Character List

Monday, April 28, 2014

Basket Case

I knew Amy was bat shit crazy but there mere fact that she was not at least a little fearful of the police was baffling.  Her threats and her persistence was becoming more and more alarming.  I recalled Officer Callaghan saying that he would file a report about the last text and reach out to her for side but I didn't expect her to continue with the threats.  Maybe, I'm too naive?  I quickly remembered Officer Callaghan telling to that I should call him regardless of the time, if Amy contacted me in any way.

With shaky hands, I looked through my contacts for Officer Callaghan's number and hit send.  After he answered I said, "Officer Callaghan, it's Elisabeth, we met earlier today.  I hope it's not a bad time."  He told me that it wasn't and asked how I was doing.

"Well to tell you the truth, not so great.  I just received another text from Amy telling me to stay away from Anthony and that the cops won't do anything to help me" I said dejectedly.

"It's seems like we are dealing with a sociopath.  I spoke to her shortly after you left the precinct and she promised that she wouldn't contact you and was extremely apologetic" he replied.

"I know that you mentioned that my next course of action is to file for an order of protection with the criminal courts but is there anything I can do in the interim?"

"Unfortunately, no.  If you had a preexisting relationship with Amy the process would be a lot quicker and go through the civil courts.  Amy is basically a stranger to you so the procedure is different."

"I'm scared that she could stalk and attack me" I said honestly.

"I know you are. Right now your best defense is to be aware of your surroundings.  If you see Amy, call 911 immediately and then contact me.  Be extra vigilant" he said in a comforting tone.

I sighed, "I'll do my best."

"Elisabeth, I have colleagues at the precincts in the city that might be of better able help to you.  I will reach out to them and come back to you with at least one of their contact information soon. I'm based in Queens and don't have the ability to assist you as much as they might" he replied.

"Thank you, I would appreciate that."

"I wish there was more that we could do but unfortunately with the laws as they currently are, our hands are tied" he said apologetically.

"I understand, thank you so much for your help" I said genuinely.

After hanging up, I was jittery and couldn't sleep.  I figured some warm milk would calm me down, it always did when I was younger.  Priya was in the living room and looked towards me, "Trouble sleeping?"

I nodded and made my way to the kitchen.  "Priya, do you want some hot chocolate" I asked.

"Sure" she said.

In no time Priya and I were sitting on the couch sipping our hot chocolate.  "You look like you just saw a ghost" she said to me.

"Something like that" I said, sighing.

"Do you want to talk about it?" she asked.

I shook my head, "The more I talk about it, the more worried I become.  I want to clear my mind and think happy thoughts.  How was that party you went to the other night?"

"It was so much fun, you should've come with me.  It was at Greenhouse, I'd never been there before but it was amazing.  Anyways, it was full of hottest guys I've seen in a long time but sadly the only I decided to flirt with all night turned out to be gay" she said with a faux pout.

"Oh, Priya your gaydar is so off" I said laughing.  She quickly joined in.

"Next time, you have to come with me" she said giggling.

I told her I would and she proceeded to tell me how she shamelessly flirted with Brandon most of the night and she thought he was into her.  Especially when he asked her to dance.  However towards the end of the night, she went to the restroom and came back to find Brandon kissing another albeit hot guy.  She was so shocked and her friends tried to comfort her.  In retrospect she found the incident amusing and realized that she had to get back into the dating scene soon.  She promised herself she would once she was done with the semester and finals.

Priya was stunning and exotic looking with such a pleasant, cheery personality that I couldn't believe she had difficulty attracting men.  I knew that her family were putting a lot of pressure on her to find someone and settle down.  "So Priya, you don't have to answer this if you don't want to but are things better with your family?" I asked a little unsure of how she'd react.

"A little.  I actually talked to my mom and told her how pressured I've been feeling lately; that I felt that I was letting them down and she reassured me that they were proud of me and only wanted the best.  Here's the thing though, my parents are on my side but my grandmother is so old school that it's hard to get through to her.  She's still on her crusade of telling everyone I'm an old maid and wasting my time with school ."

I told her that I was glad that she was able to talk to her parents and that they are supportive of her.  I suggested that she should focus on the positive and not dwell too much on her grandmother.  Priya told me that it was a challenge to put her grandmother's words behind her.  In a way I understood what she meant.  "I think you're doing the best you can.  I know how hard this is for you but you're doing what makes you happy" I said in a positive tone.

We had stayed up talking until 1 a.m. before deciding it was time for bed.  I was still a little uneasy but talking to Priya really helped to clear my mind.  I was so happy I decided to move in with her and that she becoming such a good friend.  If I had gotten an apartment of my own, I would be even more paranoid about Amy. Plus, who would I have such awesome heart-to-heart conversations with!

The next morning, I was extremely anxious looking behind me and to the sides, being extra aware of my surroundings.  At this point I couldn't put it past Amy to actually stalk me!  I was grateful when I finally got to my building.  At least I was extra safe at work.  Alison was behind the receptionist desk and gave me a weird look as I swiped in.  "Morning, Alison" I said with a polite smile.

"You don't look like your usual self.  Is there anything I can get you?" she asked, clearly concerned.

"No, thanks" I said with a half smile and made my way to my work space.  Alison and I had been on relatively good terms since we talked a couple weeks back.  Sometimes our personal life affects our mood and behavior; that was clearly the case with Alison.  Deep down Alison wasn't a bad person I thought to myself as I sat down.

Nick and Rob gave me a once over before both muttering "good morning."  I knew both of them were curious why I left early the day before and why I had bags under my eyes but they were polite enough not to ask.  Instead, Rob told me that if I needed help with anything he would be more than happy to assist.  I told him thanks and proceeded to tackle my overflowing inbox.  The morning flew by and much to my chagrin I was the chosen one to make a coffee run.  You would think after the debacle the last time, they would know better.

As I was waiting for the elevator, I saw Nick approaching.  "Coffee run?" he asked grinning.

"Yep, hopefully I don't literally run into anyone this time.  Where are you going?"

"Smoking break" he said stretching.

"There's no way I can carry all the orders back, would you mind coming with me to Starbucks?" I asked politely.

"Sure" Nick said as we entered the elevator.

Truth be told, I was a little scared to head out on my own.  Amy's threats and stalking had me on edge.  As we walked to Starbucks I asked Nick about his kids.  He told me that he and his wife had one and half year old twin boys and that eventually they would like to have a little girl.  I asked about his wife and he told me that she was a marketing executive but after she got pregnant they decided it was best for her to be a stay at home mom for a little while.  Nick quickly changed the subject to me.

"So what about you, what's your story? Any kids or husband or anything?" he asked curiously.

"Definitely no kids, though I wouldn't mind having two or three in the future.  I'm not quite there yet.  I don't have a husband but I have a boyfriend."

"That's cool.  You're still young" he said as I got to the head of the line and proceeded to read off the list of orders to the barrista.  Nick had excused himself to take a phone call.  While waiting I took out my phone and saw a text from Lukas.  An instant smile spread across my face.  Lukas' text said that he was at the airport heading back and should be home by 5 p.m.  He said he missed me and wanted to know if I was down for seeing him later.  As Nick approached, I texted quickly that I would love to see him and I would call him once I left work.

Thankfully with Nick's help, this coffee run went a thousand times better than the last.  The rest of the day went by incident free and before leaving work I called Lukas.  He asked if I wanted to go out to dinner and I declined, instead asking him if he was up to coming over to my place.  Maybe I'm being crazy but the idea of heading home from Lukas' place late at night or early in the morning wasn't that appealing after Amy's constant threats.  Lukas agreed to by at my place in an hours time.

Priya wasn't there when I got home.  On the fridge she left a note saying that she was meeting with her study group and should be back by 9.  That would give me two hours alone with Lukas.  I quickly showered and changed into a comfortable maxi dress.   A little before seven Lukas arrived with a bottle of wine and a little bag in his hand.  He gave me a big hug and kiss before settling on the couch.  Tanned Lukas looked so much hotter if that was possible.  His golden skin made his green eyes even more mesmerizing.

"So tell me about your trip" I said enthusiastically.

He told me how they went zip lining one day and ATV'ing the next.  The course was very difficult and he almost flipped over.  He ended up bailing on going caving with his cousin and friends because his back was killing him.  Instead he laid out by the pool.  He told me that as much fun as he had in Costa Rica, it was good to be back home.

"I got you something" he said shyly, handing me the bag.

"Lukas, you didn't have to" I said with a smile, taking the gift bag from him.  Inside I found a beautiful jewelry box and inside a gorgeous silver bracelet.

"I hope you like it" he said, staring at me intently.

"Oh Lukas, it's beautiful" I said, extending my right hand so he could put it on.  I looked at it on my wrist before giving Lukas a hug, "Thank you so much."

Lukas kissed me gently.  As I pulled away, he asked "What have you been up to?"

I quickly debated whether or not to tell Lukas the truth and figured that I would play it by ear.  I grinned, "One of my best friends, Melissa, just got engaged and asked me to be one of her bridesmaids."

"That's cool" he said quietly.

"Don't worry, I'm not looking to get married anytime soon" I said with a laugh.

He smiled at me. "Nor am I."

I was pleased that at least we were on the same page.  I wasn't looking to become anyone's wife or mother for at least a few years.  I wanted to focus on becoming a better person and being more established in my career first.  Plus I was only 26 and just got out of a long term relationship.  Even though I accepted Jason's proposal, in retrospect, I was more enthralled with the idea of getting married than actually doing it.

