This is the rework of a self-published auto-biographical story (2008), rewritten for this blog. Names of characters have been changed.
Content warning: mental and physical abuse, misogyny.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Clubbing (part 1)
December 1993 to 25 February 1994
Continued from… Joe’s Betrayal
Her evenings were lonely again. She had two small children and where she loved them to bits, once they were in bed, she hungered for adult conversation. She visited a family club close to home, trying to make friends. This worked for some time, and was perfect as she could take her children with her, but still she had to go home to get the kids to bed and then the long evening lay in front of her again. She made some nice friends at the club – single moms too – but just like hers, their children had to go to bed on time.
It was on a Sunday afternoon that Annie lazily flipped the pages of a newspaper. She liked reading adverts with headings like ‘he seeks her’ or ‘she seeks him’. Her eye fell on an advert of a singles’ club. There was a telephone number with the ad. Unlike Annie — who tended to be impulsive, but not when it involved direct contact with strangers — she immediately dialed the number.
Rosie answered the phone. Annie listened to her explaining the cost and the rules of the club, and by the end of the conversation Annie told Rosie that she wanted to become a member of the club. She set an appointment for the next evening to fill in a registration form.
The idea of being a member of a club appealed to Annie. She could meet other people and build up a circle of friends, and those friends can also come visit her on her lonely nights. She wasn’t the type of person to hang out in bars, which means that this club-thing was better for her. Annie already felt more positive than she had in weeks. Her conversation with Rosie made her feel so good, that she decided to check the other adverts under the heading ‘Clubs’.
Immediately her attention was drawn to the words ‘the first club for bisexual woman…’ . The only other information was a postal address and telephone number. Annie grabbed the phone and dialed the number. Fran answered the phone. It irritated Annie that Fran didn’t want to give any information about the club, but asked her to send a letter to the address in the ad. When she hung up, Annie debated whether she should write the letter, but then decide to do it, as the fact that this was a club for bisexual woman totally tickled her imagination. She vividly remembered the evening Joe awakened some strange feelings in her and she wouldn’t mind exploring it. She could always stop when it made her uncomfortable. Annie sat down and wrote the letter, where she also put the reasons for wanting to join the club, as Fran had specifically asked for those.
* * * * *
Annie and Tina – one of the women Annie had met at the family club – drove to work together every morning. They had discovered that they worked in the same building. On Monday morning, Annie told Tina about the singles’ club. Her lips were sealed about the club for bisexual women, as she knew how this would be received in their conservative community. She had Fran’s letter in her bag, and wanted to mail it during her lunch hour. Tina decided to join Annie when she went to see Rosie that evening, as she wanted to be a member too.
That evening was an experience in itself. Rosie lived in a shabby neighborhood, and her house wasn’t the cleanest the two women have ever seen. Annie suspected that Rosie and her friend had started the club as a way to earn some extra money, as it was clear they needed it. The politely sat down on the couch and listened to Rosie’s plans for the club. That’s how they learned that at the end of the month there would be a party where all singles could meet each other. The party would be somewhere on a smallholding to the east of the city, and plans were that topless girls would serve the drinks, and a stripper would entertain the crowd. There was a small fee to be paid for the party, and both Tina and Annie paid theirs immediately. They were excited about the party, which also would include dancing and swimming, but most of all they were looking forward to a nice evening out.
* * * * *
Dave’s call totally overwhelmed Annie, so much so that she agreed to a date with him at her house, and only after the call realized that she was occupied on the night of the date. She called Rosie to explain, as she didn’t have Dave’s number. Rosie agreed to call Dave and explain, but didn’t ask whether Annie wanted to make a date for another evening. Annie was relieved, because even though she wanted to meet people, it was just going a bit too fast to her liking.
It was only a couple of days later that Rosie called her again. She wanted to know whether Annie had anything else planned for that evening. Annie didn’t and about an hour later Neil called her. Annie agreed to meet him the same evening. She felt uncomfortable to meet a strange man in her own house. What was she doing? She was not the kind of person who felt at ease with total strangers. She never knew what to talk about. Why did Joe push her into this situation? Guilt, anger, resignation — all kinds of feelings surged through her. Guilt because it was like she was cheating on Joe; like she was doing the same she suspected he was. Anger because she felt guilty. Resignation — whatever should come on her life’s path; let it come.
The evening with Neil was a pleasant one. They chatted about many things, and even though it didn’t feel as comfortable as it once was with Joe, Annie enjoyed his company. He left at a reasonable time with the words: “See you at the party!”
Annie would look out for him at the party. Not because she was in love, but because she thought that he might become a nice friend.
To be continued… Clubbing (part 2)
© Rebel’s Notes