A 20-something girl and her 30-something best friend against the world! Follow Lucy Post, a flighty solo gal, and her snide best friend, Karma Knowles, through their quest for love and the indulgences of their obsessions. For Lucy it’s the one and only newly coveted designer – Eryn Carlo. For Karma it’s … well … it’s donuts. We can’t all be perfect. Quirky and fun – this story covers designers to donuts! Enjoy the trip with Lucy & Karma … and Eryn Carlo. (Bring your own donuts…)
***15 Days Left***
Hello friends & readers!
My how time flies!
My Kickstarter project launched on 6/30 and I’m half way to my goal deadline. Yikes!
I wont lie – I’m a wee bit nervous. Half way to deadline and I’m at a healthy 32% but you know, fear and doubt inevitably hover over my shoulders.
The reason I’m a tad worried?
With the help of supporters and backers I can finally hire a professional editor for my novel, Me & Eryn Carlo, that I began writing in December of 2011. An editor that I cannot afford on my own (sadly).
It would be a dream come true to publish my first book and I feel that a pro editor can truly help me to enhance the story overall.
Please view my Kickstarter project page and share with anyone – everyone! 🙂 No share is insignificant!
Remember you can always read some of the chapters for Me & Eryn Carlo here on this blog! And signing up to pledge is EASY if you use your Facebook login.
THANK YOU for stopping by!
***Kickstarter Project – One Week In***
The Kickstarter project I created to raise funds to edit my first novel has been live for one whole week now. =)
A HUGE THANK YOU TO THOSE THAT HAVE SHARED MY KICKSTARTER PROJECT SO FAR
TO THOSE WHO HAVE PLEDGED AS A BACKER.
If you would like to read more about the project please visit my Kickstarter page:
2 things to remember:
- Signing up for a Kickstarter/Amazon account is easy if you use your Facebook login.
- Chapters from Me & Eryn Carlo are posted here in this blog!
Please share with your friends!
My Kickstarter project has been live and running for 2 days now.
STATUS: 7% Funded! Not too shabby at all! 🙂
Thank you to all who have supported me with this project! And thank you to those who have shared my posts. Sharing is caring! ♥
Remember, chapters 1-11 are posted here on this blog!
Lucy, a flighty solo gal, & Karma, her snide best friend, embark on a quest for love & the indulgence of their obsessions!
Read more about my project at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/876570622/me-and-eryn-carlo-a-chick-flick-book
*Note* Signing up for a Kickstarter/Amazon account is easy if you use your Facebook login. 🙂
Thanks for reading!
Today was a great start with my Kickstarter project!
Live since this morning I’m already 3% of the way towards my funding goal!
Thank you to those who have viewed and shared the project page. 🙂
Every little bit helps! :o)
My Kickstarter page is LIVE!
I created a Kickstarter project because I need some helping raising the funds to edit my first novel “Me & Eryn Carlo” – any support you can provide is greatly appreciated!!
The link for my Kickstarter page is below – please check it out and share with your friends!
Thanks for everything!!
Connie M. Chyle
Hello readers! 🙂
It’s been a while since I’ve posted but it’s only because I’ve been pouring my heart and soul into finishing Me & Eryn Carlo. I’m very excited to say that it’s finally ready for a professional edit.
However, in order to hire the editor I feel will do the best possible job I’ll need to raise funds. I created a Kickstarter project and it’s due to launch on Sunday, June 30th!
If you have enjoyed the chapters I’ve posted thus far please take a look at my project page.
Here is the preview link:
I will add a new blog post tomorrow when the Kickstarter project is LIVE! 😀
I appreciate any support you can bestow upon me.
Every little bit helps!
As always, thank you for reading the chapters I’ve posted of my first novel Me & Eryn Carlo!
Chapter 11 – Welcome to Blahdom
Saturday, January 7th, 2012
My feelings and emotions are wildly conflicted so I’m spending the weekend alone. I sent Karma a text message early this morning to bail out of tonight’s dinner. I inform her that I’m not feeling well enough to go out. Karma is, of course, sure that I’m lying.
She knows me well.
She’s also less than pleased that I’m cancelling out same-day. However, I explained that I’m just not in the entertaining type of mood and that’s that. I am certainly not ready to talk to her regarding my troubles with Jim. Partially because I know exactly what she would say. After all, she’s Karma. She’s brutal and blunt.
I’m not ready for that.
In short, I am a hot mess, for lack of a better term, and need to be confined in the strict privacy of my abode.
Patrick, the sweetheart he is, was kind enough to send a delivery boy over with some get-well donuts for me. I love that man and fully support any relationship he wishes to pursue with my BFF. The donuts are magical. They’re warm and sugary and I just want to bury my face in their doughy goodness.
What? Too much?
Alright well I surely cannot allow freshly baked marble iced donuts to go to waste. They would stand in as breakfast.
By time the evening rolls around I’ve watched the Mission Impossible movies (I don’t care how crazy Tom Cruise is now. I still love watching him.) and I caught a few daytime shows.
Saturday nights are prime nights to order out so when the evening rolls in I order a large pizza (all for myself) from the best Italian joint in the Ft. Lauderdale beach area. I’m being difficult when ordering because I’m just in the mood to be difficult (see why I need to stay home). What I’d like is three toppings but not piled on in layers. I want the pizza split in thirds: one third with extra cheese, the middle with spinach, and the last third with pepperoni. Times are rough. I have to have this pizza. Laugh if you must but the gent at the Italian restaurant is more than happy to accommodate the request. And, by the way, he says it has been done before. Here I am thinking I’m being original.
