Thursday, December 16, 2010

Someone Will Get Burned

When I woke up the next morning, I instinctively reached for Michael.  My hand grasped nothing but empty sheets.  I was disappointed that he hadn't woken me up to say goodbye before he left for work.  I stretched out, enjoying the luxury of sleeping in a bed again and having it all to myself.  As I stretched, my hand struck something.  Startled, my eyes popped open and settled on an envelope propped on Michael's pillow.  My name was written in his handwriting and I felt a flurry of butterflies in my stomach.  I was running my fingertips along the edge of the envelope flap when I suddenly realized that it wasn't butterflies I was feeling, but nausea. 

I made my way to the bathroom, leaning over the sink and splashing my face with cool water.  I had experienced no form of morning sickness before and braced myself while I waited for the feeling to pass.  Once I was mostly sure I wasn't going to be sick, I headed downstairs for some toast to settle my stomach and a cup of hot tea.  I slowly headed back to the bedroom, eager to find out what Michael had left in the envelope. 

I am so thankful to have you back in my life.  I always knew you would come back to me, our love is meant to be.  I love you (and our baby!) beyond words and I can't wait to spend our future together.  You looked so peaceful while you slept this morning that I couldn't bear to wake you, even though I wanted one kiss from you before I left for work.  I am so in love with you, I want to see your face every morning, every day, forever.  Please don't go back to Kate's?

I smiled and sighed to myself.  Michael had never been the romantic type, so this love letter was a big surprise to me.  I immediately grabbed my phone from my purse and texted him.

"That letter was beyond sweet, thank you!  You made my day <3  I'll see you when I get home from work :)"

Bored, and with a few hours to kill before I had to leave for work, I glanced around the bedroom and spotted Michael's laptop on top of the dresser.  I caught up on the news for the day, then made my way over to a popular celebrity gossip blog for my daily fix.  Reading celebrity gossip was my guilty pleasure.  I loved finding out who was getting married, who was divorcing, who was pregnant and who was rumored to be in rehab. My mom also loved celebrity gossip, and when we spoke on the phone we always tried to be the first to share news with the other.

After I read through all of the new pages, I opened Facebook.  I had 3 notifications and 1 new message.  My heart leapt into my throat when I saw it was from Eric.

"Wow.  I don't really know what to say.  That's pretty huge news.  Most guys would be turning and running away right about now, but I'm not most guys.  I would have called you, but until you wrote to me on here, I thought you were pissed.  Then my phone got destroyed at work a few nights ago and I haven't gotten a replacement yet.  I really want to see you and catch up.  Breakfast tomorrow?"

The butterflies in my stomach returned, and this time they were most assuredly butterflies and not morning sickness.  Was it a sign that a letter from Michael made me almost vomit, but a message from Eric left me all aflutter?  My cheeks flushed and I felt a tingle all down my spine.  I knew Michael wouldn't be happy to know I was having breakfast with another man, but the urge to see Eric felt overwhelming.

Again, knowing I was playing with fire, I sent Eric a response.

"A big, greasy breakfast sounds wonderful. 10AM, Gateway Diner?  I'll meet you there."

He replied within minutes.

"Sounds perfect...kinda like you ;)"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spending The Night

I sat up and stretched.  Sleeping on a couch for all these weeks was really starting to take a toll on me physically.  I never felt sufficiently rested and my back always ached.  I wondered if being pregnant had anything to do with that, and decided it's likely a combination of both.

Michael had already made it clear that he expected me to move back in with him in the near future, and Kate had made it equally clear that she wanted me out before I gave birth, preferably long before.  Personally, I was torn.  Of course I wanted my child to be born into a home with two loving parents, but at the same time I wasn't sure if I was ready to move back in with Michael.  I mulled it over and decided the best option would be spending a few days at Michael's to see how it turned out.

I reached over and grabbed my phone to check the time.  11:56.  I couldn't believe I had slept in so late.  Even with my schedule keeping me at work past 11 PM, I rarely slept past 9:30 or 10AM. Sleeping so long definitely explained why I was so groggy and I stretched again.

I sipped on coffee while I straightened up my sleeping area and cleaned up the kitchen.  For someone who rarely cooked, Kate always seemed to leave a mess in the kitchen.  I chalked it up to late night binges after the bars and sloppy drink making.  I felt disgusted by her lack of consideration and realized just how eager I was to spend a few days with Michael.

I texted Michael, telling him I would like to come over after work and his response was immediate.

"That would be perfect babe, I can't wait to fall asleep with you again..."

I smiled at the thought and slowly packed an overnight bag, knowing that if I needed more of my things I could always stop and grab them after work since I worked practically next door to the apartment.  Happily, I went about the rest of my daily routine before heading off to work. 

I was settling into my cubicle when I suddenly thought of the message I had sent Eric the night before.  I quickly signed into Facebook before clocking in, telling myself that it was OK to browse the internet as long as I wasn't on the clock yet.  I had no new notifications and felt a pang of something that felt like disappointment wrapped in relief.  I closed out of Facebook in a hurry.  I rushed to clock in and logged in to take calls for the day.

The work day soon came to an end, and I realized I was nervous.  The drive to the home I previously shared with Michael lasted about 20 minutes, and before I knew it, I was pulling in to the driveway.  I was about to knock when the door opened.

Michael greeted me with an affectionate hug that neither of us seemed ready to break.  All nervousness melted away and again, I felt the sensation of being where I belonged.

He held me out at arm's length and studied me carefully.

"Are you hungry?  Do you want some tea, anything to drink?"

I laughed and declined, suggesting we go to bed instead.  I knew he had to be up much earlier for work than myself, but I was tired regardless.

I changed into a tanktop and a pair of short shorts, my usual pajamas.  As I crawled into bed, I could practically feel the tension in my back melting away as I relaxed.

Unsure of how to proceed, I nuzzled up against Michael's shoulder,  finding the spot where I had laid my head countless times throughout our relationship.  He kissed the top of my head and pulled me close.

I turned to kiss him fully on the mouth, feeling him hesitate at first.  Soon enough, he was responding to my kisses and touches eagerly.  I arched my body against him as he trailed his fingertips across my stomach.

"Em, I've missed this," he whispered, his voice hoarse.  A firm kiss was my response.

The sex was gentle, with a sense of underlying urgency, and afterward he fell asleep within minutes.

I lay there looking at the ceiling, and as I drifted off to sleep, only one thought hovered in my mind.

I'm home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

When you play with fire...

Within a week, the car was handed over to me and all necessary paperwork was done.  I officially owned the Civic, thanks to the generosity of Michael's parents.  Michael and I had gone on a few dates, but I had yet to spend the night with him nor was there any talk yet about me moving back home.  We were quietly letting close friends know about the pregnancy, as it was still the first trimester and our relationship was also in it's developing stages.

My relationship with Kate had become slightly strained, now that I was refusing to drink with her or go out with her and Dale.  She just couldn't seem to understand why going out partying, even as a DD, was not my "thing".

I had the apartment to myself after work one night, and I made myself comfortable on the couch.  Nothing was on television so I decided to surf the internet.

My first stop was Facebook and a glaring notification caught my eye.  I had one new message...from Eric.

I hadn't spoken to Eric at all since I found out I was pregnant, and I certainly hadn't told him I was getting back together with Michael.  I didn't know why he was messaging me and I was tempted to just delete it and move on.  The attraction I had felt for Eric was undeniable, but any budding relationship between us had shaky from the start.  I told myself to just delete it and move along.

