Writing with Partners: Chapters 4 and 5

So my writing partner just put up chapter 4, in which Delia practically strangled Jake for taking the ticket she mistakenly left in his portfolio at the restaurant.  But she also introduced another facet of her personality, an introverted woman who works in a people-oriented field.

Chapter 5:

Jake watched to make sure Delia arrived home safely. Once he saw she was inside, he drove away. Shaking his head, he murmured, “Man, what a spitfire! I never knew she was like that.”

Getting home, he tried to figure out whether his behavior was really so out of line. Picking up the phone, he called the one person he knew who could be guaranteed to give him valuable feedback, Susan Greaves, his older sister.

“Hey, Sue, it’s me.”

“What’s up, Baby Brother?”

“Nothing much, just looking for some advice.”

“Let me guess, something involving a woman?”

Jake rolled his eyes. “How did you know?”

Sue laughed. “That’s the only time you really call me for advice,
plus, ever since I proved to be right that Tracey Hunt was a witch and a half, you have been practically kissing my feet.”

Jake could practically see her grin. “Yeah, I know, Sis, you told me she was a psycho early on, but I didn’t listen. The hot body and the sex did me in.”

“So, another hot chick is tying you up in knots?”

“No, not tying me up in knots, but she’s making me think. I wouldn’t have called you otherwise, but I swear I was having PTSD flashbacks to Tracey and her madness.”

Jake told Sue briefly what happened, the mix up over the ticket, his not returning it, and Delia not calling him at the station to find it.

“You remember how Tracey was, she could never take a joke or go with the flow, she could never accept responsibility for anything. Everything was all me, me, me, how I ruined everything and made her miserable. That was just how I felt.”

“Yes, I understand. Perhaps she was in a bad mood, or it was a personality thing. She might be the quiet type, and might have thought you were coming on a bit strong. Who knows, she could still be raw from the break-up of her marriage. Didn’t she work primarily in the back when Tommy had the place?”

“Yes, she was like a mouse, doing whatever she was doing in the back there.”

“In any event, it might be hard for her, having to run such a people-oriented business. I agree, a different woman might have just gone with it and laughed at the joke. After all, her friend couldn’t make it, and you were willing to reimburse her. Or if she were really interested, she could have really put it out there.”

“I was hoping we would have laughed at the joke and talked about it, at least. But she wasn’t having it!”

Sue howled. “Mr. Smooth got shot down!”

“So what do you think I should do?”

“Well, it depends. Are you interested?”

“I thought I was, but after this, I have some serious reservations. Not only was she not interested, but her behavior made me pause.”

“Understandable. Why not lay low for a while, then, don’t go by, just leave it at that.”

“That’s a good idea. She did say that she would calm down eventually. It’s not as though I go there all the time. ”

“Sounds like a plan. Keep me posted.”

“There won’t be anything to tell you about, I don’t think.”

Sue giggled. “You never know, Jake, you never know. Something just occurred to me, I wonder, was Delia protesting too much?”

Jake shook his head as he hung up. “Women, I’ll just never get them.” But Sue definitely got him thinking.

Copyright Barbara James.  All rights reserved.