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 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
Msg: 1
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12 Dates and a Dozen RosesPage 1 of 1    
The last rose sat next to her in the passengers seat as she drove down the highway. By now it was in full bloom and the fragrance it gave off filled the air. The radio played the CD Matt had given her. How many times had she listened to it since he had given it to her? The songs played over and over again, each with a special meaning, each with a special memory from the past month spent with him.

Jade was lost in thought as she drove to meet him for their last date. Tonight she had to tell him. As much as she had loved the whole experience he gave to her, it was time to move on. She reach over to pick up the rose, "Just like him to cut off all the thorns so I don't prick my finger." she thought with a smile. She held it in her hand as she drove so she could look at it and take in its aroma. Driving down the road she had trouble trying to sort out all her feelings. Happy, sad, anxious, excitement, fear, and very nervous. As she looked at the rose she could see her hand shake as she held it. Jade promised herself that she would stay in control during this whole thing, but she knew she was far from it. Matt had caught her completely off guard and now it was time to end the game. Yes, tonight was their last date and she would tell him...

A half an hour away Matt stood looking at his reflection in the mirror. He was more nervous now than he had ever been. "This is worse than sitting in the waiting room waiting to face the grade school principle for when I wrote cuss words on the bathroom wall," he thought to himself. "Worse than facing dad after I stole his silver coin to buy pizza for my buddies. Even more worse than facing my ex-wife's father after he found out she was pregnant before we were married." He could see his hands shake. He planned to say those three little words to her, "I love You." The question in his head kept repeating itself, "Will I wake up tomorrow floating on cloud nine, or will I wake up feeling alone and empty because I blew it?" Trying hard not to think of what might happen, he forced himself to go over, once more, all the details for their date. "Candles, check! Bags, check! Shovel, check! Man I hope she likes this...Wood, check! I can't wait to see her smile...Her body feels so good when I hold her...Radio, Check! Focus you goof!!!" Frustrated Matt gave up trying to force his thoughts and just let his mind wonder. In no time at all,his mind wondered back to the beginning when he first set eyes on her....

