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FIRE IN HEAVEN
When LJ and Vic would exchange memories on Saturday nights after a couple of glasses of Merlot, they disagreed about when they first met. This memory, however, outlines the first time LJ remembered ever meeting Vic.
The leaves fell and the breeze was indecisive, but when it blew, it sent that one leaf skidding across the parking lot on its extremities, making a wretched noise. LJ sat outside, by himself drinking coffee at a local coffee shop that specialized in creating the perfect coffee-candy mixtures. LJ’s favorite, called “Fire in Heaven”, a perfect blend of whole milk, dissolved Atomic Fireballs and Italian roast coffee. Not only his favorite, but also the drink of choice for the day he would meet Vic. Like most other days, he preferred to be alone because his own thoughts were often more entertaining than conversations with others. At some point, he did realize this was a bit selfish, possibly left him out of some favorable options in his life, but long ago decided against being so unselfish out of lack of time and an internal urgency to do everything he wanted to do before his time was up. Not only was his time valuable, but also in short supply. Now, on the off chance that he could interact with someone that enthused him, he tried, over and over again with a constant hope for an engaging interaction, even if he had tried before. Everyone deserves a second and third chance, right? But ten chances, not so much.
He took a sip of steaming “Fire in Heaven” and glanced over to see a boisterous female exiting the door. She was holding up her coffee as if it was a trophy singing Possession by Sarah McLachlan. Odd, he thought. Most people haven’t heard of that song, but she’s singing it. Plus three points. Then, LJ decided to sing his own song in light of another mental point that would be discarded.
“Look at you, with your brand new shoes, brand new shoes, brand new shoes. Look at that girl with her brand new shoes. I didn’t buy ‘em for you,” LJ sang back with tacky fluidity.
“Ooh, a singer. Can’t say that I heard that song before though,” Vic teased, varying pitch. “How are you, Jimmy?”
“The name’s LJ, not Jimmy. Do I know you? Nice shoes, by the way.”
“What? You don’t remember me? Oh, come on,” Vic laughed.
“Oh, yeah. Please forgive me. I. . .don’t remember your name?” LJ squinted.
“Victoria. But, you can call me Vic,” she responded with a bright smile. “Whatcha drinkin’ there buddy?”
“Fire in Heaven,” LJ said. “I love it. You?”
“Peppermint Madness, and I love it, too.”
“Na. Fire in Heaven is way better.”
Vic, hypnotic, looked LJ in the eyes and tapped him on the nose. “Your confidence precedes your reputation, sir, and yes, that’s what I’m saying, wild man. I was just trying it. Yours is way better.”
“Well,” LJ paused, “your charisma precedes your reputation, ma’am.”
“Hmph. Call me ma’am again and I’ll show you how big a woman I really am. Whatcha been doing? Asking all your friends about me? I thought you didn’t know me.”
LJ cleared his throat and said, “Hmph. Well, okay, Vic,” and ended by taking another drink.
LJ and Vic’s small spark potentiated into a flame; Vic took control of this heavenly flame and looked into LJ’s eyes. The ties that bind led Vic into that first, succulent kiss. Unfortunately for Vic, LJ hadn’t quite swallowed his coffee and that first kiss came quite unexpected, a clean interaction until he attempted to swallow the liquid sitting in his mouth. Breathless, he choked. The coffee spewed all over Vic; Atomic Fireball coffee, all in her mouth, face and running down her jacket.
“Oh-ma Geee-od!” Vic spouted. “I didn’t . . . Ah, geez . . . was it me?”
The look on Vic’s face turned into a mixture of inconclusiveness. She thought to herself about the different times she had gotten embarrassed in the past, stacking present emotion on top of memory, unfairly. She refrained from showing any more emotion until she could tell exactly what just happened. Vic looked at LJ and saw a similar confusion.
“It’s okay, LJ.” She paused. “I always wanted to kiss a fire breathing dragon in heaven, anyways,” Vic said to LJ and smiled.
Synergy brought laughter together. LJ grabbed a hold of a strand of Vic’s hair and leaned in for another kiss. Just before he landed his lips on Vic’s he circled his tongue around her mouth, licking the spilled coffee mess running down Vic’s face. They continued kissing while walking, hung up like two dogs, moving toward the outside table for some napkins. The sun peeked out from the drifting clouds and shone down upon the concrete while LJ wiped Vic’s face and jacket clean.
“Here’s my number. Call me later,” Vic said, handing a piece of scribbled napkin to LJ, walking backwards in bliss.
As the importance of the memory faded from LJ’s mind, he thought briefly about how his relationship with Vic ended the same exact way it began: with a messy kiss.
© 2020, S.D. McKinley
Well, I haven’t got much evidence of anyone reading this serial, yet. Anyone have any thoughts, praise, questions, rude or snide remarks? I’m not one of those authors that think there work shouldn’t be critiqued! I’d like to think I’d at least hear-out anything short of hatred. I also understand everyone is very busy. But if you are crunched at least read chapter four and let me know what you think? 😀
This web serial is going on hiatus for the holidays and I really wasn’t expecting Vic to die at all, so I have some stuff to re-write as well. But, her death is prophesied in book #1, in the jhaman fight scene. Vic’s death was a bit emotional, made me sad. 😥
Guys, until next time – may you find all the happiness that your life can fit in it’s happy spot – S.D. McKinley