Chapter 4 – The Grotto

Edward made it to their favorite watering hole in record time today. There was no sign of Derik so he took their usually spot at their bar. Susie their favorite waitress was working today. She was actually the only waitress that was smart enough not to sleep with Derik, and that’s why Edward liked her. It wasn’t that he didn’t respect Derik, but subconsciously he always he thought less of yart. The usual?” “Yes, please. Thank you.” The usual was a Long Island ice tea. Just as Susie walked away Edward heard a familiar voice shout, “Hey bitch. I ran into Ana in the elvator. I invited her for a drink.” It was Derik. “I know you know better than to invite her. She’s been hounding me non-stop lately. There are no safe boundaries with her. At first this whole thing was fun and I hate to admit it…but it was convenient,” Edward confessed with a hint of guilt in his voice. Contrary to Derik’s advice Edward liked to respect the women he slept with. “Yeah she is ruthless with a hint of crazy. My favorite type of woman. I’m sure you mind that when she is on top of you,” Derik said as his eyes visually undressed Susie. Derik played baseball in college and did a minor stint in the minors. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury his first year in the minors. This injury immediately ended any professional aspirations he had for baseball. Luckily he completed his business degree while in college and did have a good head for numbers, so he easily fell into a corporate project management job. He was Edward’s drinking buddy, and despite for some obvious differences in the way they lived their life Edward trusted him. “Ana and I need to have a talk. I tried to have this conversation this morning, but somehow ended up inviting her to dinner.” “Just make sure it’s somewhere public and keep all sharp objects out of her reach.” “Yeah it will be in a public place. I’m not stupid. As the bard said ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,'” Edward said as he toasted their first drink. “Salute, here’s to one more day closer to Friday. Did you hear they hired a new project manager?” Edward asked Derik. “Yeah some guy from England. I over heard Jack talking about it in the coffee room.” “Jack wants him to help me on my new project. He said it would be a good project to get his feet wet.” “Really I thought you were leading this project?” Derik said as he grabbed a few olives from the bar and tossed them into his mouth. “Yeah I thought this was going to be my baby. For once I was actually care about this job. I don’t know what I am doing here. I should quit and finish my novel, maybe get lost in Europe for a few months. I’d probably starve but at least I’d be happy,” Edward said as he swallowed the last few ounces of his drink. Instinctively he motioned to Susie across the bar for another drink. “Just hang in their bro. This new guy can’t compete with you. Who knows maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll take Ana off your hands, you know how women love that english accent. It’s a real panty dropper.” “Yeah I am not that lucky,” Edward joked just as his phone rang. It was his older sister. Edward knew it couldn’t be good, she only called him to either complain about their younger brother or deliver bad news. “I need to take this outside,” Edward said as he took a quick gulp from his drink. “Hi Valerie.” “Hello Edward. We need to talk about Mom. She just doesn’t seem herself lately.” “What do you mean? I was just there yesterday and she seemed fine.” “Edward you don’t see her as often as I do.” Edward’s mother baby sat Valerie’s 9 year old daughter after school. “She is starting to forget things, and it’s not just small things. Yesterday she got lost on her way picking up Isabella from school.” “Val, you know she’s never been good with directions.” “Edward there is something wrong. I just feel it. The other day she wrote me a check and I could barely recognize her handwriting.” “Ok, let’s talk to her this weekend. I am swamped at work the next few days, but let’s take her out for breakfast on Saturday. I have to go Val, I will call you when I get home later.” “Ok bye Edward.” Edward sat down on the wrought iron bench in front of the bar. He knew his sister was right. He had noticed his mother’s memory declining during the past six months, but chalked it off to old age. There were other small things he noticed, but part of him was in denial. The loss of his father affected him deeply, and part of Edward never recovered. His eyes trailed upwards into the sunset as he momentarily got lost in thoughts and memories of his father. He wondered how his family and his life would be different if his father was still alive. It was a cool autumn evening a few minutes before the last bit of sun was swallowed up by the horizon. This was his favorite part of the day. Even as a child he would climb on the roof of his parent’s home to watch the sunset. During those days he dream and write, but as he got older based on his father’s advice he turned his energies towards more sensible things. His father never understood his fascination with writing. Even though Edward’s teachers identified his aptitude for literature at an early age. His father grew up poor and never really saw any value in Edward’s love of writing. Ivy was really the only one he shared his writings with. When they were younger most of his poems were about Ivy, but this was something he never confessed to her. “Ok back to the real world,” Edward told himself as he pulled himself out of the cold metal bench and walked back into the bar.”Susie can I close out our tab. Derik I need to go.” “What we only had to drinks?” “Yeah I know but I need to meet Ana at the restaurant down the street, and I’m 15 minutes late. Wish me luck,” Edward replied as he quickly signed the receipt. “Call me if you need back up,” Derik laughed. Edward was about to turn the ignition of his car when his phone rang again. It was Ana, but knowing she was probably upset that he was late he sent her to voicemail. The restaurant was just down the street. It was one of Edward’s favorite Italian restaurants. He arrived in five minutes, quickly parked and walked in through the back entrance. Ana was sitting in his favorite corner booth. The restaurant was dimly lit for their dinner hours. The decor was a throw back to the 50’s with dark wooden paneling, and dark red vinyl booths. They usually had some Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra playing in the background. It honestly looked like a scene from a mob movie. You know one of those scene where the bosses meet in a dark dimly lit backroom to plan a hit. It was a little cliche, but something about it provided comfort to Edward. He wasn’t looking forward to this conversation with Ana, but at least he’s be able to find strength in their homemade pasta. “Hello Ana. You look nice. Did you go home and change?” Ana was a very tight and low cut black mini-dress. Despite the inability to emotionally connect and her lack of compassion Edward still found her attractive. In someways he wanted to save her from herself, but he knew she had too much pride to admit she needed to be saved from herself. In Ana’s mind she had all the answers. “Well I thought we could go get a drink after or maybe even dancing. It would be a shame to let this dress go to waste.” “Yeah well I’m not sure I can go out tonight. I promised Jack I’d show the new guy around tomorrow and I have an 8AM meeting.” “Well I don’t mind going back to your place Edward,” Ana said playfully as she grabbed Edward’s tie and pulled him in for a kiss. “Let’s talk first Ana. I really think we need to talk. This thing we have been doing is complicating things at work. In the beginning it was fun, and we both knew what we were doing, but now…I don’t know. It’s just different now,” Edward said trying to push her away. He really didn’t fight that hard. He fought for about 2 seconds before he gave in and kissed her. Who was he kidding? She looked damn good in that dress, and with that kiss he knew that dress would end up on his bedroom floor before the night was over. “Let’s just enjoy a nice dinner Edward. I ordered a bottle of wine. I know you had a bad day, let’s just leave the serious stuff for tomorrow.” Ana wasn’t as clueless as Edward liked to think. She knew which strings to pull to get what she wanted. Ana was young, beautiful and she knew it. Edward thought to himself, “What the hell? It’s been a hard day.” He rationalized with himself and convinced his mind one more night wouldn’t hurt. The sex was good. It would get rid of the stress of the day, and hell he was going to have some long work weeks coming up. So with that thought he surrender to Ana’s ploy and settled in for one more night of fun.

