When She’s Done, What’s Next?

Well, I’ve done it.

I have done it! I’ve managed to finish a story! In all of my years of being someone who loves to create little stories here and there, I’ve never finished them, ever! I’ve started them, and they’ve sounded amazing, but then they just sort of died. Sad little deaths. I’ve allowed the stories to disappear in my head; characters wiped clean from my mind, their world: gone. I would move on to something else because that’s how I used to work. Very fleeting, barely there. I would be quickly inspired by something else and that’s all it took for me.

I love to imagine characters and build a story about them as much as I can, immediately. I never ease into it, I used to always just dive right in. With this, however, I wanted to try and take my time. And so I did. Two years worth. On and off, like a relationship that was almost not going to make it but now here we are – married.

Melded perfectly and accepting one another in all of glory and dirt. Except, like me, she needs some work. She needs some internal work, so we’re going to fix her up. We’re going to make her better. She’s great right now, but it feels like she can definitely benefit from having some things added or cut. She’s in the process of seeing someone about that right now. I’m going to be there to hold her hand through it out and watch the beauty come shining through. And I’ve made this strange now…

Moving on! I said all of that to say that I managed to do something I didn’t think I knew I could do. But I made it happen and I’ve had some sleepy (yes, sleepy, because I definitely stayed up later than I should have, but I still got some sleep so no sleepless nights just yet caused by writing) nights. Yet it was all worth it though, because now I can breathe easy knowing I did it. I do feel an odd sense of accomplishment because of it. I feel like I can complete anything now, and that’s really good to hear because I’m still in the process of finishing up junior college to obtain my degree! But it makes me feel really good. I feel solid. I’ve made one of my characters come to an actual end of her story, but I intend on making it into a series so she’s not done yet, not for a while. I’m not done, but just the beginning of it is laid down. The foundation is there. I’m going to keep building on it. And I want to take you all along for the ride.

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Melt

Excerpt 4 (Chapter 3)

I managed to get my server fixed and back up, running better than it originally did when I first took the position. I got to leave out of the building on time today, so I felt like today was a wonderful day. Then I remembered I had dinner to look forward to with Mitch, a dinner I almost forgot because I did tell him I was suppose to meet up with my girl, Sandy. I called Sandra on my way from work since I knew traffic was going to be a bit of a hassle. She picked up on the second ring, which was quick for her since she never seemed to have her phone on her when I called. “Hey, it’s me. Are we still meeting up for drinks?” I asked her while I kept my eyes on the road. I was thankful for the cars now having the capability to bluetooth up your phone to the stereo.
“Oh, shit! I totally forgot. I just agreed to stay another hour here. Can I take a rain check, I’m sorry!”
“Yeah, that’s fine. I was just calling to make sure and because Mitch wants to go to dinner. I was suppose to do breakfast with him but I totally slept late.” I merged onto the 163 north and was going to get off at Washington Street. I could’ve taken the street way again, but I didn’t want to.
“Ohhhh, dinner is it? I thought you two were over trying to get back together. I see that you’re a liar now,” she teased.
“Ha ha, I’m not lying, we’re not working on that. I told him we’re better off as just friends because he is still in limbo about what it is he wants relationship-wise. I don’t have time for all of that.”
“Mhm, you a liar,”she retorted. “You’re going to go to dinner and then have a glass of wine or even sake, and forget all about what you just told me. I know you,” she was laughing and I could the machinery going in the background. She worked in a warehouse as an operations manager as but she didn’t do the heavy work, she just made sure the people who did, did it correctly. I still worried anyway because it wasn’t toys in the background, it was the real deal.
“I’m not lying to you and I’m not going to forget. I promise,” I told her as I made my way down Washington to turn onto Park Boulevard.