Instead, curiousity got the best of me, and I opened the message.

"Emma...I know why you're avoiding me and I'm sooo sorry.  I never should have lied to you and I don't know how you found out, but I am so sorry.  Ruby and I have been broken up for a long time, but neither of us could afford our apartment alone so we both still live there.  That's why you could never stay the night, I didn't want to create drama and I just didn't know how to tell you.  Ruby brings guys over when I'm not home and I brought you over when she wasn't home...I wasn't sure if you and I were headed for a relationship and I didn't want to jinx it from the start by adding in extra ex girlfriend drama.  I should have been honest with you, I don't blame you for blowing me off.  Please give me a chance?  Let's get dinner on your day off.  Miss you. - Eric"

I gasped.  Surely, I had never suspected that could be the reason Eric booted me out the door.  He had briefly mentioned a "serious ex" a few times, but never made any indication that they had lived together as a couple and were now still living together.  I shook my head, trying to absorb the information and wondering to myself if things would have turned out differently between us had I known the truth from the beginning.

Playing the "what if" game was going to get me nowhere, but I couldn't help but be affected by what Eric had written.

Against my better judgement, I replied.

"I wish you had been honest with me from the beginning, things could have turned out very differently between us.  I don't know if dinner is such a good idea and I'm sure you'll agree when I tell you why I kind of disappeared.  There's no easy way to say this, but I'm pregnant - apparently I was pregnant before we even met.  If you still want to get dinner as friends, that would be great.  If not, I understand. - Emma"

As I hit send, I realized I couldn't wait to hear back from Eric and felt excitement in the pit of my stomach.

I knew even then that I was playing with fire...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New post coming soon

Thanks for your patience everyone!  I am working on a few new posts that will be up this week!  Enjoy :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Coming Home

Michael and I made our way into the restaurant, his hand placed gently on the small of my back.  I smiled up at him nervously when we spotted his parents.  He put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me to him, kissing the top of my head as we approached the table.

"Emma, sweetie, you look wonderful," Michael's stepmother, Melinda, exclaimed as she stood to hug us. 

"Thank you, it's so good to see you guys!" I gushed nervously, tugging at the hem of my dress as I sat down.

The four of us glanced over our menus as we waited for the waitress to return with our drinks.  I had opted for an iced tea while everyone else ordered wine.  It wasn't unusual for me to order something non-alcoholic to drink, so I doubted it raised any red flags but I noticed Melinda eyeing me over the top of her menu and I couldn't help but fidget uncomfortably.  Michael seemed absorbed in the conversation he was having with his father, Tom, and I found myself wondering if he had already told them our news.  I decided I was simply being paranoid and attempted to relax.

Michael and I had decided we would tell his parents the news after the meal but before dessert.  I figured delivering this kind of news would be better received on a non-empty stomach. 

Conversation was light and easy going and all too soon the calamari appetizer was gone, and the plates were being cleared.   Dinner arrived shortly after, and before I knew it, we were waiting on dessert to be brought to our table.  I knew when Michael squeezed my hand under the table that now was the time.

"Dad, Melinda, we have something we want to tell you guys," Michael began, grinning proudly.  I swallowed nervously and flashed what I hoped was a carefree smile.  I'm sure it was more of a grimace than a smile, but bless their hearts, Tom and Melinda didn't seem to notice.  They were both focused on Michael.  He cleared his throat before continuing.

"We wanted to have dinner tonight with you to share some important news.  Emma and I are having a baby!"  Michael was positively beaming and I felt myself blushing as his parents congratulated us and began asking questions.  The waitress arrived with our cheesecake just then and I was thankful for the distraction.

Tom and Melinda asked about a million questions, all of the typical questions I expected, but what I didn't expect was how genuinely happy for us they seemed, completely unlike my own mother's reaction.  They insisted that dinner was on them, and we walked to the parking lot together.  Tom stopped me as we approached Michael's car.

"Emma, I know you're going to protest, but I'm giving you the Honda.  I never drive it anymore, and you're going to need your own car now more than ever.  I had planned on selling it but I'd much rather see you driving it.  You can come pick it up first thing tomorrow!"

My eyes filled with tears as I profusely thanked him for his generosity.  It was a late-nineties Honda Civic and it ran perfectly.  It had been sitting in the driveway untouched for months, as Tom hadn't gotten around to selling it when he'd bought a new car.  Michael pulled me in for a hug and insisted upon driving me to his parent's house to get the car in the morning. 

"See, babe?  I told you everything would work out.  I can't believe my dad's giving you the car, isn't it great?  Everything is looking up for us," Michael murmured into my hair, rubbing a circle between my shoulder blades as he held me close.

I tilted my face up towards his and he leaned in to kiss me.  When our lips met, I felt myself melting into his embrace.  The only way to describe it was that the kiss felt like coming home.  Everything just seemed...right.

"Michael, I've missed you and I'm so sorry.  I'm ready to make things official again, if you'll take me back..."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mother to Mother

I was amazed at how well Michael took the news and how genuinely excited and happy he seemed to be.  He wanted me to move back in with him immediately and couldn't wait to share the news with our family and friends.  I told him I wasn't quite ready to move back in, to just take it a little slowly at first, but I knew we were on our way to getting back together and restarting our life together.  I convinced him that it was best to wait a few weeks to share the news with everyone, until we'd figured out our relationship and allowed our parents to absorb the news. 

My mother was only 17 when she gave birth to me.  Growing up, I'd lived mostly with my grandmother until age 13.  My mom and I hadn't gotten along so well; I was an angsty teenager and she was raising 4 other children besides me.  I liked to play the role of "martyr" when my mom asked me to babysit the younger kids all the time.  My step-dad (whom had been in my life since I was a toddler, and the only dad I ever knew) was murdered when I was 17, and that's when my mother and I started to bond.  After I moved out of the house at age 18, though, our relationship had really strengthened and grown.  She had moved across the country a year later to live closer to my grandmother, and I think the distance made us closer.

"Am I hearing this correctly, Emma Jean?  Please tell me this is a goddamn prank," my mother's voice was wary with a touch of disappointment.  I think every person, regardless of age, reverts back to feeling like a child when their parents use their middle name as well.  That always means you're in trouble, right?

"Mom, I know it's a shock, but it was an even bigger shock for me.  You know I didn't plan on having kids until after I was married and closer to 30, but please, try and be happy for me.  Michael and I are working on things, we really are.  We were already starting to mend things even before I found out I'm pregnant, so don't go assuming that we're only getting back together because of my 'predicament'.  I really need your support, Mom," I exhaled loudly, making sure she could hear me sighing into the phone. 

"Well, Emma, I'm not ready to be a grandmother and I sure don't think you're ready to be a mother.  Have you thought about how much this is going to change your life?  How could you be so careless?  How could you make the same mistake that I did?"

"Thanks, Mom, I am SO glad that I'm a mistake," I rolled my eyes, despite the fact that she couldn't see me.

"Oh, damn it, you know I don't think you're a mistake, Emma.  You were just unexpected and I was so young.  I want you to have a better life than I did, I know you wanted more out of life..." she trailed off, probably thinking about the life she'd lived.  I knew my mother loved all of us, but I also knew she sometimes daydreamed about what life would have been like if she hadn't had so many kids.  No doubt, she was thinking back to how often I'd proclaimed as a teenager that I never wanted to be like her, I never wanted kids and I sure didn't want to be nothing but a housewife.

