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Downtown is rough, the smell, the people, the trash. As I continue walking, I bump into this man; five foot-nine well built, handsome. He has brown hair and matching eyes and a Tom Ford suit on with a silver Rolex on his right arm.
Stranger: "Sorry, I should really watch where I'm going." He cracked a half smile; was he flirting or was he just naturally that good?
Me: "Oh no, that was totally my fault. I'm so sorry. I'm running late for work!"
Stranger: "Where do you work?"
I panicked thinking of a million different other places to say. A coffee shop? A vendor? I could tell him the truth about my dancing. Male dancers in the city aren't as highly thought of and I didn't want to make a bad first impression.
Me: "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
He stared at me blankly for about three seconds before bursting into laughter. Thank god. That would have been so embarrassing. I couldn't tell if he was gay or just being friendly until...
Stranger: "Well how about this, how about we exchange numbers and maybe over a cup of coffee you can kill me?"
Me: "I'd like that very much."
Instead of putting it in my phone, he writes it down on a napkin he had in his pocket (I assume from a hot-dog). He asks to use my back as he writes he pressed down on the pen ever so delicately.
We exchange glances for a bit and I head off towards the club and the rest of the walk, my mind reeling. "Did that really just happen? To me? Was he sent by someone? Is this a joke?"
My luck with guys isn't so good. Most homosexuals are focused on the "hook-up" culture of just looking for a quick shag. As a dancer, I really hate bringing that work mindset home, if you know what I mean.
The entire walk, my left shoulder felt like it was vibrating; every etch that he made in the napkin, made my entire shoulder shiver with a warm feeling. My entire body felt like it was on fire.
That night, the amount of tips I got was astonishing. I had never gotten that much on a Thursday night! Was this coincidental, or a sign? After my shift I go back to my apartment and I sent this mysterious stranger a text:
Me: "Heyyy..." No too obvious..."Hey." No too bland. Oh I got it.
Me: "Hey, I don't know if you remember me, six foot-two, klutzy, ran into you? I figured I'd shoot you a text after I got off!"
I waited so nervously after I sent it. I felt like a twelve year old girl with a crush; this is ridiculous, you are twenty-one and in a huge city with hot guys. You literally met him for what, five minutes and you're already in love with him? Get your shit together Elliot.
Stranger: "Oh I remember you alright. Late shift? Do you always get off at two in the morning?"
Shit. I totally blew it. Although, I was surprised, he took less than two minutes to respond; and he has read-receipts on, no texting games, major points.
Me: "Yeah, I work at a club! I'm a night owl anyway so I really don't mind. I love night life environment!"
Stranger: "Well that makes two of us. Maybe instead of a cup of coffee it should be a glass of wine?"
Me: "Who knows, I don't like being told what I can and can't drink, so maybe I want to stay awake until 6am!"
Stranger: "Talking from experience?"
Our conversation went on for hours. Back and forth texting, I felt like I was in high school again, only things were actually going right. I went to high school in the county; if I had my way, I would have gone to high school here. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, I love New York. Everyone here has their own story, and plus they say that vampires were born in New York (in the states anyway).
Now I know what you're thinking, "This bitch..." all I'm saying is, there are seven billion people on the planet and human beings can't possibly be the only humanoid species on this Earth. I've always been a fan in the supernatural, but it's not exactly a seller in a relationship, so I usually just keep that aspect to myself.
Friday night was normal, we didn't really talk because he was busy with work but then Saturday morning I awoke to a triple text from him. I was surprised, was he normally this forward texting wise, or was he just interested in my mystery? Not that I had any right to question, there was something about him...dark mysterious...maybe he was a vampire...
Me: "Good morning to you as well!"
Him: "Sleep well?"
Sleep well?! What is he, my boyfriend? I should explain, my bitchy personality comes from a life time of heartbreak and toying. I push away any guy that shows one ounce of interest in me because I'm a neurotic control freak who feels like everyone is going to abandon him.
Me: "Yes actually, which is super surprising since I stayed up all night talking to you."
There is it... the bitchy side. I had already sent it and I knew I should have added an emoji or something but low and behold. I saw three dots going back and forth like he was confused, I was nervous he wasn't going to respond at all. But just then:
Him: "Well... was it worth it? I could take longer to text back?"
