Thursday, August 28, 2014

Love Is A Battlefield

“Lynn...What do you think you're doing?”

If looks could kill we would have well been dead. Kylie's jaw was dropped and her arms flung open.

Jonah and I stepped away from each other and stood frozen. We were both caught off guard. I don't think either one of us was thinking of Kylie, let alone, remembered that she was even here. We were so caught up in ourselves that we shut everyone else out.

“Kylie...” Jonah tried to consult her, but she wasn't having it.

“Save it, Jonah.” Kylie held up her hand.

We were a distance away from where the party was taking place, but Kylie's loud voice had caught the attention of the people sitting closer towards us. I looked over to see Jaime running over.

“Ma'am I'm with security. I'm gonna have to ask you to leave.” Jaime grabbed Kylie's arm and attempted to pull her away. “Jesus, you're really getting your money's worth at those fitness groups” He exclaimed at the hardness of her arm muscles.

“Shut up! I just met you an hour ago, I know you're not security.” She snatched her arm back and snared at him. “I'm so disappointed in you, Lynn.” She shook her head and walk away. I tried to stop her, at least explain myself, but I couldn't muster up the words.

Fuck” Jonah whispered out loud. “I have to go talk to her.” His hands briefly covered his face. “I can't believe I just did that. I have to go talk to her.”

“Um” I shook my head, trying to get my thoughts straight. “Maybe I should go talk to her. Explain things.”

“No” Jonah said as he walked away. “I'm the one who fucked up. You stay here.”

He ran out the dinning hall and chased after Kylie. Jaime and I stood in silence.

“So...What the hell was that?” Jaime rocked on his heels as he stood with his hands in his pocket. “I heard someone yell and looked over to see you three standing here.”

“This is what happens when I follow my heart.” I leaned against the wall and crossed my arms. “First, I hurt Connor because I still had feelings for Jonah. And now I've done the same thing to Kylie.”

“I mean....” Jaime stretched out his words as if to get a point across. “How good of friends are you two? This is my first time meeting her and she came to your best friend's engagement party with your ex-man.”

“It doesn't matter.” I huffed. “I didn't tell her about us because I didn't think this would happen. I didn't think Jonah and I would be back in this position.”

Jaime walked towards me and leaned against the wall as he mimicked my posture. His arm wrapped around my shoulder. I saw his mouth open, he stood quiet for a second, as if he were choosing the right words of wisdom. But then his chest sank in with a sigh, and in true Jaime fashion he continued, “Love is a battlefield. We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong.”

I turned my head towards Jaime, both of us staring at each other before we laughed. He wrapped his arms around me and gave me a hug. “I know you're feeling bad because of what happened with Connor. And this isn't the same thing, Lynn. Stop making excuses and go for what you really want.”

I nodded my head.

Jaime and I went back to the party. Sarah and Jebrone had witnessed the whole thing and flooded me with questions the second I walked back to our table.

Most of the guests had left and it was just family at this point. Kadie finally had a moment to break away from the crowd and sat next to me. “What's wrong? Did something happen with Jonah?”

I told her everything when Jonah finally walked back into the room. Kadie stood up offering her seat and claiming that she needed to get back to her guests. Jonah sat down. I looked up, around the table, making eye contact with Jebrone, Sarah, and Henry. There was an awkward silence before they got the hint and left the table to give us some privacy.

“Did she take it okay?” I fumbled with the fork that was sitting on the table.

“She had a few choice words for me.”

“I'm sorry Jonah.” The fork accidentally slipped out of my hand and made a thudding noise on the table. “I thought you were just with her to get back at me. I didn't realize things between you two were so serious”

“They weren't” He quickly corrected me as he held his hand over mine so I would stop playing with the fork. “I would never do something like that, Lynn. I was starting to realize things were really over between us, so I was just trying to move on like you wanted me to.” He let go of my hand and continued “Besides, she was just eager to win me over. She's more upset that it didn't work out with 'the guy who has his own show'. Trust me, there was nothing serious about it.”

“Everything okay over here?” Adam asked as he and Kadie walked up to our table.

“Yeah” Jonah sighed. “Sorry, man. Didn't mean for all the commotion.”

Adam looked at Kadie, confused. “What commotion?”

“I'll tell you later” She whispered to him. “Lynn, we're gonna head out in a minute.”

“Okay.” Kadie and Adam went back to their table to grab their things. I stood up from my chair and Jonah followed my lead. “I need to clear everything up.”

“Do you need help?” He asked. I shook my head and we hugged goodbye. “We still need to talk.”

“Come over later. I'll text you when I'm done here.”

He stared at me in a way that I hadn't seen him do in a long time. His mouth curving up as he spoke. “Okay.” We had been holding each others hands, but they slowly slipped undone as he walked away.

Adam's family was going straight to his place after the party, so I forcefully made him and Kadie leave, even though they insisted on helping. Jaime stayed behind and helped me instead. I hadn't seen much of him this summer. He was spending a lot more time back home in New Jersey. We finally had a chance to catch up after all the drama of the day was finished and done.

Once I was on my way back home I texted Jonah letting him know to come over.

As soon as I'd gotten inside I changed into a t-shirt and pajamas. I'd optimistically bought a bandage dress a size too small thinking it would fit better since I started my fitness groups. I was wrong. It was tight and I could barely breath. I unintentionally let out a sigh of relief when I unzipped the stupid thing.

I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth when I heard a knock at the door. I rinsed out my mouth and went to open it.

Jonah stood in the doorway. With everything going on, I hadn't realized what he was wearing. I smiled as I examined him. A plaid button up neatly tucked into his Nantucket red fitted pants and a navy blue blazer.

“You can take the boy out of Harvard...” I laughed.