"You're right though, I'm not ready to be a mother and I did want a different life, but I can still have the life I want, it'll just be a little tougher now.  Anyway, Mom, I have to go.  Michael is picking me up to go have dinner with his parents and we're breaking the news to them tonight.  I wanted you to be the first to know.  Love you."

"Well, if you're happy, then I guess I'll have to be happy for you.  Tell Michael I said hello.  I love you, too," she sounded defeated, and I knew this was a lot of information for her to handle, but I also knew she'd soon warm up to the idea of being a grandmother. 

I put my phone back in my purse, and finished getting ready.  Michael had texted me earlier, telling me that I should dress up a little tonight because his parents were taking us to a nice steakhouse for dinner.

I decided on one of my favorite dresses.  It was a brilliant grassy green which really enhanced my complexion and made my brown eyes and dark hair really pop.  I paired it with a tiny black cardigan and black flats.  I left my hair loose and my makeup light, and waited for Michael to arrive.

I had no idea how much that night would change my life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Breaking The News

A few days later, after wandering around in a daze and going through the motions of my daily life, the fog finally lifted.  I had just left my doctor's appointment which confirmed what I already knew but also confirmed what I suspected.  I was approximately 8 weeks pregnant, give or take, meaning Michael had to be the father.  I cried in relief as I sat in Kate's car in the parking lot.  At least I truly knew Michael and knew he was a good man.  I knew Michael would be an amazing father after seeing how he had interacted with his young niece over the years.  If the baby had belonged to Eric, I knew that I would have ended the pregnancy, as callous as that may sound.

Kate drove me home in silence, seeming to know that I wasn't really in the mood for conversation.  So far, Kate was the only one who knew I was pregnant.  Today would be the day I shared the news with those closest to me, now that I had seen the doctor and knew I was carrying a healthy fetus.  I texted Michael, telling him we needed to talk tonight and asking him to come pick me up.  He agreed, and I knew I had a few hours to spare, so I took the opportunity to nap.

I dressed casually, in a turqouise v-neck and my favorite pair of skinny jeans (you won't be skinny much longer, a voice piped up in the back of my head).  I examined myself in the mirror, looking for a sign of a growing baby, but saw no change.  My breasts might have looked a little fuller, but that could've been my imagination.

I jumped when I heard Michael knocking.  I made my way to the door and greeted him warmly, lingering in the hug he greeted me with.  He held me at arm's length and scanned my face.

"Something's wrong, Em.  What happened?  Are you okay?" the concern in his voice nearly broke my heart.

"Michael, I don't know how else to tell you this, but I'm pregnant with your baby," I barely choked out the words as I dissolved into tears.  Time stopped and Michael held me against him in my doorway as I cried.

Tears glistened in his blue eyes when I looked up to meet his gaze.

"Baby, that's great news!  Don't cry, it'll be okay.  We'll make this work..."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coming Soon

Hi guys!  I'm working on a new post which should be up sometime tomorrow.  Be sure to check back and see how Emma is handling the changes life threw her direction.  And if you read but aren't a follower, please remember you can comment anonymously and let me know what you think of the blog (good OR bad, I welcome all comments!).

Talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Deep Breaths

The results were unmistakable and I stood there slack jawed, feeling a wave of numbness wash over me.  I took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and let it out in a rush.  Countless thoughts were rushing through my mind as I stood there staring at the test in my hand.  Countless emotions washed over me and I thought back to the night I moved in with Kate.  That night, I had gone to sleep thinking of all of life's scenarios, opportunities, changes and possible paths awaiting me in the future, and none of those included standing in Kate's bathroom staring at a pregnancy test.  It was funny how life crept up on you and threw a hell of a curveball.  I stood there for another minute or two, thinking to myself and trying to figure out what emotion was most prevalent in me.

 I knew Kate was waiting on the other side of the door, just dying to know what the test said.  I opened the door and motioned her in, both of us crowding into the small bathroom.  Anticipation, fear and curiosity were written all over her face.  Kate had always made it clear that she never wanted children and had often joked about ending our friendship if I ever had kids.  Kate joked around a lot, but I always detected a bit of truth to her jokes, lurking just below the surface of the laughter.

"Well?  What's it say, Em?" she coaxed.  Her eyes darted back and forth quickly, scanning my face, trying to figure out the answer. The tension in the air was palpable and the room suddenly seemed far too small to breathe.

I smiled at Kate and shrugged.  I held up the test and thrust it towards her.

"It has pee on it, but you can read the results for yourself if you want," I joked.  It was a half-hearted effort, an act of encouragement and an attempt at nonchalance.

Kate shook her head, her eyes never leaving mine.

"No, just tell me what it says."

I swirled the words in my mouth before saying them out loud, tasting the way they felt and trying them on for size.

"It says I'm pregnant."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Emma's Dilemma

"That doesn't mean you're, ya know, knocked up," Kate fumbled to recover and save face.

"But what if it does?  I mean, yeah, I've had no other symptoms or signs which is why I wasn't even aware that I'm so late, but that doesn't mean I'm not knocked up.  And right now would literally be the worst possible time for me to be pregnant; I've slept with both Michael and Eric, and now I'm single, without a car and sleeping on a couch.  The last thing I need right now is a baby.  The gods can't be that cruel, right?" I attempted to crack a joke, but it didn't make either of us feel like laughing.  My revelation had sobered us both up quickly and I walked to the kitchen to pour out the rest of my vodka cranberry.

I stood there at the sink, watching the drink spiral down the drain and losing myself in my thoughts.  I was already weighing my options and I wasn't even sure if I was pregnant.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when I felt Kate's hand on my shoulder.

"It'll be okay, Emma.  I'll take you first thing in the morning to pick up a pregnancy test, if you want.  Hell, I'll even get up early and get it for you while you're still asleep!  Anything, you know I'm here for you," Kate pulled me into a hug.

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and running down my face, soaking into Kate's shoulder and still she stood there, holding me.  As I cried and Kate whispered soothing things, I realized something.  I had showed signs.  They weren't physical, but my emotional state had been out of control lately and that could be chalked up to pregnancy hormones.  My sex drive had been through the roof, which was also completely out of character for me.  What if I was pregnant when Michael and I were together, which threw off my mood and emotions and made me end our relationship?  In that moment, I didn't know what to think.

Finally, I pulled out of Kate's hug and sniffled, smiling at her through my tears. 

"Thanks, Kate.  I think I'll be okay.  But I'm exhausted now and want to go to sleep.  And I do want to go first thing tomorrow to buy a test.  That way, I won't drive myself crazy with 'what-ifs' and not knowing."

Kate nodded and said goodnight before heading to bed and closing her bedroom door.  I buried my face in my pillow, and quietly cried myself to sleep.

Early the next morning, I awoke to Kate standing over me with a bag in her hand.

"I couldn't sleep so I went without you," she blurted, thrusting the bag towards me.

I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and warily took it from her.  I already knew what it was and sighed as I got up off the couch.  I hugged Kate briefly as I made my way to the bathroom.

I opened the pregnancy test and read the directions carefully.  It was a digital test so the results would be simple to read with no guess-work involved.  I sighed again and left the test sitting on the counter as instructed.  Three minutes slowly crept by as I waited to find out if my life was about to drastically change.

With shaking hands, I picked up the pregnancy test and read the crystal clear results.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Decisions, Decisions.

"Kate, Dale, I have a problem," I began, swirling the ice cubes in my vodka cranberry and reaching down to pet Whiskers as she rubbed against my shins, "and I need your advice."

"K, let's hear it," Kate chuckled.

