Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Started From The Bottom

It was 6 AM on Monday morning and the last thing I wanted to do was wake up.

I slammed my arms around until my alarm eventually turned off. Every fiber of my being was aching, like I'd just been hit by a bus. I peeped through my lashes and saw that the bathroom light was turned on. I listened carefully and realized Jonah was taking a shower.

We made it back in town late last night. Our original plan was to leave Sunday afternoon, at the absolute latest, but every time we tried to leave Jonah's mom and sisters would come up with an excuse to make us stay. “The next train doesn't come for another hour, you might as well wait here until then!” Mandy said, knowing well that she'd distract us enough to stay longer than an hour.

I groaned as I propped myself up on my elbows. I turned on my iHeartRadio app and listened to a local morning talk show as I waited for Jonah to get out the bathroom.

I'm not sure what it was about Long Island (maybe the food? Air? Water? I'm naming essentials here...) but Jonah and I couldn't keep our hands off each other.

He'd been the happiest and most relaxed form of himself that I'd seen in a while.

We both had an early morning today, so we promised once we got back to the City we'd stay the night at our own compounds. That didn't work out so well. Once Jonah dropped me off at my apartment, our goodbye kiss in the hallway turned into a “late night” in bed.

Jonah opened the bathroom door and a flood of steam came rushing out. His hair was damp and he held onto the towel that was wrapped around his waist.

“Could you have used any more hot water?” I said sarcastically.

Jonah picked up his bag that he'd thrown off the side of my bed the night before and began digging through it. “Why do you think I stayed here? I wasn't about to use my hot water.” He'd practically emptied out his bag. “Shit!”

“What is it?” I asked as I sat up. My eyes were still half shut.

He sighed as he put everything back. “I don't have any fresh clothes for work. I have to go back to my place.”

“You can just borrow something from my closet.” I smiled. Jonah picked up a pillow and threw it at me.

After Jonah left I decided I might as well get a start on my day. I took a shower, got ready, and headed to class.


“How was the weekend at the in-laws?” Henry asked, teasingly, as we walked out of class.

Ha ha, very funny!” I nudged his shoulder.

“Well, tell us already. How was it? Is she a monster? Or as sweet as J?” Sarah asked.

We went to our normal brunch spot and I spent most of our break time catching them up on my weekend away.

Later that evening I stopped by Kadie's office since it was a short walk across Central Park from my school.

We lounged around on the couches in her office and ate Chinese food. Kadie still had work to do so she hovered over the coffee table to read papers every now and then.

“So, she straight up ask you to do it?” Kadie pushed the papers away and gave her full attention to me...and her box of orange chicken.

I stopped chewing and swallowed. I took a quick sip of my drink, “She didn't tell me to do it per se, but she definitely beat around the bush.”

“Wow, I wasn't even asked until after the engagement.” Kadie raised her brows as she took a bite of her food. “Honestly Lynn, don't be offended. It's what all Jewish mothers want for their son's non-Jewish girlfriends”

“I didn't take it offensively, I just thought it was a lot to ask, especially since we...” Our attention was distracted from the conversation when Adam knocked on Kadie's door and walked in.

“Hey honey” He spoke calmly as he walked in. Kadie walked over to him and gave him a kiss. “ chicken?”

“Ugh, sorry” Kadie picked up her bottle of water and drank it. “What's going on? You're off of work early.”

He rocked on his feet. “I'm going back in a bit, I just thought I'd stop by and tell you”

“Tell me what?” Her hands rested on her hips as she waited for him to finish.

“You can't tell anyone you heard this from me. It's completely 100% confidential.”

Kadie dramatically covered her mouth with her hands. “Oh my God! I swear! Now tell me!”

Adam looked over to where I was sitting. Kadie was practically shaking from anticipation. He widened his eyes as he waited for me. “Okay, fine, I won't say anything either!”

“Apparently Darlington is about to lose a major client that signed with her due to a breach of contract.” He placed heavy emphasis on the words knowing that we'd understand which client he was referring to.

Kadie gasped loudly.

Adam smiled as he nodded his head. “That means, they'll be looking for a different company to represent them.” Kadie was growing tense with each nod. “Now, you're a new company so they may not consider you. But” He dragged out the word. “If a major firm like mine was involved...”

“Oh my God” Kadie exclaimed, putting two and two together. She bent down into a squat, still covering her mouth. This was a huge deal. If Kadie was some how able to represent an internationally well-known client, it would give her a fighting chance to be among the top firms.

Adam laughed as he bent his tall frame down to meet her. “What do you say?” He grabbed her hands “Should we give it a try?”

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Love and Marriage

“Good morning, Sunshine!”

I whispered to Jonah as his eyes fluttered open that morning. He furrowed his brows for a second before he responded.

“Were you watching me sleep?” He stretched out his arms, but then wrapped them around me again.

“Of course not!” I looked around, obviously lying, and smiled.

Jonah laughed and brought his forehead to mine.

 I looked at his eyes while he stared down. “You look so...pretty when you sleep.” I scrunched my nose. Jonah already liked me, so I didn't know why I was feeling so nervous laying there with him.

His eyes looked up at me. “I look pretty when I sleep?”

I nodded my head, “for lack of a better term.”

Jonah smiled. “I could literally think of a million other terms.” His hand moved from my back up my body and rested just behind my neck. His thumb gently played with my ear.

By now I could tell that he knew I was feeling anxious and was just trying to egg me on.

“Jonah, you know what I meant.” I sighed and rolled my eyes. I pushed his shoulder back, hoping he would move so I could get out of bed.

“Where do you think you're going?” He grabbed my hand and rolled me back. “You think I'm going to let the most handsome girl get out of my bed just like that?”

I felt my cheeks burning red as I laughed.

Jonah kissed my neck and the tiny stubble on his face tickled my skin. I flinched at the feeling.

“What is it?” he asked.

“it tickles”

“What? This?” He rubbed his face on my neck.

I laughed as I tried to push him away. He pinned me down and refused to let me go. I squirmed and begged for mercy, but that just made him do it even more.

I finally broke free and jumped off the bed. “You're such a freak!”

“Don't act like you don't love it!” Jonah laid back on the bed with his arms behind his head. I grabbed a pillow and threw it at him.

That afternoon a few of Jonah's old childhood friends invited him to go play basketball. He wanted me to come along with him, but I refused to be one of those clingy girlfriends that never let her man do anything by himself. Leeches, as me and Kadie would call them.

So, Anna, Casey, and Mandy decided to show me the local mall. Plus, Mandy had an upcoming school event and wanted to buy a new dress.

We spent a couple of hours shopping around when Mandy finally found a few dresses at a cute little boutique that she liked. Casey, Anna, and I sat in the waiting area of the fitting room drinking our boba lattes. It was setup nicely like a showroom of an upscale furniture store.

“So” Anna said quietly. I was sitting in between her and Casey. “Will you be converting?”

“Pardon?” I almost choked on the damn tapioca balls in my drink.

“Mom!” Casey reached over and lightly nudged Anna's knee “Lynn, don't pay my mom any attention.”

“What? He's my only baby boy!” She threw a stare back at Casey. “Look, don't take this offensively, but if you want to be a part of Jonah's life, you're going to have to learn our traditions.”

“They've just barely started dating again, you can't ask her something like that!” Mandy chimed in. The three of us looked over to see her standing in the dress she'd tried on.

“Oh my God, Mandy” I looked at her with wide eyes.

“Honey you look beautiful!” Anna stood up from her seat and walked towards Mandy.

“Mom, did you hear me? That's so inappropriate!” Anna was pulling at Mandy's dress trying to fix the lining.

Casey followed after her. “If you don't get this dress, I'm gonna have to!”