"Lukas, I'm a little hungry and I've been craving Chinese food all day."

After I called the take out place a few blocks away, I noticed Lukas looking at me strangely.  "What?" I asked.

"I don't know.  I could be wrong but I feel that you are acting a little weird.  Not like your usual self."

I took a deep breath.  "I'm just a little jumpy" I said, brushing off his comment and hoping that he wouldn't press any further.

"Why are you jumpy?" he asked clearly not ready to drop the issue.  Thankfully at that very moment, my cell phone rang.  It was the food delivery man.  I rushed downstairs to get our dinner.  When I got back, Lukas was getting plates from the cabinet.

We both were pretty engrossed with our smorgasbord of pork fried rice, chicken and vegetables, shrimp in garlic sauce and dumplings (both chicken and vegetable).  Halfway through dinner Lukas asked me again about why I was so jumpy.

"Lukas it's a long story and I just want to enjoy my time with you.  I've missed you so much and don't want to screw up our evening."

"I'd rather you tell me.  Maybe I can help, you know?  Hell, I've never seen you like this before Elisabeth" he said concerned.

"Fine but let's finish dinner first" I pleaded with him.  He agreed and I quickly changed the subject to work.  I told him how Alison did a total 180 and was actually being productive and was very pleasant as of late.  He told me that sometimes life gets the best of us and makes us behave in ways that are out of character.  I agreed.

After we were done eating, Lukas did the dishes as I put the leftovers in the fridge.  We were sitting on the couch when I turned to face Lukas, "I'm going to tell you something but please don't get mad."  A look of confusion spread across his face as he urged me to continue.

I told him that on Saturday I went to see Anthony and how we were able to resolve our issues.  I mentioned that Anthony was planning to go to therapy to get back his sanity.  I hesitated for a little.  "That night Anthony's mom insisted that I stay over for dinner and I did.  Anthony being a gentleman, walked me to my car and waited til I drove off."

From the look on Lukas' face, it was clear he had no idea where I was going with this story.  "Anyway, the next day I went to brunch with my girlfriends and that night when I was getting ready from bed, I got this text from Amy.  She was saying how she knew I was Anthony's place and threatened me."

"What the hell, Elisabeth?  So now this girl is stalking you?" he asked, leaning back against the couch.

I continued my story telling him that Britney and I went to the precinct Monday afternoon.  I told him that I thought that I could get a restraining order but it's a long drawn out process since Amy isn't someone that I have an established relationship with.

"Shit" he said angrily.

I told him that night Amy sent me another text and I ended up having to call Officer Callaghan this morning.  I relayed that Office Callaghan was going to give me the contact info of a cop based in the city, that is more accessible that he is.

"I'm sorry you're going through this.  I wish I was there to protect you" he said, engulfing me in a hug.

"Lukas, it isn't your fault at all."

In that instant I saw a look that I never seen on Lukas' face.  He took my hand, "Elisabeth, I'm very proud of you.  I love that you are being proactive and taking steps to protect yourself."

I quickly interrupted him, "I guess, I just don't know what's going to happen."

"What's the next step?" he asked concerned.

"Well I have to find a lawyer that can go and file all the paperwork for me.  I just started working at SIB and can't ask for that much time off" I responded.

"I can help you with that.  My company has a slew of lawyers and I'm sure I can organize for one of them to take care of all that for you.  I can set up a dinner meeting where you can meet and get all the paperwork done" he said confidently.

"That would be awesome" I said relieved.

"In the meantime before all this is settled, I think you should stay with me.  I mean, I don't want anything happening to you and who knows what that psycho is capable of."

I thanked him profusely but told him I felt safe here, especially since I have Priya.  He made me promise that if I was scared or needed him to just call and he would be there ASAP.  I was very appreciative that Lukas was being so kind and understanding.

I cupped Lukas' face with both hands and leaned in, my lips brushing his softly. I smiled at him before deepening our kiss, my hands in his hair and then roaming down his chest.  In no time I was straddling Lukas, his hands squeezing my breasts over my dress.  I could feel him become increasingly aroused.  My arms were wrapped around his strong back, his fingers now in my hair as his tongue played with mine as our makeout session intensified.  Never breaking our contact, Lukas laid me on the couch.  It was at that very instant that I heard the apartment door opening.  I sat up quickly, fixed my dress just before Priya spotted us.

"Hey Priya" I said breathlessly.

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything" she said remorsefully.

"Nope, Lukas and I were just talking" I said politely.

"Oh, okay.  Let me just grab a bite to eat and I'll be out of your way" Priya said quickly, obviously not buying my answer.

"Priya, Elisabeth and I ordered way too much Chinese food and have a ton of leftovers in the fridge.  Please help yourself" Lukas said.

"Thanks" she said with a smile.

While she ate, we all chatted about Lukas' adventure in Costa Rica.  Priya loved to travel and was taking in everything Lukas was saying.  As promised as soon as she was done eating, Priya retreated to her bedroom telling us that she had some more studying to do.

As soon as she was in her room, Lukas had me on my back, picking up exactly where we left off.  His hands stroking my legs as we kissed.  In no time we were both in a frenzy, wanting more.  I pushed Lukas off of me and grabbed his hand, pulling him to my bedroom.  The door was barely closed when Lukas lifted up my dress, stroking me to see how ready I was.  I nibbled on my lower lip, not wanting to make much noise.

"Take the dress off" Lukas said sexily as he took off his shirt and jeans.  I pulled off my dress and was in the process of unhooking my bra when Lukas pushed me against the wall.  His hardness against me.

His lips found mine as I wrapped one leg around his waist.  He thrust forward, filling me completely.  I wrapped both legs around him as he moved inside me swiftly.  I usually need a lot more stimulation to orgasm but not this time.  I nipped Lukas' shoulder as my orgasm washed over me.  I unwrapped my legs from around his body and stood on my shaky legs.  Lukas told me to lean over the bed and I complied. I stifled a moan as I felt Lukas enter me from behind.  He felt so much deeper in this position.  I was panting as he thrust into me in a feverish pace.  I felt his body tense as he came shortly after.

Lukas stayed over that night and I was grateful.  After not getting much sleep, having him lie next me put my mind at ease and allowed me to sleep peacefully.  The next morning when my alarm went off, Lukas was still asleep. After I was done showering I found Lukas making breakfast.

"I thought it would be a good idea to make breakfast for both you and Priya" he said turning his attention to the omelettes on the stove.

"You're awesome" I said, hugging him from behind.

He turned around and kissed me gently. Hesitantly I pulled away from him and went to my room to get dressed.  When I was done I knocked on Priya's door and told her to come out for breakfast.  We ate quickly, mostly because I didn't want to be late for work.  Once done Priya insisted that she'd clean up and thanked Lukas for a wonderful breakfast.

I grabbed my trench coat and purse and Lukas and I headed to the train station.  Lukas wanted to take the train with me but I told him that it wasn't necessary.  He instead insisted that he would walk me to the subway station and there was no way I could say no.  When we got to the train station, Lukas turned to face me.  He took my hands in his as his eyes looked into mine, "Promise me that you'll be careful and that if you need me you'll call."

I nodded, "I promise."

He gave me a quick kiss on the lips before watching me walk down to the subway station.  I felt relieved and safe with Lukas but knew that I would have to become more self sufficient.  I couldn't expect Lukas to be there 24/7 at my beck and call.  I needed to take steps to protect myself.  What those steps are remains to be seen.

My morning was extremely busy and I was grateful when lunch time rolled around.  I was starving and since it was a beautiful spring day I decided to walk to Lenny's which was about a five minute walk away.  Lenny's was packed as usual and it took me over 15 minutes to get my sandwich.  As I was heading back to work, I stopped at the crosswalk waiting for the light to change.  I looked around; admiring the blooming trees and the picture perfect day when I spotted Amy sitting on a bench, glaring at me.  I felt my heart pounding as I crossed the street and walked as fast as my heels allotted back to my building.  I could hear footsteps behind me as I turned the corner but I kept going until I felt someone grab my arm.  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bonus Mini Post - Every Move You Make

"I saw you leaving Anthony's house last night.  If you know what's good for you, you would stay the fuck away from him.  You got lucky the last time, but next time you won't get off that easy."

How the hell did Amy know that I was Anthony's house last night?  I knew that she was not from Manhasset so it's not like she was driving around and saw Anthony walking me to my car.  It was becoming clear that she was stalking Anthony.  I had no idea what this crazy bitch was capable of and knew I had to take action.  I instantly regretted not making time to file a restraining order against Amy as I initially planned.  I remembered Office Callaghan, giving me his card and telling me to call him if I had any other run-ins with Amy.  I took a deep breath and glanced at the time on my phone. It was a little after 10 p.m.. I reasoned that it was too late for me to call and promised myself that I would first thing the next morning.

My mind was reeling and admittedly, I was scared of Amy.  I don't know how to fight and didn't want to get into any type of altercation - physical or verbal - with Amy.  I need a friend to talk to and who better than Anthony.  We had finally reconciled and I felt that he would understand what I was going through best.  I dialed his number and in no time he was telling he that he heard about Melissa's engagement and how happy he was for her.  He kept going on and on and I interrupted, "Anthony, there's something I need to tell you" I said shakily.

"What's up, Liz?" he said concerned.

"Amy sent me a text and it's got me pretty shaken up" I responded.

"What did the text say?"

"That she saw me leaving your house and that I should stay away from you."

