(Finding Myself In You) Chapter 2: Connections

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The next morning, I wake up to Turner sleeping next to me. I stare at him as he sleeps, and I begin thinking about what it could be. The uncertainty is the reason we’ve set rules, which obviously have been broken more than a few times. I climb out of the bed making my way to the kitchen to make coffee.

I grab my laptop, turn it on, and start answering emails. When the pot boils, I grab two cups and pour coffee into both. That’s when I hear Turner walking from the bedroom. He comes behind me, kisses me on my neck, and I hold up the cup of coffee. He grabs it and takes a sip.

After a few seconds of silence Turner then says, “How come your furniture isn’t assembled yet?”

I look away from the computer, glancing around the room and reply, “I haven’t had time”

“You know I can get some of my friends and we can come over here to fix up the whole apartment in a day”, He says observing the room.

It’s Okay, I don’t want to cause any inconvenience for anyone”

“It’s not inconvenient I’m offering”

“It’s Okay, you don’t have to”

“I want to”, He says about to make a phone call.

I put my hand over his phone while saying, “Seriously Turner it’s okay”

“Why do you…never mind”, Turner stops, puts his coffee down and walks to the room. I grab his hand saying, “Wait! Where are you going?”

“I think I overstayed my welcome, again”, he says with his head down.

“I never said that”, I reply to make him feel better.

“You didn’t have to”, he says before he walks to the bedroom. I remain in the kitchen sipping on my coffee thinking about what I can say to make him feel better. I don’t know what he expects me to say. Finally, he walks back into the kitchen fully dressed. He kisses me on the forehead and says, “I’ll call you” and walks to the front door. I follow behind him, trying to get his attention, but he isn’t interested in anything I have to say. As he leaves the apartment, I watch him walk down the hall. When he disappears in the distance, I notice that my neighbor is standing at his door. I’m not actually sure why he is standing there, I’m hoping that Turner and I did not disturb him.

It’s been about two weeks since the argument with Turner. I haven’t seen or heard from him. I want to call him, but I also want to give him his space. Every time I’m around him, he makes me think of our future together, but I don’t know if he’s the one for me. As I’m pondering my thoughts my phone rings.

“Hello”, I say trying to focus.

“How is the move treating you?”, says Linda.

“I guess it’s not so bad, I’m getting a lot of work done”, I reply.

“What about Harvard?”, she asks.

“Well the acceptance letter hasn’t come yet”, I say as my voice drops again.

“I can hear it in your voice, don’t worry you will get in”, Linda says trying to lighten the mood.

“I hope you’re right, I’ve just been really stressed out with this whole thing”

“Well maybe I can bring some light to all of this”

“What you got for me?”, I say a bit excited to hear her news.

“There’s a writing summit going to Massachusetts. The committee wants to meet The Romance Queen.”

“What company?”, I ask wanting to know more.

“Lively, I know it’s nothing extravagant but it’s important that you get involved with something while you’re in Massachusetts. It’ll make your time there better and you can network”

“OK! Send me all the information”, I say trying to hold back my smile, but I feel like she can hear it through the phone.

“Perfect! I’ll talk to you later. If you have any questions just call me up, I’m always here for you”, Linda says.

“Thank you! I know”, I say before hanging up the phone.

Moments later I receive Linda’s email. It lays out the full details about Lively and what they’ve been doing in the community. I’m quite impressed by all their recent accomplishments, the company has been doing remarkable things. The CEO of Lively set up a day for me to meet with her. Her name is Cynthia Rye. When I finally met her, we spoke about the purpose of the summit and about the company branching into publication. She also expressed her interest in me joining their team. I know Linda isn’t going to be happy about their proposal. I’m completely interested in partaking in the event, but I have to deny the publication offer. Linda has done so much for me the last couple years, it would be rude of me to just leave her for a better offer. Once all the details were finalized, I emailed Linda with all the details, she was quite happy for me as usual.

About a week has passed and still no Harvard letter.

I make my way to the lobby to Ann to tell her how my day has been going. Before I can even get a word out, she has my mail on the counter with the Harvard letter on top. I can’t say a word. I just stand there and stare at the letter for a few moments.