“Yes, I heard you and I don't think it's inappropriate. I think it's a fairly reasonable question to ask.” She finished fixing the dress and spun Mandy around to look in the mirror.

Casey glanced over her shoulder at me,“She can be a little... blunt”

“I...” I stood up from my seat and joined them at the mirror. Before I could finish, Anna cut me off.

“Unless you don't see yourself with Jonah.” The three of them turned to look at me and I felt like I was on trial for murder.

“I...” I stumbled on my words. She was asking me things Jonah and I hadn't even thought about discussing because they were so far in the future.

“Mom!” Mandy irritatedly looked at Anna. “You're doing it again. You're making her feel uncomfortable.”

Anna continued to look at me and respond, “Amanda, as Jonah's mother I have to make sure the woman he's dating has pure intentions.”

“Of course I do!” I was suddenly irritated at the judgment of my character.

Casey noticed my defensiveness and stepped in, again. “I've gotten to know you over time in a way that my mother hasn't yet” She turned towards her mom as if to direct the rest of her statement towards Anna. “And I know, in the future, you and Jonah will work through any differences that may come up between you two.”

“Look, Lynn” Anna grabbed my hands as she spoke to me. “I like you, I really do. But, you have to understand that Jonah's my only boy. When two people are in a relationship from different backgrounds, it can be tough.”

Mandy sighed heavily and interjected, “I'm gonna change.” She rolled her eyes and grabbed the next dress to change into.

“I love Jonah enough to look past any differences.”

“If that's the case, I think you should consider converting.”

“I don't see why that's necessary”

“It's not” Casey added. “Mom, religion is the least of people's worries these days. Can you drop it already?”

Anna ignored Casey. “It's necessary because a woman carries the tradition along. I can't have my grand kids confused about their beliefs.”

There was a second of silence before Casey, Mandy, and I bursted into laughter. I hadn't even spent a full 48 hours with Anna and she was already talking about grand kids. The whole conversation seemed hilariously bizarre yet understandable.

Mandy came out of the fitting room and rested her hand on my shoulder. “You're the first one of Jonah's girlfriends I actually like. Please don't let my crazy mother drive you away!”

I kind of felt like I knew where Anna was coming from. She and Jonah seemed to have a close relationship and if anyone was going to look after him it was her. So, I brushed the conversation off knowing that discussing it was going to get us nowhere.

“Spending time with you two this weekend makes me feel like y'all are the sisters I never had.” I turned towards Anna, “And I hope one day I can call you my mother, but that's something that's light years away from even discussing, and when it is time to talk about it, it's something Jonah and I will have to figure out together.”

She looked off into the distance and curled her lip in. “Okay” Her arms opened up to give me a hug. “I just want you two to be happy. That's all.”

“Aw how cute!” First Mandy joined in on the hug then Casey.

We were having a bonding moment when the sales associate walked in on us. “Uh, are you gonna buy that, or not?”

After we were done shopping we went back home for dinner. Jonah's aunt, uncle, and cousins stopped by and after a night of games and conversations, we were back in bed.

Both Jonah and I laid on our backs in the dark room looking up at the ceiling.

“Hey, you promise you won't tell anyone?” I whispered.

“What is it?” He asked.

“Today, when we went shopping, your mom asked me if I was planning on converting.”

There was a few seconds of silence.

“Converting for what?” I felt him lean on his elbow, facing me.

“That's what I said!” I loudly whispered back.

“I'm surprised Casey didn't try to stop her.”

“She did. Multiple times. And so did Mandy.”

“Mandy was there?” His voice grew. “My mom is too much. I'm sorry you had to deal with that” He sighed and fell onto his back again.

“It's okay. I just thought it was something I needed to let you know. But I don't know why she would assume that we're planning on getting married.”

It was quiet for a while.

“I may have talked to her about you.”

“What?” it was my turn to dramatically lean up on my elbow and stare at him. “You talked about getting married? To me? With your mom?”

“Not exactly getting married, but more so along the lines of love.”

“So she thinks you're getting married because you're in love.”

“Well, can you blame her? Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. You can't have one without the other.”

“Stop quoting Frank Sinatra.”

“I can't help it.”

“This is why we can't get married.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jonah's Story

Hello Readers,

Today, I wanted to switch things up. First let me explain why. At the time that I was writing "You Make Me Crazier" I met a guy named Jonah Story. Guys, his name was literally Jonah Story.  If that wasn't a sign for me to rewrite last week's blog post in Jonah's perspective, I don't know what was! It made sense because a lot of readers always ask what it is that Jonah sees in Lynn. So, I thought it would be appropriate since the story is currently taking place in his hometown.

Majority of the story will be in a form of a monologue, but there's a few scenes that are different since Lynn wasn't around to experience them.

So, I hope you enjoy! If not, just hold tight until Thursday when postings will continue back in Lynn's perspective!


It was my first weekend off in... I can't even remember how long. I was taking Lynn with me to Long Island for the weekend.

Only a small 80% of my conversations with my mom were about Lynn, so I presumed now was the time to finally bring the two together.

My mom was thrilled, of course.

It was her life's mission to some how interject herself in one of my relationships. As a teenager, if I ever brought a girl home, she would be one of those moms that hid in the bushes and peeked through the window, or stood at the top of the staircase to the basement, trying to get a good look at what was going on. I guess you could say our relationship growing up was similar to Adam and Beverly from The Goldbergs.

I zoned out of Casey and Lynn's conversation on the ride over to the house. There was an innumerable amount of things I still needed to do at work. Deadlines and negotiations that needed to be met. Even though my team reassured me they'd take care of everything, it was still at the top of my worries.

I'd written monologue samples, but I couldn't recall if I'd given them to my producer. Did I leave them on my desk? No, I couldn't have. Bashir took them from me to give to Mike. I remember now, he was wearing a Kansas City Chiefs shirt and it sparked a conversation about football that went on for a good hour.

The vivid imagery was enough to confirm my doubts.

Coming in at a close second was Lynn. I turned around to look at her. She was just as anxious as I was. Her leg slightly trembled and she was biting the inside of her cheeks. Something she always did when she was nervous. I laughed quietly to myself.

Lynn was looking out the window, but noticed me immediately. She glanced over and a smile lit up her face.

“Welcome to Long Island!”

Casey nudged my shoulder, “or Longuyland, as mom likes to say!”

Lynn found Casey's comment to be funny, so I continued to play off of it.

If there was anything that was going to ease my spinning thoughts, it was the sound of her laughter. It was like rain on a Sunday morning. Refreshingly sweet, simple, and pure. Maybe I was a little more sensitive to it because of the industry I was in. I'd grown immune to the forced laughs of the people around me. But not Lynn's; when we met she laughed before she could even say anything. The genuine honesty of it was the first thing I noticed about her.

We finally arrived at the house and my mom came outside right on cue. Like she had been anxiously waiting our arrival. I hadn't seen her in months, and she made sure to let me know it'd been a while.

Even though she begged me for weeks to come visit her, it was Lynn she was waiting to meet.

“This must be Sofia!” She looked at me as she spoke. There was a twinkle in her eye, as if to say she was testing Lynn's reaction. Maybe she assumed that if a girl could be with a guy as sarcastic as me, she must have a twisted sense of humor.

Either way, her intentions weren't malicious, but I still didn't find it funny.

Lynn had small traces of jealousy in her, so I knew she hadn't taken the joke very well. I quickly apologized for my mom, but the dilemma was over and turned into a “let's embarrass Jonah” party instead. I was worried for nothing.

My mom and Casey pulled out some old home movies and pictures to show Lynn. I let the girls have their time together and went into the kitchen instead. After rummaging through the fridge I heated up some leftovers and stepped out into the backyard.

