May had been sitting on the balcony for the better part of an hour, alone with her first drink. She once again folded up her notebook and slipped the pen safely inside the wire binder. There hadn't been a single minute in that hour that she hadn't opened up the notebook and jotted down something. Even something so innocuous as a single word seemed important. She had trained her mind to drown out the music so she could hear the hustle and bustle of the people themselves.
The floor was full of revellers and dancers, and people just passing through. Singles seeking, couples courting and friends just having fun. There were two separate bars in the club, each had its own type of crowd.
Some people had gotten their drinks, gone to a table, chatted, then went back for another drink. Others had been propping up the bar since the moment she'd come in.
The ice in her drink had long since melted, but it was still kind of cool. She took solace in the bite from the whiskey and the sweetness and smokiness of the coke.
From the edges of her peripheral vision, she began to observe a woman coming up the spiral staircase. With her mind's eye, she knew instantly that the woman was not just looking at her, but staring at her. May pretended as if she were staring down at the table, but subtly glared out of the corners of her eyes till they began to hurt.
The woman made her way around the railings and slowly paraded towards her. She walked confidently, placing each foot perfectly in front of the other as if she were walking a tightrope.
When she got within almost touching distance, May looked up to meet the woman's smile.
"Hi," the woman said without hesitation.
May croaked a little before softly replying with her own, "hi."
She wasn't nervous, but she'd been sitting so long in her own silence that her throat had forgotten how to speak. Though her cough could have been misinterpreted as nervousness.
"I couldn't help but notice you sitting alone," the friendly woman said.
"I'm fine," May said with a genuine smile.
The woman sat down in the chair that was neither opposite May nor beside her, but rather somewhere in between.
"You're not the first person to have a warm drink that's not even half finished," the woman's voice was so gentle and nurturing.
"It's not warm yet," May touched the glass with her fingertips and brushed a gap through the condensation.
"But it's still not half finished yet," she reminded her.
"Other things on my mind," May told her.
The stranger was sensitive enough to empathy to know that May didn't need it. She wasn't a woman in trouble. The woman then began to stare at May's notebook, and she wasn't subtle about it either.
May made no move to hide it from the woman; provided she didn't try and pick it up.
"Some people never go anywhere without their purse," she tipped a nod to the woman's clutch. "I never leave the house without this."
The notebook was a one-off. It's thick cover was bound in denim material. Patterns were sown into it with brightly coloured thread, hearts and flowers and stars of all shapes and sizes. It was as if the design had been doodled by a small child.
It was simple. But pretty.
The notebook was thick with lined pages. Even in the dim light of the club, she could see the lines on the edges of the pages.
"Work?" The woman asked.
"Yes and no," May replied cutely.
The woman smiled. "Intriguing answer," she said with a wry smile before taking a small sip of her own drink. As the woman crossed her legs, her electric blue dress inched just a little above the knee.
"I'm a writer," May confessed.
"Wow. What kind of things do you write?" The woman then asked.
"I mostly write articles for magazines, online and printed. I do a few blogs too."
"Okay," she said. "I thought you were a novelist or something."
"Well..." May began, "I'm hoping to start turning my hand to that soon too," she said coyly.
"Oh," the woman's eyes then sprung open, "cool."
May nodded, unable to contain her own excitement. She pursed her lips like a love-struck teen.
"I'm Scarlett by the way," she then introduced.
"You're kidding," May jibed. She instantly regretted the way it had sounded and put her hand over her mouth.
Scarlett wasn't so easily flustered and she managed to settle May down with a calming glance.
"It's not a stage name. I'm not a stripper or anything," she said jokingly.
"I'm so sorry," May couldn't help but apologise. The look on her face showed that she was mortified.
But Scarlett continued to settle her down with another joke. "And to answer your next question, yes, I am a natural redhead. Although not this red," she then pointed out. Her hair was such a bright fluorescent red that it almost teetered into the orange part of the colour spectrum.
It was in total contrast to May's hair. Even in this dim light, it looked so dark that even if it wasn't black, it might as well be. Their hair was about the same length, down to just below the shoulder. May's dark hair was sleek and straight unlike the wild locks of Scarlett's hair that was the colour of the embers of a lit furnace.
