doing that.” It was a jab.

Richard took in a deep breath and exhaled. He did not want to deal with a pouty girlfriend and he especially didn’t like being taunted. He always hates it when chicks never acted direct, he hated mind games.

Of course, this wasn’t just any chick. This was his chick, his girlfriend, Paula. He knew Paula and he knew when she didn’t want to talk about things, but he couldn’t let it go. He mustered up all the inner strength he had and kept pushing, he was a soldier walking on landmines now.  

“Oh, yeah?” He started, trying to sound calm. “You don’t look so tough either, with that pouty lip of yours. Acting like a baby.”

Paula’s eyes narrowed. She didn’t like it when boys got petty, she especially didn’t like it when Richard did it, although he only did it maybe a few times she’d known him, it never appealed to her. She knows he must feel a bit agitated and maybe he feels like he’s being treated like a child, but it didn’t really matter to her. She didn’t owe him an explanation, she didn’t need him to know every little thing inside her head. When the time came to talk, she would talk. Until then, he could just sit and shut-up, she didn’t have to bend over for him every time he demanded it.

“Oh really?” Her eyes were stabbing daggers into him, her blood was boiling again. “You think you’re so tough? You think you could just walk in an begin prying into me like I’m some weak little girl?”

“I’m not trying to pry into you…”

“Like hell you’re not!” Paula spat.

Richard was about to yell back but luckily he held his tongue. He reflected on their little episode inside of the restaurant and began to think of another way of handling this.

“I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He said softly.

Paula didn’t respond, she was still very upset with him and he could sense it. He didn’t know what else to do, he tried to be patient and tried to be aggressive. You can’t bend people like that, you can’t make them do what you want them to do. You got to just let them come to you. Then, Richard put his cards on the table.

“Do you want me to leave already?”

Paula was stunned, she didn’t know what to say because she didn’t know exactly what he meant.

“What?”

“You heard me.”

Paula just stared at him, his words lingering in the air like a noose around her neck. The conversation can go any way and can go as far south as Antarctica. Things suddenly got a lot colder outside; she could feel the chilling night air against her neck and face. Everything was standing still. He was waiting for her to answer. Either she was going to give in or shoot back.

“I…” She started, she could smell the smoke of his cigarette dancing around. Her eyes were on the ground. “I don’t know…”

She hated the words coming out of her mouth and she could tell Richard hated them too. They were the kind of words worse than rejection or defeat; they were almost cowardly in a way. She didn’t want to say them, but they slipped out before she could think of anything else. His eyes can be felt on her, she could only imagine what he was about to say. Hopefully, his words wouldn’t break her heart.

Richard hated that response, he got it a few times in life from other girls from situations like this and it always drove him up the wall. He would always get upset and say something that he would later regret but could never apologize for because he felt more betrayed than upset. It was something him and a few other men he grew up with would do, it was something he learned young and it wasn’t something he liked. During a split second, Richard’s mind ran for miles, thinking of all sorts of things to say, mostly insults, some of it just baggage that he can bring up, or he can attack her and all of womankind in general.

You’re all the same, that was a mean one he used a few times when he was younger. It always got an emotion out of them; it was like a knife in the chest.

This time though, he did something new that he had been rarely doing for the past couple of years. He thought about her, he thought about himself, he thought about what to say and then he tried to just play it calm. Paula wasn’t the kind of girl he wanted to hate, and he did not want to hurt her in any way.

“Alright…” It came out of his mouth quietly as he looked away and out into the busy street. He knew that best thing was to keep it short, less chance to say something bad. He puffed away at his cigarette as he tried to calm down and truly assess the situation.     

Paula didn’t know what to say, her eyes shyly looked up at Richard as he stared into the distance. She didn’t dare to give him a real answer to that question. All she could think of is how much she wanted things to get better. Deep down, she knew what she had to do, and she did not like it at all. But it was late, and it had to be done if she had any chance of salvaging this night, so she started.

