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Dating Chronicles

Volume 1
By A.V. SCOTT

Copyright 2013 by A.V. SCOTT


Smashwords Edition
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed,
or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or
other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of
the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews
and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For
permission requests, email the author at the email below.
Email: avscott1@hotmail.com

To my fans.

Preface / Foreword
This book was originally published in 2012. It had been edited and formatted
for your reading pleasure. If youve recently purchased this book please update
your ebook file.

Prologue
My Love letter to love
My love is true and stated before
It has been crumbling by despair
upon impossibility
Monogamous despair
since I stood alone
It showed me things divine
and so quickly
I arrived and spread my wings
Extended my soul and tempted Fate
Fate with its jealous eyes
did see two perfect lovers and inflicted wounds
The angels, they see me
Our union would be our ruin
And loves dynamic power slowly diminishes
The love that binds me to you
Fate has enviously tried to take
Would you escape me?
Would you forget me?
As long as this world contains us both
This love continues to grow
Can we let the friend and lover be handsomely mixed?
You whose kindness soothes me
You who has me in a soft and gentle grasp?
My words are true but stated before
By others who said theyd do more
My heart makes no related statements
or unrealistic gestures
Still, there are two separate unions
that conflict this shattered soul
Shall I continue to embrace each broken piece
that I am given and bare the pain?
Shall I escape it?
Shall I forget it?
The angels, they hear me.
The words of wisdom dont lie loosely on my tongue

They are tangled causing me pain


These words cannot be put in motion
They will stay inside of me
Shall I forsake all others or continue my search
this craving desire for
everlasting unity?
My ears, they deceive me for I hear no guarantees
My heart is mistaken for I hear no loving words
My soul is lost for it cannot find its mate
I am forgotten
You have escaped me
Reality has sunk its unbearable fangs in me and set me free
Did I want this freedom?
Did I really want to see?
These angels, they see me and do nothing
I can try to seduce you with my words
Still, I may enrage you with my emotion
I will continue to inflict pain upon myself by the slightest effort
Indeed I can rely on myself to do so
Time has made me
Love has made me
Still, these words wont loosen up
and it breaks my heart to have to let them go
But I am lost if I am alone
I lay in the shadows
I lay in your darkest secrets
Please just lay me down and keep me there
For our bond is almost broken
We both knew this time would come
Still, I would give my last breath to tell you I am yours
But fate has me gagged
It has been torturing me
keeping me alive long enough so that I can taste
my own tears and see my own death
Offer me something I can use
Something that will revive me
Distance does not cause me to hate you
or question our commitment
Just gives me enough strength to say out loud
what I cannot say in your
arms
You, whose laughter brightens up my darkness
You, whose smile awakens my heart

Ask me why I love you


and I will go on forever
and those angels, they
will cry
For all of this
all the pain
all the secrets that we keep
I do not find it strong enough for me to leave
I continue to find reasons in your eyes
that make me trust in those angels,
The ones with their fingers crossed
Sometimes
I feel my heart broke the silence too quickly
and said I love you too soon
Sometimes
I feel this will all end in tragedy
But I see your smile and
feel your emotions on my tongue
I see us lying side by side
in a blanket of comfort and happiness
And I know that those angels,
They know what they are doing.

Chapter One

Late one evening, on a cold November day in 2007, I found myself


hopelessly and irrevocably out of love with a man who Id convinced myself, ten
years before, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The exact moment, I
shall always remember, happened during dinner. It was a Tuesday night, wed
ordered General Tso chicken, and spring rolls from our favorite Chinese take-out
and there, in his small, cluttered living room, when he shoved the entire spring
roll in his mouth, I knew, I was no longer head over heels in love with him.
For several months, I had been contemplating where I stood in the
relationship and, in what we had created, our life together. I suppose the music
group Clash said it best with their song, Should I Stay or Should I Go. I had no
idea what I was going to do. Neither of us had been comfortable with our
relationship. We had been together since we were sixteen years old, long
enough to make the next logical step, cohabitating, but once we had crossed that
bridge, the next step seemed to flee from us. In fact, neither of us was really
comfortable with the idea of matrimony.
Not completely.
I want to hold off on marriage until I finish my graduate degree in sports
rehabilitation and the man in question, who in these pages I shall call Mark,
never liked the idea of marriage. He believes marriage is the cause of failed
relationships. Based on my personal experience being Marks girlfriend for the
last ten years, I beg to differ.
Dont get me wrong, I love Mark. I really do. Mark has been my sweetheart,
my love since High School. He loves me for me, a broken, reckless and at
times bitch of a woman, unconditionally. We love each other unreservedly, but
at the same time, not enough to make our commitment legal.
Love, to me, had always been this grand thing, like in the movies. But its
never been and shall never be. All those fluffy, rainbow colored, glitter infused,
happy endings are best reserved for Disney movies. And all of those stories
where girl meets boy, boy loves girl, girl and boy fall in love and live happily ever
after, is complete and utter bullshit.
And New York City has the most bullshit per square mile. There are far more
single women in New York City than anywhere else in the entire world. I promise
that Im not making this up.
The census bureau has publicly announced that in Manhattan, the Upper
East Side to be specific, women outnumber men two to one. As per this same
census bureau, if I want to find a single man to settle down with, I have to find
him in Jackson Heights, Queens where there are 1.7 single men for every single
female.
Unless said bureau employs people who live in rabbit holes, they must know
that the reason there are more single men in Queens than any other place in the

city is because they are not marriage material. Women, with half a brain, dont go
looking for Prince Charming in Queens or the Bronx.
They go to Murray Hill.
Women want to be taken to dinner at a restaurant with well-groomed patrons,
and terrific wine menu, not McDonalds.
So, this most recent census totally bites because New York is my home. New
York and I have history. Weve shared laughs, drunken nights down Ninth
Avenue, a Bon Jovi concert, a Madonna faze and most of all, weve shared,
Mark.
At the young age of twenty-six, Mark is already comfortable with his life;
never seeking to exert more energy than required and never wanting to achieve
more than he already has. We rent a one bedroom subsidized apartment in lower
Manhattan that we share with his large and very lazy Rottweiler, Felony, who I
am convinced wants to chew my face off. Id given the dog to Mark as a
Christmas present a few years ago and I have regretted it ever since. The dog
sheds immensely and shes grown to such a large size that its inhumane having
her live indoors with us. However, Mark would rather cut off his right arm then get
rid of her. Loyalty is one of the qualities in him that I gravitated toward when we
first met. There is also the ease in our conversations, his unweathering patience
and affection toward me, and his relaxed approach in life in general. Ironically,
the very qualities I loved about him were now what I loathed.
Id always done right by love; always been a good girl, a hopeless romantic
with simple wants and needs. So, instead of running clear across the Country
when our relationship, once fun and exciting had become dull and uneventful, I
stayed.
Thats the way I saw love.
Everlasting.
Forever.
Even at the sacrifice of my own happiness.
The unweathering devotion that I have toward love is a sickness, my
sickness. It was my sheer determination to keep the relationship afloat that gave
me a sense of purpose. I did whatever I could to please him. To keep the
relationship afloat. What I had failed to realize was that the slump wed been in
would finally come to an end, with or without my involvement.
Mark and I had run its course.
For years, we bid our time together, neither one of us having the strength or
the courage to let it go. Perhaps it was loyalty that kept us together for so long.
Or maybe it was fear. All I know is that this is where you find me, with Mark, lying
awake in our bed wondering what I was doing still with him. I find myself making
a list in my head of all the different ways I can kill him. And although I look real
fabulous in jailhouse orange, Im quite scrawny and scare easily, so, Id probably
end up being someones bitch. Which would totally ruin my fantasies regarding
lesbian sex. Needless to say, I dont go the murder route.
By now, his chronic snoring is ringing obnoxiously in my ear. The ice-cold air
escaping the air conditioner does little to blanket this horrid sound and instead
seems to be competing. He doesnt even flinch when I kick him real hard under

the two layers of covers. A low growl ensues from below a pillow, though I might
be confusing it with the sounds of the city that bounce off the rooftops and into
the small bedroom through an open window; the sound of two car-horns, a faint
short-lived siren that comes and goes, school kids in the nearby park.
So, I kick him again.
And again.
And then, all is quiet.
Lingering in the sweet sound of absolute silence, the alarm thats
strategically placed on the bedside table next to Marks side of the bed engulfs
the bedroom with an irritatingly loud horn. Rolling over, I cover my head with the
heavy quilt. I havent slept a wink the entire night and the day has already begun
to tease me. Yes, Im wallowing in self-pity.
Mark jumps out of bed and says quite casually, I cant do this anymore.
I think Ive just imagined this so, I remain quiet.
I know you can hear me, Mark says.
Sitting up slowly, I say, What are you talking about?
You deserve better.
Um, okay, I reply, and retreat under the covers.
I think I hear him crying.
Wait.
Yes.
He is.
Hes pacing now. A few seconds later, he rips open a pack of cigarettes and
begins to deplete whatever breathable oxygen is left in the room. My crazy
boyfriend is going to give me cancer and what do I do? I hide. And then he says,
You deserve someone who can please you sexually.
And there it is.
The elephant.

Chapter Two

Im relieved that I wasnt the one to bring up the reason why weve been
avoiding each other. Trying to have sex the last six months have been
excruciating. Our sex life hadnt always been like this. Although, if I tried, I
wouldnt be able to pinpoint exactly when it started going bad. However, I can tell
you that it is most definitely not me. Its never been me. Im pretty. Im smart and
a total catch. (As you can see, I have no problem with self-love.) Nope. Its him.
Hes a douche. A douche that I actually wanted to marry, one day. Just not today.
Struggling with a response, eventually I reply with, Youre probably stressed
out about being laid off.
He takes a loud pull of his cigarette and says, Maybe.
Did you make an appointment with the doctor? I ask, kicking myself the
moment the words escape my lips. Of course, the most obvious thing to do is call
his doctor and find out whats wrong with his man stick but its also the one thing
he doesnt want to do because no man in the world wants to find out his disco
stick is broken. So, I add casually, To check your stress levels.
No.
Well, your penis is not going to fix itself dumbass, my mind screams. Instead,
I say absolutely nothing. Which given the circumstances, is the most logical and
safe choice.
He doesnt say anything more. Instead, he wipes his tears away while I
wonder how I ended up with a limp-dick-smoker. Dont get me wrong, Im not a
sex-crazed woman in any way, shape or form, but when youre no longer getting
laid, sex becomes important. I loved Mark, but love is never enough. Dreams and
desires change and evolve. I realized, more than I was ready to accept, that I
had evolved without Mark and I was no longer willing to wait for him to change.
Every time he failed me in the bedroom, he failed our relationship, our love,
our trust and us. There was nothing more that I could do or say. Our relationship
had finally come to an end.
A few seconds later, I hear a rustling from the living room. And then a door
slams. Expecting him to return in a furry, I wait. I hear the tell tale ding of the
elevator, triggering me to jump out of bed. Searching the apartment, I am
relieved when I realize hes left. But not before ripping down the collage I made
the night before. I hightail it back to the bedroom and grab my cellphone.
You will not believe what happened? I tell my best friend Amanda.
Tell me you didnt really go through with it? Amanda gasped.
Of course I did. Ive been asking him for months to quit doing drugs and he
hasnt. Our sex life is suffering in the process and he thinks a little tear drop is
going to make me feel sorry for him? I pick up the torn pieces of paper from the
floor.
Perhaps, I went overboard in my attempt to pull him from rock bottom, and