"I can't believe this shit" he said loudly.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you" I said quietly.

"I'm not mad at you Liz.  I'm pissed that I let Amy get so involved in my life that she's threatening my friends."

"It's not your fault" I said soothingly.

"Like hell it isn't.  There were so many red flags but I ignored them because I loved her" he replied.

"Please don't blame yourself, Anthony.  I need you to be strong."

"Tell me what you need me to do" he said firmly.

"I don't know, Anthony.  I honestly don't know.  I'm just so scared" I cried.

"Liz, please don't cry.  I won't let Amy hurt you.  I think you need to call the cops and make a report."

I told Anthony that I planned to call Officer Callaghan first thing in the morning but that I was worried for him and feared that Amy was stalking him.  I made him promise to be extra careful and he reassured me that everything would be okay.  Anthony was very sweet, promising me that he wouldn't let Amy hurt me in any way.  He even offered to escort me to the police station if need be and I told him that I would let him know.  Before hanging up, Anthony made me promise to call Officer Callaghan in the morning.

I tossed and turned all night, unable to sleep soundly.  Amy's words resonating in my head.  I had just fallen asleep when my alarm sounded.  I sat up and rubbed my eyes before crawling out of bed and getting ready for work.  Once I was dressed, I called Officer Callaghan and told him about the text Amy sent.  He told me that I needed to come by the station and file a report and fill out the necessary information to get a order of protection against Amy.  I told him that I just started a new job and couldn't take the day off but would try to get leave work early.

"Elisabeth this is your life and safety we're talking about.  That should be more important to you than work" Officer Callaghan said, before he hung up.

I got to work a little earlier than usual and walked straight to John's office, knocking softly.  He looked up and motioned for me to come in.  "Good morning, Elisabeth.  What can I do for you?" he asked.

"John, I have a personal matter to tend to and I was wondering if I could leave a little early today" I said tentatively.

"Of course, you can leave at noon if you'd like.  In fact, if it's something serious you know you could've just taken the day off" he replied.

"Thank you, John" I said getting up and walking to the door.

"Elisabeth, before you go I just wanted to let you know that I am blown away by how much you've accomplished since you've been here. You're the best acquisition we've had in a long time" he said sincerely.

I smiled.  "I'm very grateful that you gave the chance to be an integral member of your team.  I love working here."

When I got to my work space, both Rob and Nick looked at me a little puzzled.  "Everything's fine, guys. I just wanted to ask John if I could work a half day today" I said with a smile.  They looked instantly relieved and I threw myself into my work.  The morning flew by and in no time I was headed to Britney's building.  I was afraid to go to the precinct by myself and ended up calling and asking Britney her to join me on my way to work.

She hurried towards me and gave me a hug, "I can't believe how crazy Amy is" she said quietly as we made our way to the subway.  Office Callaghan is based at the 111th Precinct in Bayside.  That meant we had to take the railroad and then possibly cab it.  An hour later we were waiting in his little office.  He walked in and greeted us before sitting behind his desk.

He explained the steps involved in getting a restraining order.  Since I didn't have a preexisting relationship with Amy I would have to file paperwork in the Criminal Court and then the District Attorney would decide whether or not to proceed with my request.  I listened to him carefully, digesting everything he had just said.  "What are my chances of getting the order of protection?"

"Very high.  The aggressor perpetrated an assault against you which we have on record.  In addition, she has been sending you harassing and threatening texts.  There isn't any sane DA or judge that wouldn't see the severity of this case."

Britney and I exchanged looks, "So I guess my next step would be to go to criminal court and fill out the paperwork for an order of protection?" I asked.

He nodded and I continued, "Is it possible for me to get a lawyer to take care of this for me?  I just started a new job and don't want to jeopardize that, especially in this economy."

"You can go that route as well.  Be prepared to go to court though, to tell the judge your side.  You'll be given plenty of notice and it should only take one day."

"Thank you, Officer Callaghan."

"One more thing before you go.  I'm going to file a report regarding these texts and call Amy in for questioning.  If she reaches out to you in any aggressive manner, please call me immediately."

I told him I would.  On our way back to Penn Station, Britney and I talked about Melissa's upcoming wedding.  We were all Amy'd out and wanted to focus on something fun.  "I hope she doesn't put us in those hideous poufy bridesmaid dresses from the 80's" Britney joked.

I giggled, "We're going to have to throw her a kick ass bachelorette weekend."

"Let's do Miami or Vegas" Britney said rubbing her hands together.

I shook my head, "I have a better idea, PUNTA CANA."

"Ohmigod, yes."

Two summers ago we had all gone to Punta Cana for a friend's wedding.  We had such a great time, lounging by the pool, swimming in the blue-green ocean, gorging on the most fabulous food and drinks and dancing the night away at the clubs at our all inclusive resort.  Jason had gone with me so I didn't have the opportunity to explore Punta Cana's nightlife as much as I wanted.  This time would be totally different I told Britney.

By the time we got to Penn Station it was almost dinnertime.  Britney and I decided to grab pizza.  After such a crazy day, we needed some comfort food!  As were eating my phone pinged with a text from Anthony.

"Hey, just checking in to make sure you talked to that officer."

I showed Britney the text before responding, "Yes I did.  He said I'm going to have to file for a protection order with criminal court.  Brit and I are eating, can I call you later?"

Anthony said yes and I turned back to my pizza taking a bite.  "I'm glad Anthony seems to be doing better" Britney said, looking at me.

I nodded, "I'm glad I was able to make peace with him.  This drama has been weighing me down."

"I know what you mean" she said, flashing me a knowing smile.

"Let's not talk about it" I said changing the subject.

"Are you excited to get your boyfriend back?" Britney asked, grinning at me.

"Fuck, yes.  I miss him so much."

"Aw, that's so sweet.  You know you actually glow when you talk about him" Britney said happily.

We talked for a little before heading our separate ways.  Priya was no where to be found when I got home.  I took a long, soothing shower and slipped into the most comfy pajamas I owed before vegging out on the couch.  I must have fallen asleep because I suddenly awakened by my phone pinging.

"What the fuck is your problem, you stupid bitch? How many times do I have to tell you to stay the FUCK away from Anthony?  Keep running to the cops, they won't do shit for you."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Heart of the Matter

What the hell did Anthony mean by "will I be here?"  My mind was running a mile a minute with so many different possibilities.  The worse being that Anthony was in such a depressed and bad place that he could possibly endanger himself.  I brushed that thought away, not wanting to fathom the possibility.  I reassured myself that Anthony was a strong man and could get through anything as I got dressed.  I heard Priya in the kitchen and stopped at the counter, "Hey Priya, I'm heading to Long Island and I might not be back tonight."

"Everything good?" she asked concerned.

"Yes, I'm going to talk to my friend, Anthony.  I think I mentioned him before" I said quickly.

She nodded, "Okay, text me and let me know."

"Of course.  Worse case, I'll come back tomorrow morning.  There's no way I'm missing brunch with my girls" I said cheerfully before leaving.

I barely made it to Penn Station in time and had to make a mad dash to the Track 17.  The doors were just about to close when I ran inside.  Being that it was a Saturday, the train were virtually empty and I quickly snagged a seat.  I was catching my breath when the conductor walked by, asking to see my train tickets.  I didn't have time to buy a ticket and had to buy one on the train for $14, almost double what I would've paid if I had purchased a ticket beforehand.

Before I knew it, I was at my stop and quickly spotted my mom's white SUV.  I opened the door and mom leaned over to engulf me a comforting hug.  "I've missed you so much" she said emotionally.

"Mom, I'm less than 20 miles away" I responded, trying to rationalize with her.

"I know but I still worry about you" she said pulling away.

Before she started the car, I told her that I needed some advice.  As we sat there in the empty parking lot, I filled her in about what's been going on with Anthony and how worried I was.

"I hate that Anthony has endured so much, he's such a good guy.  You know when you two were little, Linda (his mom) and I use to imagine the two of you getting married one day."

"Mom, stop.  Anthony and I are just friends" I replied, rolling my eyes.

"You never know, dear" she said with a small smile.

She could tell I was getting a little flustered by her comments and reverted back to the topic at hand.  "Liz, I know you had Anthony's best intentions at heart and I can understand both point of views" she said diplomatically.

"And?" I responded, getting impatient.

"You need to explain to Anthony why you didn't tell him everything and apologize sincerely.  None of that I'm sorry, but apologies that you love" she said sternly.

"Why should I apologize?"

"Because honey, Anthony is hurting.  He sees you not telling him everything as betrayal.  His heart has been through the ringer and needs an understanding friend.  Yes, he was wrong too but take responsibility for your part and let the chips fall where they may."

"I'll think about it, Mom."

"Liz, has Anthony ever betrayed or hurt you?" she asked as she started the car.  I was wracking my brain trying to think of a time when Anthony wronged me.  Apart from his harsh words, I couldn't come up with anything.  Honestly, I was the one that minimized and then completely stopped communicating with Anthony when Jason came into the picture.  When I returned to New York, I wanted to reconcile with him and was grateful he was so understanding and willing to put the past behind us.  Our friendship was quickly reverting back to where it use to be and I was thrilled.  Anthony was great, taking time out to meet me; listening and providing sound advice.  Everything was perfect until crazy Amy got all jealous and started threatening me.  I had my reasons for not telling Anthony initially but was I was right for not saying anything after the break up?

I was deep in thought when my mom pulled into our driveway.  "Honey, it'll be alright" my mom said soothingly.

