The Romantic Short Story
Note: This short story is written in the 1st person. Writing this way gives the reader the feeling that s/he is more closely involved with the chief character. There are boundaries to writing in this person; however if you want your readers to truly feel the confusion of a character - then the 1st person is how you want to write.
The Story ...
It happens the same night that my sister Angela releases her bombshell regarding her pregnancy by my husband Anthony. I get into my Jaguar and just start driving. I really don’t pay much attention to where I am going until I come to a bar on a dead end street. I get out of the car and decide I will just go in and have a quick drink, and drive over to a friend’s house for the night until I can sort things out in my head.
To my surprise and dismay, the bar happens to be in a very notorious part of town. There are couples everywhere of various ages and sexual preferences along with some seedy characters who aren’t with anyone and I find this place not to my liking. As I turn to leave I feel a tap on my shoulder. I pivot to face a rather mysterious and very handsome man. He has golden blonde hair and a long ponytail. His eyes are a powdery blue. He seems to be a few years older than my Anthony.
“You must be lost, lady.” Hugo says in a low sexy voice.
“Yes, I think I am.” I say with a slight smirk.
“Well, you may as well have a drink. Don’t worry, you’re with me now, and no one else will bother you.” Hugo answers in those same fascinating tones.
“Oh, but I …”I didn’t know how to put my thoughts into words.
“I know you’re married ‘Ms Park Avenue.’ You are also in a place where “anything goes.” It’s all the more reason that you need to be with me. You wouldn’t want any of those “easy riders” or “freedom lovers” getting the wrong idea about you now would you? You’re a real beauty, Red, and fair game!” Hugo finishes giving me a knowing look.
“Oh, well I guess I really got myself into something for not paying attention to what I was doing.” I remark and follow him into a dark booth.
“I would agree with you. My name is Hugo Bentley. I am the managing editor of Backspace Publishing House.” Hugo says his voice getting even lower.
“I’ve heard of you. Wall Street considers you the boy genius of this era. You seem to have the “Midas Touch” on every transaction you handle. I am Amber Anderson, my husband is …”
“Anthony Anderson, manager and co-owner of Anderson and Smith Advertising Agency.” Hugo finishes.
“You know my husband?” I asks half surprised.
“Lady, this is a small town. Oh, Allendale is beginning to burst a little at the seams, but basically, it’s still a small town. Also, being senior editor has its benefits.” Hugo chuckles. “Are you originally from this town?”
“I am from California.” I say.
“So am I, San Francisco to be exact. I decided some time ago that I would head north and try to get things into proper prospective. I was married and well, I found out that my wife preferred the company of her banker, Brian to mine.” Hugo finishes a little whimsical.
“I know what you mean. I just got the news my sister Angela and my husband Anthony are …” I can’t finish the sentence.
Hugo puts his hand on mine but I’m still a little nervous as I look around the room. I notice a guy sitting alone in a cross booth and he gives me a nod when we make eye contact.
“That’s Romeo Vendetta. Don’t be alarmed, Amber. He won’t give you any trouble, he’s an acquaintance.” Hugo nods at Romeo who returns to his drink.
“Then you know exactly how I feel. After I left San Francisco I immediately got a job at the publishing house. I didn’t know anybody until I met this woman, maybe you knew her Carly Allendale. She took me under her wing like a lost sheep. We talked, had a few drinks, then she asked where I was staying.” Hugo pauses to take a sip of his drink then continues.
“I told her I was staying at a really nice boarding house and she invited me to her place for the weekend. When Carly gently put her hand in mine I felt a small shock. I thought it was just static electricity at the time and dismissed it. The woman drove me up to a beautiful home with a huge swimming pool; you know the whole nine yards. We went upstairs and she showed me where I would be sleeping. I was pretty tired and so I took a shower and went straight to bed. I guess it may have been about one o’clock in the morning when my door opened and she came wearing only a seductive smile.” I find myself blushing at the thought of Carly Allendale’s nature presentation. Hugo proceeds.