although the last few months had been torturous, what I had failed to understand
was that his failures as a man were his alone to bear. My desire for romance,
sex, and passion, were rebutted with recriminating second guesses; Why didnt I
admit to myself that he was a drug addict and a liar? Why did I stay? Why didnt
run off with that hot Mixed Martial Arts Instructor?
Youre such a bitch, Amanda reminds me.
I shrug my shoulders and throw the papers in the garbage. I thought wed be
together forever, you know. Why couldnt he do what most men do when they hit
a life crisis like buying something really expensive, like a Ferrari, I whined.
Because, he cant afford one. Anyway, hes made his choice, Amanda said,
and then added, Youre lucky.
How am I lucky?
Well, if you think about it, you got the best of him, Amanda said.
Pursing my lips together, I gaze out of the living room window. From the
thirtieth floor, New York looked innocuous and inviting. It didnt scream out what
my heart knew so certain, if a limp-dick-cigarette-smoking-cocaine-snorting man
was the best New York had to offer, I was going to be gravely disappointed. He
got the best of me too, my youth, my tight, subtle, unwrinkled, zero cellulite self.
Why dont you reconsider letting me set you up? Amanda said. For years,
Amanda had tried to convince me to let her set me up on a date. She owned a
prestigious dating service catering to high profiled people from all over the world.
I always thought blind dates were weird. I felt as if there were certain
expectations to going on a pre-planned date, like you were expected to like the
other person or expected to see them again even if you didnt want to. I didnt
want to be put in that situation.
I dont think so, I said.
Its really not as bad as you think it is, Amanda said. These guys are the
cream of the crop. Ive been telling you for years that youve been missing out.
Cream of the crop, huh? Tell me, if they are so great how come you arent
happily married already?
Setting someone up on a date is a very special gift. My grandmother had the
gift. My mother had it. As do I. And, like Ive told you before, I cant set myself up
on a date. Its like a genie not being able to grant themselves a wish. It just
doesnt work that way.
Well, whats the success rate of these dates? I said.
Eighty percent.
In all reality, eighty percent wasnt that bad at all. It was a lot better than my
personal success rate, which was currently a zero. But, Id never been on a blind
date before. Knowing me, Id say something stupid and ruin my chances right at
the go.
Look, Im having a singles mixer on Friday. Ill put you on the list and if you
show up, great. If not, no harm.
I continue to stare out of the window. New York was supposed to grant
wishes, but none of mine had come true and I was losing all hope. What I
needed was a break from men all together. No thanks, I said.
Whatever, Amanda huffed and then, Oh, and dont think this is an excuse

to get out of going to our high school reunion tonight.


I cant go now. Do you know how embarrassing its going to be if I show up
single? I grumble. My life is full of things I do not wish, nor have any desire to
do, like exercise, eat tofu, see my exes happy without me, and yes, topping
that list is going back to High School.
Trust me, youre better off going alone than with that lowlife.
Dont you remember High School?
No. I keep those memories locked in the deepest corners of my brain, with
the rest of my childhood memories, Amanda says.
Well, I do, I say.
In high school, I bragged about marrying Mark, traveling the world, and
becoming a successful rehab specialist. Mark and I were going to live in the most
posh condo in the Upper East Side and vacation in Bora Bora at our winter
home. As a matter of fact, thats exactly what I wrote under my life goals in the
yearbook. Although Mark did purchase a condo, it was his, not mine. And, I
hadnt gotten around to obtaining anything besides credit card debt because I
have to work full time to pay my tuition on account that the grants I received only
covered a small percentage of the tuition
As far as travel, sure, Mark and I planned on taking a vacation, however one
day he decided that he was afraid of planes. Coupled with his extreme case of
motion sickness, cruises were also out of the question. Therefore, my travels
consisted of errands to the grocery store, trips to the doctor to make sure I wasn't
pregnant and lets not forget, the occasional visit to my shrink, who had convinced
me that I was seasonally depressed - which wasn't really news to me at all
considering how desperately I wanted to lounge beachside in the middle of
French Polynesian sea.
Now, in less than twenty-four hours, I was going to show up at one of the last
places you want to show up single, and the number one place where you are
reminded of all the things you wanted to do, but haven't; all the mistakes you've
made; and how badly you've fucked up High School.

Chapter Three

Rain. It started really slow with a tapping against the taxi that soon grew into
a loud forewarning rapping. It was a sign that I should have stayed home, nursing
my wounds. Instead, I found myself trying to look past the raindrops that
accumulated on the passenger side window. The dizzying water effect was more
than enough to make me want to tell the cab driver to turn around and take me to
the comfort of my bed. But, I didnt. Dressed in a blue little number, I nod
occasionally to Amanda who had been going on about whom she was looking
forward to bump into and who she wished got fat.
Once Amanda and I arrived at my idea of Hell on Earth, an onset of anxiety
causes me to start biting my cuticles. Why are High School reunions held at
High School? I ask, looking around the colorful array of Dollar Store streamers
hanging from every surface of the John Dewey High School cafeteria. The usual
scuffed tiled floors are covered with round tables set with white tablecloths,
cheap flower centerpieces and tableware. I dont look forward to the buffet style
dinner.
The scattered groups of people that linger in the corners are clearly hiding
from the rest of the non-eager attendees. Their faces, showing the raw reality of
age, remind me that these same people, perhaps, share with me one common
thread, fear. There is nothing more intimidating than the fear that I have not
changed since High School. I would like to think that I have, that I didnt peak
during my adolescence. Considering, Ive worked hard at becoming everything
Cosmo Girl and Sassy Magazine had told me I should be. Perhaps, all my efforts
had been wasted, because I didnt feel all that I could be and I didnt exude a
happening vibe. My energy had been exhausted and I needed to recharge.
Its nice, Amanda says.
It isnt, but I dont rebuttal. Instead, I stay quiet, focusing my attention toward
the six-inch stilettos that have torn the skin off the back of my heel.
Stop looking so glum, Amanda said.
Why are we here again? I whine.
What do you mean?
For one thing, we hated these people.
That was twenty years ago. People change.
Yeah, shitty people just turn into shittier people, I said and then added,
They become Politicians and lawyers.
And then, as if on cue, Mark walks in.
What the hell is he doing here? I say to Amanda. Without waiting for a
reply, I shot out of my seat and marched right up to him.
We need to talk, I whisper to him.
No, we dont, replies Mark, turning to face away from me. I look around
quickly to make sure that no one I knew was in earshot of us.

Yes, we do. I pull him toward an isolated corner of the room and then
inquire, What are you doing here?
I assume we are both here for the same reasons, Mark says smugly.
I didnt want to come. Amanda dragged me. But thats not the point. If I knew
you were going to be here I wouldnt have come. My voice was shaking,
revealing the nervous wreck I was on the inside. I didnt want this, for Mark to see
me nervous and scared. Up until this moment, Id carried an almost supernatural
faade, exuberating confidence and strength though falling apart on every level.
Well, Im already here, Mark says dismissively and then, smiles past me. I
turn around and my eyes catch sight of a beautiful blond woman who I didnt
recognize, walking toward us. She smiled at Mark as if I wasnt standing next to
him. She made her way to Marks side and clasped her hand with his. My heart
dropped to the bottom of my chest.
What the fuck is this? I say, my voice rising slightly.
Come on. Dont act like you didnt know. Mark replies. Did you really think
weve been okay these past few months?
No. But, you dont just show up at our high school reunion, the very same
day we break up, with a floosy, I say, ignoring the bitch on Marks arm.
Shes got nothing to do with this, Mark says almost too loudly, causing
alarmed glances. I knew he was right, but I wasnt going to apologize. It was bad
enough that we broke up; he didnt have to show up at our reunion with another
woman, and so quickly. It was a low blow.
So, youre just going to continue to embarrass me in front of everyone? I
say.
Youre embarrassing yourself. These people dont care about you or me or
anyone but themselves. Do you honestly think that it matters that we are over?
People break up all the time Vivian. Get over yourself, Mark says and then walks
away, leaving me alone, with all the querying glance.
Im completely humiliated. My hands are trembling and my body is burning
hot from anger. I couldnt stay there any longer so I run off without saying
goodbye to Amanda. I run down the stairs and past the entrance doors. The brisk
night air fills my lungs leaving me breathless. I realize that the trickle of rain thatd
started a little bit ago was now a full downpour, stopping me in my tracks. I
looked up and down the street for a cab, but there were none in sight.
So, I decide to run.
In the rain.
All the way home.
I barely make it across the street when one of the heels of my shoes gets
stuck in a rain grate. I tumble unto the wet and destructive concrete floor. My
bare knees break my fall. Now, I was not only embarrassed, but I was also wet
and injured. The throbbing in my knees worsened the moment I try to stand up. I
want to scream at the rain, the grate, my shoes, the world, men.
Are you okay? a guy wearing jeans and a polo shirt asks as he gently grips
my arm, lifting me off the ground.
Do I look okay? I huff, wiping my hands on my dress. Once Im standing, he
leans down and rescues my shoe. The heel is broken. It dangles mockingly at

me. Awh, fuck- my shoes. They were one of the few gifts from Mark that he didnt
purchase at a discount store on account it was an anniversary gift. And they were
my favorite pair. My dress flares up around my thighs as a gust of wind blows
past me. I look at the broken shoe, and then my bare foot and then back again.
Theres no way I can walk in them now.
Do you need a ride? the guy asks, seeing the look of despair on my face.
No, I dont need a ride. Obviously my attempt to run home is working like a
gem, I say, baffled by the mans imprudent questions. I swipe my wet and
dripping hair out of my face, finally able to glance at the man. He was tall, dark
and handsome with the bluest eyes Id ever seen. He was standing in the rain
with me, not caring that hes getting soaked.
Obviously, he says, grinning at me. Do you need a ride?
Mark runs up to me. Viv, are you okay? he says, looking me over. I ignore
Mark and look into those piercing blue eyes again.
Yes, I say to blue eyes, just as the brisk cold air sends a shiver down to my
nipples that causes them to harden under my damped dress. I snap off the
already broken heel, place it in my handbag and then put the show back on my
foot. I limp toward Blue eyes.
Blue eyes smiles again, and walks over to the curb where he proceeds to
mount a motorcycle. My eyes widen.
Seriously?
I hope youre not afraid of motorcycles, blue eyes says coyly. In the yellow
light of the street lamp, I can see his dimples. This man was more than just
attractive. He is sexy. I try to hide my sudden jolt of exhilaration.
No, I finally reply. Blue eyes stands closer, hands me a helmet and adjusts
the chinstrap. From his close proximity, I can smell the fresh mint aroma of the
gum in his mouth and secretly want to be that gum. The feeling of wanting to be
with him surprises the shit out of me. Id never been one to run off with a strange
man, even if he was hot. But, with Mark standing in front of me like an idiot, trying
to convince me not to go, I want to run off with blue eyes even more. In that
moment, I didnt want to be the goodie-two-shoes that Id been all my life.
Suddenly, I muster up some cojones and saddle the back of the Harley as if
it isnt my first time.
Mark shouts, Viv, what are you doing? Where are you going?
You made your choice. Now, Im giving you exactly what you wanted, I said
to Mark. Then, I open my purse, grab the keys to our apartment in my hand and
throw it at him. Keep the fucking condo.
Where to? blue eyes asked.
Anywhere but here, I replied.
When blue eyes revved up the engine, exhilaration suddenly overcame me.
As we rode away, Marks voice, much like his presence, became obsolete.