There was only a select few days that Long Island would let you enjoy it's weather and today was one of those days. I sat on the rocking bench under the vine covered arbor, that over looked our rectangular pool, and pulled out my phone to get some work done.

“Hey, honey.” I felt my mom's hands grip my shoulders and slide across my body into a hug. She kissed me on the cheek and walked over to sit down.

I smiled, putting my empty plate away on the table next to me. “I miss your cooking!”

“I know you do, why else would you have came home?” She laughed, ruffling my hair with her fingers. “How have things been going?”

I held onto my head and leaned back, looking up at the afternoon sky. “There's just so much to do and not enough time! Every decision has to be approved by me. I feel like I'm getting hustled left and right.”

My mom wrapped her hand around my shoulder and caressed it softly, hoping it would calm me down. “Oh, my sweet boy. You're just like your father. Always pushing yourself harder than you need to be.” She laughed to herself.

“It got me this far didn't it?” I looked over at my mom whose eyes were set on my hand that she'd been holding onto.

“It did” She pulled me in so my head was resting on her shoulder and gently rocked side to side. “But, sometimes you need to know when to let go and let things take their own path. I don't want you working so hard that you miss out on life's pleasantries.”

I closed my eyes as I listened to her voice. She kept talking and I could feel myself drifting off. But then she said something that caught my attention.

“She seems like a keeper.”

I lifted my head from her shoulder and looked at her. “You like her?” I was caught off guard. My mom and sisters had such high standards for me.

“Of course I do. I've never seen you so happy with someone.” She said without looking at me.

“You've barely even met any of the girls I've been with, Mom.” I reminded her.

“Exactly why she's a keeper.” She finally looked at me and ever so slightly curled the corner of her mouth. “She must be a big deal if you're introducing her to me.”

“Well” I shrugged my shoulders. I knew I loved Lynn, but it suddenly felt like a different kind of love with the way my mom put it. “She is.” Now I was the one avoiding eye contact. I fumbled with my jeans as I looked down at my lap. “I don't know, I guess, this is gonna sound kinda weird.”

She turned towards me, her elbow leaning on the back of the bench, and stroked my hair with her fingers. “What is it, baby? You can tell me.”

“What Lynn and I have kinda reminds me of what you and dad had.” I laughed at how ridiculous I sounded. “She's beautiful, but that's just a plus. I like her because of the person she is. She's smart and funny. She knows she's not perfect, but that doesn't bother her as much as it bothers other girls. She thinks she's always right when most of the time she's not. I let it slide, because it's just cute at how convinced she is. She has this passion that burns within her. Like, there's no in between, either she really loves something or she hates it. She over thinks just about everything. I promise you that girl takes 45 minutes just to figure out if she wants a bagel or coffee for breakfast. She'll sit there and make a pros and cons list, mom, for bagels and coffee. And guess what?”

“What?” I looked up at my mom who seemed to be humored by the whole thing.

“She ends up getting both.” My mom laughed and I sighed.

“Somebody's in love” She sang as she pinched my cheek. She could read the look on my face and knew I felt overwhelmed by this foreign feeling. “Don't worry, you're not going to disappoint her. You mean the world to her.” She rubbed my shoulder in a comforting way.

“How do you know?” I looked at her confused.

“She hadn't taken her eyes off of you the entire time you were with her. I never knew I did that with your father until my mother-in-law told me.”

I exchanged a brief smile with my mom before Casey called us inside.

Casey and my mom started prepping dinner and refused to let me and Lynn help, so I showed her around the house instead.

We went down to the basement where Casey and I spent most of our time growing up. Mandy was much younger than us, the standards of “cool” had changed by her time, so she never understood the glory of having a basement while being a teenager. 

Finally I took her upstairs so she could settle into my room where we'd be staying for the night. We sat at the edge of the bed as she noticed a picture of my dad and asked me about it. I'd seen the picture a million times. Some nights I even stared at it until I'd fallen asleep. But, there was something about having to explain the significance of the picture that flooded back memories. I was suddenly taken back to that night. I felt myself slipping to a place where I knew it would be difficult to come out of. I felt Lynn's hand on my shoulder and I snapped back to reality.

I could tell she felt sorry for me and I didn't want her to. I jumped off the bed and pretended like I had something to show her when really I just needed a second to myself. I rummaged through some comic books, hoping we'd some how drift into another conversation.

She came and stood next to me staring happily as I aimlessly searched for nothing. I remembered what my mom and I had talked about earlier. I pulled Lynn in and kissed her, letting her know how much I appreciated her.

Things would have gone further if Mandy hadn't knocked on the door and ruined the moment.

I wasn't too upset because I was excited to see her. The last time we'd spent time together was when I moved back to the City. She was in New Hampshire now, attending college, so our trips back home rarely ever collided.

I was extremely protective of Mandy growing up. She was barely able to understand what was going on when our dad passed away. I always felt like I had to be that male figure for her. She was the reason I stayed out of trouble. Even when I felt like giving up, I kept going. I wanted to set a good example.

I found myself staring at my mom and the girls through a glass window. I couldn't help but notice how well they were getting along. Mandy seemed to like Lynn by the way she enthusiastically hung on every word she said. It was cute and reassured me that I made the right decision bringing both of my worlds together.

That night, as we were getting ready for bed, I was in my bathroom brushing my teeth when I saw Lynn in my bedroom changing. It had been a long time since I'd seen her bare skin. The way she stood there with her hair falling over her shoulder. I couldn't resist myself. I begged for her attention, and after putting up a small fight, she finally let me win.

I showed her just how much she meant to me.

That night when she'd fallen asleep, I pulled her in close and held on to her body. This time, I wasn't going to let her go.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

You Make Me Crazier

“Did we just step into a time machine?”

I slowly walked into Jonah's childhood bedroom trying to take in everything I saw. I didn't know where to look. There were shelves covered in novels and comic books, a line of collectible action figures, an old record player with stacks of records, and posters of shows and bands. There was only one poster that was framed. It had been signed by the Beastie Boys. I walked over to admire it.

“Jonah, how the hell did you manage to not let time touch your bedroom? This is amazing! I feel like I'm in an old 90s movie or something.”

Jonah laughed. “Trust me, it took a lot of fighting with my mom and sisters. They've been strumming their little fingers waiting for me to give them the go to redecorate this room, but I don't think I ever will. I like it the way it is.”

We walked over to his bed and sat down. On his night stand was a picture of Jonah and his father. They stood in the middle of a crowded banquet hall, both of them wearing a suit and tie. His father's arms were wrapped around Jonah, squeezing him tight, while he gave him a kiss on the cheek. Jonah's head was slightly tilted back as the photograph had caught him in the middle of a bellowing laugh.

I picked up the frame and looked over at Jonah. His eyes were glued to the picture like he'd been taken back to the day it was taken.

“Is that your dad?” I asked as I went back to examining the picture. “He's so handsome.” I couldn't help but notice the similarities. I held the picture next to Jonah's face and compared the two. “You guys look almost identical.” The only difference was Jonah's dad was older in the picture than Jonah's current age.

“That's my favorite picture of him.” He took it from my hands and continued to look at it. “It was the day of my Bar Mitzvah. We had so much fun that day.”

I quietly watched Jonah and let him sink back into his memories. “Casey's Bat Mitzvah was a couple years before, but it was nothing compared to mine. My dad always said I was his boy and that he would do anything for me. So, that's exactly what he did.” Jonah's smile grew “He surprised me by having the Beastie Boys come and perform at my party. Can you believe that? Do you know how popular I was after that?” He looked over at me as he laughed. “My dad, a New York City firefighter living in the suburbs, got the fucking Beastie Boys to come to my party.” He shook his head as he continued to laugh. Suddenly his face went emotionless. “It's kind of ironic don't you think? He always told me I'd be his little boy and when I finally became a man that night he died a few weeks later.”

