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All The More Interesting

by TheGodfather 

Posted: 24 August 2004
Word Count: 3868
Summary: Two friends who date the same girl on the way to Florida. I wrote this a few years back in college. I thought I'd get your feedback.

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T H E whistle blared. People began to scurry about the train with their luggage and children. A small boy dropped his hat, and a man in a suit kicked it. The boy began to cry and reach for his hat, but his dad pulled him along by the hand toward the train. Jake pushed his way past a few people and picked up the hat. He looked around for the boy, but he couldn’t find him in the crowd. Jake and I lifted our bags and slung them over our shoulders.

“Isaac, check it out. It’s just like junior high,” Jake said. “The bell rings, and the nervous ones rush to get to class.”

We had left from Oxnard yesterday and had been on the train for almost a day, but we were staying the night in San Antonio.

“All aboard!” An engineer yelled.

“Can you believe they called us back? I would’ve never thought we’d make it. Do you think we’ll make it through the try-outs?” I said. We walked toward the terminal as the train started to gasp and pant it way down the track.

“I hope so. That would be so great to get to play in the minors. We’d just be one step away, man,” Jake said.

We made our way to the street in front of the terminal and waited for a cab. We had decided to stop off in San Antonio to watch a Spurs game before we finished the trip to Fort Lauderdale. We had reservations at the La Blanca Hotel on the east side of the city. I hailed a cab. It pulled to the curb, and I said, “Grande Boulevard at the La Blanca Hotel.”

“What time is the game again?” Jake said.

“Seven thirty. We should probably leave by about seven. You want to get some lunch when we get to the hotel?”

“Sure, I’m game.”

We reached the hotel and paid the cabby. The hotel was gorgeous. There was a waterfall on either side of the doors that fell into a small river that flowed around the side of the building. There were small gold plaques in the sidewalk engraved with the names of people who must be donors or famous people. The inside was just as pleasant. The carpet was crimson. There were palm trees next to each door and spaced along the windows. We walked to the counter and asked for our key.

“You are in room 331-G. If you are interested, the restaurant and bar is to your left, past the elevators, and though double doors. Fernando will help you with your bags. If you need anything don’t hesitate to call, the number to the office will be by your phone,” the clerk said. We made our way to the elevator, following the lead of Fernando.

I looked over at an elderly couple standing next to us. The older man had a cane that I wanted to ask him about. His cane had a metal tip and small metal plates on it-a little larger than pennies that you press at amusement parks. His cane was covered with them, each one with a picture on it. The elevator door chimed and opened, and after the elderly couple exited, we followed Fernando out of the elevator. The older man hobbled, and each time he took a step he leaned hard to the right on his cane.

Fernando led us down the hallway to the left, away from the elderly couple, and stopped at room 331-G. Fernando opened the door for us, and Jake walked in first.

“Like Charisse said in the lobby, if you need anything, don’t hesitate to call. Good evening.” He stood there smiling with one hand at his side and one behind his back for a few seconds, then he turned coldly, left me holding the door open, and marched down the hall toward the elevator.

“What was his problem?” Jake asked.

“Don’t know,” I said. I closed the door and picked up my bags that were lying next to the door. I sat down and started to shove my bag under my bed when I looked over and saw Jake walk to the closet and begin to remove his clothes from his bag and hang them up in the closet. I pulled my bag from under the bed and walked over to my closet.

“How many days do you think it’ll take to get to Florida on that train?” I said.

“Two at the most, I hope.”

“Cause the try-outs are on Saturday and what day is it? Tuesday?”

“Yeah, we should be fine. We’ll get on the train tomorrow afternoon and should have plenty of time to get to Florida. Let’s just have a little fun on this trip cause we are going to the minors!” Jake said. Our room wasn’t extremely big but had more than enough space for two twenty-year-old men. It was white, all white with a solitary painting on each wall. It made me feel like I was going into an operation. There was a large bed on each side of the room and a closet with two mirrored sliding doors over by the bathroom.

“You got all your gear, right?”

“Yeah, I checked three times before we left. You got yours?”

“Yeah, I made sure. I wasn’t gonna get all the way to Florida and then find out I forgot my stuff.”