The pizza arrives and I shovel it in my mouth disregarding any cares for fat, grease, or carbs. It’s officially a fat day! You know, kind of like fat jeans or fat shirts – for those days when you feel especially bloated and well … fat.
Sitting on the floor with the pie box on my lap and cold beer by my side I eat and think, eat and obsess. Life is now complicated, just when I think everything was falling into place. But then again it always seems to get messy right before things start to pick up; when your life is on the teetering point of the rollercoaster, the part where your hands are in the hair and you’re ready to be free and enjoy the ride.
Sunday, January 8th, 2012
It’s a new day and I need to liven up my mood. Living by the beach certainly has health benefits. I’m taking a nice long walk on the soft sand to clear my mind. The fresh air and warm sunshine relaxes my body and calms the nerves. The sounds of crashing waves onto the shoreline grease the wheels in my head and inspire me to exercise a more flexible and fun subject – a new blog post.
I’ve been spending the day consuming pots of coffee, eating (fat day has rolled over), and creating new blog posts covering awesome Eryn Carlo clothes and accessories.
Saving the draft for Eryn Carlo’ brightly colored canvas totes, I run to the kitchen to check on my once-frozen vegetable lasagna in the oven.
“Oh!” I yell and run back to my phone. Incoming text! My phone has been so quiet this weekend that the whistle sound was music to my ears.
It’s a text from the infamous Jim Rhodes: Made it home. Still on for dinner tomorrow night? Looking forward to seeing you.
Strange that I haven’t heard from him until now. Zero communication all weekend but I wouldn’t dream of mentioning that right now. We’re not even an official item … yet. Or will we ever be? I sigh. It’s not like I had tried contacting him. Should I have? Maybe that’s why he didn’t keep in touch? Guys don’t think of that kind of stuff right? Maybe his family kept him busy.
Or his ex-girlfriend.
I groan, a frown creasing my forehead. What to do?
It takes me about half an hour to decide on what I should reply with. I decide on keeping it simple: Yes. Still on for dinner. Looking forward to seeing you too.
As far as he knows there are no issues so I don’t want to raise suspicions just yet. I need this opportunity to observe him. This is his chance to prove everyone wrong.
He informs me that our dinner reservations are set for 7pm and that he will pick me up at 6:45pm and not a second later.
Hmm. It sounds as if he missed me. But if he missed me why hadn’t I heard from him the last couple days.
Beauty sleep is definitely a priority tonight.
Out comes the nighttime beauty prep kit. While the Crest whitestrips do their job on my teeth I spray my hair with a wave enhancing concoction and twist sections of my hair, pinning them so they can stay put overnight. I crawl into bed and bury myself in the softness of the sheets and comforter. The scent of eucalyptus spearmint envelopes me and pulls me gently into a peaceful slumber.
Monday, January 9th, 2012
I play with the decadent slice of velvety chocolate mousse cake between us. “What’s taking so long for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the fashion column proposal? Why February?”
“Sweetheart I told you. They just need more time.” He shifts uncomfortably in his seat. “Have I told you yet how pretty you look tonight? I missed you.”
I smile and try to ignore the lurking, nagging, warning voice in the back of my mind. “Thank you. That is really sweet. I missed you too. I’m glad you’re back.”
“Me too.” He caresses my hand.
I press forward. “So, I know that you said they need additional time but when did you send it to them?”
“Soon after you gave it to me. Why? Are you doubting me?” He sets his fork down a little too heavily.
“No, it’s not that. Of course it’s not that.”
“Ok then what is it?” He’s in defense mode leaning back in his chair, arms crossed.
Wow. “Well, it’s just that I ran into one of the VPs in the elevator and thanked him for the opportunity. He looked at me with a blank stare so I was thinking maybe he hasn’t seen my article yet. I’m not trying to be pushy. I’m curious – it’s my nature.”
“What? Why did you do that?!”
“Why not? I wanted to say thank you. I’m extremely grateful. I also figured mentioning it would help to bring it to the forefront of their mind. That’s all. It was sincere. Promise.”
“You can’t just do that, Lucy!” Restaurant patrons glance in our direction.
“Don’t yell at me.” I speak low to avoid attracting further attention.
The waitress clears the table and leaves the check. She’s probably hoping it moves us out quickly so we can continue our disagreement elsewhere.
“Yes you are, Jim. I don’t understand why you’re angry with my thanking the VP. More people should say it.”
“I sure hope you didn’t ruin anything.”
“Look. Let’s get out of here.” He drops some cash on the table and stands to leave.
We drive back to my apartment in silence and instead of parking he pulls up to the front of the building.
“Would you like to come in?” I ask, trying to salvage the evening. Why? I’m not sure. With the attitude he’s imparting I should just get out of the car and not bother looking back. He’s hiding something – hence why he is annoyed with me.
“No. I’m going to go home.”
This may be a new relationship but I’m hurt. New or old, being treated like this is never enjoyable. Our first argument. I suppose it was inevitable. “Why don’t you want to stay?”
“Because this night has gone completely downhill.” He won’t even look at me.
“So you’re just going to leave angry? I hear that’s not healthy.” I attempt to reach for his hand but he begins fidgeting with the radio.
“No. I’m not angry.” He turns his cold stare toward me and speaks smoothly, “I’m awesome.” And there it is, ladies and gentlemen. Sarcasm and insult. Daggers in the form of words.
“I see.” Tears sting my eyes. I climb out of his luxury car and turn to say goodbye but he’s already leaving the driveway.
I stand there frozen for some time thinking about the evening. I try to justify Jim’s behavior.
Maybe he was tired from traveling? Is that really a valid excuse?
What do I believe? Who do I believe?
