I was running super-late for work and had hopped, skipped and skedaddled my way out of Daniel’s apartment with a high strung, clouded head. Daniel and I got into an argument while we were both getting ready for work. We both got at each other’s bad side and now I figured he was as annoyed going into work frustrated as I was. The worst part about the whole morning was that it started out fine. We woke up in each other’s arms, relaxed and willing to keep up an open dialogue about our situation. Ugh, ‘open dialogue’; I hated that term, like it was all clinical practise and professionalism. Instead of saying we fucked and then had a chat afterwards, we had an open dialogue.
Daniel watched me as I ran kisses along the side of his ribs. “I have to get up,” he said for the second time.
I groaned and flung my leg across him in lock down mode. He laughed and I kept my eyes closed; kissing him continuously.
I moaned and turned on my back. “Fine go.”
Daniel chuckled at my faux-pout. “You have work, too.”
“Let’s call in sick, you and me, and we’ll stay in bed all day together.”
Daniel climbed over me and in between my legs. I pulled him closer to me, loving the weight of him on top of me, wanting more of him. Pressing his lips along my neck in between words he said, “You. Know. We. Can’t.” then he hopped out of bed, seamlessly slipping out of me. “Come on, babe.” He slapped my thigh, squeezing a chunk between his thumb and forefinger, knowing it makes me squirm. And it did. I rattled like a spastic snake and jumped out of bed, so long as it was the opposite side of the bed and he couldn’t reach my thigh.
“No fair,” I said, my face reddening. “I look so crazy like I’m convulsing, you know how hard it is for me to act sexy after you’ve seen that.”
Daniel couldn’t stop laughing. Tears were literally streaming down his face. Traitor.
It had all seemed fine and dandy, and I thought the morning was going to fly through and over like a breeze. No one liked early mornings—I definitely didn’t—but this morning managed to make me miss the fact that I wouldn’t be waking up to Daniel once I sign for that apartment. I mean, it’s great and all, but it doesn’t have Daniel. Not like we’re both dying or something, but still, it’s going to be one helluva difference. We may be the only functioning couple to live together then move out into separate apartments without arguments as a cause, without any other cause than simply, to try it out. That sounded stupid, even to me, the person who suggested the idea in the first place!
My feelings were so conflicting that I was fighting an inner battle with myself, not sure of what I really wanted, so of course anyone who intruded on the battle was sure to get blasted. Whether it was warranted or not, who knew?
I walked out of the bedroom to find Daniel drinking coffee, standing at the kitchen counter. “How you like coffee is beyond me.”
“Just so you know, you’re the minority here. Don’t be judging,” he took another sip.
I rolled my eyes and returned the smile. “So when are you going to be able to come and check out my new place?”
Daniel set the cup down and turned. “You got a new place already?”
“Well no,” I said, pulling milk out of the fridge, “but there’s this one that Brahms helped me—”
“Brahms. You know, realtor guy. I told you all this. You couldn’t come, remember? Well anyway, this place is kind of tiny but, you know—” I shrugged, smiling “—it’s my first in the big bad city and I think it’ll be my best.”
All the while I was talking, Daniel seemed lost in his own thoughts. His forehead hadn’t relaxed its crease and he was looking at me with unblinking unflinching intent. Although his lips were in a tight line I could tell he really wanted to tell me something.
When he wouldn’t say anything after I finished (and instead just nodded silently and turned back to his coffee) I kept waiting and waiting until I spoke again. “I can feel you wanting to tell me something. What is it?” I walked around to face him.
Daniel shook his head. “Nothing.”
Silence again. Nothing my ass.
“Spill it Daniel, otherwise I’m going to be so distracted all day.” Even when he did spill I was distracted. A lose-lose.
“Okay, well, I know I supported you getting your own apartment and whatnot, but I just really think it’s stupid.”
“Okay…”I stretched the word out, a little taken aback by his surprising words. He couldn’t make me aware of this sooner?
“Look, I know you think it’s a good thing but I think it’s a massive step back in our relationship.”