"More To Come If Interested..."
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 6/27/2009 9:39:18 PM
It had been a rough three week job assignment and now he was less than 40 miles from home. 25 days without a day off, 12 hour shifts and worst of all he pulled midnights. 25 days with no more then five hours sleep a day. He hated midnight shift. Three hours sleep then a 17 hour shift, back to the hotel to crash for three more hours, and then the long 12 hour drive from Jacksonville FL. back to his bed in Parker PA.. He turned off the interstate some miles back to try and avoid the drunks making there way home from the bar. Friday night always brings out the bar patrons who just want to unwind from a hard weeks work. The last 40 miles would take him on back roads rarely traveled. His stereo was as loud as it would go and all the windows down. It was a little after 2:00am and he was exhausted but he was determined to sleep in his own bed tonight.
As he topped the knoll of a hill he noticed, in the distance, a car sitting on the side of the road. A little closer he could see that the interior light was on and that the trunk was open. Then he could see the trouble. Someone had a flat. As tired as he was, he had to pull over to offer whatever assistance he could. Being stuck out in the middle of no-where, without a soul around for miles, and in the middle of the night. He felt sorry for the person so he would help however he could. As he pulled up behind the car he saw a figure getting out of the passengers side and walking back to meet him. That's when he realized it was a woman in need of help. "Hi, can I help?" He asked as he walked towards her. She sounded a little scared and even more frustrated, "I got a flat tire and my spare is flat too. I've been trying to use my cell but I don't have any bars here." He tried not to show he was "checking her out." She wasn't just beautiful, she was stunning... "Don't worry, we'll get this taken care of one way or another" was his simple response. He was used to being a problem solver and this problem didn't seem like much of a big deal. She wasn't impressed by his demeanor, "Oh, and how do you plan to fix two flat tires? We are a good 10 miles from town and no place is open this late in the evening!" He could tell she was getting more frustrated as she explained the situation. "Well," he began thoughtfully, "We can take your spare into town and if we can find a place to fill it then we will if not then I'll run you home and you can take care of it tomorrow." As she responded, he could tell she was very apprehensive about his idea. "Thanks but I can't put you out like that." In his best reassuring voice he told her, "Listen I can't leave you out here alone. Take your cell phone, I'm sure you'll get better reception once we get closer to town. Call someone and let them know what is going on and that you are safe. You can give them my name and tell them what's going on. That way you might feel a little more at ease." With that she smiled and he could tell she felt a little better about the whole situation. With an outstretched hand and a warm smile on his face he said, "I'm Matt McGee, nice to meet you." She reached out to shake his hand and returned his smile, "Jade, Jade Reynolds. Nice to meet you Matt." He then reached into his back pocket and retrieved his wallet, "Just so you know I'm being honest." He then pulled out his drivers license and showed it to her. With a laugh and a big smile she said, "I trust you."
As he escorted Jade to the passengers side of the car he relished he had to clear off the seat of all the odds and ends one accumulates during a 950 plus mile road trip. she watched in amusement as Matt flung used coffee cups, road maps, and fast food bags into the back seat. Finally he helped her in, "Your coach Miss. Reynolds." "Why thank you Mr. McGee." He then quickly rushed around to the drivers side, "I'm sure you are cold" and with that he cranked up the heater then rummaged around in a suitcase for a sweatshirt to offer her, "Here you can put this on if you don't mind wearing a strangers clothing." With a grateful smile she thanked him. Matt then got back out to retrieve her spare tire and tossed it into the trunk. As he climbed behind the wheel he noticed she was wearing the sweatshirt, he couldn't help but smile to himself as as he thought how special it was to him to have a woman share his wardrobe...
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 6/28/2009 6:54:34 AM
As they started towards town, Jade began the conversation. "Looks like you are taking a trip." "No, I just finished up a job assignment in Florida and I'm headed home" Curiosity got the better of her, "Oh. What kind of work do you do?" "I work for a company that repairs boiler tubes in power plants." Not quite sure what he was talking about she said, "I see." Matt could tell that she didn't quite know what he was talking about but figured if she wanted to know more she'd ask. Jade didn't want to sound too nosy so she didn't bother to ask more. Now it was his turn to inquire of her, "What about you? What do you do for a living?" "I work as a nurse at a hospital." Matt was genially interested in everything about her, so he continued to ask questions, "Oh, what kind of nurse are you?" "I work in the ER," she said with a little pride in her voice. "Ah you get to see all the nasty stuff that comes in then huh?" "Yeah sometimes we get really bad traumas, but mainly illnesses, minor injuries and from time to time people trying to die on us. Its a very rewarding job though and I love my work." "I used to be a firefighter and I saw lots of the things yinz had to deal with. It can be a very hard and stressful job. It makes it all worth it though when you like what you do." She thought to herself, it was nice to talk to someone outside of work who could relate to her line of work. "So you were a firefighter around here?" Jade asked. A little hesitant to respond because Matt knew the next question, "No I worked down in Wheeling, WV." Hear it came, "Why did you leave?" She asked. "It's a very long story, but I was promised a job as a Haz-Mat tech slash trainer. I resigned from the department, moved to Pittsburgh, settled in, an then was told their was a hiring freeze." With that, Matt cut himself off. jade realized she struck a nerve. trying to lighten things up a little, "So... you are used to rescuing damsels in distress then huh?" A smile crossed Matt's face, "Yep, distressed damsels, lost children, stray cats from trees, elderly folks who fell trying to make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and my personal favorite, the 3 am wake up call to rush to the local bar to help a drunk up who fell from his stool." with that they both laughed. Finally Matt reminded her, "Hey we are a little closer to town, check to see if you have service here." Jade was caught up in their conversation and forgot all about calling her friend. For some reason she felt at ease with him. Still she did want to call. She checked her phone and sure enough she had a connection. By now it was after 3 and didn't really want to wake up Sally her best friend and co-worker but she did want to let her friend know what was going on. She pushed the key and the phone on the other line began to ring. It was answered by Sally on the second ring. "Jade where are you? I've been trying to reach you are you ok?" Jade then proceeded to tell her the whole story. Concerned for her friend Sally bombarded Jade with one question after another about Matt. Jade felt a little awkward answering her questions, but with reassurance and understanding from Matt she assured Sally she was in good hands. Finally Sally asked, "Are you still going to be able to work for me in the morning?" "Oh shit, Sally I completely forgot! Yes I'll be there if I can get my tire fixed tonight. I'll call you when I get home to let you know. Thanks for reminding me, I completely forgot." They exchanged good-byes and hung up. A little concerned Matt asked, "Everything ok?" Now worried she responded, "No it isn't. I promised Sally I'd work a couple hours of her shift in the morning. Unless we get this tire fixed, I won't have a way to work. Matt we need to find someplace to get this tire fixed." As Jade told him the situation he once again kicked into problem solver mode. "Jade don't worry about it..." she cut him off a little frustrated by his attitude. "I am worried about it! I promised her and if I don't make it, she will be in trouble for missing part of her shift." Jade! I don't have any plans for tomorrow other than catching up on some sleep. I'll run you into work, get your tires fixed and then pick you up. Problem solved." Although a kind gesture, she responded, "Matt that is nice of you, but you don't even know me and I couldn't ask such a thing of you." "Jade you aren't asking, I'm telling." She shot him a look. He continued, "Look I'm exhausted and you need rest, I'll run you home and in the morning I'll take you to work. Besides maybe I'm doing this for my own selfish reasons." "Oh really? How could that be?" With a slight grin he answered, "Maybe I just want to spend more time with you." With an uneasy look she reluctantly agreed. Yes she liked him, yes their was an attraction but she promised herself it wouldn't ever happen again. she didn't want to let this relationship go beyond friendship. She could easily see herself with him, but her heart couldn't take any hurt.
Jade gave Matt directions to her apartment. "Just give me a wake up call when you are ready to leave." Matt told her. A little confused she asked, "Where are you gonna be?" "If you don't mind I'm just gonna crash here." He responded. Now she just felt bad putting him out like this. "Matt. I can't ask you..." He cut her off, "Jade I want to do this. I like being with you and I want to get to know you. Besides, helping another person makes me fell useful." A rush of emotions enveloped her. Awkward, guilt, thankful, happy, fear, grateful, excitement and nervousness. She didn't know what to say or how to respond. "Jade, go get some rest you need it. I'm fine in my car. Just wake me up in the morning. Night Jade. Sorta dumbfounded she simply said goodnight and walked to her apartment door. as she slid the key into the lock, she looked back towards the car one last time. She could see Matt's silhouette moving around in the car as he set out to get comfortable. With a smile on her face and a feeling of gratitude towards him she entered her apartment and went to bed...
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 7/2/2009 11:09:19 AM
Trying to relax in the drivers seat, Matt was restless. His body ached from his job. Muscles he never knew he had reminded him how old he was with each movement. Now stiff from a long drive and an even longer day he simply hurt all over. Lack of sleep from so many days, and now it was drawing to an end, you'd think nothing would keep him awake, but then she walked into his world. Matt couldn't get Jade out of his mind. His every sense was captivated by her. He never touched her, nor did he taste those beautiful inviting lips, but all of his other senses were keenly tuned into he every movement, every word, and to her scent. When a person has lost one of their five senses, the others naturally become more in tuned. With Jade, Matt couldn't rely on the sense of touch or taste but his three remaining senses more than made up for it. Her beautiful face was forever burned into his mind. the way she smiled, the way her lips moved as she spoke, even the sparkle in her eyes when she was happy or dazzled by his actions. He already was able to pick out fluctuations in her mood just by the way she moved or reacted to something. Everything she did came rushing to his mind. The way her hair would hang in her face, the way she sat in the seat next to him, even the way she walked, every moment with her he took in. Matt thought it funny how he could overlook the beauty that surround him day in and day out. Trees swaying in the breeze, flowers in bloom, the sky on a warm summers day, snow covering the ground and trees after a storm, but with Jade her took in every action even when he wasn't looking at her. He was captivated by her every moment.
Matt was persistent in trying to catch some sleep, at this point any rest would be welcome, but it was useless. He could smell her. They say that the sense of smell is the strongest of the five, Matt couldn't argue that. Every time he moved it stirred up the air in his car and with it he could take her in all over again. Matt would shift from one position to the next and then breath in deeply, he could smell her all over again. He would try to place that beautiful smell, but it was indescribable. Like the scent of freshly washed linen hanging on a clothes line or the scent of lilac bushes in full bloom after a summer rain shower. Then her perfume mixing with the smells. He couldn't place the smell, giving up he just thought with a smile "Jades Smell." he hoped that that smell would be a fragrance he would get to enjoy for as long as she would let him.
Frustrated Matt again tried to find a comfortable position. Finally, he felt as though he could drop off to sleep... Somewhere in that state where a person is awake yet just about to fall into sleep he heard her voice. "Hello" he jerked awake not wanting to miss a moment being with her. Looking around, he realized it was just her voice singing in his mind. He thought of her and how her voice was like the sweetest tone in his ears. Her voice was totally feminine, not gruff or in any way deep. He thought to himself, if angels sound like her, no wonder God keeps them to himself just so he could hear them speak. He could listen to her for hours being totally captivated by her voice. He could spend days asking her meaningless questions just to hear her answer. He let his mind wonder to jokes and funny stories and goofy action just to make her laugh. He was totally taken by her and all he could think about was wanting more. He felt stupid as he thought about it, some people have an addiction to one thing or the other, he was quickly becoming addicted to her. What would happen if she wasn't interested in him? He didn't want to think about it. For now he just wanted to fall asleep thinking about all the wonderful times he could share with her. as he drifted off to sleep, his mind played out times he would enjoy with her. His last thought before sleep finally caught up with him was holding her in his arms as the sun set behind them. His hand caressing her cheek and her smile filling his heart. as he leaned in to kiss her, his finger softly and gently drew on her lips. Finally he would get to use his other two senses as he gently pressed his lips to hers. Their first kiss...


