Excerpt 1 – From Mr. Right Is a Myth, Chapter 9
“I’m going to the bathroom. Have fun deciding who gets the piece of man meat.” I finish what’s left of my virgin daiquiri – virgin, what a laugh – and pick up my purse. “If I’m not back in 10 minutes, you know I fell in.”
My experience with Jesse forced me to add more things to my list of criteria to avoid in men, and my list grows longer with every ex. When I told Mom over the summer what I’m looking for in a man, she (ignorant of my history) said I’m too picky, whereas Vanessa wasn’t picky enough. I’ll end up bitter and alone, Mom said, while my sister is happily married, playing mommy.
I have stretches where I’m in a relationship and intervals where I’m single. For someone to be in my life long-term, he and I need to be partners, equals, a power couple. But how do I find a guy like that? And who would want to be my partner for life anyway? My family says I’m too stubborn, too opinionated, too independent, wear too much black and too much makeup. Not exactly the sort a man commits to.
I follow a waitress’ directions to the back of the club where young women – some dressed sexy, others casually like my friends and me – stream in and out of the restroom. I wonder how many of these chicks are in partnerships and how many are in relationships where the man wields the upper hand. I want a partnership, damn it!
I’m so engrossed in thought I don’t notice a guy standing by the last table before the restrooms taking a step backward until he bumps into me. Losing my balance, I wobble.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he says, placing his hand briefly on my arm. “I hope you’re okay. I didn’t step on your foot, did I?”
Holy shit! This guy is tall, fit and blond. Now that’s what I consider God’s gift to women.
I smile and shake my head. “No, I’m okay. Don’t sweat it.”
He nods and turns back to his friends.
Excerpt 2 – From Chapter 16
Suddenly, I know what I must do. Batting back tears, I turn toward the wall.
I swallow, throat dry. “I’ve realized something. I need someone in my life who accepts me without judgement for all my good qualities and my bad ones. I need someone I can feel comfortable with while being silly or serious or naked in bed. I need someone to love me unconditionally. Lars, that person isn’t you.”
Unable to control the tears, I turn to face him.
“What?” he says opening his eyes. “Did you just break up with me?”
“Yeah. I think I did.” I sit. “We’re not a good match.”
He sits, frowning. “Because I want you to learn to cum while I’m fucking you?”
I don’t want to have this conversation. I want to get dressed and get out of here. Tonight was the final fuck. All this debate about orgasms and how I don’t achieve them properly sapped all the enjoyment out of sex anyway. And when I’m not enjoying sex, you know something is wrong. Seriously, seriously wrong.
“Because you don’t accept me for me. You’re trying to change me. I like you a lot, but I have to put myself first. You’re not the guy for me. I gotta believe he’s out there somewhere.”
“Who? Your dream man?”
He says “dream man” in the most sarcastic way possible. My cheeks hot, I climb out of bed and gather my clothes.
“He doesn’t have to be a dream,” I say without looking up. “He only has to be good to me and for me.”
He jumps out of bed. “I’ve been good to you!”
I don’t like that he raised his voice. Did I raise my voice? No, I stayed calm, although on the inside I feel like someone who must give a speech in front of a large crowd who will ridicule her because she hasn’t written the speech yet.
I shake my head. “Did I say you weren’t? But there’s a difference between being good to someone and being good for someone.”
“Well, you’re crying as if I’ve been so terrible to you.”
“I’m crying because the relationship is over, and I’m upset about it. I’m crying because it’s ending over something stupid. But if you were the guy for me, none of this would be an issue.”
I start dressing. He pulls on his underwear but otherwise remains naked.
“Well, I’ve got news for ya. Every guy is going to be bothered by the fact you can’t cum around his dick.”
I stop, my pants halfway up my legs. I make the decision to bring up the one thing I’ve ignored this entire time.
“Oh,” I say, pulling my pants up the rest of the way, “I thought you should know. You have a small dick.”
He takes a step forward. “What? Why would you say that?”
To avoid eye contact, I pull my sweatshirt on before zipping my pants. “The plastic cock is average size. It’s not large like you claim it to be.”
He peeks at his crotch. “Your boobs aren’t exactly gigantic, but I haven’t complained about them.”
“They’re not gigantic, but I’m a small C cup. That’s not abnormal, Lars. You are abnormal.”