And just like that, Mitch and I were making out in front of my door in my apartment building. I didn’t forget, I just also really enjoyed making out with him. And he knew that.
We managed to separate long enough for me to open the door to my apartment and usher us inside as I closed and locked it behind me. “I see nothing has changed in this place,” he said as he walked to my couch. Mr. Chow came walking out of my bedroom, looking mean but that was just his face. I walked into my kitchen and filled Mr. Chow’s bowl with his cat food, giving him a rub down as I did.
“Of course,” I told him as I began to put the cat good away. “What would I change? I like my place the way it is.”
I had a fairly open floor plan space where you walk through the door and my kitchen is off to your right with a breakfast nook, no wall separating it so you can just walk in. Through the front door, you could walk straight into the living space (no dining area because it was just me and Mr. Chow, rarely any guests), where my dark red sectional face my flat screen, the love seat was to the right of it. I did, however, have a fireplace, of blood red brick. It was my favorite feature, with a mantel above it where I had pictures of my mom and my siblings. My flat-screen TV was above the mantelpiece. I could sit on my sectional and be warmed by the fire. I never had both going at once. I had my stereo to the left of the fire place, with windows to each side of the fireplace. I had a desk with my laptop to the right, behind the love seat. The door to my bedroom was there next to my desk area. Bathroom was at the left side of the room, left to the entrance of my apartment while I had a bathroom in my bedroom as well.
It wasn’t a tight space but it wasn’t grandiose either but big enough for me to fill the space with what I liked and still have room for a huge, black lacquered vase full of bamboo to fit in front of my left window. Paintings on my wall. My living area was all beige colored walls because I wanted my furniture to stand out.
My kitchen was all white walled and stainless steel pieces. Stainless steel fridge, stove, and microwave. The cabinets were a brown, smooth wood that was so dark it could’ve been black at first glance. Sink was steel as well, shiny. I had a dishwasher but I barely used it because I liked to wash my dishes. If I was in a rush and hadn’t done the dishes the night before, I’d throw them in there and let the dishwasher handle it, but that was far and few in between. I always kept some Glade plug-ins in the sockets of my kitchen and my living area. Especially in the bathroom because that’s where I kept Mr. Chow’s litter. His pee was strong so I needed to keep the smell down. The Glade helped with that.
I was very comfortable with my home. The fact Mitch was trying to be funny about how I hadn’t changed anything was ridiculous.
I walked over to my sectional and sat next to him while he sat right in the middle of it. I had throw pillows that my mother bought for me that were a beautiful hunter green and burnt orange that I felt went very well with the couch. Mitch was playing with the burnt orange one.
“You don’t like my place?” I asked him.
He smiled. “I was just messing with you, I love your place. I’d move in if you’d let me.”
His smile was one of his best features and another reason why I was still immensely attracted to him.
He had a very attractive face. He was a very tanned Latino with thick eyebrows that he seemed to like having waxed, I noticed, as of late. Thick, black wavy hair that he had buzzed on the sides and back, very neat on top. He had up-tilted brown eyes but I swore they were hazel when I first met him but he kept telling me they were just very light. He set the precedence for me when it came to kissable lips because he had really amazing lips. That’s why I didn’t mind making out with him at the very least. His nose was broken once but you couldn’t really tell unless he showed you because it was a very normal nose; not narrow, but somewhat straight, almost wide through the nostrils.
He was tall, six-foot-one, with broad shoulders and a small waist. He used to be chubby but he grew up and got fit because he felt like he wasn’t healthy. I admired him for it but I didn’t think he needed it. He thinned out but bulked up and it fit him very well.
He was one of those guys that got sexier as time went on. He was funny, a great kisser, great lover, and had a very nice spirit about him but he hid most of his flaws from just about everyone. His flaws had a tendency to be serious issues that he didn’t like to share, of course, and would keep them from everyone until he got it under control. That, and he had a habit of lying and being very conniving but he was growing out of all of that. He was turning into someone a woman would love to have. Me not being one of them because I just couldn’t see it anymore. I really wanted to, once upon a time, but time had a way of making things just dissolve. He didn’t understand but he should’ve. Yet some things stayed the same, like that sexy smile of his.
I just returned the smile and put my legs up, curled to my chest as I wrapped my arm around my legs and used my other arm to rest my chin upon as I looked at him, “You know damn well I would never extend that type of invitation unless we were in a relationship and had been for a while. Successfully, might I add.”
“I know. I just had to throw that out there. Just so you know, I would accept the invitation. You’re very clean and I like that, because I’m pretty clean myself,” he put Mr. Chow back on the floor and he sauntered off back into my room where I placed a little bed for him.
“Glad to hear that you’re a clean person and all that, but we’re not moving in together anytime soon or maybe even ever so let’s not even discuss anything like that right now,” I smoothed my hand over his arm, playing a little. He took it as a sign to start rubbing on me. I wasn’t feeling in the moment of trying to continue what was started in the hallway outside of my door, so I didn’t return his advances. I slightly recoiled under his touch and he caught the hint. His eyes grew serious as he stared at me. “We could always just talk about making things between us for real. I’m ready for a relationship, Kaela. I’m ready to settle down, I want a family. I need to have a kid or two soon. My clock is ticking now!” We both laughed at his little jape, because I knew he couldn’t stay serious for too long. Much like how he was with his fleeting mentions of wanting a real relationship and settling down, ‘for real this time’ he’d say.
“I can’t even take you serious, Mitch,” I let the laughter die from my eyes. “You say you want a relationship, you say you’re ready for a family, but your actions always contradict that. Or maybe it’s just with me that your actions say something different. Either way, it never seems to work with us. And I’m tired of trying, I really am. I just want to leave that alone and just be friends. Okay?” I was mentally exhausted, “I thought we already talked about this; I feel like a broken record right now!”
He then did something I didn’t really expect because I was basically telling him we will never have a part two. He grabbed me by my shoulders and pulled me into him, his lips landing on mine. His lips always had a way of leaving me weak. Just a little bit.
I let him kiss me, I admit that. I didn’t pull back. I melted into him with his soft lips on mine. He opened his mouth slightly, to let his tongue reach into my parted lips and massage my tongue with his. I always did enjoy a nice, wet kiss. It was always like nirvana for me. My heart sped up and I reached my arms around his shoulders, bringing our bodies closer together, chest to chest. His teeth nibbled at my bottom lip, tugging at the last moment. I moaned into his mouth, then sucked in his breath, like I was trying to suck in his very life force. His hand went to the back of my head, keeping me from pulling away. I wasn’t going to. I didn’t want to.