He wasn't asleep when he heard the rapping on the window and heard Jade's gentle voice. He had given up on sleep a while ago and now he just sat reclining in the driver's seat. With his eye's still closed he pretended to yawn and stretch and make a big production about waking up. He turned his head towards her and with the funniest "wake up face" he could make, he opened his eye's. As he did he saw her even more beautiful than he remembered. The bright summer sun was very kind to her as if shining down on her showing off her beauty...Even though those thoughts raced through his mind, he would have fun with her. As his eye's opened and set on her, he jerked up throwing his hands up to shield his eye's from some terrible sight. As he did that he violently shook his head to one side yelling "DAMN." Jade was taking a sip of coffee and was caught totally off guard. She covered her mouth and nose as she tried to swallow and laugh at the same time. Finally after composing herself she looked at him with her best "contempt expression" and said, "That ain't right." By now Matt was out of the car and laughing at her. "I'm sorry, I couldn't resist." Matt tried to offer her as he tried to stifle his laughter. Still trying to look and sound mad Jade shot back, "well you don't look all that hot yourself!" Matt was still chuckling. "Shut up an get in the car," she ordered. Still giggling Matt escorted her to the passengers side and opened the door for her. "Here! I made you coffee, but you don't deserve it." She thrust a mug of coffee into his hand and with a "humph" sat down hard in her seat. Matt was taken and with a big smile he thanked her and closed the door. Once Matt got into his side of the car, e reached behind her seat to pull out a beverage carrier filled with drinks. "I went to the gas station and got us drinks too. I didn't know what you liked so I got you coffee, tea and hot chocolate." He handed her the carrier and a hand full of flavored creamers. With a big smile and an "Aww thank you." Jade accepted and told him she would enjoy them while at work.
As they drove Matt told her he planned to go back to her car grab the other tire and get them both fixed. She couldn't believe how thoughtful he was and thanked him repeatedly. Matt swallowed hard and took a deep breath, "Jade, can I take you out to dinner and a movie?" Jade put her head down and exhaled, "Matt I like you, I really do but I don't want to be with anyone." Matt felt the rejection. It cut deep and his heart sank. He really thought they connected. Jade continued, "I've had really bad luck with men and the last one broke my heart. He started out being this awesome guy and then hurt me every way he could. I'm just not willing to go through that again." All Matt could say was, "I understand." The rest of the drive was quiet neither really knowing what to say to each other. Both feeling awkward. At the door to the hospital Jade finally broke the silence, "Matt you don't have to fix my tires..." He cut her off, "Jade, I told you I wanted to help and this doesn't change anything. Call me when you are ready to get off work and I'll come pick you up and then we can go and get your car." She thanked him again and then turned and walked away.

Any feedback is welcom
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
Msg: 5
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 7/4/2009 8:48:08 AM
Jade only had to work for three hours till Sally arrived. during that time though, she couldn't get Matt out of her head. She felt awful about turning him down. He was such a sweet man. She didn't lie to him, she did like him and she was attracted to him. He was charming and kind and he looked out for her. He went way out of his way to help her and for that she was so very grateful. Everything she knew of him she was taken by. He was funny and smart. She picked up on so many good things about him, but the things that really mattered to her, were left unanswered and because of that she refused to take the chance. Was he faithful? would he stay the sweet man she saw him as, or was that just to attract her? So many questions about who he really was were left unanswered and she didn't want to take the chance to learn. she hated herself for turning him down, after all he had done for her and he only asked for a date, but she knew she could fall for him and so she didn't want to take the chance on another failed relationship. another chance for someone to brake her heart. She couldn't do it again and she wouldn't let herself...
She called Sally to let her know what was going on. She also wanted to ask Sally's fiance Greg if he could help her with her car. She didn't want to ask Matt for any more help nor did she call him to pick her up. She felt badly about brushing him off, but she also thought it was best for everyone.
When Sally arrived at work, she knew, by Jade's look, that she wasn't doing well. "Are you OK sweetheart?" Sally asked her. Jade just looked at her with a sad face, "I feel awful doing this to Matt when all he did for me was help" Sally put her arm around Jade, "You just met him Jade. Don't worry about it. He'll be OK and so will you. Greg is out in the car waiting for you. Go get your car fixed and then go home and get some rest. You'll feel better after a nice long nap." Jade shrugged her shoulders, "I doubt it." She gathered up her things and headed towards the door. "I'll call you tonight." Sally said as Jade left.
The ride with Greg was a quiet one. She knew she was doing right for her, but she also knew she hurt Matt. She just didn't want to talk to anyone. As they pulled up behind her car she knew Matt had been there. The tire was replaced. the trunk was sealed. Everything seemed as if it was good to go. Now Jade felt even worse. Matt took care of everything in spite of the way she hurt him. All those terrible names men call women when they are mad seemed fitting to her right now. She felt like she fit all them. Greg got her attention as he pointed inside the car to a note and a long rectangular box, "Looks like he left you something" Jade unlocked her car and slid into the drivers seat. She picked up the note and began to read...
"Dear Jade,
I fixed both tires for you. The seal on the spare was broken and just needed to be reset. You picked up a nail in your tire and it just needed to be pulled out and patched. Both are good to go.
I understand, all to well about having your heart broken by someone. the pain is sometimes to much to bare and we build up those walls to protect ourselves. Sometime though, we have to take a chance on someone. The very person we turn away from might just be the person we have been looking for all along. Sometimes Jade, we just have to take that chance. I know you have been hurt, and I can't promise I too won't hurt you, but I can promise it will never be intentional, and if I ever do, I'll be there to put the pieces back together stronger than before. well Jade in the box is a special gift for a special person. Also their is a card, if you ever decide you do want to go out, open the card, read it and then call me... Till then take care and I wish you the very best.
I hope to hear from you soon
Matt"
"So what's it say?" asked Greg. "Just that the tires a repaired and I'm good to go." "That's it?" Greg was prodding. "Yes, he took care of it all. Thanks Greg for the ride. Tell Sally I'm OK" With that Greg said, "OK." and got in his car and left. Jade waited till she got home before opening the box. She felt better knowing Matt understood, but still she felt bad for hurting him. Once inside her apartment she rushed to open the box. As she lifted off the lid the scent of the rose filled the air. It hadn't fully bloomed but its fragrance was vibrant. gently she picked it up and held it to her nose and breathed in deeply. "How sweet" she thought to herself as she noticed that all the thorns had been cut off. She searched her cabinets for a vase. once she found one she filled it with water and the placed the white rose inside. She then placed it next to her bed so she could see it every day. She then remembered the card Matt had mentioned. She went back to the box and sure enough "open only if you change your mind" were the words written on the envelope. although she liked Matt, she didn't want to change her mind. she knew if they got together she could fall for him. she went to discard the note in the trash, but something stopped her. She stood there for a moment looking at the unopened card. she then turned to the bedroom and placed the card leaning against the vase that held the rose. "Just in case." she thought to herself, "Just in case..."
 CindiLoo2
Joined: 12/11/2008
Msg: 6
12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 7/4/2009 1:29:57 PM
You definitely have the desire to write and a good grasp on dialogue, but I must confess, I skimmed a lot. It's so hard to read with no paragraphs and no dialogue breaks. This is what an editor would do with the following example:

"So, what's it say?" Greg asked.

"Just that the tire's repaired, and I'm good to go."

"That's it?" Greg was prodding.

"Yes, he took care of it all. Thanks for the ride ... and tell Sally I'm okay."

"Okay."

Jade waited until she got home, before opening the box.

