Monday, August 30, 2010
“He really liked taking pictures of me,” she said, “I thought he’d enjoy taking pictures of the flowers more. But when he showed me the pictures when we got back…I was in a lot of them”
“Awwww….you sound like that bothers you.” I said.
“Well…it doesn’t bother me…I asked him about it and he didn’t seem to notice I was in a lot of them until after I mentioned it.”
“So?” I asked, “I think it’s cute…it means he’s thinking about you even when he doesn’t realize it. Just enjoy his attention Zoey. Why are you trying to find the negatives?”
“You’re right. I guess I just still can’t believe that he’s attracted to me.”
“If you ask me it seems like he’s more than just attracted.”
“Good thing I didn’t ask you,” Zoey said, blushing, “How are you and Sean doing?”
I groaned a little over my plate of pasta.
“I’m in love with him.” I said stabbing a mushroom.
Zoey started laughing at me. I glared at her.
“Why are you upset about that!?”
“Because Sean doesn’t know. And I don’t want to tell him because I don’t know how it will affect his…problem.”
“I see.” Zoey raised her eyebrows and put her fork down, “Do you think he’s close to saying it back to you?”
“Honestly….I have no idea. We’ve had to work through so many problems that I have no clue how he feels about me….other than the fact that he at least likes me…I mean…he is my boyfriend.”
“What are you worried will happen if you tell him, though?”
“Well…the usual things, like if he’ll say it back to me. But then there’s this whole other issue with him in the bedroom that I’m worried about. He’s seeing someone now to help him and I feel like if I say it it’s going to put too much pressure on him to either say it back or make progress with his therapist. Or it might make him regress and I don’t want to be responsible for that. He might stop going altogether.”
“Or…he could say it back.” Zoey smiled.
“Yeah…but if he doesn’t it could do some major damage. I can wait until he says it.”
“Then why are you so miserable about it?”
“Because I want to tell him but I just shouldn’t, it goes against my better judgment.”
“Okay, then. What if you accidentally say it?”
“That’s why I’m stressed out over it.”
“Uh-huh. Well. I think you should tell him, but that’s just me.”
I signaled the waiter over for our check as Zoey’s words sunk in. She was right. I should tell Sean but it could put a huge strain on things and we’ve just gotten to a good place with Sean’s issues, I don’t want to ruin anything.
“You know, Sean wanted me to ask Theo and Anna to go on a double date with us some time. We should do that with you and Wesley too. It would be fun.” I said changing the subject.
“I’ll ask him about it.” She said reaching for her purse, “He’ll probably be up for it since you’re the only friend of mine he hasn’t met.”
I gave Zoey a look somewhere between hurt and shocked.
“What? Anna works at the magazine with me and Elise has done shoots with him. You had to have known that Faith. It’s not like I was purposely trying to stop you from meeting him or anything.”
“I know…but now I feel all left out.” I said giving Zoey the puppy eyes.
“Oh, please. You’re going to meet him, okay? I’ll make sure we schedule a double date for next week.”
I smiled and we started talking about the possibility of grabbing some ice cream once dinner was paid for.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I'm having a bit of writer's block right now, so, unfortunately, I'm going to have to postpone posting for the rest of this week. Posts should start back up again on Monday, but like I said, I'm having some writer's block and I don't know how long it will last (although I don't think it's going to last a long time, I have ideas, I'm just having a hard time actually writing it down the way I want it). I'll keep everyone posted on my progress if it looks like I won't have a post for Monday.
I want my posts to be of high quality and the ones I have currently written up for this week are, frankly, awful, which is why I'm going to take a step back from writing for a few days and try to gain a better perspective on what I want Faith's storyline to be. Faith will be back, though, so don't worry!
Monday, August 23, 2010
“Which museums did you decide on today?”
“We went to the aquarium then to the history museum right next to it. I liked the aquarium more, though.” Shannon said.
“I’ve never been to the aquarium,” I said, “I hear it’s one of the top places to visit here and I’ve always wanted to go, but it’s hard to find time.”
“Well, you know what they say, ‘people who live in tourist areas generally don’t go to see the sites.’ I think that’s really true for New York, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who have lived there their whole lives and haven’t been to the Statue of Liberty.”
Conversation flowed like this throughout dinner and my brother was being much nicer to Sean. I was relieved because I thought his immaturity had passed; as we were wrapping up dinner and finishing off dessert, my brother started in again.
“So Sean…what do you do?” My brother asked with a smirk.
“I’m a musician. I play the guitar in a band.”
My brother scoffed, “I guess not all of us can be selfless and go to war.”
I kicked him under the table.
“The military was never for me, I guess.” Sean tried to give the best answer he could.
“Sean’s band is actually really successful. They have gigs all the time and travel to other places, too.”
At that point I signaled the waiter for our check because this dinner experience had started to go south.
“Sean what kind of music do you guys play?” Shannon asked, trying to change the subject. I had a feeling she was just as embarrassed as I was of my brother’s behavior.
“We play rock music and cover older bands or major hits. I help write the music we don’t cover.”
My brother got in some more rude jabs at Sean before the check came but as we left I told Sean and Shannon to walk to their car so I could talk to my brother alone.
“What the HELL is your problem?”
“Nothing. What? I can’t hate your boyfriends? You hate my girlfriend for no reason.”
“So you just acted like a major ass all night to prove a point? And I don’t hate Shannon, I just don’t think you need to be dating someone as old as she is, someone who’s been divorced, this close to your deployment. I think it’s dangerous.”
“No I’m not! The last thing I need to think about is if you get a ‘Dear John’ letter from her right before you’re supposed to go out on a mission! You don’t need to be distracted when you’re surrounded by violence and danger. She could get you killed and I will hold her entirely responsible if you don’t come home because of something she did!”
My brother was quiet for a minute and then, “Faith that won’t happen-“
“Fine. Then I’ll make an effort to like her…when you get back.”
“That’s almost a year!”
“Do you have a point? If you have the same girlfriend in a year, it will be the longest relationship you’ve ever had and I think only then should you expect me to make an effort to like your girlfriend. I’ve been dating Sean longer than you and Shannon have been dating and I never asked you to meet him or make an effort to get to like him.”
“I don’t have to like the guy that’s dating my sister, especially when he’s some loser musician.”
“Sean isn’t a loser. He has a job he likes, he’s a happy guy. You don’t even know him!”
“Oh, please Faith, could you have picked a more cliché boyfriend? He’ll only hurt you.”
“You seem pretty sure of that. Just like I’m sure Shannon will hurt you. But there’s a difference between my relationship with Sean and yours with Shannon.”
“Is that so? And what, exactly, would be the difference?”
“I’m in love with him!”
We were both silent. He pulled me in for a hug and we started walking in the direction of the car. It was clear our conversation was over and it was now shifting into the good-bye part. When we got to the car Shannon and Sean were talking and laughing, I smiled automatically at the sight of Sean.
“So we’re going to drive down to your parents’ house tomorrow and stay there until Justin has to leave. I’ll make sure he calls you before that.” Shannon winked at me and then she got in the car.
“I’ll see you later.” My brother said wrapping me in another hug.
“Bye.” I said, the word caught in my throat. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything else.
“I love you.” He said when we pulled apart.
I nodded and whispered, “I love you too.”
And with that he got into the driver’s seat and pulled out of the garage. Sean waved as they drove bye while I did my best to try and wave back. As soon as they were out of sight I started crying and Sean pulled me into his chest and started patting my hair. We stood like that for a long time.
Friday, August 20, 2010
“Are you expecting someone?”
“No…” I got up and walked to the door.
“…What are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in Afghanistan!” I said when I opened the door and saw my brother standing in my hallway.
“They keep pushing everything back, I’m supposed to go next month, for real this time. I had some leave so we thought we’d come see you and hang out.”
“We?” I looked around my brother and saw Shannon standing next to him. She waved at me and smiled. GREAT. “No one told me…” I trailed off, a little (okay…very) hurt.
“I wanted to keep it a surprise. Can we come in?”
My eyes got pretty wide then and I stepped outside my apartment into the hallway closing the door so it was barely open. I didn’t want Sean to meet my brother and never like this. My parents have only met one of my boyfriends and it was the guy I dated as a freshman in college. I didn’t want them to meet another one unless I was sure he could handle my mother’s type of crazy. I knew if my brother met Sean my mom would know in less than 24 hours because it would take the heat off of him and Shannon and re-direct it to me.
