Thursday, October 30, 2014

Word Vomit

“Is that why you've been so upset?”

Jonah held onto my arm as we stood behind the curtains, seconds away from his premier.

I just dropped the, “my ex-boyfriend, the guy who gave you a bloody nose, is now my mentor” bomb on him. Without a second thought I immediately threw my hands over my mouth. I felt like such an idiot. It was like word vomit. I was sick from holding it in, waiting for the right moment, that I just burst with the truth the minute he asked.

Why? I kept repeating in my head Why did you have to ruin the biggest moment of Jonah's life?

“7...6...” The stage manager continued to slowly count down.

I nodded my head as I, ironically, could no longer speak. Jonah laughed under his breath and let go of my arm.

I felt my body cringing from the inside. What had I done?

Because of me his show was going to be ruined. I saw it flash before my eyes: He would miss his entrance because he's so angry. His monologue wouldn't get any laughs because he wasn't delivering them in his normal charming way. The audience would hate him and his producer would be livid. He would get fired after the first day, and...and it would be all my fault! He would hate me forever!

“Oh my God, Lynn, are you okay?” Jonah whispered as he looked at my worried face.

I snapped back to reality, shaking off the horrible vision I just had. “Am I okay? Are YOU okay? You aren't upset are you?”

“5....4...” The stage manager shouted over us.

“Why would I be upset?” Jonah looked at me with a confused smile. “Unless he hurt you...then I would be upset.” His smile vanished as he spoke seriously.

“No, he didn-” Before I could finish a crew member yanked Jonah away.

“Seriously Jonah, take your mark! We're on in 3...2...” The dark shadowy backstage filled with a burst of light as the curtains were lifted. Jonah winked at me before he walked out. The curtains fell back down and the room once again filled with darkness.

I continued to stand where Jonah had left me. “What just happened?” I whispered to myself.

“You can go through those double doors and out the back hallway. It'll lead you to the side of the stage. Do not open the main doors to the studio until the recording light flashes off. You can watch through the window until then. Once you're in, Jonah's mom and sisters are sitting behind the camera men.” The crew member who pulled Jonah on stage directed me. I nodded my head and went on my way.

I watched Jonah's monologue from behind the closed doors. He spoke vividly, like he was catching up with an old friend after years of being separated. He engaged with his on screen “side-kick” and the house band. The audience seemed to be enjoying it. He was completely natural, like nothing was bothering him.

The red recording light turned off as the show strolled into commercials. A crowd of workers quickly surrounded Jonah. His hairstylist fixed his hair, a couple of makeup artists dabbed on more powder, while someone else fixed his tie.

I shuffled through the production crowd and sat in the private seating area with Jonah's family.

“Lynn, dear, how are you?” Jonah's mom stood up to give me a hug. “Where were you? You missed his monologue!”

“I'm fine. I was backstage with Jon.” I said as I leaned in to hug Casey then Mandy.

There was a cheer in the audience when I turned around to see Jonah walking towards us. He came straight over to his mom, “How was it?”

“It was so good!' She proclaimed. “Amazing! You did so well, Honey!” She started choking up the more she spoke. “I can't believe my baby's growing up so fast! Your dreams are coming true Joni!”

“Mom” Jonah laughed embarrassingly as he tried to quiet her down.

“Jonah, we need you at your desk. We'll be filming in 15 seconds...15 seconds...” A woman with a clipboard and headset shouted from the stage. Jonah ran back and got into place.

He was whisked away once again. We continued to watch the remainder of his show. There were a couple of funny bits proceeded by the interviews with his guests.

After the show was over the five of us headed downtown for dinner. There were a few interruptions along the way as people had slowly started to realize that the face plastered all over town was Jonah.

We ate and drank wine and chatted for a couple of hours. Most of the conversation revolved around Jonah and how proud we were of him. There was a moment of sadness when his mom brought up Jonah's dad. It was evident that each one of the kids was upset their father wasn't there to share this occasion with them.

After dinner Jonah's mom and Casey headed back to Long Island and Mandy back to Dartmouth. Jonah insisted that I stay the night at his place.

He sighed a huge sigh of relief as soon as we'd gotten inside. Within seconds Jonah had taken off his suit jacket and untucked his shirt. His body relaxed as he spread his legs across the couch.

“So, tell me again how this whole mentorship came about.” He asked as I handed him a bottle of water.

I told him the whole story from beginning to end. “Jonah, I'm sorry.” I dropped my head in shame. “I'm so sorry that I didn't tell you earlier. I didn't mean to freak you out, but when you asked, I just kinda froze and didn't know how much to say.” I shrugged.

“I don't want you feel like you can't tell me things Lynn. Especially things like this.” Jonah leaned off the couch to emphasis this tone. “I know you're used to him always getting angry with you, but I'm not like that Lynn. I'm not going to scold you for being human.”

“You're not mad that we're working together?” I peeked at him from the corner of my eyes.

“I'm upset that you're put in this position when I know you don't want to be. I'm not mad that it's him you're working with. I know you love me...through everything.” Jonah smiled.

“Through everything.” I repeated.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Show Time!

“She's gonna be here any minute! Did you call your sources?”

Kadie stood looking out of her office window down at the street below. Jebrone was pacing back and forth as he scrolled through his phone.

It was Friday morning and Kadie and Jebrone decided to put their plan into action. They were hoping to publicize Kadie's firm by having the paparazzi catch Poppy coming and leaving her office. It would benefit Jebrone as well since her firm represents a few of his clients, gaining them exposure as well.

“I think this is quiet possibly the dumbest thing you two have ever done.” I folded my arms and leaned back on the couch in Kadie's waiting room. “This is expected from Kadie, but not you Jebrone.”

Kadie snapped her head back from the window and gave me a stern look before shrugging in agreement.

“Lynn, this is how the business works. Everyone uses each other until they get what they want.” He looked up from his phone and out the window. “They're here. See, those cars over there? That's them.”

“Good, good, good, good, good!” Kadie rubbed her hands together and looked out the window the same way a lioness would look at it's prey.

“Jebrone, on a scale of 1 to 10 how hurt to do you think Adam would be when he sees the paparazzi pictures?” I swung my feet off the couch and sat upright.

Jebrone turned to Kadie. “You haven't told him yet?”

Kadie sighed, annoyed. “No, I'm planning on telling him as soon as Poppy leaves.”

“He's going to be so upset you didn't tell him and went behind his back.” I picked up my crossbody and slung it across my shoulder. “Well, I have to go and pick up my boyfriend from the airport.”

“Yeah, let's see how long it takes you to tell him about Connor!” Kadie shouted as I went into the elevator.

Jonah was finally done with his press tour and just one last weekend away from premiering his new show. From our last conversation on the phone I could tell it was starting to weigh heavy on him. His nerves were finally kicking it.

It wasn't until late that afternoon when he finally arrived.

“Heyyy Sunshine!” Jonah picked me up off my feet and embraced me into a hug.

“I bet you're happy to finally see a decent looking girl.”