Ann says, “So you just going to stand there? Open it!”

I reach my hand out to grab the letter but quickly hesitate, “I can’t! I can’t open it?”

“Okay then, I’ll open it”, she says as she grabs the letter.

“Yeah that’s a good idea”, I say smiling while making eye contact with her. She rips open the letter slowly and begins reading. She has a straight face as she is reading through the letter, I begin to get really nervous because she has no emotion while reading it. Then she puts the letter down on the table and looks back up at me. I can see the disappointment on her face as she says, “I’m sorry Hun”

“What? What did it say?”, I say as I grab the letter off the table and begin reading myself. As I’m reading through the letter, I begin feeling a tear roll down my face and my heart explode.

“Logan I’m so sorry”, Ann says to me as she puts her hand on my shoulder. Suddenly the tear rolling down my face begin falling harder. Ann hugs me, I feel so many emotions at once I can’t handle it. Michael comes walking down the steps with his dog. I quickly wipe my tears and clean up my face before he gets to the front desk. When Ann notices him she says, “Hey Michael I have something important for you”

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She reaches over her desk and grabs another envelope. And she hands it to him I notice it is in the same packaging as the one I just opened. That’s when it hit me, Michael too had applied for Harvard University. He grabs the envelope and says, “Wish me luck” he then winks at me just before walking away. I wait until he is completely out of sight and I turn to Ann and say, “So were you going to tell me that he applied for Harvard to?”

“That’s something you just gonna have to find out for yourself”, she says smiling.

“So now you’re withholding information from me?”, I say playfully.

Ann folds her arms and perks her lips, “More like trying to get you to woman up”

“It doesn’t even matter now because he probably got in and I’m just not smart enough”

“I never want to hear you tell yourself something like that ever again. You are smart enough, your are the same smart young woman they got a book deal to publish and travel the country”

“I guess you’re right”, I say as I try to control my emotions.

“I know I’m right”, she says as she hugs me. I head back upstairs to make that depressing phone call to my mother to tell her that I have failed. I’ve moved to a state that I know nothing about, to go to school that obviously doesn’t think I’m capable.

After finding out that I was rejected from Harvard, I want to reevaluate my life to find out what I actually want. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to go to Harvard and I will once I get myself together. Linda and I have been discussing a way to make my image more appealing to the Harvard board. She attended Harvard and knows a few people that work in admissions. They told her that my writing was missing authenticity and I should work on finding myself within my writing and come back either next semester or next year.
I stare at the blank white screen sipping my wine for what seems to be two hours. I’m sitting around the small work table on my balcony, usually I would be enjoying the phenomenal weather. As I stare at the paper the tears finally come rolling down my face. I can no longer hold it in, I feel like a complete failure, the more I try to wipe the tears away the more they run down. The whole time I’ve been outside so has Michael’s dog; Pretty. Pretty and I have become good friends over the last couple months. I even feed her sometimes when she’s on the balcony. She is calmly playing with her toys until she hears me. She’s always hyperactive because she’s still a puppy but she’s huge in size. I look up with tears still falling from my eyes.

Pretty jumps from Michael’s balcony to mine. I’m startled because she has never done this before. She jumps on me and looks me directly in the eye, as if she knows how I’m feeling. We both have a moment then she licks me on my face, which brings a smile to my face. I start petting her and she starts barking. Michael’s balcony door opens with him saying, “You ready to come inside?” He notices that Pretty is missing. He stepped out on the balcony with no shirt. Pretty barks and Michael looks over at us to see her on my lap and I am still petting her. At this point Michael is extremely confused, “How did he…”

“I’m thinking the same thing”, I say trying to smile and wiping my eyes to contain my tears.

