Working Title. If you have a better one, please share. I can handle honest critiques
|Mindy angled the rear-view mirror to apply the a splash of lipstick. She pressed her lips together to spread the lipstick evenly across her lips as she and her girlfriends had been doing since they first learned to wear makeup. A quick finger comb of her curls and she was set. After locking the car and depositing the keys in her clutch, she did a quick adjustment of her denim skirt and ran across the parking lot to Leo’s. The loud country music was drifting out into the night air every time the patrons entered and left the bar.
Mindy felt the pulse of the music as she paid the door fee and got her hand stamped. Mindy wondered why she bothered to put on her perfume, it was quickly overtaken by the smell of beer and cigarettes. She strolled along the edge of the dancefloor looking for her friends. She took a position near the railing and scanned the crowd where she found her friends at a table on the other side.
Mindy smiled at the man beside her, “Hi.”
And that was it. He turned away and wandered off toward the other side of the club. “You weren’t worth effort anyway,” she muttered to his retreating back. Mindy opted to get to the other side by walking along the edge of the dance floor, rather than have the appearance of following that idiot across the room.
“Hi, ladies, did you order for me?”
The girls were in good spirits and were getting inebriated already.
One by one, Mindy watched her friends hit the dancefloor. She felt a tap on her shoulder and thought she was being invited to the dancefloor.
“Sorry, I thought you were someone else.” It was the jerk from the upper level again.
Mindy no longer cared what she looked like or how she sounded. “Listen, Pipsqueak, I have had enough of you! I’d sooner kick your ass than look at you!” Mindy advanced on him, backing him off with each punctuated word she spit out.
“Is he giving you trouble, ma’am?”
Mindy nodded to the bouncer.
The bouncer addressed the troublemaker, “You leavin’ on your own, or do you need help?”
Her enemy shrugged and rose to his full 5’10 height and walked in a somewhat straight line out of the club.
Mindy tried to make her way back to the table with some degree of dignity, but her path was blocked by a tall handsome man. Mindy assessed his rolled up shirtsleeves of his button down shirt and jeans belted around the waist and tried not to look like she was salivating.
“Care to dance?”
Mindy nodded and allowed him to lead her to the dancefloor. “I don’t know how to do these dances, you will have to teach me.” The band had stopped while Mindy was backing off the fool, but was starting to get loud again. The two danced together shouting conversation into each other’s ear. She found out that his name was Tony and that he was a rancher by trade. He found out that her name was Mindy and that she made her living as a financial analyst. About the only thing they seemed to have in common was they were both liked country music and both came from large families.
Much too soon, the band leader announced, “That’s all for tonight, folks. Thanks for coming out. You’ve been great. We’re Country Mouse. Have a good week. Come out and see us again.”
Tony removed the hand that encircled Mindy’s waist, but held onto her right hand as he escorted her back to the table where her friends were.
Tony patiently waited while the girls hugged and said their good byes, quietly introducing himself to any of the five that cared to talk to him. When the lights came up, the bouncer took his cue and started herding the dawdlers towards the doors. Mindy was quiet as Tony escorted her to her car. He saw her in the harsh light and he did not leave or ditch her at the earliest opportunity.
Mindy sauntered to her vehicle. “I drove here by myself. This is my car. I guess this is good night.”
“May I kiss you good night?”
“I don’t know. Maybe next time …”
“I live four hours away. I don’t get down this way very often. Please?”
Mindy was filled with nervousness as she stepped forward and tentatively reached out to embrace him. Mindy inhaled the co-mingled scent of smoke, alcohol and Hummer cologne. “You smell delicious.”
Tony chuckled and lifted her chin, then to the back of her neck and wrapped his other arm around her waist. Mindy’s hands fluttered against his chest as she allowed her head to fall back against the hand Tony was using to massage her neck. She felt the heat rise in her cheeks when he slipped his tongue into her mouth and then trail his lips to her ear and nuzzle against her neck.
This is when Mindy realized that no other man would make her feel the way this one did.
“Good night, Mindy.”
Mindy was half way home when she let fly a string of cuss words. “Stupid. Stupid girl. How could you let him get away without getting his last name or his phone number? Stupid!” San Angelo. All she remembered was that his name was Tony and the town of San Angelo meant something to him. Mindy determined to find him again -- no matter what.
Mindy had been at her desk for all of 15 minutes the following Monday when the overhead speakers announced “Mindy Sue Spencer, get your carcass in here!”
At the door of the CEO’s office, she spoke loud enough for the snickering fools behind her to hear: “You bellered?”
“Sit yourself down.”
Mindy firmly closed the door before taking the seat opposite the elderly man sitting at work table and watched him scan the paper in front of him through the reading glasses perched on the edge of his nose. He was an odd sight with his business suit that would have been fashionable 30 years previous and a full head of unkempt white hair that he did not care to comb.
“Eleanor says you’ve been a pain.”
“She’s a skunk.”’
William Spencer took the spectacle from his nose and tossed them on the table. “She’s my wife. And your grandma.”
“Tell me what she said happened and I will tell you what really happened.”
“I don’t think so. Just tell me your side.”
“I showed up for Sunday dinner after church just like always and she asked the same question she always asks: Do you have a boyfriend yet?”
“I said, ‘almost’. She said: Do you want to be a sphincter all your life?”
Mindy watched her granddad’s shoulder shake and he put his hand over his mouth to try to hide his laughter.
“It’s not funny!” Mindy shouted between spurts of giggles. “I hate it when you do that.”
Grandpa shrugged as his laughter reduced to a chuckle
“Pops, I love her, but she’s still a skunk.”
“Mind your manners, girlie. Just remember, men will be chasing you because they see this and think you are rich. But it won’t have value unless you work for it. Men will come and go but family is forever. Don’t ever forget that. Your family will always love you no matter what. You understand?”
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