“Oh” Jonah furrowed his brows. “Of course I am. The girls in LA are hideous!” The corner of his mouth curved up as he was trying to avoid smiling.

I laughed and pushed his shoulder. “Good answer!”

We took a cab back to Jonah's apartment. He was in the middle of a move before his trip to LA, so there were boxes all over the place.

Jonah threw his bags down and fell onto the couch.

“I bet you're starving. Let me make you something” I opened his fridge to see nothing but stacks of chocolate boxes, and bottles of wine given to Jonah as gifts. “Delivery it is then!”

“Sorry babe, I haven't had time to get any groceries. ” He peeked his head over the couch to look at me. “Besides a New Yorker like me going a week without pizza is a crime.”

I smiled and grabbed my phone. “Joe's?” I asked already knowing the answer.

“Joe's” He confirmed.

I sat beneath Jonah's legs as he sprawled himself across the couch. He told me all about his trip. How he got to meet the late night talk show hosts based in LA, and how the network had thrown a party in his honor where a bunch of celebrities had came that he'd never met before.

“It was so surreal.” He spoke animatedly “I mean, I've met some of these people from when I was a writer on the show. But to actually have them come to a party celebrating me, and know who I am? I still can't wrap my head around it.” He held onto his forehead.

The entire time Jonah was talking all I could think about was when I'd tell him about Connor. I wanted to tell him soon, partially to stick it to Kadie, but I couldn't find an appropriate moment.

“What's wrong?” Jonah asked. He could tell by the expression on my face that something was going on. I shook my head.

Just then there was a knock at the door. I lifted up Jonah's legs and wiggled out to get it.

We ate dinner, and like an old couple, lounged around eating boxed chocolates and drinking wine. Jonah came and sat next to me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. “I missed you.” He leaned in to give me a quick kiss.

“I missed you too.” I smiled back. He leaned in again and this time kissed me longer. He grabbed the wine glass from my hands and set both of our glasses on the coffee table.

I was so lost in the moment I'd completely forgotten about the sexy lingerie I bought earlier that day until Jonah was trying to take my shirt off.

“Wait!” I tugged my shirt back on.

“What?” He leaned up on his elbows wondering what he did wrong. “Is everything okay?”

“Everything's fine.” I jumped off the sofa, grabbed my purse, and rushed into Jonah's room. “Just give me a minute. I'll be right back!”

He laid back down with his hands behind his head. “Okay”

I locked the door behind me and took the lingerie out of my purse. It was a silky nude color with cuts of black lace. It was definitely the sexiest thing I owned. I pulled at the tags and readjusted the strap before I put them on.

I didn't want to just spring it on him, so I practiced a few modeled poses in the mirror before I finally unlocked the door.

I stood with my back arching against the door frame. My head was tilted back and I was slightly looking up. A few seconds had passed without a word from Jonah. I did my most model-esque walk over to him. “What do you think?” Still nothing. I looked down at him and he was fast asleep. I sighed dropping my posture into a slump.

I grabbed a throw blanket off the couch and tucked him in. I went back to Jonah's room and changed out of my ridiculous get-up.

Jonah spent almost the entire weekend at his office. There were so many last minute preparations and changes going on that we'd barely gotten a chance to see each other. I stopped by a couple of times wanting to let him know about Connor, but the right moment never presented itself.

Finally it was Monday morning. The day I'd been dreading. I walked into Connor's office and his receptionist immediately recognized me. A streak of fear struck her face as she debated on whether to stand up or not. As if I were going to barge into the back office without her approval.

“I'll let Dr. Cassidy know you're here.” She spoke quietly.

“Thanks.” I nodded my head and took a seat in the waiting room.

A few minutes had passed when Connor finally walked in. He leaned against the door, propping it open, for me to walk through. “Starting next week come straight to my office in the back. Make sure you have your notes ready and be prompt. I start seeing patients precisely at 9am.”

“Good morning to you too.” I mumbled as I walked past him. He ignored me.

“I have a patient in room 3, he's a 54 year old Hispanic male presented with an irregular mole with the probability of it being melanoma.”

“How do you know?”

“Years of experience.” He grabbed a chart sitting outside of the exam room and quickly skimmed through it. “And we're doing a biopsy to confirm it.”

I scribbled down as much as my tiny little hands could handle.

We spent a good portion of the afternoon going from exam room to exam room. I never realized how many patients came to see Connor. My feet were exhausted from running around.

“Alright Ms. Barnes, you're done for the day.” Connor's eyes were glued on the papers he held in his hands.

“That's it?” I asked, surprised at how smoothly the day had gone.

“That's it.” He spoke without looking up.

I grabbed my things and quickly headed to Jonah's office. It was the big day. The premier of his show. The studio was scheduled to start recording at 5pm, so I shuffled my way through the streets to get there in time.

I rushed inside, or at least I tried to before security stopped me. I swear you'd think they'd know me by now. Once I was finally in the clear they allowed me to go up the elevators to Jonah's studio. I walked into his dressing room where a storm of people surrounded him.

Priyal stood off to the side, clip board under one arm while she clicked away on her phone. There were two different makeup artists touching up Jonah while a hairstylist made his hair. Three of Jonah's writes sat in the room on the couch throwing information at him. The producer of the show stood in the middle of the room yacking away on his phone.

“You made it!” Jonah tried looking over, but the hairstylist kept turning his face back to look at her.

“Of course, I couldn't miss it for the world” I smiled.

Jonah pushed the makeup artists and hairstylist away as he stood up. “Everyone, can I please get a minute?”

The room grew silent as everyone stopped whatever they were doing and looked at us. One by one they began to leave until it was just us two.

“Jonah, I just want to say there's no one who deserves this more than you. You're the kindest, sweetest, and funniest guy I know. I'm so proud of you.” We hugged for a long time in silence. I knew it was Jonah's way of calming himself down.

Priyal knocked at the door. “Jonah, we're on the 5 minute mark!”

We rushed out of the room as we headed for the curtains. Jonah had a death grip on my hand. He looked over at me once he was on his mark. “I love you”

“I love you, too.”

“Okay, keep talking, it'll calm me down.” He shook his head and rolled his shoulders. “Tell me what you did today.”

I froze. I realized that I still hadn't told Jonah about Connor. Things had been so busy the last couple of days I never got a chance to. I couldn't tell him now. Not when he was about to start his very first show. But, I couldn't lie either, that would be even worse.

Jonah caught my drift. He took a couple steps towards me. “What's wrong? You've been making that worried face all weekend. Is everything okay?”

“I...” I paused trying to stall. “I didn't have a chance to tell you before, and I don't think right now's a good time either.”

Those were definitely the wrong words to say. It only made Jonah grow more anxious. “Lynn, what's going on? Tell me right now...”

“Connor” I blurted. “I was assigned Connor as my mentor and I spent the day shadowing him at his office today.” By the expression on Jonah's face I could tell what I said hadn't made much sense to him.

“What?” He asked confused. “You were with Connor?”

Before I could respond a man dressed in all black with huge headphones pulled Jonah aside. “Take your make. We're filming in 10...9...8...”