“Whoa, wait a minute,” unintentionally, my voice rose a bit, “how long have you felt about this?”
He paused, squinting his eyes and looking in the distance, trying to recall. “I can’t remember. A while. But can’t you see my point? I mean, you don’t want to live with me, you don’t want to marry me, what do you want? A little buddy forever?”
“Oh, that is so unfair. I’m just not ready for all of that. Are you saying I should be ready to marry you right now and in not doing so I’d be taking a step back?”
“I’m saying you don’t want to go forward regardless of whether you want to marry me or not right now. And yes, maybe I feel a little hurt that you keep brushing aside the fact that I want to marry you.”
“I’m not ready goddammit so stop pressuring me!” I stomped my feet and turned my back towards him.
After a heavy silence, Daniel spoke calmly. “All I’m saying is that I think you’re moving the relationship back, when all I want to do is move it forward.”
I turned around, a little more composed. “Is this about the money again? You think it’ll make it all easier if we just got married?”
“I—okay, yes, as well as that. I think it will make our lives easier. It will make everything—our living situation, our togetherness, our progression—a lot easier. It’s natural, Anna.”
I shook my head. “I can’t believe it. You’re still on that.”
He shrugged. “I’m serious. Why are you so intent on making things so difficult for yourself? For us?”
I huffed a humourless chuckle, uncrossing my arms. “Why are you so intent on getting married, thinking that it’ll make life easier? As if it’s so unbearably hard. News flash, Daniel, look at my parents, look at yours, that’s what marrying too early, in it too quickly—without reason or logic, just false hopes and dreams—really does.”
Daniel rounded the kitchen counter and came forward. “Now that is just unfair, Anna. We’re not our parents, in case you haven’t noticed.”
“I can do without the condescending tone.”
“Yeah? And I can do without the excuses to keep us from progressing.” He checked his watch. “Shit, now I’m late.”
I sighed, feeling a little deflated. “Well, I guess that means I am, too.”
“We’ll talk about this when I get back.” Daniel took his briefcase and strapped it over his shoulder, moving towards the door.
Open dialogue? No, no, what we just had here was open fucking heart surgery. Without anaesthesia.
So that was that. On the one hand, I can see most of the points he was trying to make. On the other, he was wrong and I was right. I just hope he can see that most of all, I wasn’t entirely ready for marriage. If two people with the wisdom of the ages walked past us and saw us bickering like that, they’d totally think we weren’t even ready to move in together let alone get married.
I was thinking about our argument over and over, replaying everything in my head over and over when the elevator doors were caught in between by a hand. I was in mid-regret (thinking that I was more in the wrong than Daniel was) when the doors parted and in came a man and the mail girl all over each other.
Sarah, the mail girl with wavy blonde hair slicked back into a ponytail, was blindly pulling the cart in with one hand, inevitably rolling over my foot with it. My patent leather heels streaked with a thin grey jagged line.
“Mmm,” Sarah turned to me, the man’s kisses falling down to her neck, his face only half-hidden. I could only see a sharp jaw-line and blonde stubble. “Sorry, Anna-banana,” she giggled and squinted, “hope I didn’t ruin your—Mmm-mmm.” Her words cut off but the man’s kisses.
“It’s totally fine,” I mumbled.
They started whispering what I could only imagine were dirty words to each other and I forced myself to block everything out. I closed my eyes and scrunched my face, thinking of Daniel and what I really wanted to ask him. A question that I probably shouldn’t ask but needed to know the answer to for my own sanity. It was the kind of question that would either make or break a relationship and I had to decide whether or not that was a risk I was willing to take.
My thought process got cut off yet again by the man calling my name. I jolted back into reality and turned around to find Sarah nibbling on his neck, her hand on his crotch, and he staring at me.
“I’m Brad,” he grinned.
Brad had blue eyes, olive skin and a medium build. His eyebrows were a darker shade of blonde than his hair, practically brown. He had a narrow nose and thin lips, not so thin they disappeared though. He looked amazing, real sexy, like he had no care in the world, but it was so awkward acknowledging them.
“I take it you really are Anna-banana.”
