Search This Blog

Sunday, November 6, 2011

THE MEETING

Read by  Parker Stevenson
link to his work as photographer
Voice: Parker Stevenson
link to bio 


He was everything she had dreamed of. His physical appearance, his character, his quick mind, his style, his everything.  She was sure she didn't deserve him.
Whenever he suggested something she might do differently, it felt like ... no, he did that because he wanted what was best for her. And she'd better pay heed to it, because he was right and she was far from perfect.
Whenever he suggested something she might do differently, it felt like criticism. Like the beginning of the end of their relationship. And she complied to what he said, because she didn't want to lose him. She was addicted to him.

Yes, she was far from perfect. She was good, great, smart, sweet, with a good sense of humor and very caring. But this d..... insecurity of hers. It spoiled things. When they'd just met, she was independent and rebellious.  But now? Whatever he said, she agreed with him. There was no more tension between them, she stopped being his sounding board. As if he was back on his own again.
Now, take that time when she was visiting him in his apartment for the first time.  He showed her around and they reached his favorite room, his gym. Full of devices that helped him, not only to stay in shape, but to keep his mind clear. He went to his gym mostly because workouts helped him sort out his emotions and think more clearly. 
She was not involved in any sports, he knew that. So he impulsively suggested that she might use his gym, a little bit of exercise would be good for her. She stepped back, looking as if she had just opened a two months old lunchbox, with the tuna sandwich still in it.  By and by he found out that she didn't like workouts at all, it just didn't give her a good feeling. She had other methods to stay tuned.


Yet, after she had moved in with him -was it a wise decision?-  he found her in his gym. She did use it regularly, he knew that. She left traces:  towels, the exercise bike suddenly had changed settings, sore muscles ...
And now he caught her in the act. Exercising while griping, an interesting combination. "Why ?" he asked her. "Why do you do this?"
She got up from the rower and looked at him apologetically.  "I don't know. Really I don't. Maybe because you were right, I could use some exercise. And maybe, because, I don't know. It sounds so stupid. " She looked away from him. Started a brainstorm on the subject. "It's like I have to do everything you say or else... else I might risk our relationship? And I'm so nuts about you, I can't have you leave me. Or maybe it's just that compared to you I feel so unworthy and drab. I can't be myself anymore, ever since we started dating."
Someone telling you she's in love with you and it doesn't even feel good. He came over to her, trying to catch her eye. "Honey,..."
"No, don't honey me, please. I mean it. I'm afraid that when you suggest me to jump out of the window at the tenth floor, I'll do that too."  And with that, she ran out of the gym. His gym.



It's three days later now and he's coming home straight from his office. "Get ready" he tells her, "we're going to eat out tonight."
A look of wonder is her answer.
"Nothing fancy. Somewhere small and cosy. Just the two of us."
She returns the ingredients she was cutting for dinner, to the refrigerator. "What should I wear?"
What a question! "Nothing. I mean nothing special."
- "Just a clean shirt, OK?"
- "Yes but hurry. I have to go back to the office first. I have to attend a short meeting."
She casts him a questioning frown as she walks past him, leaving the kitchen. "Couldn't you pick me up after the meeting?"
- "Nope. I made reservations and there's not much time between." He steals a kiss and then lets her go to change.
- "Where are we going to?"
- "An Italian restaurant. That's your favorite, right?" Silence "So you can admire my Italian pronunciation." he continues, while thinking how he'd wish she'd poke fun of it instead.
- "I didn't know my man could speak Italian."
- "That's just one of my secrets. But please hurry, people are waiting."


A good thing she's not the kind of woman who loiters in front of a six-door wardrobe, sighing that she has nothing to wear. In no time they reach the firm's building. It's quiet now, they have the elevator all to themselves. While he pushes the button, she notices that they are not going to the storey where his office is. She says nothing however. Obviously the meeting won't be in his office.
The elevator doors slide open and they get out onto a deserted floor.
"Follow me" he says and they walk to a room at the end of the corridor.  The door is shut, but he has the key. "This is my new office. I moved to this floor today," he explains. Inside he turns on the light. She's starting to feel a little cheated. There's no one here, except them.
"You know what floor we are on, right?"
She looks at him. "Tenth?"
- "Correct." He walks over to a window, opens it with another key. He gestures for her to step out of it. "Well?" he adds to it.  Is he crazy, this is the tenth floor? Her look is more than just puzzled.
"Don't you remember when I caught you in the gym? You said you might jump out of the window on the tenth floor if I asked you to."  Yes, she remembers, the flash in her eyes betrays it. "So what is your answer now? "
- "Dopo di lei.  After you." She says it with a beautiful indignation.
- "Crazy goose, you answered well. Of course you don't just do anything I ask you to." He walks up to her and grabs her by the shoulders and shakes her a bit.  "And don't you dare, I need someone who is critical, to keep me alert." He feels in his pocket for the ring. It's there. "Let's go to the restaurant now."
- "What about your meeting? Was it a hoax?"
- "There was a meeting and you were there. You met your old self. Don't let go of her again."

© november 2011
JoAnne Lakefield


2 comments:

  1. Nice story, rang very true - enjoyed the audio too :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thx, I hear that a lot. Is it just the basicness of the story? Or maybe we all want honesty in our relationships, but we slip all too easily into overadapting, becoming unfaithful to who we ARE, because we're afraid. Afraid we're not worthy someone else's love?

    JALF

    ReplyDelete