Midnight Moon – “Men Are From Mars…”

I wrote this one back during my freshman year of college when I was dating Mr. Shameless and before I conceived Midnight Moon in this overactive brain of mine. I haven’t decided to Moira-Selene’s love interest is going to be quite yet. The best part about this, for me as I read it, is how the characters interact with one another.

_______

“Men Are from Mars, and Women Want to Kick Their Asses”
 

PART I

Moira-Selene would never understand men, no matter how long she lived.

Sure she was the smartest girl in the Thomas family (aside from Jessica, of course), but she could never figure the puzzling mind of a man. No book or magazine could relax the permanent crease she had in her forehead because of her new boyfriend. She realized this, and quite dejectedly so, as she sat in the living room of the apartment she shared with her sister Danie and her cousin Jennifer. The clock blazed the numbers of eight, four, and nine, and Moira realized that her Saturday night was shot.

“I’d stop waiting by the phone if I were you,” Danie muttered from behind Cosmopolitan magazine with her raven hair in a deep conditioning. “He’s not going to call.”
“Whoever said I was waiting on him to call?” Moira-Selene inquired defensively.

Danie lowered the magazine, its cover proclaiming one hundred and one sex positions, and raised one perfectly arched eyebrow as if she were Dwayne Johnson’s long-lost younger sister. “Hello?!” she trilled. “Look at the eager, I’m-gonna-win-the-Publisher’s-Clearing-House-Sweepstakes look on your face! I know that look.” She paused with a reflective expression. “Sometime ago, I had that look on my face, too.”
Moira-Selene rolled her eyes. “Danie,” she began patiently, “if I may recall, I think a certain roommate of mine was shooing everyone away from the phone last night to make sure she got a call from a certain, oh, what’s his name again?”
If Danie’s hair hadn’t been wrapped up in the towel, she would have tossed it nonchalantly over her shoulder, but she lifted the magazine back to eye level instead. “We’re not talking about me, here. We’re talking about you.” Danie threw the pillow at her. “Now get away from the damn phone. Make some cookies or something. I’m hungry.”
Gee, what a loving sister she was.

But Moira-Selene heaved herself from the couch and walked into the kitchenette, hearing Jennifer’s giddy voice drift in. Even though Danie could be a bit brash, she had a good idea. Making cookies would take her mind off Duo, and then she could think clearly. With resolve, she turned to the pantry to take out the ingredients. That was when the phone rang. Her heart galloped, and she stalked out of the kitchenette to answer it.

“I’ll get it!” Danie sang out, diving for the phone as if it were a life preserver. Moira-Selene watched with hopeful, wide eyes. “Hello?” The longest pause in the world. Then Danie grinned. “Oh hi Danny! I didn’t expect to hear from you tonight.” She gave Moira a look that said, Go away, the phone is mine.

Aw, damn. Toll House, here Mo comes.

Moira-Selene drifted back into the kitchen. She retrieved a huge bowl and a wooden spoon. After throwing together the ingredients, she whipped them into a frenzy until her arm screamed at her. When she stopped, she found herself crying softly into the cookie batter.

Moira dropped the bowl onto the counter despondently. What the hell had made her like this?

Oh. Yeah. Right. Gotta go back and explain…

*              *              *

Ten months ago, Moira-Selene Eleanor Thomas had been a single woman. If anyone had brought it to her attention, she’d badger them with a long, verbose explanation about how she and members of the opposite gender were not compatible, and the ones with fully functioning brain cells opted to go for the silly, blond-haired type.

Then Jennifer would get all pissy like someone gave her Suave shampoo instead of Pantene, and she’d have to amend her statement: they went for the dumb girls—no matter what hair color they had. And then they understood.

“But Mo,” Gretchen said on one occasion as they were at Belvidere’s, “not all guys are hormonal football game-watching, beer-guzzling, Playboy-perusing freaks.”
“But a lot of them are,” Samantha broke in, sipping water.

“Some of them are sweet,” Gretchen insisted.

“Do you include your last five boyfriends in that category—the ones that cheated on you, if I may recall?”
After Samantha said that, Gretchen sighed and returned to her own water. Moira-Selene knew that Gretchen’s love life wasn’t exactly the best in the world, but she did have a point. There were exceptions to every rule.

“You just gotta show those guys who’s boss,” Danie declared. “Be confident. Don’t them step all over you.”
“Yeah, but no one likes to be bossed around,” Gretchen pointed out.

Danie held her hand out, bent at the wrist as if she were expecting some rich businessman to kiss it, and prepared the table for another Daniella Thomas enlightenment. “I didn’t say ‘boss him around,’” Danie said. “There are many ways to get a man to do what you want him to do.”
Samantha rolled her eyes. “Danie, holding out on sex only works sometimes. Sometimes that backfires, and he goes looking for other bestial opportunities—if you know what I mean.”
Danie laughed like a Southern debutante with magnolias up her butt and a huge rock on her finger. “Samantha, Samantha. You don’t hold out on him forever! There’s this thing called teasing. And then you…”

Moira-Selene shook her head wordlessly and tuned Danie’s Dear Abby moment out. She felt slightly disillusioned and even more confused. Ever since she had left home when she was sixteen she wondered if there would be anyone for her. And even more, how would she go about finding him?

