Prompt: Write an Essential Character Trait: Put your thoughts in the comments: what are their essential character traits?
The Essence Of
Steve wanted to text Beth immediately after their first date. He sat in his car, going over every detail. Her long red hair. Beth’s yellow summer dress. The way her green eyes drew him in, peeking just above the mandatory face mask. Beth’s figure under that dress. The almost kiss. Sue’s coyness in blocking that.
“The virus,” she mentioned. Beth had gently pushed his hands down after he “accidentally” brushed her breasts. God, those breasts were on repeat in his mind at this point. He had been idling for a long time.
At full pitch arousal, Steve started his Volvo to head home. He had hummed for the entire seventy-two minutes on his drive home. Steve caught a glimpse of his face in the rearview mirror: the gleam from his pre-date dental routine made him grin that much more extensively. Killer smile he thought to his reflection.
Arriving home, Steve glided over the street to his front door. He slid the house key into the lock cylinder in a slow-motion movie style. Engaged, the turn of the key felt good. Very good.
Closing the door, Steve kicked off his Clark’s Oxfords. Unwinding the Paul Smith tie from his neck, Steve felt released. Off came the North & Mark Union blazer. He tossed both on the seat of the hallway chair. His delighted smile followed him as he slid Tom Cruise like across the polished floor.
Plopping on the couch, Steve pulled out his cell, checking the time. His mind was somersaulting. No text or voice mail from Beth. He waffled between texting now or later. Taking a deep breath in, Steve released the air as he thought: Just under two hours. Now’s good. Yeah, that’s enough space.
Steve texted Beth. What a great time he had. How wonderful she is. Praised her eyes, hair, style. How much he couldn’t wait for their second date. Steve made sure they had concrete plans for a second date before Beth left. Date, time, and place: all secured. He finished the text with a repeat:
“I had a great time with you today. Getting to know you, to see you. I can’t wait for our first kiss.”
That got sent. Immediately followed by:
“See you next Sunday. 4:00 pm. I’m glad you liked the restaurant I chose. Food is great.”
“You’re great. Wonderfully great. I’m over the moon that we hooked up.”
Steve sat on the couch, staring at his phone. His breathing went shallow while his left hand quivered. The day moved on; Steve did not. He had no idea why she hadn’t texted back. Beth always texted back within fifteen minutes or less as they did the dating dance. Tinder, of all places. Steve shook his head, the first external movement he controlled in the four hours, thirty-two minutes, and 29 seconds since he sent the last text.
A ding from the phone awakened his body. Beth texted! Steve began davening on the couch. His prayers; heard and answered. He opened the text.
“Hi, Steve. Yes, it was nice meeting you. Have a good night.”
Steve levitated off the couch and into the kitchen. He filled a glass of orange juice, topping it off with Vodka. Then another. He was giddy. Beth said that it was nice to meet him. She wished him a good night. Two more vodkas and OJ turned giddy into sloppy.
In the morning, Steve found himself on the kitchen floor. The cell phone still in his hand.
Before he got up from the floor, he texted Beth.