Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Chris smiled when he saw the text message. Thank goodness for technology! The thought surprised him. Hours earlier, he had been on his couch, completely content to watch the Sixers, drink his beer and ignore the phone across the room. And now, after a comedy show of meet-ups, first with the very interesting, yet-to-be-introduced Adrienne, and then with both Jane and Adrienne in his apartment stairwell, he’s found himself at a dance club, faking a call and pretend-talking, just to get his long-term girlfriend off his lap.

He looked over at Adrienne. The deafening music and heavy beat left no chance for conversation, but it didn’t matter. What a happy set of circumstances, he realized, all without much of his own doing. Back at his apartment building, after the fluster of hearing Jane and Adrienne trip over an outrageous explanation of why they were in his building, he found himself happily agreeing to go to Karma. Jane had been giddy over his willingness to go. A little too giddy, Chris thought, but whatever.

The beat shook the room and Chris took in the mob on the dance floor. What a bunch of crazies, he thought, grateful that he had so far escaped that pulsing hell.

Chris thought back and realized it had been genius of Adrienne to suggest they exchange contact info before they’d headed to Karma in two cars. “Jane will be driving,” Adrienne explained. You can text me if we get separated. Chris had dumbly agreed. It didn’t make complete sense since Jane obviously had his number and he’d also be busy driving. It was true he had never been to Karma, but he had a GPS like everyone else in the world. But it’s also a no brainer when an interesting woman suggests trading contact info. He hadn’t asked Adrienne for the rescue text, but she knew he needed it.

He was pretty sure he loved Jane, but when she jumped on his lap, there had been no time to think. He simply didn’t want her on his lap, on a ridiculously high stool, out in public. It broke all his PDA rules. If he’d paid attention since the stairwell, he would have noticed Jane’s ramped-up assertiveness, but Chris after all, was just Chris, a guy who wanted to watch a game on TV, but was instead out for a night of dancing.

Another look over at Adrienne and it occurred to Chris that she was seriously dressed for dancing and, like a race horse at the gate, was champing at the bit. She stood, moving to the beat, a little exaggerated, he thought. And for goodness sake, wasn’t she nursing a sore ankle from her fall in the stairwell? A panic set in. It wasn’t just that Chris didn’t like dancing. He knew he was no good at it. Since the incident at his high school homecoming dance, he’d simply refused to get out there with any woman.

Adrienne drained her drink. “Come on, Chris. Let’s get out there!” Before he could answer, she grabbed his hand and pulled. “Hop off that high chair of yours, it’s time to get some exercise.”

With Chris in tow, Adrienne continued to pull until they reached the edge of the dance floor. To Chris, it was the equivalent of the seconds before a cliff dive, something he’d only done once. But the memory of that sensation stayed with him whenever he faced an uncomfortable social situation. She gave him no time to think and soon they were surrounded by a sweaty mash of bodies.

Chris started to move. Thank goodness he’d been loosened up a bit by his last Yuengling. And what better inspiration than seeing Adrienne, clearly a pro, making it look so easy. First one move, then another, he took some chances, and let the beat sink into his body. Before long, Chris was Patrick Swayze, John Travolta and Kevin Bacon wrapped up in a twenty-something millennial on a dance floor in suburban New Jersey.

And that’s when it also occurred to Chris that the reason he was out there on the Karma dance floor was because he wanted to be, and it didn’t matter if he knew how to dance or was good at it, because no one could actually see him. That is, until the others on the floor noticed him, gave him the room that any dance sensation would need and stopped to watch the magic.

Chris pulled Adrienne close and looked out at the crowd taking them in. At the center stood Jane, wearing three shades of anger.

Thank you for reading.


Click here to catch up previous episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2019 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jane toppled from the stool. Anyone who’d seen would assume she’d had a couple too many. Maybe that was better than what had really happened. Chris had literally brushed her off and there he was fumbling for his phone. She had to blink hard to take it in.

So he won’t answer my text, but he pushes me off his lap just to answer a call? Jane fumed. She looked over as he swiped the screen, and turned his back on Jane and Adrienne to take the call.

Jane turned to Adrienne, hoping for a little girlfriend support. Oh, the times they had spent analyzing this guy and that, trying to crack the man code. If any of their subjects knew the scrutiny they’d been put under, they would either wither or run away fast. But Jane and her friends took the dating scene seriously. Every move a guy made, or didn’t make, was fair game for discussion. Standard were how long it took to text or call after a weekend. Sunday night to check in? That’s solid! Monday and Tuesday? Any longer and the guy is working his options.

