Last week, I posted a character sketch of Jay AKA Man-Whore, one of the two main characters in “The Naked Man-Whore Chronicles.” The other main character is Jill -last name still to be determined.
In her early 30’s, Jill is starting over. She’s been a perpetual student for most of her adult life, working on a Ph.D in history, or maybe psychology. Always bookish and introverted, she was content to take a backseat to her long-term boyfriend Mark. But she’s no submissive mouse. Subconsciously, she had an ulterior motive, and she knows it. It was his successful salesman’s income that made it possible for her to work part-time while pursuing her dream of becoming a college professor.
Don’t get Jill wrong. She did love Mark. She didn’t go into the relationship planning that he’d be the meal ticket to her full-time student life. As the relationship deteriorated, though, she put up with much more than she would if the circumstances had been different. But when his rowdiness went over the edge and he became frequently drunk and eventually abusive, Jill finally called it quits.
For her, therein lies the rub. That “finally.” She’s smart, practical, and competent. She’d like to think she’s also caring. For months, she had noticed Mark heading down a slippery slope. His drinking had increased and he was always stressed and frustrated about his job. He worked constantly, and went from a loving joker to a guy who seemed to live to pick fights. Instead of facing the changes head-on, she’d ignored them. Facing them might have meant hard choices, like encouraging Mark to leave the job that was morphing him into PsychoMan even if that meant she’d have to go back to work herself.
So she blames herself for what eventually happened as much as she does Mark. She’s ashamed, and just wants to put it all behind her. While she knows there was no excuse for his eventual behavior, she hates the selfishness she’s discovered in herself, too.
She didn’t say good-bye or tell him where she was going. She packed up and relocated to her aunt’s beach house in a small resort town. She’s taking a break from everything, including her unfinished Ph.D and men. To make ends meet while she figures out what’s next, she’s taken a job as a volunteer coordinator and assistant at an animal shelter.
She’s made a few friends and is basically enjoying a life of kittens, puppies, reading, healing and thinking. She’s soothed by the ocean and the quirky characters in the small town. On the inside, though, she’s lonely and frightened. She has a nagging fear that Mark will find her.
One night she agrees to meet one of her new friends at the bar for a few drinks. They encounter the one and only ManWhore. He’s hitting on her friend, and Jill figures out quickly what he’s all about. He becomes a target for her frustration against men in general, and she humiliates him and blows his cover. He sneers and calls her the Queen of the CockBlock. She takes her drunken friend home and returns to her aunt’s beach house, thinking nothing more of it. That night, as almost every other, she struggles to sleep, drifting in and out of disturbing dreams.
She wakes up to strange noises outside. Terrified, she starts to call the police, then chides herself. She’s in a resort area, so of course there’s going to be occasional banging and clanging outside. Determined to prove herself fearless and independent, she heads outside to investigate.
And finds a naked Man-Whore on her lawn.
Over the course of time, Jill figures out that a.) he’s dead, and b.) she’s the only one who can see him, unless you count the town wino. Always Ms. Practicality, she’s stunned that ghosts exist. Even worse, she can’t figure out why, if they do exist, this particular one is haunting HER. They knew each other for all of 10 minutes before he died. Surely there’s someone else he can haunt.
For reasons neither of them can figure out, they’re stuck like glue.
Other random Jill facts:
– She has a hard time acting normal at work or out with her friends when every time she turns around, her naked-man-whore-ghost is in her line of vision, pecker all a’floppin’.
– She secretly WANTS her ex to find her, so she can show him what she’s made of, and she hates her revenge fantasies.
– She lives in jeans and t-shirts, and can’t stand having a Man-Whore fashion critic for a roommate.
– She brings home more than just stray Man-Whores. The beach house she’s borrowing from her aunt is quickly filling up with “unadoptable” critters from the shelter.
– She’s the worst house-keeper in the world, and thinks “cooking” is making toast.
– She’s an awesome swimmer and can kick your ass at poker. Especially with a Dead Man-Whore whispering in her ear.
– Her mother thinks Jill’s plan not to date for a while is highly selfish, since it puts a damper on her hope of becoming a grandmother before she’s 60.
While trying to help Man-Whore figure out who killed him and why he’s still sticking around (since doing so is the only way she’ll ever get any peace herself) Jill of course learns a LOT about herself. The fact that she can deal with him and delving into the mess that was his life to solve the mystery of his murder is just the first lesson.