“Could I… have a smoke?” She asked quietly, her petite hand reaching out meekly.

It was like he smacked her, she sounded scared to ask. Instantly he felt awful but wasn’t willing to fall apart for her. He pulled out a cigarette from the pack and handed it to her, their fingers didn’t even touch and she felt that, he always liked touching her and she knew it. It made her heart sink a bit. She popped it in her mouth and held up her head as he reached over with his lighter and burned the end, she inhaled and exhaled some smoke at him.

His arms were no longer crossed, his hands were in his jean pockets, one hand holding his lighter. Maybe it was a subconscious way of easing up to her, he didn’t know. She leaned back, looking away from him and into the streets, watching the cars and people across the road pass by.

“Thank you…” Was all she said.

He didn’t respond, he was quiet and patient again. This were beginning to get better again; he didn’t want to knock everything over. 

The two just stood there smoking for a minute under a small roof protecting them from the rain, they just watched cars and people pass by in the night and the lights of the city. Paula walked up and down these streets plenty of times and most of the time it felt like the loneliest thing in the whole goddamn world. But tonight, having Richard there, didn’t feel so back. It was chilling outside, she thanked God she had her coat as she buried her hands in her pockets.

She never knew it, but he felt the same kind of loneliness at times too. He would drive around late at night on his days off, just listening to the radio and smoking away as he watched cars and people pass by. It was something they both shared in common, something they never talked about but sometimes felt.

Silent minutes passed by for them. Suddenly, Paula started talking.

“Richard…” Paula quietly began, getting Richard’s attention. “I’ve been doing some thinking…”

“About?”

“The things you said in the bookstore, about how people can be hiding something inside their minds from others, and how people can look one way but feel another…” She spoke softly as she looked away.

Richard wasn’t liking where this was going. Cars were passing by and a few people were chatting with each other as they smoked and walked past them, but he couldn’t hear any of that. His mind was completely set on Paula and every little sound and movement she made although she was just standing there with her cigarette burning away in her hand as she stared off into the streets.   

The kind of long stare that women give when they are searching for the best way to break terrible news. Usually it’s right before a breakup, at least in Richard’s experience. He felt like a dead man standing.

“I’ve been thinking about a lot of changes in my life today… and a lot of changes I should have made a long time ago…” Paula continued.

Here it comes, he thought as he braced himself. 

Finally, she said what has been stuck in her mind all day.

“I got a new job.”

This caught Richard by surprise, he was dumbfounded, he almost felt like falling as he coughed out his held breathe. “What?”

“A job, I got a job.”

“Oh… yeah?” Still dumbfounded.  

“Yes.”

“Doing what?” Trying to piece things together. His mind working as hard as it can within a few seconds.  

“I’m an office girl.”

“An office girl?” He was confused, wasn’t quite sure if he was sinking or swimming. In fact, he wasn’t quite sure of anything that was going on.

“Yeah, basically just handling papers and files all day and sorting out things here and there at some company, phoning people and typing things out.” Paula answered, not really looking at him, inhaling her cigarette.

Richard could sense the discomfort in his girlfriend. He felt concerned while also he felt a large wave of relief as he took a drag. So that’s what’s been eating at her, he thought. Thank God!  

“How long have you been working there?” He puffed some smoke, now becoming more enthusiastic.

“Couple days last week…” Puffing some smoke.

“Does it pay good?”

“Better than a waitress, better hours too.” She said while absent mindedly playing with her hair.

“That’s… great!” Richard said with a bit of joy, patting her on the shoulder, trying to cheer her up.

“Not really…” She shrugged, still looking away.

“Why’s that?” He asked.

“Well… I got to wear a uniform…” She began.

“A uniform?” Richard chuckled.

“Well, not really a uniform… just a dress code.” Paula corrected herself.

“What do you have to wear?”

“Office-like clothing. I mostly wear a buttoned blouse and either dress pants or a skirt.”