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Closet Confessionals

It was Thursday night when I finally decided to go over to Kadie's place. Just earlier this week I witnessed Poppy and Jebrone walking out of her office building. They were smiling, laughing, and talking like Jebrone and Kadie were the best of friends with Poppy. I was in complete shock. Kadie was always the type of person who did what she needed to do to get ahead, a true hustler. But, with Adam in the picture now I couldn't believe she'd went behind his back to meet with her.

I was watching from a distance when Priyal, Jonah's assistant, had given me a call. I was so distracted that I hadn't seen Kadie catch a cab and drive away. I'd only realized it when I went up to her office and saw that it was locked.

I could have called her to figure out what was going on, but this was one of those conversations that needed to happen in person. You know, so you can catch the person in question making their “lying” face.

“Lynn!” Kadie squealed as she opened her front door. She had two glass tumblers in her hand and passed me one. “You came just in time! Adam's making his special drinks.”

I grabbed the tumbler from her hand, “What's so special about it?” I asked him as I walked into their apartment.

“I don't know, we're trying to figure that out.” He said as he looked at a bottle of vodka, shrugged his shoulders, and poured it into a mixer.

“Hey, so, Kadie...” I tried to get her attention as I shimmied out of my jacket. I threw it over the couch handle and walked back to the kitchen.

Kadie turned around and looked at me. “What's up?”

Adam was distracted by the concoction he was making. “What ever happened with the Poppy thing? Did you decide to go through with it?” Adam furrowed his brows and looked over at me.

Kadie leaned off her elbows nervously and pretended she was checking on dinner.

“Of course we didn't go through with it.” Adam huffed. He put down the bottle and glass in his hand. “You were there when it happened...”

“You're right!” I faked a smile and looked at him. He shook his head and went back to doing whatever he was doing. “I've been so busy lately, you know, with school and everything. I was actually coming by your office Monday night to see you.”

“Why didn't you stop by?” Kadie spoke with her back turned to me. I saw her elbow moving around as she stirred a pot of soup.

“I did” I pulled out a bar stool and sat down. “I missed you by a few seconds. You were leaving the building with Jebrone and...” I lingered on my words. I wasn't going to out Kadie in front of Adam, but I needed to scare her enough to know that I knew.

“Oh!” She shouted to cut me off before I could say anymore. “Yeah, Jebrone stopped by to talk business.”

“You didn't tell me Jebrone came by” Adam looked up again. He confidently took a sip of the drink he'd been making and cringed. He grew tired of trying and decided to put the bottles of alcohol away. “You should have called me, I would have came over to talk.”

“It's okay, babe. We were just reviewing numbers and making sure things were running smoothly.”

Adam looked back down for a second. Kadie's eyes quickly shot towards me. She gave me a look while curling in her lips threateningly. I widened my eyes and looked back at her as if to pressure a response.

“Hey Lynn, I have this dress in my closet and I can't, for the life of me, figure out where I got it from. I think it might be one I stole from you a while ago. You want to check?”


“Come one” She gestured as she walked away. “Be right back, honey.”

I followed Kadie as we walked through her bathroom and into her walk-in closet. She peeked around the corner before she slightly shut the door.

“What did you see?” She whispered aggressively.

“Why the hell are you and Jebrone hanging out with Poppy Leroux? Haven't you learned anything?” I whispered back. “Don't you understand that you're literally making a deal with the devil? It isn't worth it! And what about Adam, he's going to be devastated when he finds out.”

“Which is why you're not going to say anything” She stared at me before she continued. “I'm not signing Poppy to the firm. Jebrone and I are trying to make a united front. We're making Poppy believe that we're cutting her a “secret” deal as a way for her to come in and out of our office. Every time she does Jebrone is going to call the paparazzi so they can wait for her outside my office. Boom. Instant exposure.”

I shook my head disagreeing with her idea.

“Look, I'm going to tell Adam soon. Stop making me feel bad.”

“Why would I make you feel bad about going behind your boyfriend's back to work with his psychotic stalker when he asked you specifically not to?”

We both turned our heads to the door when we heard Adam's voice.

Kadie swung the door open and we walked back out to the living room. “If it's not your dress, I don't know whose it could be?”

Adam pulled out some plates and set them on the table. “How's school been going, Lynn?”

“It's a little rough this year. Not to mention Connor's my new mentor” I let out a heavy, aggravated sigh.

“What?” Both Adam and Kadie stopped what they were doing.


“Well, apparently the mentor my group was suppose to have dropped out last minute and Connor just happened to be his replacement.”

Adam and Kadie stood still as I continued setting the table.

“You can't possibly be okay with this?” Adam asked.

“I'm not.” I shrugged my shoulder. “But, I tried talking to the professor. There isn't much he can do. Every mentor can only have 5 students and right now every one of them is at full capacity. I can't even dropped out of the assignment because it's a major grade.”

“So, that's it? That douche lord is going to determine your fate?” Kadie angrily asked.

“He can't fail me. My professor said if there's any questionable judgments or grades on Connor's behalf, that he'd have a talk with him. Besides, as career minded as Connor is, I don't think he would jeopardize his professional relationship with another physician just to get back at me...right?” I asked reassuringly as I looked around hoping they'd agree with me.

“You're awfully calm about this.” Adam and Kadie continued to stare at me in disbelief as we sat down to eat.

“I've had the last three days of throwing a constant fit in my head. But, I've realized that maybe working with him will give us the closure we need.”

“How does Jonah feel about the whole situation?” Adam asked.

“Well, that's the thing” I curled my lips in from fear. “He doesn't know yet...”

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Twisted Roots

“This, er, arrangement, isn't going to work.”

I stood in my professor's office that afternoon begging and pleading for him to switch my mentor. To my surprise, and my luck quiet frankly, the mentor my group was originally assigned had dropped out of the program and, well, Connor was his replacement.

It took me, Sarah, and Henry a good five minutes of us staring at one another, with our jaws dropped open, before any of us could say a word. From that point it was another five minutes of continuously repeating, “Oh my God” in a range of emotions.

“Ms. Barnes” My professor took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. As if I were the one giving him a hard time. He was the one failing me on purpose. Okay, he wasn't actually doing it on purpose, but he may as well have been. There was no way I was going to make it past this semester with Connor as my mentor. “I understand that there is...something...going on between you two...”

“Uh, yeah there is. We use to..” Before I could finish he held up his hand to stop me.

“I don't want to know.” He straightened his slouched posture. His left elbow rested on his desk as his fingers were now intertwined. He went on after letting out a heavy sigh, “I understand that there is something going on between you two, but that is the purpose of this assignment.”

I furrowed my brows and looked away for a brief second to emphasize just how lost I was. “I'm sorry, I'm not seeing what the purpose is...”

