Date Time, Charlotte’s Day.

“Last week in ‘Date Time’ we followed Grey through his day before dating Charlotte. This week we join Charlotte as we change perspective and see how her day went. I hope you enjoy this little experiment thanks to Marla for the Challenge.”

I wrote this story for the following prompt.
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle — Water, Mention, Newspaper, Clip, Impetuous, Tohubohu, Extreme, Ruminate, Caress, Angle, Kick, Surprise
Pensitivity’s Three Thing’s Challenge — Injury, Most, Romantic
Your Daily Word — Savour
Word of the Day – Vision

Date Time, Charlotte’s Day.

Ever wake up feeling like you’d slept too long? I did this morning. I rolled over and to my surprise, it was 10 AM. Why hadn’t my alarm trilled? Oh, yeah … I had a day off to savour. ‘Why?’ As I sat in bed I knew I was missing something. Then it dawned. ‘Grey.’

Just the thought of that name was enough to make me ruminate. ‘You met him on the internet, he could be dangerous.’ ‘But he was so nice, our first date will be romantic and special, right?’ ‘That’s being impetuous, Charlotte; you haven’t met the guy in the flesh. He might be evil to the extreme, he might cause you injury or worse.’ “Oh, shut up, brain!” I groaned as I managed to kick myself out of bed.

I paused to address the mewing at my feet. Scooping Cyrus my Persian cat into my arms, I tickled his belly on the way into the kitchen.

With him gobbling his breakfast on the counter, my eyes roamed to the clock. Somehow an hour of my day had gone already. It’d be date-time before I knew it. It was only 11 AM and already the anxiety was making me nauseous.

Deciding upon a wash, I grabbed my onesie and entered the bathroom. Turning on the shower, I undressed and stepped beneath the deliciously warm water. Leaning at an angle against the wall I allowed it to flow over my back and relax me. It failed, for the most part, my mind wandered back to the date. ‘He’ll be nothing like his picture. He’ll be twenty years older and look like Shrek,’ I thought.

Stepping from the shower, I dried off and pulled my onesie on. Staring at myself in the mirror, I began to caress my auburn hair into a ponytail as I pushed the water from it.

‘You might not like him. What if he doesn’t like you?’ said the voice in my head

I explored my features in the mirror even squinted to blur my vision and make myself seem prettier. I found myself picking out every blemish and spot my smooth features.

‘Yes, you have to hide all those with makeup or he’ll be repulsed!’

Leaving the bathroom, I busied myself tidying the apartment. ‘Has to be clean and tidy in case he comes back for coffee. Wouldn’t want him to think I’m a slob.’

As the kitchen clock ticked past 1 PM, my nerves rattled up a gear. Only six hours left.

 The newspaper boy had been, I made a lunch of cream cheese and crackers and sat to read. It seemed every page had a mention of something to do with the date.

‘Woman vanishes after dating a man for the first time.’

‘Date night ruined as car ploughs into a restaurant.’

‘The Tohubohu Section — Ten tips for impressing your lover on that first date’

‘Scandal as Hollywood celeb dates …’

“Bloody hell! This date’s going to kill me with anxiety!” I breathed as I rolled the paper and tossed it in the bin along with my crackers. There was no way I could eat with my stomach churning like a washing machine on a spin cycle.

Every time I looked at the clock after that another hour had gone by.

By 3 PM I was curled on the sofa with the TV on. I had Bejewelled on my tablet too. I’d failed to beat a level and couldn’t tell you what was happening on the TV either. My mind was on a place called Café Picoso. It was a little Italian place I’d chosen for our date. ‘Should I have let Grey choose?’ ‘No, he let me pick the place so I’d feel safe.’ ‘What if he doesn’t like it there?’ “Shut up, brain! It’s going to be fine!”

5 PM two hours to date time. I took another shower in the hope of washing off my anxiety. It failed miserably. My hands were shaking so bad I struggled to control my curling tongs as I put flowing curls into my auburn hair. I broke a hairclip in the process making it worse.

