For the Love of Taryn

Written By

Alishia Pressley, Tamara Stinson, & Judith Malveaux

Treatment
LOGLINE: After two friends encourage a successful young woman to get back into the dating game she is faced with the choice between three very different but eligible bachelors. After two years from calling off her engagement to her fiancé, Taryn Camille Hughes, a successful 29-year-old young woman living in Charlotte, NC finds herself back in the dating game. She travels back down memory lane and she remembers the dates of 3 very different gentlemen. After meeting Preston Edgerton, Timothy Miles, Derek Lovelace, she consults with her friends Kelly and Veronica. After deliberating with them, she then decides which of the three to continue to pursue.

Act One

As the story begins Taryn Camile Hughes is sitting outside on one of those days that was muggy with a cool breeze. The leaves were moving in one direction all at once and then still. The rain starts in a light mist and feels good against her skin so she doesn‟t move. She just sit there and when it starts raining harder, she stays, glued it seemed...to the spot. She feels trapped in her memories of what could have been. Of what should have been. It‟s not until the rain stops that she starts thinking about moving and, even then, the wind still blows rain on her. It‟s been exactly two years since she called off her wedding. Her fiancé, their dreams, and their life all came to an end in what felt like seconds. But it was a long time coming. They met in undergrad at Howard University in DC. Taryn, a psychology major, and he was pre-med. She had planned to attend law school after undergrad. Yes, she was supposed to be the Claire to his Cliff Huxtable. On paper they were perfect together. Unfortunately that was not the reality. When they weren‟t out putting on a “show” for their friends and family, they barely spoke. They hadn‟t been intimate in almost a year. He was horrible with money and was drowning in debt. He was adamant on having a wedding that cost nearly 20K with absolutely no funds to pull it off. He mentioned that they should both take out extra student loans since they were both in graduate school. It was all about the dog and pony show to him. He grew up in a single-parent household and was the only one of his siblings to make something of himself, so he had a facade to keep up. Act Two Taryn gets up and goes into the house, which is eerily quiet because she likes it like that. She hardly ever turns on the television anymore because she doesn‟t like the sounds. She likes to hear it all. Feel it all. Be in the moment to deal with whatever comes her way.

She grabs a champagne flute and an unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot. She thinks to her self, “Tonight I‟m celebrating the possibilities”. She opens up her laptop and checks her email. All junk. She glances over at the upper right hand corner of her computer to check the time. 5:57pm. She has a date at 9:00pm. She clicks on the tab for her Facebook account and click 'Home' so she can glances at status messages for her friends and "friends." She looks at a few new photos before she updates her status to say: "Hard work makes you stronger, faster, better." Such a typical status for her. She gets a new email alert. Someone sends her a message on the dating site e-cupid.com. She hasn‟t logged on that site since she met her new beau about six weeks ago. She was reluctant to sign up for a dating site but one of her only close girlfriends, Kelly, talked her into it and she obliged. “You are the most beautiful woman I‟ve come across on this site. My name is Lonnie and I enjoy long walks in the park and wining and dining my woman. Can we get to know each other?” Delete. Taryn thinks to herself, “I don‟t know why these fools even bother; how pathetic”. There‟s a knock on the door, in comes her best friends Veronica and Kelly. Kelly is single also. Like Taryn, Kelly has been through her share of heartbreak but is a little more of a hopeless romantic than the others. Veronica, married and a little more cynical about love thought the whole idea of them being on the dating site was absurd. They all exchange hugs and kisses, grab a glass and sit down with Taryn as she continues through her three options from e-cupid.com. The Clicqout begins to kick in, so she pours everyone another glass, turns on her favorite Coltrane playlist and decides to take a walk down memory lane before she deletes this account forever. Time check. 6:30pm. Derek Lovelace, Timothy Miles, and Preston Edgerton; three men she will never forget.

Optional Endings It is at this point where the players of the game will act as Taryn‟s friends Kelly and Veronica, and advise her to pursue the gentleman of their choice. Each of the three branches or choices will have different results. Branch 1: If she chooses to go out with Preston Edgerton it ends badly. However, her friends have the option of suggesting that she should go out with him again.

