Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Next Step

“Always start from the right.”

Jonah stood behind me as his hand guided mine away from the left side of the Menorah. I looked over my shoulder and winkled my nose. He smiled and kissed me on the top of my head to make me feel better about my mistake.

“It's okay.” His cheek rested on my head and his hands wrapped themselves around my waist. “I'm just glad you're making an effort.”

I turned around to face Jonah. “What's important to you is important to me.”

“And what's important to you is important to me.” Jonah smiled. “Which is why I'm going to spend Christmas in Texas with your family.”

“It'll be fun” We were just slightly rocking back and forth, as if we were doing a slow motion dance. “Woody, Mark, Lacey and Rebecca will be there. Oh, and of course Adam and Kadie.”

Jonah shrugged. “Still not too fond of Kadie, but if that means Adam will be there...”

“Come on, Jonah” I gave him a look. “She was having a moment and she's already apologized to you.”

“Have I ever told you how beautiful your eyes are?” Jonah said, changing the subject.

I rolled my eyes. “Only all the time, Jon.”

Jonah pushed my hair away from my face. His fingers traced the outline of my jaw as he lifted my chin up.

“So” I spoke softly. “What was it you wanted to talk about?”

He clearly wasn't paying attention. It took him a few seconds to respond. His eyes were on my lips when he finally leaned down and kissed me. We pulled away for a brief moment to look at one another and kissed again.

Jonah rested his chin on my head. “God, I really wish my family was here for Hanukkah.”

“Is that what you were thinking about while we were kissing?” I looked at him with bewilderment.

Jonah laughed as he walked into the kitchen. I stood standing by the dining table as I watched him. We already had dinner set on the table, he was just grabbing our plates from the cabinet.

“Of course not!” His pale cheeks flushed pink. “I've always been in a position where I could take time off to spend with my family. It just feels weird to be in charge and not have that freedom.”

“Well, you have me if that's any consolation.” I shrugged as I took the plates from Jonah's hands and set them on the table.

“That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about.” Jonah pulled out my chair for me before he sat down. “I think...if you're comfortable with it...” He stretched out his words.

I acted casual as I laid my napkin over my lap. But really, my heart was racing a mile per minute. I knew something big was coming since the moment he mentioned wanting to talk. “Jonah, I'm honestly about to have an anxiety attack. Spill it already!”

“I was thinking, again, if you're comfortable with it, that we should move in together.” He put his fork down and waited for my reaction.

“Okay” My face was expressionless. I picked up my fork and began stabbing at my dinner. Did I just say okay and continue eating dinner? I was having an outer body moment.

“Okay, as in, yes....or...” Both of Jonah's hands were on the table and he continued to look at me even though I was focused on my dinner.

I sighed, putting my fork down, and leaning into my chair. I looked over at Jonah's hopeful face. “Okay, as in, can I have some time to think about it?”

He didn't say anything. He just did one of those wide eye, eyebrow raising, expressions like I just said something crazy. “Sure I guess” he shook his head, looking away, as if he were trying to figure out what went wrong. “I just figured, if I'm not at your place, then you're at mine. So, it would make sense.”

This time I stayed quiet. It wasn't that I didn't want to move in with Jonah, because I really did. I had already imagined how I'd greet him at the door after a long day at work. How we could lay in bed together every night and never have to miss each other. But, my dreams were crushed when I thought about how this high that we've been on would eventually die down. I really didn't want to hurt his feelings or make him think that I didn't care about our relationship. Things were perfect as they were. Why mess with it?

When I didn't respond Jonah picked his fork back up and began eating again, but stopped before he could actually get food in his mouth, “I'm just a little confused.” He put his fork down. “Because I thought we were on the same page.”

“We are.” I smiled and reached over to give his hand a squeeze. I looked around the apartment and tried to find a reasonable explanation. “I would feel like I'm intruding on your space if I moved in here.”

Jonah furrowed his brows. “This place is huge” He slipped his hand away and sat back in his chair. “But, if that's the case we can always find a new place. That way there aren't any territory issues.”

“Can I ask you something?” Jonah's hands folded over his torso as he waited for my question. “Why do you want to move in together?”

“That's such an obvious answer. Why do you not want to move in together is a better question.”

“I never said no, Jonah. I just said I need some time to think about it.”

He leaned back over the table and grabbed my hand again. He could see how uncomfortable I felt. “I don't ask for a lot. And I don't want to make you feel like this is something you have to do, but I do know you're holding back.”

“Fine, you want to know the truth?” I finally broke. “I'm afraid we're going to move in together, find some ridiculous thing that annoys us about one another, and break up.”

“Lynn” Jonah said softly trying to calm me down. “That's not going to happen.”

“How do you know?” Jonah stared at me quietly. “I guess I'm just scared.” I sighed as I admitted the truth. “I've lost you twice already. I can't handle losing you again.”