**You don't have to say that Greg got in his car and left, the next sentence implies it. See what I mean?
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
Msg: 7
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 7/16/2009 4:55:38 AM
By now Matt was fully rested from his Jacksonville job. He had pretty much spent the last few days catching up on badly needed rest. His job placed him in a very harsh environment, under dangerous conditions and the work was hard. For some reason though he did so enjoy it. He took pride in knowing he was able to work just as hard and sometimes even harder than guys half his age. Matt was one of those few men who was always the first to jump at those jobs others would hide from. He took pride in his work and always strives to do the best he could in everything he did. He was one of those "go to" guys when stuff needed done. He was also very critical of himself in every job he undertook. If someone could do it better, he was mad at himself for not out doing them. He then set out to learn more or work harder. He was that way, it seemed, in everything he did. Striving always to be the better worker, or the better boyfriend, or the better lover. He had failed at being the better husband and that ate at him. "The next time," he thought to himself, "I won't fail." With that his thoughts went to Jade. as his mind wondered to her, he began to analyze all the things he may have done wrong. Maybe if he were more attractive, or had a better body. Maybe if he were more charming or had a better personality. A million things he was able to criticize himself about, but it did no use. He just didn't know why she didn't want to see him again. When she had explained herself, he figured she was just trying to politely turn him down. He didn't accept her explanation as truth, simply that she was finding a nice way to tell him no. He tried to put her out of his head. She was, in his eyes, more beautiful than anyone he had ever met and he so wanted to get to know her to see how deep her beauty ran. But she wasn't interested in him, so as hard as he could, he tried to forget her...