“The medical field crosses lines. Unless a patient is a direct relative, there is no conflict of interest in our industry, Lynn. We come together, for the care of our patients, no matter how much we may not get along. Regardless if it's a nurse, a physician assistant, or another doctor, we set our differences aside for the matter at hand.” He let go of his hand and placed his fingers on the desk, strumming them lightly. “Let's say a trauma patient comes into the ER, it's down to the wire, you have a mere matter of minutes to quickly decide what to do. You realize you need a second opinion STAT, but the only other doctor available is one you're no longer on good terms with. Are you going to let your patient suffer because you weren't able to set your differences aside?”

I looked down, disappointed. “No...”

“There's my answer to your question.” He stood up from his chair and grabbed some papers before stuffing them into a messenger bag.

I stood up and followed him out of his office. “But, what about my grade?”

He was walking fast, about two paces in front of me. “I wouldn't have Dr. Cassidy on my mentorship roster if I didn't think he was fair and professional. But, if for any reason the grade is questionable I will have a talk with him.” He turned around while he continued to walk. “I know you're a great student and I know what grade you deserve. Just try to learn from this experience, Ms. Barnes!” He held up his hand waving goodbye.

I stopped walking and continued to watch my professor leave the building through the glass doors. I dropped my head back and stared up at the ceiling while letting out a low grunting noise.

“So, you've heard.” I snapped my head back to find Connor standing in front of me.

“You knew and you didn't tell me? Why would you even agree to do a mentorship with the school your ex-girlfriend is attending?”

“First, I knew and I tried to tell you. You decided to make a scene and storm off. You haven't changed one bit have you? And two, why would I refuse a mentorship offered to me by one of the best physicians in the city just because my ex-girlfriend attends the same college?” His palms were facing up as he asked the question.

A group of researchers walked out of an office and passed right by us. I lowered my voice, but spoke sternly,“For this exact reason, Connor!” I smiled as a couple of them glanced over at us. “For all I know, you probably paid Dr. Ansari to drop out.”

He laughed “You think I wanted this?” His pointer finger motioned between the two of us. I nodded my head aggressively. “You want the truth? I didn't think I would see you past today. Which is why I had to convince myself to be professional with you for just one day.”

I covered my face with my hands and silently shouted. “Okay.” I inhaled a deep breath as I uncovered my face. “okay.” I tried to tell myself everything would be alright. “You aren't going any where, and apparently I'm not allowed to go any where either.”

“Let's just agree to keep this professional. No personal talk. Just do what you have to do to get your case studies done and I will grade them without judgment.”

“Fine” I rolled my eyes, not wanting to agree with him, but knowing he was right.

“Fine.” He repeated after me. “Be at my office Monday morning.”

We continued to stare at one another before we each walked away.

A storm of curse words were flying around in my head as I left school that day. I imagined myself kicking and screaming like a petulant five year old. Was this really happening?

Instead of grabbing a cab I decided to walk through Central Park to Kadie's office. It was quiet a distance, but God knows I needed the fresh air and time to think.

I knew I had to break it to Jonah somehow, but with him on his press tour, I decided waiting until he was back in the City would be best.

I rounded the corner out of Central Park and onto Central Park West.

I was just approaching Columbus Circle when I spotted a girl in a huge floppy hat and shades walking out of Kadie's office. I squinted my eyes, knowing I'd seen her before.

“Poppy?” I whispered to myself in disbelief.

It couldn't have been. There was no way, as much as Kadie wanted to conspire a plan to exploit her company, that she would actually work with Poppy without Adam's consent.

And then two seconds later I gasped louder than I should have when I'd found out Connor was my mentor. Jebrone and Kadie walked out just a few seconds behind Poppy. She was already stowed away in the back seat of her car. Jebrone waved her off as her car pulled away.

Jebrone and Kadie continued to talk for a few more minutes before he gave her a hug and walked away. Kadie twirled around and walked back into her office.

Jaime was right. Something was going on and I was going to get to the bottom of it.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Karma is A Bitch

“What are you doing here?”

It took me a few seconds to finally talk after staring at Connor like a complete idiot. He looked different. The “I look better without you” kind of different. I straightened my posture to mimic his physique.

“I saw you from across the hall. I thought I'd come over and let you know I was here. I don't want any awkward tension...”

I furrowed my brows and cocked my head. “Awkward tension? You should have thought about that before you hit Jonah!”

Henry and Sarah stood to the side of us. Both frozen, but only their eyes moving from person to person.

Connor laughed. “Oh come on, pretty boy couldn't take a hit? Like that little bitch ass didn't deserve it.”

Bitch ass?” I crossed my arms. I could see Henry's eyebrows climbing up his forehead as if to say 'oh no he didn't!' I took a moment to breathe, just calming myself enough to lower my volume, and spoke through my teeth. “That little bitch ass is my boyfriend and he's more of a man than you'll ever be. And the only pretty boy here is you. Despite how that sounds, it isn't a compliment. You don't care about anyone but yourself!”

A wave of shock struck Connor's face. “Oh, is that right?” He bent down to pick up the papers that dropped earlier and stood back up after collecting them. “I have to say I'm kind of surprised, but not really.” He leaned in a little closer to me and whispered, “He's a pussy, and yet you two make a great couple.”

I leaned away come Connor. I felt my shoulders tightening. I wanted to verbally rip Connor to shreds, but I couldn't. I was standing in the middle of the hospital lobby during the peak hours of a career fair. If I were to ever have a public meltdown this would be the worst possible place for it to occur. I could kiss my professional career good bye. Instead I stood biting my cheeks.

Connor continued to smile. He was getting some sick pleasure out of knowing how badly he was upsetting me. “So, anyway, like I was saying, I'm here because of...”

“Shut the hell up. No one cares why you're here.” Sarah held up her hand to his face. Henry snarled as he walked past Connor. Sarah grabbed my arm and pulled me along.

We went down the hall and around the corner. The coast was finally clear. I stopped walking and leaned my back against the wall trying to focus on bringing my heart rate down.

“What a knob” Henry muttered in disbelief.

Sarah rubbed my arm. “It's okay, Lynn”

“Thank you” I took one last deep breath. “I'm pretty sure I would have murdered him if you hadn't stepped in.”

“Hey” She slightly shook my shoulder until I looked at her. “Do you know how many times you've saved my ass? I owed you.” She smiled. “I'm just sorry I encouraged you to shag that prick.”

“Yeah” I rolled my eyes. “I'm sorry I encouraged myself too.”

“What's the deal with you two anyway?” Henry asked.

“Henry!” Sarah hushed him. “You can't just ask people why they hate each other.”

“No it's okay.” I pushed myself off the wall and continued walking to class. I hadn't told anyone, other than Kadie, what had really happened between Connor and I. Everyone assumed that we had a falling out and his absence during his trip to Asia was our breaking point. I was ashamed in myself for the final acts that took place in order to cause our break up, but things between us at that time were already rocky. The break up was bound to happen. “Connor told me he loved me, but as hard as I tried I just couldn't say it back.”

“Doesn't seem like reason enough to break things off. No two people start loving each other at the exact same moment.” Henry shrugged.

“Well, he didn't seem to get that memo. He started shutting me out and refusing to work on our relationship. As much as I was trying to surround myself around him I felt so alone. What more could I have done?” I looked at the two, both of them quietly walking along.