And do I really have the right to be upset with him for seeing someone else?
No. He’s not officially my boyfriend.
However, I was hoping he liked me enough to want to stop spending time with others. I know in my gut what the right answer is but I don’t want to consider it. Not right now. So I ignore the feelings and walk up to my apartment. I pour a nightcap and sit at my desk staring out at the vast dark ocean.
I call out of work on Tuesday and Wednesday and ignore all calls from coworkers, even Karma. I ignore life in general.
Jim neglects to make amends or put forth any effort into contacting me.
I can’t say I’m surprised.
Instead of resorting to excessive moping, I lean on my passion. It’s always there waiting for me in the background – my love for Eryn Carlo. I post blog entries on Eryn Carlo jewelry, clutches, handbags, shoes, and anything and everything else to do with Eryn Carlo. That Band-Aid will cover the emotional wounds until Thursday morning. I’ll have to face reality whether I like it or not. My paycheck is-a-calling.
Chapter 10 – Warnings
Friday, January 6th, 2012
This morning I wake up to more than a few romantic text messages from Jim. His flight has already taken off and I miss him terribly. I reply to his texts with my own sweet nothings and smile when I picture him reading my responses. Is it too soon to begin counting down the hours until I will see him again?
Karma is planning a dinner for Saturday night where I will finally meet the one, the only, the infamous Prince of Dough. In all seriousness, I’m very much looking forward to meeting Patrick because any guy that makes Karma this happy? Well he’s 100% golden in my book.
It’s a chill Friday in the workplace so I’m wandering up to the third floor to see if Rebekah is in today. I figure a follow-up happy hour is in order. And there she is with her platinum smile.
“Rebekah! Long time no see!” I lean against her desk and set down a napkin holding a few donuts from Karma’s donut assortment of the day. “They’re filled with raspberry jelly. Happy new year, girlie.”
“Hi Lucy! Thanks! Happy new year to you too!” She smiles in return but seems a tad bit uneasy.
“You okay?” Maybe I’m getting to close? I ease away from the desk.
“Sure! Yeah. Just a rough day. Jim is out and it has been really hectic here. I could use a solid drink right about now.” She bites into one of the donuts and nervously pushes papers around on her desk.
“That’s perfect because I actually came up here to see if you want to go to happy hour today. We could scoot out at five being that it’s Friday and all.”
“No um’s. Meet you downstairs at 5:15pm and not a minute later, lady.”
I’m probably being too pushy but I need to go out to get my head off of Jim for a few hours. And besides that Rebekah looks as if something is troubling her. It’s just not healthy to hold drama in, you know.
When I return to my desk my phone is ringing off the hook. The caller id shows that it’s an internal call. No, don’t cancel on me, Rebekah. Please.
“Hello, Lucy Post.” It takes extra effort to make my voice sound cheery.
“Lucy, its Eric. May I see you in my office, please?”
“Sure. Be right in.”
Eric is standing, staring out of his floor to ceiling office windows.
“Hey Eric, what’s up?”
“Oh, no that’s ok. I’m alright standing.”
“Please sit down, Lucy.”
“Uh oh. Are you firing me?” I begin to sweat as I sit in the hard leather chair in front of his desk.
“Give me a break. You’re one of my best and favorite employees, Lucy.”
“I am?” This is news to me, for sure.
He lets out a short laugh. “Yes.”
“Okay. Well … thank you, Eric.”
“I want to talk to you about something that is concerning me.”
“Did I do something wrong?”
“Will you just let me speak?” Exasperated he sits at his desk and clasps his hands.
“Yes. Sorry. I-“
“Okay, I-“ I swear he’s starting to turn red at this point.
“…just want to say-“
“Are sealed.” Oops!
So maybe it’s best that I keep my mouth shut.
Once he sees that I’m tight-lipped, jaw clenched, and 100% done speaking he continues. “I just want to say that I’m hearing of a new addition to the rumor mill. This one just so happens to be about you.”
I nod ‘no’ demonstrating that I’m unaware of what he is telling me.
“You and Mr. Rhodes?”
The shake of my head this time communicates a cautious ‘yes’ with an added shoulder shrug.
“You can speak your acknowledgement.”
“Yes I’ve been seeing Jim, er, Mr. Rhodes. Just recently.”
“Lucy, look.” Eric takes a long deep breath. “I’m not fond of having this conversation. In fact, our HR department should be included. This is merely a private exchange, though, as I have a high regard for you. You’re a smart woman and a valuable asset to Sunny News. You know that right?”
“I do. Thank you for the kind words.”
“I don’t want to see that ruined by an interoffice relationship. It’s, uh, always best to keep your professional life separate from your personal life.”
“With all due respect, Eric, I don’t believe this new relationship with Mr. Rhodes, not that it’s an official relationship yet, has affected my work at all.”
“It hasn’t. That’s not why I’m discussing this with you.”
“Then why?” I’m completely lost. I’ve been so careful with this situation. I haven’t spent time with Jim at work besides that one lunch date at the salad joint. All of my work is caught up and I’ve been proactive with follow-ups and tasks that hadn’t even been assigned to me yet.
“Jim Rhodes has a … reputation.” Eric says slowly, gaging my response as each syllable leaves his mouth. He winces. “This isn’t easy for me, Lucy.”
“A reputation?” To say that I’m completely bewildered is an understatement. “Of course. He’s intelligent and brings a lot of talent to this company. He does an excellent job. Doesn’t he?”
“I’m not talking about his favored professional reputation. I mean a reputation with …” He dabs sweat off of his forehead with a handkerchief.
“With?” I raise both eyebrows in question.
