I apparently forgot that I wrote another short story before my “Origins” story. This one actually jumps out at me a lot more and I would love to explore this more. I feel like I have more material to work with than “Origins.” So here is a short story I wrote about two years ago. I also have started writing a play. It was mainly to get my mind off of my mystery novel that I’m writing. I work best when I work on something else and then somehow, ideas come to me.
Waiting for the elevator by Jillian Rogers
I arrive to the party an hour early, anxious for the night’s events. There is only one other person in the office. I try to act as normal as possible without drawing attention to myself. I try distracting myself with setting up the decorations, but my mind starts to wander, imagining the gossip that is sure to race through the office. Things like, “Did you hear about Nick and Lucy? He finally asked her,” and “Nick had some balls to ask Lucy.” Two years of standing on the sidelines. Twenty minutes into decorating, Lucy shows up. I don’t even have to turn around to know it’s her. She has this distinct smell of strawberry bubble gum and soap that radiates from her body. I turn around when I hear Lucy say, “This looks lovely Nick. I’m glad you are the one decorating and not Messy Bessy.” I give her a slight chuckle and a grin. I stare at her, unsure of what to say. It’s my chance to say something but somehow I am not able to breathe. My hands are clammy and the back of my neck is sweating. I can do this. I take a deep breathe and say, “Lucy, there is something I need to tell you.” I then proceed to explain to her how her boyfriend has been cheating on her this whole time. With other employees. As I begin to explain my story to her, I can see that she is hurt by what she is hearing. “He’s been using you Lucy. He has…” Lucy interrupts me. “How dare you,” she exclaims.
“You heard me. You think that if you tell me about all the dirty stuff my boyfriend has supposedly done to other people; I would leave him for you. Well, you’re wrong. You’re just a fucking loser who thinks that the new Star Wars movie is the next best thing. What the fuck is wrong with your brain to believe that it is acceptable to lie and cheat your way into my life? I’ll have you know…” she trailed off, looking behind her. Jeremy appeared behind me in the doorframe making out with Darla, the office slut. Lucy glanced from him to me and in that second I could tell she was mortified. “E-excuse me. I have to deal with something.” She then walked over to Jeremy and dragged him out the door, leaving a bewildered Darla standing in the doorframe looking like a lost puppy.
That did not go as planned. I’m unsure of whether or not I should feel bad that she cussed me out, or just relieved that she knows the truth. I continue with the decorations when Jessie walks by.
“You told her right?” Jessie asks.
“Yeah. Didn’t go as I’d have hoped.”
“Well, nothing in life ever does.”
“You can say that again.”
“Hey, there’s been something I’ve been meaning to bring up to you. I know how you love to take photographs. My cousin wants someone to accompany her on her trip around the world. It’ll last about a year and you would get paid for every photo you develop. Travel and living expenses will be paid for. I know you have this thing with Lucy, but this would be a great opportunity to get out of accounting. Just think about it.” She leaves to help set up some of the snacks.
I’ve always been interested in photography. If I did this, this could make me famous. It’s always been my dream to travel the world and take photographs. But this thing with Lucy prevents me from doing this, unless she would even consider coming with me.
That’s it. It’s over. Fuck it. I don’t need him. Five years of being together all thrown down the drain. It’s as if he never cared about me. All these tiny little secrets of his came rushing to the surface in all of two hours. Somehow I was so naïve as to believe he would never hurt me. After a yelling match that lasted an hour after I stopped crying, I decided to call it quits. I told him that I never want to see him and that it would be best if we have our space. Jeremy is the one to storm out first. I sit in the room for a few more minutes before I decide to go back to the party.
I walk back up to the party that is in full swing. Mary is over by the karaoke stand singing “Don’t Stop Believing”, Amber is probably in the office screwing the brains out of Ted and then there is Nick. He’s standing by the drink table looking forlorn.
“I’m such an idiot,” I exclaim as I approach Nick.
“No you’re not. I am…” Nick began.
“No I am. I shouldn’t have cursed you out like that.”
I take a shot of tequila before he can say anything. I just want to forget what happen and drink till I blackout. I pour Nick a shot. He looks a little skeptical, but takes the shot as soon as he sees my face. He knows not to question me when I’m like this.
A few shots later, we’re both drunk off our asses. I start feeling as if the world is floating on thin air.
“Lets go to a bar,” I proclaim.
