Love for Leona Ch. 03
All characters in this story are over 18 years.
Over the next few months Leona picked up several men at local pubs and bars. Alcohol and random sex encounters became easy escapes in trying to obliterate what she felt was the emptiness in her life.
But on one occasion she happened to meet up with a slightly older woman. They happened to be sitting opposite one another in a busy fast-food bar, just off Brunswick Street, not far from the city.
‘Hello. Name’s Julianne,’ said the woman pleasantly, ‘Julianne Walters. But I prefer to be called Jules,’ – assessing with brown eyes.
She extended her hand, a grip as firm as a man’s, and the momentary contact was warm and inviting.
‘Hi Jules,’ – smiling – ‘Leona. Leona Nelson. Nice to meet you.’
‘Nice to meet you!’ The woman laughed; it was a pleasant rumble and Leona found herself warming to her.
The waitress came and Jules wanted a cheeseburger with French fries and Leona ordered salad. They had a table by the window and within minutes they were chatting together.
Jules leaned in towards Leona as though in conspiracy, her breath almost against her ear. ‘You work round here?’
It was a hot afternoon and she could smell the woman’s sweat mixed with her perfume.
‘No, in the city’ – a slight pause – ‘it’s my afternoon off. I’m on flexitime.’
Jules was lightly sun-tanned with mahogany red hair and the lightest shade of brown eyes. Leona took bursa escort in the tight multi-coloured dress that showed off her small bosom the muscles in her bare arms as well as one or two tattoos.
‘What do you do for fun?’ Jules asked as the waitress brought their food.
‘Watch movies, go out to pubs … and drink, pick up guys … sometimes I go clubbing. What about you?’
‘Pick up guys, go out to pubs … and drink.’ Jules drawled with amusement. She took a large bite of her cheeseburger. Go bowling. Ten-pin, that is …’
They sat there eating and exchanging small-talk about themselves – their jobs, their interests in clothes , their love lives. Jules was a compulsive talker and overflowed with vitality sometimes stumbling over her words.
‘I worked as a stripper once,’ – with a sly smile. ‘was one of those girls who dance ‘mother naked’ on tops of tables. But I lost a lot of weight when my marriage broke up. They said I needed to put on more flesh, to keep working.’
Jules was finishing her cheeseburger and was wiping her fingers on a paper napkin. She had no inhibitions, no reservations about telling her whole life story. And there was a depth to her that Leona was to realize, with shades of irony and wisdom.
Leona smiled, thinking Jules was cool. ‘Can I get you a coffee?’
‘Okay,’ – her voice airy – ‘but first I gotta go to the little girls’ room.’
By the time Leona had queued for two cups of coffee and was heading bursa escort bayan back to the table, Jules’s slim figure was attracting male glances from around the room.
Their conversation continued light and friendly. Suddenly Jules gulped her coffee, spluttered, ‘I have to rush,’ – sweat having broken out on her upper lip, – ‘I was due back at work five minutes ago. I’ll give you my cell phone number.’ She tore a piece of paper out of a notebook from her handbag and jotted down the digits. ‘Ring me sometime, and we’ll talk.’
‘Sure,’ Leona said. ‘Don’t wait in the queue. I’ll get the bill.’
Jules searched her purse, dragged out a twenty-dollar note.
‘Thanks,’ – smiling – ‘I want to see you again.’ And she hurried out to the real estate agent’s office where she worked;
Leona finished her coffee at her leisure and left a few minutes later. Parliament Station was ten minutes walk away from the café where they had met.
This conversation led to many similar ones at the same table in the same fast food bar over the next couple of months; where Leona and Jules would sit together and when necessary commiserate. It’s a shame my marriage to Rodney didn’t work out,’ Jules said on more than one occasion.
Jukes confided many intimate details about her broken marriage, and Leona responded by telling about Alan Markham.
‘Alan went off with one of my friends. And I’d just met up with him again after ten years. I’d had a crush on him escort bursa from when I was a schoolgirl.
‘Alan went off with one of my friends. And I’d just met up with him again after ten years.’
Jules regarded her friend steadily, seeing into her, feeling her pain; it was as though she was becoming Leona for a moment.
Leona ended by saying with a bitter laugh, ‘So, I’m just a woman scorned, that’s all.’
She drew in a deep breath before continuing. ‘I’ve been out of my mind with the hurt and anger I feel.’ The tears were running down her face. ‘You don’t happen to have any valium, do you?’ – after a pause – ‘ My shrink cut my supply.’
Jules searched her bag. ‘I can usually take or leave most men,’ – bringing out a small bottle – ‘but I no longer get seriously involved.’ She only wanted relationships that were fun, easily manageable, and were without the darker shadows. ‘You can’t go for long without a man.’ The corners of her mouth gave away the playfulness of her words. ‘Once you start getting it regular, you get to wanting it all the time. And that’s fine. Long as you keep it casual.’
Leona nodded, swallowed the yellow tablet.
‘But make ’em pay for it,’ – calculatingly – ‘not necessarily in money. No point in giving it away.’ There was a streak in Jules that was pure predator.
‘I gotta go,’ she said after a pause, ‘haveta be in Armadale by seven’ – smiling – ‘gotta new boyfriend – he’s a bit older, but Nathan’s rolling in it.’ The dragonfly tattoo on Jules’s neck glistened in her sweat as she made her way to the door. Laughing – ‘and who knows, maybe you’ll find a lover tonight! See ya around.’
Jules was a cool friend to have, Leona thought.