“With women, Lucy.”
My shoulders sink. “What?” I shake my head vehemently. “No. You’re wrong, Eric.”
“I’m sorry but that rumor and his reputation are factual. It’s all valid.”
“It can’t be.”
“I’m sorry. I just don’t want it to severely affect you. I don’t want to see you hurt. He’s not a good guy to date. And you really shouldn’t fraternize.”
“I don’t want to hear it. How would you even know all of this?”
“Lucy, I’m just trying to help you because I respect you.”
“Why are you telling me this? Are you jealous? Or are you afraid this will affect my work in the long run? Do you think it’ll make other women jealous and cause internal disputes? I’m more than caught up with my assignments. I’ve helped others with their work. I’ve been proactive!” Now I’m really heated. “This isn’t fair, Eric. You have no right to intervene in my personal life!”
“Lucy, calm down. No, I am not jealous. I am coming to you as a friend and as your boss. I’m just giving you advice I feel you should have. Jim is not a good egg when it comes to commitment. You’re a grown woman so you can make your own choices. Just …” He walks around the desk and looks me dead in the eye. “Just please be careful. That’s all I’m saying.”
“Well, I appreciate your concern. Are we done?”
“Yes. We are done. You may go.”
“Thanks.” My hands shaking I push myself out of the steady chair and make my way toward Eric’s office door.
“Yes?” I say without turning around to face him. “Why don’t you start the weekend early? Take the rest of the day off?”
“No thank you. I’m fine.” I refuse to let him see the tears welling up in my eyes. Why, for once, can’t I just be happy without it being ruined by someone? My throat feels tight and I want to collapse somewhere, alone. I don’t want to believe Eric even though I have no compelling reason to doubt his word.
I run to the nearest bathroom and lock myself into the roomier handicap stall. Trying to keep my sniffling and sobs quiet I press my face into handfuls of toilet paper.
Rebekah is sitting solo at the bar when I arrive. While I was composing myself in the bathroom where I broke down I was sure to send her a note explaining that I’d be a little late to our ‘happy’ hour.
Oh we’re going to be a wonderfully dynamic duo tonight. Rebekah looks beyond distressed and I’m still puffy and red from weeping. I slap a smile on my face and approach my anxious friend. She takes a long sip of her lemon-drop martini.
“Hi there.” My gloomy tone betrays my grin.
“Hey Lucy.” She drains the glass.
“Boy we sound like a happy couple huh?”
“Ohhh yeah we are.” She signals the bartender for another round.
“So, should I get us a table so we can talk about our lovely days?”
“Sure. Good idea. A booth if they have one.”
“No problem. Be right back. You just keep drinking.”
The hostess secures a nice booth in a quiet area that just happens to look over the ocean.
Rebekah appears to be on a mission to either forget something or she’s fueling up with alcohol to encourage bravery. I mean, double-fisting martinis? I can feel her hangover pains already. She sets down her glasses and slides into the booth.
“They must serve really good lemon-drops here.”
She gives a slight laugh. “I know it’s a little much but after today…and you know, I’m normally not a fruity martini kind of gal.”
“Sounds delicious.” The waitress swings around for my drink order. “Cosmopolitan, please.”
“So are you okay? Your eyes are all red.”
“Tough day but I’m alright. Better now. Thank you.”
“I’m sorry you had a rough day.” Rebekah offers a weak smile.
“Thank you.” I pause to take a deep breath. “Alright, what are you not telling me, missy? What’s up? You seemed a little on edge earlier today … and now.”
“Yeah.” She pushes her hair back out of her face. “I’m sorry about that. We both had harsh days apparently.” She throws back one of her martinis.
“And that’s exactly what I intend to do to my Cosmo as soon as it gets here. No mercy.” I giggle.
“I plan to gulp it down and let it erase the crappiness of today.” I smile when the waitress drops it off and order a ginormous plate of loaded nachos.
“Cheers.” Rebekah holds her glass up.
“Cheers, Rebekah. To a better day tomorrow.”
I begin telling her about my impromptu meeting with Eric and his warning against Jim and how preposterous the whole situation really is. That none of it can possibly be true because Jim seems so perfectly happy with me.
She guzzles her remaining martini. I watch in awe. “You might wanna take it easy there. Those martinis sneak up on you. I’d be passed out on the floor right now.”
“Look,” she swallows hard, “I’ve been kind of avoiding you.”
“What?” Points for the honesty but ouch.
“I mean I’ve been staying away from you because this isn’t my business.”
“Drink your Cosmo first. I insist.”
“Um, okay.” I gulp down half of it and make the face. You know, the ‘holy crap this is one strong drink’ face. “Ah, this is just what I need. I can feel the alcohol mollifying every tense muscle.” I close my eyes savoring the tingling feeling that spreads throughout my body.
“Drink the rest. Please.” She demands nicely.
“Yes ma’am. But only because I want to know what the deal is.” I finish my Cosmo as requested and scrunch up my face. Feeling confident I can handle any news Rebekah has to deliver I slam my hand on the table. “Okay. Hit me with it. What’s bothering you? Did I do something wrong?”
“He’s been hitting on a new girl in the HR department. I saw him talking to her a few times and there are rumors…”
“Mr. Rhodes.” She looks away, unable to meet my gaze.
“What the –“
“There’s an ‘and’?”
“Yes. And I am certain he’s been seeing his ex-girlfriend.”
“Stop for a second please.” I dig through my bag for my emergency stash of cigarettes. I light one up and take a long drag.
“You smoke?” Rebekah asks wide-eyed.
“Irrelevant at this moment don’t you think?”