We head down to the bar around the corner from our building. After three more drinks of beer and whiskey, words do not make sense to my drunk addled mind. I turn to Nick, wanting to tell him something about a unicorn and a wasp, when all of sudden, my lips attack his. I’m not sure where this is coming from. He eagerly returns the kiss while gripping onto my hips.
“Lets take a cab to my place,” he breathes in between kisses.
I don’t know what to do, so I go along with whatever he has in mind. In a blur, we’re in a cab headed to Nick’s place. Fervent kisses are placed all around my body and I am in heaven. His hands are around my waist, holding me to him but even then, it’s not enough. The cab ride takes five minutes and we can barely make it out of the cab in time. We stumble up the stairs of his apartment building while still clinging onto each other.
As soon as we, somehow, get inside of Nick’s apartment, Nick pushes me against the door. My stomach is in knots. I cannot get enough of this guy. Nick puts his hands under my ass to hoist me up. My arms go around his shoulders for support and we are moving around his apartment trying to find his bedroom. Kisses are placed haphazardly throughout my body. We finally manage to find his bedroom.
Nick closes the door behind us and then proceeds to throw me on the bed. He slowly climbs on top of me, as if to savor this moment. He kisses me deeply while taking off his button up shirt. He only breaks the kiss to take my shirt off. His hands grasp the hem of my shirt while slowly pulling the shirt up. He is driving me insane. I twist our bodies so that I am on top. I take off my shirt and run kisses up and down his body. I unclasp my bra and let the flimsy piece of clothing fall down. Nick takes his hands and rubs each boob. I start to suck on his neck while he works on my belt. Once the belt is off, Nick pulls my jeans down, revealing my blue lacy panties. Once that is off, I slowly undo his belt and pull his pants down.
Next thing I know, I wake up with light streaming through the blinds. I look down and Nick’s hands are around my waist. Oh crap. I slowly move his arms around me and tip toe out of the bed. I gather up my discarded clothes that were thrown around the room and tiptoe towards the door.
After that I night, I couldn’t sleep. The parts of the night I remember play through my head like a song on repeat. I throw myself into my work, trying to get my mind off of what happened. I stop eating at the cafeteria and start bringing my own lunches. This proves to be a wise choice for both my wallet and my body. I stay away from old routine of getting coffee before work and take the stairs more often when I’m sure I have time. My life has become a game of keep away. I cannot face him; at least not yet. My mind focuses on what work I have left to do in order to get that promotion I’ve always dreamed of.
One night, while watching TV, my phone rings. It’s Jeremy. He wants to have lunch, to talk this over and catch up. I try to say no, but somehow my no becomes a yes. After we make a date for tomorrow at noon, I hang up. I’m in shock. Maybe the healing process is to face what had hurt me in the first place. I’m pretty sure he will have some excuse as to why he did what he did and that he still wants me. And I’ll believe him because that’s what I’ve always wanted in life. I thought he was “the one”. He was the guy I was going to marry and grow old with. Looking back, however, I can see how naïve I was. All those days where he would say his battery died on his phone or that he had to go to a business meeting on a Saturday. It was right in front of my face and I didn’t care.
I arrived at the diner five minutes early hoping to dodge any meeting with Nick. I had only gone inside a few inches when I feel a hand tap my shoulder. I turn around, thinking it was Jeremy, but instead I see Nick. He’s wearing that purple bowtie again. Somehow it looks flattering on him. Wait, what am I saying? I’ve been avoiding this guy for weeks.
“Hey… look, now is not a really great time. I’m meeting Jeremy.”
“Really? After what he did to you?”
“It’s really none of your business.”
“Lucy, remember. I. NEVER. WOULD.”
With that, he walked away. I felt guilty. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so rude. Right as I was about to run after him, Jeremy walks in. He’s in a formal blue business suit, which means he probably only has a half hour to spare. When we take our seats, Jeremy goes on about how sorry he is. He didn’t mean for it to go that far. He keeps trying to make excuses about how he had been feeling neglected by me and how he was provoked. I try to pay attention, but my mind wanders back to Nick’s parting words.
Here sits a man who not only lied to me once, but has been lying to me since the day we started going out. Then there’s a man who is very honest and considerate, who I just bitched to about it being none of his business. I look at my hands and how close they are to Jeremy’s. Do I want this to work out? What if he lies to me again? I realize that I don’t want someone who has lied to me. I want someone who will look after me. I stand up right as Jeremy was in the middle of his sentence. “Sorry Jeremy. I really need to go. I hope you go fuck yourself you lying piece of shit.” I leave the diner and head towards the office.