Chapter 1 – Sunrise

Edward laid in bed looking out the window watching the early morning sun break through his window. Anna searched for her bra. “You know I wish you wouldn’t be so careless with my clothes,” Anna complained. “Careless?” inquired Edward. “Sex doesn’t have to be as organized as every other part of your life Ana. Sometimes it’s fun to get a little messy.” Edward said as he sat up and reached for his phone to check his schedule for the day. “Grow up Edward. Maybe if you put half of the energy you put into getting me into bad last night into this new project we’d actually be on schedule.” Ana said as she grabbed Edwards face and pulled him away from his phone. “Get out of bed now! You are going to be late for our staff meeting. And please try to be presentable, it won’t kill you to wear a tie once in a while.” Anna demanded. Edward sat up and looked out again out of his bedroom window, as Anna used his dresser mirror to put on her lipstick. The sunrise made his thoughts drift to memories of his father, to the days before the cancer, when he was still in grade school. On Summer mornings like this he would get up early and help his father work on his project car. A 1958 Chevy truck. He can still feel what the morning air felt like. The smell of motor oil on his hands. Edward’s father would tell him about his teenage years when he bought a truck just like this one. He’d cruise the local high school and flirt with all the pretty girls. Sometimes he talk about the how he met Edward’s mother. Those mornings life was so simple and full of possibilities, but I guess it always is when you look back to those childhood days. Edward wanted to feel that again, to see the world through those eyes. “See you at the office. I need to run I have an busy morning.” Anna said as she walked out of his bedroom without looking back. “Yeah love you too,” Edward said as he laughed and sank back into his bed. Edwards father died when he was 21 and he always wondered how his life would have been different if his father had lived. “I miss you dad,” Edward thought to himself as he pull himself out of bed to start his day.

