The second Molly opened her mouth to sing, her stage fright vanished. Darien’s smile in the dimly lit lounge helped her out too. She stood high up on the little stage, staring into a sea of darkened faces, but his was all she saw or cared to see. The bright white lyrics of the golden oldie "Will you love me tomorrow" by The Shirelles began to scroll on the large blue karaoke screen to the side of her. It snapped her back to reality.
“Tonight your mine, completely…You give your love so sweetly…” Molly sang in her low alto voice. People have told her she should be a jazz singer, but the oldies have always been her favorites. Her long fingers clung to the microphone, taping to the tune. Her confidence longed to see Darien’s smile of reassurance, but he had turned his face to the small table.
Darien looked at his still full drink and shot it down with one gulp. The tequila stung his throat, briefly shocking him, but the taste turned dull quick. He scanned the tiny lounge, looking for anybody not watching his girlfriend sing her little heart out. She apparently had a natural power to mesmerize because everyone stared intently at her. For him, that was a skill he had to learn and practice often. A skill that fortunately had worked on Molly all to well it seems.
He glanced back at her and put the smile back on his face so she could see him. Molly was beautiful with her long brown hair with auburn highlights swept half up, her big caramel eyes, and her trendy burgundy cocktail dress. She looked so stunning that he barely heard her sultry voice singing. Her mouth moved but nothing reached his ears. He just stared at her standing there on the lighted stage with the fake Karaoke back drop of city lights in awe of his conquest.
“But will love me tomorrow.” Molly paused after reading her line. Tonight was Darien and her's 6th date. She had been counting. Tonight will be the night she invites him to her place, but then the lyrics hit that soft spot in the back of her mind. She assumed he was her boyfriend and it should be time for this next step. If not, oh well, crossed her mind briefly. Who really follows the rules and falls in love these days anyway?
Molly’s voice cracked a bit at the higher note but the song quickly returned to its lower tempo. She chuckled and swayed her hips to cover the mistake. Darien thought she was adorable in her awkwardness. “You said that I’m the only one…”
The melody and lyrics began to come into focus and Darien remembered the song from long ago. He realized he should be remembering something someone once told him about it. He paced his mind for the next few lines of the lyrics.
“But will my heart be broken…when the night meets the morning sun.” Darien gasped a gulp of stale air as his memory rushed back to him. His eyes shot to hers as she belted out and held that last note, he hoped, innocently. The empty glass of tequila he had long forgotten he was holding crashed to the floor.
Molly's eyes met Darien’s gaze, and she continued to sing to him. Then she saw the young waitress with her light up apron rushing to his side to pick up something on the floor. The apron shined light on Darien and Molly saw an odd look on his face she couldn’t quite place. His skin was pale; his mouth open in what looked like shock, and sadness stained his eyes. 'What just happened', she thought
She stopped singing almost at the end of the song and the crowd picked up on the cue because they started clapping and wooing. The blur of hands in front of her and standing people blocked her view of Darien’s befuddled stare.
Molly smiled tight-mouthed and said, “Thank you. Um, who’s next?” An older woman began to walk towards her and the others took their seats waiting for their turns to sing. Molly placed the microphone back in the holder, curtsied and turned to walk down the stage stairs.
The table Darien and her shared moments before her song was empty. The check holder with a ten-dollar bill hanging out of it was all that was left. She looked for her jacket and her clutch purse but they weren’t there either. She looked towards the hallway that led to the entrance. Molly took two slow breaths and headed for the entrance. Panic started to creep up her spine.
Her high heels were loud on the tiled floor almost interrupting the now bad singer on the stage. “Please let he be out there, please let he be out there,” she murmured under her shaky breath.
Molly moved the beads hanging on the top of the door frame aside to the end of the hallway and saw Darien facing the door leading back to the regular section of the bar. His short black hair spiked upwards and he had already put on his trench coat. He had her peacoat over his shoulder and her purse dangling in his right hand. He was tapping his boot to an inaudible beat that not even he was aware of what it was. Darien could tell she was behind him for her perfume hit him like a freight train. Burnt flowers…he didn’t want to have to ever miss that smell, but it was inevitable.
“Darien. Hun, are you okay?” Molly said meekly to his still turned back. “What happened in there? Do I sing that badly?” She chuckled to lighten the obvious tension.
Darien turned around to face her. He suddenly looked so tired and his face long and thin. “No. You sing beautifully baby. It’s the silly lyrics that got to me. Um, we have to talk.”
“You don’t love me do you?” Molly jumped to conclusions from the oldie song. She was too emotionally done in her life not to be blunt with him.
“On the contrary, I think I do and I know you love me. I can feel it every time you kiss me and I see it when I pick you up at night for our dates. You light up like a fucking Christmas tree and it's amazing. It’s also in your touch and in your words. I love you Molly. I think more and more every time I see you.” He said.
Darien walked toward her and cupped the side of her face with his hand. He felt bitter cold against her warm skin. Molly searched his face for betrayal, disapproval, dislike, or anything that would spark a reason for their talk, but he had that dreamy stare he always had before he kissed her mind away.
He dipped his head and pressed his cold lips to hers. Her lips parted to welcome his kiss and her eyes closed. Silence is all she heard as she drowned in her lust for him. She opened her eyes and met his dark blue gaze.
To be Continued...