"It was a rainy evening in Chicago."
Heh, thatís how most of my stories start. Corny I know, but can you blame me?
Coincidently, thatís how this one begins.
I was taking a little vacation from my life back home, so, given the endless
options of where to go, I chose Chicago.
What better a place for a Mystery Novelist?
Oh, By the way. I'm a writer. I canít say I'm a really good one, But hey, I try. Most of my stories are about Jimmy Madison, a cunning detective who lives in downtown Chicago; Hence the rainy evening thing.
But enough about me, Lets get to the story.
It was a rainy evening in Chicago.
I sat alone in a dark corner of the darkened Jazz bar, sipping my tea. I think the bar was called HJQ Jazz, if I remember correctly. Small candle lamps rested on each table, giving the lounge the perfect atmosphere to just sit back and relax; just to let yourself relax and drift in the sound of the live jazz band playing on the stage near the front of the bar.
But I was doing anything but relaxing. My fingers were dancing over the keys of my typewriter like air. Call me nostalgic, but somehow hearing the sound of the keys of my old Royale typewriter helps me concentrate; helps me focus on what Iím writing. But I was on a creative roll that night. It was unbelievable. The words in my head just flowed through my hands and right into the keys of the typewriter. Every keystroke was pure magic.
Suddenly, something caught my attention. The music had stopped.
A girl with dark brown hair and brown eyes walked onto the stage wearing long, white gloves and a simple red dress. Nothing fancy like sequins or anything like that; Low cut, reaching down to her ankles with a split on one side that started at the waist and going to the bottom, right where her black high heels started.
After a few moments, the band started playing, and soon after, her voice joined them. Throughout the entire song I couldnít take my eyes off her. Her voice was so beautiful. She sang about saying goodbye, love, and her memories of a troubled relationship. Words like that could have only come from someone who knew just how it felt.
After the band stopped playing, she gracefully left the stage, and the band resumed playing their normal songs. And then, like something straight out of one of my stories, she began making her way through the maze of tables and stopped at mine in the darkened corner of the lounge. She was beautiful from a distance, but she was stunning up close. The candle light, although dim, brought out the all delicate features of her face.
"Hello, I havenít seen you here before. Are you new around here?" She asked.
"I guess you could say that." I answered. My heart was pounding, and I silently prayed that she didnít notice.
"Well welcome to Chicago." she said, her dark red lipstick forming a flawless smile.
"Thanks," I said, swallowing hard, "You were really great up there."
"Really? Thank-you..." She said looking away. Her eye looked back and caught a glimpse of my
"Whatís that?" she asked.
"Oh this?" I said, "This is just my typewriter. Nothing special really."
"Are you a writer?" she asked, sitting down.
"Well, sorta, I guess...I'm not really that good." I told her.
One of the waitresses came by, a skinny blonde wearing a black turtle neck.
"Do you want another tea?" She asked me.
"That'd be great, Thanks." I answered with a brief smile.
She turned to the girl I was with, "What about you Julia?"
"I'll take coffee. Thanks Clair."
The waitress walked off we were left alone together in our little corner of the jazz lounge.
After a few moments of silence, I sighed.
"Well," Julia said, "Now that you know my name, why donít you tell me yours?"
I smiled, "Roger Spiegel. Most people call me Rodge."
"I like Roger better."
"Heh, thanks." I said, getting up.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
I began walking towards a metal door on one of the far walls, "Gotta get some fresh air, its too stagnant in here."
"I'll come with you." Julia said.
We walked together to the grey metal door, its internal mechanisms clanked as I pushed the bar on its midsection. A low whine came from its hinges as it slowly opened, letting in a breeze of cool, autumn air.
Quickly stepping outside, as not to let the warm, indoor air out, I closed the door behind us. The rain had died down to a light mist, so we didnít worry about getting wet.
We stood quietly in the dark alleyway behind the bar taking in the cool atmosphere around us. I leaned against the maroon brick wall, taking a pack of cigarettes out of my suit jacket's inside pocket. Tapping the bottom, I pulled out a single white cigarette and put it in my mouth. I lit it and a light breeze came, feeding its little fire. Puffing on it once or twice, I took it out of my mouth, holding it between my thumb and index finger.
I looked over at Julia; she was staring up at the cloudy sky. After a little bit, she closed her eyes. A light smile played across her face as she sighed, silently taking in the breeze.
She was content on breathing in the fresh air, while I was taking it in through a nicotine filter. I gave the cigarette in my hand a sideways glance and tossed it aside.
Another small wind came along; its coolness danced across my torso, protected only by the light shirt and jacket I was wearing. It sent a slight chill down my spine.
I could hear Julia shiver a bit. Walking over, I took off my jacket, putting it over her. It sagged on the sides, as if it were a few sizes too large for her petite shoulders.
She turned her head toward me and smiled lightly. The light inside didnít show it, but under the white glow of the moonlight, I could see she seemed tired. The spark in her eyes from when she sang was gone, and was now replaced with a dull gloss of content. A church tower sounded in the distance, ringing twelve times.
"Wow, its twelve oíclock already?" I asked softly.
"Yeah." She responded in an equally quiet voice. the rumble of the thunder reverberated through the air, and a few moments after, The rain resumed. We quickly ran back under the awning and stood there, watching the rain fall.
I let out a sigh, "Hey, Julia."
My eyes shifted to the ground, "I'm only gonna be in town a few days longer, so-"
I looked back at her nervously.
"-so, would you like to go out with me sometime?" I blurted out. I was so nervous, I felt like I was a dorky high school kid asking a cheerleader out.
A silent moment passed by.
"Why wait?" She said.
"Why wait," Julia repeated in a sullen tone. She lifted her head and turned it towards me, "Why wait for another day, lets go now."
"Yeah," she said, grabbing my hand and starting to run, "Lets Go!"
I smiled and ran with her.
For the first time in my life, I danced in the rain. And in that one moment, I wished the rain would never stop.