Wading Through

Chapter 2 (Excerpt 3)

The meeting was just a few of us managers. D, myself, Morissa, Andy, and Mark. It wasn’t the most exciting meeting. We talked about the day to day, how many calls we were generating per hour with the workers, any mishaps we felt should be discussed (basically it meant any of the workers who were being pains in the ass and how to go about the disciplinary actions for each case), and then the change in CEO.

Morissa and Andy both were dealing with the transitions inside our company, seeing as how our corporate office was located in damn near Silicon Valley (they both were tech geeks and both had come from corporate so they knew a lot more about the inner workings in that place than any of us did). Morissa the Firehair I called her because she was a tall, ivory-skinned, freckled-faced woman with the reddest hair I had ever seen and piercing green eyes with a cute little up-turned nose and pink lips. A vibrant red, not pale or fading like others, almost as if she colored it but she said she doesn’t. And I didn’t see any reason to argue about it. She normally wore it down, as it was past her shoulders, to the middle of her back. When I first met her, it was a chin-length bob, so it grew quite a bit in the past 2 1/2 years that I was working there. She wasn’t tall and skinny, but tall and full-bodied. Curves. She was proud of it too. She looked like she could fight if she needed to though. Andy was tall and thin, nothing curvy about him, not even his chest or derriere. He was all angles and pointy chinned, wide brown eyes and long, straight nose. He used to have his brown hair long and down his back as well but he since then cut it for a more manageable hair style that he could just run some hair goop through and let go. He got rid of the long hair only to grow out a monstrous beard. I guess it was a choice between the two, not both. He was somewhat handsome, although his lips were a little too thin for my liking, and very homosexual and he let it be known. He had a group of admirers until he brought his boyfriend to a company picnic and they all just fell off like flies.

