"Wow! That really sucks man," I said over the phone. One of my friends just broke down and told me the news. Divorce. He is an arrogant prick but still I felt sorry for him and his family. I had known Jake for almost ten years. I met his wife, played with his two kids, and generally got along with all of them. It came as a shock to me to hear that their marriage was over. I tried to be sympathetic. I listened to him moan and whine. 'Where did it go wrong?' 'How could she do this to me?'
Over the next few weeks I checked in with Jake. I wanted to make sure he didn't stick his head into an oven or hang himself with his pants down around his ankles. Who knows what depression will bring a person to? I encouraged him to seek some professional help. He did and they promptly put him on Prozac, the answer to all your problems!
Me? I'm single thank god. No worries about splitting assets, and child support and custody. I'm very happy thank you very much. So as the single man, I became the one with the answers and the one who apparently had the time to listen to my friends pour their hearts out about their problems. Jake wasn't the first to come to me with his divorce, and he won't be the last.
I have a bit of a reputation as a life coach. Not professionally, or anything, but I've been known to listen and give good advice and when a friend has a relationship end, I'm normally the one they point to afterwards as the person with the magic words and attitude that helped them put their life together again. That doesn't mean I take them on a weekend trip to Tijuana for a fuck and suck orgy with cheap whores or anything, but I do get them back their confidence and I might be a little too proud to say, their ego seems to be a bit stronger when I set them loose in the world of single life.
Jake had the misfortune to actually breed. He had two lovely little kids a six year old little girl named Jaden, and a four year old boy that always ignored his name of Jordan. Yeah they had a thing for J-names, although his wife's name was Karen...
So back to Jake, he was so anxious, even after the Prozac, about making sure the kids would be okay. This being a no-fault state, there was pretty much no way he would get full custody of the kids. I thought that was much better for him.
Slowly over the weeks as he would give me glimpses into the divorce and its proceedings, I discovered that Karen was not all at fault with the breakdown of their marriage. Jake, remember was a bit of a prick. It was a combination of things, but I guess in the end, they had grown apart and she had realized that he wasn't the man she thought he was. Some cruel words were exchanged in one argument and I had to drive over to Jake's apartment at one in the morning and calm him down.
The next evening I took Jake out with me to some bars. Just the two of us. No strings, no pressure. He was nervous.
"I got married so I wouldn't have to meet women anymore," he moaned.
I just smiled. "Buddy, you don't have to do anything, but staring at those four grey walls in your apartment all night long has got to stop. Come out. It'll take your mind off things, that and the liquor will at least!"
I started nice and light. The first bar was a bit dark and we ordered two beers and sat at one of the tables away from most the action.
"Okay Jake," I poured the beer down my throat. "There is something you have to remember now. It's important and something I try to tell everyone when a relationship goes bad."
He just sat there and stared at his beer.
"Are you listening?"
He nodded and met my gaze.
"You have to remember the most important word when it comes to relationships and meeting girls. It's a magic word and gives you power. It's my number one secret."
I had his attention now.
"You ready for this word?"
"Jake, this word will only have the impact on you when you are ready to hear it. Are you ready?"
"Yes," he said.
"The magic word is 'Next'," I said.
"Next what?" he asked.
"That's it. It's 'Next'," I said.
He shook his head. "I don't understand."
"I know you don't; I haven't explained it to you yet."
I got up and went back to the bar for another two beers. As I approached the bar I bumped into a nice brunette who was seated on one of the barstools.
She turned to look at who bumped her and I frowned at her.
"Watch it, punk," I deadpanned.
He mouth dropped open and she stared at me.
I ordered two beers and turned to her as she still watched me.
"I think for bumping me, you should pay for my beers."
I didn't bump you, you bumped me," she exclaimed.
I gave a real quick smile then went straight-faced again. "Look I don't even know you, maybe your little trick of bumping sexy men to get them to notice you works with others, but you have to do better than that to get to know me. Pay for my beers. That'll be a good start. I might be looking to add another friend to my list."
Gasping she didn't know how to react. The bartender brought back my beers and I motioned over to the brunette, her mouth still open and said, "She's got this."
I turned to her and winked, "I'm over at that table with a friend. You coming?"
I headed back over to Jake and the table. He had been watching me the entire time. Jake saw behind me the girl watch for a moment and then stand to follow. The bartender tapped her on the shoulder and reminded her of the bill. She quickly paid and with her drink in hand scrambled over to the table to join us. I of course didn't look back once.
"Ummm, hi," she said to Jake.
I looked back up at her and then pushed a chair out for her to sit in and join us.
She sat down unsure of herself and paying close attention to me.