I quietly made my way inside the house, stopping to talk to my dad for a little before heading to my childhood room.  I sat on my bed, trying to figure out how to proceed.  I finally settled on stopping at the Buttercookery (one of the best bakeries on Long Island in my opinion) and getting some cupcakes and cookies for Anthony as a peace offering.  I still didn't know what I would say to him but knew that I had to be completely honest.

An hour later I was parked in front of Anthony's house.  I took a deep breath before stepping out of the car and heading towards the front door.  I rang the doorbell once and felt my heart race.  In no time the door swung open and Mrs. Rossi, Anthony's mom, enveloped me in a tight hug.  "It's so good to see you Elisabeth.  You've grown into a stunning young woman" she said brushing a strand a hair out of my eyes.

"Thank you, Mrs. Rossi.  How have you been?"

In a way she avoided my questions, instead turning the focus onto me.  Mrs. Rossi had always been very kind and sweet, not only to me but to all the neighborhood kids when we were growing up.  As children, we never could've imagined how terrible her marriage was.  She was still petite and in excellent shape for a woman in her 50's but her age was starting to show.  Her brown eyes were still friendly but now had crow's feet and showed signs of worry and sadness.  She had deep laugh lines which I attributed to a more or less happy life.  She looked at me intently, paying attention to my every word.

I turned the attention to her, "So what's it like having Anthony back?"

"Oh dear, it's been a challenge.  He's heartbroken and trying to mask his sorrow.  I fear that he will become an alcoholic like his dad" she responded with tears in her eyes.

"I'm sure he'll get through this and be better than ever" I said positively.

She gave me a small smile, "It's times like these I wished his father were still around.  Maybe he would've been able to get through to him better than me" she said quietly.

"You're a great mom and you're doing your best.  Anthony is very lucky to have you in his life" I said, giving her a hug.

Mrs. Rossi and I chatted for a few more minutes before I asked where Anthony was.  She told me that he went to the store but should be back shortly.  With that she headed to the kitchen and I followed.  I watched as she made us both vanilla lattes.  We sat at her kitchen table, chatting and getting reacquainted.  She asked what I was up to and I filled her in on my new job and place in NYC.

"Your mom told me that you ended your engagement" she said sympathetically, "How are you coping?"

"I think both Jason and I have moved on.  I'm actually dating this wonderful man that I met at speed dating" I replied, smiling at her.

She asked about speed dating and even joked about trying it out.  I wasted no time asking her if she ever thought about starting to date herself to which she said, "When we got divorced, I focused on starting my business and then my ex husband died and my focus shifted to my kids.  I never had the time.  Now my business is thriving and my kids are grown, I don't even know how to get back into dating."

I was telling her she should join or even look into speed dating when I heard Anthony's booming voice, "Mom, I'm back."

Mrs. Rossi yelled that she was in the kitchen and before I knew it there was Anthony leaning down and giving his mom a kiss on the cheek.  He looked at me, blankly, "Hello Elisabeth, what are you doing here?"

"I came to chat with you" I said with a pleasant smile.

He started saying that he was busy but his mom quickly reprimanded him.  He begrudgingly agreed to talk. I followed him up the stairs to his room.  There was clothes and boxes scattered all over.  "My room is a mess, I'm trying to get things organized. Kinda hard when you try to move your entire condo into a bedroom" he said flatly.

"It's okay, do you need help?" I asked.

"Actually, I want to know what you are doing here" he said sharply.

I told him that I felt that we needed to talk.  At first he was reluctant but finally caved.  Since his room was more or less a disaster area, we went to sister's room; I sat on the window seat that overlooked their well manicured and maintained backyard, while Anthony sat on the edge of the bed.  He urged me to begin and I hesitantly started talking, choosing my words carefully.

I started by telling him what happened that night at Aubrey's party.  How Amy got aggressive with me and told me to stay away from him.  Anthony interrupted, "What I don't understand is why you didn't tell me this then.  All you told me was how Amy said you and I aren't "real" friends."

"Anthony, I wanted to but I didn't want to get in the middle of your relationship.  I didn't want to cause problems.  I kinda regretted even telling you that Amy said we weren't friends when you texted me and said that I misunderstood.  Imagine if I'd told you everything."

"I always believed you, Elisabeth but I was trying to fix things with Amy.  I know she's the jealous type but I thought she was getting better, I told you this.  I understand not wanting to meddle but I think you owed it to me, as my friend, to be straight with me" he said sincerely.

I nodded and continued telling him that I reached out to Amy to make peace but she instead threatened me. I relayed that I wanted to tell him then but rationalized that once they went to couples therapy, things would get better.  Anthony nodded, understandingly and urged me to continue.  He seemed to be receptive to listening to my side.  I finally got to the texts that Amy sent me when they broke up.  I told him I had wanted to show him the texts that night at the bar but he was in such a bad state and I didn't want to add insult to injury.

"Elisabeth I understand why you didn't tell me and I don't think you had bad intentions but I'm conflicted."

"Why?" I asked, trying to understand.

"I feel that you owed it to me to be honest.  If you were in my situation how would you feel if you found out I was withholding such information from you?" he asked pointedly.

"I would feel betrayed" I responded honestly, finally understanding why Anthony was so upset.

"I've had time to cool down and think" he started " And my behavior was complete uncalled for.  I shouldn't have kicked you out of my condo and reacted the way I did.  I apologize for hurting you and I hope you can forgive me" he said remorsefully.

"I'm sorry too.  I should've been more honest with you.  I didn't think about how you were feeling and was being selfish" I said hugging him.  He smelt of liquor but now wasn't the time for me to broach that subject with him.

"I forgive you" he said "but please in the future just be brutally honest with me."

I nodded before telling him that there was one more thing I needed to tell him.  He sighed and urged me to spit it out.  I proceeded to tell him how Amy attacked Britney and I when we were leaving his condo and that the cops came and arrested Amy.  From the surprised look on his face I realized that this was the first time was hearing this story. I told him that I decided to press charges and get a restraining order.  All he could say was, "I'm sorry Elisabeth."

"It's not your fault, Anthony" I replied.

Anthony, after much convincing agreed to let me help him get his room organized. While putting his stuff into boxes and storage bins from the Container Store, he asked me about Lukas and I happily filled him in.  He told me that he hasn't seen me so happy in a long time and I blushed.  I was genuinely happy with Lukas and was grateful to have him in my life.  He made me feel so special and appreciated.  Anthony mentioned that when I was with Jason, it seemed like I was totally isolated from my friends and family.  From the look on my face, Anthony knew that something was up and started questioning me.  "I met Jason on Thursday" I told him.  His eyes were wide with surprise as he asked me what happened.

For as long as I could remember Anthony was so easy to talk to and I couldn't help divulging all the details of my meeting with Jason.  Anthony told me he was happy that I got to talk to Jason and didn't realize that I was going through so much.  He had no idea that Jason was engaged and cheated on me.  Anthony said, "You're in a good place now.  Take your experience with Jason as a life lesson and grow from it."

I nodded before sitting on his bed.  We had made a lot of progress and could actually see the hardwood floor.  "Anthony I'm worried about you" I said quietly.

"Why?" he asked, turning towards me.

"I fear that you are using alcohol to forget your problems and I don't want you to" that's as far as I got before he interrupted.

"You don't want me to end up like my father" he said finishing my sentence.

"Yes, you have so much going for you and you shouldn't let Amy or anyone fuck that up" I said honestly.

"Liz you have nothing to worry about" he said confidently.

"Anthony, even right now you reek of alcohol."

"Yes, I do drink to numb the pain but I'm going to be fine" he replied.

"I just don't want anything to happen to you."

He sat next to me, "Listen, my mom and I had a long talk before I went to the store.  She had the same concerns like you and suggested that I start regular therapy and I agreed to give it a shot.  It hurts me a lot to see my mom worry that much about me and I owe to her and myself to get better."

"That's awesome" I said cheerfully.

He nodded, "The past couple weeks have been hell but there's no where to go but up."

"If you need my help, I'm here for you" I responded.

"You got any cute friends?" he joked.

I giggled, "One step at time, Anthony."

We were almost finished when Mrs. Rossi approached, "It's getting late kids, why don't we all have dinner?"

I tried to get out of it but both Anthony and his mom insisted that I stay.  As we ate lasagna, garlic bread and salad we reminisced about our childhood.  Mrs. Rossi joked about how I never liked getting dirty and made all the little boys call me Princess Elisabeth.  I told her I still do that and we all laughed.  She said that she missed living across the street from my mom but had to move a three blocks away for her sanity.  She mentioned how well her business was doing; she had opened a flower shop after her divorce and expanded to an e-commerce business five years ago, that allowed her to create silk flower arrangements for weddings, parties or regular decorating.  I admired her strength and determination and told her that.  The rest of dinner was spent laughing and catching up.  A little before 10 p.m. I gave Mrs. Rossi and big hug and left.

Anthony walked me to the car.  "My mom hasn't smiled that much in a long time" he said, giving me a hug.  I made him promise to ease up on the drinking and to call me if he needed a friend to talk to.  He agreed and stood on the sidewalk, watching as I drove up the block.  I was happy to be in a good place with Anthony and that he was going to go to therapy and get help.

The next morning I woke up early and started to get dressed.  I had told the girls that I would meet them at Matisse on 49th and 2nd Avenue.  I had never been there before but it was place that Melissa adored.  I scoured my closet and found a cute fitted coral sundress which I coupled with a off white cardigan and wedges.  By 11 a.m., I was in Matisse, scanning the crowd for my friends.  I couldn't spot them and ended up texting Britney, who told me that they were seated at a table in the back.  When I got there I apologized for being a little late and gave each of them a hug.