“Jonah” I rubbed my hand on his back to reel him back in.

He looked at me and gave me a half smile, reassuring me that everything was alright. He scooted back on his bed so he was leaning against his headboard and gestured for me to do the same. “You wanna know why I kept my room the same?”

I nodded my head.

“Because no matter how many years have passed, no matter how stressful life gets, I can come home and lie in my bed and feel like a kid again. Like, if I stare at the walls long enough I can make myself believe that nothing's changed. I can hear the low rumbles of my dad's voice coming from down the hall, my mom's laughter, Casey gushing on the phone about her crush of the week, and Mandy crying because, I don't know, I broke one of her toys or something.”

“You're really blessed, you know that?” I took Jonah's hand from his lap and held onto it. “It seems like what you two had was special. Even though I love my parents, I would kill to have just a single memory where they weren't busy with work. You were lucky to have him, no matter how short of time it was.”

“I know” He sighed heavily. His hands dragged down from his head and over his face. He smiled again and jumped off his bed. Old, lively Jonah was back. “You'll never believe what I have!” He walked over to his shelf and dug through a pile of comic books.

“Let me guess, a first edition of some sort of comic book...” I shook my head and walked over to him.

Jonah looked at me defeated. “How'd you know?”

“Wild guess.” I laughed at the fact that I ruined his surprise. Not that it was something I would've been amazed by, or even cared for that matter.

He stopped shuffling through the comic books and looked over at me. “You know what else I'm lucky to have?”

“What?” I asked as I looked around.

He grabbed my hand and turned me towards me. His arms wrapped around my body. I laughed out loud as he'd taken me by surprise. I wrapped my arms around his neck and gently played with the hair on the back of his head. “You” He said as he leaned down to kiss me.

“You know what I'm lucky to have?” I asked him. He grinned, assuming I'd say the same thing back. “I'm lucky to have seen those ridiculous pictures of you as a kid. Honestly, what were you thinking with that shaggy hair? And those videos! I'm gonna have to get Casey to give me copies for blackmail purposes.”

We spent a good part of our afternoon going through old photos and home videos. Casey and Anna, Jonah's mom, were determined to embarrass Jonah with no mercy. They showed me videos of movies that he'd written, directed, and starred in as a little kid. And when I say starred in, I mean he played every character. There were some occasional scenes with his baby sister, but it was either because she crawled in front of the camera, or he'd dressed her up to play an inanimate object.

“I'm never going to live this down, am I?” He hung his head.

“No, you're not!” I laughed as I brought my hands from behind his neck to around his face. I pulled him forward and kissed him again.

It was a slow and gentle kiss at first, only stopping for smiles, but then it started getting heavier and heavier when a knock on the door startled us.

“Jonah, mom said to stop making out with your girlfriend and come eat dinner!”

We both rested our heads on each others shoulders as we laughed.

I held onto Jonah's hand as we walked through the hallway, down the stairs, and to the dining room where Casey was setting up the dinner table.

“Hey, mom, Casey, this is going to sound weird, but I could have sworn I heard a monkey”

“Very funny, Jonah!” A young girl with brown ombred hair walked up behind us. She wrapped her hands around his waist.

“Mandy!” He shouted as he saw his little sister for the first time. Jonah leaned back and grabbed her neck, putting her in a headlock. “When did you get home?”

She tried to answer him, but couldn't because of the lack of air supply. After wiggling around she finally managed to scream. “Mom! Tell Jonah to stop being so mean to me when we have a guest in the house!”

“Jonah, stop being mean and let go of your sister!” Anna said as she brought dinner to the table.

“Oh, come on, Amanda!” He pulled her out of the headlock and squeezed her in a tight hug instead. “You use to love when I would wrestle with you!”

“She's too good for us now, Jon.” Casey teased. “She's a New Hampshirite now.”

“Lynn, this is my baby sister, Amanda...”

“Mandy” She corrected him

“Mandy. She use to be one of us, and then she went to Dartmouth.” He held his hand to the side of his mouth “You know how those Northerners can be”

She rolled her eyes at him. Anna laughed and Casey nodded along.

“It's nice to finally meet you, Lynn. I've heard so much about you from Jonah and Casey. Mostly Jonah” She turned back towards him and smirked, “he can be such a school girl sometimes.” She put both her fists under her chin and batted her lashes.

“Okay, alright” Jonah said as he shoved Mandy away. She laughed with victory. “Let's not make Lynn think she's special or anything.”

“Oy Vey!” Mandy said dramatically in the same thick New York accent Jonah used to imitate his mom.

“I'm so sorry I told you to give my brother another chance, Lynn.” Casey smacked Jonah's shoulder.

“What?” He shrugged at Casey. “She knows I love her” He pulled out my chair for me and kissed me on the cheek before I sat down.

“Well, I love her too!” Anna smiled as she brought the last dish to the table and sat down, “Now, will you kids behave yourselves for one minute so we can finally eat?”

After dinner we hung out at the house for the night. Mandy talked about all the fun new clubs she joined at Dartmouth and Casey filled us in on her wedding update. Her and her fiance had planned a spring wedding earlier in the year, but it had been postponed after the horrible winter, that lingered on for the better part of the year, made it impossible for out of towners to travel. It's almost impossible to book a venue in the City during summer, so they had to wait until the following year.

It was mid-night when Casey had left back to her apartment. By that time Mandy and Anna had fallen asleep on the couch.

Jonah and I went back to his room to get ready for bed. I dug around in my bag for my tooth brush and face wash when I felt Jonah walk up behind me. His mouth was just next to my face as his hands grazed my pelvis moving upward, under my shirt, sliding across my stomach.

“What happened to not making me think I'm special?” I whispered, jokingly, as I turned my head to look at Jonah.

“You're not” He smiled back. His eyes intently staring at my lips. “I do this with every girl” I knew he was joking, but I still pulled away from him. He grabbed me and laughed quietly “Lynn, I'm kidding! I just think it's so fucking sexy when you get this little attitude. And, I'm not gonna lie, it's kinda a turn on seeing you with my family.”

“You're crazy” I sighed and quickly gave in, wrapping my arms back around him.

Jonah leaned down for a kiss. “You make me crazier.” The sound of his low whisper made me melt from the inside. I felt a chill run through my body and I gripped onto him tighter.

I don't know if it was all the teasing, seeing his sensitive side, or the way he lovingly interacted with his family, but I never wanted Jonah more than I did in this moment.

“I'm so glad I came with you this weekend. I saw a different side of you, and I feel like I'm falling in love all over again.”

“You know I already love you...” He grinned “no matter how much I tease you.” He kissed me just under my ear. I began kissing him, feverishly, as I tugged at his clothes.

We spent the rest of the night wrapped up in each others arms. We'd eventually gotten so worn out that we fell asleep without realizing.

The next morning when I'd woken up I was happy to see Jonah next to me. Every time we'd spent the night with each other, he'd always been gone to work before I could wake up. But this time he was there. I stared at him as he slept. He looked so perfect. The way a man who deeply loves a woman looks.

I realized that after all the confusion I'd felt that year, there was nothing that could reassure me about my feelings more than this moment that I laid in bed admiring Jonah.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


“Jonah, I swear it isn't what it looks like!”

I spoke quickly as I swung my apartment door open. He stood with an over night bag in hand. I was caught off guard. I hadn't seen him so relaxed in weeks. He was always at his office in a suit and tie, but today he wore dark washed fitted jeans and a dark gray v-neck. His Ray-Ban aviators hung from his shirt and his hair was in a casual mess. “Okay” He said as he walked into my apartment.

