Author’s Note: So, yes. I decided to do one more take on Didi Oviatt’s January WIP Writing Challenge. This time, Dave, Mick, and Hank get the spotlight.
Dave walked down the sidewalk. Mick walked beside him, but he didn’t hold his hand. He didn’t look at him. He didn’t even try to flirt with him. He was all too busy texting “his sister in England”.
Dave glanced at him. Mick smiled a closed-mouth smile that did wonderful things to his face.
Ohhh, I wish he’d smile at me like that.
Hank smiles at me like that. No, his smile is big and real. I can see his teeth when he smiles and I love that. Ohhh, that man has the best teeth.
The best mouth.
The best lips.
The best of everything!
So, why am I still with Mick?
He quietly puzzled it over.
I guess it’s because he’s familiar. I know his moods. I know his lack of apologies.
I know his twelve million lies.
They never are anything new. Nothing different. Nothing all that surprising. But they’re always so hurtful and disappointing. Especially every time I compare him to Hank.
Dave stopped as a single thought shocked him.
I’d rather be with Hank, not Mick.
Mick stopped and looked back at him. “What now? Why do you always have to slow us down? I swear—”
“Mick. I need to—”
“Oh, you need to. You need to. You always freaking need to.”
“Mick! Listen to me. I need—-”
“What about what I need, Dave? Huh? What do you care about what I need? Do you even care?”
Dave’s mouth dropped open. “Of course, I do! Mick—”
“Oh, just. Just stuff it. I’m so tired of it. I’m so tired of you constantly whining about every. little. thing. I mean, do you even—”
“I WANT TO BREAK UP WITH YOU!”
Mick stared at him.
The words are said.
I can’t take them back. I can’t pretend I didn’t say them. I can’t say I didn’t mean it.
“I. I mean it. I.” Dave took a deep breath. “You aren’t happy with me and I don’t. I mean. I want to. I want. Mick, I’ve been trying so hard to overlook everything—-”
“Oh! As if you’re perfect. Flawless little freaking Dave! That’s what we have here, ladies and gentle—-”
“I can’t. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t deal with all of the hurt anymore.” Tears fell down Dave’s face. His legs trembled.
I should shut up and run away.
I shouldn’t go on.
I don’t want to get into another fight.
I want to run away.
I need to run away.
I can’t stop shaking.
But I can’t move.
“Mick, I just can’t. I’m sorry.”
I’m going to throw up!
Mick narrowed his eyes. “So, you’re dumping me.”
It wasn’t a question, but Dave nodded.
“For who? Who else you got all lined up in your ‘Take Me To Bed’ list?”
Dave’s face burned.
“Well, whoever it is won’t make you happy, Dave. They won’t know the right way to tie you down the way I do.”
He shook his head. “I don’t want that, Mick.” he said softly. “I want someone who’ll love me. That’s all I want.”
Mick strode over to him and crowded into his space. “You’ll miss me.” He tucked his fingers under Dave’s chin and raised his head up. “You know you’ll miss me.”
Dave’s stomach churned in unsettling ways. His legs kept shaking. His heart was beating fast fast fast.
“So, why not stay with me?” He leaned in for a kiss.
His stomach hurt. It hurt so much.
The inside of Dave’s mouth was warm. Too warm. Too tacky and too warm.
Mick’s mouth was about to touch down.
“Ohhh!” Dave involuntarily lunged forward, clanking Mick in the face, and vomited.
He vomited all over Mick.
Mick swore and shoved Dave back. “I can take a hint as well as the next guy.” He started to go full vulgar with his next line.
Dave vomited again. All over Mick’s feet.
Mick was too furious to say or do anything more. He stormed away.
Dave sat at a table in his favorite pub. Mick had never liked it there. But that didn’t matter anymore.
He sighed and glanced at the nearby window.
It’s been four months. Four months without Mick.
Someone stopped at his table. “Hey.”
Dave perked up.
I know that voice!
He looked to his right and he sparkled.
Hank was there. “Long time no see.”
“Oh!” He quickly scooted out of his booth and did a quick Hank scan. “Ohh, you’re a miracle.”
Hank laughed. “Who me? Nah. I’ve been thinking about you.” He took Dave’s hands. “I’ve been thinking about you a lot.”
“And I’ve been thinking about you. Oh, Hank! So many things have happened since I last saw you. I broke up with Mick and moved out of his house. I’ll tell you all about it if you’ll sit with me. Unless. Did you want to go somewhere better?”
Hank shook his head. “I’m very happy where I am.” He raised Dave’s hands and kissed his knuckles.
“I can’t imagine a place any better than here with you.”
“Eeeeeee! You’re so romantic!”
Hank laughed again. “Just speaking the truth.”
“That’s what makes you so romantic. Ohh, will you sit with me? I haven’t ordered anything yet, but I’m so hungry.”
“Gladly.” Hank released his hands and slid into the booth. He gave Dave an expectant look.
Dave scooted right in. He looked up at the strong, handsome man at his side and his heart fluttered.
He will be good to me.
I just know it.
With him, I will never feel that fight or flight response.
With him, I am safe.