This week for Tuesday Tales, I’m starting a new story, The Manifesting Love Club. Four friends. All single. Some looking for love. Some not. Join these ladies as they take their friendship into a new direction, to manifest love. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘phone’.
Return to TUESDAY TALES for the rest of the story snippets.
“Blast it all! Which one of you has the big mouth?” Tracey cast her eyes down at the table as if not acknowledging the waiter that approached them would make him disappear. It wasn’t as if no one could see the blazing candle that adorned the towering slice of chocolate cake. But if any other diners happened to miss it, the trailing line of wait staff singing an off-key rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ made sure to bring everyone’s attention to the four ladies gathered to celebrate Tracey’s milestone birthday.
The song trailed off in a pathetic ending and the waiter stood there, scanning the four faces to see who the dessert belonged to. Three sets of fingers pointed in Tracey’s direction. “Gee, thanks. With friends like you…” she muttered.
As she inhaled for the grand blowing out of the candle, Corecia interrupted with a squeal. “No! Not yet. You have to make a wish first.”
“Really? A wish? Do you have any idea how long it’s been since I made a wish? Tracey glared at Corecia, the youngest in the group of four friends. “You probably weren’t even born yet when I last made a wish. Besides…the only thing I’d wish for isn’t possible.” The smile faded from her face and her shoulders sagged at the thought of what she’d most like in life. But…there weren’t enough candles to wish on that would bring her husband back.
Juliette reached across the table and slapped at Corecia’s hand. “There. See what you’ve done. Now you’ve made her sad on her birthday.”
Corecia merely puckered her lips into a pouty face in Juliette’s direction, waved her hand in the air as if it didn’t matter, and turned her attention back to the digital screen that had captivated her most of the night.
Blue wax proceeded to drip down and splash across the top of the frosted cake. Heather pointed and spoke up. “Go ahead, Tracey. Forget the wish. Better blow it out before it burns the house down.”
Tracey proceeded to blow at the flame, although it took her three tries before she finally extinguished it. Heather, sitting next to her, leaned over and whispered low enough that the other two couldn’t hear. “I’m sorry, dear. Memories of your husband tend to crop up at unexpected moments, don’t they?”
A soft nod from Tracey showed her agreement. “You’d think I’d be used to it by now. After all…it’s been two years. I guess with the birthday thing though…especially hitting sixty this year…he’s just been on my mind a lot lately. I miss him so much still.”
Across the table, Juliette overheard the last part and added her own thoughts. “You need a boyfriend, Tracey. That would take your mind off your husband’s death.”
Heather gasped in astonishment. “What? I can’t believe you said that!
Tracey sputtered as her face paled to a deathly white. “What…a…a…boyfriend? You’ve got to be kidding me, right? You think I want a boyfriend…so soon after my husband died?”
“It’s not like it’s all that soon, Tracey. It has been two years.” Juliette spoke as if she were the all-knowing voice of love and relationships.
“Have some respect.” Heather jumped to her friend’s defense. “Two years is not that long. Especially not when someone had such a loving relationship. How long were you two married Tracey?”
“We’d just celebrated our thirty fourth anniversary. We were going to go to Hawaii the next year to celebrate our thirty fifth. Until a drunk driver changed those plans.”
Juliette held up her wine glass in a silent toast. “Thirty four years. I can’t even imagine. I’d love to make it to thirty four weeks in a good relationship.”
Corecia looked up from her phone with a smirk on her face. “Girlfriend…you’d be lucky to make it thirty four days with the same man.”
“Ha! As if you’d know,” Juliette retorted. “You haven’t made it that long with the same man either, even being the ebony beauty you are.”
“I don’t seem to recall having any lack of men in my life.” Corecia sat up straight and flung her beaded braids over her shoulder.
“Noooooo…you have guys all over you…but a different one every night. You’re such a hussy.” Juliette leaned back with a smug look on her face.
“You’re just jealous because you haven’t had a date in…what…a month or more?”
“C’mon ladies. Don’t be ugly. We’re here for Tracey’s birthday tonight. Not to fuss with each other or bemoan our lack of a love life.” Heather stepped in, always the voice of reason in this unlikely group of friends. She always seemed to be the peacemaker, placating the rowdier members of the foursome and soothing ruffled feathers.
“That’s right. I’m sorry, Tracey.” Corecia looked across the table at Tracey. “Forgive me?”
“Don’t even worry about it. There’s nothing to forgive.” A slight smile crept back on Tracey’s face, easing out the sadness that had settled in for a few moments. “Besides, maybe you’re right. Maybe there’s always so many guys drifting about you, we feel like lonely wallflowers.” She lifted a forkful of her birthday cake to her mouth and pushed the plate into the middle of the table so the others could join her.
“Not just guys, fine young men.” The look of pride on Corecia’s face had her glowing, and then it faded into a thoughtful expression. “Y’all may be right though. I’ve got lots of offers, lots of one time dates. Which is fine when we’re all out partying and having a good time. But ya’ know…sometimes I’d just like to have one main squeeze, one special man to come home to every night and curl up on the couch with.”
Juliette piped back up. “Then you have to stop meeting your guys at the clubs. You know all you’re gonna find there are players.”
“You have any better ideas, Miss I-Don’t-Have-a-Man-Either? I am not going to sign up for one of those dating sites. No matter how much they advertise how wonderful they are.”
Heather almost bounced up and down in her seat. “We can do it. We can manifest men in our lives. Special men. Honorable, faithful men. Let’s make a club. A manifesting club. We can get together and call our soulmates to us.”
“Ummmm…excuse me…” Tracey interrupted. “I don’t recall saying I wanted a man in my life. I think I’ll stay out of this little magical circle you’re setting up.”
Corecia swiveled her chin around and spoke up. “Un-uh. You’ve gotta be there too Miss Tracey. Whether you’re a wantin’ a man or not. You’re part of this group. We’ve got to do this together.”
“I’m in.” Juliette smacked her palm on the table. “Tell me when and where. I’m ready for a good man in my life.”
Heather beamed with excitement. “My apartment. First Saturday of the month?”
“Sure. Count me in.” Corecia looked around the table at the others. “But…what are we going to do? Light candles? Drink love potions?”
“I have some ideas. I’ll do some research for our first meeting. But I know what I want to share at our first meeting. Something I’ve been dabbling around with the past few weeks.” Heather took a bite of the cake that was fast disappearing and didn’t volunteer any more.
“What? You going to leave us in suspense until our first official meeting?” Juliette adjusted the bands of tinkling bracelets on her wrist and looked annoyed.
“Yep. It will be a surprise. I’ll fix dinner for us.”
“I’ll bring a dessert.” Tracey conceded that she’d attend too. Not that she had any intention of participating in trying to summon a man into her life.
“I’ll bring the wine.” Juliette and Corecia spoke up in unison.
“It’s a deal.” Heather pulled her phone from her pocket, pulled up the calendar and added a note to her schedule. “The third of next month. Seven o’clock?”
The others did the same, all adding notes to their various electronic devices. Except for Tracey. She pulled a note pad from her purse and jotted down the date and time.
Juliette looked over and laughed at Tracey. “Really? Woman, we have got to get you up with the times. That is so old-school.”
Tracey glanced up and chuckled. “Well, maybe while you three work on your love life, I’ll work on manifesting some modern technology.”
“So, Heather, what are we going to be doing to bring love our way?” Corecia tried to slide the question in to catch Heather unawares.
It didn’t work.
“Told you. Not going to tell. You’ll find out when you get there. Just bring an open mind with you. And the wine and dessert, of course.”