“I’m coming over to get her”, Michael says as he walks back into the house and close the balcony door. I get up from my chair and walk Pretty into the house towards the front door. I hear a knock on the door and I slowly make my way to open it. Michael is standing in front of me with a T-shirt that he just threw on and sweatpants. Still confused he tries to figure out what exactly happened. After a few moments he snaps out of his daze and says, “Lets go girl”, she hesitates for a moment then Michael says, “Come on pretty”. Finally she runs over to him and he connects the leash to her collar. He looks back up at me and says, “I’m sorry about that”. Still trying to clear myself of all the sniffing I’m doing I reply, “It’s no problem at all, she’s a sweetheart”. This time he stands up and looks me directly in the eye and says, “Is there something wrong?”

“Of course not”

“OK! So I see you applied for Harvard”, he says with a smile.

“How do you know that?”, I ask

“I saw the envelope in your hand yesterday when you walked by”

“Yes I did apply”

“That’s great what are you going for”

“If I had gotten in, I would be going for romance literature”

“Did you see if you got in?”

There was a moment of silence then Michael says, “Oh! That’s why you are crying”

“I’m not crying”

“Your eyes are bloodshot red and you won’t stop snuffling”

I don’t know what to say, all of it is true. I just take a deep breath and say, “yeah! But I’ll be fine”

“If you don’t mind I’m gonna put Pretty in the house, and I’m gonna come right back.”

“You don’t have to”

“It’s not a problem, I’ll be right back”, he says before he takes Pretty into the house. I can’t make myself look better because now he has seen me at my worst. I don’t know what we’re gonna talk about but, I’ve been waiting for this day. All the stars are roaming through my mind until he appears in front of me again.

“Can I come in?”, he says trying to break the awkwardness.

I step aside and let him walk into the house. As he walking into the apartment I can tell that he’s observing everything. That’s when I ask, “Would you like some coffee?”

“Yeah Thanks!”, he continues, “Your are moving already?”

I pour two cups of coffee and walk over to where he’s standing and hand him a cup while saying, “No! I’m not moving. I just haven’t had a chance to decorate the apartment between this Harvard stuff and my job, it’s hard to find time and I didn’t know anyone here”

“Don’t worry about it I can have this whole apartment put together in a day”

“I promise you it’s not a big deal, I’ll get to it one day”

“Well I’m free tomorrow, so I’ll do it then”

I want badly to say something back, but everything I would say would be a lie. I know I told Turner I didn’t want him to fix my apartment with his friends, and now Michael is offering and I can’t tell him no. He looks at me waiting for me to come up with another excuse but I can’t, I’m deeply in trance with his eyes and the way he looks at me. We play the staring game for it seemed to be a good five minutes and just silence. Finally I say, “Tell me a little bit about yourself”

“What do you want to know?”, he says looking at me as he takes a sip of the coffee.

“What brought you to Massachusetts?”

“Mostly school, I was attending St. Parter community college then decided I wanted to attend Ivy League school. So I upped and left when I applied for Harvard”

“Kind of sounds like my story, other than the fact that I didn’t get in”

“It’s more like your story than you think”

“What do you mean?”

“I didn’t get in either”

“Really?”

“I’m glad you’re surprised”

I stand there staring at him for a moment before I continue speaking, “I’m sorry I don’t know what to say”

“You don’t say anything shit happens”

“What program did you apply for?”

“School of Law”

“Really? What kind of law are you interested in?”

“Criminal”

“That’s intense”

“I can handle it”

“So your are here alone too?”

“Yeah but…”

“But what?”

“I’m here most of the time by myself but I do live with my girlfriend. She travels half the year so she’s not here much”

“Your girlfriend?”

“She travels for a living”

I keep sipping my coffee and nod my head. I have never seen this so called girlfriend before, not once. Ann hasn’t mentioned it to me either. I finally got him alone to find out that he is a committed relationship.

“Are you in a relationship?”

“Oh no! Not at all”

“Why you say it like that?”

“No reason, I just don’t have time to commit to someone right now”

“I said that same line before I met my girlfriend”

“Sounds sweet”

“So you and that guy aren’t serious?”

