������������ Wednesday morning Garrett entered the hospital, coffee in hand.� As he was walking towards the elevator, the door opened and a girl emerged, walking straight into him.� Upon the impact of their bodies, his coffee was immediately thrown into the air.� In just one second,�the hot liquid�was everywhere - on both their shirts, pants, shoes and all over the floor.
����������� "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! I just wasn't looking where I was going." The girl looked extremely flustered.
����������� "It's fine," Garrett sighed, rolling his eyes.� "Except that now I have to go back to my hotel to change my clothes," he muttered under his breath.� "This is just great."
����������� "Well there's no need to get an attitude.� It was only an accident after all," she said, apparently trying to ameliorate things.� "Like I said, I'm really sorry."
����������� By now several people had noticed the strangers' unfortunate incident.� Instead of trying to help clean up the mess, everyone simply stared as Garrett and the stranger�finished their spat.
����������� "Whatever.� I'm leaving because I have more important things to do."� And with that he stalked away angrily, tossing his empty coffee cup into the nearest trash can.
����������� "What a jerk," Garrett heard one of the observers say..
����������� "Yeah that guy has some serious anger management issues," said another.
�������� ��� Well, it wasn't my fault, Garrett thought.
�������������� Ella was soaked to the skin.� She had made an effort to be nice and polite when some guy spilled coffee all over her, but he hadn't exactly returned the courtesy.� With no dry clothes to change into, she wasn't�in the best mood.�
�������������� Thankfully, just a few hours later Angie was ready to be discharged.� The Tonesdale's house was only a few minutes away so once the ride was over Ella was finally able to change her outfit.
����������� Wow it feels really good to be in fresh clothes, she thought.� Why does coffee have to be so gross?� At least the jerk was a stranger - Ella definitely wasn't planning on seeing him again.� She tried her hardest to think about something positive.
� ��������� It was almost lunchtime. Ella decided she should make something for her parents.
����������� "Hey what do you guys want for lunch?" she called to her mom and dad, who were watching TV in the living room.
����������� "How about a turkey sandwich for me and some soup for your mother."
����������� "Okay, sounds good.� Everything'll be ready in ten minutes."
����������� "Thanks Sweetie Pie."
������������ "No problem Mom."� She smiled to herself,
remembering her resolution to at
least�attempt to�have a better relationship with her mother.
����������� For the second time that day, Garrett entered the hospital where his grandmother was staying.� Thinking back, he realized he had been kind of mean to that girl, perhaps a bit obnoxious; he wondered if his temper had been too extreme.� But then again, it was the girl's fault.
����������� Oh well, it's not really a big deal, he thought.� Yet now that he was thinking about her, he realized she had been kind of attractive - sort of tall and skinny with long curly brown hair and nice green eyes.
����������� Just then the elevator dinged and Garrett stepped out onto the second floor.� He saw the same nurse as before, sitting there talking about "mah baby" on the phone.� She looked at Garrett, smiling, then winked.
����������� What a weirdo, thought Garrett as he crept past the woman who had to be at least twenty years older than himself.
����������� "You look nice and awake this morning," came the energetic British voice of his grandmother as Garrett walked into her room.
����������� "Yup, I guess I got a good night's sleep at Dad's hotel.� So, how much longer do you have to stay here Grandma?"
����������� "The doctor told me I can leave tomorrow."
����������� "That's great," he responded with a smile.� "I guess I'll go back to UMB tomorrow then. Ooh I get to return to all the fun of college," he added, rolling his eyes.
����������� Mary sighed, "Garret, why do you always have to be so negative? Can't you find something, or somebody" - with this she had a little sparkle in her eye - "to make you happy?"�����������
����������� "Hmm, I'll think about it.� Why don't I just say, no."� Normally Garrett wasn't that sarcastic, but something about today had just put him in a sour mood.� "Grandma, you know once you go back home, you'll have to take good care of yourself; and whatever you do, don't break anything else."� He figured changing the subject and talking about someone besides himself, might lighten his mood.� It actually worked, at least for the time being.
����������� "Sure, I'll be careful... after I put on a bikini and go try to catch some rays.� Or maybe I should parachute out of a plane.� Don't worry Garrett" - she inserted, noticing her grandson's worried and simultaneously�disturbed face, "I'm just kidding.� Don't take me so seriously.� But, I have to admit, I was a pretty hot babe when I was your age.� Oh, I wish I were young again.� Life was so carefree then - no hospitals or broken hips that's for sure."
����������� "You know Grandma, I never realized how much spunk you have in you."����������������������
����������� "Well you'd be the same way if you were 76.� Once you get to be as old as me, you have to entertain yourself somehow, or else life'll get too boring."
����������� In spite of his own depressing life, Garrett couldn't help but smile at how happy Mary was.� He wanted more of her joy but he just couldn't seem to attain it.� He felt so insecure, so confused, and so devoid of joy on the inside.� Whenever he tried to tell someone how he felt, he'd just receive the label of an "emo freak" because he wasn't happy enough.
������������ About a week after driving back from the hospital, Garrett's life was back to normal - or at least as close to normal as his life could ever be.� For him, normal meant completely dull and boring.� It was a rainy Thursday night and his Business Management class was finally over.
����������� Exhausted and devoid of all energy, he sluggishly walked to his midnight blue BMW and drove to his off-campus apartment.� Walking up steps to the fifth floor, he realized he was hungry.� Remembering the leftover Chinese he had in his fridge, he walked in the door and laid down his umbrella, heading toward his little kitchen.� He pulled out the Kung Pao chicken, rice and Lo Mein, and popped everything into the microwave.���
Just when he was ready to shovel a bite into his mouth, the phone rang.