Jake jumped and landed on his bed. “I’m tired. I’m gonna crash for a while.” His bed creaked when he moved on it.

“You had better sleep real still when I’m in here, or that sound’s gonna piss me off really fast. I had to put up with my roommates’ bed when I was in college. Annoyed the hell out of me.”

“I’ll make an effort not to roll around while I’m dead asleep for you, ok?” He smirked at me sarcastically and rolled over.

I checked my back pocket for my wallet and walked over to the door. “You gonna go eat now or what?” I asked.

“Nah,” Jake said. “I’m tired now for some reason. I think I’m gonna crash.”

“All right. Then I’ll catch you later before the game.”

I T T U R N E D out that I wasn’t that hungry, so I sat down at the bar in the restaurant and asked the waiter for a soda. A young lady walked through the doors. I happened to make eye contact and held it with her as she walked through the restaurant and over to the bar. She purposefully sat at the other end of the bar, so I stood up, walked over and sat on the stool next to her. She pushed her hair behind her ears and looked up toward me. The dim bar lights shone bright in her eyes.

“My name’s Isaac. How’re you doing?”

“I’m Becky. I’m doing good.”

“Nice to meet you Becky. Do you live around here?”

“No, actually it’s my first time in San Antonio. I’m here for my grandpa’s funeral and will be leaving again on Thursday. You from around here?”

She smiled and almost started to laugh. She smiled and looked through me. Damn! Her auburn hair hung down to her shoulders and curled under at the bottom.

“No,” I said. I’m just on my way to Miami for some baseball tryouts. Me and my friend are gonna try to make a triple-A team.”

“Oh, Miami. I was there for a modeling shoot last summer. It’s a nice place.”

“I hope you don’t mind me sitting here. I just thought you might want some company. You know, it always seems my luck that a pretty young woman will sit down by me and a few minutes later her boyfriend or fiancé will come and sit down.”

“Well, I haven’t had any boyfriends since I was 18, or at least any serious ones. I’m in theatre and there aren’t many guys looking for a girl like me in that field. I mean, most of them are nice, but I’m just not their type, if you know what I mean.”

I looked down at my watch. 3:17 already?

“So what would be the chances of a girl like you joining a guy like me for dinner tonight?”

“Probably pretty good if a guy like you asked me?” She smiled and brushed the hair from in front of her eyes.

“How does 5:30 sound? I’ll meet you in the lobby?”

“Sure, that is if you’re asking me.”

“What? Do I have to get down on one knee or something?”

“No, of course not,” she said. “5:30 sounds great.” I stood up, and she returned to the lemonade that she had ordered. I walked to the door on a cloud. I stood there with the door open and looked back at her. She was looking at me and smiling. I returned to the room, but Jake wasn’t there. I figured I’d better be getting some sleep now while I could. I kicked my shoes off and lay down on the bed.

J A K E pushed open the doors to the restaurant and almost ran into a man in a pinstripe suit. He stood there for a second and decided to make his way to the bar. He wrapped his hair behind his ear. He has always prided himself in his hair. He would never grow it long, but he liked to have it the length of all those guys on the sitcoms. But it was amazing he could fit his hair into his baseball hat when he suited up. He strode slowly, taking in the restaurant and the people in it. He noticed a fine-looking woman sitting at the bar so he made his way over to her.

“Excuse me, do you mind if I sit down?” He pointed at the seat and just smiled, waiting for her to say yes.
“Oh, sure. Go ahead.”

“So what do the people like to do around here for fun? I’m just passing through, so I don’t know the places to be.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t either. I’m from Colorado Springs, so I don’t know. I don’t mean to desert you or anything, but I was just about to leave.”

“Oh that’s too bad. I know I just got to start talking with you, and I may be out of place by asking, but are you doing anything for dinner tonight?” Jake asked.

“Yes, I’m sorry. I already have plans.”

“Well how about breakfast? You’re staying in the hotel here right?”

“Yes, I am up on the fourth floor. I’m supposed to be somewhere at twelve, but...I guess I can. What time did you have in mind?”

“How about ten? That should give you enough time. I’ll meet you in the lobby?”

“That sounds great. I’ll see you at ten,” she said.