By now it had been three days since Matt came to her rescue. Each morning since Jade would wake to the sweet smell of the white rose sitting on her nightstand. Each morning it would bring her a smile of gratitude yet the feeling of sadness as well. The unopened could would remind her of the guy who went all out for her and in the end she turned him away.
Sally had come over to visit her friend and to cheer her up. Jade seemed down in the dumps since the Matt incident went down and Sally figured she needed to talk about it. The two of them sat on the edge of Jade's bed each with a glass of wine, each staring at the rose... "Jade, what are you thinking about?" "I feel so bad about turning Matt down like that. He was so nice and he went way out of his way to help me." Sally nodded in agreement and asked, "Do you like him?" With a very slight smile and just the hint of a blush Jade didn't hesitate to answer "yes" to Sally's question. "Then what is the problem Jade? If you like him, go out with him." With that Jade****d her head to the side and shot Sally a look as if to say, I can't believe you even asked that question. "The problem? I can name five." Jade shot back in a harsh tone, "Let start with Niel. He was a nice guy for about 2 months, then he became mister control freak. I couldn't do or go anywhere unless he went with me or i had permission. Then Craig came along. You know, no job, lazy, sit on the couch all day eating Cheetos's, can I borrow $20 bucks, Craig." Sally couldn't help but to giggle a little as Jade went on. "Then another really nice guy, remember Chad? Well educated, handsome, charming, good job, rich and oh yeah MARRIED." As Jade went on, she was becoming more angry and more animated. "How bout Mark? Mr. smooth talking, charm your pants off you, promise you the moon and the stars Mark! Yeah, as soon as he got my pants off, he was out the door looking for his next conquest!" By now Sally's heart went out to Jade. She knew Jade had had a long run of bad luck with guys. She felt bad that she didn't see it to warn her friend before she got hurt but to Sally all those guys seemed genuine to her too. "And then Brad, the worst of them all. From the day we met he played me. He lied from the get go. Cheated on me not once but several times. And each time I caught him, I was stupid enough to believe his bull and take him back..." By now Jade was in tears, angry, hurt, and out of breath. She plopped herself down on the bed next to Sally. Sally took her friend in her arms and let her cry for a moment. After a few Kleenex Jade was able to wipe her nose,dry her eye's and compose herself. "each one of those guy's took a piece of my heart, I'm afraid the next guy will take it all. I have to hold on to what I have left." Sally looked at her friend as she rubbed her knee. She felt for Jade, "Honey I know you've had it rough, but maybe Matt isn't like those other guys. From what you have told me, he sounds really sweet. Maybe he is mister wonderful. You won't know unless you go out with him. Sweety you are due for a nice guy. Look at all the crap I went through till I met Greg." Jade was listening. "you remember the guys I dated some were good some were bad. you just have to sift through the crap till you find a keeper." Keeper made Jade smile. "So you think I should go out with him then?" Jade asked. Sally smiled for her friend, "I think you should call him up and invite him to dinner as a way of thanking him for what he did. If you like him go out again. If nothing else, you at least thanked him." Jade smiled back at Sally, but then caught sight of the unopened card. "What do I do about that?" Sally glanced at the card wanting to open it herself to see what it said. "I wouldn't open it just yet, save it for if you decide to go out again." Jade gave a little nod as if to agree with Sally. Sally then picked up Jade's cell phone and handed it to her, "Call him." A little hesitant Jade took the phone and began to dial...
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
Msg: 8
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 7/21/2009 4:54:19 AM
Matt was a creative person. He also liked to work with his hands. In his free time he busied himself working in a small wood shop he created in his garage. It wasn't filled with fancy wood carving or specific purpose tools and equipment, just a few saws, a drill press and various hand tools. It was a start though and with the tools he had he had built a rocking chair and a dart board cabinet for his oldest son Chris. For his middle son Zach he had built a castle that could be torn down and then built in another design. What ever Zach's imagination could come up with. He hadn't built anything for his youngest son Nick however so Matt was working on a project just for him. As he was drawing up plans and making an items list for "car city" the phone began to ring. Matt got to it before the answering machine did, "Hello?" "Matt, hi its me Jade." Matt's heart jumped up into his throat. trying not to sound excited to hear from her, "Hey Jade are you ready for me to pick you up?" Jade was nervous and now she was also confused, "Huh?" "Well you said you would call me when your shift was over and I'd take you over to pick up your car. Man a three day work shift you must be beat." Instantly Matt wanted to take his remark back, 'note to self, check your sarcasm at the door!' Flooded by guilt a now more nervous then ever Jade tried to apologize, "Matt I'm so very sorry. When you asked me out, I got freaked. I couldn't ask you to help me more after I said no to you. I am sorry I didn't call you." Matt let out a chuckle hoping to lighten up the situation. "Jade don't worry about it I understood. Its ok, no need to feel bad." Even though he was disappointed and a little hurt at the time, now, hearing her voice and knowing she felt bad about it, all he wanted was to put her at ease. Jade felt slightly better when she heard his chuckle. "I do want to invite you out to dinner. You went all out to help me and now I want to do something for you in return..." He cut her off before she could say more, "Jade I didn't do any of that expecting a 'reward'. I did it because I wanted to help. I asked you out because I want to get to know you. If you are wanting to take me out as a reward, then, as much as I want to see you again, I have to say no. Now if you want to go out to get to know me, then the answer is yes most definitely." Again Matt caught her off guard and she didn't know how to respond. Matt didn't give her much time to respond anyways before he asked her, "Did you get the present I left you on your front seat?" She quickly answered hoping for a 'subject change', "Yes I did, the rose is so beautiful and it smells up the whole room, thank you." Matt then asked, "Did you read the card?" Jade knew Matt wasn't gonna let up, "No I didn't open it yet, It said not to unless I change my mind." "I'll tell you what," Matt began, "If you want to return one act of kindness for another, read the card, and when you figure it out give me a call. then we can go out, get to know each other and we'll go from there. Sound fair enough?" To Jade, it sounded fair and harmless. She wasn't getting anywhere trying to get him to do things her way. "Fair enough." Jade answered sorta flat. "Good," Matt responded, "well I have to get back to work, so I'll say bye for now and look forward to your call." Jade wanted to get off the phone herself. She wasn't accustom to a guy taking charge the way Matt does. She didn't quite know how to react. "OK, you have fun. Bye" with that, both hung up.
Matt was excited. Jade had called him. He was hoping that she would read the card and call him back today. He didn't like to wait. didn't like not knowing what was going on in another person's head. He knew she liked him a little, at least enough to be thinking about him. For now that was enough. He went back to working on his project. Before, he tried not to think about Jade, now however, he let his mind just dwell on her. with a big grin on his face and butterflies in his stomach he returned to his work.
"Just like a guy not to do things the way you plan for them to do." Jade too was feeling a little of the excitement, but more, that feeling of not quite being in control. "So what did he say?" Sally had been sitting on the bed listening to Jade's side of the conversation trying to make seance of everything going on between them. In a sarcastic tone of voice Jade answered, "He didn't want me to take him out to say thank you. He wants to get to know me." Sally grinned slightly. she knew her friend liked this guy, but he had her jumping through his hoops and she didn't know how to take it. "So now what are you going to do?" Sally asked her as she put her head down so Jade wouldn't see the smile. "Matt said to open the card and call him back." before Jade had a chance to stop her, Sally grabbed the card. She stood in front of Jade with the card between them. Now she was teasing Jade. She twirled the card with both hands, between her fingers. Looking at Jade not even trying to hide her smile now. "So will you open the card or do I get to?" Frustrated, Jade snatched the card from Sally. "I knew you would." Sally said with a smile and pleased with herself. Jade looked up at her acting like she didn't want to open it but secretly wanting to have opened it all along. Jade grinned back and began to pull apart the seal. As Jade pulled the card from the envelope, and opened it, Sally sat next to her leaning in so she could read what it had to say as well. in the top right corner were two lines of writing "One of a dozen," read the first line, On the second, "First of 12" It didn't make sense to Jade. Why say the same thing two different ways? She didn't try to figure it out yet she wanted to read the rest. She continue to read the remainder of the card..."Dear Jade, I'm glad you are reading this. Below you will find three clues to a place I would like to take you, One clue is for how long I would like to be with you, the other two hint to where we are going. When you figure it out and you are ready, call me so that we can make plans to get together. Hint #1: How long? Hint #2:and 3 Where? Take Care & God Bless Matt" Jades first thought after reading Matt's card, "Great now I have to be a 'detective' to figure out a date!" Both girls sat there rereading the clues trying to make sense of them. Frustrated Jade blurted out, "Why can't he just be like other guys and take me to a movie?" Sally smiled at her friend, "Maybe he is trying to show you he isn't like other guys." "No, so far he isn't like other guys," Jade remarked, "But what's he gonna be like down the road?" Sally just shrugged her shoulders and leaned back at little on her hands, "Guess you are just gonna have to find out." Jade looked back at her friend giving her a quick scowl. She then returned to her card, "Fine, lets figure this out." Sally leaned back in close to her friend and joined her as she again read the note...
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 7/25/2009 4:01:01 AM
Matt had given up on working on his son's play set. As hard as he tried, he couldn't keep his mind on his work. By now it was early evening and he decided to call it a day. Too many thoughts were spinning in his head, Matt had to sort them out and focus on what all mattered most...
Nestled in a corner of his backyard was a special place. His boys named it "Tiki Paradise" because of the numerous Tiki torches. It was just a simple campsite that evolved. Matt's youngest son Nick, at the time was only seven. Matt wanted to get them all involved in camping but Nick was afraid to sleep in the woods. In the very corner of his yard was an area that jetted about 50 or so feet into the wood. there Matt build a home made tent. A wooden frame covered by a large tarp. He also built a fire pit surrounded by cement blocks. The little campsite was a huge success. The boys loved sleeping out, Nick could still feel some security due to the one side opening up into the yard but he was able to feel the adventure of "sleeping in the woods" as well. Funny how peeing in the woods for a little boy can be an adventure. However it didn't take long for the campsite to take on a new shape. the home made tent was replaced by a 10 foot by 18 foot 3 room store bought tent. Matt realized, after the first heavy rain that, no matter what the box the tent came in claimed, the tent was not rain proof. The old plastic heavy duty tarp, that was once used to construct the first tent, was now fashioned to cover the new tent. Not only was it large enough to completely cover the tent but it was also able to cover the fire pit as well. Funny how firefighters are often the most careless when it comes to fire. The tarp was anchored around the campsite by high wooden poles staked into the ground and pulled tight by rope. Poles were placed in strategic areas under the tarp to prevent water from collecting and allowing it to run off freely. Heat and smoke collecting under the tarp would be an issue. Next item introduced was electricity and a fan. Two long heavy duty extension cords ran from the nearby garage to the site. The fan was then set up in the center of the site to blow towards the fire-pit thus reducing the heat and the smoke that would build up. the camp site was beginning to take shape. A large blue tarp stretching 20 foot wide by 30 foot long housed a 3 room tent and fire-pit complete with fan. The tent sat to the back, the fire-pit sat in the front left corner. in front of the tent to the left and right sat tables for whatever need may arise. To the front right sat the woodpile. Usually just enough wood to last a night. Everything was in place for His sons next visit...
The first night his boys came to visit after preparing their campsite, the weather called for rain. Matt assured his boys they would be dry and comfy. They enjoyed a campfire complete with hot dogs marshmallows and smores. They laughed, carried on and shared stories till it was bed time. A light rain began to fall as the fire died and they retired to bed. On one side of the tent, Chris and Zach shared an air mattress. On the other side Matt and Nick shared the other air mattress. Matt listened to the soft pat of rain drops on the tarp. He could hear the muffled sound of thunder in the distance. Nick cuddled a little closer to his dad. Matt knew his son didn't like thunder or lightning, but he was trying to be brave. Matt slid his arm around Nick and played with his hair to help him feel safe. The rain picked up just a little and the thunder in the distance now was accompanied by flashes of lightning. For a time, in the stillness of night those were the only sounds. Then a muffled giggle, then a stifled laugh. Then it started. "Give me room! Stop hogging the blankets! Stop touching me!" Then laughter and giggling. "Don't make me come over there and beat you," Matt barked trying to sound all mean. Nick was quick to repeat his dad, "Yeah dad's gonna beat you." Through giggles the response came, "Yes dad," followed by more laughter. "Stop I'm tellin dad!" "Don't dad's gonna beat us." More laughter. The rain started to get more noticeably harder. The thunder louder and closer. The lightning now came more often and filled the tent with blinding flashes of light. "Chris move over!" "Zach stop taking the blankets!" Now the tent was filled with one sound or another. Nick put his arm around his dad and tried to move still closer. "I'm scared dad." Matt pulled him tight, "Oh buddy it is ok, I've got you. Lots of people fall asleep to the sounds of a good rain storm." Now Matt was talking softly to Nick and he could tell Nick was responding. "Just imagine you are totally safe and the lightning can't hurt you. Listen to how the sound of the thunder just rolls across the sky. You can hear it start way off in the distance and as it rolls closer it gets louder then it rolls by and gets softer again until it disappears, then you get to guess where the next one will start and enjoy listening to it roll by. "Stop kicking me!" "Give me back my pillow!" Zach and Chris were still at it. Matt was softly tickling Nick's arm as he fell asleep. "Ok you brat punk kids go to bed," Matt whispered as loud as he could. Still giggling, Zach and Chris complied. In no time all was quiet accept for the storm.
Shortly after, Matt decided to go out to check on how his great tarp work was holding. Trying not to disturb Nick who was now softly snoring and sleeping soundly, Matt slid off the air mattress and out the door. "Oh Shoot," was the first thing out of his mouth. Although the poles that held the edges of the tarp were strong and in place, the other poles "strategically placed" under the tarp had fallen. Water puddles had gathered on the tarp and worst of all it was leaking like a Sieve. Matt tried to replace the poles, but didn't have enough. He would poke at the tarp with one pole only to see the water run to another spot. Matt frantically tried to reposition poles here and there to try and help the water to drain. By now the rain was coming down in buckets. Thunder boomed across the sky and the lightning lit up the night. Now the weight of the water on the tarp was causing it to sag. Matt would push up on an area to see a wall of water fall from the edge to the ground with a splash. Streams of water now fell from unseen and unnoticed hole that now seemed everywhere in the tarp. Matt wondered to himself if their were more hole than tarp.
By now all the commotion Matt was making outside had woken up his son Zach. "Dad what are you doing?" "Nothing buddy. Go ahead and go back to sleep" Matt was pushing up on the tarp causing great waterfalls. I'm coming outside," with that the door to the tent unzipped and Zach poked his head out, "holy crap! What happened?" Matt couldn't say anything as he was trying to dodge leaks from the tarp and still prop up poles. Zach came hopping out with one shoe on and trying to put the other one on all the while jumping in a giant mud puddle forming under the tarp. Zach stood laughing at his dad trying to stretch out to hold one pole up while trying to place another. "So much for being dry and comfy," Zach said sarcastically. "Shut up and grab a pole!" Matt snapped back trying to contain his own laughter. Their the two of them worked. Frantically trying, to find whatever they could to prop up under the tarp. Dodging leaks, falling poles and each other they laughed as the rain continued to pound the tarp. as the two of them carried on giggling and making their sarcastic remarks another child awoke. "Dad? What are you doing?" Now Nick was up. "Hey little man feel around and see if it is wet in their." Matt asked while running into Zach and the both of them laughing at each other. "Just in the corner" came Nick's response. By now the rain was starting to let up. Nick poked his head out to see what all was going on. "Nice goin' dad thought we'd be dry and comfy," Now Nick was adding his own sarcasm. 'Where do these kids get their sarcasm from?' was Matt's only thought. "Go back to bed!" Matt tried to order. All he got in return was his son's genuine laugh. In the middle of all this chaos, he and his children were having fun.
Finally Zach and Matt were able to take a breather. They had managed to prop up enough areas to keep the water from puddling. It didn't hurt that the rain had stopper and the thunder and lightning had subsided. They looked and each other and couldn't help but laugh. Both stood there soaked to the bone. Water running from their hair down their cheeks and onto their already dripping wet clothes. Shoes soaked from standing in a mud puddle. Matt was the first with the comment, "I'm dry how bout you?" Zach had a big old smile plastered on his face, "Dry here too. Lets go jump on Chris!" With that a muffled voice came from the tent, "Are you guys done making all the noise? I can't sleep." Zach and Nick had been awake the whole time. Now Chris finally came alive. Knowing Chris was awake for the whole storm meant he deserved to get wet. Matt and Zach rushed the tent and jumped on Chris. Matt held him down while Zach rung out his shirt then Matt's shirt on him. "Next time maybe you'll help." Matt shot at Chris as he let him go. "No don't think so, I'm good thanks." Matt stood over Chris and shook the water from his hair. "Come on guys lets go get changed and get to bed." this time around no one was playing, everyone was sound asleep as soon as their head hit the pillow.
When they woke up the next morning it had again rained. The air mattresses, pillows, blankets sleeping bags and everything else in the tent including them, was soaked. Outside, the tarp was full of puddles and sagging to the point of caving in. "We gotta fix this today," was Matt's only remark. From behind him, laying in a puddle on an air mattress, Chris Chimed in as sarcastic as he could, "but at least we stayed dry and comfy." Matt just shook his head while Zach and Nick laughed at him.
By that evening everything was dried and put back in order. The tarp had been taken down and covered with 3 large sheets of plastic. Duct tape held the plastic together and staples and more duct tape held the plastic to the tarp. As they finished rebuilding the tarp canopy Chris had to chime in, "Yeah dad, you are a redneck. The only man I know that buys plastic and duct tape to cover a leaky tarp that covers a leaky tent." Matt shot Chris a scowl as Chris laughed. "Tonight we will be dry." "Sure," added Zach. Nicks only remark?? "I'm sleeping in the house tonight!"
They had to wait a week before it would rain again. By then their campsite had evolved even more. Since their site had electricity, Matt decided to add a few modern conveniences. A TV was brought out, DVD player and movies, an xbox soon found its way to the site, even a snow cone machine. A propane camping stove for cooking was included and finally Tiki torches. When it was all said and done, Chris was the first to name the site, "Who needs a camper we live at Tiki Paradise!" the name stuck.
As for the storm that arrived a week later? As the rain poured down and the thunder rolled in the distance, the four of them sat around the campfire. Matt roasting hot dogs, Nick burning marshmallows, and Chris and Zach sat with xbox controllers in hand watching the action unfold on the TV. And from then on all were dry and comfy!!!
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 8/8/2009 6:35:04 AM
Matt had built a fire in the pit and sat their watching the orange yellow blue and green flames dancing over red hot glowing coals. A cool moist breeze added to the lazy evening atmosphere. In the distance Matt could here the thunder rolling his way. A storm was coming. He could feel it, even smell it. Perfect for just sitting back and thinking. The torches were lit and cast just the right amount of light dim and calming. He loved being here in "Tiki Paradise" All the memories of this place have been good ones. The world outside had hurt him more times than he could count or even cared to recollect, but here, here he worked to build good memories. Here he could relax and feel safe and just think...

