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Bolt of Blue “Would you like another drink Ma’am?” Without looking up at the bartender Angela waved her hand over the empty martini glass and shook her head. She kept her focus on the business card pinched between her fingers. The slogan on the front read, “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” She checked her watch. 9:37. “Twenty-five minutes late,” Angela exhaled. As she tapped her stiletto feet her strawberry blonde hair bounced. Her emerald green eyes scanned Buddha Bar for what seemed like the thirtieth time. Low-hung lights faintly illuminated the space. Pairings of men in suits and leggy women were scattered around in leather lounge chairs. A group of Cosmopolitan-drinking women sung along to New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” escaping from the ceiling’s speakers, “But it's a problem I find living a life that I can't leave behind.” “Waiting for someone?” The bartender returned. “A friend.” Angela rethought that phrase. She had only met him two weeks ago at the park. She smiled at him. He gave her his business card. Angela ran her fingers over the embossed name, Ben Wyn. Ben’s winter-bitten hand brushed over Angela’s bare shoulders, awakening her senses. “Hey, sorry I am so late. The talk went longer than expected.” Before she turned to face him Angela rubbed her finger over her silver wedding band. It was cold to the touch. Tonight- January 25th- was her third year wedding anniversary. Her husband Blake was away on yet another business trip. He left a box of dark chocolates for her on

2 the dresser with a scribbled note: “Happy Anniversary. P.S. Don’t forget to pick up my dry cleaning.” Angela helped herself to the chocolates only to realize that there was coconut in them. She hated coconut. Synthesizers blared through Buddha Bar’s speakers, New Order still singing. “And it's what nobody knows. Well every day my confusion grows.” Angela jumped off her barstool to wrap her slender arms around Ben’s broad shoulders. She coughed out, “Don’t worry about it.” The bitterness of dark chocolate was still wedged in the walls of her throat. Two martinis at Buddha Bar became two glasses of wine at Ben’s cozy apartment. Jazz music enveloped the two as a shared blanket connected their distanced bodies. “What do you do as a motivational speaker?” Angela sunk into Ben’s sofa. It felt like quicksand pulling her in, uncontrollable. A toothy grin crept onto Ben’s chiseled face. “I help people find their why.” His voice projected beyond Angela. “Why do people do what they do? What is their motive for action? What drives them in their life today? Not five years ago, Today.” “Well, what is your motive for action?” His knee knocked against Angela’s. “Emotion. I believe that emotion is the force of life.” He softened his smile. “What about you, if you don’t mind me asking?” Angela suddenly felt lightheaded. “I…I don’t know.” Ben set his wine glass down and reached for Angela’s hand. “Let’s start with a simple question. Why are you here?” “Three, two, one! Happy New Year!” Four weeks ago Angela attended a New Year’s Eve party thrown by Blake’s boss. She only went because she did not want to be

3 Huedem home alone, but instead of Angela’s lips pressed against Blake’s at midnight, she was becoming friendly with her glass of Vodka Tonic. Blake was in a corner discussing business with a hotshot banker. Angela found herself in a circle of stray wives. The woman at the center shouted exuberantly, “To new beginnings!” Angela raised her glass and with a smile repeated, “To new beginnings.” Ben continued to stroke her hand. Without a single word Angela closed the gap between them. Her lips met with Ben’s. The feeling of a single kiss sent waves of tingles through Angela. At first she was just testing the waters, but now she couldn’t resist diving in. As Angela went up for air, the aftertaste of dark chocolate dissipated from her throat. Ben’s muscular arms embraced her delicate body. The spaghetti strap of her little black dress slid off her bare arms. Angela’s mind settled, singing itself to sleep. Leftover New Order resounded in her consciousness: “I feel fine and I feel good I'm feeling like I never should.”

Bolt of Blue  
Bolt of Blue  

Flash Fiction about a woman whose one-night decision may alter the course of her life and marriage. Written by Melissa huedem