“A skirt?” Richard chuckled. “What’s wrong with a uniform? You wore one before as a waitress.”

Paula didn’t reply, just stared off into the distance. Her mind rattling away with something that she wasn’t quite sure of. She wanted to say something, but she had no idea what words to use, or even really what it was.     

“What’s wrong?” He asked calmly, patiently waiting for her answer.

Richard was quiet as he stared at her, trying to figure out what’s happening in her mind; but he had a guess.

“It’s not… where I thought I would be at this age…” She slowly answered.

“You’re twenty-four.”

“Shut-up.” She barked, quickly and sharply. She didn’t mean to, but it just shot out.

Richard was still quiet, snubbing out his cigarette-butt on the brick wall he was leaning on. Then she started talking again.   

“Nothing has been picking up for my music…” She took a long drag from her cigarette and blew out some smoke as she flicked it on the ground, almost bitterly. “Things hit the wall with the band I was with and we’re not on speaking terms right now… And dealing with everything else all this time…”

“Oh well…” Richard shrugged. “Just keep on trying with somebody else.”

Paula was just silent, collecting her thoughts.

“It just gets to me after a while…” Paula spoke quietly. “It makes me feel… not good enough…”

Richard didn’t say anything as he stared at Paula, her eyes focused on the ground. He treaded carefully as he began to speak again, deciding to go for the gut and cut straight into this. “What do you mean?”

Paula crossed her arms and leaned back against the wall. She took in a few breathes and exhaled slowly each time, trying so hard to compose herself and not seem like she was going to fall apart. “Since I was a kid… I always wanted to make music. I have this love, this passion, this dream to someday break into the scene and become a true professional musician, to be a real artist. Throughout my life, people were never really showed that much…” She thought about it for a second to find the least dramatic words. “Encouragement. My friends growing up enjoyed my music but never really cared for it more than just surface value, my folks never supported me though. They wanted me to move past it and get a respectable career, to actually be somebody.”

Richard could hear a slight tremble in her voice, there was a lot she was laying down on table and he didn’t know exactly how to respond to it, but he knew that she was far from finished. So, he pulled out his pack of cigarettes and popped another one in his mouth, lighting it up and offering her one. Her small hand reached over to him and pulled out a cigarette, her delicate fingers brushing up against his hand, sending shivers through his arm. Paula popped it into her mouth and Richard reached over with his lighter and lit it up for her.

“Thank you…” She whispered as she blew a puff of smoke, still not making eye contact.

He waited for her to continue, trying to keep his words to a minimum.

“But you know… I held on to that passion, to follow my dumb dream and… and maybe find my place in the world where I can be myself and feel good about it…” She looked out into the busy streets, the passing cars, the passing lights and the splashing of water. “It’s been a long goddamn time since I’ve felt good about myself…”

It wasn’t exactly the same for Richard, he never had any aspirations to become a musician, but he understood what it was like to be rejected by the world, by people that he cared about. He knew what it was like to be kicked around and abandoned. Working your whole life to achieve something and getting the shaft at every moment, he knew what that felt like. He could read between the lines and hear what she was saying.

Paula puffed some more smoke, he did too.   

“I probably won’t ever get back together with that band…” Paula sighed, shaking her head. “Honestly… I’m really damn sick of dealing with those people… With all that kind of people. The kind of people that… that just drag you down, people that I just can’t stand and that I just don’t care much for at all.”

Paula had a rough life after she moved out on her own and Richard knew that, most of the time they talked about all the dumb crap they had to put up with and the people that would throw it upon them. However, Richard was the kind of man that felt like he didn’t have to deal with that kind of crap half of the time and would chop out that kind of people from his life. Paula though, felt like she hardly had any other options but to keep on taking that abuse since she had nobody else to rely on all these years. Richard hated that, a girl like her shouldn’t have to live like that. Not a girl like Paula.  

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” He asked calmly.