Edward pulled into the parking lot just as his co-worker and drinking buddy Derik was pulling in. “What’s up fucker. Where did you go after happy hour last night?” Derik asked Edward. Edward responded,”No where just home to feed the dogs.” “Well you missed out. We took the new interns to that strip club down the street, and the corporation paid for it. Well my receipt says I bought 40 steak dinners. It was a great team building event. Even that hot asian intern, Loo Sim or Kim Soo got a lap dance.” Derik continued as Edward put on a tie he found in his glove box. “Ready for another day in paradise,” Edward inquired. “Lets do this,” Erik said he smacked Edward on the back. The two walked into the main lobby and made their way to the elevator. “Hold the elevator!” a voice an invisible voice yelled. It was Ivy Edward’s best friend from childhood. She had recently started with the corporation and now was on a project with Edward. “Morning sunshine,” Derik said as his eyes made their way slowly up from her feet to her breasts. “Please, it’s too early to be visually assaulted,” Ivy said snidely as she looked away in disgust. “Here let me fix that for your,” Ivy said to Edward as she straightened his tie. “There that looks better. So are we still on for lunch today. I want to go over the budget for this new project with you before this afternoons meeting.” she continued as she adjusted Edwards collar. Derik interrupted,”So where we going to lunch?” “Oh I’m sorry we are going to a restaurant that requires you to use utensils, plus I think they only allow service animals,” Ivy shot back. “Oh I’m a service animal,” Derik said under his breath. “See you at lunch Edward,” Ivy shouted as she walked out of the elevator. Ivy had always been Edward’s best friend. She grew up across the street from Edward, but moved away when they were 12. They reconnected after college when she attended his father’s funeral. Last summer she was hired on as a contractor and now was the financial analyst assigned to Edward’s new project.

Walking into the board room for their staff meeting Edward and Derik first make their way to coffee cart before grabbing a seat near the head of the table. Jack their senior VP walks in. “Take your seats everyone. We have a lot to cover this morning,” Jack commanded. Jack casually grabbed the coffee out of Derik’s hand just as he was about to take his first drink,”Thank you. Just the way I like it Derik. By the way how were those steak dinners last night?” “Very tasty.” Derik said without missing a beat. “Ok the first slide shows next quarters projections,” Jack started as everyone made their ways to their seats. Edward tries to concentrate on the PowerPoint slides flashing through the screens but his mind keeps drifting back to those mornings with his father. He tells himself after work today he will stop to visit his mom. She had left a message last night when he was with Anna. The staff meeting takes makes the morning pass quickly morning. A few phone calls, a couple of emails later and before Edward realizes it his phone vibrates. It’s a text message from Ivy. “Lunch time. Hurry I’m hungry. : ) ” the message says. “Finally,” Edward thinks to himself as he gets up and tells his assistant, Gretchen, he will be out to lunch.

Ivy requested they meet at the sushi bar across the street from their building. Walking in Edward quickly scans the restaurant and finds Ivy sitting at the sushi bar. She laughing and being her usual charming self. The older sushi chef is obviously flirting with her…

Chapter ??? – Shattered

Shattered Edward laid in his bed staring at the ceiling fan rotate countless times. Hours past as the sun slowly faded to darkness. Paralyzed in thought he thought of her last words. “I don’t know, I can’t,” she cried to him. “Something doesn’t feel right,” she said as she tried to convince his heart to retreat. In his mind anger grew as he thought of her last words. Edward new you can’t reason with the heart, but he knew there was something there. He wasn’t a child. He understood rejection, but it always felt like a lie when she said these things. It wasn’t the first time she tried to push him away. “Am I delusional,” he thought as he tried to wrap his mind around the event of the day. He wondered why every time he got close she always did her best to push him away. She would shut down. Her silence was torturous to him, but years of this had made him strong. It’s a natural tendency of most people in this situation to feel hopeless, but as the anger grew inside him he found strength and conviction. “She’s so full of shit,” he thought to himself. Edward knew she loved him. He wondered what it was that stopped her from giving him a chance. What it fear? Why couldn’t she see the possibilities? What blinded her from seeing the truth? She had to

