Temptations ch.1

No great play or story ever began by someone deciding not to do something i.e. explore, strive, take a risk or a leap. Jon Daley decided not to eat an everything bagel. The damn poppy seeds end up everywhere. He did decide to prove to Amanda he was the right guy for her. The only problem is that of course he wasn’t. To everyone else, including Amanda, this was abundantly clear, like a cloudy day versus a typical Colorado day. But Daley was undeterred, uninhibited, and unrestricted in his pursuit of whom he assumed the Almighty had created just for him. His advances were met with cautious disregard and he scratched his head, assuming she was just playing hard to get. She had other things on her mind. She had a sick grandparent and a dead parakeet. Bills piling up and no job and she was nearly out of cigarettes to boot. Oh did I not make that clear? Everyone could see Jon shouldn’t be with Amanda because he was out of her league. Glad we cleared that up. Now, Jon really just wanted the quiet domesticity that life living with a spouse could provide if adequately maintained. He was a low-confidence man in general, and though he had immense potential, with his personality, it could never be fully realized.

Amanda’s life was a garbage can of chaos, bitterness, and ill-will. She hated people and anxiously awaited the grisly death she was sure was meant for her. She smoked her cigarettes to the filter or until they burnt her lips if they were filter-less. Sure, she dreamed of brighter days, but only when she was high. She had given up giving a fuck a lo-o-ong time ago and didn’t see the use in returning to her former giving-a-fuck ways. Her teeth were in poor shape and she itched nearly incessantly. Jon was a moderately successful mortgage broker from Queens. He grew up playing baseball and eating hot dogs like every American boy should. Amanda struck him the way she did because of this recklessness she embodied. Jon had met here one day when his car broke down and he had to walk to borrow a phone to call the tow truck and a Lyft. They nearly collided. It was raining, drops persisting to find their way to the ground for two days straight now, and she was waiting for the bus to take her to a run-down dive bar where she would find the company of cool beer, cigarette burn holes, and empty-hearted individuals with nothing better to do. He was wiping the smudged screen of his dead-batteried cell phone with his lapel when she took a step back, hearing the busses tires hissing down the street towards her and the stop.

“Sorry,” he gurgled automatically.

“Excuse you, I mean me” she offered apathetically.