J A K E ‘ S thundering into the room woke me up. He flopped onto his bed and bounced a couple of times. I rolled over and looked at him. He had his hands folded behind his head and was looking up at the ceiling.

“Can you stop rocking?” I asked.


I looked at my watch. 4:57. I had to get up now anyway. Damn creaking bed. I crawled out grabbed my towel on the way to the shower. The cold water from the shower struck my bones and almost made me fall down. No hot water? I always need a hot water shower to get me going after I wake up. Finally the water began to warm. I could hear Jake’s creaking bed from in the shower. I’m gonna go crazy if he does that when I’m actually trying to sleep, I thought.

I W A L K E D into the lobby feeling good about myself. I had my khakis and green silk shirt on, to highlight my eyes. Women think that guys don’t think about things like that. That makes it that much better. It’s like an element of surprise, a secret weapon that they don’t think we know how to use, but we do.

I sat down in one of the waiting chairs in the lobby and thought the game later that night. I forgot to tell Jake when I was going to meet him. I went over to the customer assistance desk.

“Can you call up to room 331-G for me?”

“Certainly.” She dialed the number, waited for it to ring, and handed me the phone. His voice was hoarse.

“Jake?” I asked.


“What time should I be back to leave for the game?”

“Ummm...I guess seven...in the lobby.” Over the phone, I could hear him cough and sniff his nose. “Is that it?”

“Yeah, I’ll see you at seven. I have the tickets in my wallet so don't worry about that. See ya later.”

I turned to walk back to my chair and saw Becky standing in the middle of her lobby shuffling through her purse. She was wearing a red shirt with a black sweater and skirt. Her hair was gorgeous, curled under at the bottom. I walked over toward her.

“Becky! You look great.”

“Thanks. You don’t look so bad yourself. That shirt really brings out your eyes.”

I felt proud, knowing my secret. “I was thinking we could go to the San Ramon just down the street. I heard it was good.”

“That sounds great.”

We began to walk back toward the hotel a little before I was supposed to meet Jake. I had a great evening and hoped she had also. It was fun to spend time with and just talk with a woman, knowing that nothing was going to realize from it at all. While walking the last couple blocks to the hotel, we talked about what we hoped to do in the next couple of years, our dreams after college, our hopes for careers, and plans for life. We reached the hotel ten minutes before seven.

“I had a great evening, Isaac," she said. "Thank you. It was so much fun talking with you. I wish we could do this again, but...you know.”

“Yeah I know. It was refreshing.” I looked at her for a few seconds more. “You have a good evening. Ok?” I turned to walk away, but she placed her hand on my shoulder, turned me back around, pulled me close and gave me a kiss, not one of those passionate love-me-tender kisses, but a heartfelt thank you kiss.

She dropped her hand from my shoulder and turned away and walked toward the elevator.

I returned to the waiting chair I had sat in earlier that evening. I watched Becky waiting for the elevator and wondered that if at a different place and time we would have worked out. The door opened and Jake emerged. He stopped to talk to Becky for a few seconds, smiled, and made his way over to me. He swaggered. You know, how the cocky-confident athletes walk. Seven on the dot, my watch read.

“You ready to go,” I asked.

“Yeah! Let’s hit the town, kid.”

W E R E T U R N E D from the game, jubilant over a great overtime game between the Spurs and Lakers. The Spurs had won on a three-point shot by Mario Elie, adding another loss to a season of high expectations and low success for the Lakers.

“Why can’t the Lakers ever get it right? You’d think with Shaquille, Kobe, Fisher, Glen Rice, and A.C. they’d get it right, especially now with Jackson as coach.”

There was a long silence while we waited for the elevator. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bash your Lakers. I use to be a Lakers fan. You know that,” Jake said.

Disgusted, I looked over at Jake. The elevator chimed and the doors opened. “I hate bandwagon fans.” I pushed the button. “You were a Lakers fan till the Bulls won a championship. Then when Jordan retired, Bam! You were a Spurs fan. I can’t believe you man. There are only so many die-hard fans left anymore. It hurts me, right here.” I gestured by thumping my chest with my fist as the elevator bobbed and the doors opened.
“You got to admit, that was a good game though. The way the Spurs came back to send it into overtime.”

