Thursday, October 15, 2015

Am I Home Sick?

I went to lunch with Shelby after hanging up with Scott. I considered cancelling, telling her I was sick, and leaving for the day to go home for some private crying. I knew I was being over sensitive about the situation, but I was very caught off guard.

Anyway, I went to the bathroom, washed my face, and went to lunch with Shelby. It would be good to be around a friend, right?

"These protein bowls are so good," Shelby gushed to me as she shoveled a bite into her mouth. "No wonder you're so thin, is that smoothie all you're going to have for lunch?"

I shrugged. "I ate a big breakfast," I lied. The truth was I was starving before I called Scott but his attitude made my appetite disappear. That's one way to diet.

"Are you excited to go home this weekend?" It wasn't the first thing Shelby asked me. I managed to keep my composure during our talk about work. When she asked me this question half way through our lunch, though, I fell apart.

I was being ridiculous and I felt for Shelby, who sat there with a blank expression on her face for a moment. I wiped my eyes after a few seconds and began apologizing to her. Then, I told her about my conversation with Scott.

"That sucks, Caroline," she responded with a frown.

"It's really not a big deal," I responded with a wave of my hand. "I shouldn't be this upset but, I don't know, I am." I sat back in my seat and insisted that I was looking forward to going home. "I miss home a lot. It'd be easier if I wasn't in a relationship, but I miss my friends and family. I think it's kind of hitting me how truly far away from everything I am."

Shelby sympathetically nodded. "Do you think about moving back?"

I shrugged and looked down at my finger nails. It was really bothering me that the pink nail polish was already chipping after I got them down two days earlier. That would never happen when I got them done in New York. "I see a future with Scott, you know? And when I have a family, I mean way down the line, I would like to be around my parents. So, I guess my plans would kind of require me to go back there." I felt the urge to cry again, but I took a deep breathe and resisted. How was it just hitting me that I couldn't have the life I wanted if I stayed in California? "I couldn't pass up this opportunity, you know? Maybe they'll open an office in New York."

Shelby nodded. I definitely owed her for being so supportive as I went on and on about my insignificant problems. "Well, I'm glad you're here," she said with a smile. "But I totally get where you're coming from. I see my parents twice a week and I still feel like I don't spend enough time with them."

I finished taking a sip of my smoothie before responding. "I would've killed myself by now if I didn't meet you. As pathetic as it sounds, I almost never leave my apartment unless someone from home is visiting me or I'm hanging out with you." I wanted to make it clear to Shelby that even though we weren't getting best friend tattoos yet, I did consider her a good friend and I liked hanging out with her.

The next day, I flew into New York and Darlene picked me up. As soon as I saw her car, I opened the back door to throw my bag in. I practically had a heart attack when Jessica and Anna were sitting there, yelling surprise at me upon the door opening.

Seeing my friends definitely put a smile on my face. "You guys all came?" I asked as I leaned in and gave them quick hugs before I saw a security person making his way over to me. "I can use a drink," I finished as I jumped into the passenger seat and closed the door.

"Oh, we're getting drinks," Darlene replied as she put her car into drive. "We're going back to Jessica's and we're all sleeping over there."

"Nobody better be able to walk after how much we plan to drink," Anna added.

I nodded. If I was going to get that drunk, I was hiding my phone. Knowing myself, I would end up texting Scott and text screaming at him in a completely non cohesive manner.

I called my mom while in the car and caught her up to speed. I was actually really excited to catch up with my parents. Not only did I move out, but I moved across the country. I didn't realize what a transition it was, especially since I didn't go away to college.

I texted Scott after hanging up with my mom. "Darlene picked me up. We're all heading to Jessica's. I'll see you tomorrow. I love you."

He answered back right away. "I love you, too. Can't wait to kiss you!"

I rolled my eyes. If he couldn't wait to kiss me, why wasn't he here kissing me? I put my phone away and before I could even say a word, Jessica dramatically asked what was wrong.

"Nothing," I replied.

"Shut up, I saw that eye roll."

I let out a sigh. "Well," I began and then I told them about the Scott situation. I was so tired of talking about something that really didn't feel like anything.

They were all super supportive and insisted that we'd have so much fun that night so I would forget about the whole ordeal. I still just had a bad feeling about the whole thing.

