Let’s have a little fun today. I’m going to start with a story opening, but I’ll take it just so far. You get to write your own ending. You can even send your ending to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish. So put those imaginations to work. Should you do it in a foreign language, please provide a translation.
The Dagwood is a pretty good sandwich shop catering to impoverished students at the university. You know, decent food – and a lot of it – for reasonable prices. Its plain décor of whitewashed drywall and nicked Formica tables and booths is comfortable. You can get a conversation going or put up an invisible sign saying you’ve got cram for an English Lit test without any trouble. Traffic is always steady but not rushed except at lunch and dinner, then it’s a mad house.
This afternoon, I took my Dagwood Roast Beef on dark rye with three different cheeses and sweet red peppers to a corner table. No fries, and I had reluctantly declined the free chocolate chip cookie. It’s too easy to start packing on the weight, especially with a schedule that doesn’t allow for much exercise. Of course, I get some of that by walking the campus from end to end to meet my classes.
My best friends, Norman Pell and Maggie Shipton, had wanted me to go out for dinner at some uptown place, but I was pretty well ruled by my monthly budget, and Dagwood’s fit the bill. So I temporarily broke the mold of our triumvirate and asked them to go ahead without me. Besides, I was feeling a little out of sorts. Restless. Maybe craving something different. Let’s face it, I was horny. Not that I was going to find anything, but still …
I always cut my Dagwood sandwiches into small pieces in order to eat the gigantic things without looking gross. I finished that operation and was nibbling on a small wedge when I noticed a girl sitting alone at a table across the room. Girl … young woman, really. A brunette about my age with a heart-shaped face, fair skin, and wide eyes tastefully outlined with mascara. The irises were brown probably, although from this distance, I couldn’t tell. Generous lips on a rather small mouth.
She was staring at me, so I immediately named her Daisy in my mind and took the time to finish my inventory. Full bosom of the kind that showed cleavage. Her pantsuit was short enough to expose slender ankles, and shapely ankles do something to my libido. Open-toed pumps revealed scarlet toenails. My eyes automatically went to her hands. Long – but not overly long – fingernails so red they glistened in the fluorescent light.
I looked up to find her still watching me with a frank, appraising stare. My heart rate picked up. She smiled and leaned back in her chair, which thrust out her upper torso alluringly. Embarrassed, I went back to my sandwich. Whenever my eyes strayed, she was watching me. Should I go over and invite her to join me? Or just wait her out and see what happened?
I hadn’t made my mind up yet when I glanced up and saw a young man seated two tables to her right. His amused glance told me Brick – that was the name that popped into my mind – had caught the byplay between Daisy and me. I felt my face go red. The right side of his broad, sensual mouth ticked up in a lop-sided grin.
Brick’s hair was that indeterminate color between sandy and brown and curled around his ears in an engaging way. His face was more square than Daisy’s, definitely masculine. His eyes were slightly canted and obviously green. A hint of chest hair poked above his open collar. I dropped my gaze to below the table, and he obligingly spread his legs. My breath caught in my throat at the enticing way his jeans were packed.
I glanced back at Daisy and saw a puzzled frown on her face. In a moment, she’d catch onto the byplay, as well. But as I watched, she pushed away her plate, stood to smooth her slacks and take up her bag. Then with a long look at me, she walked past to push open the door. As she turned left, she let her eyes rake me one last time in an obvious invitation.
Movement brought my gaze back to Brick. He was on his feet, as well. Eyes boring into mine, he let his grin grow into a dazzling smile. Then he, too was through the door. He turned to the right.
Trying not to appear hurried, I abandoned my uneaten sandwich and pushed the café door open. After a moment’s hesitation, I turned …
Okay, readers, it’s your turn. Which way did our protagonist turn, left after Daisy or right after Brick. And by the way, what was the narrator’s gender … male or female? Finish the story, and if you wish, share your ending with me.
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