“I was a little scared…” She was filled with shame. “Scared of… what you might think of me…”

“Why would you be scared of what I think?”

“Oh, come on…” Paula scoffed, growing impatient as she took a drag. “I’m letting you screw me; don’t you think I would care a little about what you thought of me?”

Richard didn’t say anything, it was a dumb question anyways. Of course, she cares what he thought, he’s her boyfriend for Christ sake.   

“I don’t know… It feels like I’m quitting… Like I’m a failure!” Paula bitterly spat out, throwing her cigarette on the ground, little sparks bursting out as it hit the pavement.

Richard was silently watching all the little subtle movements Paula was making, the way her eyes narrowed just slightly after saying that, her fingers slowly twitching against her crossed arms and the way it seemed like she was holding every breath. He didn’t know whether or not she was going to yell or cry, but he knew the feeling. There were times in his life when he felt like that. It was something nobody ever wanted to feel, it was a feeling reserved only for the young adult. A person that just left the safety of childhood and is lost in the cold lonely world. When did they get so old?  

He took one last drag from his cigarette and threw it on the ground.  

“Hey…” Richard started, raising his hand again to rest on her shoulder. She shrugged it off, but he pushed through, resting it on the back of her neck within her lovely hair, his thumb slowly caressing her ear. “Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we want it, but you’re doing pretty damn good.”

She was quiet, not ignoring him, but anticipating his next words.

“You should be proud of yourself; most girls don’t know how to find a decent job or how to play an instrument.”

She was still quiet. He thought for a minute about what he was going to say, he chose his words wisely.

“You’re a fantastic woman and you can do fantastic things. Just keep at it, you’ll get there.”

Paula didn’t say anything for a minute, letting his words sink in as he watched her, waiting for her response. She didn’t know what she wanted to hear, she had no idea what words could make her feel better and take away all this shame and sadness she felt. But what she heard from Richard was true and genuine concern and support. He wasn’t lying, he truly felt this way about her and in the end that’s all she wanted right now; somebody that cared for her.

Finally, she looked up at Richard with a small but pleasant smile on her lips.

“Okay…” She said.

“Okay?” Richard asked with a smile.

“Okay.” She answered, more confidently. “Thanks, babe.”

“Alright then.” He chuckled as he pulled her in for a hug, he was also happy to feel her lips on his for a brief moment, giving him a sincere kiss. 

She leaned back in his arms and looked directly into his handsome eyes.

“What do say we get out of here and hop back to my place?” She asked slyly.

“It’s all good by me.” He smiled.

“Start the car, make it warm. I’m freezing my a*s off.”

“Sounds good.” He chuckled.

The two began walking away together, his arm around her shoulders and her arms around his waist as she held him close. They walked along the sidewalk under the night sky with the bustling city around them, streetlamps and store lights illuminating the way as they searched for his car. The rain continued to fall on them, but they didn’t care. In fact, it felt sort of refreshing. 

“Maybe we can grab a pizza along the way?” Richard grinned.

“Shut-up.” 

 

 

 

-11:00PM at Home-

 

The two were back at Paula’s apartment. Richard was stretched out on the couch with his bare feet on the armrest hanging in the air. Meanwhile, Paula was in the kitchen grabbing a metal kettle. Paula was looking around when she noticed a little note on the counter. It was from Jean, she read it quietly to herself.

 

 

Be careful you don’t get knocked up this weekend.

P.S. He’s really cute.

~Jean

 

 

Paula shook her head with smirk on her face as she crumbled up the note and threw it in the trash.

“I’m making tea, you want some?” Paula was pouring some tap water into the kettle and threw it onto the stove.

It was nice, after a long day of driving and running around in the rain they could finally lay back and relax. The apartment was very quiet except for Paula’s movements and the sound of rain hitting the window; nobody else was there.

“Where’s your roommate?”

She was standing on her toes reaching up into the cupboard, pulling out a tin box full of tea bags. “She’s gone for tonight, maybe for the next couple of days.”