I was good friends with Andy outside of work but we didn’t talk all the time. Morissa, however, was like a recluse and didn’t speak to anyone from work outside of work. She got on very well with just about everyone, but she didn’t make it a habit to get too personal with anyone. That made me respect her but also not trust her and that was fine with me, seeing as how I didn’t trust that many people anyway. I knew I could trust D though. He sat in his chair like he was a boss indeed. He came from corporate as well. He was the first to come, and just decided to stay.
“So from what we gathered while we were at the corp office, the new CEO is from a bigger company over in Europe. Tech based. Nothing like this that we do here, but very successful nonetheless,” Morissa said as she handed over a packet of paper to D. “He gets results. Why he decided to come over to our company remains to be seen, but then again, no one has told us a damn thing. We’re still a little left in the dark on the minuscule details of the deal, but all we know is he’s a very big deal in London and Japan. The umbrella corp that owns our company and oversees our corp here also was partnering with the company this new guy was head of. I think Andy can probably explain it a lot better because truth be told, I’m still a little flabbergasted about this. I’ve never seen a business make this type of move and not tell their employees or hell, the shareholders about who they’ve appointed to the position.”
I was concerned because Morissa was a self-professed know-it-all and for her to not know much of anything when it came to her job was very worrisome to me.
We all looked at Andy as he cleared his throat. “Well, to be completely honest, all I got was a name. At least I got that. His name is Andrei Vulpes. I can’t Google him though because I didn’t get any pictures-”
“Wait, you were looking for pictures of this guy?” D interrupted Andy, in disbelief.
Andy nodded. “Well, yeah, who doesn’t Google people? Anyway, so I tried to Google him, nothing much came up. It just gave some old man and other mundane information about the old man that was pictured but I’m pretty sure he’s much younger than the man I saw.”
“Okay, so we don’t know who the new CEO is. Why does this matter to us, any of us?” D said. I was almost going to say the same thing but I had my listening ears on, not my turn to speak.
“I feel like we need to put a face to the name. We’re just curious. Aren’t you the least bit curious yourself, Dimitri?” Morissa was playing with her hair but her eyes were all for D’s reaction and response.
D shrugged. “I can honestly tell you that I don’t give one iota about what this guy looks like, what his favorite color is, his favorite music or artist or any of that irrelevant bullshit, I care about what he can do for us. And what he has to offer to this company, to our brand. We generate over $2.5 Billion per year. That’s on average. This is what we’re good at, and all I want to know is if he can keep this coming. If you’re gonna Google him, Google his business acumen, see what his so-called successes are. Can we do that, if that’s what we’re doing, researching people?”
He looked at both Morissa and Andy for an answer. Morissa was the only one that answered because I think Andy was offended. “Of course, Dimitri. Andy and I will do that. Aside from that however, we are still on the rise as far as investors. We’ve just added that new porn star Hailey Storms via the marketing team to our new ads. So far, response has been favorable, more or less.”
I stifled a laugh. D looked over at me with tight eyes. Everyone else just looked at me like I hadn’t been there a minute ago and now I just sort of appeared out of thin air. “Sorry. I had a tickle in the back of my throat. Please continue.”
D gave me full on angry face for a second before averting his eyes back to Morissa. I only laughed because I caught the corner of his mouth twitch a bit when Morissa brought up Hailey’s name because D and Hailey used to have a thing going on for a short while before he and Ana started dating. I just thought it was funny how his ex hook-up was now the face of our company. Funny how life worked. For him, anyway.
“Okay,” D started as soon as he had the floor once again, and everyone’s full attention,”so we’ve got the new face, it’s working out, and that’s great. This quarter looks like it’s bound to be a very promising one. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing and continue on our rise. Anything else we need to discuss?”
“So, is anyone else having issues with their servers? Or is it just me?” I asked.
“Mine is running great.” D said.
“I don’t have any issues with mine,” Andy gave his answer. D rolled his eyes. For some reason, Andy was seeming to annoy D lately. I wondered why.
“It better be working fine, what with you Googling people.” D fired out.
Andy gave him a death stare. “I’ll pretend like I didn’t hear that.”
“Mine is running well as well. Have you downloaded anything, or opened up any files in emails lately?” Morissa seemed to be the only one who was somewhat concerned. Whether it was genuine or not, I couldn’t really tell.
“I haven’t. Just the usual emails, no files that seemed to be corrupt. Nothing out of the ordinary.”
Mark smiled. “Well have you been watching any porn lately?” He was trying to be funny and I wanted to throw something at that smug face of his. He reminded me of Matt Bomer with his dark hair and light eyes, great cheek bones and very nice, full lips, but his attitude was down-right deplorable. Very hoity-toity. He was a trust-fund baby and his father just so happened to be one of the chairmen for the company. He was very good to look at but he was just one of those guys who felt they deserved absolutely everything for nothing. He had no problems letting people know his grandmother was legendary screen siren Margot Rudebaker. He mentioned it at least three to four times a day. As handsome as he is, he can’t seem to keep a relationship for more than 3 months. That and he is just a playboy, a huge playboy. He admitted that if he could marry three women at once, he would in a heartbeat. He and D were very good friends. That should’ve made me wary of D but D wasn’t like him personality wise. Plus, D was getting married so he was definitely nothing like Mark.
I almost ignored him because that’s what I usually did with Mark because he really had nothing to lend to the company except for his lovely face, but I was in a charitable mood and decided to give him an answer. “No more than you have, my dear.”
“And yet my computer is working just fine. So, what did you do to make it not run smoothly?” He leaned back in his chair in a dark navy cashmere sweater that probably cost more than my entire outfit put together.
“It doesn’t matter,” D interjected. “You already called IT, right?”
“Yes I did. They’re sending a guy today before 2.”
“Perfect. Problem solved.” D smiled. He was so handsome sometimes but I had to remind myself not to look too hard.
“We just have one thing that I’m a little worried about. There’s been some creep calling and the girls have blocked him but he still keeps calling, maybe from a different number every time. It’s making them on edge. Two women have even said they won’t be able to work here anymore if it happens again.” I told D, well, everyone, but more pointedly D.
“I think Ana brought that to my attention as well, so I don’t know what exactly we can do about it except for report it to the police since he’s basically harassing the girls. Other than that, that’s the best we can do at this present time.” D looked around the room at each of us. I think he was just trying to see if anyone would bring up Ana. Maybe I was being paranoid, like it was my news. “Anything else you guys want to bring up or can we go back to our day?”
“Congratulations?” Morissa smiled. She knew. I just looked at her and waited to see if she’d finish it.
D played confused. “Congratulations? What do you mean…”.
“I mean…you’re engaged, aren’t you?” She asked.
D almost didn’t answer. He just shook his head. “I don’t want to talk about that but I am indeed engaged, yes.”
Morissa laughed. “Why are you acting like no one would’ve found out? My God, you’re so weird! It’s not a secret that you and Ana have been seeing one another, I saw you two out and about. And I ran into her last night and she showed me the ring. I just put two and two together, just like everyone else. That, and she is telling some of the girls in the office building.”
Mark let out an uproarious laugh. “You just got bagged! I can’t believe it! You, engaged! I thought you were going to be a bachelor for life.”
“Yeah, yeah, get it out, get it all out,” D smiled but his energy said peeved. He really didn’t want anyone to know. I almost felt bad for him. This is supposed to be a joyous moment and here he was acting as if it was a taboo thing. “I’m in a good place in my life and I just so happened to have met a wonderful woman so I made the call. And I’m not regretting it.”
“Your parents must’ve been giving you shit for not being married already with at least two kids,” Mark told him. He was a dickhead. “Well, congrats, and with every fallen soldier, that leaves me millions more women.”
“Okay, that’s enough, let’s end this little meeting. Good chat, you guys.” D rose up from his chair while everyone followed suit and gave him their congratulations and handshakes. I just smirked and started walking out. As soon as I was walking back to my office, I saw a few girls and a guy gathered around Ana’s desk, and I could hear her talking about how D popped the question and her reaction and all that great stuff. They should’ve spread like mustard but instead they pretended not to notice me coming their way. I cleared my throat and that garnered me a backward glance or two. “I don’t think it’s break time yet, is it?” I asked them as they all started to stand up. They realized I was serious and told Ana they’d talk to her later. I just looked at Ana while she pretended to be reading whatever was on her monitor. “Ana, did the IT guy call yet?”
She looked like she was startled. “Oh, um, no, no calls yet. Not for you, but I do have something for Morissa. Can I go tell her?”
“Yeah, of course.” I started walking through my office door when I heard her get up from her seat. I closed my door and rummaged through the packet of paper Morissa had handed out. I was barely reading anything on it because I was too busy wondering what was so good about Ana to have her receive a ring in eight months? Was it true love for them or was she just some conniving little wench? And why was I so damn perturbed by it, by her? I just couldn’t put my finger on it but I didn’t trust her, no matter what, and I was feeling guilty about it. But then again, like I mentioned, I hardly trusted anyone anyway. And then I thought to myself, maybe I’m just jealous. Jealousy tends to be an ugly monster, and here I was letting it lead me by the hand.