Chapter Four

The roaring sound of the engine resonated in the frigid autumn air as the
motorcycle bullied its way up the west side highway. The rain subsided with
reprisal; leaving a layer of slippery wet glaze that glistened against the pale
moonlight. The city reflected off the Hudson River like a majestic fortress, telling
of a new story, a new life, a life that was owed to me. Adrenaline rushed through
my veins, filling every inch of my petite frame. I felt as if I was having an outer
body experience, riding with this stranger. Yet, somehow it feltright.
I close my eyes as a means to quiet my mind and embrace the moment as if
it was the last time I would ever find the courage to be impulsive. The motorcycle
hugs every city corner, and the cold air envelops my wet skin, causing me to hold
on to blue eyes tighter. I grasp at any form of heat that I could find. Saturated in
the moment, I felt free and invigorated. Being on the back of that Harley, going
fast, swooshing through traffic and holding on to him was unlike anything I had
ever experienced. We turned off Battery Park, where the cobble stone streets
lead you to the parts of Downtown that seem untouched by time. I looked up at
the night sky through the opening in my helmet, surprised by the clarity of the
stars that illuminated my world and secretly made a wish.
He zipped through traffic, eventually pulling over on a brightly lit street on the
Lower East Side where restaurants and bars lined the streets. Youll have to
mount off now so that I can set the bike, blue eyes said, leaning the bike slightly.
I slip off the back of the bike, my heart beating a mile a minute. I cant believe
I just got on the back of a bike with a total stranger. Even more, I cant even
believe what happened back at the reunion. I shake my head in disbelief. Once
on stable ground, I realized just how tightly Id wrapped my legs around him. My
legs begin to tremble from sheer exhaustion. I had to rest against a nearby tree
just to remain upright.
Blue eyes flexed the kickstand with a swift kick of his shoe and turned off the
ignition. Are you okay? he said, stepping off the bike and removing his helmet.
He smiles at me, sets the helmet on the seat of the bike and walks toward me.
Im fine, I said. My pulse is pounding violently. His eyes lock with mine. My
heart plummets to my stomach. As much as I want to find out more about this
guy, he looks like trouble and the way he makes my heart thump in my chest was
more trouble than I was looking for. Thanks for the ride.
He smiles and then raises an eyebrow at me and asks, You sure I cant take
you home?
I laugh, remembering that I threw the keys to the apartment at Mark. No, Im
okay. I can get home from here. The entrance to the metro is only a block away.
Although I want to linger here with him, Im soaked and my footwear has been
ruined. Before he can ask my name I turn around to leave and say, Thanks

again.
Anytime. He smiles, like he wants to say something else, but then changes
his mind.
I can feel him watching me as I make my way to the train. I fight with myself
not to turn around.

Chapter Five

Having nowhere else to go, I take the train uptown to Amandas condo.
Luckily, I have her emergency key, which she gave me when she locked herself
out of her place a few months ago. I exit the train at 36th and Park Avenue and
send Amanda a quick text to tell her if Im two blocks away from her place. She
sends a reply letting me know that shes on her way. I feel like a hot mess
walking into her prestigious Manhattan condo barefoot. Luckily, besides the
security guard and the doorman, the lobby is empty. Both men look at me with
questioning eyes. All I can say is, Something has to be done about the pot holes
in this city. I shake my broken heel in the air as I speak.
Their stares soften. The security guard nods as I walk inside the elevator. I
exit on the forty-second floor, walk down a long hallway toward Amandas
apartment. The carpet under my feet cushions every step. Keys in hand, I shove
one into the lock and twist. The lock clicks. I turn the knob and push the door,
walking forward. As soon as I close the door behind me, the tears that have been
brimming behind my eyelids finally fall. I plop down on Amandas couch, sobbing.
Within minutes, Amanda rushes into the apartment, Are you okay?
I swing my legs over the couch and sit up, That was so humiliating. I cant
believe Mark showed up with that floosy. I press my fingers to my temples, trying
to stop the headache thats building. In less than six hours Ive been dumped,
humiliated and now, officially homeless.
Amanda places her purse on the kitchen counter, and then sits down next to
me on the couch. I saw him run after you. You should have seen the look on his
face when you ran off with that hot guy.
I didnt run off with anyone. He just offered me a ride and I took it. Im quiet
for a moment, remembering those intense blue eyes.
What else happened? Amanda asks, seeing right through me.
Nothing, I said.
That guy was so hot, Amanda says.
I groan, hiding my face in my hands. Uh, what am I going to do now? I have
nowhere else to go. I have no family to run to and even through I work as a
Personal trainer for one of the top gym chains in Manhattan, it didnt provide me
with enough money to rent an apartment by myself and pay my tuition.
Well, you can stay here as long as you like. Itd be nice to have a little
company for a change. Amandas apartment is a one bedroom. Although its a
comfortable size as far as New York apartments go, sleeping on her couch was
not a long-term resolution.
Thanks, I reply, knowing too well that Amandas couch was my only option
at the moment.
Dont sound too excited. Amanda walks out of sight and returns with an
oversized t-shirt and a towel.

Thanks, I say, grabbing both. Im really grateful for the offer. Its just, you
know, Im still in shock and sleeping on your couch cant be my long-term goal.
And once winter break is over I go back to taking classes full time and taking as
many clients as I can just to keep up with tuition.
Well, at least you dodged a bullet with Mark.
You keep saying that.
Because its true.
Im beginning to think that you are going to say that about any guy I am no
longer dating.
Probably, Amanda says and then, look, you arent dating that douche for a
reason.
Yeah, because he broke up with me.
Sweetie, he did you a favor. Now, you can move on with your life. You can
start something fresh with someone new. Think about it, you wont have the
stigma of having to be with a guy you dont really want to be with just because
you feel you owe it to him. She takes a deep breath and sits back down next to
me. Look, you and Mark were together since High School, but so what. It
doesnt mean you have to put up with the bullshit. Its no longer about who was
right or wrong or who loved the other more. The point is, you werent happy and
now you have a chance to find real happiness.
Not having thought about it like that before, I am now astonished at this new
possibility. Perhaps deep down, even if I knew that Mark and I werent going to
work out, I didnt want to be the one to throw in the flag. I didnt want to be the
bad guy. There was nothing that I could say except, I guess.
We need to find you a new guy, Amanda says.
Shaking my head, I say, Im so not doing this anymore.
What exactly? Amanda asks.
Im not going to cling on to a man that I know is bad for me, I tell her. Then,
I stand and walk toward the bathroom. My voice trails behind me, The next guy I
fall in love with is going to be the perfect catch. No exceptions.
I push the shower curtain to one side and turn the shower knob. I can hear
Amanda laughing at me. Im serious, I shout to her.
Amanda shows up by the doorway, leans against the door and says, Viv,
Ive known you what? Twenty-something years now?
So?
I know you better than you know yourself and no matter how hard you try to
deny it, you cant be single. Its just not part of your DNA.
I sit down on the edge of the bathtub and look at her. I can too.
No. You cant. And, come to think of it, you cant just wait for the perfect
catch either.
Why not?
Because men are like bangs, you want them, you crave them and then,
when you get them, you realize, they look better on someone else.
You just compared men to hair.
Amanda walks over to the medicine cabinet. She looks at her reflection in the
mirror and begins to play with her hair. Youre just not good at picking the right

guy for you.


And you are?
Amanda beamed. Yes. Come on, let me set you up.
No thank you, I say, standing and waving my hand. You know blind dates
makes me nervous.
I bet I can find the perfect guy for you.
Letting you pick a guy for me to date sounds like a heap of trouble.
Look, come to the mixer on Friday. Itll be fun. Theyll be a dozen or so
single and very hot men there. You dont have to date anyone you dont want to.
Just take a look, have a drink and if you see a guy that peaks your interest, great.
If not, you can go through your man hating faze.
I sighed. What is it exactly that you do? Although Amanda and I have been
best friends forever, we never really discussed what she did. All I knew was that
she owned a dating company that made her a lot of money and since I never
liked the idea of blind dates, I never pressed her for information.
Men who dont have time or the patience to date hire me to find their perfect
match. On occasion, I have special invite only mixers where my high profile
clients can mingle with available single women. Everyone mingles and at the end
of the night the men choose three women theyd like to go out on a date with.
The women also have the opportunity to choose three guys they would like to go
on a first date with. If there is a match, meaning if the same guy and girl picked
each other, I let them know and the guy takes the girl on a date. A real date.
Then, if there is more chemistry, they go on a few more dates.
And?
And then, hopefully, love takes over. But not until after the guy makes a
commitment, Amanda says, raising her hand in the air and rubbing her ring
finger with her thumb.
Marriage? I ask.
Yes.
I dont want to get married. Not now anyway.
You dont have to, but you never know. You might just meet your knight in
shining armor on one of these dates and totally change your mind.
I doubt it, I said.
Amanda laughed. Okay. But look, if it makes you feel any better, these men
have to fill out a very detailed questioner and meet prerequisites before I agree to
work with them. Theyre not like that asshole of an ex of yours, Amanda clarified.
So, basically youre telling me that I have to go out with a nice guy, let him
wine and dine me and I dont have to see him again if I dont want to?
Exactly. Amanda smiled and then walked out of the bathroom.
Having attached myself to Mark like a security blanket and coming out of it
emotionally exhausting, the idea of simply dating a nice guy without the stress of
standard dating rules was intriguing. Fine. Not like I have anything to lose. You
have yourself a deal, I told her.
Amanda stopped, turned around and grinned. Oh, and one more thing,
Amanda said. Im picking your dates.
And in that moment, I was already regretting my decision.

Chapter Six

The next morning, the sound of my ringing cell phone snapped me back into
my newly single world. I roll over on the couch, grumbling as I grab my phone off
the side table. Hello, I said, burrowing my head under the blanket.
Where are you? screamed Christina. She was the manager of the gym
where I worked. Youre late for your seven oclock.
Sorry. Ill be there in fifteen minutes. I jolted off the couch and into
Amandas bedroom. I hang up the phone and push Amandas door open.
Amanda is leaning toward a mirror, applying a red shade of lipstick on her
lips. Shes wearing a black sheath dress that hides her curves. I thought you
decided to sleep in? she says when she sees me.
Im late for a client. Can I borrow work out clothes?
Last one. Amanda pointed to a chest of drawers. Feeling better?
No. I grabbed yoga pants and a pink tank top and then rushed to the
bathroom. After I changed, I did a quick mouthwash rinse. I ran my tongue over
my teeth. I could feel a layer of grime on them. I sighed. Eventually Id have to
return to Marks apartment and retrieve my things. Just the though of seeing
Mark again is already giving me anxiety.
I scream out to Amanda that Im leaving and then grab the keys off the
kitchen counter.
By the time I make it to the gym, Christina is already waiting for me, and so
was Mrs. Gravis. My client, Mrs. Gravis, was a very rich and very annoying client
(a bitch if you ask me) and I trained her three times a week. She was in great
physical shape and didnt actually need to work out. Just like having a personal
driver to schlep her around town, she hired a personal trainer because doing so
meant you had money to spend.
As much as I dont want to be a personal trainer, its the easiest and fastest
way for me to make money. The gym offers on site training at a discount rate and
even helps get me clients. The only downside is that I have to split the money I
made from the sessions with the gym, which sucks. If I were able to keep all of
the money I made from training clients, my tuition would have been paid in full by
now.
I take a deep breath. Sorry. My alarm never went off, I lied.
Christina gave me an all-knowing stare that said, Well talk after your
session.
I swallowed the knot in my throat and proceeded to walk Mrs. Gravis over to
the elliptical machine.
I must say, this is totally unacceptable, Mrs. Gravis says.
Sorry. This session is on me, I said.
She huffed as she stepped on the elliptical. I enter her warm-up program into
the machine and then said, Five minute warm-up and then we can do some