Branch 2: If she chooses to go out with Timothy Miles it ends badly. However, her friends have the option of suggesting that she should go out with him again. Branch 3: If she chooses to go out with Derek Lovelace, it ends well. However her friends have the option of suggesting that she not go out with him again.

Production Book
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to entertain readers through an interactive script in regards to the love life of a single and successful 29-year-old woman.

Audience: The target audience of this project would be single middle-aged women.

Notes from Meeting with instructor: We met with the instructor to confirm that we were within the guidelines and met the expectations of this project. We asked for help and clarity on uncertain issues or concerns such as the treatment and general concept of the project. We were informed by the instructor that overall we were within the guidelines for this project. However, we needed to create an interactivity portion for the project which is now included through wordpress.com.

Group Meeting Details: Tasks and timeline of our project were as followed:   Decided what media tool we wanted to use to illustrate our project o We chose script writing Decided if we wanted to conduct our project using an existing script from a movie, book, or create our own o We chose to create our own o Decided what we wanted to write about  Brainstormed and chose to write about a middle age single woman in the dating game.  She has the option of dating three different men  Derek Lovelace  Timothy Miles  Preseton Edgerton  Made a character sketch of the woman  Name: Taryn  29 years old  Never married  Born and raised in Charlotte, NC  Studied political science and psychology  The third of four kids  Parents still married  African American

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Has natural hair Not very talkative but opinionated Loves Jazz music Has a small circle of friends In regards to love life: looking for a commitment but not immediate marriage Assigned each group member a bachelor (dating choice) Assigned each group member a section of the project Met during class and reviewed each scene to confirm Taryn remained consistent within each scene we wrote individually Created the interactivity portion of the project through the wordpress site Met to review the entire project Made final changes

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Decision Making: Initially when we began this project, we were contemplating on writing a script based on a movie or book. However, after careful consideration we decided to create our own script. By doing so, we believe it will allowed us to better explore and enhance our creativity as well as the skills and topics learned during this course. As in one of the chapters that we read, we wanted to surround our project on a topic we all enjoyed to write about, Love. We chose to create a script centering a middle-aged single woman who recently got back into the dating game after the failing of a long-term relationship. We created a total of three potential gentlemen of interests and created 3 dates. Within each date, we decided to create three branches that would illustrate interactivity. Within these branches, each viewer would act as the main character‟s friend and choose one out of the three gentlemen to pursue. Two out of the choices would lead to a dead end, and the other to a successful relationship .To incorporate interactivity; we also decided to use the wordpress site to demonstrate transmedia.

Transmedia: This project will demonstrate an example of transmedia through the wordpress site. The script will be placed on wordpress.com and will allow interactivity with its viewers or players. Within the script, the viewers will have the option to act as a “player” or friend of the main character Taryn by clicking on the bachelor of their choice to pursue a second date with.