"Well, I don't think I'm over Michael.  I know we were together for a long time and it's been a lot of adjustment, but it's more than that, I think.  Actually, I don't know what I think.  I'm into Eric, we have a great time together and the sex is amazing, but I think that's all there is for us.  I don't see myself with Eric for a long time and I don't even see us being an item.  Like, I don't want to be his girlfriend, I guess I just wanted a fling.  And now I miss Michael.  And now I don't know what to do," I sighed, mentally scolding myself for sounding so whiny. 

Dale and Kate exchanged a glance before returning their eyes to me.  Kate was silent for a moment, digesting what I'd just admitted.  This was the first time I'd acknowledged that my interest in Eric was waning and my feelings for Michael were still strong.  It had been a week since our date to Golden Palace and our rendezvous in the parking lot.  That night, we had returned to his apartment for another steamy romp, but again, he practically pushed me out the door when we were done.  Quite frankly, I was tired of his games.  As for Michael, we had started texting each other again over the past few days and I realized that my feelings for him had never dissipated.  I was beginning to wonder if I hadn't made the biggest mistake of my life in leaving him.

"Emma, I can't really give you any advice on that.  You know me, I've never had a steady boyfriend and I'm all about having fun.  You're not me though.  Like, I can totally see what you're saying about Eric.  Sure, he's hot and you guys have fun in the bedroom but you deserve more than that.  If Michael is what you want..." Kate trailed off, looking a little sad.  I could tell she was disappointed.  She didn't hate Michael or anything, but she had always thought I could do better and never really said why.  I had often wondered if she was jealous but never asked for fear of hurting her feelings.

"What about you, Dale, what do you think?"

"All I can say is that you need to talk to both of them, let them both know how you feel.  I can't tell you what the right thing to do is, just do what feels right for you," Dale replied.  He didn't know Michael any more than he knew Eric, so his opinion was generic, and that was basically all I needed: a generic response that I could interpret my own way.

"You guys are right, I can't rely on your advice to make a decision for me.  I just need to talk to both of them and really figure out what I want.  Or maybe I just shouldn't talk to either of them and I should find a new guy," I joked in an attempt to redirect the conversation away from my personal issues.

"Haha, well good luck with that one, Emma!  Anyway, guys, I better head out before it gets any later," Dale said, finishing his drink and getting up from the floor.

Kate and I stood to hug Dale goodnight, and I walked him to the door, locking it behind him.  I always made it a point to lock the door at night, even though we lived in a safe neighborhood, it didn't hurt to be careful.

"I'll be right back, I gotta pee!" Kate announced, making her way through the small living room.  I settled back into my spot on the couch, pulling Whiskers into my lap and scratching under her chin.

I heard Kate cursing to herself in the bathroom.  She cracked the door open a second later and peeked her head out.  "Emma, do you have a tampon I could borrow?  I promise I won't return it!"

"Actually, Kate, I haven't--" I stopped midsentece, and I could feel all the blood drain from my face.

"Haven't what, Em?" Kate looked concerned.

"How long have I been staying here, six weeks or so?"  I asked, hoping Kate would disagree. 

Instead, she nodded.

"Yeah, six weeks, why?  What's wrong?  You don't look so good, are you okay?"

"Six weeks...and I haven't had my period once since I've been here.  That's what's wrong!"

Tears sprang to my eyes as the realization hit me full-force and the implications hung in the air heavily.  Kate's mouth opened and then closed again promptly, making me think of a goldfish.  She shook her head, opened and closed her mouth again.  It would've been comical if I weren't so upset.  Finally, she found her voice.

"Oh, shit."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Addicted To You

I pulled away from Eric, slightly embarrassed.  We were in the parking lot of Golden Palace, a local Chinese restaurant and had been making out pretty heavily for the last few minutes.  The windows were starting to fog and I was pretty sure we were making a spectacle of ourselves.  I could see the lust in his eyes and knew without a doubt that I would be sleeping with him again that night, despite telling myself not to.  The spark when we touched was absolutely electric and I knew that I didn't have the willpower to resist him.

"Come on, let's go eat," I giggled, getting out of the car.  I smoothed my top, straightened my denim skirt and fluffed my hair as I waited for Eric to lock up the car.  He draped his arm loosely over my shoulders and I leaned into him as we strolled into the restaurant.

We were seated in a booth in a dimly lit, romantic looking section of the restaurant.  He placed his hand over mine on the table top and gazed into my eyes.  Conversation was light and flowed easily, with no lulls at all.  It was almost like the awkwardness between us had never existed.  Neither of us touched on the subject of the misunderstanding we'd had and for that I was grateful.  The attraction I felt towards him seemed to grow with each passing minute and I couldn't believe that I'd nearly ended things between us before they even really started.

We lingered over dinner, talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company.  Soon, we were the only two left in the place and I could tell they were waiting for us to leave so they could close up.  I paid the bill for our meals and we made our way back to the parking lot.  By now it was fully dark and the parking lot was deserted. 

Eric moved as if to open my car door for me, but instead grabbed me around the waist and pulled me into him.  His lips found mine again as he pressed my back up against the side of his car.  I could feel his hands running up and down my sides as he kissed me harder, moving his body over mine. 

I pulled back and gasped lightly as his hands slid up my thighs, under my skirt and over the lace of the thong I was wearing.  He rubbed gently, making small circles and I shuddered.  Gently he pushed my thong to the side and slid his fingers inside me. 

Eric's lips were on mine again and I sighed into his mouth as his fingers continued working down below.  Knowing we could be caught at any second made the sensations even more exhilirating.

"I want you.  Now," I murmured, arching my back against the side of his car and fumbling with his zipper.  He growled deep in his throat, gripping the flesh just under the swell of my ass, and lifting me up against the car as he thrust himself into me.

I bit down on his shoulder to keep from crying out.  I had never, ever had sex in a place so public and I had never, ever had sex that was so intense.  Almost immediately, I climaxed hard and knew by the pace of his thrusting that Eric was close, too.  Sure enough, Eric reached his own orgasm not long after.

Sweat was beading on his forehead and he laughed, a husky and satisfied sound.  My legs felt weak and my face was flushed.  I looked around furtively, hoping nobody had seen what just happened, but also hoping that maybe someone had been watching.  Eric had awakened some sexual exhibitionist in me that I never knew existed.

"So, wanna go back to your place and do it again?" I bit my lip suggestively and straightened out my clothing yet again.

The look in his eyes was all the answer I needed...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Emotions Run Wild

"Emma, I'm not sure why you're ignoring me.  Did I do something wrong?  Please call me back or text me or something.  I miss hearing from you."

I listened to Eric's voicemail again, trying to determine just what it was I heard in his voice.  Pleading? Confusion?  Hurt, guilt, desperation?  Perhaps a mixture of all of the above?  He had called me and texted me numerous times over the past few days and I had shown remarkable self-control in not answering or responding.  However, I could feel my resolve beginning to weaken.  I really thought there had been a connection between us and now I was starting to wonder how I could have thought that if the connection didn't exist. 

I felt my resolve break and give way and I picked up my phone to call Eric.  He answered on the second ring.

"Emma!  I've been going crazy over here, why haven't I heard from you?" Eric seemed genuinely concerned and confused.

"I think you know why you haven't heard from me," I replied, letting just a hint of ice creep into my voice.  I wanted him to know I wasn't the type of girl he could use and get away with it.

"Actually, I don't.  I have no idea why you've been avoiding me..." his voice was shaking as he trailed off.