With a tear of embarrassment running down either side of her face, she then confided with her own name.
"My name's May," she struggled to say to Scarlett. May had to gulp to straighten out the taught muscles of her throat.
"Let me guess..." Scarlett began mischievously, your birthday is in..."
"February," May then halted Scarlett in her tracks.
Scarlett had come to a complete stop.
"That just means I was probably conceived in May. It wasn't all that long ago that I put two and two together with that one."
Scarlett instantly did the math and chuckled to herself.
After the pair took sips of their drinks and settled back down it was Scarlett who took the lead.
"So what kind of research makes you come to a lesbian club?" she asked.
May hesitated for a moment.
"I've been a lot of places this week," May began. "I've been to O'Hannagans..."
"Irish bar," Scarlett voiced.
"You know it!?" May asked.
"No," came an unenthusiastic reply, "but the name say's it all!"
"I've also been to the wine bar, The Hub."
"Went to the steakhouse, The Carriage."
"Heard of it, but I've never been." Scarlett seemed to need to reply to every place May had been.
"There was another place I went in but I can't remember the name. I'd been driving around, I just went to get money from a bank machine... then I just followed the crowd and went in. I didn't even look up at the name on the door, I just walked in. It was a nightclub, a little bigger than this, a lot newer. But I love the atmosphere in here. I sat and watched everyone. My friends think I've been on a bit of a weeklong bender."
"It's been a long time since I've been in a proper nightclub," May informed her.
"I find that hard to believe," Scarlett coyly crossed her legs and took a sip from her glass.
"Well, a long time since I've come into one on my own," May corrected herself.
There was a moment of pause as Scarlett pondered. "What are you trying to find out about people?"
"Just curious about how people interact."
"Don't you see that the whole time anyway!?"
"I do..." May admitted. "But it's only now I'm really paying attention to them. I see people flirting, or being in relationships all the time. But most of them I already know. I want to see how strangers interact. In all types of place. In the privacy of a table at a restaurant, to the social setting of a bar, or in the chaos of a nightclub."
"It's not exactly chaotic here," Scarlett pointed out.
May only replied with a shrug.
"What are you writing about anyway?"
"I'm writing about a woman who has an affair. There's a lot of other things going on her life too, that's just one part of it."
"Is she having an affair with another woman?" Scarlett asked curiously.
May looked blankly into space, "I'm not sure." There was a lot of excitement in her voice. Scarlett could see cogs turning at high speed behind May's eyes.
"How do they meet?" she then asked.
"I don't think I know that either. Right now I want to keep my options open."
May stared out over the balcony.
"I don't know any of these people, but I keep making up stories inside my head about some of the people down there."
With her eyes, she looked at each individual person and made up her own stories. She even voiced some of them to Scarlett. "A woman after a breakup, just wanting to be somewhere safe. A young woman unsure of her sexuality. A thrill seeker. Or a midlife crisis."
Scarlett knew everyone that May had pointed at with here eyes. And knew she was wrong about all of it. But that wasn't really the point.
"So where do I fit into all of this? Who am I?" Scarlett teased.
May looked at her, examining every facet of her face. "I don't know," she admitted.
"What if, instead of looking at people, you live that experience," Scarlett suggested.
"What do you mean?"
"You'll never see the whole story from up here. Call it... call it a little role play."
"Okaaaayyyy..." May still hadn't fully figured out what Scarlett was meaning.
Scarlett then stood up and tugged on the hem of her skin-tight dress to pull it an extra inch down over her thighs. She walked around to the other side of May. When she sat down beside her, she could feel the soft flesh around their hips pressing against each other.
"Imagine you were that woman in your story," Scarlett began. "Imagine meeting a stranger at a nightclub and just... connecting!"
As Scarlet firmly took her hand, May jumped inside her own skin. The smile that beamed across her face showed that she was excited.
"Imagine her heart racing."
May had a vivid imagination but this was something that she didn't have to imagine; it was pounding for real.
"How would it be to stare into someone's eyes, not to fall in love, but to fall in lust!" Scarlett reacted to the word "lust" as if she someone had touched her illicitly as she'd said it.