“Why don’t you guys go to the coffee shop across the street and I’ll meet you there in about 20 minutes?”
“Faith? Is something wrong?” I winced when I heard Sean’s voice coming up behind me.
Sean pulled the door open, took in the situation, and smiled sheepishly.
“Sean, this is my brother, Justin, and his girlfriend Shannon. Guys this is Sean.”
“I’m her boyfriend,” Sean said reaching to shake my brother’s hand. He waved to Shannon.
“Um...we’ll meet you guys at the coffee shop, then?” Shannon said trying to move past the awkwardness of the situation. She was practically pulling my brother, who had a huge grin on his face, down the stairs with her.
“Faith, what’s wrong? Why didn’t you want me to meet your brother…are you ashamed of me?”
“No, Sean…I just don’t really want to talk to my mother about us. She asks too many questions too soon and she’s extremely judgmental. Now that Justin knows I’m sure I’ll be getting a phone call later tonight…he’s probably calling her right now.” I sighed and started banging my head against the door jam.
“Let’s just go get dressed and meet your brother and Shannon, okay? It’s an opportunity to see him before he leaves for Afghanistan for real.”
“How much of our conversation did you hear?”
“All of it…your brother has a pretty loud voice.”
I smiled, he was right. My brother doesn’t understand the concept of volume control sometimes.
We got dressed and met with them across the street where my brother grilled Sean for nearly thirty minutes. By the end of our brunch I was practically screaming in my head.
“What do you guys have planned for today?” I asked trying to change the subject from Sean and what his childhood had been like.
“We were planning on going to a few museums and then..” Shannon trailed off and looked at my brother.
“And then we wanted to have dinner with you. Faith.” His voice implied that he expected only me to be involved in that plan.
“Oh.” I said. Sean and I had made plans with Guy for later that night and I didn’t want to cancel so last minute.
“Where did you guys want to go?” Sean asked, “I know a great place downtown. We could go there.”
After some light discussion, we decided to meet each other there once I got off work and then we said our goodbyes until later that day. On the way to work (Sean walked me there) Sean and I were talking.
“What are you going to tell Guy?”
“Don’t worry…he’ll understand. We can always reschedule with Guy, but your brother is leaving soon, you should spend time with him.”
“I’m sorry he’s being so rude to you. At least I can maintain a level of politeness with his girlfriends.” I said with snobbishness coating my voice.
“Aw, come on…Shannon’s okay.”
I stopped walking and turned to Sean, “She is a 31 year old (a fact I had learned today) divorcee. She is NOT okay for him.” Sean got the hint and didn’t push the issue. He gave me a kiss when I got to work and now I’m on my lunch break. I am SO not looking forward to dinner later tonight.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Veronica and I have made it a habit to touch base at least once every morning. She updates me on anything she needs my assistance on (like Steve replacing all of the break room food) and I update her on my progress with the company policies, and problems that I might have to take care of (like one of the toilets kept running so I had to call maintenance). The topic of conversation had shifted to future hires.
“Well, I know that Jenny had expressed interest in writing political-based stories. If I remember correctly, I think one of her writing samples was about the health care reform. And she has background experience doing political research. We could have her write for politics and gossip.”
“No, let’s shift her to the politics team as a full-time writer and hire a new gossip columnist. I still want you to look for one more possible hire for politics. The Tea Party activism alone will be impossible to cover with Jenny, Riley, and Mariah.”
“Okay, do you want me to use the resumes we kept on file? Or should I sniff around some other resources as well.”
“Whatever you decide.”
Then Veronica’s phone rang and I took my cue to leave. My amazement at the windfall that had just landed in my lap carried me all the way to my office. I closed the door and then ran to my computer. I sent Dina and Suzy an e-mail:
My paper has two openings in it and I think you should submit your resumes, cover letters, and writing samples.
First, the perfect job for Suzy: a gossip columnist. I expect your resume within 24 hours ; ).
Dina, there’s a job opening up as a politics writer. You’d be working with four other people, three writers and a cartoonist. I know you’re a fact-checker and line up sources but I know you used to write. It’s worth a shot to apply.
I’ll put in good words for both of you.
I then called Jenny in and explained that we would like to transfer her over to politics. She was pretty overjoyed about it because politics was her main focus. All in all it was a good day.
Monday, August 16, 2010
“You know for someone who’s a great musician you listen to a lot of bad 80’s music.”
“Hey, don’t insult my hair metal bands. I am a lover of all music.”
“The Final Countdown? Really?” I said giving Sean a joking judgmental look.
“It’s a classic 80’s staple. You know you love it.” Sean winked at me.
Within about 20 seconds Sean was playing air guitar with a dish towel and I was singing into a wooden spoon. There’s just something about the opening of that song that no human on earth can possibly ever resist. Sean insisted I make my cheese-stuffed mushrooms again and he made a five-layer lasagna to go with them. When we settled in for dinner Sean brought up his visit to the psychiatrist.
“So…I saw Dr. Deerhorn today.”
“Yeah? How was it?”
“Well, it was weird…but I think I’m going to see him a few more times before I really make any judgments about it, you know?”
“Sure. Is he like the psychiatrist stereotype?” I joked, “Does he make you lay down on a couch?”
“No…it’s actually nothing like I expected.”
“That’s really nice Sean. I’m glad you’re going to try more sessions, I just want you to be happy.” I smiled at Sean warmly and he blushed. I decided to change the subject so Sean didn’t feel too exposed, “So…I think Zoey has a boyfriend. I think she’s falling love with him.”
“Really? I thought Zoey didn’t date.”
“He was persistent.”
“See? Persistence pays off…it did with me and you…now Zoey…I bet it’s relevant to Anna and Theo, too.”
I giggled at Sean remembering how persistent he was with me (and such an emotional rock when I needed him) and our conversation flowed. He even suggested we go on a double-date with Anna and Theo, so I’m going to look into it.
We finished dinner and snuggled under a blanket. It was thundering and lightning outside and we decided to watch the storm instead of a movie. The sound of the rain pelting Sean’s windows (which are huge, by the way…I have a thing about windows) was so relaxing and we had a gorgeous light show from the storm clouds hanging above the skyline.
“Aren’t you going to ask me what Dr. Deerhorn and I talk about?”
I looked at Sean.
“Because what you talk about with Dr. Deerhorn is personal and private. I would never ask you about it, Sean. Me prying into something so private would be taking away your privacy. I want you to feel comfortable in therapy and not filter anything because it’s the only way for you to come to terms with your issues.” I put my hand gently on his jaw, “I would never put you in such a position.”
Sean seemed content, almost relieved, by my answer and held my hand, he started kissing my wrist and making his way up until we started making out under the fluffy blanket to the sound of the rain and thunder. We didn’t end up having sex but let me just tell you, ladies, having a guitarist as a boyfriend has its perks, especially in terms of finger dexterity. Faith was quite the happy little girlfriend last night and I made sure Sean knew it...and probably his neighbors too. ; )
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Sean arrived right after I finished packing the cheese stuffed mushrooms, mini ham and cheese quiches, and garlic rubbed bruschetta (I might be obsessed with that café Zoey and I went to more than I realized, okay, don’t judge me) in a small picnic basket. I added two chocolate cream cheese brownies I bought from a bakery earlier in the day and a bottle of wine on top of my two plates and forks and closed the top right as he walked in. Murphy greeted him warmly and started purring.
“Something smells great…” Sean came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist.
“It’s a surprise, can you go grab the blanket that’s folded on the couch?”
Sean left to go grab it while I double-checked everything and grabbed two wine glasses which I had forgotten to add to my basket.
“So what are we doing?”
“It’s a surprise.” I said leaning against my kitchen counter with my arms across my chest.
“I have ways to make you talk.” Sean said sidling up to me and putting his hands on my waist.
“Nope, you’ll get nothing from me. Do your worst, villain!” I threw my head back and did my best melodramatic voice.
“Alright, you asked for it.” Sean started kissing me and started moving towards my neck.
“Okay, you win; I’m taking you to the park.”