One of our professors turned the corner of the hallway directly in front of us. We smiled and nodded, acknowledging his presence as he walked past.

“So one night Jonah and I hung out. We talked for hours. I felt like for the first time someone was actually listening to me. And the way he looked at me. Like, I was actually there. Needless to say one thing led to the next. As upset as I was with the way Connor had been treating me, I knew that what I did was unacceptable. I had to tell him. So, I did, and that ended up with Jonah getting a bloody nose.”

“What a waste of a perfectly handsome man.” Henry sighed.

Sarah slapped the back of her hand across Henry's chest so hard he lunged forward in pain.

I couldn't get much done in class that day. My mind kept wandering about the many different responses I should have snapped at Connor instead of standing there quietly. I'd reenacted at least 40 different versions of how our conversation should have went down instead of the way it actually did.

It was late in the afternoon when we'd walked into our last class of the day. The room was split up into sections listed by alphabets.

“Please find the corresponding letter of your last name and sit in the section marked appropriately” The professor's assistant shouted as each group of students walked in.

Sarah, Henry, and I looked at one another confused. Breaking off into groups wasn't something that we'd ever had to do. It was weird and unfamiliar.

I went over to the table marked “A-C” and sat down while Sarah and Henry sat at the table next to me marked “D-F”.

The room was finally filled when our professor asked for everyone's attention.

“As you all know, there's only a few short months before we begin our rotations. I refuse to have incompetent students representing me in the hospital, so in preparation of clinicals we will be starting a new program in which you will be paired with a mentor that you'll meet with once a week in order to gather data to write a mock case study. You will be graded on your report, but most importantly the heavier weight of the grade will be determined by a report written by your mentor.”

There was a collective grumble that filled the room.

“A thru C, you will be with Dr. Sean Ansari.” The professor's assistant pulled him aside to whisper in his ear. After a brief couple of seconds he went back to announcing the name of the mentors. "I'm sorry, group A thru C it seems Dr. Ansari will be unable to participate. Let's see who's next on the list..." he looked down at the sheet of paper in his hands. “Ah! You will be mentored by Dr. Connor Cassidy."

My heart dropped and I audibly whispered my last words of defeat. “Oh, fuck me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

No Judgment Zone

***READERS: Thursday's post will be pushed back to Friday this week***

“No girlfriend stories!” I warned Jonah.

We stood at the end of the security line at the airport. Jonah was on his way to LA for one last week of interviews and promoting his new show before it premiered. We'd done a few trial interviews and every time he teasingly added in an embarrassing story about me.

“I can't make any promises!” He smiled as he leaned down to kiss me one last time.

“Jonah, we need to get going” Priyal, Jonah's assistant, called out to him from the line.

He picked up his carry on and went through security. We waved goodbye once he'd finally gotten through.

I sighed, already missing him. I looked over to see a couple of other girls standing behind me. They'd just waved off their significant others, and like me, were standing still staring at the space where their lover was once standing. I shook myself back to reality when I realized I was being 'one of those girls'. Not that there was anything wrong with being so in love, I just never pictured myself as someone who publicly displayed my emotions.

I spent the rest of my day locked up in my apartment studying for midterms.

That is until there was a knock on my door that night. It was Jaime.

“Lynn!” He shouted.

My eyes widened and my arms flung around him as I embraced him into a hug. “Jaime!”

It had been a while since we'd seen each other. We always kept in touch regularly through text and calls, but with the crazy hours he was working at the hospital and my school schedule, we were rarely ever able to find time to hang out.

“What are you doing here? It's a weekend night, shouldn't you be out partying?” I asked as we went into the living room. He laid out on one couch while I did the same on the other.

“Oh my God, Lynn! I have so much to tell you!” He cupped his hands over his mouth as if he'd already spilled a secret.

I propped myself back up on my elbow and looked over at him. “Tell me!”

He swiftly sat back upright, “Okay, but no judgment!”

I held up my hands, “No judgment.” I agreed.

“Okay, so remember that guy at the hospital I told you about?”

“The one who keeps messing up the charts?”

“Ugh, no! Not that dumbas...don't remind me of him. My blood pressure skyrockets whenever I think of how brainless he is.” Jaime held his finger tips to his temple.

“Okay, then the guy who says he isn't gay, but you know he is because his scrubs are two sizes too small?”

“Yes!” Jaime clapped his hands together. “Martin!”

I giggled at Jaime's enthusiasm.

“Turns out Martin's college roommate's cousin's best friend is Rebecca, one of my old friends from school.”

“Okay” I nodded my head, trying to keep up.

“Well, Rebecca has this lame ass 'Welcome to Fall' sweater parties every year for as long as I've known her. I usually skip out on it, because what the fuck?” He shook his head. “But when I heard Martin talking about it, I was like 'Oh hells yeah I'm going!'”

“Of course” I continued to nod.

“So skip to the middle of the night when I spot Jebrone. I had no idea what he was doing there so I started spying on him. Apparently he knows Martin.” Jaime smiled mischievously.

“Oh God. I don't know if I like where this is going..”

“Well, as I'm watching Jebrone and Martin get a little cozy, which is another story I'm gonna have to get into later, I noticed Jebrone get a text and walk out of the party. I followed him out into an alley where a blacked out suburban was parked. The window rolled down and I saw Poppy sitting inside...”

Jaime continued to stare at me, waiting for my reaction. “Okay?” I didn't understand what was going on. “That's Jebrone's boyfriend's cousin”

“Uh, uh, uh” Jaime waved his finger back and forth. “That's what I thought. Until, and here comes the no judgment zone, I texted a picture of Jebrone and Martin to Henry to piss him off. He told me they'd broken up weeks ago.”

I sat quietly as I thought about why Henry hadn't told me about him and Jebrone breaking up. Then again they were off and on almost every other week. Or maybe he had told me, but I'd blocked him out. I was starting to get pretty good at that.

“And, if I remember correctly, Jebrone hates Poppy. Even if the two were still a couple, why would he be meeting her in a back alley?”

We sat quietly and stared at each other. Jaime brought up a valid point. Jebrone had spent many nights dodging dinners and parties when Poppy was in town earlier this year, but why the sudden change? And especially after he was no longer with Henry?

After Jaime left that night, I went back to studying. At least I tried to go back to studying. I couldn't stop thinking about what he'd told me.

It was Monday morning when I walked into school. The lobby was a little more crowded than usual since the hospital attached to our building was holding a career fair.

I spotted Henry and Sarah from across the room and made my way over to them.

“Hey!” They both greeted me.

“Henry, why didn't you tell me you broke up with Jebrone?” I cut straight to the chase.

He looked at Sarah confused and then back at me. “I told you mate, thanks for not listening.” He rolled his eyes and continued walking through the crowd. “I'm sure that bloke Jaime sparked your sudden interest.”

“Well” I said as a passerby ran into my shoulder. I grabbed it and gently massaged it, angry that they hadn't even turned around to apologize. “I'm more interested in why Jebrone is meeting with Poppy.”