yoga.
I dont feel like yoga today, she said.
Well how about floor pilates?
She shrugged. Fine.
The rest of the session went without too much drama. I schedule her for her
next session and then prepare myself to talk to Christina. The door to her office is
wide open. My nerves are already shot to hell. I take a deep breath and walk in.
This is the third time this month youve showed up late, Christina reminds
me.
I know. Im sorry. Theres just been so much going on, I said, trying hard
not to cry.
Our clients expect to be trained by professional and knowledgeable trainers.
Youre one of the top trainers here and I would hate to have to let you go.
I know.
Whats going on? Is there anything you want to talk about?
I shake my head and sit down on a chair in front of her desk. No.
Christina waited, but I didnt offer any more information. I have to take this
session out of your pay.
I know, I said. Whenever the trainers, like me, fucked up, the session would
come out of the trainers pay. Id already lost four hundred dollars this month.
Christina looked at me with pity in her eyes. Do you need some time off?
No, I said and then added, I cant afford any time off.
Christina stands, walks toward me and says, Look, theres a new member.
Hes suffering form a sport injury and needs to do yoga as part of his
rehabilitation. He can only train in the afternoon, so, you wont have to be running
around town like a crazy woman. She hands me a form with the guys
information. Cameron J. Davis. He was thirty-four, worked out five times a week
and was suffering from an RCL injury. Oh, and its private sessions only. Youll
have to train him in his private gym.
I roll my eyes. I hate training Manhattans elite. They always act like theyre
better than everyone else and are always too eager to flaunt their money and
status in everyones face. But, I cant afford to be picky. I need this job. When
does he want to start? I ask.
Next week, she says before adding, This is the last chance Im going to
give you. One more lateness or disgruntle member and Im going to have to let
you go.
I understand, I said, feeling a stress headache coming on. I sigh, stand and
thank Christina for giving me another chance. Then, I make my way to the
employee break room. I feel like Im going to collapse from a full on anxiety
attack. I sit down on one of the break tables, place my arms on the table and rest
my head on them. I close my eyes, kicking myself for not setting the alarm last
night. Not that anyone could blame me for forgetting. After all, Id had the worst
night of my life. But, what was done was done. Christina had been kind enough
to give me one more chance and I couldnt blow it.
I begin to think about blue eyes and how Id no care in the world when Id
been on the back of his bike. I sigh at the memory a high-pitched voice startles

me.
Whats wrong with you? Pria Murray, a spinning instructor takes a seat
opposite me. Shes been working at the gym for five years and has such a big
following that the gym pays her more money per hour than I make in a one day.
She is also nosey, and annoyingly pretty. Her natural blond hair that curls at the
ends gives her a flawless and very enviable Farrah Fawcett type look. Shes also
married to a soap opera actor. If she werent super nice, Id roll her up in a yoga
mat and throw her down a flight of stairs.
My life sucks, I say, my words muffled by the way my face is hidden against
my arms.
Late again huh?
So not my fault this time, I explain. I try not to go too much into detail. Pria
is not the type of person you want to know your business, but Im stressed and
Amanda is never available for small talk during business hours unless shes the
one who calls or texts first. I lift my head, swiping my hair out of my face and
then, Jules gave me one more chance. Some new client. If I even smile the
wrong way, Im gone.
Well, then you cant fuck up. Pria looks at me with kind eyes. Why do you
keep accepting the early clients if you cant make it on time? Some people are
morning people and others arent. You are the arent.
I shrug. I cant be picky. I have to take whatever I can get or else I cant pay
my bills or my college debt and now, I have the added cost of having to look for
an apartment.
Oh, shit. When did that happen?
Last night, I said and then I wave my hand. Dont worry we were bound to
break up sooner or later. I was just hoping for a little later. I cant afford to be
single in New York. It was sad, but true. It was nearly impossible for one person
to make enough money to afford so much as a studio apartment in Manhattan
and be lucky enough to sustain themselves on something other than Raman
noodles. And I hated Raman noodles.
Well, today might be your lucky day.
I raise an eyebrow. Why?
My roommate just gave me a months notice. So, you have a month to figure
out how to make half the rent plus utilities.
Are you serious?
Yeah. A few people have already shown interest, but Ill give you first dibs if
you want.
Why me?
Youre the only person I know who needs a place to stay that doesnt creep
me out.
I take her answer as a compliment and then let it go. Exactly how much is
my share? I ask curiously. Being Prias roommate would have never been on my
list of things I wanted to do, but it was the best option to get off of Amandas
couch.
Seven-hundred.
A month? My eyebrows raise and my mouth is wide open. Ive never heard

of anyone getting such a great price on two-bedroom apartment in the city. Why
is it so cheap?
Its a subsidized apartment. I rent it from my cousin who pays half of what
hes charging me. He makes a profit and I get to live in the best city on earth at a
great price. Pria smiles widely at me.
Best city indeed, I said.
Manhattan was finally giving me a break and I was going to do all I can to not
mess up again.

Chapter Seven

Later I stop by a dollar store to purchase basic necessities like a toothbrush


and deodorant. I still havent the courage to see Mark and hope he hasnt thrown
my things in a dumpster. Shit, my books. I grunt at the idea of having to
repurchase my textbooks. Theyd cost me over three hundred dollars and after
my two dollar and fifteen cent purchase at the cheapie store, all I had left in my
bank account was ninety-seven dollars. I walk out of the store feeling more
depressed than when I walked in.
Its Tuesday night, AKA ladies night. I have zero intention of going out so I
order take out and veg out in front the television. I change into one of Amandas
sweat pants and a t-shirt and make plans with HBO.
An hour later, Amanda waltzes into her apartment with a big smile on her
face, until she sees me. What the hell are you doing? She frowns.
Nothing.
Its Tuesday, Amanda sing-songs, walking over to me and playfully kicking
my leg. Jump in the shower and get dressed. We are going out.
Im busy.
I can see that, she says mockingly.
I groan, grab a toss pillow and hide my face under it. I dont want to.
Come on, you have to come or else Im going to eat ice cream, gain a
hundred pounds and itll all be your fault, Amanda threatened.
I let out a loud sigh. You cant gain a hundred pounds in one night.
Tell that to my hips.
Its called curves. No matter what you do you cant lose those.
No, but I can have them surgically removed. Theyre doing great things with
technology today. Just the other day I read an article that a Chinese woman
wanted to be black so she went to the UK and in an year, she got her wish. I can
hear her walking away into her bedroom. She kicks her shoes off her feet. The
closet door creaks as she opens it.
They made her black? I ask, sitting up and placing the toss pillow on my
lap.
Not really, but she got eyelid surgery to open up her eyes, lip injections, hair
extensions and butt implants. Amandas voice trails in from the bedroom. I can
tell that shes pacing as she speaks.
And?
She looked like a Chinese version of J-lo, but hey a few years ago you
couldnt even get a nose job without being a celebrity. The point is, people like
me can now afford really good surgery, Amanda reappears, now dressed in a
glittery dress that reminds me of something from the sixties. On her it looks
fabulous.
If I go out, will you promise to hold off on surgery? I ask.

Okay, but only until I can find a surgeon that will agree to take sex as
payment, Amanda said.
Why? You can afford it. I turn to look at Amanda who has taken the liberty
of throwing a short blue dress at me.
Because Im saving up for a complete body lift when I turn fifty, Amanda
explained.
I hold up the dress. Its shorter than what I would normally wear. But its very
pretty. Why fifty?
Amanda shrugs. Im assuming thats how old Ill be when I can no longer
stand to look at myself naked.
Uh, fine, I said and forced myself off the couch. Managing to shower
without crawling into a ball and crying, I get dressed in the dress Amanda picked
out for me. It looks really nice on me. Short but not too short and loose fitting in
all the right places. It wasnt the type of dress id pick out for myself, but it would
have to do. I hadnt even thought about going back to Marks apartment and
getting my things. Then, I dab a little bit on concealer under my eyes and then
brush on some face powder. Then, I choose a light pink gloss for my lips. I
review my quick attempt at getting dolled up and shrug. Ive done worse with
more time, I tell my reflection. Where are we going anyway? I ask, combing my
hair.
Downtown. There will be booze and plenty of men.
I am so not in the mood to be social.
How long do you plan on hiding?
Im not hiding.
So what do you call that? Amanda points to the empty take-out boxes in the
kitchen.
I shrugged and said, Im considering a job as a food critique.
You are not Julia Roberts, Amanda says, walking back into her bedroom
and emerging with a pair of nude red bottom heels. She hands them too me.
I try to contain my excitement as I place those babies on my feet. Theyre a
little snug, but I dont even think about taking them off. Shes old. Im Ryan
Reynolds new wifewassername.
Blake Lively.
Yup. I walk over to the full-length mirror and take one good look at my
ensemble. I almost dont recognize myself. I look good.
You cant be her, Amanda tells me.
Why not? I turn to face Amanda and scowl at her.
Youre short like Eva Longoria and have an ass like J-lo, Amanda said and
then added, skinny J-lo.
I wasnt aware there was a skinny J-lo.
Theres also real J-lo, fake j-lo and obviously, fat J-lo.
Thanks, now Im craving jello.
Amanda walked to the front door of her apartment as she waved her arms in
surrender and said, I give up.
So did J-Lo, thats why shes fat, I said, taking one last glance in the mirror
before trailing after her.

Chapter Eight

I hate bars. I hate small, Lower East Side bars even more. Its like everyone
decided to capitalize on the big bar craze and turned closet size spaces into
wanna-be-trendy nightspots. Weve been standing in the middle of a large crowd
for fifteen minutes and my feet have already been stepped on three times.
Are they giving away free beer? I ask Amanda who is surprisingly looking
like shes enjoying herself.
I think that guy is flirting with me, Amanda says, smiling at a guy in the
crowd.
Really? I try to see his face, but am blocked by a tall muscle head dude that
should be on an episode of Jersey Shore.
Yeah, Im going to go say hi. Amanda squeezes through the crowd before I
can protest her abandoning me.
I shift my weight from one foot to the other, trying to ease my discomfort.
Fashion is definitely not comfortable. Then, I take a sip of my Martini. I look
around for an empty seat at the bar, but there arent any. Its so loud inside the
bar that my ears are starting to ring. Maybe if I tell Amanda I have a client early in
the morning she wont get upset if I leave, I tell myself. I tippy toe, scan the bar for
her and come up empty.
Then, the crowd shifts, someone elbows me and I drop my drink. Fuck, I
said as I hop backwards, trying to avoid the spill. Big strong hands steady me. I
turn around and am suddenly weak at the knees. Familiar blue eyes are staring
back at me. My face flames red, and I cant move. A chill runs down my spine
when he shoots a smile at me.
I seem to be always be rescuing you, he says.
Where were you at seven in the morning when I really needed you? I said.
I apologize. My spidey sense must be off.
I was thinking more like superman.
A woman who knows her comics, blue eyes said. I like that.
A woman who is afraid of spiders, I corrected.
He laughed. Well, we cant have you scurrying away every time you see
me.
I blushed. Why not?
Because at this rate Im never going to know your name.
I shake my head. Lois Lane, I said.
Blue eyes grinned. I suppose then, that Im Clark?
I nod.
He laughs. Well Lois, want to get out of here?
I nod again and take one more glance around the bar for Amanda. When I
spot her chatting with a guy, I send her a text that Im leaving. Within seconds
she sends me a smiley face. Blue eyes takes me by the hand and walks me

outside where is motorcycle is parked. I laugh at my total lack of correct clothing.


My dress will blow up to my waist again. Plus, its brisk outside and Im sure that I
will not last more than five minutes before freezing to death.
As if reading my mind, Blue eyes takes off his leather jacket and holds it up
for me. I grin. Thanks, I said, slipping it on. I swing my legs over the back of the
bike and tuck the bottom of my dress as tightly as possible under my butt.
Ready? he asks.
I keep wearing the wrong type of outfit, I said, noticing that the dress had
shifted and my boobs are once again spilling over the top. I really have to get my
clothes from Marks apartment or blue eyes is going to think I always dress like a
slut.
He laughs. I have no complaints.
I bet you dont.
He turns the key in the ignition and the bike revs up. He looks over his
shoulder at me and gives the kickstand a swift kick. Hold on.

