He was embarrassed that he had pegged her for his type. He could not have been more wrong about her.
How could he have known what she was really like?
Women didn’t act outspoken and forward, it was just not proper. At least no woman he had ever known had ever dared to act the way she did. She had pulled him right in too. Maybe she went to one of those Hollywood shows and seen too much on the big screen?
He didn’t know, but he knew he wouldn’t ever make the mistake of dating someone like Annabella Dorchae again.
And still it infuriated him because on the surface she was everything he had looked for. She was beautiful, intelligent, and witty. He found this to be refreshing and rather alluring. She was up on all the social gossip, current events, and even foreign politics. So advanced compared to the other women he had met. He could sit and talk to her-and she would end up teaching him a thing or two. He certainly hadn’t met too many women like her.
She possessed a spunky demeanor and she had that innocent look about her. He slowly realized the latter was a misjudgment on his part. She came across as educated and sophisticated, probably from an upper class family. Precisely why he asked her to dine with him that evening at the country club and later join him in the poker room while he and the guys played a few rounds. He thought it would be nice to have her there—so the other guys could see the diamond he had found.
He picked her up that evening dressed in his finest. When she came out he noticed she was dressed a little liberally. He had his apprehensions at first, but he only thought of how the guys at the card table would respect him for hitting a home run with this babe. So he let it slide.
During dinner all seemed to be going well—she was very flirtatious, friendly, outgoing, and most of all she could talk eloquently with the friends who stopped at their table. He anticipated the spotlight would be on him and his prize in the poker room for all his efforts.
He wasn’t sure what had changed. Perhaps she had his number the whole time? They had walked in the back room, he pulled up a seat, she sat cozily on the arm of his chair. One of the boys passed him a cigar. That is when Johnny piped up, “Charley, where’d you find the babe?”
Before he could even answer, she spoke for herself, “His babe doesn’t need for him to answer. So why don’t you ask her yourself?” This elicited a response from the other men at the table, “Ooooh, look out. Charley’s got his hands full” and other mutterings. He felt sorry for her, but he shouldn’t have. Johnny wasn’t put off too much, “Alright then lady, what’s your name?”
“My name is Annabella Dorchae,” she rasped out in her best Bette Davis voice. “You may call me Bella.” She narrowed her eyes at the unsuspecting victim, “That is until you make my temper flare, then it will be Miss Dorchae to you. Understood?” She was serious and flirty all at the same time. Johnny raised his eyebrows and gave him the old stare.
It took Charley a few steps back. It was certainly unexpected, to have a woman with her boldness accompany him, but he tried to play it off with his best poker face. It wasn’t working as it became all too obvious that he was just as much a victim to her assaults as the other men at the card table. While the boys sure got a kick out of trying to harass her being so bold and brash, they could not hold a candle to her quick retorts, her witty sarcasm mixed with her powers of intellect and perception. They had never dealt with such a lady.
She turned otherwise prowling men into prey. She argued with his friends on their political views, stomped on their religious devotions, exposed them for the chauvinist monsters they were and she even smoked a cigar. Charley was mortified, because she clearly made it known that she was beyond any of their collective capabilities to handle. Leaving Charley regretful of his decision to bring her along in the first place.
At least he was grateful because she helped him win a few hands of poker—so he didn’t leave the table broke. He had to give her that. She could watch those cards and know exactly when he should fold and when he should raise the a few. Eventually Johnny accused Bella of cheating—but when she proved him wrong, he got mad and threw down his cards and stormed out. She also made Frank cry and nobody ever made Frank cry. And she pissed off George, the owner, to the point he threw her and Charley out of the game.
George was screaming for them to get the hell out of the room and Bella had no intentions of leaving without a tenacious fight, because she saw the injustice of a cheating poker player and called George on it. This forced Charley to drag her out of there, forcibly, and testing the limits of his gentlemanliness. It was no wonder George’s henchmen didn’t run them around the back and kill them both. Finally they made it to his car and he told her to “Get in, NOW!”
She complied and he got in the driver’s side. He was so angry—and for a moment Bella was still. He tried to start up the car-but it wasn’t turning over. At which point she started to laugh uncontrollably. He looked at her—catching the wildness in her eyes—almost in disbelief.
“"Say! What do you find so darned funny?” he asked in an agitated manner.
“Oh Charley, you are so uptight!” she giggled, “You really should at least loosen your tie.” She reached over to help him, but he immediately brushed her away.
“Stop that now. Just sit there quietly so I can get you home in one piece.”
He turned the key again, this time the car started and he drove her as fast as he could all the way home.
He parked on the street, got out to open her door. And that is when she had gone and done it. She pulled on the tie he forgot to loosen and she kissed him. A full mouth kiss—something a proper girl would never do. Then she propositioned him, “Come on Charley, there is more where that came from, all you have to do is follow me through that door.”
His immediate reaction was to follow her—but part of him was horrified by the thought of a woman being so forward, so he stepped back. “N-No. Y-you go, go on Bella. Go on. I think I had enough of the likes of you.” He backed away, stuttering like a young chap, almost losing his balance and fumbling to quickly get inside his car. She shrugged her shoulders and walked up the sidewalk towards her door, but not before giving him one last glance over her shoulder. He shook it off, started his car, and sped off.
He took a drink of his scotch and he sat on the sofa in his apartment—embarrassed by the events that evening. Upset with himself that he let her act in such an ill fitted manner. He wasn’t sure if he’d be showing his face around the country club anytime soon.
And then for her to kiss him. For her to make a pass at him like that. Who did she think she was? Who did she think he was? And as the minutes passed—the more it bothered him. He just wanted to give her a piece of his mind. He wanted to put her in her place. He wanted to… He wanted to… and so he walked across the room, picked up the receiver and he dialed 7952 and waited for the phone to ring.
“Miss Dorchae,” he stated with an agitated voice. “This is Charley” his voice was no nonsense and straight to the point, “About earlier…”
“Oh? Yes, yes, Charley,” she acted as if she had to search her memory bank to place the voice with the name, “So sorry, didn’t recognize the voice. What is it?”
“I’m wondering if the invitation is still open?”
“Invitation?” she inquired—as if she had no idea what she was referring to.
“Yes when I dropped you off earlier,” he paused, quieted his voice a bit, “You invited me into your house.”
There it was—he admitted he wished he would have followed her inside. He didn’t act on it-and now he wish he would have.
“Excuse me?” she scoffed, clearly offended by the insinuation, “I’m sorry, Charley. No such invitation ever existed. I only invite in those men who can respect what they have found.”
He was confused, after all, what had he done? He cleared his throat,“I don’t think I understand? I thought—“
“That’s your problem Charley—the way you think. So you need to hang up now. And don’t call back, because clearly you have the wrong number!!” and she slammed the phone.
He quietly hung up the receiver—agitated, embarrassed, and confused.