“You’re right. Completely irrelevant. Can I have one too?”
I push the pack and lighter to her.
“Don’t mention it.”
“Lucy, I know that you like him. I do. I can clearly see that you’re falling in love with him. But I’m sorry to say … Eric is right.”
What am I supposed to say to this?
“I’m not even sure he went to visit family this weekend. I suspect that he’s in New York right now visiting his ex. I heard from one of the columnists that he doesn’t have family in New York.”
“Oh my gosh!” I cover my face with my hands. “Enough! None of this can be true. None of it is true. He’s different. He’s sweet, romantic. He’s wonderful, Rebekah. He’s my Mr. Right. I’ve seen no reason not to believe that he’s into me. And we’re not even officially dating so he doesn’t even have to explain anything to me at this point.”
“Yes he does.”
“Oh yeah? And why’s that?”
“Did you sleep with him?”
“So it’s an unwritten rule. If he sleeps with you then he has to tell you what other relationships he has in the works.”
I laugh out loud to that. “This isn’t high school, Rebekah.”
She sighs … and burps. “Ooo. Excuse me.” We try to resist the immaturity of giggling but give in to it.
The waitress, uncertain about interrupting, asks us if we need another round but keeps her distance from the table.
“Yes please.” We say in unison.
“I am sorry, Lucy. I hate having to do this but-“
“Oh now there’s a ‘but’?”
“But there’s something else.”
“Great! I can’t wait to hear. Please, by all means, don’t stop now.”
“I won’t say it if you don’t want to hear anymore. I’m just trying to help.”
I light up another cigarette.
“Look, I know that we haven’t been friends for a long time but I do care about you. And I’m not lying, I swear.”
“I know. I realize this isn’t your fault, Rebekah.” I rub my forehead in frustration. This is just too much to take in all in one day. “I just feel like I’ve finally found something perfect with someone special. Now all of a sudden everyone is trying to sabotage it.” And here comes the downpour of tears thick with confusion and pain.
“Nothing is perfect, Lucy.”
“Ugh!” I signal the waitress. “Another Cosmo please. If you can you make it stronger than the last one that would be great.”
“Sure thing sweetie. I’ll grab some tissues for you too. Be right back.”
“Thank you so much.” I cry lightly.
“Is there more, Rebekah? I’d rather know everything now.”
“Are you sure?”
“You mean there really is more? This is one unhappy happy hour.”
The waitress drops off our drinks and says, “It’s on the house,” with an empathetic smile.
“He never sent your article forward to the VPs.”
I gasp. “What?” I whisper, trying to keep myself in control. “But he said he did and that …”
“Yes, I know what he told you but what he did was the opposite.”
“What’d he say exactly?”
“He told me to ‘file it somewhere.’ Those were his exact words. And I did it. I feel horrible, Lucy. The guilt has been weighing on me every day. I had to tell you. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I’m not that type of person.”
“What do I do now? This is a nightmare.”
“What do you do? That’s obvious.” She replies innocently.
“Yes. Do what you feel is right in your heart. Cliché, I know.”
“I will. But I’d like to hear his side of the story. Perhaps he can explain just what the hell is going on.”
Chapter 9 – Walking on Clouds
The next morning … oh the next morning is wonderful. I wake up at noon feeling like I slept on cloud nine. Jim might as well change his name to Prince Charming because he certainly acted the part last night. New Year’s Eve was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time. It was so romantic! Exciting! A whirlwind! The closer midnight drew near the more I found myself dreading the conclusion of the night.
I sigh loudly while waiting for fresh java to brew, the aroma intoxicates my senses. I close my eyes and recall how Jim felt against me when we danced and my breath catches when I remember the kiss. The midnight kiss. We are counting down the last ten seconds of the year excitedly (and tipsily), he pulls me close, dips me back in slow motion, one of his hands on my back and the other cradling my head, and then he kisses me softly. We rise oh so slowly.
Wow … I realize I’m puckering my lips just remembering the exact moment.
I lean against the counter feeling like a remnant from the Cinderella fairytale. I’m so lost in thought that the hammering knock on my apartment door startles me. I tie my cherry blossom silk robe and check the peep-hole.
Flowers! I fling the door open smiling like an absolute fool.
“Hi, are you Lucy Post?” The indifferent uniformed man asks.
I squeal. “Oh. Sorry. Yes, that’s me!”
The flower delivery guy maintains his look of boredom. He must hear a lot of shrieking and crying. “Sign here please.”
“How many people hug you?” I have to ask.
“Ohh a lot.” He murmurs, his eyes wide. He obviously doesn’t understand.
I swiftly sign for the flowers and hand the tablet back. He hands me the flowers and is gone in a hurry.
A beautiful bouquet of joyful daisies! I set them on the kitchen counter and read the message attached:
Good morning, Lucy. I had the most wonderful time with you last night. Thank you for bringing in the new year with me. Would love to see you again. Dinner? Wednesday? ~Jim~
I am a true female. Holding the note to my heart I sink down into my couch grinning. The look on my face must be ridiculous but I don’t care. I could be falling in love! Who cares about how silly it is? I’m so ready to feel that rush again. It’s been far too long but my heart hasn’t forgotten the way.
Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Even though our office is closed today Karma and I are still meeting for our Monday morning coffee chat. Of course this time we have so much more to gush about.
Our New Year’s Eve dates. Both of us are completely smitten.
“I told you, Lucy. Patrick is the one.” She clasps her hands together.
“I’m overjoyed for you, Karma. It’s been a long time coming.”
“Definitely. The tricky part is making it last.”
“If it’s meant to be then it will last, my friend.”