Britney said excitedly, "We ordered you a Mimosa" motioning to the drink in front of me.

"Thanks.  Why are you so excited?" I asked curiously.

"I have some news" Melissa said, smiling.

I looked at her, trying to read her expression.  "What type of news?" I inquired.

Melissa couldn't contain it any longer and screeched, "Josh and I are engaged."  She held out her left hand, which now had a gorgeous solitaire engagement ring.

"Congratulations" I exclaimed, giving her a big hug.

"I'm sorry I couldn't wait and told these two before you go here" she said happily.

Priya quickly asked, "So have you and Josh set a date?"

Melissa beamed, "Yep, February 14th, 2015."

"That doesn't give you much time to plan" Britney said.

"It's plenty of time, don't be silly" Melissa said, brushing her off.

"I'm so excited for you" I chirped.

"I love you guys and I was wondering if you would be my bridesmaids" Melissa said looking at the three of us expectantly.  We all quickly agreed and talked about Josh's proposal.  He and Melissa had dinner at Water's Edge, a restaurant that overlooked the river and had an awesome view of the NYC skyline.  He had been acting a little weird all night and right before dessert came, he got down on one knee and proposed.  She was shocked and of course said yes!!

Melissa met Josh three years ago when she first was starting her hedge fund business.  She walked into his dad's law office and was immediately smitten by Josh, who was helping his dad out while attending graduate school.  Josh and Melissa became friends first before dating and needless to say it was clear to everyone that they were meant to be.  Josh was well over six feet tall with brown eyes and hair.  He had a medium body frame and was very witty and charming. He and Melissa were perfect together.

As we left brunch I was in such a good mood.  Britney and I decided to walk around for a little, Priya wanted to get back to the apartment and Melissa had plans with Josh.  We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

"I'm so happy for Melissa" she said happily.

"Me too.  It's weird, I always thought I would be the first to get married."

"Aw, you'll have your turn too" she said soothingly.

"I know, I'm thrilled for her" I said genuinely.

Britney asked about Anthony and I told her he was doing better.  I didn't think it was my place to tell her about Anthony planning to attend therapy.  I told her that I had a nice afternoon with Mrs. Rossi and Anthony.

She quickly teased, "That's because Mrs. Rossi is holding out that you and Anthony will end up together."

"Not you too" I said, rolling my eyes.  She laughed and I joined in.

"It wouldn't be the worse thing in the world but I think you and Anthony are better off as friends."

I nodded as we crossed the street and walked towards Central Park.  Wanting to change the subject, I asked, "How's Tommy?"

Britney glowed as she talked about him, telling me about their dinner plans the night before.  She told me that she mentioned the double date to Tommy and that he couldn't wait.  I told her that once Lukas came back I would get back to her with all the details.

The rest of the day flew by.  It was a good weekend.  I made amends with Anthony, Britney, Melissa was engaged and I was in a good place.  The only thing missing was Lukas.  As I got into bed I couldn't help thinking about how much I missed him.  He would be back on Tuesday I told myself.  I was watching the Food Network when my phone pinged next to me.  I picked it up and was shocked to see a text from Amy.

"I saw you leaving Anthony's house last night.  I'm only going to tell you once, stay the fuck away from him.  You got lucky the last time, but next time you won't get off that easy."


Monday, April 21, 2014

Making up Is Hard to Do?!?

Author's Note:  First I hope all of you had a blessed Easter, Passover and/or weekend:)  Second I would like to thank all of you for reading and visiting my blog.  After two and half months, I am excited to have gotten 100,000 hits.  That is beyond my wildest imagination! I couldn't do it without you and I am humbled by your support and readership.  Thank you so much!!! Without further adieu I present today's post, please enjoy:)

The next morning I awoke to six texts from Jason which ranged from him being remorseful for what he did and said to him flat out calling me every name in the book.  It took a lot for me to not be baited into a text war with him but I resisted.  Maybe I am growing up.  As I got ready for work I called Britney and on the third ring I heard her sleepy voice answer, "Hello?"

"Hey Brit, I want to" that was all I managed to get out before she cut me off.  'Elisabeth, it's too early for me to deal with your drama" she said coldly.

"But Britney I want to apologize."

"Then do it" she challenged.

"I shouldn't have brought up your past relationships and I am truly sorry for hurting your feelings.  I had no right to say what I did and I hope you can forgive me" I grovelled.

"I accept your apology but I can't put up with you constantly putting me down whenever I disagree with you.  We're grown ass women for heaven's sake" she replied.

"I'm not going to make excuses for my behavior.  It was wrong and I'm sorry I hurt you.  You're my best friend and didn't deserve that" I said sincerely.

"Thanks, Elisabeth" she responded, when I heard a male voice in the background asking Britney who she was talking to.

"Um Britney, I'm guessing it's a bad time" I said remorsefully.

"It's just Tommy, we went out and had a little too much to drink so he crashed at my place.  Don't worry I stuck to my word, nothing happened" she said proudly.

"Sure, Britney.  If you say so" I replied.

"Get over yourself, Elisabeth.  You're not my mom and I don't have to answer to you" she said bluntly.

"Sorry.  Listen, I really have to get going and finish getting ready for work."

With that I hung up, got dressed and headed to work knowing that Britney was still upset.  I figured that if we could talk face to face, I could make things right.  Alison was very much preoccupied with work when I swiped in.  After the layoffs yesterday, everyone was still on edge and worried about their own jobs.  As I sat down I saw that Nick was engrossed with his phone.  "Morning" I chirped and he looked up asking me if I saw the article on Dealbreaker about SIB laying off 500 people in NYC by summer.  I shook my head and he handed me his phone.  I quickly skimmed the article and once done turned to face him, "Do you think we'll be impacted?" I asked.

"Before I came here I was laid off.  I was in the process of being promoted and had a number of projects I was working on.  Even my manager was in utter shock.  Sometimes you don't know who will be affected, it's the luck of the draw."

"Yes that's true" I agreed.

"I can't afford to get laid off again" he said honestly.  I guess from the look of confusion on my face he gathered I had no clue what he meant so he continued.  "When I was laid off four years ago both my wife and I were working. Now that we have the twins, my wife stays at home with them and I'm the only one bringing in any type of income."

I knew from the ring on his left ring finger that he was married but had no idea that he kids as well. Even though I wanted to question him about his family, it was not the right time.  In attempts to get his spirits up I said, "I'm sure you'll be fine."

"Yes I hope so, I'm 36 years old and jobs like this are hard to find for someone at my level."

I nodded. "All you hear is that the economy is improving, yet the cuts keep coming" I said quietly.

"Well that's because of increased regulation that stops us from fully doing our jobs.  The government doesn't get that in order for us to thrive, we have to take on risky deals" Nick said confidently.

"That's true, there is way too much red tape now" I said quickly, turning my attention to my emails as I saw Rob approaching.

My workday was a mixed bag.  I was drawn into multiple meetings and conference calls with legal, audit and Operations and still had my daily tasks to take care of.  I was mentally exhausted by the time I got home.  I didn't have time to rest; I showered quickly and changed into leggings and a comfortable NY Yankees t-shirt.  Opening Day was yesterday and even though the Yankees lost but I still had faith that they would get their shit together and win a championship for Jeter.  How fitting would that be?

I threw on my coat and made my way to Lukas' place.  I knocked on his door and Lukas threw open the door, engulfing me in a tight hug and spinning me around til I was inside his apartment.  I giggled as he put me down.  I could smells the delicious aromas emanating from his kitchen, making me hungry.  "What smells so good?" I asked curiously.

"I made you dinner" Lukas replied smiling.

"What'd you make?"

"Chicken francese with pasta and a salad" he said proudly.

"Yum, I didn't know you could cook."

"I have many hidden talents" he responding, winking at me.

"So I see" I said giggling.

Lukas offered me a glass of wine and refused to let me help him.  I sat at the counter watching him move masterfully around the kitchen.  While he was making a vinaigrette for the salad, I brought up our last conversation tentatively.  "Lukas I'm a little concerned about the things you said to me the other night."

He looked up at me, confused, "Such as?"

"Well you said that I wanted to make you jealous and implied that I'm into playing games."

He sighed, "I thought we talked about this already" he said exasperatedly.

"It's still bothering me" I replied.

"Honestly, I don't get why you made such a big deal over seeing your ex.  I was being supportive but you wouldn't drop it.  Sometimes I think you like the drama but I'm not into that."

I took a deep breath, "I can't believe you could say that to me.  How am I into drama?" I asked coldly.

"Look at how you're acting right now.  You ask a question and if you don't like the answer, you start acting all petulant" he said pointedly.

"Well excuse me for not being perfect and having feelings" I said defensively.

"I don't need you to be perfect.  All I want is for you to own up to your shit.  I don't want to fight over every little thing."

"Me neither but you what you said hurt me."

"You realize when you insert but it negates everything you said, right?"  I nodded and he continued, "I apologized to you last night and I'm not doing it again.  You overreacted and I'm done talking about this."

"Whatever" I said clearly annoyed and Lukas rolled his eyes before taking a big sip of wine. As I sat there in silence, watching Lukas finish the salad and then move on to drain the pasta, I realized that I didn't want to fight with Lukas right before he left for Costa Rica.