Reflections

Excerpt Two

“The transition was almost too much for me. The blaring light from the morning sun, coming from my window on the right side of my bed was blinding but I welcomed it. Then my alarm went off from my phone. It did its vibrating dance on my nightstand as I grabbed for it to turn it off. Just in time to rise and get ready for work. With the sunlight dancing from my light curtains, I had no choice but to talk myself into having a good day since the sun was out to play. No sooner had I resigned myself to having a positive outlook on the new day, my phone vibrated on the nightstand, the noise was soft as it moved across the top. The phone lit up with the name ‘Mitch’. I quickly picked it up and swiped right to answer it. “Hello.” My voice held an edge of raspiness from the sleep.
“Good morning! Did I wake you up?” he greeted, sounding concerned. I was hoping he was genuine. Being that he used to be one of my closest friends, and also my ex, I safely assumed it had to be genuine.
I yawned. “No, I woke up before my alarm went off, so you’re good. Why are you calling me so early?”
“Well, I just wanted to call you and say hi.” His voice held a smile. I could hear it.
“Oh, well this is very kind of you, thank you. And good morning to you as well.” I was pleasantly surprised, rubbing the side of my neck to loosen it up.
I had known Mitch since I was 14 and he was 15. I was a love sick puppy for him from the age of 18 until about 22, then he decided to cheat on me. Interesting how things worked out like that. He chased me for years and the moment I gave in to his advances, he couldn’t handle it. Sure, he asked for another chance after the mistake had been made but I knew I couldn’t trust him from that moment on. We were miserable about it for a while but enough time had passed that we were both in good places. Had relationships outside of one another so time did, in a way, heal the old wound. So much so that I was able to maintain a real friendship with him. We had moments where there would be flirtatious acts, skirting with the idea of being together again but it was always short-lived. It never went past the talking stage, and I was fine with that. I didn’t feel like playing games with him anymore and he wasn’t ready for what I wanted. Even now, with us being 29 and 30, he still couldn’t quite figure it out. I wasn’t going to help him with that either, that was something he had to do on his own.
“It would be nice to get some breakfast with you before you went to work but, I’m already on my way to the office myself so, maybe we can do dinner tonight, what do you say?”
I had forgotten that we were suppose to do breakfast. He had only just asked yesterday and I agreed. I felt somewhat like a schmuck for forgetting so quickly like I did.
“I’m so sorry, I totally forgot, dinner sounds nice. I think I was supposed to get drinks with Sandy after work so let’s play it by ear, okay?”
He sighed, and it sounded like disappointment. “Alright, that’s cool. Let me know. I’m going to go now but hit me up later, yeah?”
“Okay, and I’m sorry again, Mitch. I’ll text you later.”
“It’s alright, I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye.” I pressed the end icon and talked myself into getting up. It was 7:38am, which meant I had about an hour to take a shower, make me something to eat (or get something on the way to work), and hurry off to work in time to be there a few minutes early. Luckily I pack my lunch at night so I was happy on that front. I had a moment of remembering the dream and how weird it was. All that darkness, the eery noise, and the heavy breathing. I didn’t like dreams like that. I wasn’t afraid, but I was uncomfortable. As it were, I couldn’t sit in bed and dwell on it, I needed to get a move on.
As soon as I got out of the shower, I threw on my favorite band shirt (this selection just happened to be Pink Floyd; cliche), some black skinny jeans, and my black and white converse sneakers. I didn’t need to dress fancy for my job.
I worked as a fantasy liaison. More or less a phone sex operator but I was no longer just a worker bee, I was the operation manager. Moving up in rank helped a lot! I no longer had to worry about clients and things of that nature, I could just worry about the other girls and boys. I made sure the day to day was carried out efficiently, making sure the employees got their breaks, that nothing illegal was going down, and that the systems remained up and running. Even in the sex industry, you have to remain professional. I did that very well.
I had enough time to brush my hair, and with the tiny curls that I had it took a long time to wrangle it in. I was growing out my natural hair and the curl pattern was very tight but it didn’t bother me much until it came time to try and put it in a ponytail or Bantu knots. Any natural woman would tell you it was literally a pain in the neck, wrists, and fingers, to get it styled just right for the twist out to come out as close to perfect as possible. If I had the time, it took my time. But this morning, I only had a certain amount of time to lend. So ponytail it was.
Having done that and made breakfast, I was ready to face the day.
I left my gray furred cat, Mr. Chow but most days just Chow, in the living room to his own devices. He was a happy cat for the most part, but he didn’t feel like being bothered this morning and that was fine by me. I departed and felt like I was missing something but didn’t have time to stop and think about what it could be.
Traffic wasn’t too thick as I made my way towards the downtown area from Normal Heights, taking the street way down Park Boulevard to try and avoid as much of the traffic on the freeway as possible. It was nearly impossible to avoid any traffic, what with transplants moving in, but today proved to be an anomaly. It was extremely surprising because it normally was hell. I thanked God for small miracles. I was glad that I had envisioned myself having a great day and was hoping it would stay that way. We were about to find out if that was going to remain true.