I chose a sultry blue cocktail dress and stood in front of the mirror. “Yes, that’ll do – it’s quite pretty, isn’t it?” ‘No, he’ll hate it?’ I thought. “Why, it gives my bum a good shape. Men like that don’t they?”

‘He won’t like the colour, remember?’ said the voice in my head.

Panic gripped me and I fled the bedroom. Snatching my phone from the coffee table. Engaging PartnerFinder.com I found my conversation with Grey.

‘What will you be wearing so I can find you?’ Grey had asked.

‘I’ll wear a pretty red dress for you.’ I’d replied.

Looking at the blue cocktail dress I was wearing, I gasped. “Thank you, brain. You did something useful for a change!”

Dashing back to the bedroom, I proceeded to try on all three of my red dresses a bunch of times before settling on the first one I tried. It was a satin dinner dress which suited me well, I thought. Adding a touch of red lipstick and a spray of my rose and Jasmine perfume and I was ready to go.

I left my apartment and walked the half-mile to Café Picoso. I’d always love the white and gold façades of the romantic eatery. My phone told me I was fifteen minutes early when I arrived. I wondered where Grey was as I came to a stop outside.

‘He probably won’t come. You should hide inside. If he sees you out here, he might drive right past!’ “Oh, shut up, brain! He’ll —”

My focus fell upon a white Vauxhall Zafira. ‘That was it! That was the car Grey said he was driving — he’s here!’ “Why are you driving straight past?” My heart was thumping a million miles an hour as I watched the car make a left turn into the car park.

Now, what should I do; wait here or go around to him? ‘Wait for him here, he must have seen you.’ ‘Yeah, maybe that’s why he went …’

 My phone rang in a text message breaking my thoughts,

‘I’m running late, Charlotte. I’m going to be about fifteen minutes,’ it read.

Intrigued, I set off toward the car park, ‘So, I see,’ I text as I walked up behind him. I could see had a nice bum inside those jeans. His sports jacket was handsome too. He seemed to be shaking, I could feel his anxiety from five feet behind him. I don’t know why but it left me feeling calmer.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

He turned to face me with a shaky smile. “I … er… well. I’m er … you … Erm —” he babbled to me and blushed in the cutest way.

I couldn’t help feeling bemused and smiled at him, “Well, that explains a lot.”

“I’m so sorry. I saw you looking beautiful around the front and panicked. There’s a suit shop in the mall. I was going to buy a suit so I wouldn’t embarrass you.” Grey glanced at his car. I knew he was thinking of doing a runner.

‘Now, don’t come off strong and scare him,’ I thought. ‘But, this is a good chance to have some fun.’ I walked over to him, tilted my head to one side and examined every inch of his outfit. Giving him a look of silent fascination, I said, “You’ll do.”

“I —I will?” he stuttered.

“Sure, I don’t expect you wear expensive suits for me,” I reached and kissed his cheek, enjoying the smell of his aftershave. “You look perfectly handsome.”

Grey blushed scarlet and looked as he might self-combust. “T-Thank you. Shall we go in and order some delicious food?”

“Yes please.” I rubbed my belly suddenly feeling half-starved as we walked back toward the restaurant. “I’ve been so nervous I haven’t eaten all day.”

Grey laughed. “Really? That makes two of us.”

“Then we need to make a promise.” I looked his way as we reached the road.

‘Oh, boy. Now, I’m in trouble,’ Grey looked uncomfortable and appeared to be trying not to fall over his feet. “What promised would that be?”

“Let’s promise not to run away from each other. To not feel embarrassed and to have a lovely date,” I challenged looking hopeful. I so wanted this to be a good night.

“That I can do.” Grey opened the restaurant door with a dip of his head, “After you, milady.”

“Why thank you good, sir.” I simpered as I entered the café. I knew then this would turn into a special night.

The End


Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry Nook, and the Short Story Collection

Have a great day!

37 thoughts on “Date Time, Charlotte’s Day.