“Carly had a gorgeous body for her age, and she walked up to my bed. She had long mahogany-colored hair and it dropped and flowed behind her in a cascade of red highlights. I watched her as if I were in a dream. Carly kneeled down at my bed and gently removed the covers. I always slept stripped; she stared down at my body as if in a trance. I was in a semi-conscious state when she gently kissed my stomach. With the skill of a sculptor she created a masterpiece of ecstasy. Michelangelo could not have done a better job. Carly brought me to a euphoric state that might never be duplicated.
Then she replied softly ‘it’s your turn.’ I sat up in bed and gazed at her. She was a beautiful enchantress working her magic. Carly had cast a spell on my heart.
I returned the favor. We remained lovers until last year when she died in a car mishap. It was early one October morning. I was out of town on business. I have never been with another woman since; because of that experience I’ve never wanted another.” Hugo finishes as if a heavy burden had just been lifted.
“Yes, I remember Carly. I was shocked when I heard the news.” I state quietly.
“That drunk driver took more than just a life; he also took an extraordinary woman.” Hugo adds.
We are both quiet. Hugo tells me that much to his surprise, Carly has left him everything. Carly left Hugo her beautiful mansion with everything in it, a chateau in the south of France, a villa in Rome, a retreat in Switzerland, her several bank accounts, securities, cars, and a feeling that he has been totally loved. In a very short span of time, Hugo becomes a very rich and powerful young man. Since Carly owned controlling shares of Backspace Publishing House, Hugo owns that as well as making himself the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Hugo has rubbed elbows with dukes, diplomats, actors, playwrights, and a few politicians. Hugo says he comes to this bar to think about Carly and escape the pressures of money-grabbing females. He never allows anyone to pick him up. He says most of the people at this bar know of his relationship with Carly, some of them even knew her, and they respect his right to privacy. Besides he possess more than adequate skills in Karate and Kung Fu.
“You have nothing to fear from me, honey. I have had more love than any man could ever hope for, and I don’t want to cheapen the memory with a meaningless fling.” Hugo ends on a very sober note.
So, we talk some more, and as I begin to rise Hugo walks me to my car. He hands me his business card and tells me that if I ever need to talk to someone, I can always count on his friendship. I wait for Hugo to enter his car and follow him to Carly’s old mansion.
When we arrive at the mansion I follow Hugo into his large and elaborate kitchen, a homemaker’s dream. There are all kinds of gadgets and gismos that will keep a gourmet busy for hours. I feel Hugo watching me in apparent admiration.
“Carly and I spent many happy hours in this room. It’s been awhile since I’ve been here. I mostly come here when I really need to get some work done, and not be bothered by the numerous phone calls.” Hugo said. He motioned for me to follow him and we moved from the kitchen to a very private balcony.
The moon shines brightly over a manmade lagoon and for long moments we are both silent. I feel completely at peace sitting at the table and not even aware that Hugo is staring at me until he speaks.
“I’ve just realized what a very beautiful woman you are, Amber. My beloved Carly possessed a deliberate model quality. You, Amber are a goddess. Your beauty, Amber is so celestial!” Hugo moves his chair closer to me and I become somewhat uneasy. “I can’t understand why Anthony would even look at another woman.” He finishes with a look that is hard to phantom.
“Hugo … sitting here in the moonlight, everything seems so calm and so peaceful.” I say as I study his face. I am also caught up in the moment. Our eyes seek each other for an unspoken answer. Moments slip away before Hugo speaks.
“There is something very different about this … something heavenly.” Hugo says, never taking his eyes off me.
“What are you saying, Hugo?” I ask.
Hugo stands up and gently lifts me up by my hands. Hugo seems to drink my eyes. His blue eyes are hazy and filled with passion. I can’t take my eyes off him. The experience Hugo had shared, a once in a lifetime affair with an older, wiser woman. Then Hugo lowers his head and kisses me gently on the lips. Just to taste its sweetness he says. Hugo slowly lifts his head and looks down at me.
“Not here, Amber and not in this house … I will come to you at my cabin on the border. Then, I will leave you and return again. I will return to you, Amber.” Hugo states flatly.
“Yes …” it is barely a whisper from my throat.
“So, go to bed now Amber. In the morning I will give you directions to my cabin. I will come to you, Amber.” Hugo kisses me lightly again on the lips and leaves me.
After a few moments, I go to bed, alone.
© 2014 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS