Without You Here

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

I come from the most outrageous Oregonians of all time. Living on the edge of the smallest of towns, a vegan and organic life isn't what I want. So, I went to college, got an internship with the help of my best friend, Sam, and I finally have my dream job in New York. Everything is going the way it should be. Except I'm spending my nights talking to my friends back in Oregon instead of making new owns here. The perfect guy i met may not be perfect for me. How can a romance editor not realize that there's love hitting me right in the face?

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Without You Here

Submitted: June 15, 2015

Reads: 330

Comments: 1

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 15, 2015

A A A

A A A

One

I’m sitting across from my boss, Mr. Blanchard, in his office. This is the last day of my internship, and although I’ll miss everyone, I can’t wait any longer before boarding a plane to New York.

His crinkling eyed smile brightens the room. I expected an internship at the publication house to be maniacal, with coffee runs and filing documents, but Mr. Blanchard has given me many opportunities to get personal experience.

Just after three months, he let me sit in on a consultation between and editor and author. After half of my internship, I was trusted with taking notes during the weekly briefs at the office. I have my boss to thank for my accepted job offer from Simon & Shuster Publishing. I could barely hold in my scream when I got the call from my dream company. I hadn’t expected it to happen this fast.

“So Aspen, when are you leaving?” Mr. Blanchard asks.

I smile, remembering the countdown on my phone for when my place leaves. “Four days.” And thirty-seven minutes, approximately fifteen seconds. Ugh, time can’t go faster.

“I see…Is there anything else I can do for you? Do you know anyone in in Manhattan?”

I play with my fingers in my lap nervously. “Oh, um, no. I don’t know anyone east of the Rocky’s, besides my new boss, Lauren Brookes.”

He frowns, confused to why the hell I would want to go somewhere where I have no connections, no friends, across the country for a job as an Assistant Editor. I have yet to meet someone who gets that I don’t want to be choked up in some small town for the rest of my life, except my best friend. I just have to rip the bandage off and leave before someone or something makes me stay.

Before my boss can lecture me about being too harsh in a fast-moving change in location and life-style in the dangerous New York City, I try to reassure him that I’ll be fine.

I hold my hand up in defense and say, “I already have an apartment set up in Midtown. I went over there a couple of weeks ago to meet the landlord and see the place. I have a full-time job, pepper spray and phone. If the Big City swallows me up—which it won’t—I will call you personally telling you I was wrong.”

Mr. Blanchard gives me a crooked smiles and his eyes lift. “Okay, just a call, Ms. Daniels, is all it takes.”

I shrug and thank him, shaking his hand. I say goodbye to him, and go to my desk. I continue packing the small amount of items I have. It would feel weird for me to have just as much stuff as my co-workers, for I’m just an intern. I grab my tissues, notebooks, and the small box of candy I hide in the back of my drawer. Ooh—I forgot I had Snickers in here. I set the framed pictures of my family and my boyfriend on the top of the stack. Well, my ex-boyfriend.

When I told him that I was moving to New York, he practically begged me to stay in Oregon. I didn’t want to make him move, and I didn’t want to be held down by my college boyfriend in a town like Bend. I want more, I need more than that. After he almost convinced me to stay, I snapped and broke up with Caulder.

I stare at the picture of us. It’s a picture from when we went to the Eye in London. Hair is all over my face, a bright smile on my lips. Caulder looks at me adoringly, the lights from the city shimmer in his eyes. I can’t bring myself to throw it away, no matter how much I should. I love him; he was my boyfriend for two years.

Caulder and I met senior year of college abroad in England. I know what you’re probably thinking. Aspen, you were in freaking England! You should’ve met some English bloke in a pub and melt under that sexy accent. Yeah, I thought that too before I met him. Caulder, like me, also went abroad there. We met, dated, and continued to date when we both took internships when we came back to the States. I, publications, and he, architecture.

I don’t regret breaking up with him—it was the right decision. But, I’m still sad that it couldn’t work out. He isn’t a city boy. He wants a picket-fence family and a nine-to-five job. That’s just not me, it’s not what I want.

Breaking me from my reverie, Cassidy growls from behind me. “Ugh, you cannot be leaving Johnson Editing, let alone the state!”

I quickly set the picture back into the box and turn to face my friend. Cassidy is tall and slender, with jet black hair. Being ten years older than me hasn’t been a block in our friendship.

I smile at her crossed arms and misty eyes. When I go to hug her, my head rests in the crook of her neck. Damn, her high-heels. Everyone at work makes me feel like a child. I suppose compared to everyone else in the office, I am.

“I’ll miss you, Cass. Give Marcus a hug for me,” I say, pulling back from our embrace.

“Not without giving me one first, Daniels!” Samuel hollers from my side. I beam up at the giant before me, and give an accommodating bear hug. Sam has been a big brother to me since freshmen year of college. When I was on my first year, he was a senior, and we hit it off immediately. He came here to intern and took a job as a copy editor. I have him to thank for my impeccable GPA, internship, and the idea of moving to New York.

“Hey Sam, Green Eggs and Ham,” I greet. He laughs at the nickname I gave him and lifts me off my feet and spins me in a fast circle. I giggle as he sets me down.

“Hey there, pine in the Aspen,” he smiles. Sam’s ruffled hair and tall figure make him seem seven feet tall. With his olive complexion, deep brown eyes, and warm aura make him so loveable.

I punch him in the arm lightly the nickname he gave me about two weeks after we met. When I told him that Aspens don’t have pines in them, he said, “But you do.”

“Hey, Sammy, we’re going for drinks. Want to come?” Cassidy asks. I turn to her and frown. “We’re going for drinks?”

Her wide eyed expression tells me everything, but she answers anyways. “Oh, hell yes. Marcus has the monsters tonight, so I’m getting my margarita. And besides, you’re leaving on Monday. We’ve got to celebrate!” she squeals.

I nod and look back up to Sam and have a visual conversation. You in?  I ask. Sam gives me a look like I did something disgusting. Duh.

 

“Okay, there’s no way in hell that that happened.” Cassidy slurs and points her long-stemmed glass towards Sam. We’ve been at O’Malley’s for about two hours, and Cassidy has had four margaritas. I’ve had two long island iced teas, Sam three beers. But with his height, I suspect he’s just hitting buzzed. I’m at that point where I can walk normally, but I still laugh at everything. Like right now.

I’m leaning my head over the table, laughing to a point where I can feel dozens of pairs of eyes on me as Sam recounts a conversation form the other day. My eyes are watering, my breath ragged and unsteady as I try to breath normally, only to jump into another laughing spurt.

“No, I’m not kidding, Cass. Amal said her parents wanted to ‘talk to me,’ I could only imagine what that meant…” I pause long enough in my cackling to hear him say before I crack up again. I don’t know precisely why I’m laughing, but I hope it’s actually funny, or else this would be embarrassing.

“Shut up, Daniels!” he playfully scolds me as I lean back covering my mouth, trying to stop laughing. “Anyways, so I reluctantly went to see them, and her dad upfront asked me if I was going to propose to her. No, ‘hey, how’s it going,’ or ‘nice to see you.’ I shook his hand and he deadpanned, ‘Do you plan on marrying my daughter?’ I suppose it’s normal, but we’ve only been dating a few months!” He leans his head back and takes a slug of his beer. I can see the nervousness in his eyes.

Cassidy soon joins me in laughing. Her sloppy state makes me feel a little better, although it’s me people are staring at.

Sam isn’t commitment phobic, he just rather be a casual dater. That’s the way it’s always been with him—relax, go with the flow, and add a lot of jokes on the way. It makes him really easy to love, and for his girlfriends, that’s the problem.

I sit upright again, wiping tears from my eyes. My cheeks hurt from laughing so much. “What’d you expect? Isn’t he from Arabia and her mom’s super traditional?” I ask.

I’ve met Amal a few times over the last three months. She’s gorgeous with her Arabic genes and her tough attitude. But I can tell that she’s not Sam’s exception. I don’t know what he wants in a girl exactly, but there’s got to be someone that meet’s Sam’s pickiness.

Cassidy takes a sip from her drink and leans her head on mine. “Wait—what did you say to him?” Suddenly, Sam’s nerves take a nose dive. Red flushes from his cheeks and ears, and he’s rubbing his hands together, avoiding our eye contact.

“Sam…? What did you say?” I add to Cassidy’s question.

Sam finally looks at us, sighing as her scratches the back of his neck. “I uh, I kind of ran away. I couldn’t lie to him, and I didn’t want to be castrated. It’s a question that can’t be answered.” As soon as he says it, he looks away again.

Cassidy sits straight up and leans closer into Sam across the table. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. You ran away? Did you break up with Amal or something?”

Another sigh. “Yeah, I did. After the conversation with her father, I went to her place and broke up with her. It was just too much pressure, you know?” Sam picks up his beer again and chugs it until it’s empty, then sets it back down.

There’s a beat of silence between the three of us while we all tend to our drinks. Cassidy looks at her watch and horror strikes her face. “Shit—I have to go. Marcus is going to be wide awake with screaming kids.” We all stand up to say goodbye.

She hugs me fiercely and says good lucks and goodbyes in my ear. “Don’t be shy to call, okay? When I say that, I mean call me a lot because I’m going to miss you.”

I nod, genuine about calling her. Even though I will be across the nation, I plan on keeping in touch with my friends, especially Cassidy and Sam. After a wave goodbye to Sam, Cassidy is out the door, a phone in her hand.

Now it’s just Sam and I in the big booth, across from each other. Needing to be closer to him, to hug him, I scoot closer to him and lean on his shoulder. He isn’t take a back, just like he usually is. I sigh in content. His breathing is steady, like a drum. I nuzzle my nose between his sternum and arm. A wave of exhaustion overwhelms me, and at the same time, I feel like crying. And whooping out of joy.

“I’m really going to miss you, you know.” I whisper.

Sam relaxes more into the seat and cradles my head in his hands. Seriously, I feel like a child in his hands, their so huge. But it’s comforting, especially because it’s Sam.

“I’ll miss you too, Aspen. You have to Skype and call me all the time, okay? No exceptions.”

I look up to him and roll my eyes. “Obviously.”

 

 


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