“I want to see him every minute of every day, Luce. I cannot stop thinking about him!”
“Aww. When are you going to see him again?”
“Hey me too! I mean, I’m not seeing Patrick but Jim is taking me to dinner.”
“Oh very nice. Jim is so handsome. I’m sure you two look hot together.”
“Lucky us huh? We are starting the year off right.” Karma holds up her coffee. “Cheers, darling.”
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Jim stands before me holding the most breathtaking red roses.
Hmm. First he brings me white daisies symbolizing simplicity and humility. And now we’re speeding right along to the heavy stuff: red roses that represent love and passion.
“You deserve flowers every day.” He kisses me on the cheek.
“Good answer mister.” That kiss alone makes the apartment seem a little warmer. Okay, a lot warmer.
“Are you blushing?” He cocks his head to one side.
“What? No. I’m just a little flushed from blow drying my hair.” After taking care of my roses I grab my divine new animal print Eryn Carlo clutch and follow Jim out the door.
“Okay, if you insist.”
“What are you in the mood for?” I have to change the subject.
He angles his eyebrow.
“For dinner. I’m thinking dinner.” I wink.
“Oh dinner. Right. I have a place in mind. Nice quaint restaurant by the beach.” He rubs my arms while we wait for the elevator.
“Sounds wonderful. Seafood?”
“But of course.”
“It’s my favorite word.”
“I kind of picked that up.”
“Well, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.” I stop. “Is it?”
“No, not a truly horrible thing. But here are some alternates. Amazing. Terrific…”
I place a finger on his lips. “Read a thesaurus lately?”
He removes my finger from his silky lips and kisses it. The very breath I’m drawing in catches in my throat. “No.” He trails kisses down my hand, my wrist, my forearm. They are the warmest, lightest kisses that make me dizzy beyond belief.
There we stand in the hallway of my apartment building, staring at each other, need in our eyes. It’s just like a Harlequin novel! Except much less cornier.
He wraps my arms around his neck and I finally exhale. (Good thing I just brushed my teeth before he arrived.) Pulling my face closer he plants kisses on my cheeks and then my neck. “How are you?” He asks.
“You are what?” His mouth hovers by my bare shoulder. This strapless dress seems to weigh heavy on me all of a sudden. The door to my apartment is so close yet so far away and my will is weakening rapidly. Where is that elevator?
Meaning to give a small laugh I whimper instead. Control, Lucy! I reprimand myself for allowing this to continue, for even considering giving in to him, but it just feels so damn incredible. “I am awesome.”
“You are something.” His hands now rest on my cheeks.
A moment passes while his thumbs caress my cheeks.
What is wrong with me? I’m about to practically hand him nookie on a silver platter. I should make him wait.
My three-date rule is flying out the window in a hurry but I just can’t say no. How could I? Call me weak and easy if you will but in my defense – his scent of man, that cool cologne, his confident demeanor, those clothes that accentuated his assets just right … there was no fighting it. So you see, it’s not my fault.
“Oh for Heaven’s sake, would you kiss me already?” I blurt out.
And he does. He kisses me very well. So well that we don’t make it to the intimate dinner on the water. So well that my favorite spot by the windows facing the ocean are our reserved spot for the night.
Jim. Me. Take-out. A few bottles of wine. And one hell of a busy night.
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Fortunately for Karma and I today is a slow workday. Both of our heads are high up in the clouds, both of us infatuated with our guys.
I delve into my “Me & Eryn Carlo” blog so my brain can focus elsewhere.
Today’s post will be based off of an Eryn Carlo email I received yesterday. It introduces the exhilarating arrival of new super-cute soft sweaters in bold shades. The featured sweater is a divine flamingo pink. I have the perfect lipgloss to match that shade of pink, too.
Unable to stop thinking about my white knight, I send him an email saying hello and also add a ‘p.s.’ asking if he’s heard anything back on my fashion column request. I do this so he can see that I am capable of mixing business with pleasure. It’s not that difficult, is it?
Suffering from an acute dose of optimism I only expect good news regarding my sample article. So I start working on a new one titled “Are Polka-Dots a Spotty Fashion Trend?” I’m so deep in concentration that the ring of my telephone scares the life out of me.
“Hello, Lucy Post.” I answer quickly.
I know that voice. “Jim?”
“But of course. Who else has a voice this sexy?” I can hear the grin in his voice.
“Only you.” I whisper.
“Okay ego-maniac.” I joke.
“So, I checked on your article this morning.”
“Annnnd?” I tense up and cross my fingers. Please be good news.
“They need more time.”
“Oh. More time? Okay. Did they say why?”
“Yes. They expect to set their full attention on your idea in February.”
“But that’s a month away.” I feel so discouraged but I try not to come across as whiny.
“Look, don’t get upset, Lucy. The fact that they’re even considering it is a huge deal. Be happy with that for now. If we don’t hear anything substantial in February then we’ll push forward.”
“Don’t worry, okay? We still have a chance to push this through.”
“Yeah. You’re right.”
“One more thing. I have to go out of town this weekend. I’m actually leaving tomorrow morning but I’d love to see you next week.”
“Really? Where you headed to?” So I’m not sure if I’m allowed to ask him where he’s going since technically we’re not in an official relationship but I did it anyways.
“Just visiting some family, it being a new year and all. I figured I’d squeeze a visit in since I didn’t see them too much during the holidays.”
“Sounds really nice. I hope you have a great time. Safe travels and all that fun stuff.”
“Thank you, Lucy.”
“You’re welcome, Jim.”
Enter awkward silence.
“Lucy, are you okay?”
“Yeah. Just a little disheartened.”