"Lukas, I don't want to fight with you" I said softly "I just need you to try to understand me better."

"I don't want to fight either" he responded, giving me a soft kiss.

Lukas plated our dinner and sat across from me.  His chicken francese was wonderful, moist and not too lemony.  Everything he made was great and I was blown away.  "Where'd you learn to cook like this?" I asked, clearly impressed.

Lukas looked down at his plate before answering, "When my wife and I were dating, she insisted we take cooking classes together" he said with a smile.  I started asking him questions about his wife and marriage and listened intently as he reminisced.

He met his wife, Isabella, in Atlantic City when he was 24. She was there with her friends celebrating her birthday and he accidentally spilled a drink on her.  He was very attracted to her and they exchanged numbers.  He laughed remembering how reluctant she was to go on a date with him.  It took her three months to finally agree.  He recalled how she always wanted to learn to cook but was embarrassed to take cooking lessons by herself so she convinced him to go with her.  Lukas took a liking to cooking and continued taking lessons on his own.  

After a year and half of dating, Lukas and Isabella got engaged but they didn't get married until almost three years later.  Isabella was getting her Masters degree and wanted to wait until she was finished with school. They got married at the Lincoln House in Vermont because that was Isabella's dream.  She had fell in love with the venue years priors when she visited as a young girl with her family.

I was completely engrossed in his story.  Being a romantic at heart, I was a little disappointed when he stopped and said, "You know what, enough about Isabella.  I want to focus on you."  I told him that I liked hearing about his past and how special I felt that he was able to open up to me about his wife.  He took my hand in his, looking into my eyes "Tonight I want to focus on you" he said before kissing my hand.  I swear my heart did a flip flop right then and there.

After dinner, Lukas cleared the dishes and opened the refrigerator.  I watched in glee as he took out a chocolate mousse cake, my absolute favorite.  He proceeded to cut both him and I large slices which he garnished with a little whip cream.  I was in chocolate heaven and completely happy in that moment.  After dessert Lukas mentioned that he was no where near done packing.  I followed him to his bedroom and plopped myself on his bed as I watched him rummage through is closet and drawers for suitable clothes. I watched as he undressed as tried on his board shorts.  He whipped them off, standing in only his tight black boxer briefs that outlined his package so perfectly.  Looking at Lukas' almost naked body was turning me on.

I knew he still had a lot to do but I wanted him.  I scooted and  knelt in the middle of his king sized bed, slowly taking off my t-shirt, rubbing my hands over my bra encased breasts, then lower over my stomach until I hooked my fingers under the waistband of my leggings.  I felt Lukas' eyes on me as I slowly pulled down my leggings and laid back, taking them off completely.  I was now lying in his bed in only my black bra and thin black lace thong.  I smiled seeing that Lukas was getting very much aroused.  He turned around, putting something into his suitcase as I sat up and unhooked my bra, freeing my breasts.  I quietly made my way to the edge of the bed and slid off, wrapping my arms around Lukas; my breasts and hard nipples against his naked back.  Reaching down, I stroke Lukas' hardness.  He gasps in pleasure before pushing me onto the bed, pulling my thong off in one motion.  His fingers made their way between my legs, teasing me, making sure I was ready.  He had me panting loudly and on the edge orgasm when he removed his fingers and took off his boxer briefs.  I spread my legs in anticipation and felt him thrust into me in one motion.  He started moving slowly, stopping to grind against me, making me shiver in pleasure. Once he sensed how close I was, he started moving faster as his fingers applied just the right amount of pleasure on my clitoris.  I arched my back as my orgasm took over, moaning loudly.  Lukas started to move more urgently in me and came shortly after.  We both laid in his bed recovering.  His fingers making gently circles on my back.

Lukas' eyes were half closed when I spoke, "Hmm that was so good."

"Amazing" he whispered.

"I'm going to miss you so much Lukas."

"Me too babe, but I'll be back before you know it" he said sitting up, "You know I really need to pack, otherwise I'll miss my flight." 

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to distract you."

"You're a welcomed distraction" he replied, leaning down and kissing me gently.

I watched as Lukas pulled on a pair of boxers and resumed packing, making sure had everything he needed. I must have fell asleep because the next thing I remember was waking up to Lukas spooning me while snoring gently, his hardness against my ass.  I managed to roll onto my back without waking him and squinted, trying to read the time on his cable box.  It was a little after 5 a.m.  

As much as I wanted to stay in bed with Lukas, I needed to go home soon and get ready for work.  When I rolled over, Lukas as was on his back, his chest rising softly with every breath.  I pulled the sheets away from him and wrapped his penis in his hands before taking it in my mouth.  It wasn't long before I felt Lukas stir and moan, his fingers in my hair pulling gently.  From him moans and increased breathing I realized that he was getting close.  I worked my way up his body, kissing him passionately before I straddled him, slowly sliding him inside me.  Placing my hands on his chest, I started moving slowly, then faster.  Moaning loudly, I threw my head back in pleasure as Lukas fingers teased me to orgasm.  In no time he flipped me over and started thrusting fasting, finishing quickly.  As he collapsed on top of me he said hoarsely, "I'm definitely going to miss you."

"Mm, I'm glad.  I wanted to give you something to make you remember me" I said giggling, wrapping my arms around his strong back.

"Trust me, you have nothing to worry about" he said bending his head to kiss me.

We cuddled for a little before I rolled on top of Lukas.  Looking him in his eyes, "I really have to get to work" I said sadly.  I slowly got out of bed and went to the bathroom, freshening up before searching frantically for my clothes.  I managed to find everything but my bra and proceeded to get dressed.  My hard nipples were poking against the thin material of my t-shirt but what choice did I have.  Lukas followed as I headed to the living room and watched as I put on my shoes.  Before putting on my coat, he pulled me up and kissed me deeply, his hands squeezing my ass.  I moaned into our kiss before pulling away.

I slipped on my coat and headed to the door.  I turned around to face Lukas.  Getting on my tiptoes I kissed him, sliding my tongue into his mouth.  My right hand moving down his body and cupping his hardness before moving back to him face.  I hesitantly stepped back, clearing my throat.  "Have fun in Costa Rica" I whisper before opening the door and heading to the elevator.

Thankfully the rest of the day flew by and as I headed home I received a text from Lukas letting me know he made it Costa Rica safely.  That night I called Britney and she hesitantly agreed to meet me for dinner Friday night.  Part of me wanted to invite Melissa as well but I didn't want to put her in the middle of our issues.  Before going to bed, I debated whether I should reach out to Anthony.  One of us had to make the first move and I figured it should be me.  However, I didn't think a Thursday night would be the right time especially during tax season when Anthony was super busy.  I made a promise to myself that I would contact him over the weekend.

Before I knew I was sitting at a table at the Sugar Factory waiting for Britney.  We both had been to the Sugar Factory in Las Vegas and had been wanting to check out the one in the Meatpacking District for a while now.  I figured that this was the perfect venue for Britney and I to talk and reconcile.  I saw Britney talking to the hostess and I waved to her.  She walked over in a cute black bandage dress and heels and sat down across from me.

"You look nice" I said genuinely.

"Thanks, Tommy and I are going to Tenjune later and I won't have time to go home and change" she responded.

I ordered a cotton candy Cosmopolitan and Britney settled for Red Velvet martini.  We sat in uncomfortable silence for a couple minutes before I started making small talk, asking Britney about work.  She was rather short with her answers and I was thrilled when our waiter brought our drinks.  After a sip I looked at Britney, "Listen, I really am sorry for what I said the other night" I said apologetically.

"Elisabeth, I appreciate you apologizing but we can't continue arguing about the same things.  This isn't the first time you've verbally attacked me because I disagreed with you."

"I know and I promise that it won't happen again" I pleaded.

"You always say that but then it does" she said sadly.

"If I weren't sincere I wouldn't have called you to apologize" I started before she interrupted.

"Yes you apologized and then basically assumed I was having sex with Tommy even though I said I wasn't" she countered.

"I was joking" I rationalized and Britney gave me the side eye.

"I'm sorry Britney, I truly am.  You're my best friend and I love you.  I had no right to say the things I did.  Please let's move on" I said.

"Alright but I'm telling you right now that I'm done putting up with this shit" she said sharply.

I nodded.  After ordering our entrees I asked Britney about Tommy and she said that they were having fun getting to know each other. She took offense to me insinuating that she and Tommy hooked up because she wanted to have a relationship based on more than just sex.  She proceeded to tell me that she spoke to Anthony and he seems really depressed and that she was worried for him.  I told her that I planned on reaching out to him over the weekend.  While eating our entrees Britney asked me how my outing with Jason went.

I took a sip of my second Cosmopolitan before telling her the entire story.  She was shocked when I told her that Jason blamed me for cheating and said, "What a jerk, he's trying to make you feel bad instead of being accountable."  I continued telling her how he had an emotional and sexual relationship with Tiffany and how much worse that is than me having sex with Nate.  Britney gave me a strange look but didn't say anything.  I pushed her and finally convinced her to tell me what she was thinking.

"I don't know how to say this exactly" she started and I urged her to continue. "It sounds like you are minimizing your part in the breakup by saying what Jason did is far worse."

"No I think you're misunderstanding" I said and Britney shook her head.

"Please let me finish" she said and I nodded.  "Yes, Jason cheated but you did too.  Let's not get into semantics over which is worse.  You both made mistakes.  Stop justifying and own up to it."