Just Another Work Day

A day in the life of a “knowledge worker” isn’t anything to complain about. Mind numbing meetings, projects that never end, and insatiable clients who never know what they want. This morning I’m dealing with all three. A mind numbing project regarding a project that never ends with an insatiable client. This project was what we called our Supplier Portal project, it should have ended a year and half ago but as always there were last minute changes that never seem to be quite complete. This morning we are talking about whether the buttons on the online forms should be titled “Submit” or “Save.” Walking in I’m surprised to see a full house. I take one of the only two vacant seat and settle in for an hour of brain cell killing discussions about these buttons. I am about to check out when I hear a quiet soft voice from behind me. “Excuse me can I sit here,” the voice says. “Be my guest, no one is sitting here,” I replied without looking up from my laptop. As I lift my head to turn to see who it is I suddenly felt like I was hit by freight train. It’s her, Ivy. “Hi, how have you been,” I inquire. “Do you know what this meeting is about,” She asked. Doing my best to hold back my jaded comments I say, “Today we are discussing aspects of the User Experience.” “I think I just made this meeting sound more than what it is. By User experience I mean we are discussing buttons. What they should be titled and what color they should be,” I continue. “Wow all these people just for that one little thing,” Ivy replied. “Sadly yes,” I say with a laugh. Finally the meeting starts. I occasionally chime in when my professional opinion is needed, but really most of my mind was occupied with this beautiful woman sitting next to me. Maybe I am just infatuated at this moment but every move, every word, every breath she takes is a wonderful gift to me. She is an amazing creature. Watching her take notes I notice her perfect handwriting. Perfect is not a word I use often, but it’s the only word I can think of to describe what I see when I look at her. I know my friend is into her, and will probably end up dating her but somehow my heart knows her already. It’s the strangest feeling. It feels like I was made to love this women. I know I don’t really know her yet, and definitely sounds cliche but I feel like I have always known her. I never want this meeting to end. She is definitely an angel sent from a heaven I never knew existed. I do my best not to stare but this is an exercise in futility. I could go on for hours about the beautiful details I see in this meeting, like the way she purses her lips to the right side her mouth as she wrestles with a thought. Then there is that smile. Oh god that smile. It could light up the world. She would definitely think I am crazy if she could hear my thoughts, and most people would agree. Somehow I know I am not crazy. I can’t explain it but she is the one I have been waiting for all my life. Now how do I convince her that I am the one for her. Maybe I can’t convince her. I just hope she sees it as clearly as I do. The meeting is over so I get up and make an excuse to walk her to her desk. “You sit on the first floor, right?” I ask. Really I don’t need to ask. I have walked by her desk countless times. I know exactly where she sits. I could find her desk blindfolded. “I will walk with you. My next meeting is down there.” I say trying not to her see through my lie. “So how long have you been working here,” I ask as we walk towards the stairs. “Next month will be two year,” she replies. Two years? How have I not seen her before? I am not sure how but I have missed her for almost two year. For over 700 days she sitting, working and breathing in the same building and some how I have missed her. I can beat myself up later. Now I need to focus on her. Walking down the stairs I ask,”So what do you think of this place now after two years?” “It’s a job. It is funny the things we spend our time on,” she comments. “Yes I know. This isn’t the real world. We are almost a government entity, and with that being said this place runs on a special kind of logic. The same kind of logic Alice found when she went through the looking glass,” I say no even trying to hold back my laughter. “But hey we have excellent benefits,” I add. “Ok talk to you later,” Ivy says as we approach her desk. “Ok I will see you later. It’s been a pleasure,” I say as I walk to my imaginary meeting. Walking down the hall I can’t stop smiling. The world is amazing again. I understand what the man who invented or I should say discover fire felt. Walking up the stairs I start thinking about my next move. What excuse can I find to initiate the next contact? Maybe lunch. Anyway time to do some research and ask around about her. If I am going to move forward I need to do some recon and find out more about her. As I approach my desk I see the red light on my phone flashing. Perfect. It’s my friend Erik. He knows every woman in the building. Well he may not know them personally but he definitely will know who Ivy is and should have some useful information.