It’s been two weeks since that night. At first I was a hurt that she would leave and not acknowledge what happened. Then I started to blame myself, because after all, I knew what I was getting into. Later on, however, after it became clear that she was clearly avoiding me, I got mad. I could not believe her. We are not in high school anymore. She should face the problem, if she considers this a problem, like adults. I tried everything to make the pain go away, but I couldn’t numb the pain.
I just bumped into Lucy and even though I wanted to be kind to her, I ended up screwing it up. So I ran. I didn’t know where to go. All I knew was that I needed to get anywhere but here. Home. I should go home. I decide to call up my mom and tell her I’m coming home for a few days. When I get to the office, I start up my computer searching for flights from JFK to Denver. As I start booking my flight, Lucy shows up. Her light brown hair looks disheveled, as if she’s been thinking about something serious. Her sad green eyes study me for a moment.
“Are you busy?” she asks.
“I was just booking my flight home. I’m going home for a few days. I need some air.”
“Oh. Well I came here to apologize. I’ve been avoiding you these two weeks because I was scared that you might take it the wrong way. I didn’t want to face what I had done. What we had done. But when I was talking to Jeremy today, your last words to me really hit me. I’ve been lying to myself since I’ve been with Jeremy. I wanted to believe that we were perfect. That we would somehow grow old together. I realized that this was a fairytale I was trying to feed myself in order to hide from the truth. You have always been a great friend to me. I don’t know what I would do if you weren’t there to crack a smile at some stupid joke I made to break the ice. Or how I would survive without your witty commentary on the new Star Trek versus the old Star Trek. I know I said I thought you were really dorky but it was never a bad thing to me. I only said that because I was confused. If you are up to it, I’d like a second chance at being friends and seeing where that leads us.”
I am stunned. I didn’t expect her to ever say something like that. I must have had a bored expression on my face because she asked if she was boring me with her apology. I apologized and told her that I wasn’t sure. This was the day I have been waiting for. Yet, I feel as if she is just rebounding.
“Lucy, it is great that you are finally willing to go out with me, but I don’t want to rush into this. Just an hour ago I hated you. It took you actively ignoring me to make me realize that I don’t want to waste my life chasing after you. I get that you realize your mistake but…”
I am interrupted by a kiss. The kiss is urgent, as if she was expecting something to somehow manifest itself within the kiss. I pull away.
“You can’t just kiss me and expect me to go along with what you want. Look, I’m going home and if by the time you want to still give us a shot, then great.”
“How about we both fly to Denver together? That way we can both get some air and see where this is headed.”
I think about it. It wouldn’t be the worst plan ever. It would be great to show Lucy off to my parents. They would love her.
I shouldn’t be here. This was a mistake. It’s too fast. The walls of the Fitzgerald’s living room constrict around me, as if they are trying to push out the intruder. My mom always told me that if a guy invites you to dinner with his family, they want to marry you. The thing is, I don’t want this. The expensive looking china doll on the mantelpiece gives me a devilish grin. Everything in this room reminds me of all the collages I made as a child. I would cut out pictures from magazines to build my “dream house” and present them to my mom. My mom would say I was wasting my time. I could never get a house like that. The Fitzgerald’s house is in perfect order. It’s hard to imagine anyone hating this life. I can only imagine play dates with friends, birthday parties with a room full of presents and days with endless laughter. I try to come up with some excuse to leave, but can think of nothing. I’ve already committed by walking through the front door. I have to see this out.
Mr. Fitzgerald, Greg, asks me about my job. I barely register the question. I focus on the photo near the television. It’s Nick and his parents on a ski trip. Something I’ve never done. Mr. Fitzgerald follows my gaze and says, “Oh, that was last year. We went to Lake Tahoe during winter. Do you ski Lucy?” I can feel all eyes on me, expecting me to say something. I can’t live up to their expectations. I hesitate.
On the ride over here, Nick mentioned the photography gig. While I was happy for him, part of me wanted him to stay. I felt guilty even telling him that that was a great opportunity for him. When we walked through the door I couldn’t stop imagining myself telling him that he should stay. After all, we were just figuring out what we wanted.
His parents wait patiently for my answer. Should I tell them? Will my stance as the girl their son brought home be lowered somehow? I can’t chance it. So I tell them I have to go to the bathroom.
I hear a knock on the bathroom door. It’s Nick.
“Can I come in?” I open the door.
“What’s wrong?” Nick asks.
“Seriously. You’ve been acting weird since we got here. Did my parents say something?”
“Well then, what is it?”
“I’m uh… pregnant.”