With that we set off into the night and picked a grassy spot unobstructed by trees, Sean still didn’t know about the meteor shower and I was waiting to reveal that particular secret. We dug into the picnic basket as soon as we sat down and Sean couldn’t help but rave about my cooking skills. He liked the stuffed mushrooms the most. We laid out on the blanket (Sean had the smart idea to bring a pillow from my couch, too), Sean had his arm around me and I leaned on his chest.
“The park wasn’t the only draw,’ I said, “There’s a meteor shower tonight, too. I thought you’d like it.”
Sean kissed my head and we laid around in a comfortable silence waiting for the show to start. It did and we talked about how beautiful it was. Sean even took a picture of it with his phone.
“So…I looked into seeing a doctor. I’m going to see them next week.”
I looked up at Sean, “Really?”
“Yeah, I thought about it and you’re right. I should be more concerned about this than I am.”
I gave Sean a kiss and looked deep into his eyes.
“Faith…it’s not a big deal…” I could tell I was making him uncomfortable so I laid my head back down.
After a few minutes of silence, Sean spoke up again.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“It’s about your ex-boyfriend.”
“Oh,” I said my heart sinking. I’d told Sean the basic gist of Kevin’s and my relationship the night we decided to start dating, but Sean didn’t know the deeper, emotional problems with Kevin and he only had a small idea of what working with Kevin was like. He didn’t know about how Kevin got “fired”, he just knew I left my job because of him.
“You said that he did a lot of damage, to you, with the things he said. What exactly happened?”
I sighed, my romantic night under the stars had suddenly taken a bad turn.
“He said a lot of things. It wasn’t until later that I realized how hurtful it had all been. I guess the worst part was when he said I still wanted to date him and I knew it even though he was kind of trying to sexually assault me at the time. I told him it wasn’t true.”
I felt Sean’s arm tighten around me, his voice was low, “What?”
“Look Sean, it’s not a big deal. I’ve moved on.”
We both sat up from our blanket, completely ignoring the meteors sparkling above us.
“Did you just say…”
“Sean it sounds worse than it was, okay. I went to give him my two week’s notice and he put his hand up my skirt, tried to take my shirt off, and kissed me while I was pinned against his desk. It’s not a big deal, two of the journalists I worked for were able to come in and restrain him before he could do anything else. He was drunk.”
“He stuck his hand up your skirt!? And you’re excusing him because he was drunk?”
“It really does sound worse than it was. Really, I’m fine.”
“Faith! How can you be so nonchalant about something like this? Your ex-boyfriend wasn’t trying to sexually assault you, he did.”
“But I’m fine.”
“So that makes it okay for men to put their hands on you?”
“No, of course not.”
Sean was quiet for a minute.
“Tell me what you’re thinking…” I pleaded.
“Are you defending him because you still have feelings for him?”
“Then why wouldn’t you press charges against someone who did that to you, why are you defending him?”
“Sean…I just wanted to leave, okay, pressing charges would have connected me to him even longer. I wanted to get away from him. It was an invasion of my personal space; he groped me, but I’m never going to have to see him again. I’m free. I’m not defending him; I’m letting him off the hook in exchange for never having him in my life again. It seems like a fair trade. I promise…I’m fine.”
Sean wrapped me in his arms and kissed my hair. We watched the rest of the meteor shower in a reserved silence; neither of us knowing what to say. I drifted off to sleep in Sean’s arms after about twenty minutes. He gently woke me up and we decided to go back to my place. We tried to have sex but it didn’t work out, luckily Sean handled it a little bit better than last time. He was still extremely embarrassed but I was able to get him to look at me after a few minutes. Sean fell asleep a few minutes later but I was having trouble sleeping so I thought I’d write up about our date to see if it helped at all. I don’t think it did.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
I called Zoey after Murphy’s needs had been met so I could make up for our girl-date and my subsequent freak out.
“Hey, Zoey, what are you doing today?”
“I was going thinking about going grocery shopping.”
“Well, I would like to take you out to lunch. You name the place, money is no object.”
“Are you trying to buy my love?”
“That depends….is it working?”
“Kind of. Can we go wherever I want?”
“Okay. I’ll pick you up in an hour.”
“See you then.”
I clicked off the phone and went to go shower and get dressed. I had just put on a pair of jeans and a white spaghetti-strap shirt when Zoey rang my bell.
We ended up going to a pretty fancy café that Zoey had read about in a local magazine. They had fresh fruit platters, French cuisine, various sandwiches and pasta dishes, it was so hard to choose.
I ordered us some garlic rubbed bruschetta and a nice bottle of wine to start us off as we looked over the menu.
“Wow you’re really pulling out the stops,” Zoey said looking at me over her menu.
“I feel really bad about ignoring you the way I did. It was selfish. I just thought I’d take you out so you could tell me about your date with Wesley. I owed you, at least, food for acting like that.”
“It’s fine, Faith. And actually…we’ve gone out twice since our first date.”
“Well,” I said moving my eyebrows up and down, “have you guys…?”
“Not yet, but it’s definitely headed in that direction.”
“Is he absolutely marvelous?”
Just then the waiter came over to take our orders. Zoey ordered a bowl of French onion soup with homemade parmesan croutons, a warmed side salad with a raspberry vinaigrette, and half of an arugula and roast beef sandwich on crusty artisan bread. I ordered the French onion soup and croutons as well, a regular sized roast chicken sandwich with arugula and provincial spices on squishy parmesan dusted bread. For dessert I ordered us a fruit plate with fresh strawberries, melons, oranges, and grapes.
“You didn’t have to do that Faith.”
“Seriously, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it. What did you and Wesley do on your date?”
“He took me to the aquarium.”
“Yeah, he noticed the sea turtle paper weight I have on my desk and the sea turtle charm on a charm bracelet I wear sometimes, so he thought I’d like it since they just opened their sea turtle exhibit. We had a blast. He bought me one of those ridiculous foam hats in the shape of different animals. Mine was a sea turtle and he got a polar bear. Then he took me out to dinner at a nearby McDonald’s.”
“Yeah. I had a great time. We were going to go to a different place but we were too hungry to make the trip. It was nice.”
“Well it obviously went well or else you wouldn’t have gone out on a date with him.”
“It did. We kissed on our first date. It was nice.”
Our food came while Zoey blushed and it was AMAZING. We will definitely be going there again, the prices weren’t even that bad because it was their lunch menu. Holy crap I think I might have a sex dream focusing on the food we ordered, it was that good!
“So what about your other dates with him?”
“We did the normal dinner and a movie thing on our most recent, but on our second date we went bike riding around the lake and had a picnic. We’re supposed to go out tomorrow and I’m the one who planned it. I think he’ll really like it.”
“What are you planning for him?”
“I’m going to take him to the huge flower garden just outside the city and ask him to bring his camera. I think he’ll like taking pictures of the different flowers and landscapes.”
“Wow, that’s going to be so much fun, I wish I could go,” I joked.
“Wesley’s…different Faith. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy and comfortable with someone this early on in our relationship. When he looks at me, I feel like I’m the only person he ever wants to look at, like I’m the only woman that exists for him. When he kisses me it’s so soft and gentle…he respects me a lot more than…”
Zoey got quiet then, thinking about her last serious relationship (and also the last person she had sex with) with Sean a personal trainer (not my Sean) who cheated on her with one of his clients. None of us really liked him that much but Anna, Elise, and I decided to not say anything because Zoey was so happy with him. It wasn’t until he started hitting on Elise that Zoey realized what a slime ball he was and cut him out of her life. She’s gone on dates since they broke up (two and a half years ago) but nothing stuck. They were pretty serious too, they dated for over a year. I watched Zoey as she receded into her thoughts and realized why she was having such a hard time believing Wesley was into her. Sean was a personal trainer and he was hot, but he also knew it and took advantage of it by cheating on Zoey every chance he got. I can only imagine the things he said to her to make her feel so unworthy of love. None of us really know what happened between Zoey and Sean the night they broke up, she’s never talked about it and we never pushed the issue. She went into a trance for weeks after they broke up and then one day she just snapped out of it. The three of us were so thankful to have Zoey back that we didn’t want to ask her about it. It was so rare for Zoey to even mention Sean.
“Hey…Wesley’s not like him.”