 Hey Readers,

New York Dixie will be going on a short hiatus during winter break. There will be a special New Years post on THURSDAY JANUARY 1st. And regular posting will resume on JANUARY 12th. I hate that I have to step away from the blog for a moment, but I'm working on a special project that I'm excited to share with you all once we return on Jan. 12th. This project needs my undivided attention for the next few weeks, but I promise you'll love it! I hope that you all have a happy, happy holiday!! Enjoy, be merry, and stay safe! 


Monday, December 15, 2014

Blank Spaces

“We survived the semester without strangling each other. That's a plus, right?”

It was the end of my shift at Connor's office. We were finishing up our notes on the patients we'd seen that day. I couldn't believe the time had flown by. It felt like just yesterday I had a heart attack when I'd found out Connor was going to be my mentor. And now we were finishing our last day together before winter break.

“Sounds interesting.” Connor didn't even flinch or look up from his paperwork. He was use to tuning out my comments and responding with something that didn't even make sense to the conversation.

“Got a long list of ex-lovers” I recited Taylor Swift's lyrics wondering if he'd catch on.

My suspicions were confirmed when he nodded and asked, “And then what happened?”

I wanted to have some fun and see how long this would continue “They'll tell you I'm insane.”

“That's wicked” Connor mumbled, still looking over his work.

I closed the file in front of me and lowered my voice as if I were about to reveal a secret “Cause you know I love the players. And you love the game”

Connor finally looked up confused. “What game?”

“Oh” I lied and made something up. “Didn't you tell me you're going to a basketball game this week?”

“Yeah” He shuffled papers into a stack and stood up. “I'm taking Danielle to the Brooklyn Nets game.” He pulled off his white coat and hung it on the hook attached to his office door. “What about you?”

“Hanukkah at Jonah's.” I shrugged.

“Ah” Connor nodded as he pulled out his phone from his pocket. “I'm sure you'll have some interesting stories to share when you get back.”

“And I'm sure you won't be listening to them.” I joked to myself.

“What was that?” Connor looked up from his phone.

“Oh, I said, I'm sure you'll love hearing them” I smiled.

Connor smiled back. He was obviously in a good mood because of something he'd seen on his phone and not because we were being disgustingly nice to each other. “I wouldn't doubt anything but an embarrassingly comical story from you.”

“I can't help it. The universe loves to put me in those situations.” I grabbed my coat and scarf from the back of my chair and bundled myself up.

“Oy vey” Connor joked.

“Oy vey, indeed.”

It felt weird coming home to an empty apartment. My friends from home had been in town for the past week. They wanted to give me some space while I was still going to classes and got their own hotel rooms. But, that didn't stop them from using my spare key to invade my place while I was out.

I would come home to Woody lounging, and I mean the entire length of his tall body covering the sofa kind of lounging, and eating whatever snacks he could find in my pantry. Rebecca would be sitting on the floor (because, remember, Woody was taking up the couch) between the sofa and coffee table flipping through the TV channels. And Mark and Lacey were usually at the dinner table going through Yelp ratings trying to find some place to eat dinner.

But, it was quiet this time. They had left the night before and I was already missing having them around. It was only a week they were in town, but for some reason it still felt weird knowing I was the only one home.

I heated up some leftovers and sat on the couch in front of the TV as I ate dinner. I couldn't really pay attention to what I was watching. I kept thinking about how life was when Kadie was my roommate. I missed having someone to come home to. Someone to talk to when I needed a break from studying. Someone to watch TV with and laugh at how ridiculously fake reality shows were.

I must have gotten lost in my thoughts and fallen asleep because the next morning I found myself on the couch with the TV still on.

I scurried into the shower yelling profanities. If I hadn't ran majority of the way over I would've been late to my first class. I spent a better half of the day catching my breath. 
(Note: Still not a runner.)

It was Tuesday afternoon when I stopped by to see Jonah. Adam was at his office when I walked in. The two of them were just casually hanging out and drinking beers. The TV mounted on his office wall was playing a basketball game that the two were occasionally looking up at.

“What's going on?” I asked as I walked in.

“Hey Lynn” Adam greeted me and smiled, then went back to watching the game.

“Hey babe” Jonah walked over to give me a kiss. “Adam was in the building, so I told him to stop by.”

It was normal for Adam to come by every now and then. Jonah's studio wasn't the only one in the building. In fact an entire network of shows recorded here. Sports shows, news, and morning talk shows were among some of them. There were at least five floors of studios in the 70 floor building. But, aside from show business, the building also housed regular businesses like electric companies, law offices, financial groups. So, of course, being an entertainment lawyer it was normal to see Adam around.

“I was thinking, should I grab a cake or something before we go to your mother's place? I saw a Jewish place on my way here that was selling latkes, but I figured your mom probably has that covered.” I rambled on before Jonah stopped me.

“A, my mother does make the best latkes” He smiled for a brief second letting me know I'd made the right decision to not get the potato-y goodness. “And B, there's been a change of plans.”

“Oh?” I sat down in chair adjacent to Adam. “How so?”

