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This is the end of the scene that was cut from my novel The Opera.  As I said when I first began posting these deleted excerpts, Zola is a character that I have completely removed from the story.  I like her so I’m glad to have the opportunity to post her here.  I’ve been careful to eliminate any reference to plot points.  In this scene, that creates for an anticlimactic ending.  Just keep in mind that this was deleted from a larger context and not initially intended to stand on its own.  You won’t see more of Zola in the novel, but you’ll see Jack, and of course Sable.  So I hope for two things: first, that it gets published; second, that if any of you read it, that you’ll enjoy it, since I’ve been talking about it for nearly a year now lol.


Zola part 6 (final)

Jack continues to play, not looking up at Zola, afraid to reveal any sadness that might be perceived within his eyes. He looks down at the guitar and plays and sings and they pass the guitar back and forth. They engage in more conversation, and get caught up in a bit of flirting now and then before they become aware of it and distract themselves. After a glance at the clock they see it’s only about 10:30 and they decide to go to Sable’s to include him in their evening. They first freshen themselves up, hoping to eliminate any essence of alcohol. Zola burns Nag Champa around them and they chew ginseng gum, which they spit out shortly afterwards because, though it tastes good, the flavor dissipates rapidly.

Before they get on their bikes, Zola pulls up her skirt and ties it up around her thighs in a huge knot that drops between her legs as she sits on the bike, in order to prevent her skirt from catching as she rides. Jack thinks that’s intolerably sexy and he’s frustrated because he thought he was past that train of thought, at least for the last ten minutes or so. He wants to say, hey Zola, you know, sex isn’t a bad idea after all, let’s go back inside and get it on. But they get on their bikes and she starts out, stopping as Jack says, “Zola, I’m a little drunk. Are you a little drunk?”

“I’m a lot drunk.”

“Are you ok to ride?”

“I am.”

“It’s not far, just around the corner.”

Jack trails behind, telling her which direction to head, initially to keep an eye out for her, but he can’t take his eyes off of her thighs, so smooth and…luscious, that’s the word that he comes up with as he imagines himself between those thighs, kissing them, moving his way up, and–CRASH!

Zola stops short as a car cuts across the road, not seeing the bicyclists, and Jack swerves to avoid crashing into her but smashes into a telephone pole. A sober Jack would have avoided that. He’s lucky he had the motor skills to swerve. He hits the pole, falls sideways to the ground on his bike and starts laughing.

“Jack!” Zola hops off of her bike, letting it drop and she clumsily removes his bike from between his legs as she laughs too, “Are you ok?”

He can’t stop laughing, “Holy shit! What happened?”

“Jack, you crashed, Jack. You crashed!”

Jack rolls side to side, his laughter a deep guttural laugh that is already hurting his stomach. He thinks, here’s a Jack Mariano the public never gets to see—inebriated Jack Mariano splayed on someone’s lawn convulsing with hysterical laughter.

It’s a bit more time of laughter before Jack is able to regain his composure and get back up on the bike again. But they turn back towards Zola’s since he is too drunk to be around Sable. Jack remains at Zola’s until he sobers up, no longer drinking, but continuing to take glimpses of Zola when she wouldn’t notice, wondering if she’s wearing panties beneath her skirt, and he imbibes in the drunkenness caused by lust, not by liquor.