"You lied to me, that's why.  That night, the night we slept together, you told me you had to work early in the morning and that's why you needed to bring me home right away.  But then, the next afternoon when I texted you to have a good day at work, you told me you were off!  You used me and I won't stand for it!  I thought, maybe, just maybe, you and I had the start of something good.  But no.  You ruined that," my voice was even and quiet, and full of something that sound a lot like barely-contained rage.

'What are you talking about?  Yeah, I was off when you texted me, but I had gone in for the early shift and already been sent home.  I didn't lie to you.  You can see my time-card if you don't believe me.  That's what this is about?  You thought I was just using you?  How could you think that?" Eric sounded incredulous and relieved, all at the same time.  I knew then that he wasn't lying to me.

"Oh, my God.  Eric, I'm sorry, I just...I feel like such an asshole, can you forgive me?"  I was stammering, stumbling over my words and feeling worse than ever, "Let me buy you dinner or something so we can talk and I can apologize face to face.  I just don't know what I was thinking."

Eric sighed and let out a small laugh, "I guess you can buy me dinner.  Just next time, Emma, talk to me, don't shut me out if something is bothering you.  Anyway, I gotta go.  I know you're off tomorrow, so if you want me to come by around 5, I can."

"That sounds perfect.  I'm really sorry, I am.  I'll see you tomorrow," I replied.  We said our goodbyes and hung up.

I felt like a complete imbecile and realized how insane I must have sounded.  I had no idea why I behaved in such a manner and knew I had misunderstood him that day and overreacted.  I felt completely out of control of my emotions and had no idea why.  Instead of trying to reason with myself, I flopped down on the couch and cried.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer is Flying By

Hello everyone.  I know I promised a new post a few weeks back and I never did get around to it.  As I mentioned, my grandma had been terminally ill and I had moved in with her to take care of her for the remainder of her life.  On July 7th, 2010, she passed away at home surrounded by myself, my mother (her only daughter) and my 4 siblings (her only grandchildren besides me).  My grandma left me her trailer and all of her pets, so keeping up with 5 cats and a dog has been time-consuming as it is, but I have also embarked upon a few home improvement projects.  On top of all of that, I started a new job a week ago (my first job in 2 YEARS!!) as a Children's Activity Counselor at a local resort and I'm there for 12 hours a day (parts of which are unpaid, but hey, why come sit at home for a 3 hour break when I could be lounging poolside or soaking in the hot tub?)

However, I am feeling amazingly upbeat and positive about everything going on in my life and can't wait for some of this passion to spill over into a new post! 

Stay tuned this weekend to find out what happens in the world of Emma...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Author's Note:  Hi ladies!  Sorry for yet again going MIA without a word, I've been unexpectedly busy.  My grandma went in for a PET scan recently to determine if her cancer had returned. The scan confirmed that the cancer in her throat and trachea returned but also confirmed it has now spread to her liver, pancreas, bones and brain.  She has been hospitalized twice in the past 3 weeks and hospice finally came in last Wednesday.  I am living with her for now to help her through the last days/weeks of her life.  Writing is my escape so I have been very eager to write a few new posts and fall into Emma's world for awhile.  Enjoy! :)

I took a small sip of coffee and toyed with my spoon.  Michael and I were sitting across from each other in an IHOP booth, neither of us really talking or making eye contact.  There was an unfamiliar tension in the air and I could tell he wanted to say something.

"So.  I wanna know what you're thinking about.  I can tell you have something you want to talk about, so feel free," I broke the silence and smiled at him reassuringly.  Michael was watching me carefully, no doubt mentally preparing what he was going to say and how he was going to say it.

"Well, Emma, I wanna know who that guy was yesterday.  I know, I know, we're not together anymore and it's none of my business, but I hardly slept last night.  All I could think about was how your face lit up when that guy got out of his car.  You used to look at me that way, like I was the only other person in the world.  And it killed me to see you looking at him like that..." Michael trailed off, averting his eyes and looking down at his hands.

Guilt and shame consumed me.  I had never meant to hurt Michael, hell, I hadn't expected him to be at my apartment when Eric showed up.  I hadn't planned for him to know I was interested in someone new until I, myself, knew where things were headed.  I reached across the table and grabbed Michael's hand.

"He's just a guy I'm talking to, nothing serious, and I don't know if it's even headed anywhere," I chose my words carefully, not wanting to hurt Michael anymore than I had already, and truly not knowing if anything else would happen with Eric.

Michael pulled his hand away and sat there in silence, seeming to search my face for an indication of whether I was being honest or not.  Finally, he spoke.

"This was a mistake, wanting to see you.  I'm not ready for this. I better take you home now."

"No, Michael, that's okay, I'll just walk.  I could use the fresh air."

I tossed money on the table to pay for my coffee and a tip and headed for the door.  I half expected Michael to follow me and try to stop me, but thankfully, he didn't.  It wasn't my intention to have him chase me down and cause a scene.  I really did want the fresh air and I needed more time to think and digest the emotional events of the day.  Despite the late hour, I wasn't afraid to be walking alone.  It was a busy, well-lit road in a very low crime area and I knew it wouldn't even take 30 minutes to walk home. 

Quickly, I made my way home, letting my mind wander and absorbing the fresh night air.  Quietly, I crept into the dark apartment and laid down on the couch, emotionally exhausted and wanting nothing more than to go to sleep and hope for a better tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

There's No Beauty In Bleeding Mascara

"So, did you have a good night at the club?  Or was it a waste of time," I asked Kate as she entered the kitchen.  She usually worked two nights a week at a strip club nearly an hour away for extra income.  Some days she came home with a significant amount of money, but other nights it was slow and not worth the gas or time spent.  Kate had been trying to convince me to join her at the club those nights to make extra money myself, but I was still hesitant. 

"Hah, I did have a good night but I can see that yours was better," Kate teased, laughing and shaking her head.  She wagged a finger in my direction and tsk tsked, "You are SO bad.  It's written all over your face!"

I blushed, wondering how she could possibly know about the previous evening with Eric.  Kate was certainly no saint, and I had always played the good girl role perfectly while she lived up her bad girl image.  I was far from an innocent virgin, but I had only had two partners other than Michael before my rendezvous with Eric, and they had both been former boyfriends.

"Seriously, Kate, I know.  I can't believe I did this and I'm feeling even guiltier today now that I know that you know. He acted totally weird afterward though and practically pushed me out the door.  But then he asked if he could call me to get together again.  I don't even know what to think. And I didn't even tell you yet that Michael showed up here yesterday right before I left!" I was rambling nervously, spilling my thoughts to Kate.

"Well," Kate began, "if Eric calls you to hang out, do not have sex with him. That'll place you on booty call status and you're better than that. You already know how I feel about Michael, so if he calls or shows up again, don't even bother with him.  He needs to move on!"

I sighed, knowing Kate was right.  I wasn't entirely convinced I would ever hear from Eric again but there was no way I would degrade myself and allow him to use me for sex.  I also wasn't entirely sure how I felt about Michael, even though ending our relationship had been my choice.  I worried that spending time with him would evoke old emotions and make me second guess my decision to leave him.  On the other hand, he had been my best friend for years and I did miss his friendship and thought now would be a good time to start the baby steps towards being friends again.

I glanced at the clock and realized I needed to head to work shortly.  Sitting around and thinking about my now complicated love life was not an option.  However, I wanted to talk to Eric and figure out where we stood and I had promised Michael I'd be in touch.  I fought with myself mentally for a moment and caved.  I would shoot Eric what I hoped was a casual text message and then I would deal with Michael.