“Oh please, I feel so under dressed compared to you.” He sarcastically exclaimed as his eyes shot to my pajamas. “You look amazing!”

I smirked before gesturing him inside. “You remember my place, don't you?”

“Vaguely” He joked as he took his blazer off and placed it over the back of the couch before sitting down. He waited for me while I grabbed a couple of drinks for us.

We sat and talked for a couple of hours about nothing. It was like we both knew what we needed to say, but we were too timid to bring the topic up, so instead we continued to talk about random nothings.

Jonah swivled an empty glass in his hand as he looked down at his watch. “It's getting late.”

He leaned forward and put his glass on the coffee table. There was a moment of “speak now or forever hold your peace” silence. When nothing was said he stood up and walked over to pick up his blazer.

I came up behind him wrapping my arms around his waist. I couldn't see his face, but I knew he was smiling.

“I missed you” He whispered.

“I missed you too, Jonah.”

He turned around to face me. His hand held onto my face as his thumb gently stroked my cheek. “You never answered my question.” He leaned forward planting his other hand on the wall behind me. He bent down so our foreheads were touching. “Are you sure you want to do this? You better say yes, because I'm getting really tired of chasing after you, Lynn Lee.”

I smiled, trying to hold in a laugh. “Only because you're getting tired.”

He smiled back as he bent down lower, nose to nose. “Can I kiss you?” He just barely whispered.

“No” I shook my head. “If we're gonna do this we have to start over.” Jonah pulled away, his hand still leaning on the wall, and his smile growing crooked. “From the beginning.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When You're Ready, Come And Get It

“You've got to be fucking kidding me!”

It was Saturday afternoon and Jaime and I were standing on a terrace over looking Manhattan. Kadie and Adam had just arrived to their engagement party and were making rounds to greet their guests. I was doing my best to be a great hostess by guiding everyone from the private dining hall and outdoors to enjoy drinks and h'oeuvres.

I had fallen stale when Jaime spotted Jonah entering the room with Kylie. He took a sip of his drink, with raised eyebrows, and spun himself around to face me. “He actually brought her? Didn't he get the hint??”

“Obviously not.” I mumbled with a smile as I gestured for a group of guests to help themselves.

“What did he tell you exactly?” Jaime asked as he scanned the room again trying to get a good glimpse of the two.

Earlier in the afternoon I came to the venue to make sure everything was getting done on time. Jaime came to help me, because he knew how stressed out I was, and in between snapping my fingers at the caterers and directing the decorators I'd briefly gone over the incident with Jonah and I.

A waiter walked past us with a tray of champagne. I grabbed a glass, took a chug, and turned back to Jaime. “He said they aren't dating, just getting to know each other.” I rolled my eyes. “Whatever, it's not like I even care. I told him to move on any way.”

I spotted my parents and Kadie's mom entering the room. I smiled and waved them over. They had arrived the night before, so we decided to have a “welcome to the family” dinner with Adam's family. It was a night full of laughter and (happy) tears. And it was exactly what I needed to keep my mind off of Jonah and Kylie. For some reason I couldn't get the mental image of them making out, out of my head. Yuck.

“Jaime!” My mom squealed as she grabbed his face and kissed his cheek. He had the biggest smile. He hugged her back and held out his hand for my dad to shake.

My dad rejected it and went in for a hug. “How's my boy doing?” He asked Jaime.

His cheeks flushed pink like a little school girl as he responded back to my dad. He loved my parents even more than his own. And they loved him just as much.

I stood in the background grimacing. “This will never not be weird.”

“Why? They were totally my friends first.” Jaime said, to which my parents high fived him.

It was mid-afternoon when all of the guests had finally arrived. Social hour was almost over and lunch was just about ready to be served.

“Lynn! Everything turned out amazing! Thank you!”

“Oh, thanks, it just took hours of listening to you plan the entire thing, but sure I'll take credit.” I let out an irritated sigh.

“Are you...” Before Kadie could finish her question Jaime interrupted her by hissing like a cat and nudging his head to the side. Kadie looked over to see Kylie. “Oh. So, he brought her.”

“Of course he brought her. Why wouldn't he bring her? It's not like we're a thing anymore.” I spoke so quickly I could hardly make out the words I'd said.

“Whoa” Kadie grabbed me by the shoulders. “I know everything's been stressful lately, but it's done and we're here now. So, let's just relax and enjoy today.”

I agreed with Kadie and took a deep breath to calm myself. Jaime helped me as I rallied everyone to come back inside and have a seat. I gave a short toast to Kadie and Adam. Jebrone and Sarah said a few words, as well as some of Adam's friends. And just as we were coming to an end, Jonah decided to get up and say a few words.

“Hi everyone” He casually held his drink in his hand. “For those of you who don't know me, I'm Jonah Cohen. I've known Adam for a few years now and he's quickly become like a brother I never had.”

The room filled with collective “aww's”

“I may be the handsome younger brother with the great personality and wits” He curled up his mouth in a half smile as he waited for everyone to finish laughing. “But, like a younger brother I still find myself consumed with jealousy. Not because of the way Adam and Kadie look at each other, but because of the way he continues to look at her even when she isn't paying attention. Love is a hard thing to come by my brother, but you've captured it and for that you're truly lucky. Mazel Tov!” He raised up his glass.

“That was totally aimed at you.” Sarah, who was sitting a few seats away from me, leaned over and whispered loudly.

Kadie, Jaime, Henry, and Jebrone nodded their heads in agreement.

It was late in the afternoon by the time everyone was finally done eating. Once Kadie and Adam had thanked everyone for coming people began to slowly leave, while others continued to socialize.