Of course, it wasn’t just the text or call and the call was a must at some point. They analyzed thousands of guy behaviors to see where the relationship stood. Have you met his friends? Good sign. Mention of nieces and nephews? Wants kids. Do you only get together on Fridays? Bad sign. Has he left anything at your place? Very good sign. Clothes, mannerisms, food choices, job, use of wallet. It was business, but it was also a sort of entertainment, a frequent happy hour discussion. As if they were members of the same platoon, Jane and her friends swore their loyalties to each other, but below the surface was a world of private thoughts.

Adrienne nodded over to Chris and gave Jane a sympathetic eye roll. There’s a friend for you, Jane thought. No need to explain how I’m feeling. Adrienne knows. Chris seemed to be in no hurry to end his call, if that’s what it was, but for the life of her, Jane couldn’t imagine who he’d be talking to when the action was right here at Karma! She moved over to Adrienne and was glad for a chance to commiserate before the music came back on.

“Did you see that?” she asked her friend. “I mean, I could have broken a bone the way he popped me off his lap just to take a call. Of all people to pledge sudden loyalty to their device!”

“I know! I couldn’t believe how he reacted,” replied Adrienne. “Are you okay, Jane? That was harsh!”

A heavy synthesized beat filled Karma. Jane straightened. “Tell phone man he can find me out dancing. I’m through waiting.”

“I’ll be out there soon,” Adrienne answered. When her friend was out of sight, she pulled out her phone and tapped a message:

You can end your call. She’s dancing now 😉

Thank you for reading.


Click here to catch up previous episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2019 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a weekly series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jane’s adrenaline burst into overdrive when she heard what could only be Chris’s footsteps as he slowly climbed the zig-zag steps to the second floor. She’d never been able to light a fire under Chris and for once she appreciated his laid-back style. But even though he was taking his time, Jane and Adrienne had only seconds to act.

“Quick!” she hissed over to Adrienne. “Get up, and do it fast!”

Adrienne looked at Jane’s face, now spewing authority. She’d always had the upper hand with Jane, but something had shifted. Leaning on her good leg, she pulled herself up to a crouch and whisper-screamed back, “Help me!” And like a 120 pound forklift on jet fuel, Jane went behind her friend, boosted her up to her feet, opened the door to the second floor hallway and pushed her through.

Jane’s plan was for them both to escape the stairwell before Chris got to the top of the second floor landing, but there was no more time.

_____

Something strangely pleasant was itching at Chris. As he climbed the stairs from the lobby to the second floor, he reviewed the recent events. Jane had entered this stairwell just moments before. And only shortly before that, the lovely young woman whose name he didn’t know, with the less than sensible shoes had begun her descent from the eighth floor. They both claimed to have friends in the building. “Hmmmm,” he thought. Well, maybe that was technically true.

As he reached the midpoint, he heard some fierce whispering. He smiled and turned slowly to climb the second half of the steps, hoping to hear what they were saying. Because this was getting interesting. Instead, what he heard was the door slamming and, when the landing came into view, there was Jane, looking charmingly frazzled, holding a familiar-looking pair of shoes.

“Where’s your friend?” he asked.

“What friend?” Jane replied, trying her best to look blank and stall. But by the amused look on Chris’s face, Jane suspected that her answer could get her into an even bigger mess.

“The one who’s missing a pair of shoes,” he laughed.

“What do you mean, Chris? These are my shoes.” And like a gift from above, a brand new story popped into Jane’s head. “I told you I knew someone in your building. You’re not the only one who lives here, you know. She had borrowed my dancing shoes and I told her I absolutely needed them because tonight I’m hitting the dance floor at Karma.”

“Oh, my darling Jane,” he answered. “Those can’t be your shoes because I’m sure I saw them on someone else tonight.”

“What are you, the shoe police? Besides, these shoes are the rage this year. Everyone has them.”

Chris was certain he had just caught Jane in her second lie of the evening. Yet he did not seem mad. In fact, what was that look on his face?

Jane had no idea, but it was a pretty good look.

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a weekly series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Chris stood in the lobby and watched Jane march towards the stairwell. Was that dramatic flip of her long blonde hair as she chattered into her phone directed at him? And if so, what on earth was she telling him? He felt a little stung that she’d seemed to have won their confrontation. He had every right to ask her what she was doing in the lobby of his apartment building, just hours after he’d told her he didn’t want her to come over. Could she possibly have a friend who lived in this same building? Chris thought that was highly unlikely. She would have mentioned it, wouldn’t she? Oh what did he care anyway! Chris wasn’t down in the lobby to worry about Jane. She could do what she wanted. He remembered his purpose. Now, where would that mysterious and oh so intriguing girl he’d met on the eighth floor be? If she’d taken the stairs, surely she’d be down by now…

____

Adrienne sat at the bottom of the third floor steps, away from the door to the second floor hallway. She had righted herself enough to fish out her phone and call Jane, but she could tell she’d need help to get on her feet. She looked down at her ankle. Not pretty, but it didn’t look broken. She’d seen plenty of injuries on the lacrosse field and had suffered a few of her own, though never a broken bone. She was no doctor, but since her ankle looked swollen but otherwise together, with nothing sticking out, she guessed that it was just a bad sprain. I can hope, can’t I? she asked herself. But her back was another issue. Her tailbone was not singing a happy tune. So much for hitting the dance floor at Karma tonight. Adrienne’s frustration was beginning to build. She’d conspired with Jane on a few of her own goose chases, but they’d never resulted in injury. This was ridiculous!