Chapter Nine

Fifteen minutes later, Blue eyes slows the bike and parks it in front of a
Saloon style bar in Battery Park. The parking lot is full of Motorcycles. Half
frozen, I slip off the back and wrap my arms around myself. The skin on my face
and legs is tingling from the numbness.
He removes his helmet and says, Sorry I didnt have anything else to offer
you to wear.
Its okay. In the future I have to be more careful what I wear.
He laughs. Why? You look great.
Youre a guy. You would say that.
Blue eyes laughs as he dismounts. Its not as bad as you think, he says,
rowing his eyes over me.
In my defense, its my best friends dress. I dont normally wear anything so
revealing.
My entire body is shivering now. Blue eyes and I lock eyes. He begins to
walk toward me. Every step he takes closer to me seems to happen in slow
motion. He stands in front of me and says, Too bad. You look great in it.
Thanks, I manage to say without melting into a puddle of lust for him.
How about you let me buy you a drink?
I nod because Im so nervous that if I tried to speak my words would get
lodged in my throat and Id probably sound like a duck.
Great, he said, opening the door to the bar.
I walk inside, looking around. Aside from the disco light that was hung over a
dingy pool table, there wasnt much lighting. A small dance area took up the back
and colorful Christmas lights were strung along the bar. A man, seated at the bar
and dressed in a black motorcycle jacket, nodded his head in a welcoming
gesture to us as we walked toward the bar counter.
What would you like to drink? Blue eyes said. This wasnt the type of place
you ordered wine or a cocktail. I settled for a beer.
Two beers, he yelled to the bartender.
When my beer came, I drank it so fast that it startled me. One more, I said
to the bartender, not realizing blue eyes was silent in amazement.
Thirsty are we? he says.
Cold, I told him. I wasnt going to tell him that aside from feeling cold, being
near him was making me extremely nervous. I was drinking to keep myself from
saying something stupid. And to give myself something to do other than stare at
him.
After two more sips, I excuse myself to the ladies room. The bathroom is
dark and empty. The water pipes rattled inside the walls as I tugged on the rusty
faucet handle. The water seemed to struggle as it trickled out of the pipes. I ran
my cold hands under hot water for a few seconds and then dried them with a

paper towel. I take a second to look at my reflection in the dingy mirror. Thank
goodness the bar had dim lighting. It hid the bags under my eyes. I was ready to
get back to the bar when the bathroom door suddenly opened. Meeting my eyes
in the mirror was sexy blue eyes. He was holding a pair of beer bottles and
smiling. He didnt say a word as he placed the bottles on top of the sink. Each
step he took toward me made my heart pound harder and harder.
Ive wanted you from the first moment I saw you, he whispers, standing
behind me. His fingers traced the contour of my back. His hot breath enveloped
the small and tender space on the back of my neck. Every part of me was
immobile, except for my feverishly beating heart. For a moment, I thought I could
hear it thumping loudly against my chest from both excitement and anxiety.
Secretly, I wanted him to ravish me. I wanted him to tear apart my clothes and
enthrall me in a web of passion I had merely fantasied about. Then, as he began
to trace kisses on my neck, a moan escaped my lips. He chuckled in his
excitement while I easily melted into his arms.
His right hand made its way up my dress. My legs quiver from anticipation.
Slowly, his hand trails between my cotton underwear and at the opening between
my legs. He uses two fingers to separate the lips, teasing the delicate spot. Then,
he touched my clit, causing me to gasp.
Do you want me? he asked. I moan in response, but he wanted to hear
more. Tell me you want me? he asked, forcefully pushing his fingers inside of
me with a rapid thrust. I buckled under him, causing him to push his fingers
deeper and harder.
I want you, I said, moaning and whimpering in the pleasure he brought me.
He tugged on my underwear with his other hand and then ripped them off. Then
he continued to fondle me, shattering the wall Id recently started to build.
His hand slowly exited the moistened spot between my legs as he turned me
around. Facing him, I almost shrunk right before his eyes, but he ambushed me
with his lips, causing a crescendo of waves that flooded me with pure ecstasy. I
was lost in the exquisite taste of his kiss that ignited an ethereal of emotions. His
hard cock pushed up against my thigh, a huge bulge against the zipper of his
pants. I wanted it inside of me. And, as if knowing the depth of my desire for him,
he undid his zipper, letting the pants fall to the ground in one sudden movement.
Then, he took my hand and placed it against his moistened briefs, making
me grip his cock. I want you to taste me, he said, pulling the fabric down past
his hips. Finally, my body gave in, freeing itself from the invisible shackles and
letting me fall to my knees. I took his hard, throbbing penis in my hand and
teased the tip with my tongue. He moaned from above, evoking me to stroke him
harder and faster. The more he moaned, the more I stroked. It was a magnetic
connection that lasted until he abruptly stopped me and turned me around,
making me lean against the sink. With one hard swoop, he stood me up and then
he was inside of me, feeding every whimper that escaped my lips with deep and
satisfying thrusts. A wave of explosions burst from inside of me as his cock
throbbed against my soft spot, driving me into abandon. I wanted to come all
over his cock.
You want me to fuck you dont you? he asked, holding on tightly to my hips.

Yes, I said, surprised at myself for being so transparent with him and even
more surprised I waited so long to let someone make me feel this good. He railed
into me, harder and deeper with no restraints. I moaned underneath him as our
bodies rocked back and forth together. I let myself go, embraced every rhythmic
moment and moaned with pleasure. I could feel an orgasm build as he pumped
at my hips. When he began to match my rhythm, I knew he was about to come.
Youre so fucking wet, he said in a guttural raspy voice, as he buried his
face against my neck. His breath was heavy as he panted. Then, his body began
to shudder, causing him to tighten his grip on me. I held on to the sink, knuckles
white and palms red. My pussy, swollen and drenched, began to flutter against
his cock, warning him that I too was close to an orgasm. I could feel his cock
throbbing inside of me. Every time his body quivered from an explosion he thrust
deeper and harder until I climaxed underneath him. My wetness pooled around
his cock as he kissed the back of my neck. We lingered in the moment, him
easing in and out of me until his cock was no longer hard. Then, he kissed my
lips deeply.
Are you okay? he asked, searching my eyes.
Yeah, Its just, I began to say before dropping my gaze to the floor. I wanted
to tell him that Id never done something like this before, but Im too nervous to
say anything. Ive just let a man fuck me in a dingy bathroom at a motorcycle bar.
It was not a crowning moment for me. I dont want you to think that I do this all
the time.
All Im thinking is how beautiful you are, he said, kissing me with a shocking
tenderness that melted all my insecurities away. When we returned to our seats
at the bar, we finished our beers as if the previous fifteen minutes hadnt
happened. Then, he held my hand as we made our way back to the motorcycle.
Where to? he asked as he fixed the strap on my helmet.
34th and Park. I have to get up really early in the morning, I sadly admit.
He nods. I hold on to him tightly as we rode up the west side away again.
The rush of the cold air did little to distract me from my sore pussy. Every time
the motorcycle found a pothole, I winced from pain. So, I was relieved when the
bike slowed and he turned off the ignition, but I wasnt looking forward to saying
goodbye.
When we arrive at Amandas condo, I slip off the back and hand him back his
helmet. Thanks for the ride, I tell him. I wait a few seconds, wondering if hes
going to tell me he wants to see me again or ask for my number. When he
doesnt I start to walk away. He grabs my arm and pulls me into him. He cologne
enters my lungs as I inhale him. His hand softly tilts my chin u and looks into my
eyes. His breath is on my face. He leans down and kisses me. I feel my entire
body melt into him. I feel as if Im going to float away. He leaves me breathless
and wanting more.
Then, he pulls away, shaking his head. Im sorry.
I was confused and breathing heavily. For?
Sometimes I dont think before I act, he says and then, Its just, there are
very few things that captivate me as much as you do. His eyes drift upward,
toward my lips and then he touches my cheek with is hand.

My stomach does a backflip. I want to kiss him again, but I dont. Instead, I
begin to fix my dress. Its okay, I tell him. Inside, my heart is beating like a
racehorse and my mind is going crazy with questions.
He steps away from me and grins. I like kissing you.
I blush and say, I like kissing you too.
Then, he puts on his helmet. Its been a delightful evening. And then the
engine of his bike roars. I watch him drive away until he disappears into the night.

Chapter Ten

Friday comes too soon. I havent stopped thinking about the night at the bar
with blue eyes. I still felt embarrassed about having had sex with him. Not
because I didnt want to. I did. But, because it wasnt like me to do something like
that. I didnt want him to think I was easy. However, whenever I was with him, I
turned into someone else, someone more daring.
Then again, what kind of man seduces a woman in the ladies room and then
doesnt ask for her number. It just didnt make sense when all the signals were
pointing the same direction an undeniable sexual attraction. I begin to wonder if
maybe all he wanted was a one-night stand. If that was the case, Id have to
accept that Id given him exactly what he wanted and let it go.
Back to reality, Amanda says, snapping her fingers in front of my face.
Were in the kitchen. Im pouring myself a cup of coffee.
I saw blue eyes again, I blurt out.
Amandas mouth hangs open. What? When?
The other day at the bar.
Amanda stands frozen, waiting for me to tell her more. When I dont say
anything more she prods. And then?
I shrug. Nothing.
Nothing?
We went to a bar, had a drink and then he drove me back here. I dont even
know his name. I took a sip of coffee. I was too embarrassed to tell her thatd Id
fucked a complete stranger in a public bathroom of a dive bar.
You dont know his name?
I shook my head. It just didnt come up.
Really? That totally bombs, Amanda said and then she walked over to the
kitchen table and sat down to eat her breakfast. She had the same thing every
morning, egg whites, vanilla yogurt and a banana. She was on a mission to keep
her calories down and her energy levels up.
I grab the sugar from the cabinet, scoop two spoonfuls into my coffee before
mixing it with a spoon. Hes so weird.
If you havent figure it out by now, we live in New York City where weirdoes
are a dime a dozen. So, youre going to have to explain weird.
I shrug my shoulders. First of all, he keeps showing up at the same places
as me and then, he scoots me away from danger only to leave me hanging
without even asking for my name or my number. Hes like, a tease.
Oh my god, you kissed him? What was it like?
Wonderful, I said, remembering the bathroom incident.
Are you going to see him again?
How? I dont even know who he is. I take my coffee and sit down on the
couch. I dont have to be at the gym for another two hours. Thank goodness.

Well, since you keep bumping into him, Im sure youll see him again soon.
But when you do, dont leave without at least his cell number.
I shrug. Well see.
Amanda shoots up out of her chair. Fuck, Im the one whos going to be late
if I dont get out of here. Shes already dressed for work. Shes wearing a black
pencil skirt and a black top. On her feet are a pair of shinny black Louboutins.
She looks like a million bucks. See you at six. Ill shoot you a text with the
address.
I almost forgot I had to go to Amandas mixer and regret even agreeing to go
through with it. Okay, I grunt.
You better show up, she says, grabbing her purse and keys.
I will. Just then, my cell phone starts to vibrate. To my surprise, it was a text
message from limp-dick Mark. Amanda mustve seen the shock on my face
because she was all over me.
You okay? she says, trying to sneak a peek at my cell phone screen.
Its Mark. He said he wants to talk. Can you believe that?
Dont do it.
I take a long dramatic pause. Im not, I finally say, not sounding at all
convincing.
I mean it.
I know. I start picking at my cuticles. Its a nervous habit. A bad, ugly one.
The questions ensue. What if he wants to apologize? What if he finally stopped
doing drugs and fixed his penis problems? Shit, why do I even care? Was I still in
love with him? Oh god, I hoped not. Love makes people do stupid things and I
was the worst offender. There is no way I want to even consider the possibility of
still being in love with Mark. But, what if he finally decided to change? my mouth
blurts out before common sense has a chance to butt in.
Once a douchebag, Amanda says, lingering by the front door. I knew that
she was right. Id spent too many years of my life trying to change him, to make
him love himself as much as Id loved him, but my hard work never paid off. Mark
chose drugs over our relationship long before Id begun the Change Mark
Campaign.
Anyway, I have three clients today, so I better get going as well, I say,
taking one last sip of the coffee.
Okay. See you later, Amanda says, opening the front door and stepping
through it.
When the door clicked shut, I flipped open my cell phone and stare at Marks
text message.