"Hey you!  Hope you're having a good day at work! I had fun yesterday, let me know when you're free if you wanna hang out again :D -Em"

My phone vibrated in response almost immediately.

"lol thanks, but I'm off today. and last night was great, I'd love to do it again ;)"

Off today? I read and reread the words. My heart dropped and I felt a knot beginning to form in my shoulders and my stomach as I tensed up.  If he was off today, why did he basically kick me out the door last night?  A painful lump formed in my throat as my eyes filled with tears.  I couldn't recall ever having felt so used and betrayed.  I set my phone down gingerly and talked myself out of picking it back up and giving Eric a piece of my mind.

Feeling vulnerable and suffering a major blow to my self esteem, I picked up my phone and texted Michael.

"Hey!  I know you're off tomorrow so I figured I'd see if you want to go to IHOP tonight when I get off work at 11:30.  Just let me know :)"

I put my phone back in my purse and headed out the door to go to work. I was almost positive Michael would accept and suddenly, I could hardly wait to see him again. As I reached the parking lot of my office building, I felt my phone vibrate.  I stopped to check my phone and couldn't help but smile despite the blow to my ego when I saw that Michael had indeed agreed to meet for coffee that night.

Now, I really wasn't sure what my intentions were in asking him to meet up and that thought excited me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Too fast?

I glanced shyly at Eric, wondering what it would feel like to kiss him.  Dinner had been wonderful and conversation had come easily between the two of us.  We'd laughed and chatted and flirted throughout the meal and the way he looked at me made me feel like I was the only woman in the world.  Now, we were sitting quietly side by side on his couch watching a movie and I was wondering whether or not he would kiss me that night.

I could barely focus on the movie; all I could focus on was him and the butterflies I felt when I looked at him.  Eric seemed to sense my gaze and turned towards me.  Our eyes met and neither of us could look away.

Slowly and with purpose, Eric leaned in close.  He cradled my face tenderly in his palm and tipped my chin back.  I could feel my heartbeat quicken as he leaned in closer and brushed his lips softly against my own.  I slid my hands up around his neck and pulled him closer to me, kissing him harder and sighing into his mouth as he ran a hand through my hair and tugged gently.  Eric grabbed my hair and pulled my head back, tracing a trail down my neck and across my collar bone with his mouth, nipping lightly at my skin.  A shiver rolled down my spine as I basked in the sensations of his lips on my skin and I could feel my desire for him building.  No man had ever invoked such passion in me so easily and I wanted nothing more than to devour him.  Quickly and clumsily, I reached for his belt and slid his jeans down over his hips.  Before I could even consider how things would change between us and stop myself from crossing a line I could never uncross, he was inside me.

Afterward, while he redressed, I smoothed out my dress and ran my fingers through my hair in an attempt to appear more presentable.  Eric glanced at me and motioned for the front door.

"So, are you ready to go?"

"Um, sure," I answered hesitantly.  I picked up my purse and followed him to the car.  The ride back to my apartment was filled mostly with a comfortable silence, yet the million thoughts in my mind were deafening.  Had he just used me for sex? How could I sleep with someone I hardly knew?  Would I ever hear from him again?  Had I done something wrong?

I felt my cheeks grow hot as I blushed with shame.  The sex had been hot and passionate and fun, but he was practically a stranger and I was definitely not the type of girl who had sex on the first date.  I wondered what he must think of me and whether or not this would change things between us.  Once you have sex, there is no going back.

We pulled up in front of my apartment building and I reached for the door handle.  I had the door halfway open when Eric grabbed my arm.  He was smiling and his eyes danced with good-natured amusement.

"Sorry again to rush you out the door like that, I just have to work an early shift tomorrow and hadn't intended to be up so late.  Can I call you so we can get together again?" He winked and ran a hand up my arm.

"It's fine, I understand.  And you better call me!" I joked, returning his smile. I felt all the tension in my shoulders melt away as I realized I'd been mentally freaking out for no reason. He leaned in to kiss me and his lips lingered on mine.  I reluctantly broke the kiss and exited the car.

I was relieved when I realized Kate wasn't home that night.  I needed a hot shower to unwind and cleanse myself of Eric's scent, and I wasn't in the mood to discuss the night's events just yet.  I needed more time with my thoughts to really decide how I felt and whether or not I had made a big mistake.

As I settled in to the couch, wrapping myself in a blanket, all I could think of was how out of character I had behaved with Eric and how worried I was that things were moving way too quickly between us.  I hoped my mind would be more clear in the morning.  Finally, I drifted off to sleep.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You...

My breath caught in my throat and I stood there in the doorway, wide-eyed and slackjawed.

"Em, you look fantastic.  I've missed you so much," Michael breathed, taking in my dolled up appearance.

I shifted uncomfortably on my feet, one hand against the doorframe and the other nervously twirling a section of hair.

"Thanks," I mumbled, "but what are you doing here?  I'm sorry if I sound rude, but I'm expecting someone any minute so please make it quick."

I felt my cheeks grow hot as Michael's eyes scanned my face and he looked at me with such honesty and hurt in his eyes.  Despite how firm I was in my decision to leave him, I hadn't realized that a part of me did miss the comfort and familiarity of being in his presence.

"You wouldn't take my calls and I just wanted to talk to you and make sure you're okay.  I was worried about you...but obviously you're fine and in a rush, so I guess I better go," Michael answered quietly, taking another lingering glance at my face and taking in the dress I wore, as he stepped away from the doorway.

I sighed, feeling a seed of guilt and another feeling I couldn't quite identify growing in my stomach.  I stood there silently, watching him walk away.

"Michael, wait," I called after him,"maybe we can grab coffee or something later in the week and catch up.  I'll text you, okay?  Right now just isn't a good time."

"Yeah, sure, Em, that would be great!  I won't keep you any longer, I'm just glad to see you're okay," Michael replied, waving over his shoulder and breaking into a smile.  He turned towards me one more time as he opened his car door and got inside, and it broke my heart a little to see the look on his face.  It was a mixture of pain and hope, and I realized in that moment just how much I had hurt him by leaving the way I did.

I remained in the doorway, watching him buckle his seatbelt and start the car, all the while his eyes never leaving my face. The thought suddenly and startlingly crossed my mind that I needed to run after him and throw my arms around him and tell him how sorry I was and how much I hated myself for hurting him. I was so lost in these thoughts and busy watching Michael backing out of his parking spot that I scarcely noticed another car pulling into the lot and parking.

My heart skipped a beat when the driver got out and I realized it was Eric.  He was just as gorgeous as I remembered, perhaps even more so.  I couldn't help but stare at him as he ambled up the sidewalk.  He flashed me one of his dazzling grins and I could practically feel myself melt. In that instant, all thoughts of Michael completely left my mind.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

That's What Girls Dreams Are Made Of

During the next week and a half, I had settled in completely to my new evening shift at work and my living situation with Kate.  I arrived home at 11:30pm and spent a few hours with Kate, usually sipping on a drink while she guzzled hers.  I enjoyed her company, but she was such a wild child and I was a very laid back homebody.  Her outgoing demeanor was starting to rub off on me and I was finding myself becoming less shy and uptight.  Michael was the furthest thing from my mind as I continued to settle in to my new schedule, my new home and my new life.  I continued to ignore his phone calls and messages, and hoped eventually he would get the hint that I was gone for good and there was no winning me back.