Jonah kept standing, his hands resting in the pockets of his slacks. “I have to come back to the office after dinner. We won't be able to go all the way to Long Island and back in time.”

“But, it's the first night of Hanukkah, don't you want to spend it with your family?”

Adam laughed. “You're a lucky guy” Jonah agreed by clinking his beer bottle against Adam's, “I'm pretty sure Kadie thinks Hanukkah is just a “Jewish” way of saying Christmas.”

“That is not true!” I couldn't help but laugh as I slapped Adam's shoulder. “She's a blond and a Southerner. Cut the girl some slack!” I joked along.

Our laughter was interrupted by Adam's phone ringing. “I have to take this.” He set his bottle down on the table and straightened up his dress shirt and jacket before he walked away. “Why don't you two come by to my family's place for dinner?”

“It's cool, we're just gonna have dinner at my place. Thanks for the offer though.” Jonah finally took a seat as Adam was leaving.

“Alright bro, offers always open. I'll see you around.” He nodded to both of us before he walked out the room.

“You want to celebrate the first night alone, without family, at your place?” I asked as I turned to face Jonah. “That's lame.”

He laughed “We can go over the weekend to celebrate, but for now, while I'm working, it's more feasible to stay in town.” He grabbed my hand and began fiddling his fingers through mine. “Besides, I think we should start some of our own traditions.”

I smiled at Jonah. I wasn't sure where he was going with this, but he looked awfully cute as he was trying to explain it. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, I think we should start thinking about the future of our relationship.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Olly Olly Oxen Free

“Jaime! Don't touch that!”

Jaime flinched as I slapped the back of his hand. We were at Jonah's studio. There was still an hour before the show recorded, but we came by early so Jonah could show us around. There were so many of us, it was like we were one of those small group of tourists that came in and out of the building taking a tour around the studios.

Jonah came walking out of his dressing room with Priyal, his assistant, a couple of writers, and makeup artists trailing behind him. He turned around and whispered to them and they headed back to his dressing room.

Priyal was the only one who kept following along, staring into her planner, as she talked to him. “Do you have the lines for the monologue?”

He patted his jean pockets. “No, I, uh, I think I left it in the room.”

He looked over at Priyal and she was already holding out an extra copy for him. “I got it right here. Chris and Nicki are updating some of the jokes with current events, so just remember those are gonna be mixed in.” Jonah nodded as he skimmed over the paper. “After the show we need you to approve the writers material for Friday's show. Then there's a magazine reporter coming by. He wants an excerpt on you.” Jonah groaned. “I know, I know, but it'll be quick.”

He finally looked up and saw us standing at the end of the hall. “Hey!” he turned back to Priyal, “I'm gonna show these guys around. If anyone needs me, just tell them you'll take care of it.”

Priyal nodded. “But remember, you have rehearsal in thirty minutes!”

Jonah gave me a kiss and hugged everyone else. “So glad you guys were able to make it.”

“Are you kidding?” Rebecca cheered. “We would've been crazy to miss this opportunity!”

“Lynn, you never told me how adorable your friends are” Jonah winked and rested his arm around Rebecca's shoulders. She made a fangirl face and began cooling herself off with the wave of her hand.

“What about me?” Woody asked. “I'm pretty adorable too, right?” He mimicked Rebecca's pose. “Where are the celebrities any how?”

Jonah laughed. I warned him that Woody was a complete nut and by the tone of his laugh it seemed like he was starting to believe it. “The celebrity guests usually arrive an hour to half an hour before the show. In that time their in the dressing room getting briefed and touched up. That's when I'll pop in for a minute to meet them before the show starts.”

“That is so cool!” Lacey exclaimed. “Lynn, do you ever get to meet them?”

“Most of the time, no.” Everyone's expression turned into disappointment. “Jonah's in the zone when the show is filming, so I like to stay out of his hair and in the audience.” I shrugged my shoulders and tried to bring everyone's mood back up. “If the guests stay past the credits I can catch them afterward.” And just like that everyone was smiling again.

“Do any of you watch Scandal?” Jonah asked as he led the group down the hall and to the green room. I stood, watching, as everyone walked away.

“Is Oliva Pope the most badass woman on T.V?” Rebecca asked rhetorically. “Of course we watch Scandal!”

“Great! Then I'm sure you'll be excited to meet today's guest.” Jonah smiled. Everyone excitedly gasped and tried to guess who the guest could be. The sound of their talking became muffled as they walked into the room.

I was leaning against the wall as I stared into space. The truth is, I had a fight with Kadie just before we came here. She was making her usual catty comments, but it had gotten so bad that everyone was starting to catch on. It wasn't like me to just let her get away with it. I was trying to get a feel for the situation and find out why Kadie was acting the way she was, but it seemed impossible since she wasn't leaving any open cracks. So, I did what any mother of a petulant five year old would do. I snapped.

I couldn't remember exactly what I'd said, but it ended with me, very harshly, uninviting Kadie to the studio tour.

I snapped back to reality when I noticed Jaime walking out of the green room and towards me.