"Jake here is getting a divorce," I filled her in, not looking at her.
"I'm his close friend and he needed some moral support tonight."
"Oh, I'm really sorry to hear that," she looked at Jake.
"Thank you," Jake said. I'm sure he was confused as to why this pretty woman had come to our table.
"Listen," I leaned next to her and whispered conspiratorially into her ear, I made sure to blow into her ear softly as well as I took my time. "This place is a little too dark and boring for us, we need to cheer him up and go someplace fun. Think of something fun for us to do."
She breathed raggedly, her eyes were a little glossed over.
"We need to have some fun, I know just the place! Marco's!" I said and then jumped up and pulled her up in my arms. Marco's was a pretty mellow swing dance club. It had a fun atmosphere and was pretty non-threatening. Both of them would be comfortable there.
Without waiting for them to agree I walked out of the bar, the girl still in tow and Jake rushed to catch up to us. I hailed a cab and we all three squeezed into the back seat.
"Here, sit on my lap," I told the girl. She squirmed a little as she tried to get comfortable.
"Jake, you are gonna have fun tonight, this will get your mind off your ex-wife."
I turned to the girl, "She broke his heart, you know."
She murmured some sort of soothing remark, but she was far more focused on the growing bulge in my lap.
A moment later, she seemed to regain some control over her mind and she began to speak. "I know Jake's name, but I don't know yours. I'm..."
I kissed her right at that moment, stopping her from saying her name. When I pulled back I looked her in the eyes.
"I don't want to know your name, and you don't want to know mine. This will be more fun and exciting, won't it?"
"Haven't you ever thought about this? A mysterious man with no name, he doesn't know yours ... That could happen here tonight."
She nodded, unsure of her voice. I smiled and kissed her again. She didn't hold back.
Soon we were at Marco's and as we entered the music was blaring. Looking at Jake I winked and turned to the girl.
"Be a dear and dance with poor Jake here, while I find us a table. He's so vulnerable right now, I don't want him to sit alone while we dance together."
She nodded and Jake took her out on the dance floor while I scoped out a table. The tables were all full except one large one where a group of girls were sitting enjoying the music and their drinks.
I strolled up to the table and asked if I could sit down and rest my feet. They nodded and I sat and ignored them while I watched Jake and the brunette dance with each other.
A waiter came by and I ordered three martinis. Shortly Jake and the brunette came to the table and sat down next to me. The brunette couldn't keep her eyes off me and she sat close to me while I wrapped my arm around her. Motioning to the other girls I introduced Jake to them.
"Jake's having a hard time adjusting to single life now that he's divorced. He's a good dancer though if any of you are itching to do some dancing."
They giggled but none of them made a move.
"Listen, I'm Jake's best friend and I want to dance with my lovely date here, but I can't leave him all alone. I pointed to the blonde girl on the end.
"Darlin, what's your name?"
She stammered. "Uh, Debbie," she said.
"Debbie, Jake. Jake, Debbie."
I grabbed her hand gently and pulled her up and towards Jake.
"You two behave out there on the dance floor!" I said as Debbie blushed and Jake took her hand and shrugged. They followed us out on the dance floor and we all danced.
That broke the ice and soon, Debbie, Linda, and Flo were all taking turns dancing with Jake. Linda had tried to dance with me, but my nameless brunette had warned her off.
The martini's flowed and soon we were all laughing and dancing. At one point all four girls got up and went to the restroom. With the two of us alone, Jake shook his head.
"What the hell happened tonight?"
"This is part of the philosophy of 'Next'," I said.
Just then a lovely girl waltzed over from the dance floor and started to chat with us. I asked her to dance and she was eager to get back out on the dance floor.
"I'll explain later," I told Jake.
The girls came back from the restroom while I danced with the pretty girl. We got a bit close and I could see all four of the girls at the table eyeing us closely. The dance ended and she dragged me over to her group of friends for introductions. I smiled and made a sassy remark about the size of one of the girl's purses. "Why such a big purse, you got a gun in there or something?" She was shocked and then they all laughed.
I thanked the pretty girl for the dance but excused myself to go back to my table and Jake. She quickly wrote something on a slip of paper and placed it in my hand. I smiled and walked back. The brunette was burning daggers at the pretty girl and before I had a chance to sit down she dragged me back onto the dance floor and proved to me that she was a better dancer than that hussy girl that just slipped me her number.
At the table, Debbie started flirting with Jake and by the end of the evening they were making out almost as intensely as the brunette and I were. Debbie's friends had to drag her away and Debbie scrawled her number on a napkin and made Jake promise to call her.
I escorted the brunette out of Marco's and hailed her a cab. She was disappointed.