“Oh, really?” Richard smiled as he got on his feet, walking over to her.

“Yes, really.” Paula chuckled back, looking through the tin box on the kitchen counter.

“Did you perhaps plan all this out?” Richard asked with a coy smile as he walked up behind her, his arms wrapping around her waist.

“Maybe…” Paula smirked, wiggling a bit in his arms.

“You little minx.” He chuckled into her ear, his hand playing with her necklace pendent.

They laughed a bit and began kissing till she broke away blushing and giggling.

“Stop it, stop it.” She was smiling.

He pulled away from her, chuckling a bit as he walked towards the hallway, making his way to the bathroom. Stepping in front of the sink he turned on the faucet and cold water came pouring out, he soaked his hands and splashed some on his face trying to clean away some of the sweat and dust from that day. He could hear her singing a bit in the kitchen, which put a smile on his face. He was glad to see her in a happy mood, a truly happy mood.

Richard splashed some water on the back of his neck and rubbed his eyes before reaching over for a dry towel to clean himself off with. Paula was a great woman; he didn’t say that often, but he knew he should. He knew she deserved a lot more in life and he had little doubt that someday she would achieve her dreams if she kept at it. Something he wasn’t quite too sure he could do if given the chance, he wondered how long they would be together as a couple, or even how happy they would be, how happy she would be.

He pushed those thoughts away from his mind, he spent all day wondering about nonsense and he wouldn’t let that control him anymore tonight. He was going to be with her for the next few days and he wasn’t going to spend it worrying about the future.

“Do you want earl grey?” Paula called out from the kitchen.

“Sounds good.” He hollered back.

For now, he was just going to enjoy her company and try his best to make his girl smile.

Paula hummed a tune as she waited for the water to boil. Her mind was elsewhere as she watched the kettle. She thought about the day she spent with her man and all the things that happened. She remembered how bitter she felt in the morning, about her little back and forth with Jean and how Richard walked in and saw her in his shirt. Paula’s original reaction was that of shock and anger but now she couldn’t help but laugh at the memory. After everything got better, she laughed at most of the things that happened that day and what a sour mood she was in.

A huge weight was lifted off of her after how Richard took the news of her new job and the kind words he said to her. He could be really sweet when he wanted to be. It made her feel better than how she felt in days. With that in her mind, she was going to try to really enjoy herself these next few days with Richard around, maybe make him feel as good as she does now. A few thoughts ran through her mind as she bit on her thumb with a grin on her face.

Little wicked thoughts.   

Richard threw the towel on the counter and made his way back into the living room, plopping himself on the couch. Paula came walking by soon afterwards, carrying two cups of tea.      

“Here’s your tea.” She said as she placed the cups on the living room table.

“Thank you. Did you enjoy your day?”

“Yes, actually. Despite the rain.” She said as she stood in front of him, hands on her hips.

“Was it everything you wanted?” Richard joked.

“Yes, and more.” Paula joked. “What should we do now?”   

“I’m not too sure.” He sipped his tea and leaned back. His toes wiggled and brought him some much-needed relief; boots are nice but hurt walking around all day in. “What do you have in mind?”

Paula thought about it for a minute. “It’s Friday, maybe there’s a good movie on TV?”

“I’m not much in the mood for TV.” Richard shrugged.

“Well, I could play a CD?” Paula smiled as she leaned over him, her necklace dangling from her.

Richard chuckled a bit. “You always love to play your CDs.”

“Always.” She snickered; they were teasing each other but she had no idea what about.

“Well, I’m gonna take my shirt off!” Richard exclaimed as he set his mug on the table, leaned forward and pulled off his white shirt.

Paula laughed as she watched him. “What are you doing?”

“It’s late, I’m tired and I want to relax.” He said with joy as he threw his shirt onto a nearby chair. With his chest bare and only wearing blue jeans, he stretched out and laid back with his hands behind his head.  