“Over the article? Sweetheart, stuff like this takes time. Trust me.”
“Sweetheart?” I smile.
“Yes. You don’t like that?”
“Are you kidding? I love it. You can call me sweetheart anytime.”
“Alright then, sweetheart. I have a lot to finish up today but I can’t wait to see you again next week. Monday?”
“Monday is perfect. I’m already looking forward to it with great anticipation.”
“Me too. Okay. Until then.”
“Until then. Bye Jim.”
As I hang up the phone I sigh like a lovesick teenager. And I can feel Karma’s eyes burning into me. Spinning around I see her smiling. “He’s so into you.” She says.
“And how would you know that?”
“Uh only because you have your headset volume set to D-E-A-F Con 1 and I hear everything.”
“Oh my gosh, you are so corny, Karma. D-E-A-F Con? Real funny.”
“I’ll be playing here all week.”
“Anyway. Yeah. I really like him.”
“I see that. You’re blushing.”
“He has that effect on me.” I rub my cheeks and it just makes them more red as I remember last night in the hallway. “I’m afraid, though.”
“Well look at him? He’s so attractive and successful. He’s practically a walking target. I’m sure women flock to him waiting for the opportune moment to tranquilize and tag him.”
“You can’t think like that. Even though the visual I just had of tranquilizing and tagging Jim was enjoyable.”
“I know, right? Back to the subject – it’s hard not to think like that you know?”
“What’d you misplace your confidence?” She grabs my hand. “Now stop acting a girl.”
“Oh real nice heart-to-heart, Karma.”
“You can always count on me. Anyways, he’ll only be gone for the weekend right?”
“Yes, just a couple of days. He’s leaving tomorrow to visit family.”
“So I heard. Want to hang with me and Patrick? Let’s do dinner and drinks. I really want you to meet him.”
“Are you sure? I don’t know. I’d feel like a third wheel.”
“Well you wouldn’t be. Come on. I’ll set it up. He’s looking forward to meeting you finally. I talk about you all the time.”
“You do not!”
“Sadly I do! You’re my best friend. Of course I talk about you.”
“Don’t you worry, I said all good things.” Karma shoves a box at me. “Here, have an iced lemon donut. You’ll feel better.”
“You and your donuts…”
How appropriate is this chapter? 🙂 Wishing you all a very happy, exciting, and safe New Year’s Eve! Best of luck, love, & health in 2013!
Thank you for reading, Friends. xo
Chapter 8 – New Year’s Eve
Saturday, December 31st, 2011
Karma and I are shopping for our New Year’s Eve dresses today.
She always has good luck at Express when it comes to finding cocktail dresses. Me? I usually have to search around. I really want to find a dress by Eryn Carlo so I can blog about it afterward.
Karma settles on a strapless red satin dress that hits just above her knees. The fit is immaculate, as if the dress was made for only her silhouette. She looks stunning. Instead of adding multiple accessories Karma purchases a pair of high strappy heels in what I can only describe as an airy, iridescent shade of gold.
“Ok now you’re turn.” She says and grabs me by the hand. “Eryn Carlo right?”
“You know it.”
“Then we need Macy’s.” She squeezes my arm. “But first, coffee. Peppermint Mocha Lattes on me.”
“Oh it’s my lucky day!” I laugh. “Can I have whip cream on mine too?”
“Of course. You’ve been well-behaved.”
Peppermint Mocha Lattes in hand we make our way to Macy’s. “I was thinking some simple. The classic LBD.”
“A little black dress? You don’t want anything sparkly or covered in sequins? It’s New Year’s Eve.”
“Sure but I also want to be able to wear this dress again many times over.”
“I hear ya. Little black dress it is.”
Finding the Eryn Carlo section is easy since I’m naturally able to gravitate towards it. It’s like a sixth sense or built-in radar.
I grab every little black dress in my size by EC and pile them into a dressing room. Karma parks herself in a chair nearby ready to judge each one. I’m required to come out and show her no matter how terrible they may look.
The first three are too casual; extremely cute but more for suitable for daytime wear. Another LBD I try on is too puffy and makes me think ‘prom’ and corsages.
“Okay. I LOVE that one, Luce.”
I’m standing in front of a three-way mirror in a one shoulder little black dress that fits me very nicely in all the right spots. A pleated shimmering black layer hangs from the neckline down to the waist. The dress is just right, just what I was looking for. Accessories will certainly maximize its potential.
“I have to have it.”
“I can help you do the side chignon if you want?”
“Really? Are you sure you’ll have time?”
“For you? Yes I’ll make time. I can come over earlier. You’re being picked up by the handsome Mr. Rhodes at six and Patrick and I aren’t heading out until 7:30. I’ll have plenty of time.”
I give her a huge hug. “Oh thank you! Thank you!”
“You’re welcome babe. Now, we’ll have to get you some strappy heels and bad ass earrings to wear.”
Luckily I find everything I need to complete my outfit at Macy’s: sleek black pumps covered in sequins along with a matching clutch and super thin, silver oblong hoops that each hold a dangling onyx jewel.
“One more stop.” Karma mentions after I check out.
“Oh yeah? What else do we need?”
“Victoria’s Secret.” She winks.
“Ah ha! Tonight’s the night?” I screech a little too loudly.
“Shh. I think so. I mean I hope so. I’m not looking for any super sexy lingerie. Just a classic bra and panty set.”
“I think that is just right. You don’t want to get too crazy with the lingerie the first time. Ya gotta set expectations properly.”
Karma gives me the one raised eyebrow look. “You’re joking.”
“I am not. Been there done that. Won’t make the mistake again.”
Karma stares at me for a moment with skepticism in her eyes.