“What?” Henry and Sarah both stopped and looked at me. Something was telling me they had no idea about the situation.

“Yeah, Jaime said he saw the two meeting in an alley way.”

“He doesn't know what he saw. Jebrone hates Poppy. I tried for years to make those two play nice.” Henry said

“Lynn, maybe Jaime just made it up? He is a bit of a drama queen isn't he?” Sarah shrugged her shoulder.

“Jaime is a lot of things, but one thing he isn't, is a liar.”

Henry turned towards me again. “So then you believe him?”

“Of course I do! A lot of strange things are happening since Poppy's been in town, and I'm going to get to the bottom of it!” I turned around abruptly, but ran right into someone walking by.

I knocked over some papers and bent down to pick them up. When I stood back up I dropped the papers again at the shock of who was standing in front of me.

“Oh....” Connor spoke quietly as he stared back with an equal reaction.

“...shit” I mumbled to myself.

***READERS: Thursday's post will be pushed back to Friday this week*** 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Date Night

“I can't even!”

It was Friday afternoon, just hours after Poppy tried to convince Kadie to sign her as a client, and we were both sitting in my living room flipping through magazines. It was a struggle, but Adam and I were finally able to pull Kadie away.

Poppy was saying all the right things to Kadie, and Adam knew that if he left the two of them together for even a second something, that she'd later regret, would happen. So I insisted on having Kadie come back to my place for lunch, just until Adam was able to finish up his work and head back over to Kadie's office.

Neither one of us was even hungry. I was completely irritated with the situation while Kadie couldn't stop day dreaming about the possibilities.

“You can't even what, Lynn?” She closed her magazine and tossed it to the empty space on the couch next to her.

I looked up from the article I was reading and gave her a wide eyed look. “Deal with you right now!”

“Why don't you and Adam get it?...”

My phone vibrated as Kadie was talking. I ignored her while I read a text from Jonah.

Hey beautiful. I miss you.

He always knew how to put a smile on my face.

“What are you smiling at? Are you even listening to me?” Kadie asked.

“Yeah, yeah, I hear you.” I waved my hand as my eyes were glued to the screen.

“Anyway, I was saying if Poppy was to bring on clients...”

I tuned her out again as I texted Jonah back.

Why don't you just quit your job so we can be together.

Right after you drop out of school.


How bout I take you out to dinner tonight in the mean time?

Double Deal? Is that a thing?

Sho' is! I'll pick you up at 6! ;)

Did you really just say “sho' is?”

Dinner. Tonight. 6!

I looked up when I heard a violent grunting noise coming from Kadie. “You're so annoying.”

“Kadie, there's absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, you could say to me to convince me that signing Poppy as a client is a good idea.”

Kadie leaned over, her elbows sat on her knees and her head in her hands, defeated. “I'm going to get my way, just watch!”

“I really hope you don't, K.” I sat up right, hoping my change in posture would some how make things clear to Kadie. “Poppy is obsessed with Adam. Why don't you see it? She's been after him since he stopped talking to her in college. She was was using you as leverage to bribe Adam into signing her as a client. After all of Adam's hard work to protect you from her, and you're considering signing her?Should I remind you who was the reason you and Adam took a “break” earlier this year?” Kadie sat quietly. “POPPY! All mangled roads lead to hell, and she just happens to be the gatekeeper.”

It took Kadie a second before she had a reaction. “I don't know what I'm doing” She covered her face with her hands.

I walked over and sat next to her. “It's okay, Kadie. You didn't do anything wrong. You're seeing the quick ride to success your company can have and it's hard to imagine doing it any other way. But, it can happen. Just not with Poppy being involved.”

She sighed heavily. “I guess” Her phone started ringing. It was Adam.

He was back at her office, so Kadie left to go meet him.

I spent the rest of my afternoon prepping for my hot date. Something was telling me I was going to get lucky.

Ten minutes after six and there was a knock on my door. I opened it to find Jonah looking more handsome than ever. He wore a fitted suit with a plaid button up shirt and oxford shoes. His hands were behind his back before he handed me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers.

I gasped. “These are beautiful! You shouldn't have!” I quickly snatched them from his hands and went into the kitchen to pull out a vase.

Jonah laughed. “No hello? No kiss?” He stood with his hands in his pocket as he watched me run around. I untied the paper wrapping from around the bouquet and dropped it back onto the counter to give Jonah a kiss.

“What do you have planned for tonight?” I asked.

“Well, you were craving sushi, so sushi it is!” He smiled as he held out his hand. I grabbed my clutch and we headed out.

Our cab stopped in front of a building that looked nothing like a restaurant and more like an office building. Jonah noticed the confused look on my face. “Trust me, it'll make sense in a second.”

“As long as there's food involved I'll be happy.”

I followed him into the building and onto the elevators. He pressed the button for the 25th floor and our slow ride up began.

“Have you ever heard of Chef Harumi Kenichi?” Jonah asked. I shook my head. “She's one of the most successful chefs out of Japan. She single handedly raised the rating of each one of the restaurants she's worked for. Eventually she opened up 4 of the most popular sushi restaurants in the world. One is in Japan, one is in London, one is in L.A, and one” He paused for dramatic effect “is here.”

I knew exactly which restaurant he was referring to. It was one of those places where paparazzi would always snap pictures of A list celebrities coming out of.“Isn't that place impossible to get into? Don't you have to be on the wait list for, like, a year?”

Jonah shrugged his shoulders. “Yeah, which is why we aren't going.”

“Jonah!” I slapped his arm with my clutch, but he swayed out of the way just in time. “What was the point of that story?”

“Because, I wanted to brief you on the woman who's about to teach us how to make sushi.”

“What?” I stood still as the elevator came to a stop.

He tugged at my arm. “Come on!” The door opened directly into a massive room with floor to ceiling windows on three of it's four walls. There were rows and rows of kitchen counters that went on the entire length of the room. We were obviously in a culinary classroom. A Japanese woman in a chef hat stood at the front of the room. It was also the only area in the room that was lit. Which made it that much more romantic with the twinkling lights of the New York City skyline around us.

Jonah quietly whispered as we approached the table. “She's a friend of the executive producer on my show. She was a frequent guest chef on the last show he was on. She came by to see him at my studio today. Apparently she's a sucker for romantics and couldn't say no when I asked for the favor.”

“What a sweet talker” I nudged him with my elbow. Jonah pretended to adjust an imaginary tie around his neck.

Chef Kenichi bowed her head as we approached.

“You must be Lynn” She held out her hand to shake. As she did she leaned in “You're a very lucky lady.”

I felt myself blush. I knew what she was saying was right. I couldn't believe Jonah had gone out of his way to make this happen. All because I was craving sushi.

Both of our schedules had been hectic the last few days. We hadn't seen much of each other and instead of taking me out on a regular quiet dinner, he made an activity out of it instead. He knew I loved moments like these. Moments that would be our memories to keep. I tried, but I couldn't think of a good enough reason that I deserved someone like him.

