Writing Class Assignment #3 (Fiction) - Rough Draft

The third assignment for Week 1 of my writing class is to write a fictional piece about myself. Specifically, to create a fictional person and describe their fictional encounter with me. Challenging. I decided to go for broke and create a female character speaking in first person POV and present tense. The character is based on a woman I went on a date with a week ago and never heard from again (although I thought it went swimmingly). The setting is a youth hockey fundraiser at the Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton WI that my band GUPPY EFFECT is performing at on February 7th - in the future, so technically fictional. I want to thank Melanie Kennedy and Sherry Misener for editorial input, especially on the feminine angle.


by Joe Leonard

© 2015 Joseph S. Leonard

I arrive at the ice hockey arena and take the stairs up to the mezzanine level cautiously since I'm in heels. There's a women's restroom in the hallway at the top of the stairs and I go in to check my mascara. My eyes are still watering from the February wind that blasted me in the parking lot.

I take a deep breath, exit the bathroom, and walk down the hall to the mezzanine entrance.

There are perhaps two dozen people inside. On instinct, I beeline for the bar and relax a little bit in the vicinity of the familiar liquid tonics. I look across the long room to the far end where the band is setting up. I am not sure if Joe sees me, bundled up as I still am in my coat and scarf. He is busy setting up music equipment with his band.

I take off my scarf as the bartender, a petite brunette girl who looks barely old enough to serve alcohol, comes over.

She doesn’t say anything, just raises her eyebrows as if to say, “You know the drill.”

“Do you have red wine?” I ask.

“Um…I think so,” she says, looking around behind the counter. “Hang on. Hey, Mary…?”

She's addressing a middle aged woman who is struggling to carry a case of Bud Light behind the bar. The discussion between the bartender and Mary as to the whereabouts of the elusive red wine fades as I turn back to the band.

I’m startled to see Joe about 10 feet away, coming toward me.

“Hey, stranger,” he says, smiling and opening his arms in what I interpret as an invitation for a hug. “Fancy seeing you here.”

We embrace quickly and awkwardly, but not unpleasantly.

“Can I get you a drink?” he asks.

“I may already have one coming,” I reply. “But thanks.”

Do I apologize for not replying to his Tinder message after our date last week? Maybe best to let that slide since he seems happy to see me and unperturbed. But wait…is it good that he’s unperturbed? Shouldn’t he be a little perturbed that I blew him off?

“I wasn’t sure if you'd come,” he says, forcing my hand. I feel awkward again.

I try to sound sympathetic. “I am sorry I didn’t text you back. When you have a three year old son, it’s hard. But I'm here...at your show.”

“Here’s your wine,” the bartender says behind me, offering a welcome distraction. I turn toward her and reach into my purse for money.

“Put that on my tab,” Joe says to the girl. “And anything else she wants, too.”

I can't repress a small smile. I am glad I came after all. Maybe I will go on another date with him, if he asks. He may be a writer and a musician. But he’s a gentleman.

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