“That’s just cause Shaq got ejected,” I said.

“So, that’s the big klutz’ own fault.”

“Well smart guy, Duncan should’ve been tossed too for getting in Shaq’s face and shoving him that second time.” I opened the door with my key card. “ I hate bandwagon fans,” I mumbled again under my breath and shot a look a Jake. “You better not be squeaking in your bed all night or this could be the beginning of all hell.”

Jake was a deep sleeper. I had been yelling at him for at least two hours, and he just went on sleeping. I got up and put a pair of shorts and a t-shirt on and went downstairs to the lobby. I walked over to the clerk, “Do you have any vending machines?”

“Actually, we do. There are over to your right, back underneath the stairs. We try to hide them, you know, cause they aren’t the classiest looking things.”

“Thanks,” I said. I reached the stairs and almost laughed. In front of me stood a couple of the most God-awful dinosaurs I had ever seen. These must have been the first vending machine prototypes ever made. I dropped my coins down the big metal slots, separate slots for nickels, dimes, and quarters. Three bags ought to do it. I returned to my room and lay down in bed.

Jake’s bed creaked again, so I tossed a Skittle at his head. I figured I might as well have some fun while I’m not sleeping, right? His bed creaked again, and I threw another one at his head and continued to due so for a couple of hours until I ran out of Skittles. He sure rolls around a lot, I thought. Dammit.

To top having to listen to his bed the whole night, his alarm let off a high-pitched shrill at 9:00. He bounced out of bed. I turned my head and scowled at him getting ready to take a shower. But I almost began laughing because he had red, green, and blue spots all over him from the Skittles.

“I don’t think I’m gonna go to breakfast this morning. I’m just a little tired. You were rolling around all night, squeaking that damn bed of yours.”

“Sorry, I tried not to. Really, I did,” Jake said.

I looked at the clock as Jake finally left. 9:47. Now, I could actually get some sleep.

I W O K E up to Jake thundering into the room at noon. I had to get ready to go anyway. I was supposed to meet Becky at two o’clock, to say goodbye before Jack and I got on the train. “Hey Jake, I forgot to tell you at the game. I have to go to the train yard a little early to meet up with this girl I had dinner with last night.”
“Oh, yeah? Where’d you meet her?”

“Down in the restaurant at the bar. Her name’s Becky.”

“Are you serious? You met a girl named Becky in the bar yesterday?” Jake said. He furled his eyebrows, confused.

“Yeah. Why?”

“I just went to breakfast with Becky. I met her yesterday in the bar. I asked her to dinner, but she said she already had plans.”

“That must’ve been me, dipshit,” I said.

“I’m supposed to meet her at the train station too, but I’m not gonna be there if you are. So you’d better not go.” Jake started packing his clothes up. He was frustrated. I could tell.

“I’m going. I think I have a perfect right to be there, so you had better not be there.” I was frustrated too. I didn’t want him there hoarding on my girl, the girl I saw first, dated first. She kissed me for God’s sake. I started packing up my things too.

Jake finished packing before me. He sat his bags on the bed causing it to sag and creak. “I guess I’ll see you at the train when it’s time to leave.”

“Or maybe a little earlier.”

Jake stormed out the door, and from what I could figure, got a cab and headed to the train. I went downstairs and sat in the bar. I sat at the chair I sat at yesterday and set my bags on the chair that Becky had sat. I asked the bartender for a scotch and sat there thinking.

J A K E asked the cabby to drop him off at “The Buzz,” just two blocks from the train station. He set his bags on a chair. He sat in a green lawn chair outside sipping his iced-mocha, thinking.

B E C K Y stepped out of the cab, glanced at her pager and walked toward the ticket window. She wasn’t sure if both of them would show but she knew that one of them would. She hoped that Isaac would come, but if Jake came too that would make it all the more interesting. She didn’t mind.

Thirty minutes had passed, and neither of them had shown up yet. She patted her nose and reapplied her lipstick. They’re not coming, she thought. She scanned the terminal for either of the guys. When she didn’t see them, she walked to the curb and hailed a cab.