“Hey” He stopped right in front of me and leaned against the wall. “Thinking about earlier?” he asked. He had only known about it because I called him in a frustrated moment.

“I just...” I sighed. “I just feel bad.”

“It's what anyone would have done after taking so much.” Jaime said, trying to make me feel better.

“I know, but I feel bad because I don't know what's going on.” I shook my head and looked away. “You know Woody wouldn't dare to ever say anything about Kadie but even he thinks the city has changed her. She use to be so positive and upbeat. Now all she's ever doing is bringing people down.”

“You know what I think?” I looked back at Jaime questioningly. “I think you need to apologize to Kadie.” I furrowed my brows in confusion. “Yes, she's the one who owes you an apology. But, maybe if you start she'll follow.”

“You're right” I smiled and gave Jaime a hug.

“Hey, hey, hey” Woody came out of the green room shouting at Jaime and I. “What are you doing out here with my guy?” He meant to say it in the most innocent way, but we couldn't help but laugh.

“Oh Woody, if only you knew what you were talking about” I smirked as I walked away.

Jonah finally finished showing everyone around the studio and we all made our way into the audience to watch the live taping. I could tell by the smiles on everyone's faces that they were beyond thrilled to have this experience. That, and because they were constantly saying they were beyond thrilled to have this experience.

It was early in the evening when we'd gotten done. Jonah had work to do, so he stayed at the office. The rest of the gang headed back to their hotel to freshen up before we went out for dinner.

After they'd jumped out the cab, I gave the driver Kadie's address instead of mine.

I rang her door bell but no one answered. I tried calling her phone but she wasn't picking up either. I felt defeated.

Even though I lived quiet a few blocks away I figured walking back would give me some time to think and clear my head.

As I was strolling, and kicking the leaves along the way, I noticed a slender blonde with a olive green beanie and khaki colored trench coat across the street.

“Kadie?” I called out. She looked my way in response, but then turned around when she noticed it was me. “Kadie!” I called out again. She continued to walk in the opposite direction.

I made sure there weren't any cars coming before I ran across the street. “Kadie! Stop ignoring me!” I grabbed her by the shoulder and turned her around.

I gasped when I saw tears rolling down her cheeks.

“What do you want, Lynn?” She tried to say through her tears.

“Oh my God!” I pulled her in and gave her a tight hug. “Are you crying because of me? I'm sorry Kadie!”

She wiped her tears after I'd finally let her go. “There's just...” her voice cracked and then she did one of those stuttering inhales with a sigh. “So much going on.”

“K, why would you ever think you couldn't come to me and talk?” I rubbed her shoulder to calm her down. I looked around, hoping to find a place for her to sit down. “Hey, there's a coffee shop at the corner. Why don't we get you something to drink.”

The walk over was a quiet one. Mainly because Kadie was still recovering from choking on her tears. When we'd gotten inside she went straight to a table and sat down. I stood in line and ordered a couple of drinks for us and then joined Kadie at the table.

“Are you going to tell me what's gotten you like this?” I finally asked.

She closed her eyes for a few seconds before she answered. “I feel like such a failure.”

“What are you talking about? You live in a nice neighborhood of Manhattan, you're engaged to a successful lawyer who's a partner at his firm, and you're CEO of your own company.” I shook my head. “Jesus, I didn't realize how amazing your life was until I said that out loud.”

“More like, my Fiance bought that apartment because I'm too poor to afford it and I can't even successfully run my own business.”

“So that's what's been eating at you, huh?” I leaned back in my chair. “The Poppy ordeal?”

“So many good things were happening for everyone else.” She sighed as she finally came clean. "You're in medical school, Jonah has his own show, and Adam became partner.” She sighed.

“You're making it sound so easy. I literally get headaches just thinking about how to balance my school and home life. And even then I suck at it. Jonah's been working his ass off since he was in college to get to where he is. And Adam? I'm sure you witnessed the hours he spent slaving away, day and night, just to get his name on the door.”

“But they still ended up on top.” She held her palms facing up as if to emphasis her point. “I started from the top with Darlington and ended up at the bottom. I just felt like a loser.” She sighed. “It's hard when the guy you're getting married to is so successful. And so is everyone in his damn family. The pressure to have my company take off has been excruciating.”

I took in a sharp breath “I guess I can understand the pressure of wanting to impress your in laws. But, I don't see why you couldn't just talk to me about it.”

“I figured that Poppy would be a quick fix, but that just made things worse.”

I leaned back over the table. “Whoa, in what world did you think Poppy could make anything right??”

“Apparently the fucked up one in my head.” She groaned irritatedly. “I was so embarrassed when Adam found out. It was even more embarrassing that you and Jebrone witnessed the whole thing.” She leaned her head against her hand and stared down into her coffee cup. “You were on his side” she said quietly.

“So you felt the need to come after Jonah?” I asked agitatedly.

“It just... I was in a dark place and it made me feel better. At least it did in the moment.”