“I know.” Zoey smiled at me as I touched her hand.
We moved on to other topics while we finished our lunch. The fruit plate I ordered was absolutely gorgeous, there were perfect balls of melon, the strawberries were cut to look like swans, and the oranges and grapes were arranged to look like flowers. It was almost too pretty to eat.
Zoey and I decided to do some light shoe shopping before parting ways, but not before I noticed Zoey get a text.
Her face lit up before she blushed and smiled. She tapped out a text on her phone’s keyboard and pressed send. I didn’t need to ask who it was, it was clearly Wesley. She had the same look on her face when she talked about him during lunch.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I was sitting in my apartment last night obsessing over Sean. I’d called him twice and left a message on his phone, but I got no answer. I looked at Murphy who was lounging next to me; his front paw hanging off the couch. He started snoring and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I gave Murphy a kiss, grabbed my house keys and bolted out the door.
Sean’s face was hard to read when he opened the door.
“Good, you’re alive. I’ll go now.” I said turning away.
“Wait.” I stopped.
“Oh…you’re talking to me now?” I said turning around and feeling a little juvenile at the my come back.
“Can we do this inside my apartment, please?” Sean said opening the door wider.
I contemplated making a scene in the hallway but I figured I’d already caused enough embarrassment for Sean the other day. I walked past him with my hands balled into fists. He shut the door behind me and followed me into the living room.
“Why are you here?” He asked standing a few feet across from me.
“I told you, I wanted to make sure you were alive. You haven’t talked to me in nearly a week Sean. What the hell?”
“I wanted some space.”
“And that isn’t something you thought to let me know?”
“Honestly, no. You’re not my keeper Faith, I don’t need to tell you where I am every minute of every day.”
“You are not accusing me of being smothering. There is no way that’s true and you know it.”
Sean snorted, “You called me twenty times in a week!”
“I called you because I was concerned about you, Sean, not because I wanted to babysit you. What the hell is this attitude? The last time we saw each other you refused to look at me, what was I supposed to think? That everything was completely fine?”
“I don’t have an attitude, you’re acting crazy. You call me more than a stalker does, you show up at my door and start screaming in my hallway, I’m not the problem here.”
I looked at Sean who had crossed his arms and had his face set in an angry pout and I paused for a moment.
“I’m going to ignore that because I know you don’t mean it,” I paused again and paced his living room for a few seconds. I threw my hands up in the air out of exasperation, “You know I’ve gotta be honest, here, Sean. I don’t really understand what the problem is. I thought we’d agreed to try. I made it very clear that it was okay if it didn’t happen. So why are you punishing me for what we both agreed on doing?”
Before I knew it Sean was yelling at me.
“Can’t you understand how hard this is for me? How embarrassing it is for me?” Sean had never blown up at me like this, he’d closed the gap between us and I could see the anger in his eyes. I was taken off guard and I responded by yelling back.
“Yes Sean, that’s why I walk around on eggshells and stroke your ego constantly. I am fully aware that not being able to get it up is embarrassing,” Sean winced with real hurt. It was a low blow and I knew it, “You’re not the only one that’s vulnerable when we’re intimate.”
“Yeah well I’m sorry that I wanted an actual relationship with you. I’m sorry I had the audacity to have feelings for you and that I wasn’t happy just being a cheap whore for your no-strings-attached rebound!”
The implication in his voice was pretty clear (that I was a cheap whore for not wanting an actual relationship with him at first). I slapped him across the mouth. For a second I wasn’t sure what Sean was going to do. He slowly brought his face upright, his dark hair falling in his eyes. Sean looked at me for a moment, deciding how to react, before he turned and walked away into the kitchen. I heard him scrambling around in there and paced around his living room, counting to twenty. I calmed myself down before walking towards the kitchen. He was standing over the sink with his back to me.
“I won’t allow myself to be talked to like that, Sean. The guy before you had never been so explicit with me and I’m pretty sure you’re aware of the damage that he left in his wake.”
I saw Sean’s back tense when I started speaking.
“Did you mean it?” I enunciated each word.
He turned around slowly. I realized he had a dish towel full of ice on his jaw and instantly felt remorse for hitting him.
“No. I didn’t.”
“Okay. Sean…?” I wanted to ask him a question…but stopped at the last minute, “I’m going to go.”
I stopped walking to his door and turned back around.
“It’s not important. I’m sorry. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. Bye.”
“Faith.” I stopped again. “Ask me.”
I realized that he had walked closer to me when my back was to him; he was only a few feet from me when I turned around.
“I was just going to ask if this…us…if it’s over.” I choked on the words as they came out.
“What do you want?”
I looked into Sean’s eyes. “You.”
“Then that’s what you have.”
“Sean I’ve hurt you in so many ways…”
“The same could be said for me in regards to you.” He started walking closer to me. I realized I was shaking from the excess adrenaline in my body.
He put his free hand on my shoulder, “Are you cold?”
“No.” He backed away from me.
“Are you afraid of me?” The realization in his eyes at just the possibility was too hard for me to look at.
“No.” I started walking closer to him and reached for the dishtowel pressed to his face, “Can I see?”
I took the dishtowel from his hand and frowned. I’d hit him really hard, he’d definitely have a bruise. Sean was watching my reaction and seemed concerned at the guilt slowly filling up my eyes.
“I’m fine. It didn’t hurt.”
As I was on my tip-toes to look at his jaw we both became very aware of how close our faces were. Before I knew what was happening Sean’s mouth was on mine and my back was up against his refrigerator. Magnets went flying across his kitchen, the ice cubes were all over the floor, and my legs were wrapped around his waist. We stumbled our way towards his bedroom making a mess of his apartment. By the time we got onto his bed most of our clothes were off; much to my surprise, when I looked down, Sean was ready, we wouldn’t even need foreplay.
About two hours later, Sean was asleep and I was lying next to him, entangled in his arms. Something wasn’t right about what had just happened. It just didn’t make sense. About half way through, Sean was on top of me and everything just seemed to become less special. He wasn’t making eye contact as much; he was reluctant to change positions, almost like he just wanted to get it over with. I had noticed during and he knew it so he distracted me with kisses and light touching until it eventually ended. Afterward I had snuggled into Sean ready for sleep but my eyes flew open about an hour later as soon as I had remembered all of this. I looked up at Sean to make sure he was asleep and then wiggled out of his grasp. There was a white button up shirt on the floor that I shrugged on and started closing up; it was buttoned by the time I sat on Sean’s couch, facing his bedroom door.
I hadn’t noticed how pretty Sean’s living room was in the moonlight. His bedroom didn’t have any windows, which I knew he liked because he hated trying to sleep with even the faintest light on. That exact reason was also why I knew I wouldn’t be waiting very long; there was a long streak of moonlight shining into his bedroom. About ten minutes later Sean walked out of his bedroom and saw me sitting on the couch lost in my thoughts. His hair was all over the place as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. I noticed he’d put on some gray draw-string pajama pants as he walked over and sat on his coffee table across from me.
“What was that Sean?”
“What was what?”
“I thought you didn’t want to use the drugs.”
“I wasn’t using any drugs; I gave them all to you. You flushed them down my toilet, remember.”
“You could’ve gotten more.”
“Faith, I didn’t know you were going to be here. You surprised me and I never left your sight, I would have had to take one in the time you arrived and when…we…”
I stood up and moved my eyes in the direction of his bathroom.
“Okay, so you’re telling me that if I walk into your bathroom right now I’m not going to find a fresh prescription for 36-hour pills?”
Sean’s jaw was set. He grabbed my hand so I would sit again.
“Look, I was so humiliated about the last time we tried. I got a prescription filled for a 36-hour pill but I honestly didn’t think I’d use it. I took one yesterday and I was going to call you but I wanted to wait for the pill to be out of my system before you came over. You beat me to it before the pill could be out of my system. I’m sorry.”
“Sean you lied to me. You promised me that we wouldn’t use the pills…for your health…because you didn’t want to.”
“I don’t. I took it thinking it would be the only way to get you to take me back.”
“What are you talking about?”
Sean was silent.
“Did you really think I was going to break up with you because of the other day? I told you…it’s not a big deal to me.”
“It is to me.” Sean looked away.
I reached my hand out and put it on his face.