Bar Talk

It was a long day at work. I had enough of my horrible boss, and the mind numbing ignorance of this corporate environment. It was definitely time for a drink. Erik was still online so I quickly sent him an instant message before signing off. “Time for a drink” was all that was needed. I didn’t even wait for a reply I knew it was more than enough to convince him. After all it was Wednesday and a little liquid courage never hurt to help us get through the week. Traffic was light since it was barely 5pm. I made it to our favorite restaurant/bar in just under 10 minutes. “Welcome,” the hostess greeted as I walked through the door. I politely smiled and pointed to the bar as I walked past her. I scanned the bar and didn’t see Erik so I grabbed our usual table and sat down. The bar was empty so it took the waitress less than a minute to make her way to my table. “Long Island?,” she asked. “Of course,” I replied. We were regulars at this place, enough so that the staff knew our orders without asking. I guess on some level I should feel bad about spending that much time in a bar, but screw it this place keeps me sane these days. Erik is usually the one waiting for me. I occupied myself by people watching. I love finding someone at the bar and trying to imagine their back story. For example there is an older man alone at the bar. He had a bad tattoo on his right bar, and a scar on his left forearm. He was dressed in blue jeans and a plain white t-shirt with a gold chain. His hands looked worn and calloused. He was probably in early 60’s. Maybe a vietnam vet? Judging by the visible black grease lodged under his nails he could be a diesel mechanic. He was hispanic so he is probably catholic. Married 20 or more years. Two to three kids. He probably drives a pick up truck that is at least eight to ten years old. So why is he here so early and alone? Let’s see, what could it be. Probably meeting an old war buddy to watch the game, or possibly a mistress. We all have stories and I just find it amazing that each person that I see walk through that door has a millions of preceding events that got them there. We truly are the sums of our experiences. It’s what makes us all unique and I find magic in this fact. I was just about to finish my first drink when I noticed Erik walking in. “What’s up fucker?”, he asked. “Just living the dream,” I said as I laughed. Really I called him out to vent about Ivy. He was good at listening and although he never gave me any profound advice that I didn’t already know it sometimes helped me to verbalize my thoughts. To Ivy was on my mind. Loving her is exhausting at times. At this point I am stuck in a holding pattern. Unable to move on, and unsure as to what my next move should be. I understand if I’ve been very clear about my desire to love her, and she never once gave me a chance to realize this desire. Common sense tells me she does not feel the same and I should just walk away. This I get. I am not in denial, but there is something deep inside me that keeps me here waiting. At this point I have come to realize there are two possibilities. Either I’m completely insane and in total denial, or what I feel is real and despite what she says there is something there. I know no one can help me figure out the mystery except myself. Erik is of the opinion that I should find some other woman to have cheap emotionless sex with to help me move on, but I can not do it. As far as I am concerned no other women exists except for Ivy. She has ruined me and this condition is definitely terminal.

Rain Clouds

It was a cold grey morning. A storm had moved in over night. It was the kind of morning that makes you want to stay in bed an extra hour and listen to the rain drops fall. Unfortunately I could stay in bed today. There was a lot to do and not much time. My mind racing about the coming day I jumped out of bed and started my day. As usual thoughts of Ivy filled my head. It’s seems loving her pushes me in direction. Forward, always forward. I had lied to her and promised to move on, but really there is no way my heart could stop loving her. Traffic was light for a raining day. I had to get to the office before her. Pulling into the parking lot I felt a sense of relief as I scanned the parking lot for her car. She wasn’t in yet. I didn’t have a lot before she arrived so I quickly locked my car and made my way to her desk. My morning was booked with meetings, but I wanted to drop off my letter before Ivy or any of her teammates arrived. I really wanted to say some of these things to her in person, but I know she would never stand still to hear it all. I have tried to lay it all on the line and be honest about what I needed before, but she was an expert at evasive action. I left the envelope on her keyboard. As I walked away part of me wishes I could keep walking out of the building and just disappear. Really I knew none of my thoughts or words would change anything. She always had a way of seeing right through me. I never tried to hide my true intentions. I doubt I was even capable of disguising my desire to love her completely. The morning flew by as time does when you want it to slow. I didn’t bother to check my phone or email for any type of response. She always was slow to respond to me. Waiting drives me crazy, but I’ve learned to quiet my thoughts and be still. I know her silence meant those wheels were turning. They are always turning. Any other women would drive me crazy in this situation. Frustration and anger would be my normal response, but with Ivy it was always different. As expected her response came on my drive home. Nervous anticipation flood my brain as I picked up my phone. 