I had only greeted Jonah and Kylie when they first arrived, but hadn't gotten a chance to actually talk to either one. When I saw Kylie slip away to the rest room I decided to make a beeline for Jonah.

I crouched down next to Jonah's seat. “Hey, Jon.”

“Hey, Lynn” Jonah smiled. “Everything turned out great.”

“Thanks. Was that speech about me?”

Jonah laughed timidly. “Never straight forward when you need to be, am I right?”

“Why are you suddenly playing these mind games with me?” My voice was loud enough to grab the attention of those sitting around Jonah.

He pushed out his chair and stood up, excusing himself from the conversation he'd been having with Adam's family. He gestured for me to follow him. We walked to the back of the room where a huge column blocked off our view from the party, giving us some privacy.

“Is this about Kylie?” He looked down at me. I avoided eye contact by looking at the crowds of people in the background. “Lynn, look at me.” He lifted my chin up so that we were making eye contact. “You told me you wanted space. More than once I might add.”

“And you told me you'd be there when I was ready.” I mumbled back to him, scared that I was finally admitting it out loud.

“What are you trying to say?” He whispered back.

Jonah's hands grazed my body and the feeling was all too familiar. I closed my eyes as nostalgia took over. My hands ran up his chest and cradled his face. He pushed my hair behind my ear and held onto my neck. “Are you sure you want to do this?” His breath tingled my skin and sent a chill down my spine.

I opened my eyes to stare into his. My grip tightened as I pulled him into my body. Before I could answer, I jolted back to reality at the sound of Kylie's scream. “You BITCH!”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Status Update

“Lynn! Kadie!”

A shrill came from the distance. We looked up to find Sarah and Henry standing in the doorway of Kadie's apartment.

The last week had flown by. I missed a couple of group sessions in order to ensure everything was ready for Kadie's engagement party, which was only days away.

In the midst of losing our hair over party planning and decorating Kadie's new office, we pulled an afternoon out of our schedule to hang out with Sarah and Henry, who had just flown back into town after spending the summer visiting their family back home in London.

“Sarah! Henry!” Kadie and I both shouted back in unison.

We jumped off the couch and raced over to immerse ourselves in hugs.

“Oh my God! Your hair!” Kadie shrieked as she tousled Sarah's brown hair, which was normally blonde, in her hands. “I love it!”

“Thank you!” Sarah chirped “I thought it'd be a nice little change.”

Henry giggled to himself, “Yeah, nice little change for Oliver, who just so happens to love brunettes.”

“Ohhh” Kadie and I sang teasingly.

“Oh, shut up” Sarah pushed Henry away and walked into Kadie's living room.

The three of us made ourselves comfortable on the couches while Kadie grabbed some drinks and snacks from the kitchen. She set the tray of goodies onto the coffee table and joined us.

“So who's this Oliver?” I asked poking Sarah on the side of her ribs.

“Nobody” She leaned forward to grab her drink off the table. “Just the most gorgeous guy who lives and works at his own company in London, whom I'll never see again.” She took a sip before she continued. “He also just happens to be the guy I had a romantic affair with all summer.”

“What!” Kadie and I straightened our posture and snapped our heads towards Sarah. “Come on! You have to give us details!”

“There really isn't much to tell”, she said calmly. “I met him at a gala a week or so after we'd gotten to London. Henry approved of him, which is rare...”

“True” Henry shook his head in realization.

“...We “hooked up” as you Americans say. But, neither one of us is in a situation to have a serious long distance relationship, so we agreed to keep it light for the summer.” She shrugged as if it were no big deal. But it was. It was a huge deal. For as long as we'd known Sarah she never even paid any mind to the guys who would try to even flirt with her. “But enough about me! I want to know about the proposal!” She reached over me, grabbing at Kadie's hand, to admire her ring.

Kadie told them the whole story. Sarah and Henry gasped and awed throughout. We filled them in on the party status and everything that went on in between.

“I just knew you and Adam would be perfect for each other!” Sarah clapped her hands together excitedly.

“I remember being so jealous, in a good way, of what Lynn and Jonah had. The way he'd look at her..” She sighed heavily “I wanted it so badly, but I'd always have my guards up. I'm so glad you guys pushed me. I would have missed out on the perfect guys if I didn't stop being so stubborn.” I caught Kadie looking at me. She quickly glanced away. I knew she was trying to send an underlying message to me.

“Speaking of, are you two back together? Or did you go crawling back to Doctor Steamy?” Henry asked me. I guess I wasn't the only one to catch Kadie's hint.

“No, I'm giving myself a break. Honestly, it's been a nice stress-free summer without having to deal with any relationship drama.” I folded my arms, one over the other.

“When you're done with those whole act, can you please just give Jonah a chance?” Kadie's voice was harsh, almost as if she were demanding it rather than asking.

“Oh, come on, Lynn. Throw the guy a bone.” Sarah chimed in. “He's coming to the engagement party, right? Why don't you ask him to come with you. Maybe the night will end in a nice steamy little affair.” She shimmied her shoulders as she winked at me.

“See” Kadie whispered to me. “I told you engagement party hookups is a thing!”

“You know, I'm really glad to know none of you cared about Connor.”

Henry held up his hand “For the record, I still think you should be with Doctor McHotterson. He's the bad boy a snooze like you needs in her life.”

“Thanks...I think?” I squinted my eyes in confusion. “You two are nagging at me. What about Henry” I pointed to him. “What's your deal with Jebrone?”

“Yeah Henry, what's your deal with Jebrone?” Kadie folder her arms and arched her eyebrows.

“Things were rocky before we left, I'll admit. But,” He gave me a sharp look before he continued, “The distance away from each other gave us some time to think. And as of last night, we are officially back together.”

The four of us continued to catch up with each others summer vacation until Adam had gotten home. We went out to dinner, were Jebrone had met us, and finally called it a night.