“Who Turner?…How do you?…”

“We’ve bumped into one another a few times. He’s a cool guy”

My crush and my fuck buddy have been chatting it up together. I could just die as the word leaves his lips. I’m so embarrassed. I shouldn’t be because he has a girlfriend, but yet I can feel my body getting warmer by the minute. I try to act as if everything is Okay, “Yeah he is but we’re not there yet”. We continue talking for two hours. Honestly we aren’t talking about anything important, it just seems that the company is all we want. We talk about school and random things going on in the world. You would think that we are old friends that haven’t seen each other in a while. Being around him makes me feel relaxed, like I don’t have to try to impress him. A few times while we are talking we lock eyes and there’s an awkward silence but not too awkward for either one of us to leave. In the middle of our conversation while we are having one of our awkward silent moments again my phone begins to ring. On the screen Turner’s name pops up. Both of our eyes lock to the phone and I quickly hold down the power button watching the screen go black. I try to continue speaking but Michael says as he stands up, “You should get that, I’ve got something I need to take care of before the end of the night anyway”. I also stand and say, “Are you sure?” What exactly do I mean by is he sure? He’s right there is no real reason for him to be here anymore but I just don’t want him to leave. I can’t tell him this especially after he tells me he has a girlfriend. He smiles at me and says, “I’m sure”. He then walked to the front door, pauses for a second, and walks out closing the door behind himself. I sit on the couch still pondering my thoughts and still trying to figure out what just happened.

A few hours later Turner arrives at my apartment. We talk for a bit about how our day went excluding my encounter with Michael. After a while we end up in the bedroom doing the usual. There’s something about Turner that I can’t completely shake, but I can’t see myself with him, but in a way I can. The next morning I’m laying next to Turner watching him sleep. I’m such a sucker that I can’t tell him to leave. I just have to let him get angry enough to leave himself. He’s such a good guy but something doesn’t feel right. I don’t know what it is but as usual he gets fed up with my running around in circles and he leaves. I wish I didn’t have to do this to him but he doesn’t get it. I feel like Turner feels the exact way I do. I don’t think I want a relationship right now. We spoke about relationships and he is a firm believer of separation with togetherness. Which in his word means both people should have their own and keep their own but still acknowledge their relationship together.

A few days pass and all I can think about is Michael seeing Turner’s name on my cell phone screen. Every time we pass one another there’s a quick hello but no real interaction. After our first real conversation I feel that Michael and I will be good friends, nothing more, just someone to talk to that can relate. Well in my apartment trying to post on my blog, I still have this Michael situation in my head. That’s when my doorbell rings. I put the finishing touches on my last sentence then publish. I close my laptop and walk to the door, when I look through the peephole Michael is standing there. I take a deep breath in and out trying to compose myself. I take another deep breath in and out and slowly open the door with a smile. As I open the door pretty can’t wait to jump all over me. I laugh as I pet her on both of her ears. She then rolls over and I pet her stomach. That’s when I look up at Michael and say, “What do I owe this visit?”

He says with a bag of tools in his hand, “I’ve been busy the last few days but I told you I would help you assemble your furniture”.

“You really don’t have to”

Michael says as he steps over Pretty that I’m still petting and says, “I want to” he then looks back at me and smiles then turns back to the living room and says, “I’ll start here”. I watched him as he put together my centerpiece table for my living room, all of the paintings, The dresser and side table drawer in my bedroom, and my dining room table. Halfway through he asked me if I was Okay with him taking his shirt off because it was hot. Of course I told him I don’t mind at all but I can’t help but think about all the things that I couldn’t do to him. Most of the time we conversed about different subjects. I tried to distract myself from bothering him or even looking at him. After he finishes assembling everything I looked around my apartment going through each room amazed, that my apartment looked that good.

“Thank you so much”

“No problem”, he says as he puts his shirt back on. Right before he walks out the front door he looks back at me and says, “Pretty nice apartment you have here” we both chuckle for a few seconds and then he calls out, “Pretty let’s go”. Pretty barks and she follows him out of the door.

I walk back to the kitchen and lean on the counter, reflecting on the last couple hours. Did we just have a connection? This is supposed to just be a crush. I can’t…I don’t have time to think about a man. What is wrong with me?

To Be Continued…

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