Script
It‟s one of those days you know. The kind where it‟s all still and muggy but with a breeze that was cool…moving the leaves in one direction all at once and then still. The rain starts in a light mist and feels good against my skin so I don‟t move. I just sit there and when it starts raining harder, I stay, glued it seemed…to the spot. I feel trapped in my memories of what could have been. Of what should have been. It‟s not until the rain stops that I start thinking about moving and, even then, the wind still blows rain on me. A welcoming cool mist in the mugginess of it all. It‟s been exactly two years since I called off my wedding. My fiancé, our dreams, and our life all came to an end in what felt like seconds. But it was a long time coming. We met in undergrad at Howard University in DC. Me, a psychology major, and him pre-med. I had planned to attend law school after undergrad. Yes, I was supposed to be the Claire to his Cliff Huxtable. On paper we were perfect together. Unfortunately that was not the reality. When we weren‟t out putting on a “show” for our friends and family, we barely spoke. We hadn‟t been intimate in almost a year; it was like we didn‟t like each other. More so, he didn‟t like me. He was horrible with money and was drowning in debt. He was adamant on having a wedding that cost nearly 20K with absolutely no funds to pull it off. He mentioned that we should both take out extra student loans since we were both in graduate school. Was he kidding me? Nope. It was all about the dog and pony show to him. He grew up in a single-parent household and was the only one of his siblings to make something of himself, so I guess he had a facade to keep up. Good luck to him with that. I get up and go into the house, which is eerily quiet because I like it like that. I hardly ever turn on the television anymore because I don‟t like the sounds. I like to hear it all. Feel it all. Be in the moment to deal with whatever comes my way because I‟m not distracted. I grab a champagne flute and an unopened bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Tonight I‟m celebrating the possibilities. I open up my laptop and check my email. All junk. I glance over at the upper right hand corner of my computer to check the time. 5:57pm. I have a date at 9:00pm. I click on the tab for my Facebook account and click „Home‟ so I can glance at status messages for my friends and “friends.” I look at a few new photos before I update my status to say: “Hard work makes you stronger, faster, better.” Such a typical status for me. I‟m a bit of an introvert so I never post about my relationship woes, work troubles or worse — those stupid subliminal messages — no matter how many martinis I consumed. I get a new email alert. Someone sends me a message on the dating site e-cupid.com. I haven‟t logged on that site since I met my new beau about six weeks ago. I was reluctant to sign up for a dating site but one of my only close girlfriends, Kelly, talked me into it and I obliged. I didn‟t have anything to lose. My last serious relationship was my exfiancé.

“You are the most beautiful woman I‟ve come across on this site. My name is Lonnie and I enjoy long walks in the park and wining and dining my woman. Can we get to know each other?” Delete. I don‟t know why these fools even bother. How pathetic. There‟s a knock on the door, in comes her best friends Veronica and Kelly. Kelly is single also. Kelly is single also. She also has an account on e-cupid.com. We went to high school together so she knows me very, very well. Like me, Kelly has been through her share of heartbreak but is a little more of a hopeless romantic than me. I appreciate her optimism about love but she can be a bit pushy when it comes to me and dating. My other girlfriend, Veronica, is married and a little more cynical about love. She thinks is absolutely absurd that Kelly and I are on a dating site. She can‟t image it being so hard in the dating game that we‟d have to go to such lengths. But what does she know she‟s married. Veronica is an attorney for the public defenders office. We met in court a few years back and became really good friends. I didn‟t have anything to lose. The Clicqout begins to kick in, so I pour everyone another glass, turn on my favorite Coltrane playlist and decide to take a walk down memory lane before I delete this account forever. Time check. 6:30pm. Derek Lovelace, Timothy Miles, and Preston Edgerton; three men I will never forget.

Date with Preston:
His message seems intriguing enough. “Hello, lovely. Allow me to wine and dine you, and treat you like the elegant lady you are.” Nice, I think. Respectful. Dignified. Confident. Everything spelled correctly. I respond with a similar tone. “Thank you for the lovely compliment. I would like to meet. ”Now, the next message should have been a clue, but hindsight is 20/20.“Wonderful,” he responds. “Let‟s me on Saturday. There‟s a wonderful seafood restaurant in Ballantyne that I am sure you‟ll love.” Though I am a seafood lover, I didn‟t include that in my profile. Making the assumption that I not only want seafood but that I am automatically available on Saturday annoys me. But I know I can be controlling. So, I go with it. Taryn arrives at the restaurant 5 minutes early. She glances around, looking for the man wearing the brown leather jacket and crimson bowtie. Preston sees her from his booth and motions with his hand for her to walk toward him. When she reaches the table, he stands to greet her.

Preston Ah, a true diva you are. Lovely, but unconcerned about making a man wait for you. Taryn I’m sorry. I thought I was right on time. Preston waves his hand dismissively. Preston No worries. I always believe in arriving 15 minutes early. My family taught me that on time is late. I suppose it’s become a habit. Taryn Well, I’m sorry you had to wait. Taryn stands for a second and then sits after realizing Preston will not get up to pull out the chair. The waiter walks over to the table and slides a menu near Taryn‟s hand. Preston raises his hand in objection. Preston We will have the 1972 Chardonnay Mont Blanc. Preston turns to Taryn and smiles. Preston It’s perfect to accompany the almond-crusted salmon. Taryn pats her stomach and recalls the last time she had salmon. Taryn I’m not really a salmon person. The last time I had it, I got food poisoning. I haven’t had it since then.

