And now, here's the new segment:
Brody smiled broadly as his fingers tapped six buttons on the keyboard of his laptop. Well, five buttons, one of them twice. “The end,” was what he wrote. It had taken him two years, and $300,000 to finish it, but his YA dystopian vampire novel was finished. He’d called it Once Bitten , which he thought was a pretty clever title. Now, it was time to start sending it around to agents, and watch them fight over it. He grabbed his latte, took a big gulp, and thought, move over Rowling, move over Meyers, it’s my turn now.
He saved the file, snapped his laptop closed, and stood from his favorite booth. He’d written probably 90% of his book at that booth. He’d probably spent, at least a thousand dollars in coffee here, so he didn’t think the Naked Lounge had reason to complain that he occupied it so much, he’d paid his rent. Now that he was done, it was over to the FedEx store to print a bunch of copies of the book, and then post those copies to the agents he’d already picked out.
It took a long time, and the clerk at the store seemed to be as glad to be rid of him as he was to be rid of the FedEx store when he finally finished the process two and a half hours later. He was going to be late to meet Tena for lunch, and he didn’t want that. He pulled up to the Firehouse Restaurant just behind her Prius.
Tena was looking as amazing as ever, she was even thinner than the last time he’d seen her, and she again didn’t even get a real meal, instead ordering only soup and salad, the tomato bisque and the Oaxacan chicken salad, which she only picked at. She was starting to look as thin as a supermodel. She had divorced her husband, just as Brody had hoped for. Those happy marriages never seem to last in his experience. Unfortunately, she’d taken up with someone else, her personal trainer at the gym. Each time they met, she would fill his ears with all the details of her relationship, one time even mentioning the hugeness of his cock, and then looking at Brody as if expecting him to be especially interested with this tidbit. Brody had been depressed for a week after that particular lunch meeting.
“I finished my book, Tena,” Brody announced, “and sent it off to a bunch of agents right before I came to meet you.”
Tena smiled, her shining white teeth beaming down on Brody like moonlight. “That’s great, Brode. I’m so glad to hear that. You’ve been working on that a really long time.”
“Yeah, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It really took a lot of work.”
“It must have. It took you, what...two years or something?” she asked.
“Yeah, but it’s gonna be amazing. I can’t wait to hear what the agents have to say about it.” He really couldn’t wait too long either. This time around, he’d kept a closer eye on his finances, remaining vigilant, and he was starting to run out. His funds would probably only last him another few months at best.
“I wish I had good news to tell you about,” Tena said, then her voice broke, and she picked up her napkin and held it in front of her mouth for a moment. Her shoulders hunched, in fact her whole body seemed to hunch into her hands.
“What is it, Tena? Are you okay?” Brody asked, concern evident in his tone. He reached across the table and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Oh, Brody, I think I’m cursed,” she moaned.
“Cursed? I don’t…”
“Oh, it’s Liam. He and I broke up. He was sleeping with someone else,” Brody had to fight to keep a smile from lighting up his face. This was even better news than the completion of his book. She was free again, and beside that, she was vulnerable. This might finally be his chance.
Brody struggled to get the proper expression on his face, then said, “I’m so sorry, Tena. I’m sorry.” He slid his chair over next to hers and took her in his arms. She sniffled and snuffled into his shirt, and he exulted in the feel of her body pressed against his.
“If it makes you feel any better, he didn’t deserve you. You were way too good for that guy,” Brody said.
A weak smile crossed her face. “Thanks, Brode. It’s great to have someone like you to talk to,” she replied. She hugged him tighter.
What did that mean? he wondered, a really good friend? He wasn’t sure he wanted to be that guy. “Someone like me?” he asked out loud without meaning to.
She sniffled loudly again, and then said, “you know, a gay friend that I can talk to about relationships without worrying about them having any ulterior motives.”A gay friend? Brody hung his head, realizing that somehow, he had unwittingly destroyed all his hopes on his own.