Add yours

      1. We had Yugos too and ours were brilliant, but they also got a bad press. Worst cars we had were brand new Suzuki Altos. We had one each, and Hubby’s broke down the first week and again three months later. At less than a year old, we put both in P/X for my Peugeot 206 in 2005. Wonderful car, loved it and had it for over 10 years.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We have a Picasso now and very pleased, apart from the small glove compartment, but at least there are decent side pockets. Unlike the Peugeot partner, there are no little cubby holes in the floor.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. You did an amazing job. There is only one comment I have about when you write in the first-person. I admit, I was riveted so there’s no reason to change it at all in your style. I realized it after I read the whole thing. Up until the point where they meet each other, Everything you wrote from her perspective was past tense. I thought that was super creative, because in my opinion it worked for that piece. It gave the impression that they went into the restaurant and they were having a conversation and she was telling him about her anxiety and her day of being nervous (which I thought was kind of an awesome touch). But if you’re going to write active first person (which that piece did not require because it led the reader to continue the story without you having to explain it to them), you should make it present, not past. With his story, you did it present and you followed him through the day as almost a fly on the wall. With her you were in first person, beautifully; realize that you wrote it completely from a past first person perspective.

        However, (tell the demon to shut up a minute), it worked beautifully in this piece. It was a companion piece that fit perfectly with the first like a puzzle. With him, you followed him actively through his day, and then he met her. They agreed to not run away from each other and try to keep their anxiety and insecurities from ruining a great night. But they had already told each other at the end of his piece that they both couldn’t eat due to anxiety, and touched on it enough that they were able to laugh at themselves. So it makes sense that the perspective of Charlotte would be almost a flash back scenario. It gives the impression that this is part of the beginning of the conversation they were having on their date where they could laugh about it and have a great time because they both understood where the other was coming from. It was perfectly done.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aww, I’m so pleased it worked so well for you, Thank you, Marla
        . I had felt that changing to fist person made it weird as the other was 3rd but you’re right it feels like her telling him how her day went so it works!

        I think if you read most of my work its in past tense. If |i have a writing weakness its tensing.

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      3. It worked really well. I loved how it all tied together. It was, quite honestly, perfect as it is. And there’s no rule that says two stories have to be the same perspective. Even if they’re together. I’m sure you’ve read books where one chapter is in first person with thinking and conversations and whatnot, and the next chapter is in the style of third person and past tense. There’s no rule that both have to be the same perspective or the same tense. The way you did it allowed the reader to put it together in their own head, and that’s simply how I read it. And it made me feel good because after the first I wanted to know how the date went, after the second i felt like I had an idea of how it started at least and in my mind, because the ice was broken out by the car, they were comfortable enough with each other to say those things, and that meant the date went very well. They were calmer together than they were during their days preparing for the date. It was a nice touch for my imagination.

        That’s not a weakness – it’s just your style. Work with it. If you want to do another first person, if you’re finding that it’s in past tense and you’re having a lot of difficulty putting into current tense (as that is not your style and outside of a challenge will not necessarily be easy for you to write for publication without much practice), journals are always a good idea. Conversations are always a good idea. Have the person EXPLAINING what happened to justify past tense. My brain did that and put it as a conversation that was happening outside of your story – after it ended. So if you want to try the first person again and find you simply can’t get it to read properly in current, make parts of it a journal entry, or a conversation recapping what previously happened. Or even adding a paragraph at the beginning or the end carefully crafted in current first person explaining why everything is in past tense. Like

        “Mildred thought to herself ‘Mildred this book isn’t going to write itself! You want to be published don’t you? So sit down and write the stupid thing!’ i reached into the cabinet above the coffee pot for my mug – my writing mug – that had famous quotes from all of my favorite stories all over it. I poured my steaming cup of coffee and adding a splash of creamer, to make it just the way I like it, I sat down and booted my computer. Loading my story, I reread my last paragraph. ‘I hate it!’ I thought, but my brain said ‘you can edit it later, now we write.’ I put my fingers on the keyboard and started to type”

        Then go into your story. First person, second person, third person; past tense, current tense, fuure tense. Whatever you’re comfortable with.

