Stranger Danger

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Review Chain

A short story from a Review Chain fortnightly .prompt

A group of four women, aged twenty-seven to thirty-two were leaving the hospital on their last day of work; they were telephone trainers sent to Baltimore by their parent company to help with a telephone installation.  They were proud of a great cutover, tired from a long week, free for the rest of the evening, and looking forward to going home the next morning.

Glennis, who was staying overnight before heading home to Pennsylvania Saturday morning, called out to the other girls as they headed to their cars, "Hey anyone up for some Chinese food?"

Bri was the first to respond, "No thanks; hubby is holding dinner for me.  You girls have a good night.  Be safe!"  Briana lived only 10 minutes away.

The other two girls, Maggie, from Massachusetts, and Lorinda, also from Pennsylvania, chimed in, one after the other "yea!  Chinese sounds good."

Maggie yelled out to Bri, "It was great working with you Bri!  Congratulations on a great cut!  Have a great weekend!"

Maggie turned to Glennis, "Are we taking one car or all meeting back at the hotel and going from there?"

Lorinda responded,"Let's meet back at the hotel and we can go from there"

In ten minutes they were all pulling into the parking lot of the hotel.  In the lobby, Maggie said,"would you guys mind if I took a quick run up to my room; I want to call Sam before we head out."

"Sure, go ahead.  We'll go into the bar for a quick drink", Glennis said.

Lorinda turned to Glennis, "Order me a Manhatten. I gotta run up to my room for a minute."

"Okay.  See ya in a bit."

A half-hour later, Maggie walked into the lounge.  She skimmed the crowd looking for Glennis and Bri.  A tall, baby faced gentleman walked in and stood beside her.  "Place is packed, he said with a smile.

"Yes, it is."  She couldn't help but notice his baby blue eyes and his southern accent.

Just then Glennis and Bri showed up.  Glenis tucked her arm under Maggies and headed for the parking lot.  "Let's go girls; I'm starving!"

Maggie turned back to see Babyface staring right into her eyes.  She turned away and thought to herself, "Should I be flattered or spooked?  He's kind of creepy, but handsome".  Shivering off her thoughts, she got into Glennis's back seat.

"How are things at home Mag?" Bri asked as she buckled her seat belt.

"Huh? Oh!  I don't know; Sam didn't answer.  I'll try him when we get back."

Glennis turned the radio on and drove to the Chinese restaurant.  They all sang along to the radio.  Until Bri broke the beat, "who was Babyface back there Mag?"

"Babyface?? Ha! I don't know.  He came in right behind me; kind of creepy"

Glennis piped up, "Handsome kind of creepy".  They all laughed.

The China Dragon was a really plush restaurant.  The booths were comfy red leather half-moon shaped.  The food was delicious; they all had Peking Duck.  They were finishing up their after-dinner Mai Tai's and opening up their fortune cookies.  Glennis was the first to read hers, "Keep your eyes open and you will not miss an exciting opportunity."  They all ooooo'd, ahhhh'd,and then giggled like little girls.

Bri read hers next, "He who throws dirt is losing ground".  Everyone gasped since Bri is such a gossip!  Bri threw out a look and Glennis lead the chuckles.  "What does yours say Mags?"

"Oh, these things are so silly.  They are just random sayings."

"But they're fun Maggs", Glennis begged.  "C'mon read yours".

"Okay, okay.  It says you are going to meet a handsome stranger"

"Babyface!" Bri and Glennis shouted at the same time and then they all laughed.

Maggie held back her laugh.  "Hey let's pay the check.  I gotta get back and try to call Sam".

They paid the check and went back to the hotel.  In the lobby, Glennis said,"let's go into the lounge; sounds like they've got a band."

Bri was the first to respond, "Sorry guys.  I'm beat and that last Mai Tai did me in.  I'm going to bed. See you for breakfast in the morning?"

"Sounds good.  I'll call you."  Glennis said. "What about you Mags?"

"Sure, I'm up for a drink and a band.  I'm just going to run upstairs and try to call Sam again. Order me a glass of Chardonnay.  I'll be right down."

Up in her room, Maggie dialed home.  She listened to the ringing for what seemed like an eternity, and then Sam picked up.  "Hello?"  He sounded like he'd been sleeping.

"Hi!  Did I wake you?"

"No.  I was just about to jump in the shower.  What's up?"

"I just called to say hi.  I miss you.  Is everything ok?"

"Ya, ya.  Everything's good.  I'm just tired."

"Ok.  Well, I should be home around 11 tomorrow morning."

"Ok.  I'm going to take the phone off the hook so I can take a shower and get some sleep"

"Oh??  Are you getting a lot of calls or something?"

"No, no.  I just want to sleep.  I'll see you in the morning.  Love you".

"Ok.  Love you.  Sleep well."