“You know he's been nothing but nice to you since the day you two met. Even with all your bitchy comments lately he's managed to keep his cool. And to think you treated him that way because you were upset that I tried to knock some sense into you?” My voice went lower the more serious I became. “You know I even got into an argument with him about you? An argument, Kadie! I stuck up for you and risked my relationship with him all because you wanted to feel better about yourself.”

She closed her eyes again, a few seconds longer this time. “I'm sorry.”

“I'm not the one you need to be apologizing to.” I leaned back again and crossed my arms. “Kadie, you use to be my rock. You were always positive. You had ambition. There wasn't a problem you couldn't solve. You were so upbeat it was nauseating. Don't let one bad decision ruin everything.” I reached out across the table to grab her hand. “You still have a best friend that loves you, her boyfriend who's forgiving, and a fiance that would die for you.”

Kadie wiped the last bit of tears from her eyes and for the first time in a long time I could see the girl I use to know. She was frustrated and scared, but she was begging for my help to bring her out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welcome to New York

“Woody! Over here!”

Kadie and I waved our arms in the air. We were standing on the red stair case in the center of Times Square.

Our friends from back home, Woody, Lacey, Mark,and Rebecca decided to make a trip up to the city. The six of us, including some others back home, grew up together. We went to the same elementary, middle, and high school, and eventually we broke off to attend different colleges. But, even when life pulled us apart, we always found a way to come back together. Truth be told, you know you have a true friend when you survive puberty together. It was a sweet reminder that no matter how much life changed, and the familiar became unfamiliar, we always had a small piece of home within each other. Our collective insanity brought a calming sanity that blanketed us in cold times. We were “The Neighborhood Kids”.

Lacey spotted Kadie and I before Woody could. “Look!” She shouted to the rest of the group. “They're up there!” Mark and Rebecca turned around, smiles devouring their faces, and began waving.

“Welcome to New York!” We shouted, throwing our arms up in the air. The girls and Mark wooed in response.

Woody, on the other hand, was too busy checking out a girl who, in the middle of this cold weather, walked past in a tight little dress and high heels. “Welcome to New York, indeed!” He cheered with a twang.

We ran down the stairs and pushed our way through the crowds to reunite with our friends. We hadn't seen each other since Lacey and Mark's wedding in Texas earlier this year, so our conversations were fast and our hugs were long.

“Okay, this is all great and everything, so happy to see you two, but seriously can we go somewhere where I'm not going to freeze my balls off?” Woody crossed his arms across his chest and buried his hands under his arms. “Mark lost his when he got married to Lacey, so no need to worry about him.” Every laughed except for Lacey who punched Woody in the arm instead. “Ow!” He cried. “I can see why you're afraid of her” Even though he was talking to Mark his eyes were on Lacey.

“Oh, come on Wood, she ain't that bad!” Mark stood behind Lacey, with both his hands on her shoulders and jokingly shook his head.

“Jeremy Marcus Sanders, if you for one minute think I don't know that you're standing behind me shaking your head....”

I leaned my shoulder against Mark's and whispered “Honeymoon's over huh?”

“Oh it was over before it started.” He smiled and winked.

“Alright guys!” I shouted to get everyone's attention. “Let's jump in a cab and get this day on the road!” I gestured for everyone to follow after me but stopped briefly “Oh, by the way, this is Times Square. Center of the universe.”

“It looks bigger on T.V....” Rebecca mumbled as we lined up to signal a taxi.

We spent most of the day showing the gang around New York. Most of the sightseeing was done from the cab with occasional stops to shop around. We didn't want to tire out our guests since Kadie and I had planned a big dinner later that night. We invited all of our new City friends so both our worlds could finally meet.

It was early in the evening when we dropped them off at their hotel to rest up and headed back to Kadie's apartment to get ready.

“Isn't it so weird to see Mark and Lacey together as a married couple?” Kadie asked as she concentrated on putting her eyeshadow on.

I shook my head. I was moving my hair from side to side trying to figure out how I wanted to style it. “Not really, they've been together forever. I honestly can't imagine one without the other.”

“I know that” Kadie rolled her eyes. “things between them just seem so different now.”

I shrugged my shoulders. “They seem like the old Mark and Lacey to me.”

Reservations were set at one of our favorite Italian restaurants. It was very old world and classy.

We had gotten a private room for our party. Sarah and Henry were the first to get there. Then Jebrone rolled in a few minutes later. Jonah and Adam were working late, so they weren't able to join us until later. Shortly after Mark, Lacey, Woody, and Rebecca arrived Jaime came prancing in.

“Jaime! My man!” Woody shouted across the table.

“Woody!” Jaime shouted back, they dramatically called out for one another as they pushed everyone out of their way to hug.

The two boys were almost identical. Sarcastic cynics with soft chewy centers. Despite one being a Southerner and the other being a Yankee, they still ended up hitting it off in Texas and becoming good friends.

“Has Lynn taken you to Central Park yet?” Jaime asked.

“Not yet” Woody shook his head.