Her words stung and I was surprised to hear them come from Britney of all people.  I expected this from Melissa not Britney.  "I admit I made a mistake but I'm just saying that Jason was involved with Tiffany for months."

"No buts, say I made a mistake and be done with it.  Don't bring up Jason's behavior to make yours seem better" she said sternly.

I took a deep breath, digesting her words.  "I made a mistake and I'm sorry I cheated on Jason" I said honestly.

"Good girl.  I'm proud of you, it's hard to admit our shortcomings" she said before telling me to continue.

I told her how Jason said that I am the only one he loves and how we are perfect together.  How he pleaded with me to get back together with and how he kissed him.  Her eyes widened as she asked, "What did you do when he kissed you?"

I relayed how I told him that it was over and didn't want anything to do with him.  She didn't seem surprised when I mentioned that Jason called me a slut, as I walked away.  She said that he was hurt that I rejected his advances and was trying to hurt any way he could.  I proceeded to tell her that I went to her place because I needed a friend to talk to but she wasn't home.  She quickly replied, "I saw your text when Tommy and I were leaving the bar."

"I understand" I said knowingly.

"I'm happy that you were able to get "closure" and talk to Jason."

"Me too."

I proceeded to tell her that Lukas was in Costa Rica and how I felt we were in a good place.  "I don't know, there's something about Lukas that keeps drawing me in.  He's so sweet and makes me feel like I'm the only woman in the world" I said shyly.

"Aw, you're falling in love with him" she said clasping her hands in front of her.

I giggled, " I don't know about that.  All I know is I'm happier than I've been in a long time."

Before heading out separate ways Britney and I agreed to meet for brunch Sunday morning.  She told me she would invite Melissa and I asked her if she was cool with me inviting Priya.  She exclaimed, "Priya is so much fun, bring her along."  With that she gave me a hug and headed towards Tenjune, a club in the Meatpacking District that was packed with a very pretentious and stylish crowd.

When I got back to the apartment, Priya was busy putting on the cutest pair of sandals with ankle straps.  I've always strayed from shoes with ankle straps because my grandmother swears that they make your legs look short and chunky but admired them from afar.  "Where are you going?" I asked sitting down on the sofa.

"I'm going to one of my girlfriend's birthday party, you wanna come along?" she asked happily.

I shook my head, "I'm beat but I was wondering if you'd like to go to brunch with us Sunday?"

"That sounds awesome" she said before leaving.

After my hectic and emotionally draining week, I was dog-tired.  I fell asleep as soon as my head hit my pillow.  I know research says that you can't make up sleep but try telling that to my mind and body!  When I woke up, it was a little after noon.  Before I lost any courage, I reached for my phone and dialed Anthony's number.  He didn't answer and after about seven rings I went directed to him voicemail.  I opted against leaving a message and instead dragged myself out of bed and made my way to the bathroom.  There's nothing better than a nice, warm shower to wake you up and make you feel oh so relaxed.

Once dressed, my hair still wrapped in a towel, I called Anthony again. This time he answered.  "Elisabeth this isn't a good time" he said sounding extremely tired.

"But I feel we need to talk" I said desperately.

"I'm not in the mood to talk" he said dejectedly.

"I don't care what you are in the mood for I'm coming over."

Anthony tried to argue with me but I wasn't in the mood for that.  "I'll be there by 5" I told him.

"Yea but will I be here?" he scoffed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reunited and It Feels So...

I re-read Britney's words, "You're not going to believe this but Jason broke up with fiance", over and over and was completely oblivious to the cab driver trying to get my attention.  I jumped as he yelled, "Miss."  I apologized profusely, paid him and rushed out of the cab.  I hurried through the lobby and impatiently waited for the elevator.  After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only a minute or so, the elevator came and I headed up to my apartment.  I quickly opened the door and plopped myself on the couch, trying to digest Britney's text.  All types of thoughts ran through my mind. Was Jason only interested in seeing me because he wanted to get back together?  What was his motive?  What is he up to?  My phone was still in my hand and vibrated, completely startling me.  I looked down and saw a text from Lukas.

"Is everything okay?  I just feel that you were a little guarded and not yourself tonight?"  I sighed loudly.  I liked Lukas but sometimes I felt that he was a little too cool and confident for me.  Yes, he is older and maybe slightly more mature but at times he makes me feel like I'm crazy.  Was I wrong to be bothered by him not making a big deal out of me meeting Jason?  He seemed to play it off like it wasn't a big deal and then had the nerve to accuse me of playing games and wanting him to be jealous.  Lukas has always been supportive and kind but sometimes his comments are harsh and bothered me more than I let on.  I wasn't in the mood to engage him any type of conversation and texted back, "No, I'm fine.  Just tired.  I'm going to sleep now.  Talk to you later."

He immediately texted me back, "Good night" with a smiley face.  I rolled my eyes.  How did Lukas have the ability to make me smile even though I'm annoyed with him?  I got up, grabbed a bottle of water from the kitchen and proceeded to my room.  I locked the door and dialed Britney's number.  She picked up on the second ring.  "How do you know Jason broke up with his fiance?" I asked immediately.

"Well hello to you too" she said sarcastically.

"Sorry, I just need to know."

"I was Facebook stalking him and saw that his status was changed to "Single".  I didn't know if that was a mistake so I went to Tiffany's Facebook and saw the same thing and she had some pretty nasty comments about Jason."

"What did the comments say?" I asked curiously.

"That Jason played her and how she wasted her time with him" Britney answered.

"Wow, that's insane.  Do you think that's why he wants to see me?"

"Don't tell me you're considering getting back with Jason" she said incredulously.

"No, I just want to know what to expect" I replied.  Truth be told, it didn't cross my mind that Jason would ever consider getting back together with me and I didn't want him either!!  After all I went through after our breakup, I would be stupid to even think about the possibility of being with Jason again.  All I wanted was to clear the air and get the closure I've been seeking for months now.  I made sure to relay that to Britney.  She asked me if I wanted her to go with me and I declined telling her that this was something I needed to do on my own.  Thankfully Britney understood and didn't push.

She proceeded to ask me about Lukas and I told her about our conversation earlier. When I was done Britney exclaimed in disbelief,  "So let me get this straight, you're mad at Lukas because he understands why you're meeting Jason?"

"You don't get it" I said, getting annoyed.

"No you don't.  You put Lukas in a fucked up situation where if he's supportive you're pissed and if he gets upset you're pissed.  It's a no win situation for him.  What do you want from him?" she asked sharply.

"Britney, you haven't been in a relationship in a long time and you are the last person that should be giving me advice" I said angrily.

There was completely silence on the phone for a few seconds until I heard Britney clear her throat.  "You know what Elisabeth, I'm tired of you putting me down whenever things don't go your way.  I don't have time for you and your high school drama."

I truly felt awful knowing that I had hurt Britney and tried to apologize but quickly realized that Britney hung up.  I redialed her number and was sent straight to voicemail.  After changing into my pajamas I dialed her number once more with the same result.  I laid down and vowed to call Britney in the morning and apologize.  I hated that she was siding with Lukas and making it seem like I was being irrational but that gave me no right to bring up her lack of success with relationships.  Britney was my dear friend and deserved better than that.  I set the alarm on my phone and turned off the lights, hoping that tomorrow would be a much more productive and happy day.

As soon as I woke up Wednesday morning I called Britney but she didn't answer and I didn't feel like leaving a voicemail.  It was 5:45 a.m. and she was probably still sleeping, I rationalized.  After my shower, I blow dried then flat ironed my hair, making it super straight.  Next I rummaged through my closet for a nice but work appropriate outfit.  I wanted to show Jason exactly what he was missing.  I settled on a navy blue sheath dress with a square neckline that was a couple inches above my knees, which I paired with dark brown heels, a string of pearls and a cocktail ring.  I put on minimal makeup and slipped on my Burberry trench coat before heading out.  I tried calling Britney as I walked to the train station but it was clear that she had turned her phone off and didn't want to talk.

I knew that bringing up Britney's past relationships was a low blow and wanted to let her know that I was genuinely sorry.  Before heading down the subway steps I texted her, "Britney, I'm really sorry about what I said and want to talk.  Text me when you can."  I hit send and proceeded down the stairs.  My commute to work was hectic.  The man standing directly behind me had a briefcase, which kept hitting me with every lurch and movement of the train.  I was thrilled when I got to my stop.  As I walked towards my building I looked at my phone but there weren't any messages.

Work was stressful.  Layoffs were still rampant in the industry and unfortunately today a one of our traders and two middle office employees were laid off.  As much as I like working in the financial services industry, the layoffs take a toll on you after a while.  To the outside world, anyone who works at an investment bank is part of the 1% but that surely isn't the case.  For the past four years, I have watched round after round of layoffs.  You never know the right thing to say to those who lost their jobs and you don't know when your turn will come.  Layoff day definitely decreases the morale within teams and reminds everyone of their own job insecurity.  The entire day took on a somber tone, people speaking in hushed tones, afraid of potentially losing their own job.  Laid off colleagues hugging one another and crying.  Days like today are emotionally draining.

I was was happy when the clock struck six and I could head out.  Technically I could leave at five but none of my colleagues did, except on Fridays and I didn't want to stand out for a negative reason.  I rushed to the bathroom and whipped out my makeup bag.  I proceeded to apply brown sparkly eye shadow and lined my eyes perfectly.  Next I applied the perfect amount of blush to make me looked flushed and not like a circus clown and a dab of nude lip gloss.  To finish it off I spritzed myself with my Jimmy Choo perfume before heading out.  It was a nice day out and I decided to walk to Brother Jimmy's, that way I could call Britney and not get there too early.  As I made my way towards 16th Street I dialed Britney's number once again and was immediately sent to voicemail.  I knew she had every right to be upset but this was ridiculous.

