The One-Night Stand Conversation

conversations

 

Emma introduced us, but fate made us exchange phone numbers. Although I liked you and felt drawn to you—tenderness accompanied my memories of you—I did not expect to hear from you soon. When my phone rang at 10:33 p.m. and I saw your name, warmth tickled my face into a smile. To my “hello,” you responded with sobs and to “what is it?” with, “I’m leaving him.”

I knew who him was.

Two weeks prior to your call, you and I chatted that evening, as we stood near the balcony sliding doors. Bunched-up voile curtains escaped their brass holders, lilting whenever the breeze beckoned. Behind us, opinions on politics and football clamoured for superiority. If I had to pick a winner, it would have been the music, a persistent fusion of hip-hop and jazz. Fear of losing our voices propelled us outside.

It was as if we knew time was short. We dispensed with pleasantries and raced to your heart. The story you told had many holes and so I averted my eyes so you would not need to avoid mine. Did you know that I had once been fragile too?

When him came to check on you, you replaced your shadow with sunshine. You introduced us, listing my credentials first, and I saw what his approval meant to you. Him was impressed, just as you had hoped, and then he whisked you away to the music we feared.

I knew who him was.

That day, your sobs unleashed mine. But, I put ice in my voice and said sensible things like, are you alone? What about the kids? Don’t make decisions while emotions are high. Should I come over? I had my hair in huge rollers under a net and two white spots on my face marked my struggle with acne.

You did not want me to come over. Instead, we sampled the height, depth, and breadth of your anxieties until 1 a.m., when exhausted from reasoning, you let me go. But not before agreeing to check in later in the day.

I did not sleep. I turned your problems over in my mind. I prayed. All day long, I waited. I debated whether to reach out. I sent a couple of texts. I called. You didn’t respond. Later never came, not that day or the next or the next month.

 

I am watching you and him in the supermarket. He leans so you can whisper in his ear. His eyes light up and you both laugh at your secret. I choose this moment to bump into you and him, and I wear my surprise well. The three of us make small talk but you overcompensate for lull with details. Your voice is on display, bouncing off the shelves and rolling down the aisle. When him leaves us girls to catch up, awkwardness settles over us and silences you.

“How are you?” I ask.

“Everything is fine, very fine, and you?”

I believe you because you radiate sunshine. I wait for your explanation so I can stop editing your manuscript in my head, no in my heart. I have been reading it since that night. Question marks and ellipsis muddle its chapters.

Nothing.

Him bursts in and whisks you to even greater sunshine and I am left with the music I fear, strains of bewildered happiness.

Perhaps I was to escort you around your shadow and no further. Did I assume a role that wasn’t mine? Was shame the unintended consequence of our sudden intimacy? Or did you need to find your way yourself? No matter, every book deserves an ending, and you cheated me of my slice of the sun.

I should not have left things unsaid.

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Photo credit: longleanna/ http://pixabay.com/en/talking-phone-mobile-telephone-560318/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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70 thoughts on “The One-Night Stand Conversation

  1. Omg…girl…u feel cheated too! I needed to know what happened to your friend. I didn’t know if she was being abused or what! That awkwardness, I know it too well in my dealings with abuse and had a kind of similar “sighting” after no contact with someone as well. In these situations, you just never know what to say, when to say it. I loved this and thank you for writing it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not exactly sure what issues are. Certainly from reading the narrators point of view, one concludes that the woman in question was having problems in her relationship.

      That awkwardness… yes, it’s real. I’m glad you got into the story and could relate.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very beautifully written. I was transported into their mini drama too….it’s always better to expect less and be grateful to have played a part in someone else’s story. No matter how insignificant….