“Do you know what is important to me?” He looked at me, “You being in the moment with me. I don’t want you to feel out of the moment because of some pill…to make it mechanical and obligatory, that doesn’t help build intimacy; it makes me feel like I’m just another chore to do. If I have to choose between what happened the other day and tonight I’d rather take what happened the other day. At least you were into it for the majority of it. At least I could hear how much you were enjoying it even if a certain other part of you wasn’t.”
He blushed and held my hand to his face for a beat.
“Faith…I’ll take the pills for you and I’ll be in the moment at the same time.”
“No.” I took my hand away.
“I want you to see a doctor.”
“I have. Who do you think has been prescribing me the pills?”
“Not that kind of doctor.”
Sean was quiet for a minute, taking in my face.
“I think it might help. Please don’t be mad at me.”
“I’m not mad. Can I think about it?”
“Of course, it’s not an ultimatum, Sean.”
He relaxed at that and suddenly looked around his living room which was terribly messy from earlier. Clothes were strewn about, chairs were out of place, and a fake plant was knocked over. A wide and sheepish smile broke out across his face.
“You know…we might as well take advantage of the 36 hours…” Sean was eyeing the buttons on my shirt, “It’d be a waste if we didn’t.”
“This really turns you on, doesn’t it?” I said looking down at his shirt and hitching it farther up my leg.
“…no,” Sean swallowed hard.
“Oh really?” I undid one of the buttons and raised an eyebrow.
Sean pulled me on top of him, still on the side of his coffee table, he ripped the shirt open.
“You just ruined a perfectly good shirt.”
“It’s cool…I don’t wear…button-downs. But please, keep…talking dirty to me.” Sean said in between kissing my neck and down my chest. I giggled at his version of dirty talk.
When I woke up this morning Sean was sitting next to me putting his shoes on.
“I have to go; I have a meeting with Gerry. I’ll be back later okay; don’t worry about cleaning up or anything, either.” He kissed my forehead before he left.
I put on one of his favorite t-shirts (one I knew he wouldn’t be willing to rip off of me) and trotted out of his bedroom. The living room looked even worse in daylight although I did smile when I saw the broken coffee table; remembering how it ended up like that. Sean was a lot more into what we were doing after our talk, I guess.
(There will be a post every day this week, including weekends, so come by often!)
“That sounds great,” I replied.
The rough jab in the ribs got my attention.
“OW! What was that for?”
“I warned you, but you weren’t listening…like you haven’t been listening for the past 20 minutes.”
Zoey’s eyes were looking at me frustrated.
I sighed, “I’m sorry Zoey….I’m being a terrible friend.”
“Look, do you want to hear about my date with Wesley or should I save it for another time?”
“I want to,” I said nodding, “I’m just doing a poor job of focusing.”
Zoey looked down at her feet, I could tell her feelings were hurt, which made me feel even worse.
“Faith, this is the first date I’ve been on in a long time that wasn’t a complete disaster. You could at least pretend to care after harping on my pathetic sex life for the past month.”
The guilt started pouring out of me and I couldn’t control the sobs that came rushing out. Zoey’s eyes got wide as she rushed me out of the crowded bookstore’s café and into her car.
“I didn’t mean to…upset you so much.” Zoey watched me with confusion,
“What’s going on?”
I looked out the window with sudden embarrassment and tried to stop the tears pouring down my face.
“Nothing, I’m just a horrible co-worker, a horrible friend, and a horrible girlfriend.” I said, the sobs starting up again.
Zoey started her car and headed toward her apartment. She was silent for the majority of the drive, knowing that trying to talk to me right now wouldn’t accomplish anything. When we got into her apartment she made us some tea and we ended up sitting across from each other at her kitchen table.
“What’s the problem?” She asked coldly.
“I already told you,” I said getting defensive.
Zoey sighed and swirled the tea in her cup. She set it down with a loud thud and got up.
“Where are you going?” I asked.
“I’m going to Wesley’s. At least he pretends to want me around.” She spun on her heel and grabbed her keys which were sitting on a hallway table.
“Zoey, wait!” I heard her feet stop in the hallway, “I’m sorry. But….I promised I wouldn’t talk about it.”
I heard her throw the keys on the hallway table and start walking back to the dining room. She appeared and leaned on the empty door jamb.
“And the other stuff? The stuff you can talk about?”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t listening to you. You were excited to tell me about your date and I just didn’t listen because I was being selfish…wrapped up with my own stuff. I know how big of a deal it is that you went on a date…I’m sorry I didn’t react the way I should have.”
Zoey cocked her head and gave me an urging look.
“I’m sorry I snapped at you, too. I just feel like I’m sucking at all of my relationships, lately.”
“Well, my brother is mad at me because he’s dating a 30-year-old divorcee and I can’t bring myself to like her, my co-workers from my old job are in bad shape and I didn’t bother to keep in touch because I wanted to cut everything about Kevin out of my life, and I ignore my friends and their feelings…so I’m just a terrible person all around.”
Zoey sat in her chair and picked up her cup of tea again.
“I’m assuming the thing you can’t talk about is yet another Sean problem.”
I didn’t like Zoey’s tone.
“I thought you liked him.” I said preparing for an argument.
“I do, but not at the cost of your happiness. Do you realize that you haven’t been happy since you guys started dating?”
I started to protest but quickly realized it was true. I really hadn’t been happy since we’d started dating…since before the Fourth of July, really. I shook my head.
“I think he’s worth it Zoey. He’s…special…to me.” I looked down, the tears threatened to come back.
“Oh, Faith…just tell me what it is.”
“Zoey, I promised. He’d never trust me again if he found out.”
“Why would I ever bring that up with your boyfriend?”
Zoey had a point but I was still haunted by the disastrous night Sean met all of my friends and all of the things they said by mistake.
“You’ve slipped up before with Sean.”
Zoey pursed her lips, “Fair enough. But I can’t help you if you don’t let me in. Maybe I should take you home.” Zoey went to get up to grab her keys.
“Sean can’t get it up.” The words came out of my mouth before I knew what I was doing. I buried my head in my hands out of shame.
Zoey froze in her chair.
“He was using drugs before we started dating but he didn’t want to use them anymore. He was too embarrassed to tell me, so he came up with the whole waiting thing. We tried…without drugs and nothing happened, he hasn’t called me since.” M voice was quiet.
“How old is Sean?”
“Isn’t that kind of young…to be having that particular problem?”
“He told me he’s always been like this. Apparently it doesn’t work unless he’s in love with someone. Zoey…I worked on him for nearly an hour with absolutely no response. I’m contemplating bringing knee pads next time.” I smiled weakly at my joke, Zoey smiled too.
“That’s…” Zoey let out a whistle.
“He wouldn’t even look at me. I’ve tried calling him every day since then…he’s screening my calls. I don’t know what to do.”
“Well did you try to say anything to him after?”
“Of course but he cut me off. He didn’t want to hear it. I want to convince him to see a doctor, but I don’t think he’s going to be willing to do that.”
“Well, at least you know he doesn’t have a medical problem.”
“You said he was using drugs, before, right?”
“You have to get those from a doctor. He’d have to get a prescription for it, so you know he’s already seen a doctor. He probably needs to see a different type of doctor, if you know what I mean.”
Zoey and I hung out at her place for awhile, but I was useless in helping the conversation while I was thinking about Sean. We settled on watching a mindless movie until Zoey insisted on driving me home to my lonely and hungry cat.
(Author's Note: There will be a post every day this week, including weekends, so be sure to come by often! Also this is the blog's 100th post [not counting author's notes])
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
“Hey, Faith. I ordered for you, an orange chicken and two eggrolls.” Dina smiled at me as I got settled.
“Thanks, you sounded…harried on the phone earlier, Suzy.”
Dina was laughing at Suzy’s paranoia and I couldn’t help but look at them with confusion.
“We want in.” Suzy finally managed to say.
“In on what?” I asked.
Suzy immediately shushed me and sat straighter in her chair, the waiter had come with our food. He gave Suzy a questioning glare as he left after laying out all of our plates.
“What Suzy is very poorly asking you, Faith, is if there are any openings at your new job…ones that would specifically suit our qualifications.” Dina shot Suzy a warning glance as she popped a spoon full of beef fried rice in her mouth.