Sam hung up before Maggie felt the conversation should end.  She sat thinking, as a tear ran down her cheek.  Why would he take the phone off the hook?  Why didn't he even ask how I am?  Why doesn't he miss me?  She cried for a few minutes, washed her face, and went downstairs to the lounge where Glennis was waiting with a glass of Chardonnay and the band was playing Old Time Rock and Roll.  Maggie grabbed Glennis by the arm and pulled her up on the dance floor.  They stayed up there for three dances before returning to their table.

"Thanks, Glennis!  That felt great!  I love to dance!"

"Me too!!  You are fun to be out with lady!"

Just then the waitress appeared with a drink for each of them.  She put them on the table and said to Maggie, "from the man over there at the bar."

Glennis looked over at the man, and then back at Maggie.  She whispered, "Baby Face!".  She then lifted her drink to the man and smiled.

Maggie didn't say a word.  She was focused on the butterflies in her stomach and the anger over Sam whirling around in her head.  And then, there he was pulling out the chair beside her.  "Mind if me and my friend join you, ladies?"

Glennis said, "sure, pull up a chair; my name is Glennis"

"What's your name?" he asked as he smiled at Maggie.

Maggie looked up and smiled graciously, "Maggie.  Thank you for the drink".

"Hi, Maggie. You are very welcome. My name is Carl.  The band is pretty good; do you want to dance?"

"Yes, they are.  Not right now; I'm afraid I'm danced out, and I just sat down."

Glennis and Carl's friend hit the dance floor and they were gone for what seemed to be hours.  Maggie and Carl got acquainted.  Carl made his motive very clear to Maggie, and Maggie informed him that she was very happily married and would never even dream of cheating on her husband.  As those words left her mouth, Maggie was thinking, "Who just said that??  Where did that come from??  I am miserable!  God! If only that fortune cookie was different."

Maggie spent the rest of the night trying to fix Carl's marriage and convince him that he was an accident looking for a place to happen.  She told him, "one day you are going to mess with the wrong woman, she is going to fall in love and your wife is going to find out; you may lose your wife and kids.  That is when you will realize just how important they are to you."

Carl said, "I would like to meet you 10 years from now; I think you'd feel a lot differently."

Maggie just smiled and said, "I've got to turn in.  I have an early flight home in the morning."

"Me too," he said.  Can I walk you to your room?"

"Yes you can, but I'm not inviting you in" she replied while wishing to herself that she could.

They took the elevator to her floor.  Carl reached for Maggie's hand, and while shaking it he said, It was really nice to meet you, Maggie.  I've got an early flight in the morning too.  I'll be having breakfast in the lounge if you'd like to join me."

"It was nice to meet you too Carl.  We will see what time I wake up in the morning;  I may not have time for breakfast".  They both laughed and Maggie walked to her room while the elevator door closed behind her.

In her room, Maggie took a shower and then cried herself to sleep.  She did not wake up in time for breakfast, but their eyes met each other as she walked past the hotel restaurant on the way to the front desk.  She smiled and continued to the desk to check out.

Later, on the plane ride home, Maggie made a decision.  She realized that she must mend her marriage or leave it.  Carl was the angel that made her realize SHE was on track for a collision; it didn't happen this time, but it might next time.  This thought was confirmed when she arrived home and her husband wasn't there at the airport to pick her up.  She waited an hour and wasn't able to reach him.  She finally took a taxi home and cried all the way.  By the time she got home, she was just angry.  She told Sam how miserable she was.  She told Sam that she needed him to stop drinking and that she would support him 100%, whatever he needs.  But, if he won't, then she is leaving.

Sams response was, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out."

She took his advice.


Submitted: November 21, 2020

© Copyright 2020 KatV. All rights reserved.

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Comments

K.Essler

This was a very good story. It actually turned out much different than I thought. I am glad she didn't end up doing something stupid with Carl. It makes me really hope she can work something out with her husband and he listens to her plea for change. Good job on the story.

Sun, November 22nd, 2020 2:59am

Author
Reply

Thank you for reading K, and thank you for commenting. He didn't listen; truth is, he had someone else. This is my story; it's how my short-lived marriage ended. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, of course. The only fabrication here is the fortune cookie! Hahaha, It's a great prompt though! Thanks again!

Sun, November 22nd, 2020 5:45am

Mike S.

A fine 'I'm outta here!' tale, Kat

Sun, November 22nd, 2020 7:11pm

Author
Reply

Thanks Mike!

Sun, November 22nd, 2020 11:52am

Mike S.

A fine 'I'm outta here!' tale, Kat

Sun, November 22nd, 2020 7:11pm

Author
Reply

Thanks Mike.

Tue, November 24th, 2020 4:12pm

Ann Sepino

I don't know what the prompt was since I'm not in the review chain, but I love the reality bite in this story. I'm so glad Maggie didn't cheat with Carl and also valued herself enough to leave a bad situation. That's what true adulting and maturity is supposed to be, in my opinion.

Wed, November 25th, 2020 1:43pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much Ann! I'm glad you read and enjoyed my story. I really appreciate your commenting!

Wed, November 25th, 2020 2:05pm

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