    Like

  3. This was very well written, Timi. I worked in a battered womens shelter where you were supposed to listen, empathize and there were often times when the woman went back to a place which may not have been battering (physical abuse), but almost always continuing behaviors existed along with emotional abuse. We gave them 2 chances. Not 3 as in a ball park. I have been the one who leaned on a feiend, been more times the listener. Either way, our lives are changed. I am grateful for friends but try not to wear out my welcome.
    great writing in a really intersting style and tone. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being a good listener is a wonderful skill to have. What a rich and perhaps humbling experience you had at the women’s shelter.

      @ I am grateful for friends but try not to wear out my welcome, can we wear out our welcome if we are true friends? Still we have to respect others’ space.

      Thanks for sharing Robin.

      Like

  4. I feel read sad and sometimes angry with myself when I care too much; it would have been so easy for the narrator to move on if she wasn’t too sympathetic… Now she’s going to be in bed with curiosity for a long time. I don’t envy her at all

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    1. I like the way you put it: “in bed with curiosity ” 🙂

      But if we don’t care too much at some point, won’t we lose something of our humanity? Is it possible to hedge against all forms of rejection?

      Like

      1. Yea we would definitely loose a part of our humanity and that’s what some of life’s harsh experiences end up doing to us. Hedging against all forms of rejection is one way to care less: back to square one. The more hurt we feel, the more in touch with our humanity we’d be

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am very certain that many women can relate to having this type of conversation and the ensuing inner monologues that comes next followed by that friend choosing to give it another go now that the moment has passed. Beautiful capturing in your storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent piece, Timi! This brought back so many dating memories my friends and I experienced. The first rule of a “one night stand” is remember, it’s “one night.” I had several friends who couldn’t get that and they were crushed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, relationship rules of engagement 🙂

      But in this case, she said she’d check in later in the day. That set up some expectation. I suppose the narrator only realized it was a one-night stand conversation in hindsight.

      Thanks Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m moved. Been here, bought the TShirt, kept a sample. Once is more than enough. But it begs the question- should we give a damn about other peoples problems?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When considered a good listener, expect more of slice and bits of the sun. Good enough to be turned to in times of distress and very unfair to be ignored when the sun shines again. One can only be happy for them at least, “problem solved”.

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    1. ‘One can only be happy for them at least, “problem solved”.’

      True. After all, that was why we were concerned in the first place right? We weren’t concerned about recognition for lending our shoulder or were we?

      Someone told me that her mantra for happiness is: let it go; just let it go.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Where do u get ur words from? U really should explore this talent of yours and give us a book to read. Was going through the comments and especially love “Why burn bridges when you can install a gate and hold the key?” Truly why do we even go through the stress of burning bridges and then having to second guess our actions????

    Liked by 2 people

  10. “we sampled the height, depth, and breadth of your anxieties until 1 a.m.” LOVE THIS LINE! “Your voice is on display, bouncing off the shelves and rolling down the aisle.” YES! And putting ice in your voice. WOW. JUST WOW> It’s all so wonderfully rich, woven and tapestry like. You break rules like nobody I’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I hate it when people exploit others. I wish that you had interrupted that awkward silence and asked for an explanation like: “wetin happen, so you fit call me when wahala dey, but when una dey miliki you no go call me…abeg o! I no be dustbin”. It is good to put people in their place so that it is her mind that should be figuring out how to appease your disgust not yours. Closure is good for the soul.

    Like

    1. That feeling of being used and discarded can hurt so bad and dredge up our worst instincts sometimes. I certainly understand the sentiment you’ve expressed. I wonder though if it would truly bring closure for the soul. Massage ego, yes. Heal? Hmmm . . .
      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautifully written Timi, I like to think that “she found her way herself”. Sometimes, we already know the decisions that we will make, regardless of the advice that we are given when we seek comfort or counsel.

    But then, a listening ear is like soothing balm when we are at our lowest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nedoux, that way very well be. But if I keep someone awake till 1 a.m., using them as a ‘safe’ emotional sounding board, perhaps the polite thing to do is to say thank you at midday?
      Of course, we can also so easily get caught up in the busyness of life . . .
      Which is it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I totally agree with you, gratitude must be offered to the hands that rub the soothing balm.