Jonah took off his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves. Chef Kenichi taught us the basics of cooking sushi. I was in charge of the fishes and crab, while Jonah made the sauces. Chef Kenichi wasn't too shocked by Jonah's lack of skills and left him with the easy job. After everything was prepared she showed us how to properly roll the rice.

The time had flown by before we even knew it. Since Chef Kenichi was restricted on time we packed our sushi in boxes and headed over to Washington Square park. We sat on the lawn by the fountain as we ate.

“Can I just say” I tried to finish my last bite before I spoke. “That this is amazing. You're amazing.”

Jonah smiled. “I think the sauce is what really makes it taste so good, right?” We both laughed. “I'm glad you enjoyed it.”

I leaned over until we were shoulder to shoulder. “I really think you should stop spoiling me. It's going to turn into a bad habit.” I teased him as I grinned.

“I just” He sighed. “I just want to enjoy everything now before things get crazy. I want you to remember this and know how much I appreciate you. Know that no matter what happens I love you.”

“Jonah” I whispered as I wrapped my hand around his chin. “I love you.” I pulled his face towards mine and gave him a kiss.

Jonah rested his hand on my neck as we continued to make out. The more into it we got the lower his hand went. I pulled away from him and looked around. “Jonah, someone might see us.”

“Shh” He leaned in to kiss me again. “No one can see us.” His hand move down to my waist and pulled me in towards him.

“Let's go back to my place.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New Beginnings

“How has my favorite couple been?”

Kadie, Adam, and I stood on the sidewalk outside of Kadie's office building. Poppy had just gotten out of the backseat of a blackout sedan. She wore an oversized floppy hat and sunglasses that covered half her face, obviously trying to hid from the media.

“Poppy, I told you if you didn't stay the fuck out of our lives I would have you deported.” Adam stood with his shoulder slightly blocking Kadie. “I'm giving you one last chance to get the hell back in your car and leave.”

“Oh, Adam.” Poppy laughed as she took off her sunglasses and folded them. She wasn't wearing an ounce of makeup and yet, as much as it pains me to admit this, she still looked flawless. “Enough with the hostile language already.”

“What do you want Poppy? Why are you here?” Kadie barked. Her once peppy attitude was turned into annoyance.

Adam held out his arm gesturing for Kadie to back away.

Poppy's eyes looked down at Adam's arm and back up towards them. “Well, I'm not going to bite for God's sakes!”

Adam mumbled under his breath. “Wouldn't be surprised if you did.”

She looked over from Adam to Kadie and smiled. It was like one of those creepy smiles that movie villains always seem to have. It was so wicked, just the sight of it gave me chills. “I believe congratulations are in order.” Adam and Kadie's faces were stone cold. “Well, are we going to stay out here or go in for our meeting?”

The four of us stood in silence.

“Cut to the chase already, Poppy.” Adam rolled his eyes. “No one's buying this act of yours. You're failing at it miserably, by the way.”

“I knew you'd say that” She quickly fired back. “I knew you wouldn't believe that going to rehab would change me. But, it has Adam. I'm a different person. I'm not the drug crushing, sex crazed, egomaniac I once was.”

Bullshit” I mumbled from the sidelines. Poppy eyes shot to me for a brief second before she continued.

“I wanted fame for all the wrong reasons, but I've realized that I abused the power of the platform I was given. I'm starting over, I have to! People don't last long in the fashion world. I need to build my empire if I want to survive.” She spoke so fast in her British accent it almost sounded like another language. “Going through withdrawal and staying clean gave me a lot of time to think. I used that energy to figure out a way I can brand myself. I've already come up with designs for clothing and jewelry and handbags and I'm sure soon enough I'll be able to set up shops worldwide. I just need an outlet to shine some positive light.”

“And you think we're going to do that for you?” Adam laughed loudly and Kadie joined in. “You've got to be fucking kidding me!”

“She's up to no good, Adam. Let's just go, we're wasting our time.” Kadie pulled at his arm and gestured for me to follow.

“I can help you!” Poppy shouted after them.

“Why would you want to help us?” Kadie asked.

Adam pulled at her hand. “She's not helping anyone, but herself.”

The three of us began walking away when Poppy jutted out onto the sidewalk and shut the car door behind her. “Imagine all the exposure your company will get.” She shouted loud enough to get Kadie's attention. She turned around and looked at Poppy, waiting for her to finish. “Imagine all the clients that will be begging for you to sign them once they see how you've turned around a pill popping party girl into the next Tory Burch.”

“Why is this our problem? Why isn't your dear Aunt Eva helping you?” Kadie snapped. She was still upset about losing her dream job with Darlington.

“Unfortunately, my Auntie only agreed to continue representing me if I stayed the full allotted time in rehab. I believe I'm a better person now and I'm eager to start my turn around. But, since I didn't finish my time, she doesn't trust me. I can't blame her, I did light the match that burnt that bridge.” For the first time there was a glimpse of emotion that briefly flashed across Poppy's face.

Kadie sighed and looked at Adam. He furrowed his brows and gave her a look. “What? Don't tell me you believe her!?” He held onto both her shoulders and bent down to eye level. “This is what she does, Kadie. She puts up a bullshit act to get people on her side and then fucks them up!”

“You can't honestly tell me you're falling for this, K.” I folded my arms and stared at her.

Kadie was one of those people that easily forgives and forgets. That had been the case our whole childhood. Luckily, she was also easily persuaded. So, I was constantly having to explain to her why some people weren't as trustworthy as others.

But, in this moment I could tell that the more Poppy was talking the more Kadie was losing sight of the past.

Poppy knew she was reeling Kadie in. “I know all the in's of the business. Designers send me invitations to their shows, I have hundreds and thousands of Instagram followers, I party with celebrities, Kadie. I know who the next big model is going to be. I can get these girls to sign with your company.” She spoke gently like the tiny little devil that sits on your shoulder. Even though Kadie wasn't looking at Poppy, her ears were still perked towards her. “Without me, you're going to be losing talents to Darlington. I mean who's going to want to sign with a company no one's ever heard of before when they can go across town and sign with a prestigious, internationally well-known company?”

“How do I know you're not going to screw me over?” Kadie asked.

Adam held onto his forehead and looked over at me. “Oh my God! What the fuck is going on?”

“Adam, just chill out for a second!” Kadie snapped at him. She was too far gone. She was eating every word Poppy was throwing her way.

“There's no incentive for me to screw you over. You literally have nothing right now.” Poppy shrugged her shoulder.

Kadie stared at Poppy for a second before she pulled me and Adam aside. We huddled into a circle.

“You've lost your fucking mind, Kadie!” I whispered loud enough to express my anger.

“You can't say anything. Legally, you can't, Kadie, not without my consent. I'm your partner in this, 50/50. And my vote is abso-fucking-lutely not.” Adam's right fist tapped the inside of his left palm as he spoke.

“Okay, can you guys just put away your damn judgments for, like, one minute, please?!” Kadie looked over Adam's shoulder for a quick second to make sure Poppy couldn't hear anything. She stood leaning against the car, staring down the street and then at her phone. “Is she a psycho bitch?”