The next morning I figured I skipped enough group sessions to make me feel guilty and decided to go.

I got to the Park a little early. So far Jonah was the only one there. He always came early to take a few extra laps around the park.

I wanted to continue living my carefree single life, but the things Sarah and Kadie said the night before kept me tossing and turning,

He saw me in the distance and came my way, stopping a few feet away. “You're here!” he exclaimed.

“Why wouldn't I be?”

“I don't know” Jonah shrugged his shoulders. “There was this nasty rumor going around that you can't handle the heat.”

“Was that nasty rumor started by you?” I asked with one eye brow raised.

“Maybe” Jonah sang teasingly.

“Can I just remind you I was doing these sessions a whole month before you even got here.” I said, matter-of-factly.

“Oh, wow, a whole month?” Jonah smiled, jokingly.

We walked over to the main field and sat at a bench that was close by. Jonah told me everything that had been going on in the group sessions that I missed. I asked him about Kylie, but he avoided answering the question.

“So, there was actually something I wanted to ask you.” I fumbled with my fingers as I stared down in my lap. We saw Jeff entering the park, so we both stood up.

I had given it a lot of thought. I didn't want to jump into anything, but I knew where I wanted to end up. So, I took Kadie and Sarah's advice. “Since, we're both going to the engagement party, I was uh...” Jonah's eyes looked over my shoulder. I turned around to see Kylie approaching us. I knew I had to hurry up and ask. “If, uh, you'd like to go together? Maybe?”

“Oh, um...” Jonah hesitated to answer immediately. I furrowed my brows, unsure why he wasn't quick to accept the invite. “There's something I need to tell you.”

Before he could say anything else Kylie walked up to us. “Lynn! You're back!” She hugged me and then proceeded to Jonah. It looked like she was about to hug him when suddenly she began to tippy toe.

I watched in confusion as she leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Let Me Buy You A Drink

“What do you think? Pastel pink, or mint?”

Kadie stood with two swatches in her hands. It was Monday morning and I stopped by her office before heading over to my fitness group. It hadn't been a full 72 hours since Adam had proposed and Kadie was already half way done with planning her engagement party. As gracefully as I'd accepted the position of Maid of Honor, I was just as gracefully dreading the process.

“The floral arrangements are pinks and whites, right? Do mint, it'll add a pop of color.”

“Oh” Kadie's eyes widened. “Good thinking!”

“Okay, seriously, I've got to go! Group is starting in a few minutes!” I grabbed my bag and scurried towards the elevators.

“Wait!” Kadie yelled after me. “Dessert?”

“Laduree!” I yelled back as I pounded the lobby button.

“Of course! I don't know what I'd do without you, Lynn!” Kadie's voice crept through the cracks of the elevator as the door shut.

I was crossing Columbus Circle when I saw Jonah coming out from the subway. He was wearing an Under Amour tank with basketball shorts. He'd only been to a few sessions so far, but the definition in his arms were becoming more prominent. I looked down at my flabby arm and wondered what I was doing wrong.

“Jonah! Jon!”

I called out after him as he approached Central Park West. He glanced to his left to check for oncoming traffic. Thankfully a cab was whizzing by causing Jonah to take a step back. It gave me enough time to catch up to him. I watched as Jonah proved himself to be a true New Yorker by throwing up his arms and yelling after the cab, “Come on man, I'm walking here!” I shook my head as I laughed.

“Jonah!” I called out again, finally getting his attention.

He turned around with furrowed brows, but then smiled when he saw it was me. “Well, if it isn't the Maid of Honor!”

“So, you've heard?”

I followed behind him as we crossed the street. “Adam stopped by my office over the weekend and told me the news. He said Kadie's been keeping you busy with the planning.”

“To be honest...” I exhaled a deep breath, “I was actually looking forward to coming to group today.”

Jonah laughed, “It's that bad?”

“This is all just for her engagement party. I can't even begin to imagine the prep for her wedding.”

“She's in love. Who can blame her?”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I grabbed Jonah's arm and gently pushed him back to face me. “Someone's being disgustingly optimistic.”

“What?” He smiled as if I just said something funny.

We headed into the Park and waited for Jeff to arrive. I sat with Kylie on the field while Jonah, being the over achiever he is, took laps around the field to warm up.

“How's work been?” I asked Kylie. She was barely listening to me. She was too busy following Jonah with her eyes.

“Oh, it's uh, it's been hectic. I wish I could cut back on hours, but it's impossible, ya know?” She only turned to face me once Jonah was out of sight. “Do you think he's single? Ugh, I bet he's taken.” She shook her head. “The good ones are always taken.”

I shrugged my shoulders.

Since Jonah had joined our fitness group I had considered telling Kylie about our past history. But, I only reconsidered when I realized I couldn't put the past in the past if I kept referring to in the present. So, I just let it be. If it came up, it came up.

Jeff had finally made it and gathered us all up into a huddle. He went over the workouts we'd be doing that day and then asked us to find a partner and begin. 

I wouldn't have minded partnering up with Jonah, now that we were on better terms, but Kylie was here today and she was my normal partner.

“You wanna be my partner?” I heard Kylie's voice from behind me. I turned around to see her asking Jonah. “Oh” She seemed surprised when she saw me. As if she'd completely forgotten that we had always been partners. “You don't mind, do you?”

“I, uh....” I stood staring at the two of them trying to figure out what to say. “We aren't...” I pointed between me and Jonah. “It's not like that”

Kylie furrowed her brows in confusion. “I meant, you don't mind if I partner with him today...for the work outs”

Jonah held back a laugh. “Yeah, you don't mind finding another partner, do you Lynn?”

