Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
When she got to her office, she resisted the urge to shut the door behind her. She had rarely shut her door in the six years she had been there and she felt careful the past week not to do anything out of the ordinary. She shook her head to herself.
Yes, nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing like ransacking the cabinets in every kitchen on every floor until she had found what she had been looking for. She picked up the mug from her bookshelf and sat down with it at her desk. She turned it over in her hands, observing the familiar chip in the rim, the coffee stains on the bottom. She had bought it for him on one of her trips to Chicago.
”Now you can think of me every time you have your morning coffee.”
The words and the memory of his answering smile made her stomach feel full of bricks. She swallowed and swiveled the chair around to face out the windows. They took up almost the whole wall behind her desk. In the distance the Pacific Ocean stretched against the sky, vanishing in a hazy, gray line. She tried to focus on it as she let the words assemble themselves in her head.
Sad again today.
Better than yesterday though – I didn’t think about him until I brushed my teeth. But then I thought about the mirror in his bathroom and it made me cry. Sometimes it feels like I will never be happy again…
She said “Dear Diary,” but she probably should have said “Dear God.” She leaned her head back against the chair and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. The phrase “drowning in memories” was something she lived daily now. When she finally forced herself to stop remembering, it was like her head breaking through the surface of the water. She needed the extra oxygen.
“…Kim?” There was a faint knock and a girl’s voice at the door.
She turned her chair around quickly with a bright smile. It was her assistant Vanessa. “Yeah, come on in. Is it time to go over the calendars?”
Vanessa nodded and sat down on the other side of the desk. It was time to get back to work. Time to put the sadness away for a while.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
He looked so small as he kneeled in front of her apartment. It was something she wasn’t use to, him looking small. His hair had grown just beyond its normal length, hanging just over his forehead, blowing slightly in the night wind. His face was illuminated by the nearby streetlamp, and he looked like a young boy, eager for Christmas morning.
If you had asked her a year ago, this is what she would have told you she wanted. Still, six months ago, all she wanted was promises, the promise, a ring on her finger and the rest of her future set. Tonight, at this moment however, she felt like she was going to be sick.
He pulled the small cherry wood box from out of his jacket pocket, and she struggled to swallow. The box opened slowly, revealing a rather large round diamond ring with two smaller stones on each side, and she closed her eyes, wishing she was anywhere other than where she was.
“Isabella Christianson,” he began.
She opened her eyes, unfortunately finding herself still standing outside her building. As he reached to take her hand, she took a small step backward. “Christopher,” she interrupted, but it didn’t seem to phase him.
“Isabella, I know that things have been difficult these past few months. I’ve been working longer hours than I have in the past, traveling nearly every weekend, and I know that I haven’t always been there lately when you needed me, but we’ve worked through it, Iz. We’ve been together a long time, gone through so many challenges, but here we are, still together, and I think that that honestly means something.” He tried to take her hand once more, but this time her body did not receive the message from her brain that said ‘don’t’. “Miss Christianson, you are the love of my life, and it would honor me beyond any expression that I am capable of expressing if you would spend the rest of your life with me.”
She almost choked, though she wasn’t sure if it was because of the tears forming in the corners of her eyes or her saliva that wouldn’t go down. “Christopher,” she tried again.
“Isabel.” There was a longing in his eyes that she had never seen before. He was trying to save them.
She shook her head, wishing it was a dream. “I can’t.” It came out just above a whisper.
He was immediately up on his feet, box still in hand, not more than a foot away from her. “We don’t have to get married right away,” he said, touching her face. “We can wait. I know that you’ve always wanted to - -”
“No, Chris.” She closed her eyes once again, trying to get the look on his face out of her mind. “I can’t marry you.”
His hands were gone from her. The red box magically closed and tucked back away in his jacket. “I don’t understand….”
“Chris, let me explain - -”
He held up his hand, silencing her. For a moment they stood there in the dim light of the streetlight, avoiding eye contact, not saying a word. Then, without warning, without any mutter of words, he turned and leaped into his convertible. The engine roared to life and he sped away from the curb. Down the street, he took the first turn at an alarming speed, nearly losing control, but regained his direction quickly. He flipped the radio on and up, filling the night air with rock music. In that instance, he didn’t see the delivery truck pulling out from the ally.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
She was standing in the doorway of Phil’s office, flipping through the open folder in her hands as she spoke.
“I mean it, Phil, no coffee at the end of the interviews. I know he’s gonna ask you, but you have to say no. I need him at the Met no later than six if we want to start on time.” She looked up at him and shut the folder. “I already talked to his assistant, and she has it all blocked on his calendar, but I need you to do your part.”
“All right, all right, no coffee,” Phil laughed.
“I mean it.” She said again. She had a young face, but she managed to look stern. “If he’s not there, I’m blaming you.”
Phil gave her a mock salute and a friendly, “Aye, aye, captain,” that she took good-naturedly.
They were colleagues, but they were also friends, which is why she braced herself when his teasing face became serious and he cleared his throat with a half-hearted, “Oh hey,” to transition the conversation. He reached out and put one of his hands on her arm.
“Are you, uh, doing okay?”
She smiled easily, but it was her eyes that gave her away when she said, “Yeah, Phil. I’m fine.” She put her hand over his and gave it a little squeeze. “I appreciate you asking though.”
Phil also smiled easily, but it was tinged with relief. He brightened more completely than she had, the emotion of the moment quickly passing.
“Good. Well, I’m here if you need me.” He could have meant it either way: work or personal. “I guess I’ll see you on Friday then. You’re headed over tomorrow, right?”
“Yeah, two days for set-up, last-minute checks with the sound and lights, catering, staff, the loose ends. As long as you get the boss there on time, should be a great event.” She couldn’t resist one final jab, turning out of the office.
As she walked along the winding desks laid out in an open setting that was the hallmark of the communications “pen” in the building, she could feel several sets of eyes watch her as she passed. All those silent eyes asking the same question Phil had managed to say out loud.
Was she doing okay?
She passed by them almost indifferently, but as she turned toward the elevators, she almost bumped straight into Nick.
“Hey!” he greeted, half in surprise from their near collision. “What are you doing down here?”
“Keeping your boss in line, of course,” she said as they started to move past each other. It was nothing more than hallway conversation.
“Oh yeah, big day Friday, right?”
“Yup. Bringing home the bacon.” She waved over her shoulder, but kept her eyes on the elevator, reaching almost desperately for the ‘up’ button.
She could feel his eyes in a different way than the others. Nick’s eyes, with their dangerous sympathy, were like a physical touch instead of a mere look. She hadn’t known before that such a seemingly gentle emotion could be dangerous, but now she knew. Every time he looked at her since she got back, his eyes seemed to say, I can save you if you let me.
She felt a rush of guilt and pity as the elevator doors opened. She hit the number 8 and leaned against the wall.
Guilt because she wore the pain so plainly that anyone could see it apparently. She tried to put it away, at least for work. She tried to leave it at home, but somehow every morning it seemed to stow away. Popping up over emails, over lunch. The creeping, crawling grasp of the sadness and the hurt.
And then there was the pity. She pitied Nick because she knew that there was nothing he could do to save her. There was nothing anyone could do.