Chapter Eleven

After I finish training all my clients for the day, I get dressed and head over to
Amandas mixer. The event is taking place at a trendy New York spot called
Starlight Lounge. Dubbed the hottest place to be seen in all of Manhattan, I look
down at my outfit and regret my decision to wear one of her bodycon dresses. It
looks like Im trying too hard. I step out of the taxi and walk up to the bouncer
guarding the entrance. I gave him my name. He checks that I am on the list and
then unhooks the velvet rope so that I could enter.
A grand room with cool blue lighting and ice sculptures welcomes me as I
walk through the lounge. Then, a bare chested, muscular, man with a black bow
around his neck offered me a cocktail from the tray of drinks he was holding. I
would have taken the entire tray if it meant he would linger for just a second
longer, but after taking a drink off the tray, he sauntered over to another muscular
man. Why are all the cute ones gay, I wined to myself.
The sexy waiters were everywhere, causing heart failure as they walked past
all the club goers. I spot Amanda walking around with a clipboard. She waves at
me and signals to give her a minute.
So what exactly am I supposed to do? I ask her as soon as she walks up to
me. Is it like those school dances where the girls line the walls, praying that a
guy picks them out of the lineup?
Not really, Amanda said with a grim. Its more like speed dating.
What? Speed dating is so lame.
Aw, come on. Youre officially single and ready to meet your next boyfriend.
Plus this is not your typical speed dating. Its invite only.
I dont even want to know how you were you found men willing to do this, I
whined. It might be easier for me to get a dog?
Its not the same thing, Amanda said and then, she added, you cant fuck
your dog.
Well, I dont think theres anyone here I like, I complained.
You just got here, Amanda said, taking a sip of her drink and then, points to
a man at the bar. Look, how about that guy?
His hairline is competing with my bikini wax.
Hes cute.
Hes fat, I correct.
Pleasantly plump, Amanda says and then, And hes rich. He owns a fleet
of airplanes that he leases out for charters.
You know, I really hate it when people say that. Fat is fat. Saying someone
is pleasantly fat is like saying youre pleasantly ugly which means, youre still
ugly.
Youre claws are out, Amanda says, taking a sip of her drink.
Whatever, I said. I dont care if hes rich. Hes still not my type.

Amanda rolled her eyes. Lets not forget that your last boyfriend dumped
you and youre reaching your prime.
You arent seriously going to pick one of these guys for me, are you? I said,
looking around the room of disagreeable selections.
A promise is a promise, Amanda said and then, she pulled me over to an
empty table. I sat down and watched her walk over to the center of the room
where she began to speak into a microphone. She introduced herself, thanked
everyone for coming and then gave us a rundown of what was to expect. She
ended it with a few pointers on icebreakers and then she rang a little bell.
The cattle call had begun.
Ten minutes later, Id officially been on more dates than I cared for. And all of
them were with men Id care even less to have ever met. When the bell rang
again, letting us know that we had a five-minute break, I shot out of my seat and
toward the bar.
So, did you find him? Amanda said, smiling.
If you mean all the losers, rejects and waste-of-timers, yup. I ordered a
margarita on the rocks, sugar on the rim instead of salt and sulked.
Well, we have one more round. Anything can happen, Amanda said.
Tonight is proving that even with your expertise, there is simply no one out
there for me, I said.
Stop being so pessimistic. Its going to give you wrinkles.
I shrug.
Theres one guy I really want you to meet. Hes sexy, smart and is looking
for someone to spend romantic nights walking on the beach with.
I rolled my eyes. What is it with men and clichs?
Amanda laughed. I think its romantic. Anyway, these mixers are not really
his style. However, I just called him and told him that there was someone I really
wanted him to meet.
I raised an eyebrow at her. No pressure, huh?
Amanda smiled. You promised.
Fine. I said, grabbing my drink off the bar. I stuck my tongue out at her for
good measure and then walked back to my table. The bell rings again. I take a
deep breath. One more date and then I could go home. Amanda would never
bother me again about setting me up. Thank god.
All of a sudden my heart does a backflip. A man, looking to be in his thirties,
with dark hair and striking hazel eyes sits down in front of me. The corners of his
lips curl when he looks at me.
Wow, he says. If I would have known I was going to meet you I would have
arrived an hour early.
I blush.
Im Julian, he says, smiling a devious grin at me that makes my heart
flutter.
Vivienne, I said, smiling back. Theres something about him that seems
familiar, but I cant figure out what it is.
Im going to take a leap of faith here and say something that may or may not
cause you to walk away. But, the idea of only having five minutes in your

presence seems more like torture. So, how about we inform Amanda that wed
like to continue alone? On a real date?
Thats a little presumptuous of you, dont you think?
When I see something I like, I simply must have it.
This guy was not only sexy, but he was smooth. I really didnt want to go on
any more mini dates with any more weirdoes and this guy seemed to be the most
normal guy here, so I signaled Amanda over.
Amanda dear, Id like to officially take Miss Vivienne here off the list, Julian
said.
You know the rules, Amanda said with a grin that let me know she would
throw it in my face later that she was right.
I do, Julian said and then, he pushed his chair back, stood and walked over
to me. Then, he pulled my chair back like a true gentleman. Shall we?
We shall, I said and then I exited the mixer with the most handsome man
there.

Chapter Twelve

Julian escorts me into a waiting limo and sits across from me. Ive never
been inside a limo before. Its bigger than I expected. He obviously has a lot of
money, I tell myself. And then, I frown at the idea that hes going to spend the
rest of the night flaunting his money in my face. Im not necessarily attracted to
men with large egos. Its actually a huge turn off.
Champagne? Julian asks.
I nod. If nothing else comes out of this date, at least to take advantage of
expensive and free champagne.
He smiles, grand a bottle of champagne from a side console. I keep
wondering where Amanda was hiding you?
My face flushes red. I wouldnt necessarily call it hiding. Shes been asking
me for ever to come to one of these events, but I wasnt interested.
Why? he says, popping the champagne bottle open. He grabs a
champagne flute and pours me a glass.
Blind dates just arent my thing. I like to know what Im saying yes to ahead
of time.
He hands me the champagne glass as he smirks. But you like speed
dating?
I laugh. No. Speed dating is worse. I mean, how much can you find out
about someone in five minutes? But, its very difficult to say no to Amanda. After
months of saying no, she finally worn me down. The limo exits the highway,
turns right and then begins to slow.
He holds up his glass of champagne, places the bottle back on the wine bar
and says, Well then, a toast. Heres to Amanda, a woman to which we now owe
our very souls.
I giggle. Our glasses clink and then we both take a sip. I cant help but notice
that Julian is not only sexy, but also totally charming. His brown eyes glitter with
excitement as he speaks. Before we can get deep into a typical first date
conversation that would cover the usual topics of likes, dislikes, and such, the
limo pulls over to a curb.
We are in Lower Manhattan, at the base of a New York City skyscraper. Im
confused because I thought he was taking me out on a date. Where are we? I
ask.
Its s surprise, he says, smirking. You do like surprises?
Im not sure. I really dont know whats going on. For a second, I regret
going anywhere with this guy. Even though Amanda said he was ok, I was
scared.
He smiles and exits first. Then, he holds open the car door for me and
extends a hand. I take it. He whisks me inside the skyscraper. The lobby is
outfitted with three body scan machines like the ones you find at airports. Julian

nods at the security guard who jumps to his feet at the sight of him. Instead of
walking through the body scanners, Julian walks around them.
Then, we walk inside an elevator. Julian presses a button with the initials RT.
Are you okay? You seem nervous.
Im fine. I lie. My stomach is tied in knots and my heart is beating so fast I
think its going to pop out of my chest.
The elevator dings and then the doors open. Were at the rooftop. There is a
helicopter waiting for us on a helipad. Ive never been in a helicopter before.
Okay, now Im nervous, I said.
I hope you arent afraid of heights.
No. But Ive never attempted a helicopter ride either.
I assure you that you are in safe hands, he says, holding my hand and
walking me over to the helicopter. Once inside, he hands me a pair of large
headsets. I put them on. The pilot presses a few buttons on the console and both
rotors turn on. Slow at first and then faster and faster. Now I know why Julian
gave me headsets. Its really loud. We buckle ourselves in our seats. Julian
smiles and then asks me if Im ready. I nod. He gives the pilot a thumbs up and
then we are on our way.
The helicopter takes off slowly. I can feel my heart beating faster and faster.
Im so scared that I start picking at the cuticles on my fingers. Julian reaches over
and gently places his hand over mine. Just that small gesture eases my nerves. I
didnt expect him to be so nice. Then, for no reason at all, blue eyes pops into my
head. Part of me wishes that he were here with me instead of Julian, but part of
me likes being here with Julian too. I wonder if its normal to like two men at the
same time.
Look over there, Julian says, pointing.
My gaze turns to where he is pointing. Its the Statue of Liberty. From way up
here, she looks small and more elegant than I could have ever imagined. Its so
beautiful, I say. The helicopter turns slightly. For the next twenty-minutes we
take a scenic tour of Manhattan.
When we are back on solid ground, Im no longer filled with apprehension.
Im filled with awe. I could have never guessed how magical New York City
looked from way up in the sky. One twenty-minute helicopter ride above the city
that never sleeps has totally changed my perspective, on life. Somehow,
everything I ever wanted seemed attainable. It was magnificent to finally feel this
way.
Well, howd I do? Julian asks, extending a hand and leading me out of the
helicopter.
Smiling shyly at him I breathe, Its the best date Ive ever had.
Hopefully, this wont be our last, he says and then, he stops. He looks down
at me and slowly leans in. On instinct, I tilt my chin slightly upward. Our lips touch
softly. Then, we are enthralled in a long passion filled kiss that ignites an almost
distinguished flame inside of my heart.
There, atop one of the citys skyscrapers, was a flicker of hope. Maybe
Amanda was right after all. Maybe I had found my perfect match.

Chapter Thirteen

I wake up Saturday morning with a big smile on my face. My date with Julian
was romantic and unlike Blue Eyes, he was eager to plan our next date. He
informed me that hed be out of town until Monday. So, we agreed wed see each
other as soon as he got back. Monday couldnt come fast enough.
To keep busy, I trained my usual weekend clients at the gym and then
decided to take the walk back to Amandas. Its a nice day out. The air is brisk
and the sun is starting to set. The sky is filled with wonderful shades of red and
orange. I think about my life, the crazy week Ive had, what Ive lost and what Ive
learned. Nothing I have ever planned has turned out right. Maybe it was time I
stopped planning.
I breathe in the crisp City air, leisurely enjoying a nice stroll through the
concrete playground that knew my every deepest secret and desire. The city,
strutting with its unapologetic look-at-me itch, diverted me and I ended up in the
last place I should have been.
Standing in front of me, out of nowhere, was Marks building. Not only did I
end up at the last place I wanted to be, but also Id been walking in the wrong
direction. Unbeknownst to me, my petite legs hiked all the way downtown landing
me smack in the middle of the Lower East Side when I was supposed to be
headed uptown.
Sadly, Im a sign girl. You know what I mean. The kind that truly believes
everything happens for a reason. Yes, Im one of those. So, you cant blame me
for texting Mark. After all, I was already in his neighborhood and I still needed to
get my things. I cant go another day wearing Amandas Barbie sized clothing.
So, my hand reaches inside my purse and soon emerges with lifes worst
necessary evil, a cell phone. As I send a text, I negotiate with myself. If he
doesnt respond within five minutes, Ill take it as a sign that it wasnt meant to be
and continue to Amandas. My words float around inside my head. I stare at the
cell phone screen.
Me: Im in the neighborhood if you still want to talk.
I didnt have to wait long at all. Within seconds my cell beeps letting me know
Id received a text.
Mark: Yes! Please come up.
My fumbling feet push me forward, inching closer and closer to a place that
once left me drowning in a sea of regret and self-doubt. I swallow the lump in my
throat and pull open the heavy glass door, crossing the checkered tiled lobby.
Out of nowhere, nervous swarms of hives cover my arms. Scratching and cursing

under my breath, I enter the elevator, grateful that its empty. Then, I remind
myself that I can leave, one last chance to walk away. After all, I dont owe Mark
anything, let alone five minutes of my time, but my feet are glued to the floor. My
mind keeps drowning me in the possibility of a new start with Mark, a man Ive
loved with all my heart for far too long.
When the elevator doors open again, I freeze. I try to tamp down the wicked
emotions curling through me. Why am I here? What do I seek to gain out of
seeing him again? Had I not given him everything and now, after Ive met
someone else (sort of), he wants my attention? So many questions fill my head.
But I know better than to walk away. I cant live with myself if I dont find an
answer. The back and forth is starting to give me a headache. So, after hiding in
the elevator for what seemed hours, I slowly step out and toward Marks
apartment. Once I reach his unit, my fears return with a vengeance, anchoring
heavily in my chest.
With apprehension, I knock on his door, each knock mimicking the pounding
of my bruised heart. Visions of a past I know too well flicker in my minds eye;
Mark and I on our first date, our prom, our breakups and makeups, our dreams. It
was always just us, for so long, too long. But, I also remember all the wrong, all
the pain and all the disappointments. We were over. What the hell was I doing
here and what would I say or do when he finally opened that door?
Sadly, I would never know the answer, because a few painstaking seconds
later, familiar brown eyes meet mine.

