SEPTEMBER: EXCERPT OF THE MONTH (adults only)
by Ruth D. Kerce
Renee’s breath formed a small cloud of fog each time she exhaled. The chill in the air had grown with the lateness of the hour and robbed her of much needed body heat. She kept moving, strolling down the sidewalk, but the motion didn’t generate any warmth.
She was tired, achy and bored. A breeze stirred her long hair, lifting the strands away from her face. She turned so that the coldness blew against her back. What a crappy way to make a living. She almost felt sorry for the working girls doomed to walk such streets due to choice or circumstance.
Her gaze skittered over her surroundings. The urban area, illuminated only by the occasional lamppost and cluttered with trash, had taken on an eerie feel. Not even the moon was out tonight.
Shops had long since closed. A dog howled in the distance. Late-night traffic from the highway several blocks away reached her ears. Other than a drunk passed out in the alley, she appeared completely alone. So much for a target-rich environment. It didn’t look to her like any johns were out tonight.
She tugged on her red leather mini-skirt. “Why would any sane woman wear something this short?” she whispered. At least the garment covered the tops of her stockings. That was something. A draft rushed up her thighs and made her shiver. Dang. She hated the cold. She should have worn pantyhose.
Black clouds drifted across the sky, reminding her of the horror movie she’d watched last night about the undead. Goosebumps rose on her skin. From the cold or thoughts of zombies, she wasn’t sure. She felt like a plucked turkey, all dimpled and exposed out here. Ready to be served up to any psycho who might come along.
She crossed her arms over her chest to hold in what body heat she could. The sleeveless black silk top she wore was laced closed in the front, but still barely covered her tiny bra and straining-to-be-freed breasts. She’d wanted to wear a jacket. The higher-ups wouldn’t allow it. They’d been quite clear. Don’t cover the assets. Fine. She’d like to see one of them out here parading around in a jock strap three sizes too small, a pair of toe-pinching street shoes and nothing else but a come-get-me grimace.
When she turned the corner, she tripped on a defect in the concrete and almost toppled headfirst off the curb. Damn heels! Not only were they uncomfortable, they were butt-ugly in her opinion. Multiple neon colors with 3-inch spikes that glowed in the dark. Blech!
She peered down the dark street. Not a car in sight, other than a couple of abandoned pieces of crap against the curb. And no foot traffic. Even so, she felt watched, and with good cause. She knew the backup police officers were close in the surveillance van, listening to her breathe. And probably video taping everything too, from one of the nearby side streets.
The new, experimental microphone attached to her bra was sensitive enough to pick up a whisper from several feet away. Or so they’d told her. She’d better not belch, pass wind or do anything else embarrassing. She’d never hear the end of it.
If she’d had her choice, she would be investigating the Mariani drug case right now, but the department used her too often for undercover work as a streetwalker. That’s what she got for having a “killer rack and ass,” to quote her Captain. If Jansen were anything other than a fifty-eight-year-old hard-as-crust grandmother, Renee would have pitched a fit about the comment. As it was, she simply felt annoyed.
From her experience, she really doubted it mattered that much what she looked like. Men were always trolling the streets for sex. She’d seen plenty of flat chests and pancake butts picked up over the years. Okay, that was catty. But she was in a mood. The department needed to utilize her investigative talents better than this.
A pair of approaching headlights caught her attention, and she sashayed toward the street. Finally, some action. She hoped. Nobody had propositioned her all night.
The car slowed as it drew near. “Here we go,” she whispered, flipping her auburn hair off her shoulder.
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-- September Direct Answers
from Wayne and Tamara
Direct Answers appears in newspapers on six continents.
-- Direct Answers by Wayne and Tamara
"I am a 21-year-old college senior looking forward to graduation in four months, pursuing a career and possibly my first love. So here’s the question…
I’ve been in love with my first boyfriend, with whom I shared my first time, since I was 15. I knew I cared about him then, but I thought it was puppy love. Although the relationship didn’t last long, we dated again sophomore year of college and began “hooking up” again five months ago.
We both dated other people in the interim. I’m beginning to realize I am really in love and thinking about a future with him. The problem is we go to school four hours away from each other. I’m 21, he’s 23. We also feel we deserve to “have fun” our last semester at college. The big problem is neither of us knows where we’ll end up after graduation.
Plus, I’m not sure he knows how very much in love with him I am. I’m scared he’ll find somebody else if I don’t tell him. But I’m also not sure how he’ll take it if I do. He doesn’t show his emotions much.
Am I insane in thinking everything will work out if I tell him? We’ve talked about it, and he’s never felt so “comfortable” with anyone before, but I’m not sure how he feels about a future with me.
I think he feels the same or we wouldn’t keep going back to each other. Either way, I don’t want to scare him away by confessing my love and my hopes for a future, but I need to tell him how I feel!"
Wayne & Tamara's Answer:
"Kira, when we read your letter, we wondered what it was really about. Is it about nothing ventured nothing gained? Is it about the power of first love? Or is it about something else?
Though we often tell people to be brave (ask the girl for a date, go for that job you want) we don’t think that’s your main issue. Though the “first time” can leave an indelible mark, we don’t think that’s the issue either.
Look, you two are hooking up and “having fun” with multiple partners. By definition that’s not love. He’s comfortable with you, but we’d bet he’s comfortable with every woman who he hooks up with.
Near the end of the movie “Up in the Air,” a young woman is shown interviewing for a job in San Francisco. This will be her second job after college. When the interviewer asks why she took her first job, a dead-end job in Omaha, she answers candidly. “I followed a boy.”
That’s what your letter is about. “I graduate in four months; I don’t know what job I’ll have; I don’t know where I’ll be. Everything is unsettled and I’m scared.”
You are moving on to a completely different stage of life, and of course you are scared.
But this man doesn’t love you enough to say, “I’m not comfortable with you hooking up with other men.” You don’t love him enough to say, “I’m not comfortable with you hooking up with other women.” Sex with no strings attached is the opposite of a real relationship.
But at 21 with a college degree, all the possibilities of life are open to you. Don’t think about marriage and forever with a hookup.
Go on! Get your new life. Hightail it to your college placement office and schedule job interviews. Explore all the possibilities. Embrace this challenge. Above all, don’t become that young woman who has to explain a blunder in her life by saying, I followed a boy."
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801
or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com
Read an interview with Wayne and Tamara at: http://datingthread.com/wayne-and-tamara