After looking into Scarlett's eyes, May went to write her words. But Scarlett pushed the notebook shut and pressed it firmly to the table as if was Pandora's Box.
"What if..." she then began. Her words faded into nothingness as she stood up.
Even though she was still sitting down; as May raised her arm, she was made to feel like a ballerina being pirouetted by her partner. Scarlett walked around behind May, gently intertwining their fingers as she did so.
"What if someone took her by the hand... and whisked her away to a secret location."
Scarlett led May up onto her feet. Although she was able to lead her away from her overly nursed drink, May grabbed her precious notebook.
Giving an occasional lingering glance over her shoulder, Scarlett led her new friend down the spiral staircase. Their slow and deliberate footsteps clanked on the metal staircase.
May could feel her heart beating inside her chest. As they got nearer the bottom of the staircase, May felt that everyone was looking at them. With them holding hands, it was so obvious that they were together. The reason May couldn't let go of Scarlett's hand, was because she didn't want to.
They had to cross the main dance floor to get to the door that Scarlett was aiming for. May felt like everyone had stopped what they were doing and were staring at them.
The situation had been turned on its head. For the last hour she had been the voyeur; now it was everyone else's turn.
Leading her through the door into the back of the club, May found them walking up a narrow corridor that seemed as long as the rest of the club was. Reading each of the signs on the doors, she saw a couple of storerooms and a janitorial cupboard. A sudden yank on her arm dragged her through the next door. Out of the corner of the eye, she read the sign for the women's bathroom.
Almost tripping as she got inside, when she looked around she found the bathroom to be in stark contrast to the rest of the nightclub. The Club itself was dark, with a lingering mist that hung in the air. Every light was a vibrant colour, it made it so hard to tell to tell what colour everything else was supposed to be.
The bathroom was bright white and ultra-modern, it was clearly the newest thing in the club. It looked like it hadn't even been used once. The lights were so bright that it was an assault on the senses; like being snow blind on a frosty January morning.
As they got inside, they looked along a row of mirrors and sinks on one side and a row of cubicles on the other. Everything was gleaming.
May looked at Scarlett. There was so much mischief in her eyes.
"So what now?" May asked.
Scarlett pretended that she was looking around, but she knew what she was looking for. Still holding onto May's hand, she dragged her to the cubicle at the very end of the row. Their shoes clattered against the tiles like a manic tap dancer that was out of tune.
May had been hauled into the cubicle almost against her will. She let out the smallest yelp. Scarlett's strength was surprising given that they were about the same size and stature. May was just along for the ride right now. And what a ride!
Inside the cubicle was just as clean as the rest of the decor. Pristine and white like a showroom piece. As Scarlett slid the lock shut, it clattered so loudly that it echoed through the stall as loudly as a gunshot.
Before May could ask what was next, Scarlett spun her around on spot and pushed her down onto the toilet. The seat was already down and it felt surprisingly comfortable to sit on.
"Wow," May uttered.
Scarlett straddled May's lap and spread her legs. Without hesitation, her blue dress inched up almost to her hips as if it had been attached to her shoulders with rubber bands. She flicked her hair out behind her and then stared deeply into May's eyes.
"So, how do you think your character would feel now?"
"Excited." May's eyes darted around the tiny cubicle. Her brain and her body had temporarily become disconnected. She was glancing around at all of the thoughts running through her head.
Scarlett wrapped her arms around May's neck and pulled herself in close. She rubbed her soft cheeks against May's face which was now burning up.
"Imagine the excitement, the anticipation, of an almost total stranger. Imagine not knowing what's going to happen next."
"God, this is so much hotter than any of my ideas so far."
"Real life often is."
"You know what's hotter than a kiss from the right person?"
Although May heard her words, it took her a few moments to realise she had been asked a question. She thought for a few moments.
"I don't know," she stared into Scarlett's eyes.
Scarlett coiled herself around May a little tighter, she put her mouth close to May's ear and whispered. "A kiss from the wrong one!"
I'd like to thank 'mesmiley' for helping edit my work, it's improved the structure a lot and helps it flow so much better. I hope everyone enjoys the first part of the story. There is still more to come.