Hi there! This is the last week of Wednesday Writing Prompt. What is Wednesday Writing Prompt? Every Wednesday in May, I and four author friends wrote a short story from a writing prompt, and you could hop from blog to blog to read each one and see the different ideas that come from each prompt.
The month just flew by! Thanks for joining us in this fun exercise. One or two of my stories will definitely become a novella or novel. For more shorts, check out my Free Reads page and the five-episode interracial older woman/younger man romance I wrote a couple of years ago, Until We Meet Again.
Today's prompt is about Tamika, best friend to Layla from Chance Encounter and Dana in Count on Me. Last week's prompt was Better Late Than Never about an unconnected character--Nisa and her best friend Nelson finally getting together.
Without further ado, below is the writing prompt and my contribution, Night and Day.
Writing prompt: Use the following dialogue in your story. “Can you picture it? You and I together?”
Night and Day
“Aye, ain’t that your girl?”
His friend nudged his shoulder. Anton turned and went ramrod straight in the chair. He stared in disbelief at his girlfriend, Tamika, holding a martini glass and shaking her ass on top of the bar at the club.
Stunning as usual, her pixie cut and makeup were immaculate. The sparkly short-shorts showed off her toned legs in a pair of heels, and the sleeveless top clung to her torso and bared her toned arms. She was surrounded by men who gazed up at her with wolfish grins and cheers of encouragement.
“Yeah, that’s her,” he said grimly, getting to his feet.
He was in the VIP celebrating the birthday of one of his co-workers with friends and staff from the company where they worked. But he couldn’t sit still now that he’d seen Tamika. He hadn’t seen her since she left their apartment a week ago and went to stay with one of her best friends, Layla—bringing his life to a standstill—as if the Earth had literally stopped rotating on its axis.
She’d said she needed time alone, promising to call when she got her head right. She never called, and when he did, she didn’t answer the phone or respond to his voice mails.
“What are you about to do?” his friend asked.
“Get her down from there.”
Using his elbows and height, Anton shouldered his way between the ogling men until he stood directly in front of Tamika. When she saw him, her smile faltered like a kid caught in the act of disobeying their parent.
“Get down,” he said, extending a hand to her.
She shot him a look of defiance and screamed, “I’m having fun!” Then she took a big gulp of her drink.
The men roared their encouragement.
Anton move closer but a thicker, shorter man with red hair shoved him back. “Hey man, back up. She’s having a fun, we’re having fun. Go be a buzzkill somewhere else.”
“Yeah,” another man beside him said, glaring at Anton.
“Get out of my way,” Anton growled, wanting very badly to tear something up, and if it happened to be the faces of these two jerks, then so be it.
The short one stepped closer. “Make me.” His breath wreaked of beer, and Anton wrinkled his nose in disgust.
“Get the fu—” He pushed the redhead and they ended up in a shoving match.
“Hey!” Tamika yelled.
Gingerly, she stepped off the bar onto one of the stools. With the help of another man, she hopped to the floor and placed herself between both Anton and the redhead. “Chill!” she said to the stranger.
Anton placed an arm around her waist and whispered, “You’re coming with me.”
Without waiting for a response, he took her arm and shoved his way through the crowd. At first, he wasn’t sure where he was headed, but then he saw the glowing restroom sign and crossed the dance floor in that direction.
He pulled Tamika into the men’s bathroom with him, and she pushed on his chest, eyes flashing.
“What the hell, Anton!”
“What the hell? I should be saying that to you? What did you think you were doing?”
The toilet flushed and a Black guy exited with a scowl on his face. “This is the men’s bathroom. Y’all take that shit outside.”
“Why don’t you go outside and let me talk to my girl?”
“I don’t want to talk to you.” Tamika crossed her arms.
The other man laughed at him and took his time washing his hands while Anton silently fumed. When he finally left, he checked the stalls and then locked the door.
“What’s going on with you? I’ve called you no less than ten times in the past week and you haven’t returned a single call.”
“I’ve been busy.”
“Doing what? Dancing on top of bars?”
“Leave me alone, Anton.”
“How am I supposed to do that?” He hadn’t been able to leave her alone since they met, shortly afterward telling her he didn’t want to see anyone else and ending with, “Can you picture it? You and I together? Just the two of us?” Lucky for him, she’d said yes.
“Easy. Stop calling.” Arms still crossed, Tamika paced away from him. At least she didn’t try to leave.
“Talk to me, Tam.”
In the reflection of one of the mirrors, he saw her bottom lip tremble.
Anton eased closer but kept his distance, when all he wanted to do was gather her in his arms and ease her pain. In retrospect, it was clear how much the miscarriage had devastated her. He should have seen it before. Should have known that’s what prompted her withdrawal even as she said, I’m good.
They’d prayed for a little girl. She, because she imagined doing her daughter’s hair, getting her ready for prom, and watching her grow into an intelligent young woman—all the rites of passage mothers and daughters share through life—the friendship and love she’d shared with her own mother before she passed. He, because whatever Tamika wanted, he wanted.
No one understood their relationship. They were like night and day. He was the stuffy corporate attorney, she was the dynamic chemist working on her own line of cosmetics, hoping to one day turn her mail-order business into a multi-million dollar empire. She was also the love of his life, and moving in together had been the best decision he’d ever made.
The past week had been hard. He missed her—his best friend, his source of laughter, her smile and vivacious personality making every day a good day.
“Talk to me. We used to talk about everything,” Anton said quietly.
Tamika looked at him, arms still folded protectively around her midsection. Her eyes became glassy with tears, and he could no longer resist the need to comfort her. He closed the space between them with two long strides and wrapped her in the protection his arms. He whispered soothing words as she quietly sobbed into his shoulder.
Someone knocked then jiggled the doorknob, but he ignored them, running one hand up and down her back.
When she stopped crying, she looked up at him with red eyes and a trembling smile. “Why do you put up with me?”
“I don’t know. Guess I just love you.”
She laughed and swiped at the wetness on her cheeks. “I needed time away.”
“From me. From the utopia I’d created in my head of you, me, and our baby. Late night feedings…”
“Changing dirty diapers…”
“Tired from lack of sleep…”
“Staying up all night and staring at her when we should be sleeping when she sleeps.” He smiled through the punch of pain in his chest.
“I wanted all of it. The good, the bad, the dirty, the cranky, the pretty, the cuteness, the…” She choked and swallowed.
Anton cupped her face in his hands. He knew better than to say they could try again. All he could do was let her know that he would be there to support her. “I love you, Tam. You don’t have to bear this alone.”
She gazed at him with grateful eyes. “I know. I’m sorry.”
He kissed her lids and pulled her into another firm hug. “Let’s go home. Okay?”
She nodded against his chest.
Someone banged loudly on the door. “Hey! Anybody in there?”
“Let’s go before they call security,” Anton said.
Tamika giggled and took his hand. When she swung open the door, two men stood outside. One scowled and the other raised an eyebrow.
“Sorry, gentleman. He’s so irresistible, I couldn’t wait until we got home.”
Anton smirked as he walked by the men and then flung an arm around Tamika’s shoulder.
Life would finally get back to normal.
Readers, any of you ever felt the need to let go like Tamika and do something wild, like dance on top of a bar?
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