Chapter Fourteen

I remain frozen in the hallway. A recently shaven Mark appears at the door
looking sexy in pressed denim jeans, black dress shoes and a salmon polo shirt.
I dont recall him ever looking this snappy while we were together and his
handsome good looks could easily stop a room cold. How dare he look this good
after weve broken up. I quickly close my gaping mouth and stop staring, shaking
off my attraction to him.
He steps off to the side, holding the door open wide and sporting an
unfamiliar look of distress on his face. Im so glad youre here. I didnt know who
else to talk to.
The same brown eyes Id seen every morning for the last ten years,
belonging to a man I was currently broken up with. The same man, I secretly still
loved.
Oh. I step inside and inhale fresh, clean and uncontaminated air. This was
odd. Had he finally quit smoking? My eyes are having trouble adjusting to what
they observe. The entire apartment resembles a picture in one of those home
furnishing catalogs. As my feet drag against the new carpeting, I notice hes also
rearranged the furniture and replaced the stinky old, torn vomit-green recliner
with a sleek artistic metal chair. The once barren windows are now fashioned
with a look-at-me chic style that I instantly envy. My lips pucker in agreement with
this new setup. Wow, the place looksdifferent.
Thanks. I thought it was time for a change.
I know how you feel, I thought.
Can you believe someone actually dumpster dived for my chair?
Youre kidding? I ask, astonished.
I actually witnessed it being hauled away.
Wow. Not wanting to get too comfortable, Im suddenly afraid to sit. Then, I
notice that the apartment, which had previously gone unchanged during the
many years we were together, is suddenly sans me in all aspects. No, there is no
trace of me, us or our past anywhere in the corners of the four walls of this room.
Our memories were replaced with coats of beige paint and unknown artistic
paintings that at first glance are calming and cause me to have a sudden desire
for a glass of wine and a tour guide. Where are my pictures?
I packed up all your things. Theres a box in the bedroom, Mark says with a
carefree tone, reminding me too painfully that yes, I have been easily and quickly
replaced. He motions for me to sit down on a red accent chair that I was certain
matched the color of my cheeks at that very moment.
And where is Satan? I blurt out as my eyes search the room for the dog
from Hell.
Mark walks over to the couch, sits down and begins to wipe his eyes. I- I
had to put her down. It was crazy. One day she was doing great you know? And

then, out of nowhere, I heard loud banging and howling coming from the living
room. When I came out of the bedroom, I found her slamming her head against
the wall.
I suddenly feel like shit for my earlier remark. What happened?
I sat on the floor with her and tried restraining her from doing any more harm
to herself, but she just kept on whimpering and struggling to get loose. I didnt
know what was wrong. Anyway, as soon as I woke up this morning, I took her to
the vet. The doctor said that her eyesight was seventy-five percent gone in her
right eye. Thats why she kept running into the wall; she was infuriated that she
couldnt see.
I didnt know what to say. His dog, Felony, had been with Mark since she
was a small pup, six weeks old to be exact. She was his baby, his everything. Id
never understood that saying about a dog being a mans best friend until I
witnessed their bond. It was something that you couldnt replicate with a real
child even if you tried. He used take care of her like she was his little baby;
always loving on her, getting her the best dog food, taking her on long walks and
even taking her out to play in the snow during the winter. His bond with the dog
was so strong, that Id grown jealous of the damn thing and now, I felt horrible
about having felt that way.
Let me get you a glass of water, I say, escaping into the cramped shoebox
size kitchen and hope for a few seconds alone to gather myself. Id never seen
him this vulnerable. Not once. During our six-year relationship hed never shown
half of the emotions that hes exposed right now. Who knows, if he had, perhaps
wed still be together.
I shake my head. No. I had to think clearly. Mark obviously needs someone
he could talk to; someone who knows how close he was to that dog and by
default, its me.
Grabbing a clean drinking glass from the plastic dish drainer, I open the
stainless steel fridge door and grab hold of the water decanter. As I pour cold
water into it the glass, I notice that the normally unclean fridge is surprisingly
sparkling clean and smelling of fresh fruits and vegetables. There was no gunk
on the door handle, no sticky residue residing on the shelves and zero rotting
leftovers. Suddenly, it dawned on me, the more I lingered in the apartment the
more I realized things had indeed changed, without me.
A sting of pain surfaced in my already tattered heart. Mark finally decides to
become a better person and I had zip to do with it. Nothing. Nada. All my hard
work and sacrifices went ignored for years and now that I wasnt in the picture,
hed finally become the man Id always wanted him to be. The offensive
realization caused me to slam the door of the fridge, startling myself in the
process.
You ok? Mark yells from the living room.
Yeah, I reply as I let my body rest against the fridge and close my eyes. Its
all surface changes, I tell myself. People dont change. Its impossible. Sure, you
can alter habits by creating new ones but the overall characteristics of a person
remain with them throughout their entire life. Id learned this fact in college and
itd stuck in the depths of my memory to jolt me out of falling into Marks trap. No,

there was no way I was going to fall for any of his Ive changed crap.
I take a deep, lung filling breath and walk back to the living room, ready to
say goodbye, again.
This timeforever.
I hand him the glass of water and try my best to offer a bit of comfort before
leaving him to deal with his loss on his own. After all, hes a grown man. He
doesnt need any coddling, especially not the way he left me, us, the life we had.
But, that was just the way hed always been, selfish.
All the years Id known him, hed never thought of anyone but himself, unless
of course in thinking of others somehow ended up to be a positive thing, for him. I
thanked fate just this once, as these memories flooded my brain and prepared
myself for a clean and last exit out of his apartment. Maybe it was for the best
that you let her go. I know if there was anything you could have done to help her,
you would have.
Yeah, Mark says. He takes a sip of water, wipes the corner of his mouth
and then places the glass of water on a coffee table thats also screaming New
and improved. It still pains me to let her go.
Its expected, I say, biting my lip. For a moment, I wish hed meant me and
not the dog. Maybe he didnt love me as much as that four-legged bitch. Or
maybe, he never loved me at all. Suddenly, a huge knot of emotions gets lodged
in my throat and all I want to do is get out of his apartment. I really must get
going.
Mark stands, Wait, let me get your box. He walks out of sight, into the
bedroom, the one place I used to dread toward the tail end of our relationship.
Then, my mind throws me back in time, inside another memory, one Id much
rather had forgotten.
Wed recently gone out to dinner. I was dressed in a sexy short come-fuckme number and hes looking dashing in a suit and tie. It was our first anniversary
and I was still on cloud nine in the relationship. Were in a taxi on our way home,
making out like teenagers, with no concern as to whos watching us. Were
touching each other, no, more like groping. My heart is racing and all I want to do
is straddle him, so, I do it. The cab driver yells something from the front seat but
Im too enthralled in moment to care.
Im not wearing any underwear, Id whispered in Marks ear. His eyes
widened as he explored with his hand the truth in my words.
I threw my head back as he discovered I was telling no lies. My pussy,
drenched, pulsated around his fingers. I wanted more. I wanted him inside of me.
But, too quickly we arrived at our destination. We both laughed at our teenage
behavior as we exited the taxi.
I think the cabbie cursed us out in his native language, but even now, Im not
too sure. Mark held my hand, a firm grip thatd always made me feel safe and
reassured. Inside the elevator, we continued our escapade, this time we were
fully aware of the security camera that hovered over us so, we kept it PG.
As soon as we reached the safety of his apartment, it was game on. I kicked
off my shoes while Mark practically ripped his shirt off. Within seconds, Id
completely undressed. Im the first one on the bed, panting like a dog in heat. I

wanted him and I wanted him now. Mark scanned my tight and tan body with his
brown eyes. Youre so sexy, he said and then joined me on the bed, pressing
his naked body against mine.
For two hours hed tried unsuccessfully to get a hard-on. This was after thirty
minutes of foreplay. I mean real, dirty foreplay like the kind you see in adult films.
He apologized, repeatedly and I accepted his apology with no real desire to look
further into the reasons why a man in his thirties, seemingly healthy and with no
stress factors in his life would have such a problem getting an erection. In my
head, a red flag hoisted itself at half-mast, but you know how us women are,
hopeless romantics who ignore all signs until its too late.
Ten years too late.
I thought my love was the all-foreseeing savior of Mark. Sadly, it seemed that
what finally saved Mark was our breakup.
Hey, Mark screams out from the bedroom, waking me from the wretched
recollection of a love gone array.
Yeah, I reply, gathering my purse and whats left of my shattered ego.
You still want this?
Guardedly, I walk down the small hallway, toward his bedroom and lean
against the open door. Hes holding my favorite hat; a black wide rimmed replica
of the hat Audrey Hepburn wore in the movie Breakfast at Tiffanys.
Of course I want it! I say, walking inside the bedroom and snatching the hat
from his hand. I place the hat on my head and begin making faces at myself in
mirror over his dresser.
Women, Mark says, shaking his head and sporting a smirk that makes my
heart skip a beat.
In one quick stride, Im next to the bed, peeking inside the box of shattered
memories. What else is in there?
I dont know. Girl stuff.
Wow, I cant believe I still have this, I squeal joyfully and wrap a pink boa
around my neck.
Didnt you buy this to go with it? Mark says, grabbing a white lacey nightie
and dangling it n front of my face.
As my face turns ten shades of crimson red, I snatch it from him as well and
tuck it back inside the box.
You never did model it for me, he says, and then, I think you owe me.
I owe you nada, I snap at him.
No, really you do.
How do you figure? My hands are propped on my hips.
I clearly remember you promised youd wear that outfit and that boa, while
seductively dancing to Bed of Roses when I was finally sober.
My eyes widen with surprise. You quit?
He smiles.
Everything?
Yep.
Well, congrats, I say, hiding my reverence as I turn around and close the
cardboard box. I dont want him to know that I still cared about what he did or