Preston Nonsense. You have to try the salmon here. It will change your mind. I first had almond-crusted salmon on a weekend visit with a classmate at Harvard – he was a relative of the Rockefellers. Anyway, it was divine. The item here is almost as good. Taryn Oh, you went to Harvard? Preston Yes, hence the crimson bowtie. I debated where I would study for a moment, but my mother insisted that I go to the United States instead of England. My sister was already here and settling down with a clerk to a congressman in New York – I won’t say his name, but he’s powerful. Anyway, I had family nearby, so came to the states. Taryn You considered school in England? Preston Yes, Oxford, of course. And where did you go to school? Your profile said you had a master’s degree. That was definitely a factor in my contacting you. Taryn I went to Howard University for my undergraduate degree. Preston Oh, a black school? That’s cute. Taryn pauses, turning her head as she tries to figure out what the comment meant. Taryn Well, it was a wonderful experience. I met some amazing people and enjoyed my four years.

Preston And graduate school? Surely you didn’t go to another black school?

Taryn Why? Would that be a problem? Preston No. No. Preston shakes his head and looks off as though he has suddenly lost interest. He pulls his napkin from the table, snaps it open and places it on his lap. Preston So, where did you go for graduate school? Taryn I went to American University. I fell in love with Washington and didn’t want to leave. Preston nods politely. Preston Did you ever consider ivy league? You’re bright. Articulate. I’m sure you could have been accepted. Taryn feels her forehead begin to throb. She lightly rubs her right temple and smiles. As she begins to answer, the waiter steps in with the wine. Waiter Your wine, sir. He uncorks the bottle and pours a few drops into Preston‟s glass. Preston twirls it around and swallows.

Preston Perfect. He turns to Taryn. Preston Have some. It’s amazing. Taryn I’m sorry I should have said earlier, but I don’t drink a lot of white wine. The histamines sometimes trigger my allergies. Preston Nonsense. This is too good to pass up. It’s worth a sniffle. Preston signals for the waiter to pour into Taryn‟s glass. She rubs her temple again. Preston So, we were talking school. Why not ivy league? Taryn Well, after taking the SAT, I kept getting information about the minority experiences as schools. I got tired of it. I didn’t want to know what it was like to be a minority; I just wanted to be a student. I decided to go to a historically black college and, from there, I narrowed it down to three. Preston Well, I understand supporting black, but there are definitely advantages to attending non-black schools. Why, my sister met her husband at Columbia. He’s a distant cousin to the Kennedy family.

Taryn Well, I think my experience was wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it. Preston smiles. Preston That’s sweet. So, shall we order? I’d recommend the water chestnuts. They go so well with the salmon. Taryn’s phone rings. She glances at it and senses an out for the date. She sees the caller is Kelly, one of her best friends. Taryn I’m sorry. I have to take this. My best friend has been sick and I need to make sure she’s feeling better. Preston smiles and waves his hand as though granting permission. Taryn taps the phone. Taryn Hello? Kelly Did I leave my book at your house last week? Taryn Oh, goodness. Really? I need to get that for you. Kelly Girl, what are you talking about? I don’t need it now. I was just asking. Taryn No, no it’s Okay. We don’t want you getting any sicker.

Kelly Sick? Heifer, we ran three miles this morning. What the hell… Taryn I will be right there. Taryn hangs up and looks up at Preston. Taryn I’m so sorry. I have to run and get some medication for my friend Kelly. Preston smiles. He grabs the napkin in his lap and stands. Taryn grabs her purse and stands to leave. Taryn I’ll call. Preston Certainly. Perhaps when you do, you can turn the volume down on your phone. That way whoever you’re with doesn’t hear how you are blowing them off. Taryn‟s eyes grow large and she realizes that he knows she‟s just trying to escape the date and she hastily heads for the door. That was a disaster. Timothy sounds cool and a little less pretentious; maybe I should give him a try.