        Often times, the sad reality as captured aptly in nrhatch’s comment is-

        ” …a female confidante is dismissed with a wave once peace is restored… because HER doesn’t want to be reminded of passing clouds”.

        The harsh truth is that some clouds come back and hover again.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. The feelings and thoughts shown in this piece of writing emphasize caring and I liked how you mentioned praying. Since it is fictional, my comments should have headed this direction instead of my first impulse to ‘spill my guts,’ Timi! Please laugh or edit the first comments out, if you wish. Take care and hope this gets published since it is worthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This was serious, Timi. I am just rushing around like a chicken with her head cut off. I have only had one incident of a one night stand. I am shocked by my daughters who have had more than one. I am close to a few very wild men and women at work. I would not probably want to tag along with them at a bar, but would be happy to meet them to eat or have coffee with. This was interesting and probably should think before I write! smiles!

    Like

    1. I am trying to imagine you, “just rushing around like a chicken with her head cut off.” XD

      I think that there are parallels between someone who wanted/expected more from a one-night stand sexual encounter and someone who wanted/expected more from a one-night stand emotional encounter.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha XD

      Hi Aj, I have these fascinating conversations with my ‘editors’ Sunday pre-publication. I think the post title set their minds in a certain direction. One thought it was a guy friend. Another thought they went outside to ‘hook up.’ 🙂

      It’s interesting that one said she read ‘guys’ instead of the ‘girls’ I wrote here:

      “When him leaves us girls to catch up, awkwardness settles over us and silences you.”

      You are not alone, you’re in good company 🙂

      But yes, the travails that often times accompanies anyone, male or female, who embraces another’s vulnerability by creating an intimate non-threatening space . . .

      Like

      1. Yeah, it can be confusing.
        The title. Then I’m messing with timing: flashback + further flashback. More than 2 characters. Not naming the characters.

        Welcome to Sunday Quiz! o_O ^^’ 😛

        Like

  15. I have to admit I constantly look forward to your posts!!! This just brought back that feeling of uncertainty of knowing where you stand and carrying the burden of another person but the only painful part id that the other person makes it seem like you were the one who chose to carry those baggage. I love this, makes you realise that sometimes saying your mind is good. Thank you for this post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Uncertainty is not a nice place to be.
      I guess the narrator could have risked being more vulnerable by saying something like:
      I’m glad to hear everything is fine. I was worried about you and really concerned when you didn’t respond to my calls/texts . . .

      @looking forward to my posts, aw, you make writing this stuff worthwhile! 🙂

      Like

  16. That feeling of being left out in the cold.
    I don’t think we can fully understand the happenings between intimate people.
    If one is found at the rest corner of a party the best stand is to state the face and respect whatever choice they eventually make…one shouldn’t cry more than the beraved.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “. . . respect whatever choice they eventually make…one shouldn’t cry more than the beraved.”

      Indeed we can’t force ourselves into other people’s lives.
      But who is the bereaved? I thought it was the narrator . . .

      That feeling of being left out in the cold. 😥

      Liked by 2 people

    1. The dynamics of relationships. Perhaps theirs lacked the depth required to cushion the effects of intimacy-withdrawal-syndrome?

      Ah, a space to little explored. Thanks Abi 🙂

      Like

  17. Often, when there is a tug-of-war between HIM and HER, a female confident is no more than the monkey in the middle, dismissed with a wave once peace is restored . . . because HER doesn’t want to be reminded of passing clouds.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Beautiful! Your writing puts me right in the narrator shoes and bounces me back into my own shoes for all those moments I can relate to.

    That bewildered happiness…it sure leaves question marks…

    I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve had this drama play out in our lives haven’t we?

      @bewildered happiness, I guess the narrator is happy that things worked out, but confused as to why her attempts to reach out were snubbed. Maybe, she should have asked why instead of leaving things unsaid.
      Thanks. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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