Since I had Friday's off this year, we planned to leave early to Long Island to avoid the evening rush. I had my things packed and ready to go, but I wasn't sure how everything was going to play out since Jonah had texted me the link to the gossip site earlier this morning.

“Look, Daniel's just a friend. In fact, he has a girlfriend...not that it matters nowadays, but still!” I continued to talk without taking a breath. Hoping that I could spit out the story fast enough for this whole thing to be over. Jonah put his bag down and stood leaning against the back of the couch. He folded his arms and continued to watch me as I pleaded my case. “Honestly, you know how it is, pictures can be taken out of context!”

Jonah smirked and, without saying a word, continued to stare at me. “It was just a friendly tap on the arm. I know it looks more suggestive in the picture, but I swear! It really wasn't!” The only reaction coming from Jonah was his smirk turning into a wide grin. I stopped throwing my hands around and looked at him.

Jonah's grin grew into laughter, “Why'd you stop? Keep going, this is cute.” He left one arm folded while the other rested on his face.

“What are you talking about?” I was confused. “Why are you laughing?”

“The fact that you think I'm upset by the picture.” He moved his hands down to hold either side of the couch that he'd slightly been sitting on.

“I guess...I just...” My mind drifted off for a nanosecond. A glimpse of what Connor's reaction would have been flashed through my mind. This would've been the part where he walked away after shutting me out. He would've refused to listen to me. It was only then that I realized why I'd been talking so quickly. It was a defense mechanism. I was trying to make amends before Jonah could say anything. I was so use to having a time limit before the bomb exploded.

I looked at Jonah, who went back to a simple smirk, and suddenly had a deeper appreciation for him. He must have known what was going through my head because he opened up his arms gesturing for me to come in for a hug. “If you were trying to make me upset you're gonna have to try a hell of a lot harder than touching another guy's arm.” I leaned in and gave Jonah a hug. My head nestled just below his chin and he leaned down to kiss it.

“I thought that's why you sent the picture.” I spoke quietly feeling a little embarrassed that I assumed such a thing about Jonah when, up until this day, he'd never given me a reason to do so.

“I sent you the picture because” he leaned away so that he could look at me, “I wanted you to see how misconstrued this industry is. I hate that I'm in it, but it comes with the territory.”

“I didn't even know that they knew who I was.” I furrowed my brows.

“You haven't noticed, but I have. The closer we're getting to the premier date, the more interviews that I'm having to do, the more pictures of my face that are being plastered up around the city, the more I'm starting to notice the hidden cameras.”

“Have they been following you?”

“They're usually camped outside of our building. It's a hot spot since so many shows record there. The photographers are always bound to catch a celebrity coming in or out. When I was a writer for the sketch comedy show the die-hard fans would recognize me by name and ask for my autograph. And when I started working as the head writer for the Late Night show, people started recognizing me by face from the bits I would do on-air. But this, having photographers follow me, is something that just started happening since my interview with E!” He sighed and curled his lip in. “I guess it's only going to get worse from here.”

“This sucks” I huffed.

“Tell me about it. I've gotta get rid of my side chicks now.” Jonah looked at me from the corner of his eye, waiting for my reaction.

I pushed him away, teasingly, and he laughed as he tried to catch his balance while avoiding toppling onto the couch.

I grabbed my things from my room and Jonah and I set out on our way to Long Island.

After a long train ride over we met Casey, Jonah's older sister, outside the station where she picked us up. After a warm hug we threw our things into the car and headed on our way.

“Welcome to Long Island” Jonah said as he turned around to look at me. He and Casey were sitting in the front while I'd opted to sit in the back.

“Or, Longuyland, as mom likes to say.” Casey said to which her and Jonah both laughed.

“Oh Lynn, you're gonna love Longuyland!” Jonah said in a thick New York accent. His voice was an octave higher as he imitated his mother.

Casey continued to laugh, “Jon does the best impression of our mom!”

We pulled into a quiet little neighborhood. The houses all had a good sized yard and looked exactly how I'd always thought homes in the North East would look.

Before we could even get out of the car Jonah's mom came outside. She looked exactly like Casey, only older.

“Jonah? Is that you?” She squinted her eyes, pretending like she didn't recognize him. He got out of the car and opened his arms wide to give his mother a hug. “This can't be my Joni” She said as she looked over at Casey. “Last time I saw my Joni, he was this tall!” She gestured a few inches above her head. “He use to love coming to see his motha” She said in a thick New York accent. I giggled to myself as I realized Jonah's impersonation of her was pretty spot on.

“And who is this” She smiled as she teasingly pushed Jonah's shoulder.

“Mom, this is my girlfriend...”

Before he could finish she cut him off, “Oh, this must be Sofia!”

“Sofia?!” I furrowed my brows and angrily looked at Jonah.

“Oh my god, she's totally kidding!” He held back a laugh, but turned back and gave his mother a stern look. “Mom, that's not funny”

“I'm kidding! I'm kidding!” She waved her hand around. “What, I can't tease Lynn a little? She's gonna have to get use to it if she's gonna be a Cohen one day”

I looked over at Jonah, his cheeks were flushed.

“Well, now I know where you get your sense of humor from.” I laughed.

“Of course he gets it's from me!” She said matter-of-factly. “I'm the funniest person he knows.” She finally opened up her arms to give him a hug. She was tiny compared to him. Her head just barely rested on his chest.

“No mom, I'm definitely the funniest person in this family.” Casey called out as she walked around the car towards us.

“Come on guys” Jonah looked at both of them disapprovingly, “I've made a whole career out being funny. I'm pretty sure I win.”

“In that case...” Casey mumbled mischievously.

Jonah's mom and Casey walked up on either side of me and wrapped their arms around my shoulders. We began walking towards the house as they whispered to one another. “Should we start with the childhood pictures or the home movies?”

“This was such a bad idea!” Jonah shouted in from the background.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Read All About It

“I need the step and repeat to be directly in front of the elevators! How many times do I have to tell you?”

Kadie yelled at a group of workers that had been setting up for the launch of her new firm. The party was taking place at the office that night and she couldn't have been more stressed. She stood gripping her forehead while her other hand held a clipboard and rested, irritatedly, on her hip.

Adam came walking in like the suave business man he was. He spoke calm and firmly, “Don't mind her fellas, you're doing a great job. But, it would look better over here” He gestured to where Kadie had wanted it. Adam turned around giving Kadie a look and whispered loudly, “You can't talk to people like that. Especially people who are helping you.”

Kadie rolled her eyes and leaned over Adam, “I'm sorry, y'all” She stepped back “I'm just so stressed out!” She frantically scanned the paper that was on her clipboard. “I can't get a hold of the caterers, Jack and Phillipa still haven't left Chicago yet, My step and repeat doesn't look how I want it to, and now there's only 3 hours until the event. What are we doing wrong?” Her lip quivered and Adam quickly embraced her in a hug.

He rubbed her back slowly to calm her down. “It's okay! I just talked to Jack and Phillipa, they're already on their way, The step and repeat is being taken care of, and I'll go check on the caterers. Don't stress, everything's gonna be alright.”

Kadie's face was buried in Adam's chest. The only sight of her was her back rising and falling after she'd taken a deep breath. She stepped back and looked up at him. “Thank you.”

Adam looked down at his watch “Okay, seriously, you two need to go get ready!”

“Wait” Kadie looked down at the clipboard once again “I have to make sure they set up the lounge chairs on the balcony. They have to be placed a certain way in order for us to -” I grabbed the clipboard out of Kadie's hand and gave it to Adam.

“Come on, Kadie. You look like a mess. You can't go to your company's launch party like this.” I pulled her arm and dragged her into the elevators. “We'll see you at 8, Adam!”

“Make sure you wear your lucky dress!” Adam shouted as the doors shut.