Only my socks, shoes and coat prevent me from getting the hell out of here. I take my socks and shoes to the opposite side of the room as if a few extra feet between us actually makes a difference.
“If I’m so abnormal, then why did you spread your legs for me?”
I exhale, shoving my feet into my shoes. I’ll worry about socks later.
“Because you were my boyfriend. Physical intimacy is part of a healthy relationship. I was willing to overlook your smallness. I could forgive it. But then you had to buy me that dildo and nag me about learning to cum with it. You ruined everything.” The tears multiple. “I forgave it.”
He points to the door. “I think you need to leave.”
I grab my coat and purse. “What the fuck do you think I’m trying to do?”
“I can’t believe I wasted seven months on you,” he says when I reach the bedroom door, his glare shooting hatred at me like arrows.
That hurts like a stab to the heart, and tears roll down my cheeks.
“Even though, we weren’t right for each other, Lars, doesn’t mean I think our time was wasted.” I can’t look at him and focus on my hand firmly gripping the doorknob. “All I want is someone to love me for me.”
I leave the bedroom and slam the door behind me.
Excerpt 3 – From Chapter 18
I stand motionless for a few seconds on the porch. I can’t believe Todd’s really here. Am I dreaming? I want to be near him, touch him, take in his scent. I descend the steps as casually as I can, resisting the urge to run into his arms.
“I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought about you,” he says after I sit in the lawn chair across from him. “But I don’t want that to make me sound pathetic. I have dated over the last four years. In fact, I’m in the same situation now as I was in when we broke up. Only this time, it was me telling my girlfriend a long distance relationship wouldn’t work.”
“I’m sorry,” I say, forcing myself to focus on his words and not how much I want him.
“Don’t be. Just like with us, it was the right move. I’ll be living in Chicago for three years going to law school at Loyola. I considered U of I, but I was afraid you’d think I was stalking you or something if you found out.”
A pang of disappointment runs through me hearing he decided not to enroll at U of I. Maybe we could have started over.
I shake my head. “I wouldn’t have thought that. Is your plan still to come back to Sterling and work at your dad’s firm?”
“That hasn’t changed.”
Then again, a second go around wouldn’t have worked because I don’t want to come back here permanently. That’s disheartening. I can’t tell you how often Todd’s crossed my mind, how often I’ve wanted that second chance.
“Too bad Jennifer didn’t run into you sooner. We could have had a summer fling,” I say and laugh slightly, not quite believing I said that out loud.
His expression brightens. “Are you single?”
I shift my gaze to the paint peeling on the Andersons’ detached garage. “Yeah. I’ve dated, too, but I’m still looking for that guy who accepts me for me.”
“I did,” he says, and I return my focus to him. “But I understand. You were 16 at the time. I was leaving for school in Iowa. Your strict parents. How would we have kept in contact yet alone kept a relationship going?”
Nearly crying, I can’t breathe. “Todd,” I say, voice wavering, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t appreciate you the way I should have when we were together. It’s only with the benefit of hindsight that I’ve grown to realize that. I’ve been wanting to tell you that for a long time. Plus, I was reading erotica and that gave me unrealistic expectations about what a lover should be like, and I’m sorry for that, too. I never wanted to hurt you. You never left my mind. I compare other men to you.”
He leans forward, tears in his eyes, and takes my hand. “Thank you for telling me that. It means a lot.”
His hand feels comfortable in mine as if that’s where it always should be.
“You’re welcome,” I say, feeling as if a weight lifted from my shoulders.
“Hey, um.” He smiles. “Jennifer said you had off today. If you’re not busy, maybe we could go out.”
I squeeze his fingers. “You mean like a date?”
“Yes and no.” He squeezes my fingers. “Consider it a reunion between two people who care about each other. We have a lot of catching up to do. I’m thinking dinner. Maybe somewhere we used to go, for old time’s sake. And a walk in the park.”
I smile. “Sounds nice.”
“Scratch that. I can afford somewhere much nicer than where we went in high school. Pick you up at six?”
My heart soars. “Six sounds great.”
He stands, fingers slipping from mine. “I’m going to thank Jennifer for facilitating this and be on my way. I’m looking forward to tonight.”
I stand, my fingers suddenly naked without his. “So am I. I’ll follow you inside.”