Cb. ??? – Breakfast with Mom (Completed)

Towards the end of my mothers life I would take her to her doctors appointment. I think of all my siblings she trust me the most to talk to her doctors. It was never a problem for to make time for my mother. It actually gave me a good feeling that she trusted me me enough to depend on me in this way. After her doctors appointments we’d usually go to breakfast. Of all the things I miss this the most. We never had any profound conversations during this time, but still looking back I made a special conscious effort to value this time. I never in my mind thought she would dead in a few years, but I knew I would not have her forever so I thought I would make the most of the time we had together. Usually we would end up at a local Denny’s where she would order off the seniors menu. She’d take great pride in collecting her senior discount. No matter who you are your parents affect your life and the person you are, whether in a positive way or negative way they have an affect. I loved my parents and I sometimes wonder now that they are gone does this influence diminish. I still hear them inside my head, but I does wonder this influence or affect diminish over time? Would I make different choice now that they no longer have a physical presence in my life. Of course certain aspects of my internal dialogue have been shaped by their guidance. We learn certain things from our parents. Whether by example or through their advice, whether by their presence or even absence in some cases, we learn from them. My father died when I was 21. My mother died when I was in my mid-thirties. So I wonder sometimes where would I be, who would I be if my parents were still alive? Part of me thinks besides a few superficial things I would still be the same person at my core. We are who we are and that doesn’t really change. After my mother died I had a few rough years. I did not realize but I stopped caring about the direction of my life. I was just existing and not thinking about the future or the past. This might actually sound like perfect way to live, an almost zen attitude but there was nothing zen about my life during these days. I was angry, selfish, and lost. In the moment I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I was living, but I lacked purpose and drive. Coming out of this hole I realized something. We definitely can not just live for ourselves. We live for each. Our family, our friends, even the strangers we have not crossed paths with yet, we live for them all. In those days I felt I had lost so much and something broke inside. The part of me that cared for those around me faded into nothing. This is why I reminded of the time taking my mother to her doctor’s appointment. Sometimes it was hard to get the time off from work. Sometimes the selfish part of me would think why doesn’t one of my siblings take her since they live much closer than I did at the time, but in the end I always made the time for what ever my mother needed. She had shown me through countless examples over my entire life that you live for each. In fact both my parents sacrificed much of themselves and their own lives for their family and friends. I realize now that in serving others we find something we could never find by ourselves. We find a sense of comfort, a sense of purpose or direction, and a most importantly we find that we are not alone. Ultimately that is what allowed me to pull myself out of that self destructive hole I was in. I learned I was not alone. I was extremely lucky that the world brought someone into my life that proved to me that I was not alone. Just knowing this person exists gives me the strength and hope to over come any obstacle. Maybe one day I will be able to adequately explain why she gives so much peace to my world, but today all I can say is that she is my north star that helped me find home. My parents taught me well during their lives, but occasionally we all get lost and need to be reminded. Life is full of distractions that make it easy to stray from your true direction, and it is so easy to follow your weaknesses. I think or should say hope that we all have that special person in our lives to help us find our “north” when we need it. I pray one day I am lucky enough to return to the word all the inspiration, hope and love she gave me. If I am not I will die trying.

Chapter ??? – A New Beginning

Finding your center in troubled times is always hard. The last few years have been especially dark lonely for me. My mother losing her battle to cancer, and the financial disaster of her dying with no medical insurance. Then there was my relationship with Maria falling apart. On top of everything else there was me losing my home, and my dog dying. I admit I was lost for moment there. Lost in my vices. As someone close to me would eventually confess I was a “hot mess.” I wouldn’t say I had given up, but I was getting comfortable for a long drawn out downward spiral of self destruction. Once in a while, however, when you think the night will never end life takes an unexpected turn and suddenly light turns to dark. In an instant you are reminded of all the beauty in the world. For me this reminder came in the form of a woman. Her name was Ivy, and she will forever be my definition of beauty. I’ve been in love with her since we met, but I’ve never had a chance to give her all my love. I’ve never had a chance to have her fall asleep in my arms, and I have never known what it’s like for her to need me. Maybe I never will. She’s tried to let me down gently and in her most compassionate way told me she not capable of giving me the love I desire. Still something inside pushes me forward and refuses to give up. Maybe I am crazy for listening to this voice inside me that gives me hope against this impossible dream. I’ve tried to date other women, but that never ends well. They all somehow feel like a substitute. In a way all women are ruined for me.