"Listen, I need to be with my friend, you know that."
"I'll tell you what," I said and pulled out my phone.
"Enter your number in my phone. Tomorrow I will text you my name. If you don't want to know it, just delete the message. Or you can text me your name, and I'll have your number as well..."
Her face lit up. The cab arrived and she gave me a deep kiss.
"Farewell for now, my mysterious stranger!"
She stepped into the cab and was gone.
Jake stumbled out of Marco's and I decided it was time to sober up a little at a decent coffee house that was open late hours.
"'Next', is a way of living." I said as we drank our coffee in a plush leather booth. Jake was rocking a bit from the martinis, but he was able to focus on me.
"It's an attitude. You have to realize that women are way more perceptive than us guys are. They can decode your body language and they analyze every word that comes out of your mouth. They try to find the hidden meaning in everything. And they are good too."
Jake just concentrated on my words and the coffee before him.
"'Next' means that if there's a problem with you, then I'll look for someone else. Someone who can appreciate me, because I'm not gonna stand for living my life with someone who doesn't appreciate me."
I leaned forward. "Listen Jake, you just have to have that attitude within you all the time, single, or married, you don't have to say it, you don't have to write it. They will know. Trust me. Once they know, they will be aware that they can't take you for granted."
"I don't know, man, that sounds pretty misog ... misogon ... bad." Jake slurred.
"Misogynistic?" I smiled. "It's not as bad as you think it is. It's about attitude and confidence. You know how women say one thing and mean another?"
"They all say they want a nice man, but they wind up with some bad boy jerk. Why is that?"
Jake shook his head.
"Jake, women are not attracted to weak men. A nice man to them is weak. A jerk is strong, in attitude. It's the confidence, it's the attitude, it's the 'you need me more than I need you' mindset. Women need men as much as we need women, just for different things. Having an attitude of 'Next', means that you can be committed to a women, but you will always be committed to yourself and the person you are which attracted her to you in the first place."
Jake looked skeptical.
"You won't get this all in one sitting, just trust me. Every women you meet and deal with now just think to yourself, 'if they don't like me, then it's their issues, not mine. I deserve someone who appreciates me. If they can't, then I'll move on to someone else.'"
I finished the coffee. "Just have that attitude within you and you will see a difference on how women deal with you. Even your ex-wife will see the difference."
That sobered Jake up as the evening wound to a close.
The next evening I texted my mystery brunette. Instead of giving her my name, I told her I would be shopping at the mall tomorrow, which was Sunday, and would be at a particular store at one in the afternoon. She was welcome to meet up with me and perhaps I would let her try to guess my name.
A few minutes later she texted me back, now that she had my number. "You are so bad!" she had replied. I smiled. The game was afoot!
Sunday I did indeed meet up with the brunette and she proceeded to follow me around as we window shopped and made funny comments about strange items that were displayed. At one point we were stopped by some market researchers who wanted to ask our opinions on some new product. They offered a whole ten dollars each for us to go back to their storefront and answer questions.
I smiled at my brunette and agreed that we would go. I whispered into her ear as we followed the perky girl that we should pretend to be married and fool the researcher. She giggled and agreed.
"Thank you for taking the time to answer our survey, Mr... ?" the researcher asked as we sat next to each other.
"Smith," I answered. "John Smith and Patty Smith."
The brunette glanced at me with a questioning look. I shrugged and whispered to her, you look like a Patty," I smiled and she giggled.
"Married?" the girl asked.
I nodded. "Five years, and we love each other now just like it's our first date, right honey?"
'Patty' giggled and nodded. "Oh yes dear! One could say that!"
The questions were pretty standard, they wanted to know our opinions on cleaning products, who did the cleaning in our house, if we thought that if brand X was cheaper would we be more inclined to use it, etc. We made up the answers as we went along, both of us sharing a joke that the researcher was oblivious to.
Afterwards she handed us out two ten dollars and we left.
'Patty' was giddy with joy. "That was so cool!"
I held up the crisp ten dollar bill.
"Let's eat! Lunch is on the market research girl!"
We grabbed a bite to eat and all through the meal 'Patty' tried to guess my name.
"What happens if I guess correctly?"
"I'll give you a kiss," I said as I munched on the pizza.
"And if I don't get it right?" her eyes flashed.
"Then I'll give you more than just a kiss!" I winked at her and she giggled.
An hour later were at my place, naked and in bed. She had the most amazing perky breasts, and they were so sensitive. As I licked them and nuzzled them she moaned. I worked my way down to her pussy and parted her lips. Her pussy was shaved and smooth. I don't rally care one way or the other, just enjoying a woman was pleasure enough for me. I lapped at her outer lips and soon she was shaking with desire. Looking down at me she spied my hard cock. She reached out to it and pulled it to her dripping pussy. I took the hint.