I was almost at Brother Jimmy's when my phone vibrated with a text from Lukas. "How was your day?"

"Good, I'm going to see Jason now" I texted while trying not to bump into anyone.

"If you're up to it, maybe we can meet up when you're done?" he replied.

"I'll let you know" I typed.

"Cool" Lukas replied.  I was still annoyed by what Lukas said the previous night.  I was not looking to cause drama nor did I want Lukas to be pissed about me meeting Jason, I was just surprised by his reaction.  Nothing more.  He took things too far in my opinion and in retrospect I wish I had called him out right then and there.

By 6:45 I entered Brother Jimmy's which had such a down home feel with simple wood furniture everywhere and a bar that lined one wall.  Being that it was a Tuesday it wasn't that crowded and I was able to snag a stool at the bar.  The bartender came over and I ordered a Charlotte Tea, which is the South's equivalent to a Long Island Ice Tea.  In no time at all, the bartender brought me my drink. I took a sip and coughed; I wasn't expecting it to be so strong.  While waiting for Jason, I made small talk with the bartender.  His name was Michael; he was a senior at Baruch, studying accounting. When he went to take someone's order I felt a tap on my shoulder.

It was Jason.  He leaned forward and gave me a hug which I reluctantly reciprocated.  As much as I hated to admit, Jason smelled so good and looked even better in jeans and a fitted button down.  He was tanned from the California sun and his eyes sparkled as he sat on the bar stool next to me, "It's so good to see you Elisabeth.  You look amazing."

I blushed in spite of myself.  "Thanks.  How have you been, Jason?"

"Busy with school, you know same old same old."  At this point the bartender came over and Jason ordered a beer.

"What are you doing in NYC?" I asked trying to play it cool.  Jason responded that there was a corporate law seminar at NYU law school that he signed up for.  I nodded while I listened, not giving him any inclination that I knew everything.  He proceeded to tell me that he was swamped with law school and barely had time to socialize much.

"Hmm, that's interesting.  I could have sworn I heard you were engaged to that girl in your study group" I said flatly.  Jason choked on his beer and started coughing.

"It's not like you and I are together Elisabeth.  If I want to date or get engaged I don't need your permission" he said defensively.

"That's true, you don't but the least you can do is tell me about her" I retorted, hoping that he would tell me the truth.

"Well after you left I was pretty broken up and Tiffany was there to help me pick up with pieces.  I admit, I might have moved too fast with her but I was trying to forget you" he answered.

"Hmm, that's quite interesting" I said, feeling my heart start to pound as my anger rose.  He nodded and told me that he would never lie to me.

"Jason I don't know why you're here and what you need to talk about.  For months I've been texting and calling you and you've been icing me, now all of sudden you want to catch up" I said angrily.

"I miss you Elisabeth" he said softly, looking into my eyes, "You're the only one I want and love."

I scoffed, "You love me so much that you had no issues fucking your study partner while we were together, right?"

Jason turned bright red, "I told you that I only got with her after we broke up" he stuttered.

"Like hell you did, I know everything" I said bitterly.

"Fine, but there is so much you don't know" he countered.

"So tell me then" I retorted.

Jason proceeded to blame me; telling me how I made him feel unwanted because I was preoccupied with work and never made time for him.  He claimed he had no other choice than to start spending time with Tiffany.  With each word I could feel my anger growing.  I couldn't control myself as I cut him off mid sentence, "Are you fucking kidding me Jason?  How dare you turn this around on me.  I was sitting at home night after fucking night waiting for you but you were always busy. Now I know what you were busy doing" I said coldly.

He tried to calm me down, "We both made mistakes but let's put that behind us."

I laughed in disgust, "For the past four months I've been blaming myself for hurting you, now I come to find out that me hooking up with Nate was just the out you needed.  Why couldn't you man up and tell me you wanted out? Instead you lied to me and then made me feel like shit for hurting you."

"Tiffany never meant anything to me" he said quietly.

"That's why you asked her to marry you a couple weeks ago right?  Give me a fucking break.  You didn't want anything to do with me but now that Tiffany found out what a fucking loser you are, you want me back? How stupid do you think I am?" I said, raising my voice.

"Keep your voice down, people are starting to watch" Jason said.

"I don't give a shit who's watching.  What you did was wrong.  I gave up everything for you and you didn't have the balls to tell me it was over?  The past six months have been a complete and utter lie and now you're here telling me you love me?"  I retorted.

"Elisabeth, don't act all innocent when you banged your coworker."

"Fuck you, Jason" I said getting up and grabbing my bag, making my way to the exit.  I was in front of Brother Jimmy's when he grabbed my hand.

"Let's talk, please" he said, pleading with me.

"There's nothing to talk about" I said wrangling out of his grasp.

"Listen to me, please" he begged.

"You have two minutes and it better be good" I replied irritably.

"I love you Elisabeth, you're the only one I ever loved. Tiffany was a mistake.  I apologize for cheating and I'm begging with you for one more chance.  You know as well as I do that we were good together" he said moving closer to me.

"Jason I can't.  I can't be with a man that could blatantly lie to me for months.  Even today you're lying to me.  I deserve someone much better than that.  How could you claim to love me when you've hurt me so much?" I said, with a quivering voice.

"You don't mean that" he said cupping my face with his hands, leaning down and kissing my softly.  I pushed him back with my two hands.  He stepped back looking at me with that same look that use to make my heart melt.  Now, that look made me feel repulsed.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" I yelled furiously.

"Give me one more chance.  I know you still want me" he said softly.

"Jason, I've moved on.  From this moment, you're just a memory.  Please don't call, text, anything.  I'm completely and utterly done with you."  I could have sworn I saw his eyes fill with tears as I said those words but I couldn't subject myself to being with a cowardly, liar like him ever again.

I turned on my heel and started walking away from him when I heard him yell, "That's just like you Elisabeth, trying to forget me by fucking someone else.  Fucking slut.  I know you'll come crawling back to me."  As much as I wanted to turn around and curse him out I kept walking, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of knowing how much those words impacted me.

I needed a friend to talk to and I knew that even though Britney was still mad at me, she wouldn't turn me away.  I hailed a cab and gave him Britney's address.  I texted her letting her know I was on my way over but didn't receive a response.  She was probably still ignoring me, but thankfully I still had keys to her place.  Ten minutes later I knocked softly on her apartment door, then louder to no avail.  I rummaged through my purse and found her apartment key, opening the door "Britney it's me" I said softly, not wanting to scare her.  Her apartment was dark and I flipped the light switch as I started searching for her.  I sighed loudly realizing that she wasn't home.  I shut off the lights, locked her door and headed home.

Priya was sitting on the couch reading something when I walked in.  She looked at me with a quizzically.  "You alright?" she asked.

" don't know, Priya" I said, frustrated.

"If you want to talk about it, I'm here for you" she said genuinely.

I took a deep breath and filled her in on my rendezvous with Jason.  She interjected a couple times but for the most part let me speak, which was exactly what I needed.  Once I was done she said, "I think it's very brave of you to meet your ex and speak your mind. It sucks to find out the truth but you have to to realize you're in a good place now and don't need him in your life."

"I'm just ticked off that he cheated on me, lied about it for months and has the audacity to call me a slut."

She nodded, "Well he's angry that he didn't get his way.  You're not a slut, you know that, I know that, who gives a shit what he thinks?"

"Yes I fucked up cheating on him too but what he did was much worse" I said quietly.  Priya let me vent and was extremely supportive.  She tried to cheer me up but I was a lost cause and ended up thanking her for being there for me before heading to my room.  My head was throbbing as I crawled into bed that night.  Tears trickled down my cheek as I replayed my six year relationship with Jason.  Seeing him tonight gave me the reassurance that I needed.  I'm not saying that I was perfect, I made mistakes in our relationship too but Jason having a sexual and emotional relationship while we were together with another woman was wrong on all levels.  In my book, emotionally cheating is far worse than sexual cheating.  I could never forgive him for that or for calling me a slut.  Now that I knew the truth, I could finally close that chapter in my life and move on.

I was deep in thought when my phone pinged with a text from Jason, "I'm sorry for acting the way I did.  I was hurt and didn't mean anything I said."

I didn't respond.  Nothing Jason said or did could justify his actions.  As I lay there, my thoughts drifted to Lukas.  Maybe I was overreacting that he was so supportive of me seeing Jason.  I expected him to be at least a little jealous and I was surprised when he was cool with it.  I had been giving him the cold shoulder for a couple days now and I wanted to fix things before he left for Costa Rica.  I checked the time on my phone, 11:43 p.m.  Lukas was probably still awake I told myself as I texted him.  "Lukas, I miss you.  I'm sorry for giving you a hard time, it's just that I'm not use to someone being so supportive of me.  I really would like to see you tomorrow."

Lukas texted me back close to midnight, "I'm sorry too, I know I'm a jerk at times.  I'd love to see tomorrow.  I still haven't packed yet, you cool with coming over after work?"

I told him I was and we texted back and forth for a little.  As I drifted off to sleep, I was happy that Lukas and I were on good terms but I knew I had to apologize to Britney.  Then there was Anthony, someone had to make the first move and I was beginning to think it might have to be me!