I snapped a look at him. His mouth curled up in a smile and his eyes reeking of mischief.

“No, it's cool. I'll just partner with...” I looked around to see if I could find another partner-less soul. “I'll just partner up with Gabby!”

Luckily Gabby's friend, who regularly came with her to group, wasn't there today.

We grabbed our yoga mat and found a nice quiet spot to work out in.

We had only met each other briefly on the first day of group fitness. I didn't know much about Gabby except that she, like myself, was new to the city. She'd moved here from Florida a little less than a year ago and was pursuing a career in art.

Our conversations were stale. There was a brief moment of exchange followed by a long period of silence. Now I knew why I hadn't made an effort to get to know Gabby before.

We were doing stretches when I heard a roaring laughter coming from the distance.

I looked over to see Kylie and Jonah. He was standing over her stretching her leg upwards. He looked like he was saying something, and it was followed by Kylie laughing yet again.

I was no longer paying attention to Gabby. Not that she cared or anything. But, I was too busy trying to eavesdrop on Kylie and Jonah. I mean, I really just wanted to know what was so funny.

After group was over I rolled up my yoga mat to take back to the main field.

“Seems like you two were having a good time.” I nudged Jonah as he walked besides me to put away his mat.

He mocked a laugh and squinted his eyes at me. “She's actually not as crazy as she seems.”

“I'm sure she'd love to know that.”

“Maybe I can tell her later.” Jonah put down his mat and picked up his drawstring back pack, flinging it onto his shoulders.

“What do you mean?”

“We're going out for drinks later.” He looked up at me and in the same voice Kylie used to ask me earlier, he continued, “You don't mind, do you?”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Proposal

“Okay, I need details, like NOW!”

Kadie and I sat on a stack of plywood that the construction workers had been using in her new office space. They buzzed around us, hammering at walls and drilling the floors.

Adam had just left back to work and the two of us stayed behind to approve samples the renovation team was bringing by.

Kadie shrieked in excitement as she pulled her legs up to sit Indian-style. Her hands gripped onto my arm. “Lynn, it was perfect! Just perfect!” She giggled remembering the night before.

“Well, how'd he do it?! Start from the beginning!!” I impatiently shook her arms.

“Okay, okay!” She took a breath to calm herself. “I was working late drawing up contracts and meeting with the designer for the office space but, when I got home I noticed Adam's car outside. It was weird because he parked a few spots away, behind a Murano, when usually he parks a little bit closer to the apartment, in front of the neighbor's Mercedes...”

“Okay, Kadie, not that detailed. I want to hear about how he proposed, not how he parked his car.”

“Sorry! I'm just still so shaken up from excitement” She took another breath. “He works pretty late so it was weird that he was home before sunset. As soon as I went inside he whisked me into the kitchen where he had a couple of drinks poured out for us. He went on to tell me how he was named partner for his firm. Honestly, that's why I thought he was acting so weird. He was nervous yet excited. It made total sense at the moment. I mean this was what he'd been waiting his whole career for. Anyway, when I went into our bedroom there was a gift waiting for me on the bed. I told him he was crazy for buying me a gift when it shoulda been the other way around.” A single tear rolled down Kadie's cheek. I rubbed her shoulder to comfort her. “He had just gotten the best news of his life and the only thing he could think about was me, Lynn.”

I was so genuinely happy for Kadie that my eyes began to glaze over. “What was it?”

“It was a beautiful dress and a pair of heels.” She smiled. “I did my hair and makeup and we left to dinner. We went to this restaurant in Brooklyn that had this stellar view of the City. We ate and talked and laughed as we watched the sunset. Afterward, Adam said he was 'so full' and needed to walk off his dinner and insisted we stroll around. Normally, I would have bitched and complained to get a cab, but something was telling me to follow his lead. We ended up on the Brooklyn Bridge. It was kind of late so no one else was around, but it made it that much more romantic.” She fluttered her eyelashes.

“He was telling me this story, as we walked, about how his great-grandparents had dreamed of one day coming to Manhattan. They were lower class and couldn't afford to make a trip to the City. So, they hitchhiked their way up to Brooklyn. The guy who had been driving them said he couldn't take them past the bridge. So, the two of them got out the car and began walking, just as we were, to Manhattan.”

“Oh my, God” I whispered to myself.

“Right before they could step foot into Manhattan, his great-grandfather stopped his great-grandmother and told her there was no one else he wanted to experience his life with in this new world than her. He got down on one knee and proposed.”

I gasped. “That is so...”

Kadie cut me off “Well get this, his great-grandparents struggled to save enough money for their son, his grandfather, to go to school. The three of them worked and worked and worked until their son was able to graduate from Columbia. The night before graduation his grandfather takes his grandmother to the exact same spot on the bridge and tells her there's no one he'd rather spend the rest of his new life with than her and proposed. Adam's dad did the same with his mom the night before he took over his father's company.”

“You have to be kidding me. This is so fucking perfect, I'm honestly steaming with jealousy!”

Kadie blushed as she continued her story. “Just as he was done telling me about everything he stops walking. He pulls me in front of him and tells me that we're standing in the exact spot that 3 generations of proposals had taken place. The way he looked down at me, with that sparkle in his eyes, I began bawling like a baby! He went on and on about how he loved me and wanted to bring me here since the day he met me. He got down on one knee and told me there was no one else he'd rather be with and then whipped out this bad boy” She held up her hand flashing her diamond ring.

I took her hand and examined the ring.“It's beautiful, K! I'm so happy for you!” I threw her hand over my shoulder and leaned in for a tight hug.

Kadie got up from her seat and walked over to the table where we'd left our empty glasses and poured out more champagne. She came back to sit down and handed me a glass. We clinked our glasses together.

