Before my front door I heard voices laughing and carrying on. I breathed in to brace myself and inserted my key into the lock. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but in case you forgot or missed it, I’m not so good with confrontations. I think I’ve had a lot of practise in getting used to it, but for some reason, my brain just jumps ship and I get really nervous.
But it occurred to me, while I was looking for a place to go, that I was being silly. This is my fucking apartment. Jodie is staying here with my permission only and I can have any guests I want; that means I can throw out any guests I don’t want and that includes Adam.
I entered my apartment and found Jodie and Adam huddled on the floor together, leaning back on the sofa and watching some television and chatting. What they were watching I hadn’t a clue considering I never turned to check. I kept my attention on them.
“Hey!” Jodie beamed, please re-entered her twisted plot. “Changed your mind?”
“Not exactly. Adam, can you follow me please?”
Adam didn’t move for a moment, hesitant; eventually he stood and walked right behind me and into the hallway. I closed my door so Jodie wouldn’t hear and took a few steps out of range.
“Look,” I started, my voice soft because I know Adam isn’t entirely at fault here, “it’s been great. But you can’t just come here and not ask me. I know Jodie led you here but, there was nothing said to me. She doesn’t own the place you know.”
“It’s just—I thought we could talk or something. You completely dropped me the second we came back to New York.”
“I know. And if you want an explanation then fine, I owe you that much. It’s the least I can do; but it’s also the most I will do because I’m with Daniel.” I said the last three words slowly so they registered quickly.
Adam nodded and looked down. “I know.” He sighed, peering up. “This wasn’t my idea, by the way. I mean, some of it is, yes, it’s not like I refused any part of this—” he chuckled nervously— “but it wasn’t my intention to rattle your life. Again.”
I winced at that last word. It hung in the air boldly between us. Seeing Adam again was easy, but hearing that was hard. Besides, I kind of figured this whole thing wasn’t entirely his idea considering he seemed so uncomfortable at times.
“I’ll go,” he finally said.
I’m glad I didn’t have to tell him; again, and more bluntly. I smiled with appreciation. “Thank you.”
Adam shuffled around me, and in the tight hallway, where there was barely any room to breathe, I felt him brush past me. Seeing the back of Adam’s form always seems easier after the millionth time.
Suddenly I realised that Adam may have been the easier part and Jodie might be the hard one. I thought it’d be the other way around just because of all the history between me and Adam. I guess, through time, he’s come (or coming) to understand my side of things.
“Okay,” my voice strong and projecting as I dashed back into my apartment, watching Jodie backing away from obviously trying to sneak around to eavesdrop, “what the hell is going on with you?”
Jodie flickered her eyes over the doorway and back. “Where’s Adam?”
“Aww what?” Jodie moaned. “Why’d you do that for?”
“Because, Jodie, this isn’t—no, first you tell me what is going on with you?”
“I’m just…” she struggled, pointing in the direction of the door with her whole hand and then letting it drop to her side as she moved her weight from one foot to another, “I just…Adam’s better for you.”
Wow. “Are you serious?”
“Daniel isn’t going to make you happy in the long run. Believe me. You’re going to break up again and we’re just going to have to clean up the pieces. I mean, you can’t aim for a perfect life when you’re one damaged guy away from the perfect guy.”
“Perfect? What do you mean, perfect?” I shrugged agitatedly.
“With your perfect job, and your perfect apartment, in perfect New York City, and your perfect friends in two different states. All you need is a perfect boyfriend and you’re set for a happier life.”
My eyes eased up from their intensity as I ceased staring her down. My brows relaxed and my head lifted slightly, chin parallel to the floor as everything was finally coming together.
“No one has the perfect life, Jodie,” I said.
“Easier for you to say,” she mumbled. “Easy for all of you to say. Janet already has the perfect life, she’s so happy; Chloe, too. And you’re happy with your perfect life here. And what do I have? Nothing. I don’t know what I’m doing with mine. I’m in my twenties out of college, Anna, I’ve got nowhere to go.” She paused. “I just thought, maybe if I just got you and Adam together, then I’d have done something with my life at least. Something that I can live up to over and over again.”
I tilted my head, suddenly feeling a warmth grow around my heart, melting it at its core. “I am happy. With Daniel. But you need a serious reality check if you think my life is even close to perfect. I’m not complaining because people do have it worse, but, I’m not complaining at all. I’m trying to be taken seriously as a successful novelist and yet I can’t even think of a fucking thing to write.”
Then, to my surprise, Jodie dropped her brows and bit her lips. When I finally noticed she was containing a burst, she began laughing raucously. I started smiling at first, thinking of what I just said, and joined her.
“I’m not doing so well in the meetings so far and I have no idea what the fuck I’m going to do if I don’t get a coach,” Jodie announced through her chime.
I laughed harder. “I’m working with a psychotic, rich boy at work that won’t stop being all sexual around me.”
Jodie held her stomach with one hand and pointed at me with the other. “Oh, we definitely have to talk about that one!”
For a good chunk of the night, we sat and drank wine, talking about our failures and achievements. What we consider successes and downfalls were wide and vary. We had a blast, and we didn’t take ourselves seriously. This is the twenty-something stage where some people have it all figured out, but a lot don’t. We just have to surround ourselves with the people that’ll support us and make a positive impact on us in the long run.
And if that doesn’t work, there’s always therapy!