Jane exploded through the bottom of the lobby stairwell door and tore up the one flight to the second floor. “Adrienne!” she exclaimed. “What on earth happened?”

“What do you think happened, Jane? I was racing down the stairs to get to you before Chris reached the lobby, but I slipped.”

“You didn’t try to run down these stairs in those outrageous shoes, did you?”

Jane was looking a little too much like a scolding parent right now and that’s the last look Adrienne had expected. She wasn’t about to admit that she’d tried her old trick of skipping down multiple steps. This was hands down Jane’s fault. And like an unannounced tsunami, a wave of ferocious anger overtook Adrienne. Forget the fact that she was kind of intrigued herself by Chris, and that she never would have met him alone like that or had the chance to flirt, yes, she could admit to herself, flirt with him. Now she was stuck at the bottom of the stairwell with a fat ankle and a backbone that had bounced along too many hard metal steps. “Do you think I’m stupid? Of course not! You’re a crazy person, Jane. I don’t know why I let you talk me into this asinine plan. Get me up and let’s get out of here before Chris finds us.”

Adrienne’s voice echoed through the stairwell and was replaced by the heavy clank and bang of the lobby entrance door opening wide and slamming shut. No time to tell Adrienne that Jane had already seen Chris in the lobby. The sound of climbing footsteps made their own echo as he approached…

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a weekly series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Adrienne knew she was in trouble the moment she launched herself from the third floor landing. Three seconds of airborne athletics ended as her right heel landed, not flat on the step, but too far out, just catching the edge of the third step. So much for muscle memory. How long had it been since she’d tried this trick? Her arms flew up and back and she had just enough time to recognize her stupidity before she landed hard on her back and bumped even harder to the bottom of the stairs.

I’m an idiot! she announced and had anyone heard her, they would have agreed. By some miracle, she hadn’t hurt her head. That’s the one good thing, she decided. But her backside was screaming in pain and her right ankle was already swelling to an abnormal size.

_____

The elevator pinged just as Jane positioned herself front and center to the opening doors. Jane was the type, so driven in whatever task was at hand, that she blocked out the goings on around her. And tonight she was so determined to make something happen, that as soon as the doors opened, she charged into the elevator, smashing directly into Chris.

“Whoa!” exclaimed Chris. “What are you doing here, Jane?” Oblivious to the extent that a woman on the hunt would go, Chris had no idea that he was the subject of a stakeout and that Jane’s partner was the lovely woman he had met on the eighth floor. Chris’s mood took a turn. Seconds earlier, the promise of something exciting was only a few floors away. His sole object in riding the elevator was to find this unnamed interest, and now he had the clingy Jane to deal with.

Jane was a planner in so many ways. She had wanted to see Chris tonight and she had tried to make plans with him. He was slippery, but she had merely altered her plans to accommodate his resistance. But her decision to come out from behind the rubber tree was fueled by a fatalistic adrenaline. Now, face to face with the subject, she had no plan.

“Uh, Chris! Hi! I thought you were going out already. I came here to see my friend, but, ha ha! I didn’t think I’d see you too!”

Jane had no hopes of Chris buying such a lame story, but the words had just spewed out of her. Sometimes quantity is better than quality, right? Now, while Chris digested her nonsense response, she had a couple seconds to work herself out of this tangle.

Oh, technology: sometimes your friend, sometimes your enemy, but always in your life. Jane’s iPhone was her crucial social connection and, much to her friends’ annoyance, she insisted on setting her ringtone and notifications to an unacceptable volume. Earlier that night, Adrienne had given her grief about the ringtone volume. “Your phone is driving me crazy, Jane. How old are you, fifty? If you don’t change those settings, I’m going to do it for you!”

“Oh, stop, Adrienne,” Jane had replied. “I need to know if Chris is trying to reach me. And besides, would you want me to miss one of your calls?”

Timing was everything and for once, Jane was right about her phone. Just as Chris demanded an explanation, her device broke out into a threatening sequence of alarming tones. Jane looked at her screen. Adrienne. “It’s my friend,” she announced. “I have to go.” She swiped the screen, turned on her heels and, with a newfound nonchalance, Jane raised her arm and gave Chris a backwards wave as she greeted her caller. “Hey, where are you?’ she asked.

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.