I shook my head, “No…we just hired so many people, we won’t be looking to expand for at least a few months.” Their facial expressions, which were full of hope quickly became sullen and sad, “Why are you guys looking for new jobs? Dina you’ve been with the paper forever.”
They both sighed. Something on Dina’s face told me that she had hoped I wouldn’t ask.
“Well…our…boss is kind of the problem. We both want out.” Suzy exchanged a glance with Dina as soon as she’d finished; it’s like they’d rehearsed what to say.
Something about the way Suzy worded that sentence didn’t seem right.
“Alright…spill it. What are you trying not to say?” I crossed my arms against my chest and sat back in my chair; glaring at them.
“Nothing,” Dina said, “We don’t like our boss and just wanted to know if there was an opening at your paper.”
“Well, I can’t help you there, but I’ll be sure to let you know when something opens up.” I said lulling them into a false sense of security.
“That would be great Faith, we hate working for-“
“Yeah thanks Faith.” Dina said interrupting Suzy, I had a feeling she also kicked her under the table.
“Cut the crap. Who’s your new boss? Why are they so awful to work for?”
Suddenly, both of them were shoving food into their mouths, raving about how good it was.
“Guys…it’s me…I thought we were friends.” I was impressed with myself, I didn’t think I was capable of such a convincing guilt trip.
“Aw….Faith…Dina…she has a right to know if she’s going to help us with the getting a job thing.” Suzy turned to Dina who was twisting her napkin around.
A chilly silence fell over the table. I went to get up.
“Okay….” I sat back down as Dina yelped the word out, “Faith…we don’t actually have a new boss.”
“I don’t really understand.” I said trying to make sense of what that meant.
“When you left Kevin was fired, we all saw him packing up his things with his banshee of a fiancée.”
I nodded remembering Dina tell me about Hannah coming to help him clean out his office and the pity I had felt for her shortly thereafter.
Suzy jumped in, “We got George back and everyone missed you, but Scott was taking your place just fine. Things were going really well. But then George left and Kevin came back, a month later. All of us were really confused but it was a permanent decision and no one knew how he’d managed it.”
I was pretty shocked by this news but I smiled at Suzy. She was the gossip columnist at the paper, I just knew she got the dirt.
“How’d you figure it out?”
“I didn’t…Dina broke into Scott’s office, your old office, and looked up Kevin’s personnel file.”
I looked at Dina absolutely shocked.
“Dina…that’s illegal. You could be fired if anyone found out.”
“I had to Faith. I wanted to know what he did to get his job back. He sexually assaulted you in his office, as a woman and a potential victim, I felt I had a right to know why the board was giving him his job back. Besides, everyone hates him, they won’t rat me out.”
I looked at Dina and could feel the waves of anger rolling off of her.
“He basically blackmailed them,” she said, “He used his relationship with you as a way to sue the paper for sexual harassment. If he’d won the paper would have gone under and all of us would be out of a job. They negotiated a settlement with him. They agreed to pay him a certain amount of money and give him his job back as long as he agreed to drop the lawsuit completely and attend a 30-day rehab program for his drinking. There were a few other conditions, like he would be terminated immediately if he drank on the premises or showed up to work drunk and a bunch of other stuff.”
“George only came back while Kevin was in rehab. His wife’s been doing a little better, by the way. She opted out of the hospice care at George's request when their youngest daughter got engaged. They think she’ll make it to Christmas.” Suzy said quietly, there was a sense of sadness in her voice.
“That’s nice to hear about George’s wife,” I said momentarily distracted by the news. I loved George and was truly sorry to hear about his wife. It looks like she’ll be able to attend her youngest daughter’s wedding this October. My thoughts quickly moved on to something Dina had said, “Wait…I gave the board a statement about our dating, how is he suing them for sexual harassment?”
“It basically turned into a he-said-she-said thing. Kevin claims that you came into his office to try and get back together. He claims you were trying to seduce him and he was trying to prevent you from taking off anymore of your clothes.” Dina said. It suddenly became crystal clear why they were so reluctant to tell me about Kevin’s re-hiring.
“But that’s a lie! Herb and Wesley saw him trying to take off my shirt. He had me pinned against his desk and had his tongue down my throat!”
“The board asked them both for statements but they couldn’t really remember enough details to be reliable witnesses. Kevin hired a lawyer that would have torn them to shreds. Kevin claimed that they walked in while he was trying to keep you from taking your shirt off and misread the situation.” Suzy said looking down.
I was silent for a minute. It was a lot to take in.
“That’s not even the half of it, Faith,” Dina pounded her fist on the table, “he’s a jerk to everyone. He makes all of our jobs harder and gets away with so much crap because he knows the only thing to get him fired would be alcohol-related. The board is too afraid to do anything about it. It’s awful. Scott doesn't know what to do or how to handle Kevin. Herb and Wesley get the worst of his wrath.”
I looked down. I was sorry that Herb and Wesley were being punished for being decent human beings. Maybe there would be room for them at my job too. I looked up, aware that I had gotten lost in my thoughts. Dina and Suzy were looking at me with concerned eyes.
“I will do whatever I can to help you guys when my paper starts looking for more people. I promise.”
Relief washed over both their faces and after a few minutes our conversation turned to more frivolous topics. I realized how much I missed both of them and immediately felt bad for not keeping in touch. To be fair…the whole situation with Kevin tainted so many things I had previously loved that I think, subconsciously, I didn’t want to be reminded of him ever again. Dina and Suzy were both reminders. Both of them seemed to understand, though.
We said our goodbyes after catching up and I couldn’t help feeling bad as I walked to my apartment. The three of us used to be really close but after I started dating Kevin I kind of separated myself from my co-workers to reduce the gossip pool that had been going around with us. I was a horrible friend to them for not staying in touch after I left and I will make it up to them.
(Author's note: There will be a post every day this week [including weekends] so come back often!)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
“Hey…are you okay? I can’t help but notice that you’ve been kind of distracted. You missed an appointment.” Steve pushed his head inside the door, afraid or unwilling to come all the way in.
My head snapped up in shock and panic, “What!?”
“It’s fine, I was able to reschedule for you before they went out of their way to get here.”
“How do you know I would’ve missed it if they didn’t even show up?”
“Because you didn’t get the paperwork completed yet.” Steve stepped all the way into my office, more confident now, and closed the door behind him before he sat in one of the chairs across from my desk. “Would you like me to do it? You’ve been really busy with the company policies.”
“No, Steve, I think I’ll be able to handle it. When did you reschedule it for?”
“Next week. Are you sure you don’t want to talk about what’s bothering you?”
“I have to work, Steve.”
“You still have 15 minutes of your lunch left.”
“You actually time me?” I eyed him with judgment.
“I’m your assistant, it benefits both of us if I know when you take your lunch and how long it is supposed to be so I don’t over book you.”
“Fair enough,” I sighed. I put my head in my hands…probably more dramatically than I should have.
“I see.” Steve eyed me knowingly, “What did he do?”
I blushed at how well Steve could read my mind.
“Is it really that obvious?”
“Honey, I know more about men than you do and I can spot a lover’s quarrel within a hundred miles. So what was it about? Is he cheating on you?” Steve crossed his legs and cocked his head.
“No. I made him feel bad and now he won’t return my calls.”
“Well that’s juvenile,” Steve said, I glared at him in return. I didn’t quite like the fact that Steve was passing judgment on my boyfriend like that.
“He has every right to be angry. I guess angry isn’t the right word...I embarrassed him.” I said trying not to give anything away.
“Faith…what could you have possibly done to embarrass your boyfriend so much that he’s screening your calls?”
I looked down, my face was hot, “I can’t tell anyone. It would make things worse. I promised I wouldn’t say anything about it.”
“Am I allowed to guess, at least?”
“I can’t tell you if you’re right.”
“I see. Well, there’s really only one option for you then, right?”
I looked at Steve, amazed at how easy it was to like him when he wasn’t raving about texturized vegetable proteins and soy coffee creamer, “And that would be?”
“Go to his house and break down the door.”
With that Steve got up and walked out of my office, closing the door behind him.
I sat in my chair spinning in circles for awhile thinking about my conversation with Steve…and Theo. My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Steve’s voice on my office intercom.