Zeus was about to answer her, loud and clear.

*              *              *

When Moira-Selene and her missing amour had met, Moira-Selene had been shopping with Gretchen and her friends Christine and Megami. Gretchen had tricked her into going shopping for a new bathing suit since the California weather warranted one.

“Do not try on a one-piece!” ordered Gretchen as Moira came out of the dressing room. “If you get that, I will get Jennifer to make it a bikini.”
“Teeny weeny itty bitty yellow polka-dot bikini!” exclaimed Christine and Megami at the same time. They fell into laughter and Moira shook her head.

Gretchen tossed a sky blue number at her that would have had Justin Timberlake in cardiac arrest. “Try this one on. I wanna see it on you.”
Moira peered at the two pieces of scant fabric in her fingers. “I don’t think Barbie could wear this, Gretch.”
“Well, not with that so-called ‘anatomically correct’ body.” Gretchen pushed her into the dressing room. “Now put it on! No one’s around but us. I promise.”
Moira disappeared into the fitting room, half-wondering what the hell had gotten into her. She was the demure one, the one who opted for class instead of flash. And now Gretchen had pressured her into squeezing into something that she could have cleaned the bathtub with. What was the world coming to?

Moira nearly fainted when she saw her reflection.

Is that me? Is that woman me?

“Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
Moira panicked. She could see the drool pooling at men’s feet already. She couldn’t go out there in that bathing suit. There was no way. Over her dead body!

“MOIRA-SELENE ELEANOR THOMAS…”
Gretchen was going to make a scene if she didn’t get out there, so Moira stepped out of the fitting room. Gretchen fell into silence. Megami looked stunned.

“Nice pecs, mate,”Christine retorted.

Before Moira could say anything, a loud voice broke the silence.

“Damn! Look at that hottie!”
Moira was suddenly glad that she hadn’t eaten or drank anything yet.

Frozen in disbelief, Moira stared at the young, long-haired man with her mouth open wide. Gretchen leaped up and ushered Moira back into her fitting room, jerking the curtain shut. Gretchen turned her older sister around and helped her with the strings. Quickly, they got Moira back into her regular clothes. After sharing a knowing look, they paused to listen to the conversation outside, peeking out from behind the curtain.

“Hey, where did that girl go?” the guy asked. Apparently he hadn’t left.

“Um, she’s gone, mate,” Christine lied, talking loud enough so Moira and Gretchen could hear. “You just missed her.”
“Yeah,” added Megami.

“You know her?”
“No!” Megami and Christine said in unison.

Meanwhile, Gretchen sighed and shook her head. “This little shopping trip was a disaster,” she whispered.

“You had good intentions, Gretch,” Moira whispered. “I know you didn’t intend on a warm-blooded American male happening by just as I was in that bathing suit.” She gathered all the bathing suits up. “But I’ve got to take care of this. If I don’t, he’ll never go away.”
Gretchen could only watch, flabbergasted, as Moira opened the curtain and stepped out casually into store. Megami and Christine halted in their Three Stooges-caliber lying. The guy grinned impishly at Moira.

“Well, I must say, the bathing suit looks better on you,Ehe commented flirtatiously.

Moira tilted her head and gave him an expression Jessica would have been proud of. “Oh? Like a muzzle would look better on you?”
Christine snickered loudly. She turned sharply and dragged a red-faced Megami away as the guy’s smile faded. Gretchen was still slightly openmouthed.

“Oh, so you’re one of those types,” the guy said.

“I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about,” Moira said, standing straight. “But I do know this: I do not associate with guys who find interest in me solely based upon my physical appearance.” Then she added, “And I know you’re of that type. So if you will, please get out of my way.”
But the guy was persistent. He remained firmly in front of Moira with his arms crossed. Even though his expression was slightly serious, there was a twinkle in his eyes.

“Not until you tell me your name,” he persisted.

Knowing that she was two steps away from punching him, Moira mustered up her patience. “The only thing I am going to tell you is that it would be wise to get out of my way.”
Was he laughing? Was the guy actually laughing at her?

Something inside her snapped. She thrust the bathing suits on a nearby rack and crossed her own arms.

“Are you getting out of my way or what?” Moira demanded.

“Not until I get what I want,” the guy told her, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes.

He was never going to move. She stepped to the right. So did he. She stepped to the far left. So did he. She snorted with anger and grabbed his arm. He began to grin, only to realize that he was sailing over her shoulder in air. When he fell to the ground with a big whoosh, Gretchen, Christine, and Megami all went slackjawed. Moira did a Danie-like hair toss and stalked off past a startled sales associate.

“Ay, mate! She bloody near broke that bloke in half!” marveled Christine.

Gretchen sighed once again as Megami led the two of them away from the recovering guy. “Why do I have a feeling this is far from over?”

To Be Continued…

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