Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I Have Really Vivid Dreams Sometimes

The first time Georgia met Julius was at the request of her friend Melinda. Georgia had been feeling mopey lately, and Melinda thought that meeting someone new would snap Georgia out of it. 

The initial conversation about Julius between Melinda and Georgia went like this, via text message:

M: I think I have someone for you.
G: Unless he’s a six-foot tall man made of chocolate, like literal chocolate, I don’t care.
M: He’s not made of chocolate, but you’ll still find him pretty tasty.

The picture Melinda sent Georgia was a black and white shot of a very attractive man laughing while holding a wine glass. He wasn’t quite looking at the camera, but the angle at which his head was cocked led the viewer to believe that he was still aware that his photo was being taken.

G: Hmm…He is attractive. But what’s with the picture? It looks like you snatched it from Google images “male model laughing”
M: I didn’t. He’s completely real, and I think he’s exactly what you need right now.

Annoyed at that last comment, as if a man would solve all her problems, Georgia waited an hour to respond to Melinda. In that time, Georgia ate a Pop-Tart, watched an episode of her favorite show on Netflix, started to wash the dishes, thought better of it, and was about to watch another TV episode when Melinda messaged her again.

M: Okay, so sorry for that last message. But let’s face it, G. you haven’t been out of the house for a month. I’m worried about you. And not only is this guy good looking, but he’s a great conversationalist, and you’re always telling me that you want someone to talk to. Just meet up with him once. That’s all I’m asking.
G: Fine. Give me his number.
M: He wants you to go to his house for dinner.
G: Dinner at his house for a first date? That’s weird.
M: He’s a little quirky. But you like quirky. Here’s his address.
G: What are you, his secretary? This isn’t your boss that you’re setting me up with??
M: NO. NO. He said Saturday at 7 would work. Do you want me to come over and help you pick out an outfit?
G: What am I, three? I’ll be fine.
M: Okay…and G, for god’s sake and mine, please don’t sleep with him. Wait until at least the third date.
G: Who says that this will get past the first date?

Melinda didn’t respond.

The house Georgia stood in front of was a mild yellow. It was similar to the color of Dijon mustard, but without all the speckles in it. She scratched her right ankle with the toe of her left platform sandal. Why do I let myself get talked into these things? I would have been perfectly happy to spend this evening sitting on the couch eating leftover Chinese food.

Georgia walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. Looks like he has a gardener. What, can he not take care of his own lawn?

No one answered the doorbell, so Georgia rang again. But still there was no answer. Frustrated, she knocked on the mahogany door. Though she knew it was rude, she tried the handle. The door was unlocked, so she walked it.

“Hello?” she called. The only light was coming through the front windows. Georgia was standing in the living room. The room was sparsely decorated, in a modern style. The colors of the room were rich, deep, dark reds and browns, with a color palette that reminded Georgia of the southwest. She didn’t know if she should venture further into the house, but since she was already in so far, she figured why not. She called out hello once more and walked deeper into the house. The kitchen was placed behind the living room, with a half wall separating the two. Like the living room, the kitchen was very modern looking with a set of copper pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. A window faced the backyard, which had a small pond and a well-crafted table with a striped blue and white umbrella on the impossibly green grass.

“Fancy,” she said quietly.

Exiting the kitchen, she walked down the hall, which had several black and white photographs hanging on the walls. One was of a church steeple, and another that was a hilly landscape. Stopping to admire them, Georgia heard a sound come from a room down the hall. Passing by a bathroom, and peeking into an office off to the right before she tiptoed to the end of the hall, she saw a tidy study with three walls covered in books, seemingly the only non-modern items in the entire house. Her heart beating hard in her chest, she knocked softly on the door at the end of the hall.

A gruff noise that she deciphered as a “Yeah, come in,” was emitted from the room. Slowly opening the door, not knowing what to expect, Georgia entered a semi-dark room. A man was sitting on the bed, his back to her. He was shirtless, with his hair a jumbled mess. Georgia couldn’t tell if he was in fact the same man from the picture Melinda had sent. The room, by contrast to the rest of the house, looked like a bomb went off. Plastic cups and papers were strewn about, and the bed looked like it hadn’t been made in a week. The room felt slightly humid, and she noticed various medicines and Kleenex scattered around.  

“Don’t step on anything important,” he told her.

“Anything important? How am I supposed to tell if anything is important? Are you sick? What’s with the tissues?” She kept a hand on the door handle, poised to run out of the room at a moment’s notice.
“Just don’t move from where you are. That’s how you won’t step on anything important. And yes, I’m sick.”
“I can leave, if you’re going to be grumpy and contagious.” Or if you want to try and kill me.
He looked over his shoulder at her. “No, don’t leave. It’s been ages since I’ve had company.” He grabbed a tissue and blew his nose.
Cute. He hasn’t asked how I got into the house.
Rather than skirt the issue, Georgia said, “You should be more careful. Your front door was unlocked.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Well, you shouldn’t do that. It’s not safe.”
He got up from the bed and stood facing her. “I unlocked it because I knew that you were coming over.”
He was taller than she was expecting, and seeing him now made her a bit nervous. Maybe because all he had on was a pair of pajama pants. Even ill with she didn’t know what, Georgia had to admit the man was gorgeous. She forced herself to look above his waistband. “So this isn’t something you do all the time?”
“Do you mean leave my door unlocked, or have my friends set me up?” He crossed his arms over his chest.
Georgia, who had not seen a shirtless man literally in the flesh for longer than she liked to admit, tried not to reveal that she would like to stop the pointless chatter and possibly bang this man.
Even if he does turn out to be a sociopath with a cold. 
“I meant, leave your door unlocked.”
He moved around the bed so that he was closer to her. Georgia took a step backward, and was half standing in the room and out in the hall.
“And how often do you go into strange men’s houses, creeping about without so much as a warning?”
“I said ‘hello!’ twice, and you didn’t respond!”
He took another step closer to her. “Maybe you weren’t speaking loudly enough.”
“I thought we were supposed to have dinner. Pretty strange dinner if you’re going to be in your pajamas.”
“I can change that.” He grabbed her hands and pulled her into the room.
Georgia shrieked, “What the fuck are you doing?”
He immediately let her go. “I thought…you don’t? I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
“You lunatic! I don’t know what I was…what Melinda…fuck! If nothing else, you just blew your nose, and now you’re touching me. God, what do you have anyway?” She rubbed her hands on her pants, backed out of the room and made her way to the front door.
He followed her. “Please don’t go! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it! I’m sorry. I’ll make you the best pasta primavera you’ve ever had!”

Georgia knew she should leave, that she shouldn’t trust this guy, that it shouldn’t matter if he was a friend of Melinda’s. But her stomach grumbled and she stopped. Walking back, she stuck her finger in Julius’s face. “Don’t touch me again. Unless I ask you to. And JESUS. Wipe your nose.” There was a box of tissues on a table in the living room. She hurled the box at him, hitting him in the chest.

He bent and picked up the box. “Sorry. I’ll go put on a shirt.”
As he walked away, Georgia thought, “He looks like a little boy.”

She put her purse on the couch, and went into the kitchen. She hopped onto the counter and waited for Julius. Melinda owes me big. I don’t think he’s going to kill me, but she cannot set me up with any more sociopaths.

This is all I have so far. Maybe tonight I'll finish it. 

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