Jade was on him mind. This wonderful beautiful woman, he met by chance, filled his thoughts. He didn't know much about her but he was drawn to her like the moths he saw flying around the flames. All he knew was that he set into motion a plan that, if it failed, would leave his heart shattered. He was scared, not only to fail but to hurt her more as well. So many thoughts flooded his mind, he didn't even bother to try to sort them out he just would dwell on them and let them lead him.

Matt was tired of seeing and hearing how guys treat girls. He didn't think like other guys did and it was more and more evident every time he hung out with his male friends and every time he talked to a woman. He'd always hear some guy making a rude comment about a woman who might pass by. Listening to his buddies at work talk about girlfriends or wives was even less flattering. More often than not they spent their time complaining about their significant other. If they were so miserable, then why were they in a relationship to begin with? Better yet why didn't they take the steps necessary to make the relationship better? Matt knew all to well what it was like to be in a bad relationship. Some left him heartbroken, others left him angry and hurt. And none left him feeling complete. It took a lot of soul searching and understanding to get to the point where he now sits. A place where he wished that others could find. how much better would a man and woman feel if they just took the time to learn about themselves first? You can't be that special someone for someone else if you don't see yourself as special. the amazing thing that people don't realize is that each person is special in so many ways. It may be hidden or locked away deep in that person but it is there and they should take the time to find it, develop it, add to it, and let it shine. Matt was happy with the man he had become. His circumstances may not be what he wanted and may even be depressing, but as for the man. He liked himself and as he continued to learn, he knew that he would only get better. He had to accept it however, not all people thought things the way he did. He couldn't make the world a better place, but for one woman he could make her world better. That's what this was all about...