Date with Timothy:
The message reads, “ Yessss! You finally decide to give in and email me your phone number. I can‟t wait to finally hear your voice. Hopefully, we can meet up for dinner. I‟ll be calling you soon, very soon.” Signed Timothy Miles Waiter Would you like a refill of water Miss? Taryn Yes, please. Could you also add some more ice? Waiter grabs her cup and fills it with ice and water. Taryn looks at her phone for the time, while shaking her head impatiently and in disgust. Taryn (thinking to herself) We agreed on meeting for dinner at 8:00pm sharp. It’s now 8:18pm.I explained to him on the phone how I felt about promptness and attendance, and to think he didn’t even have the audacity to text or call to notify me that he was running late. Just be open Taryn, just be patient… Again I ask myself, what do I have to lose? Nothing but my dignity and self-respect, my subconscious replies. I ignore her and take a deep breath, in hale then exhale. Tim arrives. Tim (Nervously to Taryn) Hey beautiful. How are you? I am so sorry for being a little late. What can I do to make it better? Tim still is standing.

Taryn (thinking to herself) You can start by sitting your ass down. Taryn comes to, and replies…. Tayrn It’s okay. Just glad you FINALLY made it. I understand that things happen. Well, what exactly happened? What’s the cause of the tardiness? He reaches out for a hug as she hesitantly stands but then obliges. Taryn (a little demanding and annoyed) Please, let’s have a seat. So why are you late? Tim Well…honestly, and I was going to wait and tell you as time progressed…but my ex was late running some errands and I agreed to watch our kids until she returned. But I got here as soon as I could. Taryn in awe manages to pull herself together, clears her throat and as calm as possible says… Taryn Your what was running late and you were watching yourrrr???? Okay. I am completely blindsided on this. When we conversed over the phone, I don’t recall any of this information being disclosed. And I’m definitely not a fan of liars, even by omission. Waiter comes back over to the table and interrupts. Waiter And what can I interest you to drink, sir?

Tim Bud light. Thanks. Waiter Okay, I will return shortly with your beer and take your food order. Waiter leaves. Taryn This is my first time hearing about children. I guess I’m a little taken back. So how many kids do you have? Call comes in on Tim‟s phone. He silences it. Tim I have two kids, 9 and 3 with my ex. We were together for 11 years and broke up about a year ago. Taryn That’s interesting. Taryn‟s posture changes and back begins to tense. Tim I was working in logistics over in Afghanistan, she cheated on me and had a child by another man. So we broke up. I keep our children on the weekends and during the week when she has something to do. Waiter comes back hands Tim the beer and asks for their order. Taryn I’ll have the Jerk Chicken with rice and peas and collards.

Tim I’ll have the brown stewed chicken with rice and peas. Waiter leaves. Taryn Okay, first of all, I’m very disappointed that you left out this information. Especially about the kids. Are you kidding me? So what’s the deal with your job? How are you active in the military and able to still keep your children you’re your ex has something to do??? Call comes in on Tim‟s phone. He silences it again. Tim Well……ummm, (clears throat). At the time of meeting you, I was on temporary disability leave from the military… I injured my back jumping out of a plane one day. About 3 weeks ago, they permanently discharged me from the military due to the severity of the injury. So now, I’m just sitting at home. Taryn You know what, I….. Call comes in on Tim‟s phone. This time he answers. Tim (to ex girlfriend on the phone) Yes Tressa, what is it now? I left her jacket in the middle closet. Didn’t I tell you I was heading out for the evening and to stop calling me for petty stuff. You always do this…

Tim (to Taryn) Excuse me for a moment while I handle this… Tim gets up from the dinner table and continues his call outside. Taryn is speechless and livid. Her subconscious kicks in. Taryn (thinking to herself) I’ve been patient, and open long enough. This is sooo beneath me. All this time I’ve been asking myself what is there to lose. I really should be asking myself what is there to benefit or gain. You know what…I’m out. Taryn leaves enough money on the table to cover both meals and a tip and leaves the restaurant. That definitely did not go as planned but there was more guy that I‟ve been chatting with. They say three‟s a charm, so I guess I‟ll give it a go.

