Lana Helps Andi Get Ready For A Date

     What was I thinking? Why would I ever agree to dinner with John? All I could see when I closed my eyes was her on top of him, grinding on him. Who knew the night I decided to take matters into my own hands, I’d catch my husband cheating. 

     I peered through the tiny closet looking through all my clothes. Each item I carefully purchased with the one thought in the back of my mind hoping that each item was something that John would like. What he would find attractive on me. Why did I ever do that? What made him so important that I had to make sure he would love my clothes? Back in college, it wasn’t like that. I dressed for myself. No one else. Even after John and I began dating, I never dressed for him. So why, after he placed that ring on my finger and all our vows were said before our friends and family, did I lose myself? Why did I constantly try to make myself someone he would appreciate and need to seek approval from? 

     My fingers ran across each of my beautiful evening gowns. The chiffon, silk, lace…each material soft and sensual. I stopped at one particular dress. The one dress that he told me didn’t look anything like I usually wore. It was dark, daring and just a little on the crazy side. I wanted it to be flashy and more than a little seductive. All my dresses were sexy, don’t get me wrong, but they were more beautiful than anything else. Certainly not seductive—I was married after all. 

     The black evening dress showed more leg than I ever wore before, the back dipped down so far I couldn’t wear panties with it. My choice of bra actually had to be discussed with the saleslady—It was that daring. That seductive that I decided I’d never wear it outside of the house. Only for our intimate dinner. And he loved it. He made sure to show me how much he loved it. 

     What struck me odd that fateful night was that I wore this dress. This black dress that I now clutched my hand around was worn that night I walked into John’s office with the sole purpose of seducing him and taking him on his desk. The reason was mostly to revive our stale and stalling marriage. 

     My tongue ran along my dry lips as my heart picked up. I snatched the hanger from the rod and held it before me. When I had tried it on at the store, the dress fit me and moved with me as if it were a part of me. 

I held it before me and debated wearing it again. A woman who’s been cheated on usually takes this course. Wears something to make the man who wounded her ego pay with regret, right? Was that my intention? 

     I’ll admit it wasn’t. I wanted to relive the evening when I first wore this dress. The way we connected. The way he devoured me with his eyes, his mouth, his whole body took me and loved me. Every inch of me. I knew it was silly to think it was the dress. It wasn’t. It was the fact that I attempted to reconnect with him. For a straight week after, he came home early to make sure we kept our reclaimed connection going. Then the same thing got in our way. Life. Work. His deadlines. My commitments to committees and charitable organizations all attempted to keep the two of us apart. To rip apart that connection we hadn’t had since college before we were married.

     The sound of someone knocking on my apartment door took me away from the memories of the black fabric I held in my hands. I hung it up and double checked my bathrobe.  

     I checked my peep hole seeing my neighbor Lana. I swung the door open wondering what she might want. It couldn’t be tips on how to seduce a man considering she seemed to be the queen of it. Maybe I’d be the one who could receive some tips.

     “Hey, Lana. What’s up?”

     Ocean blue eyes stared back at me with a small smile. She was dressed for a date, it appeared to me. Wearing thigh high boots, mini skirt and baggy shirt that hung off her shoulder seductively. Her hair was piled high with wandering strands gracing her long neck. Hell, I wanted to touch it. I can’t imagine what Kyle would do with it. Actually, I could.

     “I wanted to ask you something. Do you mind if I come in?” Even her nails were polished to match her lilac top. She was just the right mix of sweet and sexy. Whatever guy she was going out with tonight was a lucky guy. 

Swinging the door wider, I waved my hand to invite her into my meager accommodations. Smiling, she entered and I watched her eyes scan the studio with a slight mix of shock and pity. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one who felt that every time I entered. 

     “Wow. It’s just as small as mine.” Her shock was still worn followed by an apologetic smile. Her baby blues glanced to the floor, embarrassed by her statement.

I gestured to the small two chairs and table I had near the kitchen. Although I was pretty sure one could call it a kitchen. 

     As she took her seat, I noticed her skirt hike up a bit further as she crossed her legs. I took my seat opposite of her and realized how that was the same as our appearances. I had just stepped out of the shower, my hair was wet, I wore no make-up and I was still in my bathrobe. As I sat, I remembered I wasn’t even wearing panties yet. Not that I could wear them with that dress.

     Her nail polish was in jeopardy of being chipped as her fidgeting began. I couldn’t fathom what might have her worked up or upset. 

     “You’re a bit overdressed for a tour, you could have come another day.” 

She offered a nervous laugh as she flicked her fingers as if scolding herself for starting to pick at them. “I…” Another nervous laugh escaped her mouth as she glanced out the window searching for words. “I’m about to go out on a date with my ex-boyfriend.” She briefly looked at me and then back to the table. “I don’t have many friends. I mean, I do. That sounds weird. I have friends, just no one I could really confide in that would understand.”

     “What makes you think I would understand?” I hadn’t meant to blurt that out and felt horrible for asking that. “I mean, you’re more than welcome to talk to me, but…”

     “You just broke up, right? I’m sorry. I remembered what you told me when we first met and I think I was hoping you’d talk me out of it.” Another nervous laugh filled my small apartment as her eyes seemed to plead with me.

I nodded as it occurred to me that we’re both going out with our exes tonight. I offered up my own nervous laugh as I told her my plans for this evening. “I was actually picking out what to wear for my date tonight.” I tilted my head and smiled. “With my ex.” We both giggled as I revealed my suitor for tonight. 