 
As Matt sat pondering over his thoughts, Jade and Sally were doing a little pondering themselves. The clues Matt left in his card were getting frustrating. Jade knew that the answers had to be simple, but for some reason she couldn't figure it out. Sally was determined to figure it out as well. They would bounce ideas off of each other only to go off talking about an entirely different topic, then they would catch themselves and return to the subject at hand and sure enough soon they were off topic again. By now it was getting late and Sally knew Greg would be wondering what was keeping her. "Well honey I'm going home. I'm sure Greg is wondering where I'm at." "Yeah," Jade responded, "I'm going to bed too. Maybe I'll be able to figure this out after a good nights rest." With that Jade walked Sally to the door and and gave her a hug, "Thanks for coming over and sitting with me Sal. I had fun." "Me too sweetie," Sally remarked, "Just so you know, Matt sounds like a really nice guy. We had fun tonight because of him. I think he is worth at least a chance." Jade blushed a little and gave her friend a big smile, "I'm thinkin' about it." Her smile grew. Sally again hugged her friend and they exchanged "goodbyes" Sally headed to her car as Jade closed the door and locked it for the night. She then made her way through her apartment closing widows and turning off lights. After a few moments she was on her way to bed.

Just as she entered the room, her phone rang. She jumped across her bed towards the receiver not even bothering to check the caller ID. "Hello?" " Jade, Jade! I
figured out part of the clue!" Jade could hear the near ecstatic excitement in Sally's voice. And she could feel her own adrenaline rise as she listened. "What is it?! Tell me!!" "Well I was still thinkin' about the second and third clue when I got into my car. That one about my car at rest... "WHAT IS IT!" Jade didn't want explanations she wanted answers. "PARK! My car is PARKED when it is at rest!" Jade was frantically going over the clues in her head, 'vehicle at rest' dog lovers take pets to a parks. "That's it! Jade exclaimed. "Thank you!" Jade sounded almost giddy with her response. "So now all you have to do is figure out 'how long' he wants the date to last." Sally was trying to contain her own excitement for her friend. "So when are you gonna call him?" Jade had to think a minute. "Well I still have to figure out the other clue. Hopefully I'll be able to tomorrow." Sally became the devil's advocate, "I think you should make him wait. Let him sweat it out a little." Jade liked her friends idea and her own devilish smile surfaced, "Yeah, I think!" Jade then remembered she had to call into work for her hours. "Shoot Sally, I gotta call in to get my work schedule..." For a moment it was complete silence. Then both screamed in excitement. The kind of scream grade school girls make when they find out the cutest boy in school likes them. Jade was the first to yell, "A normal shift..." Sally answered immediately "A work shift!" both girls were tickled with themselves they figured out Matt's clues. You could hear the pride in Sally's voice, "So he wants to take you to a park for eight hours!" Jade chimed in with a question, "What does he have in mind for eight hours?" Jade could hear Sally's giggles as she responded, "Guess you gotta go and find out. More surprises!" Now Jade was curious and excited. She was enjoying the feeling of excitement to see someone and Matt was definitely keeping it interesting. "Surprises at every corner," Sally said, bringing Jade out of her thoughts, "So when will you call him?" Jade's devilish smile returned, "Hmm maybe in a day or two." Sally laughed with her friends response. "ok Hun I'm home so I'll talk to you tomorrow." Sally was happy for her friend as again the exchanged goodbyes. Jade rolled over on the bed and hung up the phone. A big smile plastered on her face as she laid there wondering to herself what would be next. She then remembered to call work and get her schedule. She found out that she would have a day off three days from now. "Ok mister, lets see how you like it. I'll call you tomorrow night and set up the date for my day off." For the first time in a long while Jade wasn't thinking about hurts from the past. She turned out the light sitting on the nightstand and as she rolled onto her pillow a smile crept to her face, "I wonder what he has up his sleeve?"

 
Meanwhile, as Jade and Sally were enjoying figuring out Matt's clues, Matt sat next to the fire lost in a world of his own. Deep in thought Matt had not bothered to stoke the fire or to feed the flames. Now a pile of orange glowing embers lay where the flames of the fire once danced. Matt retrieved small sticks and limbs from the wood pile and in no time the dancing flames returned . He set a few logs on the fire to keep it burning longer. After poking at the now burning wood a few times, he returned to his chair next to the fire and back to his thoughts...

He couldn't help but keep asking himself, "Why don't guys get it? why do they insist on treating a lady like property or a play thing then wonder why women act the way they do?" Matt wondered how many times he heard one of his female friends talk about guys they encountered. always the same stuff, men who were controlling, or wimpy. Men who were abusive in one way or another. Then there was always the guys just out for sex. they seemed to be the most prominent. that guy who was charming and smooth, He was like a chameleon. His personality changed to suit his targets needs. Sympathetic, funny, relaxed, whatever she was going through he was there to be her answer. Then when her guard was down and she would allow him in, that was when he moved to get what he wanted. when it was all over, he was off to find another target and the poor woman was left to feel stripped of her dignity. Left to feel dirty and cheap. She felt stupid for letting a guy play with her feelings and emotions. With each encounter of men such as this, it is no wonder women are guarded. they see all men as controlling abusive players only interested in what they can get from her. Not in her as a person. The more he thought about it the angrier he felt inside. to the guys he wanted to snag them up by the shirt and smack them around just to beat sense into them. To all those women he wanted to give them a hug, to apologize for man's behavior, to reassure them that just because they were tricked, it didn't make them any less a special person. They were still a lady beautiful and wonderful.
 No1Steelersfan
Joined: 4/7/2008
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12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 8/25/2009 3:44:35 PM
How difficult it is to "Date." Everyone dreams of that "perfect relationship" "the fairytale." Not just women but men too. We plant this idea of what our perfect mate would be, then we search high and low for them. We meet a person who impresses us, and then ask ourselves if this person could be the one. as we get to know them our guard slowly begins to drop, but then something happens. something subtle that reminds us of a past hurt. before long our guard is raised. At the same time we lean away from trying to impress. We lean more to just being ourselves. In no time we see that this person we were so impressed with at first, is no longer impressive. Something that reminds us of past hurts coupled with being more ourselves turns the other person off or turns both people off. the relationship fails and in no time we are off to find another. a little more baggage to carry, another failed attempt, and the walls around our heart rise a little higher and more guarded. That fairytale relationship and that perfect mate feels a little more unreachable...

These questions haunted Matt as he sat there poking at his fire. "How do you win in a game where the cards are stacked against you?" When both people walk through a relationship responding to the other person's actions, how can it be successful? Matt knew the answer but in order to do it the man would have to put his heart on the line. He would have to be of a special character, and to be honest few of those men exist. the woman as well would have to be of that same special character. And from all the women Matt had met, she didn't exist... "How do you win a game when the cards are stacked against you?" You play by your own set of rules, and you pray like crazy that the other person likes your way better than the 'traditional way'.