Adam and I answered Kadie's question before she could. “YES!”

Kadie furrowed her brows as we interrupted her, and then continued, “Yes, she is. Has she changed? Who knows. But, is she making a valid point? I believe so.”

“There's so many better ways of having your company take off, baby. Trust me, I've come from a family of men who have successfully created and sold companies. I know it takes time. You can't just start it and expect it to take off. It's an organic process. You have you give it time to grow naturally.”

“How will I ever be as big, or bigger than, Darlington if I don't push the envelope?”

“Don't make any rash decisions. You're going to regret it.” I sighed in defeat. There was no stopping Kadie now. She had already made up her mind.

Poppy leaned off the car and took a step forward, “Well, what's it going to be ladies? Are we in this together, or not?”

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wicked Bitch

“Sarah, did you review this graph of the drug effect on the body over time?...Sarah?”

It was 7 o'clock in the evening and Henry, Sarah, and I were at the library studying. We'd been here for a few hours now and the caffeine from our coffee was finally wearing off. We couldn't pay attention all at once. Someone was always dazed off or, in Sarah's case, texting.

I nudged her shoulder to get her attention. “Sarah! The graph. Did you review it?”

“Huh?” She snapped her head up. “Oh, uh, yeah sure.”

“This is going to be on the exam!” I waved the paper around knowing she hadn't even looked at it twice.”What's so important anyway?”

She snatched the paper from my hand and continued to text on her phone.

“I bet it's Oliver” Henry rolled his eyes. “You said you didn't want a relationship with him, but all you two ever do is talk on the phone or text. For Christ's sake let the man loose!”

“Shut it, Henry!” Sarah threw a cold stare in his direction. She turned towards me, as if to exclude Henry from the conversation. “Oliver just told me that Poppy left rehab. Apparently it's all over the British tabloids.”

“What!” Henry tried to squeeze into the conversation. “She isn't allowed to leave for another 3 months!”

“I know!” Sarah instantly forgave him in order to spill her heart of the information she'd just obtained. “He said she was signed out, but who would approve that? Anyway, She just flew in to London from Paris. I wonder what's on her agenda.”

They stared at each other in silence wondering what grand scheme their cousin could be up to next.

“Alright!” I slammed my book shut, startling them. “As long as she keeps her crazy ass in London and out of New York, I could care less. Now, I'm gonna go home and stuff my face with pizza.”

It was dark by the time I'd gotten home.

Jonah and I hadn't seen each other since he left my apartment on Monday morning. The last couple of days, if I wasn't staying late at school, Jonah was working late at the office. So, as soon I got home I texted Jonah and told him to grab a pizza and come over.

Half an hour later there was a knock on my door.

“Ooh, when did the delivery guys start getting so hot!” I grabbed fists full of Jonah's shirt and pulled him in toward me to give him a kiss.

Jonah smiled in between kisses. “I'm trying to come up with something, but I can't”

I stopped and furrowed my brows “Jonah Cohen at a loss for words? Is that even possible?”

“No, but this is” He held the pizza box in one hand as he lifted me with the other. I yelped and wrapped my legs around his body. He walked into my apartment and shut the door with his foot. He put the box on the dinner table and propped me up on the kitchen counter. His body stood between my knees. Both his hands rested on either side of my legs, straddling my body.

“Where the hell have you been?” Jonah asked.

I wrapped my hands behind his neck and gently placed my forehead to his. “Where the hell have you been?” I repeated his question.

“I don't like not seeing you.” his voice grew quieter the closer we got.

“Well, then I guess it's unfortunate that we have the schedules that we do.”

Jonah smiled and gave me a quick kiss. He walked over and grabbed a couple of plates from the kitchen cabinet. I jumped off the counter and rummaged through the fridge to find us something to drink.

“So, Priyal just told me I have to go to LA next week.” He handed me a plate as I opened the pizza box.

Priyal was Jonah's new assistant. The network required Jonah to find someone to keep his schedule in order. It was part of their "intern" program. It had been weeks of interviewing before it was down to Priyal and Jeremy. Jonah says he isn't playing favorites, but I know he ended up going with Priyal because she's a newly graduated alum of Harvard and, like Jonah, was on the staff for the Harvard Lampoon.

“For how long? What's going on?” I picked off the toppings from the pizza and ate it.

“Only for a couple of days. I have to do Kimmel and Conan and a few appearances for the network while I'm out there to promote the show. “ He smacked my hand to stop me from eating off all the toppings.

“Kimmel and Conan? That's huge!” I threw my arms around him and embraced him in a tight hug.

We spent most of the night catching up on our shows and doing mock interviews. I had to make sure if Jonah was going to do his first major national talk show interview, that he wasn't going to tell any embarrassing stories about me. Every one else was fair game.

It was Friday morning when I was woken up by a call from Kadie.

“Jesus Kadie, can't you ever just let me sleep in?” I croaked on the phone as I rubbed my face.

She sounded too peppy for my ears to handle that early in the morning. “It's past 10, Lynn! It's like an hour away from lunch time.”

“Well what is it?”

“You're coming by later aren't you? Can you grab my phone charger? My phone's on 2%, it's gonna die any minute.”

“Sure Kadie” I sighed. This was why she woke me up? A text would have sufficed. “Did you and Adam ever figure out who the client was?”

“Crazy story” I heard Kadie shuffling across a street as cars honked in the background. That girl was a true New Yorker when it came to jay walking. “The management team won't release the name of the client. Adam said something like this has never happened. Usually people know what their in for, but I guess this client is trying to be as top secret as possible. Which is just making me that much more eager to meet this super famous person. ”

“Wow, talk about wanting privacy.” It hurt to think so early in the morning, but I couldn't help but put two and two together. “...Wait a second, you said the client is internationally known? And Darlington is dropping the client?”

“Yeah, they're on the way to our office now, we're going to have our first meeting and try to draw up a contract.” Kadie sounded ecstatic.

“NO!” I shouted when I realized what was going on. “IT'S A SET UP!”

There was silence from Kadie's end of the phone. I looked down to see that the call had disconnected. Her phone must have died.

I scurried to throw on a pair of jeans and a t shirt and ran out my apartment. Kadie's office was a 10 minute train ride away, but I knew if I jumped in a cab I could get there quick enough.

The cab hadn't even come to a full stop before I swung the door open. I was still a block away but I saw Kadie walking out of the building approaching a blacked out sedan. I threw the driver my cash and jumped out the car and ran.

“Lynn? You got here fast." She made a face as she looked at my messy hair and wrinkled shirt. "Why do you look like that?”

“Kadie! You can't meet with the client! It's a setup!” I huffed as I tried to catch my breath. “She must have only agreed to meet with you after she realized Adam was talking to her manager!”

Kadie, still looking at me weird, held on to my shoulders to calm me down. “Who is she?”

Just as I was about to say it, Kadie stole the words out of my mouth. “Poppy Leroux” we both turned around to see Poppy, with a devilish grin, as she stepped out of the sedan.

“I'm back, bitch”