The Story of a False-Alarm Booty Call

This story may or may not be true. In either case, all names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Betsy liked Frank. She had liked Frank for months. His dark, curly hair, his radiant brown skin, his intelligent, deep conversation, his commitment to social justice. She found it all so sexy. They had had one amazing conversation at her house that had lasted for hours. He had given her a ride home one night after a social justice group meeting, and she had invited him in. No flirting, no innuendo. Just two humans making an authentic connection. Nevertheless, by the end of that conversation, she realized that she would absolutely date him if he were even remotely interested.

He wasn’t.

So, they continued their friendship. Betsy tried unsuccessfully to get Frank to hang out again. Him – always nice, always welcoming. But no flirting. No dates. They did have some additional great conversations, but it never led to romance. Betsy was okay with this. She never minded having handsome, intelligent friends. She had quite a few. She and Frank texted occasionally, and all was well. The night in question was no different. Or, so she thought.

Frank was celibate. He had decided years ago that dating just wasn’t worth it. At first, Betsy thought that was a shame. But after a string of back-to-back dating disasters, she too had given up on dating. After making that decision, she told Frank about it. He was perfectly supportive. Partners in celibacy. Not Betsy’s dream scenario, but helpful nonetheless.

So, one night, after a series of texts back and forth with Frank, Betsy joked that, as a “nun,” it was almost her bedtime. This was her way of ending the texting session. She was surprised, but happy, when Frank kept texting. He had already agreed to give her a ride to their next meeting, so it didn’t seem out of place when he asked for her address again. The texts were getting a little flirty, which was great, but she was a Nun and he was a Monk. So, she rolled the dice and said that if he ever decided to leave the Monkhood, he should let her know. Betsy smiled at her own bravado and prepared for bed. It was almost 11 p.m. – later than she had wanted to go to bed, but still good.

Thirty minutes later, she received another text from Frank. “Here,” it said. Betsy looked at it and assumed it was an auto-correct boo-boo. She’d gotten many strange accidental texts from her friends, so she ignored this one. The next text from Frank said “Your roomy won’t let me in.”  Um, what?

She replied, “You’re not actually here are you?”

He was.

WTF? Betsy scanned her sloppy room and her own sloppy attire with dismay. What is he doing here? she thought. Reluctantly, she swirled a little mouthwash and opened the door. From the kitchen, Betsy’s gay roommate, Lloyd, watched with suspicion as she let a strange man into their home. Slut, he was probably thinking. She wanted to explain, but knew whatever she said would sound like bullshit.

So she and Frank walked back to Betsy’s room, sat on her couch, and talked. Or at least she talked. Frank slouched sexily and leaned towards her as she babbled on about whatever. He reached out and removed the pillows that were between them. Then, in one swift move, he cupped one arm under her legs and one arm behind her back, sliding her towards him and placing her legs over his. In this position, she was kind of cradled in his arms. She had never actually been this close to him before. It was both a dream and a nightmare.

A dream because she liked him. A nightmare because, if he had gone over there for a booty call, he was in for a hot disappointment. Betsy wasn’t the booty-call type. Her booty was reserved for VIP members of that place called the heart. So, while her mind raced, trying to figure out why this was happening, and how to get out of it, Frank continued to fix her with a sexy gaze.

“You’re so cute when you’re nervous,” Frank said. Oh, my stars. Betsy thought. What has gotten into this man? She subtly sniffed the air, testing to see if perhaps alcohol was involved. Frank didn’t drink.  But he also said he didn’t fuck. So…

“I’m just surprised,” Betsy managed to reply. Frank smirked and began tracing her arms with a lazy finger. Betsy stiffened and increased the speed of her babbling. The tracing continued. Eventually Frank’s audacious finger found its way to the top of her chest. That’s when Betsy’s clarity returned. She grasped the defiant finger, placed it back in Frank’s lap, and sat up.

“What’s going on with you?” Betsy demanded. Frank, as if shaken out of a dream, watched the change in Betsy’s demeanor as she sat up.

“I’ve made you uncomfortable,” Frank said. Well that’s the  understatement of the year.

Betsy lied and said “Not uncomfortable, just confused. What’s going on?”

Frank clearly didn’t know. Or wouldn’t say. He had come over “to see what Betsy would do.”

“I wanted to get out of my head for a while. But it’s not working. I’m still in my head,” Frank said.

No, you’re on my couch, motherfucker, Betsy thought, but said nothing. As Frank went on to try and explain without explaining, he conveyed a sense of being lost. He was dealing with a bunch of problems – which he wouldn’t specify – and was going through stuff.

“I just wanted to try something different,” Frank said, his demeanor conveying remorse and confusion.

As Betsy always does with misbehaving men, she forgave him. But on her terms. She assured him that no booty would be forthcoming, but that she was glad he’d come over. They continued talking. Normal. Like usual. After a few minutes, Frank stood up.

Betsy stood up with him, knowing that whatever had come over Frank was gone now. Maybe she’d never see him again. Maybe he would never hit on her again. Maybe this was her first, last, and only shot at having Frank. Nevertheless, she knew she had done the right thing. Allowing Frank to use her body as an escape hatch from his problems would have helped neither of them. If she never saw him again, so be it.

Betsy walked Frank to the door. Lloyd was no longer in the kitchen. She regretted that he would think something had happened between her and Frank when nothing could be further from the truth. She wanted to knock on his room door and tell him so, but restrained herself.

At the front door, Betsy held onto Frank. Frank held onto Betsy. They hugged for a few seconds. Then she sent Frank out the door, and into the night, with all of his worries and mental burdens intact. Why did she love the wounded type so much?

She shook her head at herself and shut the door.

 

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Polyamory in Romance Novels

I was listening to Polyamory Weekly last week and the interviewee was Racheline Maltese, co-author of The Art of Three, a new romance novel. The story sounds intriguing, but more intriguing is that the authors themselves are polyamorous.

Polyamory is the practice of having multiple long-term loving relationships with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. Having dated polyamorously a couple of times, and having studied it seriously for the better part of a year, I can say that it is not as scandalous or exciting as it sounds. It attracts all kinds of different people, some of whom are highly evolved and have the utmost of beautiful intentions, some of whom are confused or predatory, and some of whom have no business even trying it. But that’s a subject another blog.

In terms of writing a romance novel, what I love about this story (I haven’t read it yet) is that it dispenses with the tired cliché of whom will she pick – the hot young stud who offers her passion and excitement, or the other hot stud who offers her depth and commitment? Or some other such sad and soggy cliché. Instead, the heroine pursues a relationship with both parties and deals with whatever joy and drama ensues from such a choice. What a new and seductive idea!

Writing – and all art – is a tight balance between being innovative and real, but conforming to the conventions readers expect. It is a hard balance to get right. If it’s too cutting edge, readers may be offended and dismiss it out of hand. If it’s too conventional, readers will be bored and pass it over. What I like about Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese, the co-authors of The Art of Three, is that they decided to just write what they wanted to write. The best art, in my opinion, comes from the depths of the artist; it does not come from studying the market. It’s a risk. But it seems to have paid off for these authors. The book has received positive reviews.

So, for all of you who love, compose, or consume art, may you open the boundaries of your spirit and stretch yourselves to consider new and trailblazing ideas.

Have a blessed and beautiful week,

Raven