I parked my car in the open spaced parking lot off to the right of the high-rise that held our business firmly tucked into a whole floor off of sixth and G. We were working on either another building, but bigger, to house all the workers or purchasing an extra floor from the property owners. So far, neither of these things were taking place. It wasn’t from lack of funds, that wasn’t it at all, it was simply procrastination and time. Things like that took time, our manager told me. Time and money. I didn’t care what happened, I didn’t plan on staying with the company for long if I could muster my way out before anything else happened.
All these thoughts were going through my mind as I took the leisurely stroll to the building door.
When I got in the elevator, I was trying to make sure to remind myself to smile. I had a habit of not smiling a lot and it made people feel “uncomfortable”, namely my co-worker Ana. I didn’t really care if it unnerved her that I didn’t smile all the time (“A lady should always appear happy, even if she’s having a bad day!”), it was the fact that my boss was fucking her and he was actually someone I cared about, as friends. So I humored him and smiled every time I walked into the door, like now. It made me unhappy to have to do it but it was a small price to pay for him to have some sort of happiness. For his girlfriend’s sake.
I saw him as I walked through the first few cubicles from his corner office. Our eyes met, he nodded his approval. I just arched my eyebrow, feeling my smile starting to waver a bit. I played the part for all of a second until I saw Ana. Unfortunately…she was only a foot or two away from my office door thanks to someone saying I needed a “friend”.
“Good morning, Kaela!!!” she sing-songed with her high nasally-toned voice. I let her use my shortened name even though she wasn’t my friend and I didn’t see her being a friend in the near future, or far future for that matter.
Her blonde hair was pulled back in a simple pony-tail, her brown eyes glittering with so much warmth and happiness that her face was glowing, cheeks rosy against a porcelain skin. She waved a well-manicured hand and I caught a glimpse of something sparkling awfully bright. She was wearing a powder blue cardigan and a plain crew-neck white t-shirt and that allowed my eyes to be all for that sparkle. All that simplicity against this massive glittery shine.
I made my way over to her desk and lo and behold, she was the proud owner of a brand new engagement ring. I tried to keep the surprised look off of my face as best as I could but it reached my eyes before I could stop it. “Wow…congratulations! D did a great job!” I said as I held her left hand in my right, staring down at the monstrosity of a ring. It was huge! As far as diamonds, D probably spent at least more than a month’s salary on it, maybe two months. White gold. Diamond cushioning diamonds. It was almost disgusting.
I looked back at D watching from his office with a broad smile on his face. He was happy that I was shocked. Oh well. I smiled at Ana and then excused myself to walk over to D.
He was pretty handsome as far as handsome faces went. Dark, thick wavy hair, deep green eyes, square jaw with a bit of stubble developing, dimpled chin, his bottom lip was sensuous and full, top lip not really the same but I didn’t care because I wasn’t dating him. He was wearing his most casual best as well: black band tee (Ramones, I silently judged him for it), dark blue denim, and black and white high-top Converse Chucks. It was strangely coincidental that we were both almost wearing the same exact outfit. But he was wearing the Rolex his dad passed down to him and it was a very nice piece; a little uber high-end meets somewhat low-end, “affordable”. His tanned olive skin was all due to some good old Greek blood.
I put out my hand for him to shake. “You bastard, how could you not tell me? I thought we were friends!” I said to him through smiling clenched teeth.
“I wanted it to be quiet for a while. That’s all.” He let go of my hand and wrapped me up in a gingerly hug. He even pat my back. I returned the hug.
I stepped back from the hug and my smile melted. “This is insane.”
“Which is precisely why I didn’t tell you that I was thinking of popping the question.” He started walking to his office. I took that as a signal to follow so I did. I didn’t close the door however because I didn’t want Ana to come to the door and be all weird about it.
“If I had told you, you would’ve tried to talk me out of it and I didn’t want anyone trying to tell me what to do.” He said as he sat in his chair.
I gaped my mouth, playing offended. “I would never!”
He laughed. “You would too! My parents were pretty overjoyed. I outdid myself with the ring, right? That thing is a beast!”
“You can say that again! I don’t like it but then again, I don’t want a ring that big.” I said, sitting down in the chair in front of his desk while he sat across from me in his chair behind his desk, playfully smug look on his face.
He looked at me across from the desk and the light he had faded around the edges. “I know you don’t. How’s the loverboy?”
I sighed. “I don’t want to talk about it right now. Maybe later when you’re not all glowing from this new development!”
He smiled, his lips kind of glistening from his chapstick use. “My new ‘development’ is suppose to be a discrete development, so we can talk about your love life in great detail since I have nothing exciting to talk about. I’m prying on purpose.”
I swiftly gathered myself and stood up in a rush. “No thanks. We got work to do anyway, that’s why I’m here, isn’t it? Come in, do my job, clock my hours, then leave. We can do the personal stuff on our own time, remember?” I tried for a sweet smile but it probably failed seeing as how I did not enjoy talking about my love life, or lack thereof. No need to discuss such trivial matters.