Date with Derek:
His first message made me smile. “Say, baby… can I be Your slave? I‟ve got to admit girl you‟re the shit girl… and I‟m digging you like a grave. Now, do they call you Daughter to the Spinning Pulsar… or maybe Queen of 10,000 moons? Sister to the Distant yet Rising Star? Is your name Yemaya? Oh, hell no. It‟s got to be Oshun.” He actually read my profile and saw that my favorite movie is Love Jones. I appreciate him for not sending me a generic message. I didn‟t fill out this extensive profile with personal information just to get the same mass message you send to every other woman. He‟s cute, cheesy, but cute. I respond to his text with a message as equally cheesy, but cute. After a few exchanges on the site we took our conversations offline then eventually setup a date. I receive a text message that reads: “Hey, instead of going on a typical first date filled with overpriced food and drinks, let‟s go bowling. What do you think? Are you in the mood to get your butt whooped tonight?” Taryn (thinking to myself) I like overpriced food and drinks plus I already had my outfit dry cleaned for the dinner we planned at Marcelles’ tonight. Bowling sounds fun but I’m not really good at it.

I responded: “Sure but its going to take a little more than a game of bowling to whoop my butt ”

Our conversations are amazing. He‟s funny which scores major points with me. The other night we stayed on the phone for four hours. I haven‟t done that since high school. It felt really good too. His stats were perfect: 32, never married, no children, college educated, enjoyed the arts. Pretty much everything on my list except he was a Falcons fan. I am a die hard Redskins fan so that was a bit of the red flag. I arrive at the bowling alley with a positive attitude. I‟m determined to have a good time after my last date. I like Derek and have only seen pictures of him so I pray to God he looks the way he‟s supposed to. I receive a text message saying that we would be bowling

on lane 14 so I sashay through the loud bowling alley playing Mary J. Blige‟s and Method Man‟s All I Need until I reach lane 14. Derek is sitting at the computer monitor setting up our game. I notice he set the names to „winner‟ and „loser‟. Having three brothers, I appreciate healthy competition. Taryn (with a huge smile on her face) Hey loser! Derek (Standing to his feet and looking me up and down with a huge smile) Oh, I’m definitely a winner tonight! I can‟t help but to blush. Derek hugs me tightly slightly lifting me off my feet. Almost like we were long lost friends who haven‟t seen each other since high school. He makes sure that I‟m stable on my feet before letting me go and handing me a bouquet of lilies. Derek I ordered you a glass of Cabernet. I remember you mentioning that was your favorite. I hope you don’t mind. Taryn (still blushing) Perfect! I put on my bowling shoes and grab a ball. I prance to the bowling line (I was never able to master the little skip the bowlers do) and let the ball roll from my fingers. Six pins down. Sighing to myself “Thank God.” I look back and smile at Derek Derek Not bad. I knock down one pin on my second roll.

Derek stands up and does this ridiculous stretch as if he‟s about to run a marathon before picking up the ball to do the bowler skip to the cut off line. I can‟t help but to laugh. Gutter ball!! We both look at each other and begin to laugh. This is going to be a fun night. Derek Don’t worry. I did that on purpose. Taryn Whatever! His second roll. Strike I don‟t know why but I had butterflies. We continue to laugh, bowl and act silly for the duration of the game. The final score was 101 to 198. Derek won. We order food and another round of drinks. Derek orders a turkey burger and I order fish tacos. Derek Do you eat pork? Taryn (slightly turning up her nose.) No! Do you? Derek Yes, the pig has never done anything to me! I immediately lose my appetite. How could he say the pig never did anything to him? I bet he has at least one family member with high blood pressure and/or diabetes. I really can‟t stand ignorance, especially about health. I mean most of the diseases plaguing our communities today can be prevented if we would simply stop being so ignorant.

