|Posted by UniquelyHis on August 31, 2013 at 11:35 PM|
Darlene worked as a writer for the Addison Review to help pay her bills. When she had no work to do, she would quietly work on her manuscript which she hoped would be a novel someday. After many times, she received rejections after rejection, but she never gave up.
Darlene’s marriage to a Marine made her life lonely as her husband was away a lot. As a result, her heart drifted to a charming and alluring man named Diethelm who came into the magazine company looking for a business deal (or so he said). He saw Darlene and felt drawn to her beauty and innocence.
“Hello. Is your name ‘Bella?’” He smiled “Because you are beautiful indeed.”
She blushed. “Thank you. My name is Darlene” His compliment caught her off guard, but she quickly remembered where they were. In a more business like voiced, she asked, “What can I do for you?”
Diethelm smiled. “I completely forgot when I saw you.” He put a finger to his chin, pretending to think. “Oh yes, I am here to see your Editor. Is he in?”
Darlene wondered where that came from. “She,” Darlene corrected, and wondered if he made up the answer on the spot. “And she is out. Her assistant is in.”
“Would you care to have lunch with me?”
Wow! Where did that come from? Darlene blushed and smiled. “I am a married woman.”
“What harm is having lunch with a new friend?” He flashed his charming smile at her again.
“I would be glad to as long as you don’t make passes at me.”
“I would not dream of it.”
What he did dream about was touching her and holding her close. It is what he wanted for a long time, way before he ever entered the building.
“Okay.” Darlene said, nervously, not knowing how to answer this handsome stranger. He was so forward and so sure of himself. And she had been lonely for far too long.
“Great! I look forward to seeing you again” He picked up a piece of notebook paper and scribbled an address. Then he handed her the note. Why don’t we meet at the Illuminate Me Diner?”
Illuminate Me Diner? Isn’t that—Oh the thought of going there!
Diethelm saw her discomfort and understood the reason. “You are safe as long as you are with me.”
Darlene wasn’t still convinced. In a shaky voice, she asked, “They keep that place dimly lit, don’t they?”
“I know they do. It is for people who are sensitive to light.”
Like… vampires? Although she didn’t believe they existed, she shuddered. “You are not … “she began to say.
“I am not what?”
She shook away the notion and smiled at Diethelm apologetically. “Never mind. Nothing. But I have to get to work. I’ll see you there.”
“Very well. And when will your editor return?”
“Tomorrow,” She answered him. “She is at a conference.”
“Ah. Okay. Until then, ma chère.”
He walked out, a small smile playing on his face. He already known about the editor’s absence. It was the reason why he paid a visit that morning.
“Did you just get picked up by a stranger?” one of the other writers asked. He had been standing nearby and had heard the entire conversation, and now was watching Darlene with humor and concern.
“Yes. I will have to add this experience to a list of story ideas.” Darlene laughed. She hoped that would be enough for her co-worker and that he would return to his desk. It was uncomfortable enough thinking of her lunch date without someone asking questions.
It was true. Darlene had a long list of story ideas but most of them came from events that haven’t happened yet. She would dream about them, but because no one would believe her, she wouldn’t tell anyone about them. Yet all of her coworkers knew she spent her breaks and free time writing in her notebooks.
Darlene arrived at a diner with a neon sign reading “Illuminate Me.”
Sitting in her car, she stared at the building, still undecided as to what to do. Before she left for work, she had done research on the computer and had found some shocking information.
The place was built ten years before by a modern day witch. Young people who practiced Sorcery and the occult met there every time there was a full moon.
Fortunately, it was only noon and the moon was not out. But Darlene took little comfort in that knowledge. Questions swarmed in her head like bees in a hive. Why am I even doing this? What would people think if they saw me with another man?
Nevertheless, she was there. She did not feel comfortable coming to such a “dark” place. Why did she even agreed to have lunch with him?
The front door of the diner opened and she saw him coming out. It was too late to turn back. Her heart pounded in her chest as she climbed out of her car.
With a nervous smile, she said, “I really shouldn’t be here.” But almost against her will, she followed him inside.
“You have nothing to be afraid of,” Diethelm reassured her. “The owner is a personal friend of mine and I asked him to open the diner for me. It is not usually open during the day.”
The dark interior was what Darlene was afraid it would be. She held back, looking around warily as if she expected some dark form to jump at her from the shadows. “Can we… turn the light on?” She asked nervously. She felt sweat dropping down her back from fear.
“This is fine. You will grow accustomed to it.”
She wondered why she would grow accustom to dim lighting. She looked at him, thinking he might be a vampire, but changed her mind.
She saw an odd smile on his face which made her feel very uncomfortable. “This was a bad idea. I should go.” She started to get up, but Diethelm put a hand on her arm.
“Relax,” he said. “No harm will come to you,” He motioned to her to sit down again which she did, but warily.”
“There is a reason why I wanted to have lunch with you,” He continued. “You see, I more or less came to see you, not your boss.”
Darlene frowned. His confession made her all the more cautious.
Diethelm sighed. “You will not like this information.”