Hey folks. I know its a little late but Shar was exhausted after being under the weather this week. Here’s the start of of our free story that’s turned into more of a short piece in tribute to single people spending V-day alone. Hope you enjoy this part and part two will be posted soon.
“Here’s a little something for you for Valentine’s day, babe. Hope you like it. Sincerely yours, Cleo.”
“Aw you really do love me!” I smiled and glanced at the card attached to the hugest teddy bear I think I’d ever seen. The massive stuffed animal was about six feet tall, light brown with a big red bow around his neck. Fuck, if the thing were any bigger he’d be too tall for my ceilings.
Thank goodness I live in a condo.
“Now where am I gonna put this fucker?” I struggled to pick it up and instead, I dragged it by its neck to my bedroom to sit him up. “Damn Cleo, instead of having the thing delivered, you should’ve come over here to put him away.” I huffed and grunted when I finally got him to the spot I thought he’d fit; in the corner and close to the closet. “Damn, you’re heavy.” I stepped back and tilted my head, looking into the bears big brown eyes. “Too bad you’re not a man hunny ‘cause you’re just the right size. Not too furry, kind of plump in all the right places, kind of lacking in between the legs but hell, we’ll make it work.” I snorted and walked over to the bed, grabbing my phone out of my side pocket. I wanted to call my boy and tell him thanks for sending the big huggable stuffed animal to keep me company on this Valentine’s day and since I had no plans with anyone of the human variety, me and my new toy would be spending it alone. My friend Cheryl invited me to join her for a drink at the V-Day singles party at a bar we like to frequent, but I decided against it. Why be on the prowl on the day of love? Shit, I can do that anytime.
Lost in my thoughts, I dialed the number and waited three rings before Cleo’s voicemail greeting sounded through the headset. In all the years I’d known him, he always said the same thing in the same exact tone for his voicemail. I often wondered if he kept a recording of it somewhere to replay each time he got a new phone. And believe me, that’s happened many times knowing all the crazy exes that man’s had. “Hey Cle, thanks for the bear but you should’ve made him more human so I’d have a date for tonight. Just joking. Happy Valentine’s day to you and your man, babe. Love ya. Talk to you later.” I sighed and pressed the disconnect button, staring at the huge thing taking up space in my moderately sized bedroom. “I might have to start charging you rent. Can you pay?” I shook my head and leaned back, tired from running errands for my boss at the firm. Executive secretary means a lot of things; coffee getter, meeting and events planner, sending roses for the wife and the mistress, making sure they don’t get mixed up. I grimaced at the thought, knowing I ran interference for Mr. Bane for the last five years. I’d done everything from being his date at parties when neither woman was available to planning his vacations in South Beach. This was along with everything an executive secretary is supposed to do and since he pays me well, I don’t say a whole hell of a lot. One thing Darius Bane isn’t is cheap, so while he’s passing out the cash I might as well earn it.
“And boy do I!” I blew raspberries and stared up at the ceiling, wondering where the hell all the time in my life went. High school, college, job opportunities coming and going until I found a home with Bane and Fillmore. There, I met my boo, my sweetie, Cleo Braxton, a hot shot accounting exec with a winning smile and a sharp tongue. Cleo swept me off my feet from the word go and he was everything I wanted in a husband; handsome, mature, intelligent, sensible, witty, and single. And just when we were ready to go that extra step, Cleo pulled back from our relationship and from Bane to start his own firm. Why you ask? Well, he discovered two things about himself he’d known for quite a while. One, he hated working for other people and two, he liked men a little more than women.
Yeah, I was crushed but at least he told me the truth and didn’t take me to the altar to be embarrassed. I’d always known that he was attracted to men but he’d been thinking it was a phase he hadn’t grown out of but at age forty-three, he figured it out and we separated amicably, agreeing to be best friends. We still are to this day and now, Cleo and his man Barry run an up and coming accounting firm close to Evanston. And he’s happy, very happy with his new partner and a growing business that he doesn’t want to expand to the downtown area. Cleo is satisfied with being in independently small; it works for him. No big corporation bs like Bane and Fillmore, which he always hated when he was a CPA here. He always was the rebel, and playing alternative to the rules.
And so was I, which is why we got along so well but if he wasn’t feeling being my man for the long term and always had the roaming eye, I couldn’t hold on to that dream. Too bad cloning him and making him straight wasn’t an option because I’d use my whole life savings on that. Yeah, I know you might think it’s pitiful that my man left me for another man, but he’s happy in his own skin and that’s what counts. Still, it don’t make the sleepy lonely nights any easier. Just another reason why I chose to be alone on Valentine’s day. I mean, why go out somewhere and meet men you know won’t measure up to your standards? No one will be Cleo and hell, I most likely won’t be bringing any of these jokers home with me. So why even bother? I can save money by having a glass of wine or two, and relax in front of the television.
“And so is your damn life Veronica.” I turned over on my side , yanked the pillow from the top of my bed, and plopped my head on it. “Time for a nap.” I kicked off my shoes and closed my eyes to get a little rest. Heck, I earned it today after having to run to three different flower shops to chase after the right flowers for both the Bane women. Perhaps after I get some shut eye, I’ll wake up and crack open that bottle of Moscato I was saving for a special occasion. I’d hoped it wouldn’t be wasted on a night alone but what else was I to do? It won’t be a total waste because in my opinion, drowning your sorrows in a bottle of liquor is the second best thing to human interaction.