T H E W H I S T L E blared. People began to scurry about the train with their luggage and children. I saw the old man from the elevator walking toward the train with that same intriguing cane. I leaned against the side of the ticket window. I hope Jake and Becky had a nice visit. I didn’t want a fight, and I wasn’t ever going to see her again. But for some reason, I still hurried down here hoping to catch a glimpse of her.

I turned around and looked back toward the street and saw Jake coming. He switched his bags to his other shoulder and smiled. “So how was your time alone with Becky?”

“I didn’t get here in time. I guess this is your way of rubbing it in?” I said.

“No. I decided not to come. She didn’t seem to have that much fun with me anyways. I figured I’d let you have her.”

“Damn. So you mean she was standing here by herself?”

“I guess so. You didn’t see her when you walked up?”

“No, I thought she was with you because I came a half hour late.”

Jake started to laugh. “I can’t believe it. We just both stood up the same girl.”

“All aboard!” An engineer yelled.

We slung our bags over our shoulders and walked toward the train. I let a little boy in front of me catch up to his parents, then I walked up the grated steps. We were going to the minors, I thought.

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Comments by other Members

Becca at 21:53 on 10 September 2004  Report this post
Hi God, this was written fluently, although there were a couple of typos I'll point out later. It's the story of two men in competition with each other, and in which the female character is essentially irrelevent, in that it doesn't matter who she is. Therefore the story is very introverted.
And if this is what the story is about, it could be a narrow band of readers that such a thing could appeal to. But given you know they are out there:
I really liked the way you brought the story back around itself with the old man and the cane and the boy who lost his hat.
Put the para 'She smiled and almost started to laugh' up with the one before in which she comments, it would read better on the page.
The couple of typos:
'There, (they're) over to your right..'
'.. and continued to due (do) so for a couple of hours.'
'.. to say goodbye before Jack (Jake) and I got on the train.'

There are lots of 'sats' in the para 'Jake stormed out the door...' you could maybe remove all but one?

This is a techno point: Up to the para 'Jake asked the cabby to drop him off' you've got one POV, that of your narrator, after that you write about things the MC wouldn't know because he wasn't there. This pulls to pieces the credibility of the whole thing. It sounds as if, when you're writing it, you're very conscious of having 'changed the rules of the game', but it doesn't work. Maybe if the story line was more empathetic and dramatic you could get away with such a 'conceit', (if you did do it on purpose!), but the subject matter and the narrowness of it is to without general interest to help you in this matter.
I think you write well technically and I'd really love to see something of yours that took a risk.

TheGodfather at 22:10 on 10 September 2004  Report this post

I hear people talking about taking risks with writing. I'm not sure I know what that means, taking risks. I write about what I see, what I'm inspired to see by what I see, what I dream, what I think other people think, etc. etc. etc. Taking risks with style? I'm not sure what that means. Taking risks with content? Does that mean to push the envelope of what is morally acceptable? Taking risks with characters? I think I can go with that somewhere. I'll think about it. Let me know what nuances to "taking risks" you are thinking about. Till now, I've been focused on having a solid story line that is solidly written. I think I'm close on that aspect, in most respects. You have piqued my interest on risk-taking though.


Becca at 07:49 on 11 September 2004  Report this post
God, with characters, situations. Sometimes it's really a useful exercise to try something you wouldn't normally attempt, for me that would be something like a traditional lovestory. How about something like writing in the first person from a female point of view in a story that was linear and had a lot of action? Just as an exercise.
That's what I was thinking as I wrote taking risks. Can I make a male MC credible, can you make a female MC sound real?

roovacrag at 23:06 on 18 September 2004  Report this post
Goddy, really enjoyed this.
Loved the way 2 men stood up the same girl.

This is mostly for US market,as other countries might not see the story line.

If you want it solely for US its ok.
For such as UK,then you will have to alter a few words to accommodate the publics English.

It's hard to allocate evenly among all countries.
Take it this is your first draft.
Great story,I enjoyed it.
Well written and full of promise.

Well done.

xx Alice

April Hart at 10:45 on 07 October 2007  Report this post
hey, thought this was very good. I really enjoyed it and thought it was one of the best pieces i've read today. The only flaws i could see have already been said.
Haven't got much else to say to be perfectly honest.
Well done,


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