“I remember when you first met Adam.” Kadie laughed. She knew exactly why I was bringing it up. “You refused to go on a date with him!”

“I was too nervous about ruining it with someone so perfect.”

“Well, I guess it worked out, huh?”

Kadie smiled and took a sip of her drink. “Speaking of working out, what happened with you and Jonah?”

I gave Kadie a look. “We decided to just be friends.”

“Mhmm...” Kadie hummed as she winked.

“What?” I furrowed my brows. “I'm tired of the games. If I'm not thinking about Connor, I'm thinking about Jonah. I just want a minute to think about me.”

Kadie tapped her glass with her finger and raised her eyebrow. “We'll see what happens in a couple of weeks.”

“What's happening in a couple of weeks?” I asked, confused.

“We're planning on having a small engagement party.”

“You've already planned your engagment party?”

“Don't be silly, Lynn. I had that planned the minute I said 'yes'! Anyway, Adam's planning on inviting Jonah. Nobody can resist engagement party hookups”

I rolled my eyes, “That's not even a thing, Kadie.”

“Whatever, it's totally gonna happen. Just watch!”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Let It Go

Hey girl, I'm working the early shift. Don't wait up for me at group.

I read Kylie's text message as I walked into Central Park. In the distance I could see everyone was already there. It looked like I was the last one to join, so I did a slow jog over.

“Whoa, slow down Lynn! It's not like we're waiting on you to get started or anything.” Everyone laughed as Jonah winked at me, the smile slowly growing on his face.

“Ugh” I rolled my eyes as I stood next to him waiting for Jeff's instructions. “You're not funny.”

He whispered back, “Where's your friend? The fan-girl? I bet she'd think I'm hilarious.”

As much as I tried to hold back, I let out a slight laugh. Kylie was a little over-the-top obvious about having a thing for Jonah in the few minutes that she'd known him.

“Okay” Jeff gestured for everyone to huddle around him. “Today we're gonna do a full body workout, so grab a mat and a partner, and let's go!”

Everyone squirmed around to partner up. I wasn't too fond of anyone in group since Kylie and I were always together. I approached a few people, but I was too late. They had already found someone. One by one everyone left until it was just me and Jeff.

“I guess we're odd since Kylie is gone.” I began walking away to grab a yoga mat when Jeff stopped me.

“There's still one more person.” He raised his eyebrows and looked over at Jonah, who was standing exactly where I'd left him. He tried to make his face expressionless, but it was obvious he was holding something back, whether a smart comment, smile, or laugh.

Everyone grabbed a mat and headed over to a shaded area of the park. We began our workout with a few light stretches. It would've been great if they didn't subtly resemble sexual poses.

I laid down, facing forward, as Jonah's body hovered over mine, pulling my leg back. “I bet you're enjoying this”

“I can't even deal right now” He said in a valley girl accent.

I covered my face, hiding my laugh.

“Why are you doing this, Lynn?” I uncovered my eyes to look at him. His mood was suddenly serious. He released my right leg and switched over to stretch my left leg.

“Doing what?”

“Stopping yourself from letting go.” His face was a foot away from mine, but it was turned away and his eyes were settled on the scenery around us. “If you want to laugh, then just laugh. You don't have to hate me just because we're not together.”

“I don't hate you, Jonah.” I pushed my leg down and sat upright. “You told me you were going to give me my space.” I gestured to the lack of distance between us, “this isn't called giving me my space.”

Jeff walked over and interrupted our conversation. “Done stretching? Give me 25 sit ups, 25 throw downs, and 25 side-to-sides, and then switch.”

Jonah laid on his back. I sat by his feet, holding them down, as he did his sit ups. “I get it Jon, with our luck, we're bound to run into each other. And that's fine, I can manage, honestly. But, it's hard when you keep throwing the reminder in my face.”

He slowed down in mid sit up.“I just want it to be normal again.”

“If you want it to be normal, then you have to act normal. I can't be the girl you're trying to win back. That's only going to push me away.”

He let out a deep breath as he went back to doing his sit ups. There was a few seconds of silence before he responded. “Fine, I'll act normal if you'll promise to just let it go.”

“You can call me Elsa, cause I've officially 'Let it Go'” I laughed at my own joke.

Jonah stopped what he was doing and stared at me, unamused. “I can't believe you just said that.”

“Oh, come on! It was funny!” I pushed his knees, knocking them down.

“Let's just stick to our professions, alright?” He went back to working out. “You can be the humorless doctor, and I'll stick to being America's sweetheart that everyone finds hilarious.”

I wasn't sure how I felt about having to constantly see Jonah while I was still trying to sort my feelings out, but if it was going to fill the void and bring us back to being friends, it was something I was willing to do. I just had to remind myself to avoid making the same mistakes.

I had gotten a text from Kadie while I was at the park. She had finally found the location for her new office and wanted me to swing by to check it out.

I went home to take a quick shower and then headed over.

The elevator doors slid open and she and Adam greeted me with a glass of champagne. There was already a cleaning crew fixing up the place.

The floors and walls where concrete with exposed pipes on the ceiling. It was very industrial and modern. Two walls of the office were completely glass windows with a perfect view of Columbus Circle and Central Park.

“What do you think?” Kadie asked, trailing after me.

“This is insane”I gasped at the view. “Congratulations!” I spun around to see a beaming smile on Kadie's face. Either she was, rightfully, over excited about her new venture, or there was something she wasn't telling me.

I looked over at Adam, his eyes were glued to Kadie. “What's going on?” I asked.

“Well, we have some more news to share.”

“Okay” I said slowly, unsure of what was going on.

“I just got named partner at my law firm.” Adam spoke proudly.