“Don’t call me that. Please.”
“Anna-banana’s getting’ rowdy,” Sarah laughed. Brad didn’t and neither did I, I just narrowed my eyes.
“You want to join us?” Brad offered.
Ugh, this is the longest elevator ride in the world. Why did the floor have to be so freakin’ high!?
“Oh, no way,” I said. “Are you crazy?”
They both laughed, Sarah more so than Brad. “Well, I just thought because you had your eyes closed and all, that, you know, you were getting into us.” I stared at him quizzically, frozen. He lifted his head up and his blue eyes appeared more saturated as the lids opened wider. He pointed at the doors. “Your reflection showed.”
After a moment of quiet, where I was a little too surprised to speak, I said, “Ah, yeah, I, uhh—” the elevator dinged open “—I have to go.”
I bolted out of the elevator, using what willpower I could to run in heels. Behind me, a slurry girly voice called out. “Bye Anna-banana!”
I passed Noelle, nearly bumping into her. “What the hell was that? And you’re late for the meeting. Lucky for you it hasn’t really started yet.”
I explained to her the horror I unwillingly witnessed in the elevator, and for the next hour during the meeting, we strained to keep from laughing hysterically and recapping every moment in detail.
“At least he was sexy,” Noelle said as we returned to our cubicles.
“As if that makes a difference,” I got up and came over to her, leaning up against the desk.
“It does, Anna-banana,” she laughed.
“Oh, are we calling you Anna-banana now?” Leo asked.
I rolled my eyes. “Perfect timing, Leo.”
“Whatever you say Anna-banana,” he winked.
“I regret telling you this story,” I pointed at Noelle.
“What story?” Leo asked.
“Don’t you dare,” I interjected Noelle.
“Oh, come on, it’s funny. Hey, where were you last night by the way?” Noelle whacked Leo.
“Well, what were you doing?”
“Oh my God,” Noelle grinned, “you’re holding out on me.”
“I’m not.” Leo turned to me, shrugging as if he were offended. “I’m not.”
I put my hands up. “Hey, I’m Switzerland within this exchange. Mainly because I have no idea what’s going on.” Then a smile began to pry my lips. “I’ll make you a deal,” I said to Leo, “Noelle can you tell you the story about me in the elevator, if you tell her where you were last night.”
Noelle, wide-eyed, nodded her head. “Oh yes!”
“Oh, come on,” Leo smiled.
“A deal’s a deal, Leo,” I said.
“Anna,” I turned to find Lucy leaning into Noelle’s cubicle. “David wants to see you in his office.”
“Thanks, Luce.” As I walked away, over my shoulder I spoke to Noelle. “Let me know where Leo was.”
At a distance I heard Leo moan, “Oh, come on.” Noelle’s giggling and mine rang through.
My giggling faded after I entered David’s office, noticing that the man seated opposite him was Brad. Confused, I stared at him like an idiot, practically ignoring David.
“Anna,” David started, catching my attention, “this is Bradley Gordon, son of the Gordon estate uptown.”
“Son?” I mumbled.
“My father’s very rich,” Brad said, “which in turn makes me very rich.”
I tried so hard to keep from rolling my eyes. You don’t even know; there should be a medal for me. Brad was enjoying this way too much. I was annoyed and fixated on the guy for so long that I didn’t even realise there was a silence, and both Brad and David were staring at me as if they asked a question.
“What?” I asked.
They both looked at each other and then back at me. “We never asked anything,” David said.
“No I know,” I said, my cheeks heating up, “I just…” I trailed off so far and long, there was no point to even return to the awkward subject.
“Aaaaaanyway,” David started, “Brad is an accomplished writer, who knew—” they shared a laugh “—well, he’s just written his second book and we’re lucky enough to publish it yet again.” He directed his attention to Brad. “We have an extremely dedicated team of editors, artists and many assistants to come along with that, and Anna here—” he gestured with his hand my way “—is one of the many great assistants, and I think this is the perfect opportunity for her skills to showcase in more ways than one.”
“You’re giving me more responsibility?” I asked, super-excited.