“Oh, bro” Jaime clutched his chest. “It's a minefield of hot women! And if you have a dog with you, forget about it!”

“No way” Woody stared in disbelief. “Do you have a dog we can take with us?”

“No, but I know a guy...” Jaime threw his arm around Woody's shoulder and the two of them walked away as they continued to chat.

“Oh my gosh that ring is so gorgeous!” Rebecca grabbed Kadie's hand as she just noticed her engagement ring.

Kadie pulled her hand away and rested it on her opposite shoulder, as if she were posing, and smirked “Of course it is. Would you expect anything less?”

I laughed at how ridiculous Kadie sounded even though I was unsure of how serious she was being.

Sarah chimed in to the conversation. “You know it was actually Jebrone and I who set the two up” She smiled at Kadie.

“I'm surprised she agreed.” Lacey nudged Kadie's shoulder. “Our little K here has always played hard to get.”

“Well we all have to let go of our past and settle down eventually, right Lace?” Kadie shot her a glance to which Lacey responded with a confused look.

“I guess so?” She quietly responded. Lacey and Mark shrugged their shoulders at one another and turned away to join Jaime and Woody's conversation.

Half an hour had passed before Jonah arrived. I had filled everyone in on my dating situation since the last time they'd seen me I was with Connor. Even though I made an effort to let everyone know, the room still grew quiet as he walked it.

Jonah slowed down at the awkward silence. I jumped out of my chair and met Jonah where he stopped. “Everyone this is...”

“The man of the hour!” Kadie shouted from across the room. Jonah and I both turned to look at her. “Isn't that what Entertainment Weekly is calling you?”

“Is it?” Jonah furrowed his brows. I could tell just by the brief few seconds of his interaction with Kadie he was already annoyed. “I don't tend to read reviews.”

“How modest” Kadie said in a quieter tone.

Jonah looked at me with widened eyes, as if to ask me if Kadie was being serious with her behavior.

I held onto his hand and gave him a look of 'just let it go'. He sighed and I tried to change the subject. “Everyone, this is my boyfriend Jonah. Jonah this is” I pointed to each person individually. “Mark, Lacey, Rebecca, and Woody.”

The four of them stood up and walked over to shake Jonah's hand.

I know this is going to sound weird” Rebecca blurted “But I watch you every night!” She giggled as she spoke to Jonah.

Come on, Becca, we just barely met the guy. Don't scare him away already.” Woody joked

Jonah blushed “Oh, no, that's not weird at all. I'm so glad there's at least one person who enjoys watching me” Jonah turned to give me a look.

Lynn?” Lacey gasped. “You don't watch your boyfriend's show?”

Lynn Lee!” Rebecca nudged my shoulder in disappointment.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I tried to settle every one down. “I'm a college student, I can't stay up late enough to watch the show. Besides I go to most of the tapings.”

Hey!” Jonah said in realization. “That's actually a great idea. Why don't you guys come by tomorrow to watch us tape the show.”

Really?” Mark excitedly asked.

You can't be serious?” Rebecca cried.

I'll just let my people know. Lynn can bring you guys by tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure it won't be a problem.” He shrugged his shoulders.

Everyone started chatting with one another in excitement. Kadie was the only one sitting at the table. Even Jebrone, Henry, and Sarah had gotten up to mingle. 

"It's so cute how excited you Country folks get about show business." Kadie called out from her seat.

Woody shot me a look of confusion. "If I remember correctly you're 'Country folk' too, K" 

Rebecca had noticed Kadie's off behavior and pulled me aside. “Is everything okay with K?” she wiggled her eyebrows and I looked over at Kadie who had her arms crossed watching the crowd.

So you noticed it too” I whispered back and shook my head.

If I hadn't been with her all day I would've thought she were drunk. She seems so bitter” She covered her mouth and whispered even quieter, “Are things between her and Adam okay?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I Will Try To Fix You

“Why do you think I have feelings for you?”

Connor stood inches away from me as he spoke. He was irritated that I was egging him on, but I couldn't help it. I knew this could go horribly wrong and I kept pushing anyway. It kind of felt like a sneeze. As badly as I wanted to prevent it, it still forced it's way out.

I didn't owe anything to Connor, okay scratch that. Maybe I did. Maybe that's why I felt a yearning to fix what I had broken. I would be lying if I said I didn't spend the whole summer constantly reliving the day I broke the news to Connor about Jonah and I. The pain I felt when I saw sadness emerging in his eyes like a time lapse of thundering rain clouds filled with past betrayals. And ever since then I'd been wanting to fix him.

It didn't help that he gave Jonah a bloody nose that same night. It only confused me even more because, as much as I wanted to help him, I despised him for his actions. So much so that I'd forgotten the reason he was upset with me. I was the one to do this to him. I was the one to blame.

It had taken me until this moment that he'd turned around and finally looked into my eyes to be reminded of my shame.

I took a step back. “I'm sorry” I mumbled.

My eyebrows furrowed as realization struck my face. I took another step back and held onto Connor's desk behind me.

