The Write Off Series is back!
Welcome back, Dear Reader. This post brings back a feature where we have two or more authors write off against each other. For the next three days, we’re using the same scene from different points of view. Our goal is to show the difference in perspective; what different characters notice and think. We’re going to present this in the form of narrative so it’s more organic to writing. In this Write Off, we have three POV’s – the lost love, the rock star, and the current groupie girlfriend.
Today’s post starts with the lost love’s POV (written by Wench Tami Lund). Tomorrow, Wench Barkeep, Michael Simko, will pick up the scene from the rock star’s perspective, followed on the third day by Wench Sheri Williams, writing as the groupie girlfriend.
Maria, physical therapist who has hung out her shingle in the same small town where she has lived for her entire life.
Savior, the rock star who walked away from his first love to find fame and glory.
Serenity, the groupie-turned-girlfriend.
Savior has a hip injury that’s affecting his latest world tour, and he’s brought Serenity with him, when he returns home to his roots, theoretically so that Maria can help him get over his injury, so he can get back on the road and live the lifestyle he swears he still wants.
Oh come on. I cannot possibly be the only physical therapist in town.
Oh wait, I am. That’s what I get for opening up shop in the same small town in which I grew up. I should’ve accepted that offer in Albuquerque. Damn it.
Okay, I can do this. He’s just a guy. A world famous rock star with whom I once had a torrid affair, fifteen years ago when I was young and stupid and he was still just dreaming big – but ultimately, he’s still just a guy. A guy who hated his given name, so he changed it to Savior – really? – but he’s still just a guy.
If I tell myself that enough times, will I actually start to believe it? Fat chance. He wasn’t just a guy when his name was Gabriel and we were horny twenty year olds. Now I’m a desperately single thirty-five year old. No one is just a guy anymore.
I blame him for my lot in life. Successful I may be, but where’s my social life? Nonexistent. It’s been nonexistent since he left me in the dirt so he could go halfway across the world to realize his dreams. All that bullshit about him refusing to let me quit school to go with him was just that. I could’ve transferred anywhere. Back then, I would’ve transferred anywhere. For him.
My admin just informed me that he’s here. Deep breath, smile serenely, tell her to bring him to my office. A consult first. I shouldn’t, of course, because being alone with him in this tiny office is a really bad idea, but I’ve never been able to think rationally when it came to him. Despite the fact that I’m supposed to hate him, I have every single song he’s ever recorded in my itunes library – including that secret recording that was leaked a few years ago, the song that, according to the media, was never meant for anyone’s ears except some special unnamed girl. I really am a glutton. Bring on the punishment.
As the door opens, I stand, smooth the front of my pencil skirt – hell yes I dressed deliberately this morning. I even repainted my goddamn toenails last night. If I get nothing else out of this experience, I want to pretend he will leave it regretting the fact that he left me behind fifteen years ago. Maybe then I can let go of the past and finally pick one of these local guys who are constantly hitting on me, settle down, get married, have sex on a fairly regular basis, maybe pop out a couple of kids before my uterus shrivels into itself.
And then he’s there, framed by the painted wood doorframe, his shoulders so impossibly wide, he has to turn slightly to the side just to step through the door. He should’ve played football back in high school. He surely would have gotten a college scholarship and then we could have gone to the same school and he never would have left me. I’d have that damn picket fence and babies by now. I’d be able to recall the date of the last time I had sex with someone other than my vibrator. Because with him, it would have been last night. Or this morning. Or hell – both.
I don’t have much time for the saliva to pool in my slack jaw, definitely not enough for it to start to dribble down my chin, because a scant moment later, he shifts to the side, grimacing in pain as he does so, and then there’s another person standing in the doorway, this one way smaller than him, way more feminine, and not someone I know.
“Hi,” she says brightly, smacking gum and striding toward me, her arm outstretched. She’s wearing one of those halter-tops that looks more like a bra. It shows off an arm full of what look like homemade tattoos, and the fact that she has a hell of a lot less flesh on her bones than I do. Of course, she’s gotta be ten years younger than me, but even so, she’s too damn skinny. Or maybe that’s me, because I instantly assume she’s with him. Otherwise, why the hell would he bring her to his physical therapy appointment?
That actually hurts, just a little – okay, a lot – because surely he recognized my name, surely he knew who would be treating his rock star injury? Much to my own personal dissatisfaction, I have not yet had the opportunity to choose whether to give up my maiden name for some guy.
“I’m Serenity,” the skinny, gum-smacking brunette says, offering her hand to shake. I look down at the hand. It’s full of rings, gold, silver, some expensive looking; one that looks like it came out of a bubblegum machine. My OCD sensibilities want to lecture her on the importance of not mixing the two metals, of using jewelry as an accessory, not a statement. Of course, she’s covered with badly drawn tattoos, so probably my lecture would fall on deaf ears.
“You’re … what?” I blurt.
“Serenity.” Her grin, accentuated with shiny pink gloss, is wide. And oblivious. “I’m his girlfriend.” She points at Gabriel – Savior – whatever the hell he goes by these days. “My dad was a rock star too.”
“Oh,” I say for lack of quite literally anything else.
“But I’m not sure who. My mom was a groupie. The summer after she turned twenty, she travelled all across Europe, following her favorite rock bands. She slept with something like fifteen rock stars before she found out she was pregnant with me.” She smiles as if she’s just said something profound, or even remotely intelligent.
Is this why he left, all those years ago? Was I just too smart?
“Jesus, Serenity,” I hear him mutter under his breath. It is the first time I have heard that husky, whiskey-laced voice in person in fifteen years. My body reacts as if it is Pavlov’s dog, and I hate myself because damn it, if he shoved little miss Serenity out the door and asked me to hop up onto my desk and spread my legs, I sure as hell would. Right now. This minute. No questions asked. No expectations, except, well, the obvious
I. Am. Such. A. Loser.
“Hey, Maria. You look … good.”
Now he’s talking directly to me, and I am struggling with dual emotions. I want him to talk forever, because that million-dollar voice is so freaking hot, yet I am now wondering why the hell he paused before saying good. What does that mean? Does it mean I look old? Or plain? Boring? Is that why he left me behind? Or was it because I wasn’t any good in bed? Serenity looks like she’d be up for just about anything, but so was I, fifteen years ago. Was he afraid I’d outgrow that stage?
Why am I torturing myself like this?
I clear my throat, pray that I won’t sound like a frog, and then get down to business. I sit down behind my desk, feeling a tiny bit more in control with the expanse of smooth mahogany between us. It is time to find out why the rock star came back to the town he left fifteen years ago, and swore he would never step foot into again.