I gasped and covered my mouth and then gave Adam a hug. “Adam! That's amazing!! Congratulations, you deserve it!”

“That isn't it” Kadie spoke quickly, almost to steal my attention away.

I shot my head towards Kadie and she held up her left hand.

There, on her finger, sat a huge chunk of a diamond. “Adam proposed last night! We're getting married!”

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Racing Hearts

Summer vacation was flying by. It had already been a few of weeks since we'd gotten back to the City from our LA vacation.

Kadie and Adam were just a few glitches away from launching their new company while I was successfully working on my tan.

These last few weeks had been too good to be true. I was the happiest that I'd been in a long time. I want to say it was because I'd gotten rid of all reminders of the guys in my life, but it was actually because I joined a new fitness group that met every other day in Central Park. Yes, I, Lynn Lee, joined a fitness group.

It was Kadie's suggestion (of course). She thought it would be a great way for us (me) to keep busy by avoiding falling back into old habits and adding structure to our schedules.

I could barely make it through a session at first, which is about 45 minutes, but in a short amount of time I was quickly building up my stamina. Our group trainer was constantly changing the menu. One day we were sprinting the hills of Central Park, and the next we were sitting by a quite pond and finding our inner Chakras.

The funny thing is Kadie had stopped showing up after the third session. She always had an excuse. “Me and Adam need to go over some paper work if we want to make this deadline!”, “Is that today? I can't believe I double booked! I'm sorry Lynn, but I have to meet with a client today” Something was telling me she was doing this on purpose.

It was a good thing though, otherwise I would've never been forced to talk to the other people in my group. It consisted of 5 girls, 4 guys, and our trainer Jeff, or as we liked to call him, “Jeff the Fitness Nazi”.

There was one girl that I seemed to click with. Her name was Kylie. She was around the same age as me and a nurse at the Presbyterian Hospital. She had an average build with brunette hair and light colored eyes that sparkled.

Kylie and I had the same kind of relationship most people have with their co-workers. We were the best of friends during work outs, but once our session was done for the day, so were we. Of course we always planned to go out for drinks or a quick bite to eat, but we knew with our (her) schedule, it was never going to happen.


I packed a bathing suit in my bag and headed over to Central Park. It was Friday morning, our last session of the week, and I was planning on spending the rest of my afternoon poolside at Kadie's apartment.

“Hey!” Kylie called out for me as I approached her in the park. She was sitting on the grassy field stretching her legs.“Fitness Nazi's going to be a little late this morning. He told us to run a couple laps before he gets here.”

I grunted as I sat down next to her and began stretching. “Hey, if you're not busy after this we should go to Kadie's pool to lay out” I invited Kylie to join me in my afternoon plans.

She groaned as she reached forward. “I've got a shift after this.” She pulled her body back. “I'm off tomorrow, maybe we can go then? God knows I need a tan!” She stared down at her arms while she twisted them around as evidence.

“Yeah, sure” She jumped up to her feet and held out her hand to lift me up. “Just let me know when”

We were getting ready to start our laps around the park when we saw Jeff in the distance. There was someone walking next to him, but they were both too far to make out who it was.

“Who is that?” Kylie asked as she shielded her eyes from the sun.

Fuck” I whispered to myself as the figure became clear.

Kylie turned her head towards me. “Do you know him?” she looked back to see if she could get a better look. “He's hot!” She nudged my shoulder. I nervously laughed. “Wait a second. Isn't that, that guy from Late Night? What's his name? Jonah....Jonah...”

“Cohen” I gulped as they finally reached us. “Yeah, that's him."

“Kylie, Lynn, why am I not seeing you two running? Do you want that beach bod or not?” Jeff pulled off his sunglasses and rested them on his head.

“Who's your friend, Jeff?” Kylie fluttered her eyelashes as she waited for Jonah to introduce himself. He was too busy having the same reaction as me.

“This is Jonah, he's joining our group for the summer.” Jeff put the clipboard that was in his hand, under his arm, and looked down at his watch.

“I'm Kylie” She spoke an octave higher and held out her hand for him to shake.

He shook it quickly and diverted his attention back to me. “Lynn”

“Why, Jonah?” I folded my arms across my chest and shook my head at him.

Jeff, who was completely oblivious to what was going on, finally looked up from his watch.“Alright Jo, give me 2 good laps before we start. You too ladies! Chop chop!”

I rolled my eyes and turned around to start running. Kylie came chasing after me.

“Lynn! Wait up!” She yelled. “What was that?” She spoke effortlessly as she ran.

“Nothing” I huffed. “Nothing important.” I kept my eyes forward but could still see Kylie looking over at me.

I heard Jonah calling out my name as he quickly approached us. “I'm sorry, Kylie was it? Can you give us a minute?” Her eyes gleamed at the sound of his voice saying her name. With a smile she sped up her pace to out run us.

“Lynn. I didn't know you'd be here. I mean honestly I never expected you to be here

I shot him a deadly side eye glace (But really I was agreeing with him in my head).

“Are you calling me fat?”

“Obese would be a better term” He said while trying to hide a smile.

“Fuck you!” I pushed him away from me causing him to slow down his pace.

He laughed out loud and sped up his pace so we were shoulder to shoulder again. “Come on, you know you're perfect! Why are you even here?” It didn't seem to bother him that he was running and talking at the same time.

I tried to respond, but couldn't. “Damnit!” I yelled as I came to a stop. “This really isn't helping my case.” I leaned over with my hands on my knees to catch my breath. “I don't understand how you weirdos run and talk at the same time.” Jonah stopped running and waited for me. I rested my hands on my hips as I walked forward. “Why are you here?”

“Let's just get something clear. I had no idea you would be here.” He held up both his hands accusingly. “My manager suggested I get into a regular fitness routine before the show starts. His friend is a friend of Jeff's and I thought I would try it out to break away from my normal gym routine.”