But I did put it out of my mind. I drank so much wine that the night became blurry, but the next morning, as I scrolled through Instagram, I was reminded of it.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Need Some Accounting

I was sitting at my desk, bored out of my mind, on a Wednesday. I had made some calls, responded to all my emails, and it was still an hour until I was set to leave for lunch with Shelby.

I got up to fill my water bottle in the kitchen. I passed Pete's desk on the way there. It was empty, just like it had been all week. He was vacationing in Colorado. I would've thought his vacation was filled with bar hopping and camping with his fraternity brothers, but I know he was taking his daughter with him. I heard him trying to book some family friendly activities over the phone.

The Monday morning after the benefit dinner, I had gone to his office to thank him for the acknowledgment and the gift certificate. I had also decided I was going to insist he keep the gift certificate. Even though I really appreciated the gesture, he won it and I knew he wanted it.

He laughed in my face when I gave him my prepared speech. "Caroline," he said shaking his head. "I never really wanted it." I titled my head to the side, confused. "I have a nice condo here. I can cook myself some awesome eggs Benny. I figured it'd be nice for you and your boyfriend when he comes to visit."

"Oh," I said. He really caught me off guard. Don't get me wrong, it was still a really nice gesture. I just wasn't sure if I believed that he actually didn't want it or if he was trying to make me feel better about accepting it. "Well, thank you so much again! My birthday's in December and I think we're going to use it then."

"Glad to hear it," Pete replied as he spun in his chair and stood up to walk to a filing cabinet. "I was kind of selfish in giving it to you, too. If I had kept it, my date would've been all over the hints about wanting me to take her." He found the file he was looking for a shut the drawer. "A night in a hotel room would've definitely given her the wrong message."

Pete had never talked to me about his love life, so I wasn't completely sure what an appropriate response was. "So you guys aren't serious, I'm guessing."

Pete sat back in his seat and dropped the file on his desk. "Nope, not serious. I just have too much love to give, you know?"

I couldn't help it. I actually rolled my eyes at him. Besides, I think we were at that point in our work relationship.

"I sincerely hope you don't tell girls that," I replied.

"Do I look like an idiot?" He asked as he arched an eyebrow at me. "If I had, I would've been stabbed by now. Not that I haven't been close."

I laughed so loud that I immediately covered my mouth. The idea of a scorned woman trying to stab Pete was hilarious to me for some reason.

"Well," I said as I composed myself somewhat. "I'll let you get back to work. Thank you again for the tickets, regardless of the reason you gave them to me."

"You are very welcome," he replied. "Now she me why you're my top employee right now!" With that, I smiled, nodded, and made my way back to my desk.

That was about a week and a half ago. Now, he wasn't in the office and the timing worked out perfect because I had no work to do. It was the beginning of the school year and, as it turns out, people aren't focused on finding a relationship at this time of year. I overheard some IT guys talking about it in the cafeteria. I didn't mind the break, though. I knew it would get busier with the upcoming holidays and I was taking a long weekend in New York.

When I got back to my desk, I called Scott. We hadn't talked all day and I don't know if it was just because work was so dead, but I really wanted to hear his voice.

He didn't answer his cell phone, so I called his work line. He answered on the third or fourth ring by stating his full name. He's such a professional.

"Hello, I need some accounting," I jokingly greeted.

There was silence for a few seconds before it clicked. "Hey, babe," he responded with zero enthusiasm.

"Rough day?" I asked. There had to be a reason for his cold tone.

"I'm just swamped," he replied, followed by silence.

"Well, I think I know a way I can cheer you up when I fly in tomorrow."

Scott sighed. He actually sighed at me hinting at our pending sexual activity.

"I guess I'll let you go then," I began before I waited for him to interrupt me with an apology or some kind words at the very least.

"I don't think I can take off Friday," he said instead. My heart sank a little. We were supposed to spend the whole day together. He had suggested going to the zoo followed by a baseball game at night.

"Oh," I began. "That's okay."

"And do you think Darlene can still pick you up from the airport?" He was just dropping bomb after bomb on me. Darlene had offered to pick me up Thursday night and we were all going to go to a bar to catch up over strong drinks. When I asked Scott, he had said that he couldn't wait to see me, so he'd pick me up and drive me to see them.

"I'll check," I replied. I was trying to take silent deep breathes to prevent myself from crying at this point. What was the matter with him?

"Okay, let me know," he said. "I gotta run. I'll text you later."

I managed to mutter a goodbye before practically slamming my phone down. Then, the tears came.