“Very much so,” David cracked a smile, somehow for me this time, “you’re going to do great.”
Brad stood and extended his hand. I took it without thinking, a reflex action. “I’m looking forward to you assisting me in more ways than one, Miss. Parker—” he leaned in closer and out of range from David’s ears (and attention for that matter) he winked and said “—Anna-banana.”
“Eww, that’s so gross,” Noelle said as she, Leo and I were walking to a bar.
“Damn this is some fucked up sounding porno,” Leo said.
I scrunched my nose. “It so is not!” I pulled the bar door hard and wide enough for both Noelle and Leo to enter. Then we grabbed a table right off the corner of the bar on the opposite side.
“Umm, hello,” Noelle said, “’assistant’—” she raised her eyebrows like I should be well in the know “—that is so porno-ish.”
I laughed. “Okay, while you two mull over that, I’m going to go and get us some drinks. What do you want?”
They sounded off their drinks and then I approached the bar. The man behind the counter was nice, young and always smiling. I say ‘always’ but really I have no idea; he just looked like one of those people that is just happy about life constantly. It was refreshing, I tell you. I carried the drinks over and was ready to chug mine down like an animal when Noelle nudged me, nearly spilling my drink.
I eyed her almost threateningly, half-jokingly. Do not mess with my drink! “Is something wrong?”
“Sorry,” she said then jutted her chin out, “but check it out. That man has been staring at you since the moment we walked in.”
I looked and could barely make out the man’s face. Only his hair; a dark brown, almost a reddish brown; just a tinge of red.
“Umm, I don’t think so,” I said.
“Umm, we do,” Noelle said. “Leo was the one that spot him first, I had no idea. Then when you went up to the counter and got the drinks, he kept watching you.”
“I’m really thirsty,” I said.
Leo grabbed my drink just as I was about to take a sip. I was about to kill him. The both of them. “Here’s what you should do: go up to the bar, get us some more drinks to refresh the ones that we’ll inevitably finish very soon, and stay there for a moment longer. Go slow. He’ll probably come up to you.”
“Why are you guys so invested in this guy?” I asked.
“Well Leo here thinks that he’ll approach you, whereas I, even though he’s been staring at you for like ever now, thinks that he won’t even step foot. That he’s too chicken shit. So we made a bet.”
I rolled my eyes. “Can’t I just drink my drink and go home?”
“Oh come on, have some fun, girl,” Leo said, now chugging his drink. “I think I’m ready for another.”
I turned to Noelle, ready to voice my disinterest in their little bet, but I saw her slipping the drink down her throat so smoothly it didn’t even look like she was swallowing. The she grinned. I took a couple sips of mine then let them know that the only way I’d go up to the bar is if I could take a cut of either win. A little something in it for me.
At the bar, I ordered slowly and waited. Lucky for me (or for Noelle and Leo), there were a couple of patrons the bartender was serving before he started making our drinks. I turned to find Noelle and Leo wide-eyed and eager, looking like two crack addicts waiting for their next slice, and I giggled lowly, trying to catch myself from hysterically laughing in front of everyone.
At the corner of my eye, the man approached me. Noelle slouched and Leo raised his arms excitedly, happy he won and eager for the pay up, opening his palm out before a reluctant and sour-puss Noelle.
“Hi,” the man smiled. He was young looking, with smooth ivory skin, even though I knew he had a few more years on him.
“Hi,” I smiled back politely.
He held out his hand and I blushed, a reflex emotion, taking the hand. “Anna, Anna Parker.”
“Very nice to meet you, Anna Parker,” he said, taking his rough hand back. What did he do, scrub it till its bare bones? “I’m Sam, Sam Dvorak.”
***A little something special for all my Samson&Delilah readers; and if you know what just happened in the previous post, you’ll know just how insanely freaky his interaction is right now! I hope you all massively enjoyed this massive post! What do you guys think of Brad? What do you think Anna should do in regards to her relationship with Daniel? Who has more of a point? Let me know, I love reading my readers’ thoughts! Twitter! Soul xo***