“You have a call.”
“Okay, thank you.”
I waited for the phone to ring and picked it as soon as it started.
“This is Faith, how may I help you?”
“This is Suzy. And Dina….we need to talk to you. Now.”
“Hey guys, what’s-“
“Have you taken a lunch yet?”
“Yeah…I just got back.”
“Damn. Okay, well….are you free for dinner tonight?”
“Yeah, but what’s going on?”
“We have to go, meet us at our old Chinese place, okay?”
The phone line clicked off. I stared at the phone in confusion and tried to get through the majority of my work for the rest of today. I’m about to go meet Dina and Suzy and be sure to report back when I get home.
(Author's note: There will be a post every day this week so make sure to come by often!)
Sunday, August 8, 2010
“Hey,” he gave me a kiss as I walked through the door.
“Surprise.” I said grabbing his hand a slowly walking him to his living room.
“You know what?”
“What?” I said pulling him into a hug and kissing along his jaw line.
“I really like surprises.”
“I thought so.” I moved to the other side and started kissing his neck and nibbling on his ear. I’m not sure if Sean noticed or not, but we were slowly edging towards his bedroom door.
“What’s the occasion?”
“I wanted to take you up on your offer the other night, to come home with you. And because I want to interrogate you.”
Sean’s mouth curled into a smile, “Interrogate…that’s…so dirty. Did you bring a whip?”
I gave Sean a suggestive look and backed away from him, “Where would I keep it?” I asked slowly spinning around. I was wearing a black pencil skirt and a tight red knit top with a lace camisole underneath.
I pushed Sean up against the wall right next to his bedroom door and pressed my body onto his. I was holding the collar of his shirt in my two hands playfully. He held his arms up in mock surrender.
“Okay, okay. They loved you. Even Gerry had nice words….and he tends to hate everyone.”
I let go, but didn’t move otherwise, “Really, why?”
“I don’t know, I think he’s just really over-protective of who we let get close to us. He doesn’t want one of us to get attached to a fan or a groupie or something and sacrifice the band…he wasn’t always like this; it gets worse as we become more popular. I mean I know you’re with me for my money but Gerry doesn’t have to know.” Sean was joking now.
“Oh, now you’re gonna get it.” I said smiling.
I pushed off the wall and slowly walked past Sean into his bedroom. I didn’t hear him move to follow me so I took my shirt off and dangled it out of his door; his hands were around my waist pretty fast after that. I turned around and Sean backed me up while I took his shirt off, holding it over his head for a few seconds.
“Oh, come on, that’s not very fair.”
“I told you…you were gonna get it.”
I teased him with short kisses on his lips, down his neck, along his jaw line with his shirt covering his eyes. Finally I took it off and pushed him on to the bed. Sean landed in a sitting position and had his eyebrows raised as I slowly bent down on my knees and started working on his belt buckle and eventually his zipper. When everything had been pulled down I popped back up and gently pushed him so he was lying on the bed. I gave him a really hot kiss that I slowly trailed all the way down to his thighs.
I worked on him for the better part of an hour until I gave up; my knees where on fire and my jaw was getting a little tight, too. There wasn’t even the smallest hint of a response. I was disappointed and fell back on my feet and then my thoughts drifted to Sean. I peeked up over the bed; his hands were covering his face and I felt like a total ass to not realize how…humiliating... this probably was for him.
“Sean,” I slid up to lay next to him, my left arm was slung over his chest, I rested my chin on my hand to look at him.
He didn’t move.
“Sean….hey.” I tried to sound soothing and gentle, his hands remained where they were, trying to cover his embarrassment, “This isn’t-“
“Please stop,” he groaned, “I really don’t want to hear a ‘this happens to everyone’ speech right now, okay?”
“Okay. Will you please look at me, though?” I sat up on my knees at his side, “Sean…” My hands slid gently over his and held them; he slowly took them down, avoiding my eyes. The embarrassment and shame etched across his face was evident.
“I’m going to be late,” he said eyeing the clock. He was really was going to be late.
“Do you want me to come to your show, tonight?” I asked quietly. I had been planning to go see him play tonight to hang out with his friends some more and had surprised Sean by visiting him early to get the dirt on what his friends thought about me before we met up after their set.
Sean was silent.
“I won’t be hurt if you say no. I can understand.”
“No. I don’t want you to come.” Sean’s voice was very dark; his eyes were still fixated on the alarm clock by his bed.
“Do you want me to come by here when you get back?” I knew the answer before I said the words.
“Okay, I’m going to go. I’ll call you tomorrow.” I waited for a minute to see if he’d look at me, but he didn’t so I slowly backed up off the bed, grabbed my shoes and shirt and put them on in the living room. I grabbed my purse on the way out his door and didn’t look back.
I debated for awhile if I should ignore Sean and go to his show or wait outside of his apartment building until he got back. I grimaced at the damage that could do and decided to give him his space. I really needed someone to talk to but I’d promised him I wouldn't tell any of my friends about this, so there was no one I could call except Sean and I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to talk about his problem and he definitely didn’t want to talk to me.
Then I had an idea.
“Faith, hey, Anna’s actually in the bathtub right now, is this an emergency?”
“No, Theo…I uh…I actually wanted to talk to you.” I could hear Theo’s confused silence through the phone.
“I’m kind of having a problem…but you can’t tell Anna about this, okay? No one can know we talked about this.”
“Alright, are you in some kind of trouble?”
“No, I’m just having an issue with my boyfriend….and I was wondering if you might have any thoughts on how to…uh…handle it.” I was turning bright red on the phone. Theo and I were friendly but he was not as close to me as Anna was and we were both painfully aware of how…off this started to feel.
“Alright….what is it Faith?”
“My boyfriend can’t….whenever we try to….there’s no response when I….his ship doesn’t have a full sail.” I winced at the terrible euphemism.
The phone was quiet, “Theo?”
“I see. Are you asking me my opinion as a guy or as a medical professional?” Theo cleared his throat; I could see his face turning bright red. Although he’s a doctor, this was just too awkward for both of us.
“A little bit of both.”
“Well as a doctor…something could be seriously wrong with him health-wise.”
“Well…I’d really have to run the appropriate tests but it could be a sign for a lot of things.”
“Yeah?” I said urging him on.
“Are you sure you want me to list everything off? You panic easy.”
“Give me the list.” I growled through the phone, suddenly irritated at Theo’s caution.
“It could be a sign of high blood pressure, depression, certain blood diseases, some cancers…”
“I see.” My voice was very small, “Anything else?”
“It could all be in his head, too.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well…some guys might find the pressure to perform with someone to be too much and so their mind kind of sabotages them without them realizing it.”
“And your opinion as a guy?”
“That’s a pretty embarrassing problem to have, Faith. If it’s in his head….the shame from not being able to perform is only going to get worse, which means his problem is going to get worse. Even if it’s not in his head…he needs to get himself looked at.”
“What should I do?”
“I’m not really sure…as a doctor I would advise that you encourage him to get help. As a guy…the last thing I’d want to do is have Anna bring this up…it would be the last thing I’d want.”
“What should I do the next time this happens? I tried to brush it off and build up his ego, but he wouldn’t even look at me.”
“That’s a tough call Faith. I have no idea. I’ve never…really…had to deal with an issue like this. I’m sure he’ll get over it at some point though. He’ll probably be reluctant to get intimate again.”
“Okay. Thanks for the advice, Theo. And remember, you can’t tell Anna.”
“Scout’s honor.”When Theo hung up I held the phone to my chest for a few seconds before placing it on the receiver.
Poor Sean. What am I going to do?
(Author's note: There will be a post for every day this week. So come back soon and leave lots of comments, I have a feeling you guys are going to like the story's direction.)
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Sean was yelling at me through his phone. He was at a really loud place and full of joy. I was so confused.
“Sean I’m still at work. I’ll leave in like an hour. Where are you?”
“I’m at a bar a few blocks from your building.”
“What are you doing? And why is it so loud.”
I heard Sean stumbling around and then suddenly it was quiet, “Faith?”
“Sorry, I couldn’t hear you. When you get off work you need to come down here and celebrate with me and my buddies.”
“What are we celebrating?”
“How do you not know what happened today? You work at a newspaper.”
“I’ve been working in my office, alone with the door closed.”