Me: "Oh god yes. I'm really glad; gives me something to look forward to! And no your speed is perfect!"
Him: "I'm glad! So... today is my day off, drinks?"
Me: "Today actually is a really big night; Saturday. I'm saving all of my energy for tonight, but after we can have drinks if you're down?"
Him: "That sounds amazing! What club do you work at? I can just meet you outside?"
My heart was pounding; He's going to find out I'm a dancer and lose all respect for me. I quickly came up with something.
Me: That's for me to know and you to..."
Him: "Hmm...fine. Fair enough, but you'll have to tell me eventually."
Me: "Just like you'll have to tell me your name?"
Him: "Maybe...but then I'd have to kill you."
The rest of the day we go back and forth. I've never been this impressed before. I just kept thinking what if he's a serial killer and going to kill me? What if he's the love of my life? What if he just wants in my pants? What if he secretly has a wife and this is just an affair? My mind kept reeling. But I couldn't let that distract me. Tonight we had special guests coming in. There's a late night concert in town, some new band, and the club is conveniently located by Time's Square; so we expect a lot of foot traffic from the band.
Finally night-time arrives. I go in for my shift and there's already a lot of people there. One of my coworkers has this air purifier in the backstage room, so whenever we sneak cigarettes or other things, we can just blow right into it; spray cologne or perfume, and no one has to know. I light up a bit, and then I go out onstage.
Our shifts are very well organized; They have us dance, rotate, dance, rotate, and dance once more. Then we get a break by going out on the dance floor and mingling. They have specific tip jars and at the end of each shift, we collect our tips. It's great; that way we don't feel as Las Vegasy with dollar bills all on the floor. We also get drinks on the house.
At the end of my shift, I grab my tips from the jar and I'm counting just as I run into this five foot-nine brown hair and matching eyed guy and to the ground, falls a handful of rose petals. Flowers. He bought me flowers.
Me: "Oh shit."
Me: "Listen...I can explain."
Him: "Oh, there's no need to."
Me: "How long we-"
Him: "I've been here since 11:30."
Me: "I...I don't know what to say."
Him: "That makes two of us."
I start turning red with embarrassment and just before I think it couldn't get any worse, he asks me if I want to have the wine at his place or mine.
Him: "If you thought that if I found out what you did as a job would make me think less of you, I don't know if that says more about me, or you."
I stood there speechless and he suggested that we just go for a walk instead.
Him: "Full disclosure, I was worried you were like in a drug cartel or something. So I tracked your cell-phone. I felt bad about doing that, and wanted to surprise you with flowers, I just didn't want any huge career surprises."
Me: "Nope, not in a drug cartel, just a dancer. But as you saw, I don't do nude."
Him: "Oh I saw..."
We talked about my work for a bit. We ended up discussing it in the park.
Me: "I was worried you'd think less of me and I didn't want you to judge me because you looked-"
Him: "Looked like I was a business man and it seems so easy so, why would you ever go into that industry when you're smart and you could just be a businessman instead? I got how you thought within the first twenty-four hours."
Me: "That's comforting. And a bit of a double standard. I'm sorry, I just am trained to look at clothing and watches. Better dressed usually means more tips."
Him: "I'm an accountant."
Me: "That sounds awfully boring."
Him: "Your job is anything but."
We continue to talk, and we go on about life, dreams, goals. We get two bottles of wine and go back to my apartment. Halfway through he tells me his name is Nathan, so I finally can change it in my phone. I tell him mine is Elliot and he jokingly asked if that was my stage name. We laugh, watch bad TV and just connect.
I can't tell you how long it's been since I've felt comfortable discussing work with any potential partner. I explained to him that it's more of a sense of control; not wanting to rely on the other person for income.
Chemistry is something that seems so hard now. A lot of times we don't know our friends, family, partners. They hide parts of themselves; or maybe they don't even know parts of themselves because they've never been pushed that far.
<THIS WAS AN ORIGINAL SHORT STORY I MAY OR MAY NOT ADD MORE/DO A SERIES>