"I can't believe I don't even know your name!" she groaned as I plunged into her with my cock. "I don't know yours either!" I countered.
"True, so true, now shut up and fuck me!"
And I did just that.
I met up with Jake on Wednesday and he seemed to be anxious to talk. He had a smile on his face so that seemed to be good news. I ordered a turkey on rye and joined him at one of the tables.
"You're looking well," I said.
"I went out on a date with Debbie."
"Oh," I raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah, I called her up and we went out Sunday."
The waiter delivered my sandwich and I dug in.
"That's good news then?"
He nodded. "She is so unlike Karen, it was amazing! I'm a little hazy on some of the details we did the night you and I went out, but I do remember one thing you told me, the attitude of 'Next'."
"She picked totally up on it. Instead of being nervous I just kept telling myself that if she didn't like me for me, then I find someone else who does. Right from the start she seemed to sense something different in me. She asked me if I had gotten a haircut."
I laughed and Jake cracked up. This sandwich was pretty good I thought to myself.
"We had a good time and you know what, I wasn't trying to be anyone else, just myself. I didn't try to impress her, I just decided to have fun and she had fun as well, then cool, if not, then she's not the one for me."
"It's pretty powerful, isn't it?" I said.
"She ate it up. The best part was she opened up to me and we just felt so comfortable. It took me six months to get that way with Karen. Maybe Debbie is the one!"
"Whoa! Backup!" I said as I dropped my sandwich.
Jake smiled. "I know, I know, too soon, just pulling your leg."
I breathed a sigh of relief. "You had me there."
"You want to know the best part?" Jake leaned forward almost whispering.
I nodded, happy for my friends change in attitude. This was a better person than the one moping around last week.
He grinned, "I saw Karen on Monday. We had to go over some things."
"Yeah, and right away she picked up on my attitude. I didn't even say anything to her and all of a sudden she's looking at me differently, like I'm some different person."
I nodded knowingly.
"She even commented that something seemed different about me. I just smiled and asked her to get back to the issues we were meeting to discuss. She tried to focus on some finances we had to split up, but she just seemed so distracted."
"You slept with her, didn't you," I stated.
His mouth dropped open. "How the fuck did you know that?"
I smiled. "It's the attitude, all of a sudden, you're a challenge to them."
"Afterwards she seemed to be impressed with me and now she seems to be confused and all mixed up with her feelings. She doesn't know what to think anymore."
"Well," I said. "Before, she was in the driver's seat and leading this relationship. Now you just showed her that you had more power than she did over how you felt about things and she's taking stock of the situation. You have become a bit of a mystery to her and a challenge and she is a little off balance about it."
"That makes sense," he said.
"What's the status of you two now?"
He shrugged. "I don't really know."
"Well do you still want to be married to her?"
He nodded, "Of course I do. It was always her that pushed for the divorce."
I leaned back. Now was the time to tell him about the next phase in attitude.
"Listen, I think you've gotten the 'Next' attitude down, or at least you can understand it, now I want to talk to you about creating your own world, like your own reality about yourself."
Jake leaned forward with interest.
"Regardless of whether you and Karen get back together or not, you gotta realize that the only person responsible for your happiness is you."
He mulled this over. Just then my phone buzzed with a text message. It was my mysterious brunette. I held up the phone and showed him the message.
'Hi! Thinking of U. Wanna meet up?'
I smiled. "Look Jake I'm not the best looking guy out there, I'm not ugly but if you just looked at me, there's nothing special about me. So why is this woman fascinated by me?"
Jake shook his head. "I haven't a clue, maybe because you are the mack-daddy?"
I broke up laughing. "Hardly, man! Look she is attracted to me and you have to understand what attraction is. It doesn't matter if you've known someone for a few minutes or a few years, you either generate attraction or you don't. If you don't know how to generate it then don't blame the woman for not being into you."
Jake was skeptical again, it just takes a while for the men to get this.
"Let me explain it this way: you're at a school dance and there's two groups of people there, the ones laughing and dancing and having a fun time and the other group that are the wallflowers. That group is hanging out on the perimeter of the dance, they all are sad and stoic and they don't seem to be having a good time. Now you're time is very valuable to you, and you are just able to get away for this dance and after this you will have to go back to work or studying or whatever for the next month. Now I ask you, which group would you prefer to be included in? Not which group you would feel more comfortable approaching, but which group would you wish they brought you into."
"The fun dancing group," Jake replied.