I got up and walked out of my office to an equally jubilant gaggle of co-workers. I told Sean I’d meet him when I left work and hung up the phone. Steve ran up to me and handed me what I assumed was a vegan cupcake.
“What’s going on Steve?”
“Prop 8 was deemed unconstitutional! Gay marriage is headed to the Supreme Court!”
I spent the rest of my time at work partying it up with the news staff and watching five different news stations at once. The only person who wasn’t celebrating was Veronica, she was in her office on the phone deep in conversation; probably about the evening news and the commentary on Prop 8.
When I finally left and met up with Sean he was pretty buzzed.
“Faith I want you to finally meet my friends they’re all inside. C’mon.”
He grabbed my hand like a little kid and dragged me inside what was clearly a gay bar with a giant television screen blasting the news broadcast about Prop 8. He walked me over to a bright neon green see-through table where his four bandmates and tour manager were sitting.
“Guys, this is Faith, my girlfriend.” Sean said, “That’s Guy, Gerry, Jake, Lou, and Eddie.” Sean said pointing out each person at the table. We all shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.
“I’m going to go grab you a drink,” Sean said giving me a kiss on the forehead before disappearing into the crowd.
Guy is the lead singer and plays back up guitar to Sean while Lou is the drummer, Eddie is the bassist, and Jake plays the keyboard. I’d never seen Gerry before but he was by far more serious than the rest of them, although still cheerful. He looked like a guy that just gets things done and the stress was etched on his face. I wasn’t sure how old he was but the rest of them were in their late 20’s like Sean.
“So, Faith,” Jake turned to me, “You know Sean just adores you, right?”
I smiled shyly, “Yes. I’m really lucky that he puts up with me.”
Jake and I made more small talk with the others injecting funny stories about Sean. Eventually Sean came back with a strawberry daiquiri and a beer. I grabbed the beer from his hand so he was stuck with the ostentatious daiquiri.
“Aww, come on.” He said looking at his drink.
I giggled, “Too bad.”
“Oh I like her, Sean. Keep her. You’re going to get so many phone numbers tonight.” Jake winked at him.
Sean grumbled something and shrunk into his seat.
“Sean, honey, you’re almost as red as that ridiculous drink,” I said laughing.
“Did you guys tell her?” He asked.
“Tell me what?” I asked.
“Eddie and I just got engaged.” Jake said sticking his left hand out to show me his ring.
“Oh, congratulations! Are you moving to California?”
“No,” Eddie said shrugging and putting his arm around Jake, “But it’s bound to go to the Supreme Court and become federal law. So we’ll just use the interim to plan the wedding so we can be ready when it does happen.”
I liked Eddie, he was really laid back compared to Jake and they were so cute together. Just then a thin attractive man came up to Sean, whispered something in his ear, and handed him a napkin with his phone number on it. Sean turned bright red and mumbled that he was taken. He put his arm around me and moved closer into the center of the booth. We spent the night talking with Sean’s friends and dancing. Sean got four more numbers that night before we decided to leave.
“You know, I'm shocked that you didn't defend my honor in there.” He said holding my hand as we walked.
“I’m not threatened. Anyone who wears that much glitter is trying too hard anyway. Are you going to call all of them, I'm sure they'd LOVE that?” I joked.
Sean invited me to his place but it was really late and I had to work the next day so I declined. It was nice to meet Sean’s friends, finally. I hope I made a good impression.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Zoey and I were hanging out at her place for awhile when she asked me about Sean.
“You seem a little more relaxed since the movie. Did you talk to Sean?”
“I didn’t tell him about the Kevin thing but we did talk and we’ve decided to just let things go in whatever direction they end up veering into.”
“That’s good. That’s what you wanted, right?”
“Well, I mean, I’d like to be having sex but this is a nice compromise. How about you? Still having that dry spell?”
“Yes, but that might be changing soon.”
“Do tell.” I said grabbing a pillow and putting it on my lap. I leaned forward as Zoey started turning redder than her hair.
“Well, I met this guy at work. He’s a photographer’s lighting assistant that does freelance work for our magazine. He’s super cute. He’s blonde, fit, tall…”
“What’s his name?”
“Wesley. He’s been hitting on me for awhile and I finally accepted an invitation for dinner this weekend.”
“Why didn’t you accept right away Zoey?”
“Because, Faith. Guys that look like him don’t date women who look like me. I’m not tan, I’m overweight,” Zoey put a hand up to silence my objections, “Faith, I have a better body image of myself than every single model I’ve ever worked with, including Elise. I have a better body image than you or Anna do and I have since I was a teenager. I love the way I look but I’m not going to ignore the snorts of laughter or judgmental stares that come when I order a cheeseburger. I eat more healthfully than you, Anna, and Elise and I’m still fat, I work out constantly and I’m still fat. It’s just the way I am and I’m fine with that, but men like Wesley don’t. Men who look like Wesley will be in a relationship with me for about a month before suggesting I eat a carrot or just stop eating altogether. Frankly…I don’t want to deal with that.”
“Then why bother to say yes?”
“I don’t know, there’s something different about him. When we’re on shoots he doesn’t look at the models, he looks at me, he shoots me smiles, and he asks me my opinion. At first I thought he’d get bored with me once he realized he was surrounded by thin, beautiful women walking around in bikinis, but he hasn’t, so I relented.”
“Maybe he won’t be like other shallow guys, Zoey. Going into the relationship expecting it to go badly won’t help the chances of it working out.”
“You’re right.” She said getting up for another bowl of cheese popcorn, “Do you want some more?”
“Yes please,” I followed her into the kitchen, “For what it’s worth, I think you’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met, inside and out.” I gave Zoey a hug from behind while she filled our bowls with popcorn.
“You’re just saying that because I’m feeding you.” Zoey tried to hide the fact that she was blushing when we went back into her living room to watch the new programs for Shark Week this year.
(P.S Today is the author's 22nd birthday!)
Monday, August 2, 2010
“Steve?” I poked my head around the corner with a wide smile.
He stood up and shook my hand. Steve is really tall and has dark hair that was impeccably done. He was wearing a bright pink “I am not a Nugget” shirt with a yellow chick on it. I recognized it as a PETA slogan. This wasn’t concerning to me because our office has a fairly casual dress code and t-shirts or jeans aren’t a problem.
“It’s nice to finally meet you Faith, would you like me to get you some coffee?”
“That would be so great of you. Why don’t you grab yourself a cup too and meet me in my office?”
“Sure, cream and sugar?”
I settled into my office and started getting things ready for Steve. I had made a list of things I wanted to talk to him about and had just gotten everything out when he walked in with two mugs of coffee. He handed one to me and sat down.
“Those are great shoes you’re wearing by the way. Are they real leather?”
“What? Oh…I don’t think so; I think they’re fake leather.” I said looking down at my black pumps, “Anyway, I think you should handle my schedule when it comes to meetings or interviews for potential employees and I think, if you’re interested you can help me work on our company policy guidelines. Veronica mentioned you were interested in HR work, so I thought I’d involve you as much as possible.”
I took a sip of my coffee and nearly spit it out, it tasted extremely strange, and not in a good way. Steve noticed my facial expression while I struggled to swallow.
“Is something wrong? You look ill.”
“I’m fine, this just tastes…a little off. Maybe the coffee maker isn’t working? I’ll have to get maintenance to look at it.”
“Mine tastes fine. You must not like soy.”
“Well, I refuse to use anything but soy milk because milk is murder for cows, so when you asked for cream…”
“I see. I didn’t think we had soy milk in the break room.”
“I took the liberty of buying some and storing it in there for the office to use.”
I chose to move on, “Okay, well, do you think you’d be interested in doing some HR related work occasionally?”
“I’d love that. I think that would be an amazing opportunity for me.”
“Okay,” I said getting up and handing Steve my schedule for the next few weeks, “I’ve got to meet with Veronica and a few of the writers today, but if you could put my schedule into our calendar network and then give me access to it, I think that’ll be a good place to start.”
“Alright, I’m on it.”
With that, Steve left my office and went to go sit at his desk to immediately start working. I shook my head and laughed while I poured my coffee into one of the potted plants hanging above my file cabinets. It looks like I’ll be getting my own coffee in the mornings.