D gave me the raised arms, the sign of surrender. “You’re right. No need to talk about that. Very inappropriate of me. I apologize, Kaela.” He stood as well. “I apologize but are you not going to tell me because of our little past?”
I was waiting for him to bring that up, to tease me about it.
We almost had a relationship. And I do mean almost. I had to nip it in the bud before it got too intense. We had a few dates and found that we got on really well, but the fact that his parents probably wouldn’t approve of their successful and handsome son being with someone who wasn’t of the fairer skin tribe didn’t sit well with me. As much as he and I enjoyed one another’s time as a couple, I decided to let him know if it wasn’t dating with a purpose, then we couldn’t continue. He didn’t like it, he didn’t have to like it because I wasn’t comfortable with his parents’ views and he didn’t appear to be the type to go against mommy and daddy. He understood and it just so happened we ended up working together. So fun! I was just glad that we had ended on amicable terms and it wasn’t a nasty end to it all.
I just breathed out a little harder than was necessary, almost annoyed. I decided to shake off the memory.
“Nope, that’s not it at all, and we’re way past that anyway,” I made it a point to look out of his door to where his fresh fiancee was sitting. I couldn’t see her but I did it for effect. He got the idea, of that I was sure. “I just don’t have much of anything to talk about in that area of my life. If I did, I’d have no issue sharing that with you but not in the office, you know that.”
He nodded. “Okay. Well…we have some things to go over, as far as work is concerned. Some numbers to look at. I’ll let you get into your office, get your things together. Then we can meet in the conference room in about, let’s say 45 minutes, an hour maybe?”
“Yes,” I agreed. “I’ll shoot for 45 minutes but I’m probably counting on an hour. I need to check my emails anyway, maybe do a call-back or two if it’s that type of morning.” Thinking of the emails was really making me tense up. I started realizing what kind of day it might be. “I’m hoping for just a call or two. I have to send over some emails to IT, my computer has been acting a little lagged. I need someone to either come out and check it out or lead me through it via phone. I’ll send you a call or message, keep you in the loop. Did we ever hear back from corporate?”
D turned on his computer monitor. It was fairly new so you couldn’t hear the hush of it stirring to life. “I did not actually. You should probably ask Morissa or Andy about that. They were handling that whole thing, I’m not even sure what’s going on.”
“Well, if you are truly my superior, then you’d have known that we are going through some major changes,” I teased D a bit, it warranted me a snarky look which I answered with a smile. “Apparently, we’re getting a new CEO. No one knows who he is, where he’s from, or even if ol’ boy has social media. Which is actually very odd seeing as how almost everyone has some sort of online presence. They’re keeping this all very under wraps, kind of like someone I know who just got engaged on the low.”
D rolled his eyes and said,”Rub it all the way in now, get it all out of your system so you don’t accidentally blurt it out while we’re in the meeting please.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it. Not my business to blurt out. I promise,” I gave him my word. “But it doesn’t mean anything to you that they’re not telling us who they’re replacing Scooter with? I mean, I know Scooter isn’t as young and succulent as you or I, but he wasn’t senile. Yet.”
“Not my concern. My only concern is keeping my end of the business up and running and making sure my team is strong. And bringing in numbers better than the year before, that’s really all I care about,” D slapped his keyboard.
I put my hand on my hip and almost said something smart but thought better of it. I really needed to get a move on with my tasks. I felt like I was already behind. It made the bottom of my neck ache. “I’ll talk to you later. Congratulations again. I won’t speak of your little secret anymore.”
“It’s not a secret really, don’t say it like that. Just…I don’t need this ruining her chances here. I really just don’t want anyone judging her anymore than they already do,” D said with sincerity.
He really did love her. For a second I was doubting that and questioned his getting engaged-wondering if he did it to please his folks because he was almost 40 or if he really was having these feelings for this girl. I should’ve said woman but I couldn’t. Ana was younger than him, younger than myself. She was still in college for Pete’s sake, but she managed to steal his heart in as little as 8 months. And that was why I was questioning his getting engaged so soon. I shouldn’t have been but it was there, in the back of my mind. But, none of my business.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say all of that. But I’m going now. See you at the meeting,” I backed out of his office and hurriedly walked two doors down to my office door, and by Ana’s cubicle. I didn’t want to look at her but I had no choice because she was right there. I gave her a quick upturn of the lips that could pass for a smile, then opened my door as swiftly as I could without looking like I was trying to get away from her. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her, it was that something about her didn’t jive well with me. Her energy didn’t sync with my own. And there was nothing wrong with that, I just chose to stay away from anyone who I felt didn’t mix well with my aura. It sounded weird saying it like that but that was the best way I could explain it. It still sounded bitchy but it was the truth.
As soon as I got inside of my office, I shut my door and gave myself a moment to appreciate my view. It was downtown San Diego, and it was so heavily congested with high rises that my view was literally me looking into another building’s window. What a morning it was already, and it wasn’t even 10 yet. Not even close.”