“That’s cute.” Paula joked as she looked him up.  

“I’m relaxing.” He smiled.

“You’re always so much fun with how you relax.”

“Me and my shirt and you with your tea bags.” He chuckled as he cracked his back a bit.

Paula just rolled her eyes. “That’s not all I do when I relax.”

“What else do you do, then?” Richard raised an eyebrow, a small smirk on his face with his arms crossed and toes wiggling

Paula thought about it for a moment.

“I’ll be back.” She said as she darted away into her bedroom, leaving Richard alone for a few minutes. He laid back and closed his eyes as he felt his body slowly settle into the couch cushions.

“Okay!” She called out.

“Okay!” He replied.

“Get ready!” She called out again.

“I’m ready!” He laughed as he opened his eyes.

When she finally came back, she was wearing nothing but his New York shirt and black panties; his eyes got wide. Paula had her hands twirling in the air with her chin held up and one leg in front of the other, acting like model as she slowly stepped out of the hallway. Richard whistled at her, making her blush a bit. He couldn’t believe it.  

“Can you do a pose, sweetheart?” He asked flirtatiously.

Paula thought about it for a minute then turned her back to him, bent her back a bit emphasizing her butt with both hands holding up her hair from the back with one leg bent over a bit. She looked back at Richard from over her shoulder with a pretend pout. It was like something Brigitte Bardot would do. Richard whistled some more causing her to laugh and cover her face with her hands in embarrassment.

Paula loved that about Richard, the way he could make her feel sexy and get her into a playful mood. Rarely does anybody make her feel like that, it was something that she didn’t know she needed until she met him. There were many things that caused tension between the two, but there were moments where he knew how to make a girl feel desired. It wasn’t something she did very often with the other men she dated, but for some reason she liked doing this for him. It sure made him happy. She did a twirl and a few more poses making him laugh and whistle, then he started waving her over.

“Okay, come over here.” He chuckled.

Paula held up the shirt collar and playfully bit into it with a smile, as she walked towards him. She was driving him crazy the way she was looking at him. She let go of it as she climbed on top of her man, letting his arms wrap around her as her hands snaked around him. They just laid there like that for a bit on the couch.

“Do you feel better, sweetheart?” Richard asked quietly, looking into her eyes.

“Yes.” Paula answered back just as quietly, a smile on her face. “However…”

“However?”

“Could you play me a few songs on the harmonica?” She giggled with a mischievous smile.

Richard laughed a bit; he would never let her live this down. “Would you like that?”

“A bit…” She buried her face in his neck.

“I’ll play some songs.” He chuckled. “Just for you, baby.”

Paula’s head perked up, her eyes looking into his. “Good.”

She gave him a quick peck on the lips, their legs tangling up.

“Not now though…” Her soft voice whispered. “Later…”   

The two started to kiss again, getting lost in each other as their hands wandered. They eventually made love all throughout the night as the rain continued to fall.    

 

 

-THE END

 




© 2021 MarkAndTheOcean


Author's Note

MarkAndTheOcean
Finally done! Took alot longer than I wanted, had writers block.


If anyone is wondering about the collage I'll list off the pictures, top to bottom:
-Chantal Goya in Masculin Féminin [1966] film
-Made In USA [1966] film
-Contempt [1963] film
-Bob Dylan
-Nobody Waved Goodbye [1964] film
-Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Breathless [1960] film
-Natalie Woods
-The Freeweelin' Bob Dylan [1963] album
-Molly Ringwald
-Chantal Goya and Jean-Pierre Leaud in Masculin Féminin [1966] film
-James Dean

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Added on February 6, 2021
Last Updated on February 6, 2021
Tags: angst, music, desire, love, drama, funny, comedy, pop culture, new wave, short story

Author

MarkAndTheOcean
MarkAndTheOcean

Canada



About
A man that loves books, film and the beach. Wanted to get my writing out there and improve on it while talking to some new people and having some fun and stuff. more..

Writing