Matt knew that Jades defenses were high. She had been hurt by other guys more times than she could bare and she just didn't want to expose her heart to the hurts another guy might bring. "If I can just let her know that I'm not like other guys," Matt thought to himself, "Then I might stand a chance." Matt added more wood to the fire and continued to poke at it aimlessly, as he analyzed his thoughts. Matt thought about the first stages of meeting someone... "You want to impress that person trying to get them to like you." He could see that was one of the first mistakes people make trying to start a relationship. They want that other person to 'fall' for them, so they do things, sometimes major sometimes minor, to spark that other person's attention. then after a time they fall back to being themselves and the other person is left to wonder, "Where did the person I fell for go?" As Matt's mind dwelt on this, he made a silent promise both to himself and to Jade, "I won't be something I'm not. For you, I will show you who I really am from the get go. You won't ever have to ask where the man you fell for went." Matt knew that Jade could possibly not like the man he truly was, but at least she would know who he was from the start and she wouldn't have to worry about that down the road. Better to know you don't like a person at the beginning of a relationship than later on and have to deal with the added hurts of attachment.

Matt now had to redirect his thoughts. He didn't know much about Jade, but from past relationships, he did know a little about women in general and needs and desires. as he continued to play with the fire, he began to compare his true self to those very needs and desires. Matt's mind drew itself to the very thing he had most in common with women. His romantic and affectionate nature. He wondered why it was he craved those things. Often times he found himself unable to talk to his male friends about romance. those times he broached the subject, he found himself the butt of many of their jokes. Romance just wasn't a thing men spoke of. For Matt however, he loved it. Searching his soul he came to realize that it wasn't so much the romance he craved, but the effect it had on the other person. Just the idea of doing something for his girl to make her feel special. that was what Matt enjoyed so. He loved seeing her happy. It gave him a warm feeling inside much like giving a child the Christmas gift they always wanted. Just to see their face light up . That was much the same feeling Matt craved, to see the other person beaming with happiness. the affection was another matter. That was something Matt just enjoyed. The simple little things, putting your hand on her knee. sitting close and feeling her body next to his. Holding hands, and placing his arm around her. even running his hand across her back as he passed by. Those simple little things just to convey to that other person that he was there for her. Then those purposeful touched, those ones that express desire wanting and needing the other person. Caressing her cheeks with his hands. holding her in a hug to let her know that she was safe. That he enveloped her to protect her from the world. A passionate kiss with the intent to stir up her desire for intimacy. Matt knew how to convey his feelings through a kiss. seductive, passionate, risky', goodbyes, warmth and caring, even funny. A kiss could express so much to another person, if only people took the time to learn. In the area of romance and affection, Matt was not at all concerned.

Another trait Matt knew a woman desperately needed was a sense of humor in her man. If they themselves were playful, they needed a 'partner in crime. someone they could clown around with and just enjoy fun and play. If the woman was more the serious type she needed a man who could bring a smile to her face. Someone who would introduce laughter into her world. regardless women desired a man with a healthy sense of humor. Matt knew he had that in spades. he know of himself that he was naturally light hearted and easy going. He enjoyed teasing and picking and clowning around with everyone. Co workers enjoyed working with him because he always had a positive outlook. always the guy you could count on to joke around with. Matt's children learned from him that life can always be fun no matter how tough it would seem. His boys knew they could always count on dad to brighten up the day. even Matt's ex wife commented on how he could change the mood of a room just by being in it. Matt knew he had a good sense of humor covered.

Matt continued comparing himself to the needs an d desires of a woman. he thought of how a woman needs those kind uplifting words. Words of encouragement and support. so many demands are placed on women these days. some demands they shouldn't have to endure. Ladies need, just from time to time, a kind word. On the fire department, an "at-a-boy" was a coveted phase. more precious than a pat on the back, the highest praise one could receive. when you got an "at-a-boy" you knew you did a good job. How often was it that a lady deserved an "at-a-boy" but never got one, or no one stood by her side to give her one. Matt was never one to shy away from tell his boys how proud he was of them. he was never one to withhold a compliment, and he was most always the one to lead off in telling someone 'good job'. No Jade didn't have to worry about not getting her fair share of encouragement.

Other needs of a woman that Matt knew were, the need to feel safe. not that their man could go toe to toe with any other guy who might cause trouble, but that need to know that no matter how rough a situation might become, their man would handle it with her well being first and foremost. she needed to know that no matter how hard the day may be, she could go home and find safety and refuge in her man's arms. she also needed to feel loved, respected, wanted, and desired. All to often Matt knew those needs were often left neglected. A woman needs to feel that her man loves her with all his heart. That he respects her as and equal and as a woman. she needs to know that he can't get along without her. That without her he is incomplete. She needs to know that her man finds her desirable and sometimes even lusted after. Yes, Matt knew that he had all these bases covered with plenty to spare.

Communication however could pose somewhat of a challenge. this was a touchy area for Matt and if the topic were to ever come to this he would have to tread softly. Matt knew that from time to time women just liked to unburden themselves from the cares of the world. He knew that they weren't necessarily looking to solve problems, but just to unload the cares of the world on a friendly ear. this could pose a problem. Matt, by nature, was Mr. problem solver, Mr. rescue. No matter how big the problem he could solve it. By his nature, no problem could be left unsolved it ate at him. Matt would have to be aware that if Jade wanted to just "unload" he may have to leave those problems for a more suited time when she would want them solved. Matt realized this would be a challenge for him. for her however he was determined to at least try. Matt was a great listener always willing to lend an ear or a sympathetic shoulder. he enjoyed conversations about any topic from politics to the proper colors of winter fashion. He didn't enjoy however sharing his deepest thoughts desires or fears. He could easily express his feelings, but to share his deepest secrets or fear was an entirely different story. Another area Matt might have to come to terms with. finally, the trust issue. For Matt this could be the hardest to face. Matt was able to give his heart freely and openly. He wasn't a jealous person nor was he controlling. Matt's problem was he had a great deal of trouble relying on others. Counting on the to do what they said they would. This he just couldn't do. Those times when Matt would deal with his own hurts, he did so alone. Problems that would seem overwhelming to him, he refused to ask for help. He shouldered his own problems and often times was willing to help others, but never would he ask for help. Matt found it near impossible for himself to relay on or depend on the help from others. He never asked for it now expected it. And when the load would get to much for him, he would retreat into himself distancing himself from others until he was able to find his own solution. Yes this was an area Matt would have trouble with. so the question was left "How do I learn to trust others?"

By now it was late and Matt was tired. The fire had died down to smoldering orange glowing ash. The evening air was cool and refreshing. A soft breeze carried the scent of pine throughout Matt's little camp site. torches were blown out, the ashes were stirred around till nothing was left of them. slowly the darkness overtook tiki paradise as Matt went to bed for the evening. With all he had thought about Matt was comfortable knowing that for Jade he would be himself and wouldn't have to be fake now or ever...
 emotion89
Joined: 7/22/2011
Msg: 12
12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 6/26/2012 6:52:18 AM
Please don't tell me there is no more I'm engrossed in this and I need the rest it's amazing
 dianalynn76
Joined: 2/21/2011
Msg: 13
12 Dates and a Dozen Roses
Posted: 7/16/2012 7:39:33 AM
I like the way you are building up Matt's character...he is a great human!...the best part for me that made me laugh was how DUCT TAPE saved the day once again!!! Thanks for making me laugh! Some spelling errors...this doesn't really seem to be linked with the 12 roses theme-though it does concern Matt... Just some food for thought.
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