“Lucky dress?” I asked.

Kadie laughed to herself. “He calls it that cause we always have crazy..." She wiggled her brows so no one would hear "...every time I wear it.”


We headed back to Kadie's place. She had a couple of makeup artists come by to help us get ready for the night. We both had a smokey eye look. Mine was more subtle with loose curls, while Kadie's look was a little more intense with a low, messy, updo.

There was a knock at the door. I jumped out of my chair to open it.

“Va-va-voom!” Jaime exclaimed as he saw me. He walked inside to see Kadie sitting in the makeup chair. Her artist was adding finishing touches. “You two look amazing!” He sang the word to give it more emphasis.

“You're looking quite dapper yourself” I examined the fitted black suit he was wearing with a skinny tie.

“Kadie, are you so excited, or what?” Jaime  asked as he sat in my empty chair while we waited for Kadie to finish up.

Kadie let out a low grunt, “More like I want to projectile vomit. I'm so nervous.”

He cringed at the thought. “Oh whatever, you know it's going to be amazing.”

Jaime was my unofficial date for the night. Jonah, Sarah, and Henry weren't able to attend. Unfortunately Jonah's network was exclusively signed with Darlington, so it would've been a conflict of interest. And well, it wouldn't have been a good look if the daughter and nephew of Eva attended either.

It was a little over half past eight when we arrived to the event. Kadie's leg shook restlessly as she stared out the tinted windows of the SUV.

“Where is everyone? Why isn't anyone here?” She stuck her head out closer to the window.

“Calm down. I'm sure people are just trying to come a little late.” I held onto Kadie's leg, forcing her to stop shaking.

Ho-ly shit!” Jaime exclaimed as the car turned the corner of the building. There was a step and repeat set up outside and a crowd of paparazzi flashing their camera at the talents that stopped to pose.

“Whoa” I whispered. It looked like an actual A list event. “I didn't know you set up a step and repeat outside the building.”

Kadie shook her head “ I didn't...”

We jumped out of the car and made our debut. Adam greeted us outside.

“What do you think?” He asked Kadie pointing to the crowd. “I figured if we moved it outside it would bring more media attention.”

“This is exactly why I'm marrying you!” Kadie excitedly cheered as she grabbed his face to give him a kiss. “You're a fucking genius!”

Kadie and Adam walked the red carpet in confidence. They'd been to so many events together it turned into a normal thing. Jaime and I on the other hand were a different story. It was like prom all over again, awkward poses and a date who's in the closet.

The party was filled with models, up and coming actors, and a few bands that I'd recognized from the festival we'd went to earlier in the summer.

One of them being The Kicks. I spotted Daniel with his other band mates, Will, Elijah, and Chris. They, not only were signed onto Kadie and Adam's new firm, but were also the main performers for the night.

“How have you guys been!” I squealed and gave each one a hug. I introduced them to Jaime and we quickly brought each other up to speed on our summers. Theirs was way more productive than mine. The boys had spent the summer touring all over Europe and were back in the States to start their first American tour. I pulled Daniel aside once everyone was distracted by Jaime's fan-girling moment. “How's everything with Lauren?”

“She's wicked!” He spoke excitedly. “But we haven't been too serious. It's hard to have a relationship when you aren't around to see each other.”

“Don't worry” I rubbed his arm soothingly, “It's rough now, but once you're done with your tour and back home, it'll all be worth it.” I smiled and so did he. Just then a bright flash went off across from us. We both looked over to see a photographer taking pictures of every one around the room.

Kadie and Adam called everyone out to the beautiful patio outside that over looked Columbus Circle and Central Park. They gave a quick speech and thanked everyone for coming.

The night went on with the newly signed bands performing. Jaime and I made our way around the room and pretended like we fit in. We spent most of our time freaking out over which celebrities had shown up.

The next morning I was woken up by a text from Jonah.

Looks like you had fun last night.

I smiled at the text not knowing what he was referring to. I scrolled through our conversation to see if I'd sent him pictures and maybe forgot, but there was nothing.

What are you talking about?

Jonah responded by sending me a link to a gossip website. I clicked on it and a picture popped up of Daniel and I looking at each other, smiling, while I caressed his arm.

The title, in big bold block letters, read:

Over Before It Began: Jonah Cohen's Ex Moves On to The Kicks' Front Man.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


“Do we have to go back?”

Henry, Sarah, and I laid on the fluffy rug that covered the hardwood floors in her room. This was our last weekend before school was officially back in session. We'd spent most of our Sunday gathering our things together and brushing over subjects to refresh our memory.

“Can you believe how fast the summer flew by?” Sarah huffed as she stared up at the ceiling.

“It feels like just yesterday I was in LA with Kadie and Jebrone.” I mumbled, tucking my hands behind my head as my eyes traced the intricate design of the Victorian crown molding.

“Hell” Henry grumbled as he sat up. “It feels like just yesterday we were going to London.”

“Oh, London” Sarah sighed as she shook her head and sat up, joining Henry.

“When are we going to meet this mystery man of yours?” I held out for as long as I could, but then decided to sit up with Sarah and Henry.

They both exchanged a quick look and a slight smile appeared on her face. “I don't know. Soon, maybe.”

“Oh, shut up Sarah!” Henry pushed Sarah causing her to topple to her side. “He's been texting her constantly about wanting to come see her. He's mad and she's a tease” Henry laughed and rolled his eyes.

“Henry!” Sarah slapped his arm and he retaliated by pushing her again, lightly this time. “I don't want him to come.” She shook her head.

“Why not?” I asked. “I thought you liked him?”

“I do, that's the problem.” She leaned her back against the couch that was behind her.

“Such a queen” Henry said while giving Sarah a look of disapproval. “You like the bloke, he likes you, I don't see where the problem lies.”

“It's just” She held her head for a second before she looked back up at me. “No offense Lynn-”

I cut Sarah off and quickly spoke, “Well that certainly means I'm going to find it offensive, but go ahead.”

“No offense, but I see everything you've been through and I don't want that to happen to me. I just want the good parts.”

I laughed to myself. I would've found it offensive if I didn't know Sarah, but since I did, I knew she was coming from a good place.

“I didn't know what I wanted. Sometimes you have to go through the bad to know what the good is.” I shrugged my shoulders. “But, if you already know what the bad is, then avoid it.”

“But, if you've been through the bad, and know what the bad is, then why aren't you avoiding it?” Sarah asked, leaning forward towards me. I looked at her confused. “What I mean is, if Jonah makes you happy, shouldn't you be making him happy? Shouldn't both people in a relationship be happy?”

“I don't know what you're talking about. I make Jonah happy.” I brought my knees in towards my chest and wrapped my arms around them.

“Well” Henry mumbled. “He didn't seem to happy the other night at dinner.”

I sat quietly and tried to remember what had happened that night.

It was a Thursday night and Jebrone, Henry, Sarah, Kadie, Adam, Jonah, and I had went out to dinner. I had to drag Jonah to come out. He was tired from constantly working late in preparation of his new show. He seemed to be enjoying his time, but was still a little off. There was a few times through out the night he'd leaned into my ear and whispered for us to leave. But, I kept insisting that he enjoy his time. That was probably what Henry had been referencing.

“He was just grouchy because he wanted to go home to sleep.” I shook my head.

“Maybe I read into it a little bit more since I was the only single, unoccupied, one at dinner, but it seemed like he was a little upset you weren't listening to him.” Sarah said. “Didn't you hesitate when he invited you back to his mum's place?”

“I mean, I haven't given him a response.” I sat quietly while I mentally put the puzzle pieces together that Sarah was subtly leaving behind for me. I quietly whispered to myself as the picture started coming together. “He listens to me without hesitation, but I don't do the same for him.”