        Then bringing it back to current: “The last period in place, Mildred thought ‘I’m done.’ Anxious about losing my work I quickly saved it. I watch as the little circle goes around and around as it saves, and I cannot help thinkiing ‘that didn’t work,’ as I always do when I complete a story, so I clicked save again and waited, then again and waited. Now I am done. Tomorrow I’ll edit this giant monster, but tonight I am going to sit and watch some television.”

        Now you’ve made first person, present, but you’ve only had to worry about two paragraphs instead of a whole story. Everything between can be whatever you’re comfortable with. The more you do the smaller things, the more comfortable you will get thinking in that style. Eventually, you will be able to write a short story in first-person current, if that’s what you want to do.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think it’s important to leave some things for the readers imagination that’s what draws the reader to stay in the story. I’m so pleased you helped me take on the two perspective story challenge I feel accomplished doing it.

        You should be an english teacher. This is great advice on how to learn tenses. Your examples were beautifully done too. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You should feel accomplished. You did two great stories and both were completely outside your comfort zone, merely because some random person (annoying me) challenged you to. And you whacked em out of the park.

        Also, a lot of people who enjoy writing have extreme difficulty managing to tie two stories together like you did. The best I can explain it (even though this is a TERRIBLE explanation) is that there are generally two types of stories that do what you did. There is what I call the “Y” story, which is the one that you chose, and I refer to as the “V” story. Both versions start off completely separately, but start drifting toward each other. Most people will bring it together in a sentence or two. So the two divergent stories touch and end (the “V”). You did the harder one which is the “Y” story. You had two divergent stories come together, but you continued past the meeting point and continued by completely overlapping them but through the eyes of the other party. But the two stories tied together through it all (the “Y” story). It’s that extra bit of detail that lets the reader think “ok…this is going to work/not work” depending on how you write it. I hope that makes ANY sense.

        And no, I could not be an English teacher. There are things they are supposed to understand that I never could (how to graph a sentence for example). All I am is simply a person who loves to write. If I can offer advice to someone who wants to hear it, i am more than happy to do it, if I have the ability to. Otherwise, I also have the ability to keep my yap shut. And I loathe red pens. LOL

        Thank you, they just were examples and not even properly done LOL

        But that’s always the best way to learn anything new. Try it, test it, dip your toe in the water. Start with a paragraph and the beginning and the end. Get comfortable with that. Then move on to making it more current first person, and then make parts of it your comfort zone like a journal entry that’s two paragraphs so now out of your six paragraphs four are in the style your not quite fully comfortable with, but you can relax and enjoy the two you are familiar and comfortable with. Then write a short story. Do a few of those so you’re more comfortable. Then go a little longer. It’s no different than any other skill. You build up your skill and your confidence in a way that works for you without trying to dive into the deep end having never tried to swim before. But if you’re going to do it, make sure you don’t stay in the shallow end forever because your talent is better than that. Plus, once you make it to the deep end, your demon will have a mouthful of water and won’t be able to give you grief for a while LOL

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      6. Aww, You’re not annoying at all! I appreciate you giving me a push. I completely understand what you are saying too. It was fun to overlap the stories. I felt that way gave the proper mergence and completed everything up to the start of the date properly. I love doing short stories for the way that it does put you out of your comfort zone. You couldn’t possibly use all the prompts, if you just wrote the same sort of thing every day. I know I’d grown a lot since I started doing these things.

        Going to follow your example with the present tense and see how I get on. And yes I’m really beginning to drown that demon, now

        Liked by 1 person

      7. “I’m really beginning to drown that demon, now”
        YAY! See? Trying helps to drown the rotter!!! That’s what it took for me. I had to try and fall on my tush a few times, but it worked. Demon stalked off and puffed away in a cloud of smoke – the way he shoud stay forever!

        Liked by 1 person

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