He let go of the doorknob and looked at me with concern. “Are you okay?” He asked. “You don't look so good.”

“I'm fine” I held up my free hand taking a moment to gather my scattered thoughts. “Is it hot in here?” I looked up at him, pulling the collar of my scrub top.

“No” He said slowly as he cautiously walked toward me. “But your face is as red as a tomato. Are you sure you're feeling okay?” He held both of his hands out as if he were ready to catch me if I fell.

“No” I shook my head leaning myself off the desk.

He flinched, thinking I was getting ready to pass out. “No?”

“No, I mean yes.” I shook my head again. “I mean, yes I feel fine!” I took a deep breath to try and calm myself. Connor watched intently. “I feel like I just got hit in the face with a brick.”

“I can believe that.” He said.

I stumbled side ways until I was able to sit down in a chair. “What's it called when you have a deeper understanding of something you've already known?”

Connor's irritation for me had turned into genuine concern for my mental well being. “An epiphany” he answered as he sat down in the chair across from me.

“Yeah, an epiphany.” I repeated. “I just had an epiphany.”

“Oh, God, Lynn.” Connor said as he rolled his eyes “Leave it to you to bring the drama! I thought you lost your fucking marbles!”

Connor didn't have much of a Boston accent, but he would slip every now and again. Like just then at the end of his sentence. “ya fa-king mah-bles”

“Look, Connor” I sat up right to show him I was serious. “I know this isn't the time or place, but I owe you an apology.” He sat quietly, putting his hand down onto the arm rest. “I betrayed your trust and confidence. And I hope that by acknowledging this we can move forward instead of staying stagnant.”

There was a knock on the door before it cracked open. It was Connor's assistant. “Dr. Cassidy, the patient in room 3 is upset that you've kept him waiting for over 10 minutes now. He said he's going to leave if you don't come in soon.”

Connor nodded to her and held up a finger, gesturing that he'd be there in a minute. He waited a second before she was gone to respond. “Okay” He said. His eyes stared down at the floor.

I looked around confused. Okay, he accepts my apology? Or, okay, he agrees we should move forward?

He pushed himself up and out of his chair. He leaned over his desk to grab a file and walked towards the door. “Are you coming?”

“Yeah” I said and followed after him.

Today of all days ended up being the busiest day at Connor's office. We didn't even have a moment to sit down for a second. It was one patient after the next. I couldn't complain since it eased some of the awkward tension from that morning. I only found myself thinking about it for a brief second somewhere towards the early afternoon, but aside from that we were both doing a good job of putting on a front.

The last patient of the day shook Connor's hand and walked out of the exam room. Connor took a seat in front of the computer and began putting in his notes.

After bagging the biopsy sample from the patient, I took off my latex gloves and pumped out some antibacterial. “I'm gonna have to drop this off at the lab since it's past 5 o’clock. Did you need me to run anything else?” I held the bag under my arm as I rubbed my hands together. I was walking towards the door when Connor stopped me.

“Wait” He turned around in his swivel chair. “Can we talk for a second?”

Here it was. I put the bag on the counter and shut the door behind me as I walked back in. I pulled out another swivel chair and sat down.

“You were right” He sighed. “It really, really, bothered me how unapologetic you've been this whole time.”

“Connor” I sighed.

He held up his hand to stop me. “I know I'm difficult about expressing my emotions, but it hurt, Lynn. You knew how I felt and you played on my insecurities.”

I stayed quiet to show my remorse.

“I guess I got the affirmation I needed this morning.”

“Look Connor” I leaned my elbow on the counter. “I know you don't have feelings for me”

Connor looked at me in agreement“That's what I've been trying to tell you”

I nodded “But, you do have feelings for me”

His expression turned in to confusion. “Are you sure you're okay?”

“I don't mean feelings like you're still in love with me. Which, by the way, you've made pretty clear that you're not.” I shot him a side eye. “I mean, feelings, as in you still get angry every time you see me, or think about me, or talk to me. Hate is still an emotion, Connor.”

Even though Connor was trying to explain his emotions I could tell it was still uncomfortable for him. I knew this opportunity wouldn't present itself again, so I tried to get everything out.

“I know you're putting on this front because we're both kind of stuck in this unfortunate situation together. But, I can tell by the way you're short with me that you're still angry with me. And I know that's mainly my fault. When I heard about the altercation between you and Jonah, it just automatically filled my mind with all your negative features. I thought of every moment you ever made me angry, and from that point I just associated you with that negativity. The funny thing is, I thought you were the one who owed me an apology.”

“I mean, I could have gone without punching him” Connor managed to crack half a smile. “But, he was right there and it was too tempting.”

“I didn't mean to step my boundaries this morning when I mentioned Danielle. I really do wish you two the best. But, in order for me to love Jonah whole-heartedly I can't have feelings, whether good or bad, for someone else. I guess in the back of my mind I remember what a great guy you are... when you aren't being a total dick...and after everything you've been through you deserve to have the same happiness that I have.”