“I’m just sharing my experience, that’s all. True story.”
“Well, we both know you meet some weird guys.”
“Yes I do. I have a knack for attracting the crazies.”
“Maybe you should get a bra and panty set too?”
“Me? I don’t know. That won’t be happening tonight, girlie. We’re going out as friends.”
“Friends. Right. He asked you out. On a major holiday. And you’re buying a new dress and shoes and accessories.”
“Yes to all of the above.”
“Honey, guys don’t ask you out on New Year’s Eve and expect to be friends. That just doesn’t happen.”
“Well he agreed.”
“Uh, well he lied.”
“Stop being right. It’s irritating.”
“I have to. Otherwise you’d be getting into all sorts of trouble because you believe in the fairytale love. Listen. He likes you. You like him. He’s newly single. He has a great job. I say go with the flow. Keep an open mind.”
“Again, please cut it out with the ‘being right’ crap.”
“Here, try on this bra.” She tosses me a gold satin bra encrusted with multi colored rhinestones that promises to add three cup sizes. Three cup sizes?! Isn’t that false advertising?
I hold the bra and consider it for a moment. Technically I can use all the help I can get in that department.
“Well, it is gorgeous. But the straps aren’t removable. I’m wearing a one shoulder dress remember?” She gives me the blank stare waiting for me to say more. “Alright alright. I’ll try it on but I can’t wear it with the dress I bought.”
“Yes! I win!”
Just so you’re aware, this bra works cleavage miracles! However, I pass on the miracle bra since I don’t really need it.
We part outside the mall agreeing to meet at my place at 4:30.
I go home and paint my nails a shimmery silver. I had planned to stop at the nail salon but the last of today’s spending budget went to the mall. “The mani and pedi must be sacrificed,” Karma tells me. Once the polish is dry on both my hands and toes I lay down on the couch to rest my eyes. Next thing I know I hear pounding on my door.
“Lucy! Open up!” Someone keeps shouting my name in the hallway. My cell phone is ringing over and over.
I roll off of the couch and walk my zombie self to the door. I glance at the time on the microwave. “Oh my God!” I whip open the door.
“I’ve been banging on your door for half an hour, Luce. What the heck? I almost called the police!” Karma is flustered and very angry.
“I’m so sorry, Karma! I fell asleep. I only meant to take a short nap and overslept. Obviously. Ugh! He’s going to be here in an hour!”
“You better get your butt in the shower. I’ll pick out your makeup and get the stuff ready for your hair. It won’t take too long. Don’t forget to shave.”
I kiss her on the cheek. “Thank you!” I begin undressing as I make my way to the shower. While I’m waiting for the water to get steamy hot I yell out of the bathroom. “Hey Karma!”
“Yeah?” I hear her call from my vanity desk.
“Cocktail! A strong one. Please!”
“Yes ma’am. I’m on it.”
In 45 minutes I’m dressed up and ready to go, not to mention extremely tipsy. Have I mentioned that Karma concocts exquisite cocktails? She wishes me luck and zips out the door a few minutes before Jim arrives.
Ding dong! Ding dong!
I evaluate my reflection in the hall mirror once more. Smokey eyes and baby pink lip gloss. The silver hoops hanging weightlessly from my ears. Simple yet radiant.
I open the door and find Jim holding an exquisite bouquet of white roses and baby’s breath.
“Hello.” I grin and inhale the sweet scent of the freshly cut flowers. “Those roses are beautiful!”
“Wow. Thank you so much. They smell wonderful. I’ll put these in water and then we can head out. Come on in.”
“Sounds good.” He closes the door lightly behind him. “You look magnificent, Lucy.”
“Thank you. And so do you. Who helped you pick out that tie?” I joke. It’s the tie I helped him find during our first meeting.
“As a matter of fact a very experienced fashionista picked it out for me.”
He looks so sexy. His brown hair was tousled just so. Black suit, gray shirt, bold tie, and his cool crystal eyes. I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes off of him. “It’s superb. This fashionista knows what she’s doing.” I tease him as I set the vase of roses on the breakfast counter.
“My pleasure. Okay I am ready.” I grab my clutch and proceed to the door.
“A man of good manners you are.”
“My mother taught me well.”
“She certainly was.”
“So. What do you have planned for this evening?”
“Well we have six hours to burn. I have it all mapped out. Place number one, cocktails. Place number two, dinner and more cocktails. Lastly, place number three for the New Year’s Eve celebration.”
“Three different places?” My face clearly implies that I am awestruck. It’s difficult enough (and ridiculously expensive) to make a reservation for one place on New Year’s Eve but three places?
“Yes. That’s what will make it fun. One place could be boring for six hours, don’t you think?”
“I suppose so. I may need a red bull somewhere around place number three I think. Maybe we should cab it tonight.”
“Lucy. I’ve got us covered.”
“Okay. I will leave it all up to you. It seems like you know what you’re doing.”
“Good. Trust me. We’re going to have a terrific time.”
“I have no doubt.”
New Year’s Eve is the perfect temperature. A refreshing warm breeze is rolling in from the Atlantic but there’s also a slight coolness in the air. This is when Floridians truly love Florida. We can deal with the brutal summer heat and brave through our “winters” but make it warm with a fresh ocean-scented breeze and we’ll love you forever.
Exiting the building we are brought face to face with a glossy white limo with diamond flecks that reflect the surrounding lights. It may sound odd but let me tell you; in person it is as glorious as Prince Charming’s white horse.
I’m speechless, completely unable to find the words. I just look at him with astonishment written all over my face.
I feel like a princess!
How lucky am I tonight?