Contemporary erotica being written with Megan Zeise. Here we have Valarie Knight embarking on a life of adventure: a new ‘going to do things my way’ attitude … three hunky men to choose from to do those things … what’s a girl to do? How about doing it ALL?
Valarie was aware of her friend watching her like one might view a naked man running through the street; with fear, fascination, and concern. Finally the blonde placed a hand on her wrist to stay another wing grab. “Stop trying to put chickens on the endangered species’ list and spill. What is going on with you?”
Valarie sat back in the booth, the vinyl seat making obscene squeaky fart noises when she shifted. She scrubbed her sauce-coated fingers with a napkin. “I woke up.” She debated how much to tell Christina, her best friend since first grade. They’d never kept secrets from each other, but to admit the whole truth when she’d made up her mind to have as much fun as possible … well, there would be time for that later. She’d had enough of her own tears these last few weeks. She didn’t want to add Christina’s quite yet.
Instead, Valarie spread her hands wide. “Look at me, Christina. I’m 32.”
Her friend cocked an eyebrow at her. “Yeah, well, so am I. What’s your point?”
“Unlike you, party girl, I haven’t done anything. Well, nothing except what I’m supposed to do. College, good grades, a steady career.”
Christina nodded her head slowly. She’d been telling Valarie to get a life since they were teenagers. “Home on Saturday nights, properly invested in your retirement. Yeah, you are a stick-in-the-mud, and I say that with love.”
“Exactly. Call it an early midlife crisis.” In my case, a late-in-life crisis. She picked up a chicken wing. “There’s got to be more to me than good old dependable Valarie Knight.”
Christina nibbled a little more on her celery stalk and played with her margarita glass. “Of course there is. But to quit your job?”
“I’ve got plenty saved up.” And the disability came through too, so she was covered for as long as she needed to be. “It’ll last until … until I decide what to do next.”
Valarie shoved the wing into the dressing and almost moaned with orgasmic delight when it hit her mouth. God she loved food, and with a waistline that insisted on cataloguing every cookie or pizza slice she indulged in, treats had been few and far between.
Christina was finally easing down on the suspicion scale, her smile dissolving the worry line between her brows. “Wow, girl. Well…okay! Hey, maybe you and I can do something together careerwise. I mean, at my age and with my knees, I can’t dance much longer.”
Along with long gorgeous legs and a to-die-for metabolism, Christina possessed the job Valarie had only fantasized about. A professional dancer with the Atlanta Modern Movers Dance Company, she’d been fretting the last couple of years over her career’s short shelf life. She’d confided to Valarie her knees ached more often than not these days, and her ankles were beginning to join the clamor. Still, she’d enjoyed twelve years so far doing what she loved for a living. Valarie barely contained her envy.
“How long is the list now?” Valarie asked after washing down another delicious morsel with excellent cold beer.
Christina rolled her eyes towards the ceiling as she did a mental count. “I now have 48 potential second careers.”
Valarie shook her head. “Don’t you think it’s time you stopped adding to the list and started narrowing your options?”
“Valarie, Valarie, Valarie.” The blonde sighed as if explaining to a child the obvious reasons why one didn’t set up housekeeping in Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World. “There’s a whole big world out there and the sky’s the limit. Why hold back?”
Usually Valarie felt only frustration at what she felt was her friend’s lack of responsible thinking. But things had changed mightily, turning stability and rational thought on their heads.
I’ve held back my whole life on the things I’ve wanted, things that were supposed to be frivolous. And what has it gotten me? Money in the bank, a sound retirement plan, and no future. So the joke is on me, and it’s not one bit funny.
Suddenly, her flighty friend’s list full of careers including carnival worker, palm reader, and even magician’s assistant sounded awfully smart. Bold and daring. Fun.
Valarie raised her beer mug to Christina’s brilliance. “Here’s to not holding back.”
Christina clinked her margarita glass with a happy beam. “Welcome to a real life, girlfriend.”