     “Wow. How odd is that? Both of us living next to each other and heading out on a date with our ex.” Her smile faded.      

      “Do you want yours back too?”

     My heart quickened at the thought of having John back. How many nights I’ve wished I could turn back time not having the memory of him cheating on me and we could go back to what we were. “I…he’s not the man I thought he was.”

     Lana nodded. “Oh.” She paused and looked around the room before returning her eyes to mine. “And you’re willing to go out with him still?”

     “I think I only agreed because I need closure. I don’t think I ever really told him how much he hurt me.” I shook my head, now off topic as to why she came over here. “I’m sorry, what did you need to ask me?”

     “Well…” she chuckled before answering. “I want mine back. Kyle’s a good man. Decent, but works up in New York.      We broke up because he found out about something I was in the past. Tonight he wants to get back together and said that he’s ready to move past…” She laughed. “My past.”

     “I’m sure once you both talk, things might become more clear. Relationships are a lot of work. Much more difficult if only one person is willing to work at it.” I wasn’t sure if I was talking about her situation or really thinking about mine out loud.

     “You’re right. I’ll just have to see what happens tonight.” She stood up and held her arms out for a hug. I had to chuckle that our ex-dates tonight created an unlikely friendship. I stood and entered her warm embrace as she squeezed tightly. 

     She pulled back and laughed.  “You really need to get going! What time is he picking you up?” 

I glanced at my phone sitting on the table. It seemed I had only a half hour before John gets here. Maybe I’d just go for my regular attire and not the sexy dress. 

     “Half an hour.” I cast my eyes down as embarrassment flushed my cheeks. “I was going to wear something a little more risqué than I normally wear, but I’m reconsidering.” It was strange how sheepish I felt admitting that to her. 

     “Nonsense!” Her outburst startled me and my wide eyes stared back at her, almost hoping she wouldn’t make me go through with this. I was a little upset with myself for telling her my silly plan. I watched as she ran to my closet, considering it was only a couple of steps away, I wasn’t able to stop her if I wanted to. She eyed the black dress that I had hung over my closet rod.

     “Wow! This is the dress? Whoa. Yep! It’s official. You have to wear this dress.” I felt the need to tell her the reason why that dress would mean so much to John, although he never did see it the night he was having an affair with my best friend. My coat had concealed the dress. 

     Before I had a chance to even try to explain, she grabbed my wrist and dragged me into the bathroom. I think I was too stunned to say anything as she began applying make-up on me. I realized right then that I had nothing to lose. Her mouth wouldn’t stop telling me how gorgeous I am and what a fool my ex was to let me go. It was almost as if I needed this pep talk and considering the week I had, this talk was really needed. 

     When she finished with my hair and make-up she stepped out of the bathroom and handed me my dress. Her outstretched hand and the demanding expression on her face were no match for the ego boost she just provided me. I stared at the dress knowing I’d wear it but still was reluctant because it was so not me. 

I swallowed hard as I took the hanger from her hand and realized how my stomach rolled with butterflies and hoped they’d stay in my stomach. John would be here soon and the last thing I wanted was for him to see me hurling naked. He’d only seen that happen one night way back in college. Tequila was to blame for that incident and was never allowed to be spoken of either. 

     My lungs filled with new air, fresh and confident as I closed the door behind me. Lana continued her praises and how the dress would look. She continued chatting non-stop, not allowing me to have any doubtful thoughts, unless I tuned her out. I wasn’t about to do that. It seemed this was helping her as much as it was helping me. 

After slipping the dress on and tucking all my naked body parts into the dress, I glanced in the mirror. Her make-up skills were amazing and the way she styled my hair left me wondering who that woman was staring back at me. Would John ask the same question? Was he wanting some other woman? What a stupid freaking question! Of course, he wanted some other woman, that’s why he cheated on me to begin with. What was I thinking wearing this? 

     “Open the door, Andi! I want to see it.” Lana’s voice brought me out of my questioning, but they were still there. I grabbed the door knob wondering how to tell her I couldn’t do this. 

     “Whoa. Wow. Oh, Andi. You’re beautiful to begin with, but this. You’re a model. A sexy, seductive model.” Her voice breathed out every word, not taking her eyes of all the parts of me that felt like they were revealed to for the world to see. She gestured with her finger for me to spin around and I obliged. Considering this was all her work, I felt bad to have to suddenly tell her I couldn’t do this. 

     “Smile. If you don’t smile, this was all for nothing.” 

     I fidgeted with the side of the dress and began to tell her how I couldn’t do it. “Lana, this isn’t…” A knock at the door wouldn’t allow me to finish. Or change. The butterflies were back and they were threatening with their myriad of fluttering. 

     “Oh my! He’s here!” She clapped happily and then whispered, “I’ll slip out really quick. Or do you want me to hide in the closet and slip out after you’re gone?” 

I had to laugh that she wanted to be so sneaky. “You’re not doing either. You can meet him and tell me later if you think this was all worth it.”

     She nodded as we both turned toward the door. Just as she reached for the handle I touched her hand. “Thank you, Lana. For the pep talk. I know you came here looking for one, and I hope I helped you. But you really gave me one too.”

     “Just remember. You’re gorgeous and you don’t need him to tell you that. Just shove it down his throat what he no longer has!” She winked and then stepped to the side as another knock peppered the door. 

     This was it. Time to make him pay. Well, sort of. At least make him regret his choices.

Accidents Happen

Deleted Scenes

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