“I get it” He nodded his head. “You think I can't move forward successfully without processing my emotions.”

“It wasn't fair to me when you brought old baggage to our new relationship, and it won't be fair to Danielle, or any girl in the future, for you to associate my actions with them. You have to break the cycle.” I sighed “I'm just tired of this act we keep running in circles about. I'm tired of us constantly fighting. We work in the same field, Connor, we're bound to run into each other time and time again. I want to see you happy.”

Connor stood up from his chair. “I don't see why we can't be adults about this” He stuck out his hand for me to shake. I stood up from my chair and we both stared at one another as if to make a silent treaty. I held out my hand and shook his. After coming clean and saying what we needed to say we were finally starting fresh.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Real Eyes Realize

“Ms. Barnes, can you please wait in my office?”

Connor held out his hand gesturing for me to go inside. I had just arrived to the office and found Danielle and Connor standing in the hallway having a chat. He had a stack of charts in his hand and she wore a nice sleek pair of Prada eyeglasses as they looked over some paperwork.

“Sureee” I nodded at Connor and smiled at Danielle. I could feel the sympathy pouring in from her side. I couldn't help but think of what she was thinking. 'Oh, that poor mess of a girl is smiling at me, how cute.'

I walked into his office and took a seat in the chair across from his desk. I crossed my legs and twiddled with my thumbs as I waited.

For the most part I stared out the window, which over looked a park surrounded by the tall buildings of New York. I watched as nannies power walked by with strollers and tiny little balls of fur on leashes.

My eyes wandered around the room trying to find a clock. It must have been at least ten minutes since Connor asked me to wait in his office. My eyes stopped when I saw a picture that I hadn't seen before.

The picture was framed and sitting on his desk. It looked like it was from his most recent Pro Bono trip to Asia. We had broken up just hours before he left on his trip. Maybe that's why I hadn't seen the picture. I picked it up and examined it.

Connor stood tall as a little Cambodian girl sat on his shoulders. His arms were wrapped around a young boy, about the same age as the girl, who was standing in front of him. And a second boy stood to the side of them. The four of them were caught in the middle of a laugh as if they were having a great time. I smiled as I looked at their faces.

But then I noticed something. There was a woman in the background of the picture. She was close enough for me to see her and just far enough that I couldn't quite make out who it was.

 Just when I had figured it out, Connor came walking into the room.

I scurried to put the picture back. His nose was buried in the chart he held in his hand. He was so busy looking at it, he hadn't even realized I was sitting in the room.

“Ah, Ms. Barnes.” He said when he looked up and saw me.

“She's gone” I said casually “you can drop the formality”

“I don't know what you're talking about.” He furrowed his brows and pretended like he wasn't hiding the fact that we had once dated.

His eyes looked towards the open door. He waited a second before he walked back to close it and sat at his desk. He continued to look over the charts in his hand while simultaneously typing on the computer.

“Are you going to review any of this information, or not?” His eyes looked up at me.

I grabbed a folder off his desk and began flipping through it. “So” I said without taking my eyes off the paperwork. “How long have you two been together.”

The sound of typing stopped, but he didn't turn his head up until he began speaking, “What are you referring to?”

“You know.” It was my turn to casually look over the chart in my hand as I spoke. “You and Danielle. How long have you two been together?”

He seemed uneasy about my question, “We aren't together.”

I closed the folder and looked up at him. “Come on, Connor. The hot kiss, constantly running to her can't deny it.”

He sighed heavily and rubbed his forehead before going back to his work. “I don't know....a few weeks I guess”

“ A few weeks, or a few months?” I held up the picture that I'd been looking at earlier.

The look on his face was priceless. “How did you even see that.”

“Are you kidding? Ex-girlfriends notice everything.” He took the framed picture from my hand. “So, let me get this straight. We broke up hours before you left out of the country and a week later you end up dating her?”

Connor didn't respond. He was too busy trying to avoid my question.

“Connor” I called for his attention. “I really don't care that you two are dating. Actually I'm lying, I'm thrilled because it makes this whole situation a lot easier.”

He continued typing.

“But, you can't just get into a relationship immediately after having your heart broken.”

“Oh, really?” His words were drenched in sarcasm. “Give me more relationship advice, Lynn.” He placed his elbow on the desk and propped his head up on his fist.

“Look” I sighed, trying to find the best way to explain the situation to him. “I know I'm not a love guru”

“Clearly” He mumbled and rolled his eyes before standing up.

I stood up and followed him to the door.“Part of the reason I don't think it worked between us is because I started my relationship with you immediately after Jonah left town. I hadn't even given myself a chance to miss him. I still loved him and that's why it made it so hard for me to be there 100 percent for you.”

“Trust me” His hand was placed on the door knob as he waited for us to finish our conversation before opening the door. “I don't have feelings for you”

“Yes you do” I mumbled back.

He irritatedly turned around to rebuttal, but only found himself standing inches away from me. The emotions vanished from his face as he accidentally looked into my eyes and realized the truth.