You might ask why am I stuck on her? I know there are literally billions of women out there. Once you’ve seen perfection it’s hard to settle for anything less. My love for her is unconditional, self-less and pure. I guess it doesn’t matter if she looks at me and doesn’t see anything special. The insecurities inside me ask me why I think a woman like her would ever give me a chance. Why would she settle for me when I know I am so far from the man she feels she needs? Do I know what she needs better than she does? I’ve asked myself these questions a thousand times. What really kills me is I’ve seen her lie to herself and waste her time with men I know will never be able to love her like she deserves. I respect her wishes and let hold back the flood of emotions that fill my mind each time out eyes meet. It is exhausting pretending I’m not in love with her. I haven’t even mentioned the worst part. She has become my best friend. Yeah I know I should have ran fast and far when she told me she can return this love I feel. Now I’m in a tough spot. My heart is split right down the middle for her. Half of me is her best friend. I would even go as far and say her soul mate. The other half of me can’t help but get overwhelmed with desire every time our eyes me. So how do I get out of this trap I have set for myself? Sad part is I don’t feel trapped. I still love to love her. Despite this agonizing situation I still find inspiration in her presence.

Loving without limits

There she was standing in the door looking as she always did. He did not have the words to describe what he felt when he looked at her. Pure silence was the gift. So much had change over the last few months within his own mind he hardly recognized himself these days. Looking back he wondered why it had taken him so long to get to this point. He retrospection had to wait because Ivy was waiting for him. She was singing a song as she quite often did. The sound of her voice will always be the sweetest sound.

Chapter 8 – Lost and Found

Once Gregory discovered the location of Ivy’s desk he would find excuses to walk by just to catch a glimpse of her. Even it was just a momentary glance of the back of her head it would make his days brighter. Just knowing she was there. Seeing the physical manifestation of what was the center of all things beautiful. Sometimes he would walk the long way to his desk in the morning just to steal a glance. Today he needs more than a stolen moment, he was determined to talk to her. Ivy always started work several hours before anyone on Gregory’s team, so today he woke up 3 hours early just to make sure he’d catch her alone at her desk. Needing an excuse to talk to her he stopped at the local star buck’s and ordered two latte’s. A latte, he thought to himself was safe. The plan was to say that they made a mistake on his order and they gave him an extra cup of coffee. It seemed simple enough and he know from his observations that she drank a morning coffee on a regular basis. Today the day he was going to ask her to lunch. Walking in the door he took a big breath of confidence and proceed to walk down the first floor hallway to her desk. Clearing his thought he said,”Hi, Ivy right?” She replied,”Yes, good morning.” “Would you like a latte, the trainee at Starbucks messed up my order and I ended up with an extra latte this morning.” “Yes, that would be awesome. Thank you,” Ivy quickly responded. “So how’s your week going?” Gregory inquired. “It’s going,” Ivy said as she slowly took her first drink of the latte. Gregory tried not to stare at her lips, but it was a losing battle he was fighting. She was beautiful and the closer he got to her the more real this beauty became. He started fantasizing about her lips, wondering what it would feel like to kiss them. He didn’t want to make his infactuation obvious so he quickly cut to the chase. “I going to try out this new sushi restaurant down the street. Would you like to join me?” Gregory inquired. “Thank you but I brought my lunch today,” Ivy responded. “Ok well let me know if you change your mind,” he said trying to mask his disappointment. Walking back to his desk he consoled himself thinking at least he broke the ice and establish his existence in her mind. She really was quite attractive, maybe too attractive for someone like Gregory. He didn’t really care. He knew this is what most people would think, but he was ok with it. Still despite being a far reach he had to try. He really didn’t understand at this moment why, but he was compelled to get close to her. Once back at his desk it was impossible to stop thinking about her. He was falling fast and they had only shared 20 or so

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