Taryn Not yet! Derek (Sensing that was a sore spot for Taryn. Derek immediately changed the subject.) So today is November 18, 2013. What would be going on in Ms. Taryn Camille Hughes’ life? Taryn (Impressed with the question. Taryn closes her eyes and responds) Well I’d definitely be wiser (chuckle). I will be at the next level of my career. Maybe even perusing my photography professionally. I will be in love with the man of my dreams. Life will be a celebration. My family will be happy and healthy. I will be healthy, my man will be healthy and everyone will live happily ever after. Until the inevitable happens… Derek (Curious) And what’s the inevitable? Taryn You hear the song in the background? Alanis Morrisette‟s Ironic was playing in the background. Derek (Listening) There’s nothing ironic about any situation in this song. Just bad coincidences.

Taryn (Shrugging) You say tomato. I say toe-ma-toe. Derek I’m sensing you are a bit of a pessimist? Taryn Nope. Just a realist. There’s a difference. I’m far beyond the happily ever after endings. Life always has a way of throwing a monkey wrench into a good thing. Intrigued by this side of Taryn he had no clue about, Derek begins to ask more questions. Derek I understand but if you have the right people in your life, dealing with those monkey wrenches is a lot easier. Taryn (shrugging) I guess. Derek You told me that you were engaged. What exactly happened with that? Taryn (having a good time and not really in the mood to talk about her ex-fiancé. Sighing…) I just didn’t want to be in a loveless marriage. Derek (prying) Why would it have been loveless? Didn’t you love him?

Taryn Of course I did and we made a lot of sense together but there was no passion. We met our freshman year of undergrad. Completely green to the complexities of relationships. When I decided to not attend law school, we began to drift apart. I really didn‟t plan to become so vulnerable on the first date. So I quickly turned the heat from myself to Derek. Taryn (looking him straight in the eye) So what exactly happened with your last relationship? Derek (noticing Taryn trying the turn heat from herself) It was long distance. Like I told you it lasted about two years and she had a hard time finding a job here so she eventually suggested we split. Taryn Is she still looking for a job here? Derek Not to my knowledge. Taryn So if she happened to call you and tell you she found a position here, how would you respond? Derek I’d tell her I’m seeing someone special. Taryn (curious) Really? Who?

We both laughed and started the next game. Derek (as Taryn pranced to the bowling line) So am I all you thought I would be from my profile pictures? Taryn (rolling the ball and knocking over two pins) You actually look a lot better than your profile pictures. Derek (laughing) So my profile pictures were bad? Taryn They weren’t bad or else I wouldn’t be here. They just don’t do you any justice. Derek (chuckling) I thought you were thicker from your pictures. Taryn (walking toward Derek) Thicker? So you thought I was fat? Derek No. Just thicker.

Taryn (putting her hand on her hips) Well are you disappointed? Derek (jokingly) Nah, I mean. Well a little. Taryn (with a playful attitude and pointing to her backside) I’ll have you know that I caused an accident with this booty. Derek (laughing harder) Really? Taryn Ummhmm. I was walking on campus one day and a guy was riding by so mesmerized by my butt that he ran into the car in front of him. That was a proud day for me. We laugh uncontrollably. The night is winding down. I really don‟t want the night to end. The vibe was just so perfect. We collect our things and head to the door. Derek walks me to my car. He gives me the most sensual hug I have ever experienced. You know where they hold on just a few seconds too long. He rests his cheek on my cheek and I could feel him breathing through his nose on my ear. I close my eyes and took it all in. He pulls back and kisses me on my forehead. Derek I had an amazing time tonight.

Taryn (opening my eyes) So did I. Derek There’s a new exhibit at the African American Art Museum. Would you like to check it out tomorrow? Taryn (smiling) I would love that! Derek (smiling and opening Taryn’s car door) Great. I’ll call you tomorrow to set up the details. Drive home safely and text me when you get in. Derek closes the car door and I smile and wave good-bye before pulling off. On the drive home I reflect on how wonderful and laid back the date was. I really like this dude. My phone rings and its Derek. Derek I had a really good time tonight and really don’t want it to end. Are you up to joining me at Acoustics to listen to some live music? And maybe even dance a little? I understand if you’re…. Taryn I’ll see you in 15 minutes. Taryn drives to Acoustics to finish their perfect first date. As her friend you have the power to choose another date with your gentleman of choice!

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