We stood in silence as we stared at each other.

“If you want me to leave, I'll leave.”

I continued to stare at him. He was growing anxious with every second that passed. I needed time to think. I had been having such a great summer and I didn't want Jonah coming back into my life to ruin it. I knew I had to adjust myself for change. Either I could fall back into old habits, or embrace it.

“No, It's fine” I said, monotone, as I walked past him.

“Seriously?” He asked, jogging forward.

“Yup” I smiled and sped up my pace, leaving Jonah behind me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Purge

“Err, Lynn...”

Kadie nudged my shoulder. We stood aboard our flight back home in the narrow aisles of economy class. I looked up from digging around in my purse to catch her staring towards Daniel. He was pushing his luggage into the overhead compartment. I had a quick memory relapse as I remembered this exact scenario only a short 72 hours ago. Oh, how the situation had changed. And trust me, it wasn't the same butterfly feeling I had before.

Our trip to LA had been semi successful. I say 'semi' mainly because of my fail of a moment with Daniel. But, besides that, Adam and Kadie managed to sign a few new promising artists to their firm. Jebrone succeeded in managing to gain exposure for The Kicks. And, I walked away with knowing where my emotions truly lied and a new group of girlfriends.

Yes, a new group of girlfriends.

After our little heart to heart there was no stopping Lauren and I. It was like a thin wall of tension had been disintegrated and we were finally able to open up to one another. It turns out the girls were just a louder, quirkier, British version of me and Kadie.

It was like the end of summer camp when we all finally had to bid farewell. The girls had an earlier flight back to London. And the boys, including Tom and Ralph, were headed back to New York with us. They still had some things to settle with their contract before they could go back home to London.

“You want to switch seats?” Kadie whispered.

“No” I pulled my carry-on behind me as I continued to walk. “There's one last thing I need to straighten out.”

“Are you sure?” She asked again even though she was making her way to her seat.

I nodded my head and continued down a few more rows were Daniel was sitting. He smiled at me as I approached him. His hands gestured for me to sit down as he took a step back, allowing me to enter our row. “I guess we're flight mates again, eh?”

“I guess so” I smiled back. Sadly, this was the longest we'd been able to hold a conversation for the last couple of days.

We buckled into our seats and shortly after the plane took off.

I stared out of the airplane window and Daniel fumbled around with his tangled headphones. There was a jolt of turbulence that caused us to look over at each other.

“I...” He said at the exact moment I began speaking.

“You first” I finally managed to say after a long 30 seconds of us cutting the other off.

“Lauren told me that you encouraged her to take a chance on me. You knew how I felt about her and even after our...” he furrowed his brows trying to come up with a proper term “...incident...You still managed to see past it.”

I nodded my head, not knowing where he was going with his. His expression was saying one thing, and his tone another.

“Thank you, Lynn.” The corners of his eyes crinkled as his mouth curved into a slight smile. “You did what I couldn't manage to do in years.”

“Well I guess that awkward encounter wasn't for nothing” I said, making Daniel laugh. “I just wanted to say, I'm sorry.” The mood of our conversation quickly changed. “I'm sorry to have put you in that position. I don't think it had anything to do with you. I was just...just feeling lost with my emotions and I think I picked up on signals that weren't really there.”

“It's quite alright mate. At least some good came out of it, right?” He nudged my shoulder.

I was glad Daniel and I were able to finally bury the hatchet. It made for a decent ride back home.


I threw my bags on the floor and drowned myself in my blanket. Nothing's more satisfying than coming home after a weekend away and flopping, belly first, onto your bed.

I took a few breaths to relax myself before getting back up. “Just kidding” I whispered to myself as I picked up my bags and began unpacking them. A quality about myself I truly hated, yet deeply appreciated at the same time.

As I was putting my jewelry back into my vanity drawers the box which held the diamond pendant necklace Connor had given me slid out. I stopped and stared at it for a second before I picked it up.

I opened the box. The diamond sparkled from the sunlight that was pouring into my bedroom. I almost wanted to cry when I remembered the night Connor had given it to me.

He'd seen it on his walk home from work one night. It was displayed in a jewelry store window and he thought it would “look nice on me”. I could almost hear him saying those exact words as I reminisced. But, of course, every one of our greatest moments was followed by an equally horrible one. It was like Murphy had written his Law about our relationship.

That night, after he'd given me the necklace, we'd ran into Jonah. Our relationship hadn't been the same since.I winced at the memory and put the box back into the drawer.

I didn't think about it again until I was laying, restless, in bed that night.

I tossed and turned until I finally rolled over and picked up my phone to call Kadie.

“Lynn?” She asked in a groggy voice. Only then did I realize it was an ungodly hour to be awake. “Is everything okay?”

“Everything's fine. I really just need you to come over as soon as possible.” I jumped off my bed and rummaged through my closet for a box.

“Can't this wait until the morning?” Her yawn made it almost impossible to understand what she was saying.

“No, this needs to happen now!” I stood up straight once I'd found a decent sized box and hung up the phone.

I impatiently waited in my living room for Kadie to arrive.

A half hour later she stood with me looking down at a box of miscellaneous things.

“What are we looking at?”

“This is everything in my apartment that was either given to me by Connor and Jonah, or reminds me of them.” I said matter-of-factly.

“Lynn” She looked up at me. “This is a lot of shit.”

“I can't help if I have vivid memories” I said, crossing my arms.

“But, but...” She reached down for the box with the diamond necklace. “This is a diamond. You can't possibly get rid of this Lynn, you're crazy!”

I slapped the box out of her hand. “I'm doing it, K. I'm starting over.”