As for work, I loved not having to be there until 3pm.  I no longer had to wake up to a blaring alarm every morning.  Instead, I could wake up at my leisure and still have hours to spare before I had to head to work.  To be honest, I wasn't sure why our call center had requested more employees to switch to the evening shift.  I was one of 6 employees transferred to the evening shift and we were left with a lot of down time in between calls, and some evenings, no phone calls came in for the last hour of my shift.  Most evenings, I spent my spare time doodling in a notebook, chatting with nearby coworkers or exchanging increasingly flirty texts with Eric.

We hadn't yet made plans to get together, but we texted each other daily.   I learned that not only was he gorgeous, he was charming and funny.  I had been out of the dating loop for four years and had forgotten how fun it could be getting to know someone new.  Texting seemed like an easy way to break the ice between us before we officially had a date.  What started out as simple getting-to-know you messages had soon turned to flirtatious messages, almost bordering on racy.  Every time my phone vibrated in my purse, I couldn't help but grin, knowing it would be Eric and anticipating what he would say.

One evening, two weeks after we exchanged our first text message, Eric and I finally had plans to get together.  I woke up early, feeling nervous and excited.  I made my way to the kitchen where Kate was preparing a cup of coffee to take to work with her.

"So, today's the big date, huh?  You nervous?" Kate teased, raising an eyebrow.

"Um, yeah," I laughed, reaching for a clean mug, "of course I'm nervous!  We're going to dinner, then going to watch movies at his apartment and we'll see how it goes from there."

"Well, have fun.  If you wanna borrow anything from my closet, feel free.  I gotta go, I won't be home until late."

With that, Kate was out the door and I found myself alone with nearly four hours to kill before Eric arrived.  I busied myself with some simple cleaning around the apartment while I waited until it was time to start getting ready.  I took my time showering, exfoliating and poring over an outfit to wear.  I wanted to wear something cute and flirty, yet completely casual.  I finally settled on a simple salmon colored sundress that hugged my curves without being tight or revealing and set off the slight tan I had developed.  I left my hair loose and wavy, letting it fall over my shoulders, while I kept my makeup light with just a hint of shimmer across my eyelids, lips and cheekbones.  I glanced at my phone and realized Eric should be arriving within the next fifteen minutes.

I turned and admired myself in front of Kate's full length mirror and smoothed my dress.  I thought I looked cute with just a hint of sexy, and hoped Eric would agree.  As I made one final appraisal of my hair and makeup, I heard a knock at the door.  I winked at myself in the mirror, and dissolved into nervous giggles as I headed for the living room.

With a deep breath and a brilliant smile, I pulled open the front door.  Imagine my surprise when I found myself face to face not with Eric, but with Michael...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yet another author's note...

Well, this is kind of personal but I would like to share it with everyone.  I suffered a bit of a mental breakdown a few weeks ago, after the breakup but not entirely related to that.  I've had a lot going on these past 6 months or so that has had me really depressed and I was too afraid to reach out for help.  Everything finally crashed down and I ended up being hospitalized for awhile.  I just got home tonight so it'll be awhile before I'm ready to write again.  I just wanted to thank you guys for all of your kind words and support, I really do appreciate it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm in NY visiting my family. My birthday is on the 15th and my boyfriend gave me my birthday surprise early...he ended our 2 and a half year relationship by phone while I'm out of town. I'm taking a short break from the blog while I try to deal with things. I hope you guys understand. Thank you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Author's Note :)

Hello everyone!  I apologize for having been MIA lately without a word.  My boyfriend surprised me with a plane ticket to visit my family in New York over the weekend and I haven't had a free moment to get online since.  I will be here in NY for awhile, not sure how long yet, but I will be writing when I can.  I tried posting a few days ago from my phone to let everyone know why you haven't heard from me, but I guess it didn't go through!

Anyway, I can't predict a date at this time, but I anticipate I will be writing a new post within the next few days or so.  Thank you for being patient and thanks for reading!  I can't wait to continue Emma's story and I hope you guys will join me for the journey :)

Friday, March 26, 2010


The next morning, I awoke without the slightest hint of a hangover.  For that, I was grateful.  I had never been much of a morning person in the first place, and I couldn't imagine how unpleasant my first day back to work might have been coupled with a hangover.  I was tempted to go straight to my laptop to see if Eric had replied to my message, but I convinced myself it could wait until after work.

I sat down at my cubicle with a steaming cup of coffee from the break room in hand.  I had arrived early, knowing my work inbox would be full of emails I'd need to sort through.  I skimmed through the messages until one caught my eye, sent from our Workforce Management team.

"Attention Everyone:
We are now looking for employees to switch from First Shift to Second Shift.  We have three Second Shift options available:  2:30pm - 11pm, 3pm - 11:30 pm or 3:30pm - midnight.  If interested, please submit a Shift Change Request form to Workforce Management and send a copy to your direct supervisor.  You will be notified via email if your request is approved.
Thank you,
Workforce Management"

With Kate's late-night habits already interfering with my sleep schedule, and my dislike for being up early, an evening shift sounded perfect.  I submitted the necessary forms and smiled to myself.  Michael had all but insisted I work a morning shift to maximize our time together, and now I was going to do something for myself for a change.  I could only hope that my request would be approved.

The rest of the work day went by quickly, and at 4:30 I headed home.  The walk was short and my mind was focused on Eric and whether or not he had written back to me.  I had played out his responses in my mind throughout the day, knowing full well I was behaving like a teenager, but having an innocent crush for the first time in years was exciting and new to me.  I went straight to my laptop when I walked into the empty apartment, and logged into my Facebook account. I practically squealed with excitement when I saw that Eric, indeed, had replied to my message.

"Emma -  I wasn't sure if you would contact me, you seem shy :)  Text me so I can get to know you better, it's easier than playing message tag on FB.  Hope to hear from you soon.  -Eric"

A goofy smile spread across my face as I grabbed my cell phone and programmed in his number.  I wasn't sure what I should say to him, so I finally decided on something to the point.  Life was too short to be coy and play games.

"Hey!  This is Emma, I just wanted you to have my number.  We should hang out sometime if you're free :)"

The old Emma would never have been so direct.  The old Emma worried too much about what other people thought and never did anything for herself.  The old Emma would have waited for the guy to make a suggestion first.

I had a feeling I was going to love the new Emma.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's just one drink...

"So, are you gonna call him?" Kate slurred, taking another sip from her drink, which, by the smell of it, was more vodka than orange juice.

Dale had already gone home and it was quickly approaching midnight.  I was returning to work the following morning at 8AM, and thus far Kate hadn't taken the hint that I was ready to go to sleep.

"Who, the waiter?  Nah, I don't think so.  Certainly not at this hour," I replied, hoping the matter would be settled, "and I do have to be up early so I think I'm gonna go to sleep soon."

"Ok, ok.  Just have one drink with me before bed.  Just one, I promise," she pleaded, already heading towards the kitchen.

I had always been a social drinker, really, only partaking during holidays or on special occassions.  I rarely had more than three drinks and had only been drunk a few times in my life.  Kate had been drinking with Dale since we'd gotten home from dinner, and I couldn't be sure if this was a daily habit for her or if she considered tonight to be an occassion.  Either way, if a drink with her would let me get to sleep sooner, I would have one.

"Well, ok.  Just one then I am going to sleep.  And don't make it strong, you know I don't drink much."

Kate squealed with delight, and I could hear her filling my glass with ice.  She returned to the living room, weaving slightly, and presented me with my drink.  The smell of it was overpowering and I could only imagine the taste would be worse.  I took a small sip and grimaced.  The drink in my hand was by far the strongest drink I'd ever tasted.  I didn't know how she could stand it.