didnt do. We are over. His choice. To let him even ponder the possibility of my
caring one iota about him in anyway, even one tiny little bit, would put the ball
back in his court. And Ive never been good at playing well with others.
Hes standing next to me now. His musk cologne enters my lungs, filling me
with desire for him. As he sweeps my hair off my neck, I can feel his hot breath
on my skin. I like it.
I did it for you. For us, he says, placing soft kisses along my exposed
shoulder.
Its too late.
Its never too late for love.
What makes you think I still love you?
Mark grips my waist and turns me around to face him. His eyes reveal a
tenderness that I havent seen since the day we met. Because itd be one hell of
a lonely world to live in if you didnt love me back.
His words begin to melt the icy wall around my heart and my knees want to
buckle right then and there. I dont know how to respond to what hes just
revealed to me. Then, I remember the floosy he was with at our reunion. I cant
help what comes out of my mouth. What happened Mark, did your date for hire
finally realize what a loser you are? And, now youre running back to me in the
hopes Id forgive and forgetagain?
There she is, typical Vivienne, Mark says, shaking his head. Arent you
tired of always being so angry?
Arent you tired of being such a dick? I push him away and get back to the
box of memories I suddenly wish hed thrown out when hed thrown out his stupid
chair. Theres nothing in there I couldnt possibly repurchase or live without.
Yeah, my eyes caught sight of a few picture frames filled with pictures of him and
I smiling, laughing, but that was a long time ago. And to be honest, the old
version of us makes me want to vomit. Then, I realize that I shouldnt be here,
reliving the demons that caused me so much pain.
Look, I cant fix the past. Im sorry. If I could take back all the mean things
Ive done to you, or said to you, I would. But, changing the past wouldnt get me
where I am today. Ive changed. Im better, he says sitting on the bed, next to
the box, looking up at me with sad puppy dog eyes.
I look at him, and sink deeper and deeper into the depths of his words, his
charisma, and his new attitude. He has changed. And I dont want to admit it, but
I like this new version of him a little too much.
Yes, I cheated on you. I lied to you. I was a dick. But, I cant even think about
ever doing those things to you again, he continues, his words find solace in my
heart.
In a sudden stint of reality, I roll my eyes. Youve said that a million times
and a million times you get amnesia or something cuz we end up right back
where we started.
As he reaches for my hand, my body trembles at the closeness of him.
Gently, he squeezes just enough to make me linger in the warmth of his touch.
Im sorry Viv. Really, I am. But, theres no way I can continue to be without you
and that meant having to finally change. I knew you wouldnt take me back if I

hadnt.
I was beginning to feel a little empathy toward him, at least for the effort.
What kind of woman would I be if I didnt give him credit for trying, right? And, I
had to admit that it was heart warming to hear that he still cared about me, but Id
moved on. I couldnt take him back
Right?
Im sorry. Its too late, I say after a few moments of awkward silence and
release my hand from his grip.
Im not losing you again, Mark says as he abruptly grabs me by my waist
again and spins me. His body leans into me and his lips find mine. I struggle with
not knowing what to do. Do I push him away? Do I give in at his brave attempt at
rekindling what we once had? He kisses me harder, deeper and slowly, my body
decides for me. I melt into him, feeling the core of his manhood through his pants
as he leans into me. Im in shock, noIm curious. I want to know if it really is his
hard penis that I feel against my crotch, but with every bit of strength inside of
me, I tug myself free from his grasp. I cant do this; not when my mind cant stop
thinking about how much he hurt me and not when a part of me still wondered
about the possibility of what dating Julius would bring.
I have to go, I tell him.
His eyes are filled with fury. His face is red now and he looks as if hes going
to explode with anger. Suddenly, I feel him lunge at me. What the fuck are you
doing? I scream.
He doesnt say anything. He just begins to throw me around the room, while
screaming obscenities at me. Rage. Its a side effect of drug use. That lying
fucker didnt quit after all. I scramble as I fall to the floor. He grabs me by the hair,
pulls my head back and then slaps me across the face so hard that I almost
black out. Hes never hit me before. I am frozen by what is happening to me. Its
like its happening to someone else. I am no match for him.
Get off me, I scream and then, I manage to free a leg from under his body. I
kick him real hard in his groin. He buckles over, moaning from the pain.
Then, I run out of there as fast as I can.

Chapter Fifteen

I run out of Marks building, avoiding all eye contact as people walk past me.
The left side of my face still stings and I fear that I may have a black eye. Tears
are streaming down my face. Im sniffling, wiping my face with the back of my
hand.
Then, from the corner of my eyes, I spot a large dark figure pulling up behind
me. A low roar ensues. Its Blue eyes. Fuck why does he keep showing up out
of nowhere? I dont want him to see me like this. I struggle with wanting to run.
Hey, he says.
I shake my head and keep walking. Not now.
You okay?
I stop at the corner, look both ways and speedily cross the street. Im a block
away from the train station. Blue eyes continues to follow me. All of a sudden, I
hear him turn off the ignition. Then, footsteps echo behind me, louder and louder.
He grabs my arm and turns me around. Hey.
When he spins me around to look at him, I can tell by the look on his face
that I dont look too good.
What the fuck happened? he asks, a wave of concern fills his eyes.
I wriggle my arm free. Nothing.
Bull shit. Who did this to you?
Its nothing. Really. I try to sound calm, but its not working.
Fine. If you dont want to tell me, I wont ask again. But, at least let me drive
you home.
No thanks. I can get home from here, I tell him. Im still upset with him for
not asking for my number or wanting to get to know me and now, after seeing
Mark, Im totally pissed with men altogether. Ill see you around. I repeat the
same words hes told me before and then start to walk away.
He grunts. Do you always have a wall up?
I turn around, place hand on hips and scowl at him. Do you always have one
night stands at dive bars? I can tell by the angered look on his face that I hit a
nerve. Of course, it was totally my intention to hurt him. After all, hed hurt me by
not wanting to get to know me past the incident in the bathroom. I shake my head
and say, Forget it. It doesnt matter. I start to walk away again.
He runs up beside me. Why are you always running away?
What do you want? Seriously? You keep showing up at the weirdest
moments in my life. Last time I checked Im not the one who banged a girl in the
bathroom and then didnt even ask for her number. Im furious and my words
come out meaner than I wanted them to.
A moment later I realize hes stopped. I turn to look behind me. He lowers his
gaze to the ground as he speaks, Youre right. Im sorry. Shit, this always
happens to me. He pauses and takes a deep breath. I dont know id hes stalling

on purpose or if hes trying to figure out what to say next. You dont understand.
I cross my arms in front of my chest. Try me.
Its just. This wouldnt work.
What wouldnt work? I dont understand what hes trying to say.
Hes quiet now. I think hes going to answer me, but instead he runs his hand
through his dark hair. When he speaks again, I can hear the hindrance in his
voice. You dont want to be with a guy like me. Trust me.
Yeah, cuz you know me well enough to know what I like or dont like, I say.
My heart sinks. I should have guessed he was going to say something like this.
After all, its not like he was chasing after me. No. He was doing the total
opposite. Perhaps he wasnt looking for a relationship. Maybe thats why he
didnt want to get to know me. And now, seeing me again made him feel guilty.
Fine. Whatever.
A cab pulls up next to us and then a couple exits. I quickly jump inside and
slam the door. I can feel Blue eyes staring at me, but I ignore him. I give the
driver Amandas address and close my eyes as I sink into the back seat.

Chapter Sixteen
Monday morning, my heart is still banging into my ribs. I step out of the
shower and towel off. Amanda has already left for work so, I dont have to explain
to her what happened to me, not yet. I run through a million different excuses
about what happened so that I am prepared when I do see her again. Then, I
wrap a towel around me and wipe the fog off the medicine cabinet mirror with my
hand. Even in the misty reflection I can see the black and blue on my cheek. It
hurts like hell too.
I have to train the new client that Christina gave me last week. I want to
cancel so badly because showing up to work with a black-and-blue on my face
makes me look unprofessional. But, I cant cancel. If I do, Christina will let me go
and I need this job now more than ever.
I try to conceal the bruise with makeup, but everything I do is making it stand
out. So, I wash my face. Then, I change into a pair of black tights and a tank top
that I borrowed from Amanda. Luckily, they fit perfectly. I hang up the towel and
open the door Amandas voice startles me when she opens the door to her
bedroom.
Fuck! I scream. I thought you were at work.
Its a public holiday.
I try to walk past her without letting her see my face, but it doesnt work.
What the hell happened to you? she asks.
Nothing, I tell her, walking past her and into the living room.
Nothing my ass, she says, following me. If it was that bastard Julius Im
going to report him to the cops. She takes her cell phone out of her purse and
flips it open.
I wave my hands at her as I run toward her. No. It wasnt him. It was Mark.
What?
I sit down on the couch. My nose tingles, letting me know that the tears are
nearer than I want them to be. I went to pick up my things last night. He was
really nice at first. But then, when got too pushy. He was forcing himself on me
and I tried to get away. Thats when he hit me across the face. I ran out of there
as fast as I could. I didnt even stop get my things.
Amanda is fuming. Im really calling the cops now.
No. Dont. Please. I have to be at work in an hour. If you call them Ill have to
fill out paperwork and who knows how long thats going to take. I cant miss this
session. I can hear Christinas warning words in my ear, one more screw up and
youre out of here.
Fine. But promise me you wont go back there, Amanda begs.
I shake my head. Trust me, I wont. I really mean it. Theres no way Im
going to go back there. I was lucky all I got was a black and blue on my face. He
could have really hurt me. I wipe my eyes. Anyway, I gotta go.
Amanda remains silent, her eyes follow me as I grab my things and exit the

apartment. I turn around before closing the door and tell her, Thanks.
She smiles, but her eyes tell me that inside, she is hurting for me. I put on a
pair of shades as I walk to the elevator. Once inside, I take the client paper work
out of bag. I take a look at the clients address. Its downtown. I have to take the
uptown train five stops and then change over to downtown train in order to get
there on time. Its moments like these that I wish I had a car. Grunting at the
possibility that I might just get to the session late, I rush down the train steps and
toward the turnstiles.
Thirty-minutes later, I exit the train station. To my surprise, Im standing right
in front of the building Julian had taken me too a few days ago. My heart flutters
inside my chest. I hope I dont bump into Julian. Not while my face looked like a
punching bag. I push the shades further up my nose and double-check the
address. Its the same. Fuck I clutch my bag, take a deep breath and enter the
building.
There is a different security guard standing at the body scan machine. This
time Im instructed to place my bag, cell phone and all metal objects inside of a
gray bin before I can walk through the scanners. I do exactly as Im told, but not
before the security guard tells me to remove my shades. I hesitate. My hands are
sweaty and my pulse is so loud that I can hear it pounding in my ears. I remove
my shades and place them inside the gray bin. The guards eyes widen, but he
doesnt say anything.
Then, I enter the elevator and press the button marked forty. I stare at the
button marked RT and smile as I remember that wonderful evening with Julian.
He really seemed genuinely interested in me and quite honestly, it was the
nicest, and most wonderful date I had ever been on. My mind fills with all the
possibilities of this new relationship whatever it was.
Then, a horde of people dressed in suits enter the elevator when the doors
open again. I push my way through and then glance at the watch on my wrist. Its
lunchtime. I assume most of these people are escaping for a much needed
break. Luckily, there is a receptionist.
Hi, Im here to see Mr. Davis. I tell her.
Which one? she asks without looking up from her computer screen.
I wasnt aware there were two of them. I look down at the client paperwork
again. Cameron.
Okay, she says. She picks up the phone on her desk and after punching a
few buttons she is speaking with someone on the other line. I assume its
Cameron. Then she points me in the direction Im supposed to head. I thank her
and walk down a corridor. Theres a sign on a door marked GYM.
I shrug. I knock on the door. Someone on the other side yells out for me to
enter. I push the door open. My client is standing in front of a large window,
taking a sip of water from a water bottle. His muscles are exposed in a ribbed
white tank top. My eyes slowly scan his entire physique. I would have never
guessed this guy needed rehab work because he looks like hes in great shape.
Hi. My name is Vivian. Im the trainer the gym sent over for you.
At the sound of my voice, the man turns around swiftly. My heart jumps to my
throat when familiar glittering blue eyes stare back at me

THE DATING CHRONICLES SERIES


This story unfolds over a course of three novels. Each one follows the
continuing story of Vivienne and her dating experiences in New York City.
To ensure you dont miss the next installment, sign up for A.V. SCOTTS
newsletter on her website at avscott.com.

More books by A.V. SCOTT


THE FASHION SERIES
High Heels in New York
High Heels & Lip Gloss (Coming 2014)
STAND ALONE BOOKS
Dedications: A womans journey through poems
To see a complete list of books please visit avscott.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


A.V. Scott was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico and was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She
is an online blogger, Poet and author.
She can be found on Facebook and Twitter, where she keeps readers up to date on her
writing life.