Henry's eyes glanced between the two of us. “Damn, Sar, you're pretty good at this.”

“You are pretty good at this.” I furrowed my brows “How did I not realize this before?”

A wicked smile grew on Sarah's face, as if she knew she was great at relationship advice and only played dumb on purpose.

Waking up on Monday morning seemed a lot more painful than usual.

There were a few new faces. Maybe they weren't new, maybe I was just now noticing them even though I'd seen them constantly the year before, but refused to pay attention. Regardless, they were new to me now.

Luckily Sarah, Henry, and I still had a break in between classes. Enough time for us to go across the street to our favorite French bakery for brunch.

After what seemed like a never ending day was over I headed to Jonah's office. I slept on Sarah's advice and knew she was on to something. Although Jonah hadn't said anything, I wanted to nip it in the bud before it had a chance to grow into anything else.

I walked into the building and Kenny, the security guard, had recognized me by now. But, he still refused to let me onto the elevators until he'd gotten approval from the security at Jonah's studio. A muffled voice spoke through the walkie-talkie and Kenny smiled, stepping back, and pushing the elevator's button for me. “You have a good one Ms. Lee”

“It's Lynn” I spoke loudly as Kenny slowly disappeared behind the elevator doors.

The studio was a lot more crowded than usual. I figured the flow of people was heavier due to the air date of Jonah's show closely approaching. I shuffled my way through make-up artists, cameramen, and crew workers, until I was outside of Jonah's dressing room.

Just as I was about to knock the door opened. Out walked a camera crew followed by a gorgeous woman. She was in complete makeup and a tiny little dress, which she tugged at while she walked out of the room. Her skin was glowing with a tan and her hair in a short bob. She noticed me staring and smiled. “Hi!” She cheerfully roared as she quickly followed behind the camera crew in front of her.

Jonah walked out of the room. His hands mindlessly kept turning the cell phone he was holding. Both of our eyes were on the woman and her crew as they disappeared in the crowd.

“Um” I turned towards Jonah, who was already looking at me. “Was that Giuliana Ranic? The Giuliana Ranic from E! News??”

Jonah laughed at my reaction. “Yes, that was the Giuliana Ranic” He mocked my voice. “E! News wanted to do a piece on my new show, so she came by for an interview”

“Oh, my God!” I grabbed Jonah's face with both my hands. “You're famous!”

He took my hands from his face and intertwined our fingers. “So, am I finally gonna get some now that you know I'm famous, or what?”

I smirked as I walked into his dressing room. “Maybe.”

He shut the door behind us. “How was your first day? You must be exhausted.” He stood in front of the mirror, looking at himself, as he straightened the collar of his shirt.

“It was...busy. But, I came by to talk to you about something.” I stood behind Jonah, peering over his arm. We looked at each other through the mirror. “I wanted to tell you that I would love nothing more than to go with you to visit your mom.”

“Really?” His face lite up as he excitedly spoke. Jonah spun around to look at me face to face.“You aren't like...weirded out or anything?”

“Of course not” I furrowed my brows and shook my head. “I'm sorry I made it seem that way. That wasn't my intention at all. But, if it makes you happy, then it makes me happy.”

Jonah wrapped his arms around me and gave me a kiss.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Test Run

“Can we kill the lights. They're a little much, don't you think?”

Jonah stood shielding his eyes with papers he'd been holding in his hand. It was Wednesday afternoon and I decided to stop by Jonah's office to check out a tester for his new show. He stood in front of the camera, with his hair neatly made and in a dark navy suit.

The studio was different from the last time I saw it. Before, everything was under construction. But now it looked like a real TV studio. There was a huge auditorium seating area for the audience, a nice big platform to the right where the house band was set up, and Jonah's desk with a matching chair and couch for the guests on the left. In between the two were curtains where Jonah would come out from and perform his monologue.

“Jon, don't forget to hit your marker. Let's do another run through from the top!” Mike, the producer for the show, shouted from the shadows of the room. There was a private seating area for the big-wigs of the show just behind the camera. They had tiny screens displaying multiple shots attached to a podium in front of them.

Jonah walked back behind the curtain. The band began playing while Bobby, the announcer (and Jonah's side kick on the show), stretched out his words as he shouted, “Here's Jonah Cohen!”

Jonah walked out, nodding his head to the empty audience seats, and pretended to swing an imaginary golf club.

Mike jumped up from his chair and looked over the podium. “Jonah, you can't do the golf swing, that was Carson's move. Legal is gonna fucking obliterate us if they see that.”

Jonah laughed, knowing what he'd done was going to get him in trouble. “Relax Mike, it was just a joke.”

Mike shook his head as he took his glasses off. “You're gonna have me killed before this even starts. Everyone take five!”

People scattered across the room. Jonah came into the audience and sat next to me. “So what did you think?”

“You did great!”

“Really, you think so?” He seemed unsure of himself.

“Of course!” I smiled and leaned over to give him a kiss.

“Hey” Jonah's tone suddenly became serious. “I've been meaning to ask you this, and I know it's way too soon, but I was thinking of going home next weekend. Just for a couple of days. I wanted to see if you'd like to come with me. You can finally meet my mom.”

I'd known Jonah long enough to not feel weird about meeting his mom, but at the same time it did feel weird. We were taking things slow, so it didn't make sense. I hesitated to respond and Jonah caught the hint.

“I mean” He quickly back tracked. “You don't have to come. I just thought you might be free, but it's cool if you don't.”

I tried to say something, but smiled instead. Mike shouted for everyone to come back to the main stage. Jonah stared at me confused for a second before smiling back. He gave me a quick kiss and stood up. “I'll see you later tonight?”

“Sure” I nodded my head and picked up my purse. I quickly slide out through the back exit doors while the crew assembled for a meeting.

Kadie invited Sarah, Henry, Jebrone, and I over that afternoon for a swim at her apartment's pool. As soon as I left Jonah's office I headed straight to her place. Everyone was already comfortable on a pool chair with a drink in hand.

I grabbed a cold soda and joined them. They were having a conversation about Kadie's engagement party before I had arrived. It was cut short when they asked me about the Kylie situation. I explained everything to them when Henry cut me off. “How are things with you and Jonah?”

“Funny you should ask.” I rolled my eyes. “He invited me to meet his mom next weekend. Which is fine, but awkward at the same time since we've only gotten back together, like what? 4 day ago?”

Jebrone and Henry both scrunched their faces. “Ohh, too soon.”

“No way!” Sarah wagged her finger at them. “That is not too soon! She's known the guy for a year. They were together before” She turned towards me, “And didn't you mention that he's already met your parents?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “That was by surprise....literally.”

Kadie laughed at the memory. “I have to agree with Sarah. What did you end up telling him?”

“Nothing” I popped the soda can open and took a sip. Everyone quietly stared at me.

“What do you mean, 'nothing'?” Jebrone asked. He straightened his posture as he spoke.

“I mean, he asked and I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything. I just smiled.”

“You're kidding!” Sarah covered her mouth.

“What's the big deal?” I shook my head, trying to understand.

“Lynn” Kadie held out her hand to block the sun rays from her eyes. “Regardless of the situation, you never tell a man you don't want to meet his mother. Especially one that raised him after his father died.”

I furrowed my brows and sat up straight to rebuttal, “I didn't say no!”

Jebrone held up his hand, as if to stop me, “ You might as well have.”

“Did he say anything when you didn't respond?” Henry asked.

“He just said it's okay if I don't come. That he was just asking.”

“You're kidding.” Sarah shook her head as she lifted the sunglasses off her face to look at me. She picked up her drink and held it up. “Best of luck to you, mate. Things are about to get real.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sky Full of Stars

“Any idea if Kylie's coming today?”