As I slowly sipped my drink, I could feel my cheeks becoming flushed and began to relax more.  Maybe having a drink wasn't so bad, after all.  We talked and laughed, and before I knew it, my drink was empty, I had quite a buzz and the conversation had returned to Eric.

"Seriously, Emma.  He's hot, way hotter than Michael.  You should call him, or at least look him up on Facebook!" Kate was pointing excitedly at my laptop.

I couldn't be sure if it was the drink I'd had or her enthusiasm that convinced me, but I smiled and said, "Well, Facebook couldn't hurt.  Hand me my purse."

I quickly logged on, and typed in his contact information.  His profile page popped up before me, and there were those beautiful brown eyes of his staring back at me.

"Shoot...his profile is private.  And I'm not gonna send him a friend request like a creeper."

"Well, just send him a message then.  But I'm gonna go to bed now.  By the way, I put 4 shots in your drink!" Kate was laughing and wobbling towards her bedroom. 

"Four shots?  No wonder I feel so warm and fuzzy.  Oh well, I'm gonna send him a message anyway and then I'm going to bed," I mumbled, mostly to myself.

"Hey, Eric.  This is Emma, the girl from the restaurant?  Sorry if I was acting weird, life has been kind of weird lately.  But I figured I'd send you a message because you seem interesting.  You can write me back if you want.  Sorry, I'm rambling!  Goodnight!"

I frowned at what I'd written, and realized I sounded desperate and silly, but maybe he'd find that endearing.  I sent it anyway, turned off my laptop and hoped I wouldn't regret sending it in the morning.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I awoke to a bright flash of light and the sound of a door clicking shut.  A strange weight had settled on my chest, and for a moment I was sure it was the metaphorical "heaviness" I'd just gotten rid of.  I opened my eyes and was surprised to see two bright green eyes staring back at me. 

"Whiskers, you scared me!" I laughed, reaching up to pet her.  Kate had two cats, Whiskers and Roofus, and I had nearly forgotten about them with everything that had been going on.

I sat up, blinking, and looked around.  It took me a moment to realize the light had been Kate opening the front door to leave for work.  I was impressed with how quiet she must have been, as I hadn't heard a sound while she got ready.

I stretched and reached for my phone.  I was hesitant to turn it on and see if Michael had flooded my phone with messages, but I needed to call my job and let them know I would be returning the next morning.  We were entering the slow season and I'd been approved by our Workforce Management team for unpaid time off for the past few days to get my affairs in order.

When I hung up, I took a glance at the screen of my phone.  Of course, the "New Message!" icon was blinking cheerily.  With a sigh, I opened my inbox to discover 6 new text messages from Michael.  I didn't want to see what he had to say, so I simply check marked the boxes next to the messages and hit "Delete".

With that, I folded up my blanket and tucked it away in the front closet.  The day was dragging on slowly and I busied myself cleaning the apartment.  Kate was a bit messy and I knew she'd appreciate coming home to a clean house.  I discovered that the fridge and cabinets were nearly bare, and made a mental note to discuss groceries with Kate when she got home.

That night, Kate walked in with her friend Dale.  I had only met him briefly before, but I knew Kate was fond of him and we'd probably get along.  Dale suggested we go to a local Italian restaurant for dinner on him and I hungrily agreed, as long as he would let me and Kate take care of the tip.

We settled in to a booth and glanced over the menu while we waited for our server to come by and take our drink orders.

"My name is Eric, and I'll be taking care of you this evening.  Have you decided on drinks?" a voice asked.  I looked up and realized our waiter was gorgeous.  He was at least 6'3" with warm eyes, a sexy smile and a confident air about him.  He was also staring directly at me.

I stammered, "Uh, yes, just an iced tea for me.  I mean, please."  I blushed, feeling foolish.  Kate and Dale placed their orders as well, giggling the whole while at my expense.

"Emma has a cruuush!" Kate said in a sing-song voice as Eric walked away.  I blushed again, and playfully slapped at her hand.

I wouldn't call it a crush after seeing someone for all of a moment, but I certainly did think he was attractive.  I only wished the timing had been better.  I was barely single, and developing a new crush seemed inappropriate somehow.  I made it a point to avoid eye-contact with our handsome waiter for the rest of the meal, knowing I wouldn't be able to help but stare at him.

After we finished our meal, I headed to the bathroom to avoid Eric while Dale settled our check.  I met Kate and Dale in the parking lot, and Kate was giggling again and staring at me.

Kate held out her hand, and said, "Eric said to give this to you!"

I took the scrap of paper, and read it to myself.
"I'd like to get to know you.  If you don't feel comfortable calling me, send me a message sometime. -Eric"

His phone number and Facebook link were included.  I blushed for a third time, and crammed the paper into my wallet.  I hadn't yet decided if I would contact him, but I would hang on to his information, just in case...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Endless Possibilities

Kate and I lugged my clothing up to her apartment building, which, as luck would have it, was seperated from my job's office building by a small shopping center that housed a few businesses and a hair salon.  I would be able to walk to work every day while I saved up to buy a car of my own.

She unlocked the front door, and with a sweep of her hand announced, "Home sweet home!"

I'd be using the coat closet as my own and sleeping on her couch.  I immediately began digging through my bags of clothing, wanting to get settled in as quickly as possible.  She watched me curiously as I set about hanging up my shirts and pants.  I could tell by the look on her face that she thought I was just trying to keep busy.

"Emma, you're okay, aren't you?" Kate smiled gently, her eyes scanning my face for a sign of how I was feeling.

I took a deep breath and looked back at her.  I loved Kate, she was always there for me when I needed her and I tried to be there for her as well.  We'd been friends since high school, having met in class, and our first apartment had been one we'd shared right before Michael and I had started dating.

I smiled back at her and felt my uncertainty fade away completely.

"You know what?  I really am.  I mean, I'll probably always love Michael but I've realized I'm no longer in love with Michael.  All of our couple friends were getting married and I guess I thought that's what we needed to fix what we had.  But this feels...right.  I just want to get settled in so I can really feel like I'm moving on instead of just visiting."

Kate nodded and hugged me, saying how proud she was that I'd had the courage to leave my comfort zone and how much fun we'd have living together again.

Later that night, after I'd finished unpacking most of my things and Kate had gone to bed, I curled up in my blanket on the couch.  Luckily for me, Kate had splurged on a nice couch and I knew I'd have no trouble sleeping, although I wasn't quite tired yet.

Alone with my thoughts, staring at an unfamiliar ceiling, I smiled.  I'd been one half of MichaelAndEmma for so long, that being just Emma would take a little getting used to.  This would be a big change for me, and I couldn't wait to see what life had in store.  I let my mind wander aimlessly for a bit, envisioning the endless possibilities of where my life would lead now.  I finally felt myself entering that comfortable, hazy stage between being awake and falling asleep as I settled deeper into the couch.

The buzz of my cellphone on the coffee table startled me back to the waking world, and I grabbed it to take a peek at the message, knowing I'd lay awake wondering who it was from and what it said until I finally looked.

It was from Michael.  It contained only two short sentences.
"Can we talk?  I can come pick you up."

I sighed, and considered ignoring the message entirely.  I knew he would just keep texting me or possibly even calling if I didn't write back, so I simply replied, "No."

With that, I turned off my phone and fell into the most beautiful sleep I'd had in months.