Awaken

Excerpt One:

“Off in the distance, I swore I could hear bells chiming. I was surrounded by the absence of all color: muted darkness. It smelled damp in this dark space and I knew if I were to try and touch my face, I’d probably poke out an eye. I just did my best to keep my hands outstretched in front of me, to feel for something. Anything. But all I kept getting was air. The air, however, felt so warm, almost tangible, like I could hold the warmth in my hands. I knew that couldn’t be right. I still crept forward in all this bleakness with still the sound of the bell going off. I could hear myself breathing and it was normal. I could hear my heartbeat in the back of my throat. I wasn’t afraid, or so I was trying to convince myself. The sound of the bells didn’t seem to get any closer or farther. It stayed the same. I tried to turn to my right. Nothing. I turned to my left. Nothing still. Everything was as is. For some reason I was unable to speak. I hadn’t tried because I knew it wouldn’t really do anything. It wouldn’t mean anything for me to hear my own voice anyway. I was aware that I needed to pay attention to my surroundings. Even in my dreams (if that’s what this was) I knew better than to give myself away or to immediately panic, but this was almost like a welcomed ease. It was strange. So strange.
Then there, a faint creak. Like a rickety door opening in this…room? I wasn’t sure where I was but all I knew was there was an exit and an entrance and I had to keep my wits about me to find it. And just as soon as I heard the noise, I heard a breathing that wasn’t my own. I tried to keep myself still and to hone in on that breathing. It was calm, like my own. I had to try and keep my ears open for this second person, or at least what I hoped was a second person. I couldn’t tell at that moment but I was praying hard that it was a human. The breathing got louder and louder until it was the only noise to fill my ears. It was so deafeningly loud. I almost wanted to just cover my ears and crouch into a fetal position but I knew it wouldn’t help me. Then a soft touch on my shoulder and I wanted to jump out of my skin, it was so unexpected. A heart attack would have been a welcomed death at that moment. Then I heard a faint buzzing, and it grew to a low growl. I felt the hairs on my arms begin to rise as the sound became louder, like it was right in front of my face.
Almost as soon as the sound became more, I woke up in my plush bed.”

Do We Have A Purpose?

screen-shot-2014-06-21-at-11.34.56-am.pngI have to step back for a moment and really think about it.

I have to ask myself do I have a purpose? What could it possibly be? Is it something that will just come to me or do I have to go out there and actually find what it is I should be doing?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure we all have something we love doing, the one thing that you could see yourself doing forever, but what if you’re someone who is good at a lot of things? How can you pick just one thing to focus on? That’s where my problem lies.

I’m really great at communicating (I get nervous of course, but I know how to stop, take a breath, and continue on even when I experience a bit of “word-vomit”), I’m personable, I’m completely relatable, and I know how to connect with people on a personal level. I also am a creative person, that’s how I get excited about a lot of subjects. Anything that I feel is a creative outlet, I’m there. I am also into reading and writing (sounds incredibly cliched but it’s very true; I have a mountain of books and I have a story that I’m currently doing as well), heavily! I try to find new ways to express myself when it comes to writing. Hence why I do try to blog. Where I am somewhat of an extrovert, I do have my introvert moments. I like to stay behind sometimes, and I think that’s what’s keeping me from being even more out there. That’s hurting me but I don’t change it. Maybe I should?

This brings me to purpose and why it is I’m having a bit of a “time” with it. I know what I’m great at, then what I’m good at, and what I’m bad at. I try to focus on my strengths more than anything, but I also understand that I can’t do many things at once (or can I? See? That’s my problem!). I know I have to focus on one thing that I know I can do exceedingly well. The issue I’m having is can I turn that into something I can monetize so that I’m not a miserable Betty. Another thing is quantifying that and putting it into action someway, somehow. Then there is the over-saturation with the main thing I know I love, because now, everyone thinks they’re a guru and knows what they’re doing and talking about.

As of late, however, I have recently decided instead of continuously thinking about it, and talking about it, I should just put action behind it. I’ve been incredibly inspired by getting more into a few social media outlets that have connected me to a whole new source of strength; a renewed vision of what I want. I’m not saying I may have found my purpose, but I’m excited about something and I haven’t been in long time. It still ties into the main thing I really wanted to partake in, but I want to attack it in a different way, and get people really interested in it. The fact that I’m elated about it let’s me know I may be on the right path to finding what it is I want to do for the rest of my life.