I was caught off guard when Jeff asked of her whereabouts. It was Monday morning and there was no sign of Kylie at group. I froze for a second not knowing how to respond. Usually if she was working an overnight shift or was called in early to work she would text me to let me know she wouldn't be coming, but with everything going on I knew that wouldn't be the case today.

“Not sure” I shrugged. “Maybe she's working.”

“You haven't heard anything?” He asked, confused.

“Nope” I shook my head.

“Hmm” he mumbled. “I guess we can assume she isn't coming.” He turned around to face everyone “Alright, grab a mat and meet me by the pond!”

There was only four of us today. It seemed like everyone had the same idea to skip group, including Jonah. He was starting test runs for his show and wasn't going to make it. I was just thankful today was yoga day. I don't think my thighs could have handled anymore lunges up and down the hills of the park.

As much as I tried to take deep breathes and focus on my center, I couldn't stop thinking about Kylie. Her face when she'd seen Jonah and I together, the way she stormed out, and how she might have felt afterward. So, once we were finished with out hour long session, I grabbed a flowy top out of my bag and threw it on over my workout tank and yoga pants and headed over to the hospital to see Kylie.

I walked into the lobby and examined the directory. I was completely lost as to where to go. I should have thought out this plan a little better.

I saw a girl, in my peripheral, exit the elevators and walk past me. She stopped and stared for a second before she responded, “Lynn?”

It was Kylie. She looked like she was just getting off from her shift by the darkness under her eyes. “Kylie” I smiled. “I didn't hear from you this morning, so I got worried.” It was one of those moments when you don't realize what you're saying until after you've said it.

She laughed briefly. “Wait, you were worried about me because I didn't text you to let you know I wasn't coming to group this morning? You've got to be shitting me, right? That's the only thing you're worried about?” she tilted her head to the side and crossed her arms over her chest.

“That wasn't what I meant. Look, can we just sit down and talk for a minute, please?” I spoke in a low whisper as a group of workers entered the hospital through the rotating doors.

She rolled her eyes and sighed before responding. “Fine. There's a cafe in the main building.”

I followed Kylie's lead. It was a short walk through a long hallway before we got there. We sat down at a table for two in the corner of the cafe.

“Jonah told me everything.” She said as her eyes examined a small menu card.


She cut me off before I could even say anything. “Why didn't you tell me? I told you I was into him, if you still had feelings for him you should have said something.”

“I didn't think I did.” I quickly responded. “Or at least I did a great job at convincing myself I didn't have feelings for him. And I didn't tell you because if something did continue between you two I didn't want things to get awkward with us. ”

“That worked out pretty well didn't it?” Her eyes looked up from the menu card.

“Look, I'm not going to apologize for the history behind Jonah and I, but I do want to apologize for how everything happened. Things shouldn't have gone as far as they did at the party. We got too carried away and didn't realize who we were hurting along the way. I'm sorry.”

Kylie sighed heavily and sat back in her chair, slouching over. “I guess I can't be mad at you.” she mumbled. “I probably would've done the same thing.” She took a sugar packet out of it's holder and began fiddling with it. “Jonah and I'd been hanging out a lot the last couple of weeks. I feel so stupid I didn't catch on to all the hints. He'd talk about you all the time. It was like something was always reminding him of you. When we were together nothing would ever go far enough between us. I should have put two and two together. But instead I was mesmerized by his lifestyle. The fact that someone like him was into someone as normal as me.”

“Kylie” I said firm enough to get her attention. “You're obviously smart” I pointed to her scrubs. “And beautiful. You'll find the right guy eventually. I promise.”

The corners of her mouth twitched into a slight smile. “Who ever he is, I hope he loves me as much as Jonah loves you.”

I was glad we were able to sit down and talk everything through. It gave us a chance to understand each other better, which made it easier for Kylie to move on. We chatted for a bit longer before I headed back home.

That night I had asked Jonah to come over. We both knew we wanted to be with each other, but with everything that went on with Jonah moving, things between Connor, and now Kylie, we decided that if we were going to be back together, we wanted to “start fresh”.

It was close to 8 when Jonah knocked on my door. I opened it to find him standing with a bouquet of peonies. “These are still your favorite, right?” He asked as he hesitated to give them to me.

“You remembered!” I smiled as I took the flowers from him. I gave him a hug and kissed him on the cheek.

“How could I forget” he smiled back. “So what's the plans for tonight. Are you going to tell me already?”

“Why are you so nervous?” I laughed at the lack of reaction from Jonah.

“It's my second chance at a first date with a girl who's been playing hard to get” His hands softly brushed my cheek and then gently wrapped around my neck. “What's there not to be nervous about?” I grabbed his hand and intertwined our fingers. “Plus, it feels weird to not be in control.”

Jonah and I went to downtown for dinner. Afterward we took a cab to Brooklyn. The driver gave us a strange look when I had given him an address for a run down neighborhood. There weren't any street lights in the area. It looked like the apocalypse had came early. Everything was shattered and left abandoned.

“You're not going to kill me are you?” Jonah asked as our cab drove away.

I laughed. “On our first date, you took me to that amusement park, the one you worked at during the summer when you were a kid. You went there occasionally when you needed to escape from everything. A place that reminded you of your childhood. The simpler times...”

“Yeah...” Jonah stretched out his words confused by where I was getting. He followed me as I walked to an empty apartment complex. There were walk up stairs. I pulled down the ladder and began climbing.

“Well, this is that place for me.” I looked down to see Jonah still standing on the ground.

“So you're telling me you were a gangster once a upon a time ago?” He joked.

I gestured for Jonah to start climbing up after me. “I met Jebrone the first couple of weeks of moving to New York. He told me how his dad would buy out certain properties and reconstruct them before selling them back for a fortune. Anyway, so this was one of his properties. Unfortunately with the economy dropping he had to let this ship sink. So, Jebrone being the savvy person he is didn't want this place to go to waste. He would have parties here from time to time since it's an empty lot and you can pretty much play music as loud as you want to.”

Jonah grunted as he lifted himself over the ledge and onto the rooftop.

“Every time we came to a party here people would stand against the ledge and admire the view of Manhattan.”

“She's a charming little slut, isn't she?” Jonah smiled while he took in the sight as the city glowed in all it's glory. He turned to me, “So, this is your happy place then?”

“Not quiet” I smiled and shook my head. I pulled Jonah's arm and led him to the center of the rooftop, away from the distracting skyline. “Everyone thought they had the best view, but they didn't. I did.” I pointed at the sky. Jonah looked up amazed. There were thousands of stars twinkling above our heads. Stars that would have never been visible from the flashy street signs in the city.

“That's unbelievable.” Jonah whispered as he continued to gaze at the sky.

“It's far enough from the lights in the city where you can actually see the stars. It reminds me of when I was a little girl. After a long day of running around and playing with the neighborhood kids, we'd just crash and lay out in the backyard staring up at the sky. We were kids, but what little worries we did have would be wiped away when we were looking up at the sky and counting the stars. I mean it doesn't compare to Texas, but...”

Jonah looked down, offering me his hand. “Dance with me.”

I laughed thinking he was joking.

“You've never danced under the stars?” He asked.

“No, have you?”

“No, but this seems like the perfect opportunity.” He stood waiting for me to grab his hand.

I walked towards him and wrapped my arms around his shoulder. His hands rested on the small of my back. Our bodies were close enough to feel each others heartbeat. We swayed slowly back and forth. We danced in silence while we stared into each others eyes. Jonah leaned his head down and I kissed him. 

We kissed slow at first and gradually built up to the pace of a couple who'd just seen each other for the first time in forever.

Every second that passed intensified our passion. Our grip grew tighter as if we were refusing to let the other go.

"I've never seen anything so beautiful."