I sit at my desk, watching the clock at waiting patiently for 8:00 to come, because when it does... I'm out of here. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, just not who I work for.. particularly today. As soon as that 9 changes to a 0, I almost leap out of my chair and head for the exit. I have plans, and thanks to having to stay longer than I had anticipated for, now I'm late.
No sooner than when I'm outside trying to catch a taxi, my phone goes off. I don't need to look to see who it is.. I know. And I also know she's pissed. She can't seem to understand why I put up with what I do at work. She just doesn't get.
"Hey Madi, I know I'm late, but I got held up at work. Meet you in twenty!" I shout into the receiver of my cell phone before snapping it shut. I don't need to listen to her, I already know what she's going to say.
After waiting for ages and still not getting a cab, I just decide to walk. In the cold. In heels. Great, this just adds so much excitement to my day.. I sigh before starting on the 8 block walk to my apartment. Okay, so maybe it will be more like 40 minutes..
When I finally get home, I head into my bedroom and take off my fitted business suit jacket, leaving me in a black dress. Classic. I go into the bathroom and take my hair down from the pony tail it had been in before I tip my head over, shaking it free so it falls in loose waves before adding a little more eye shadow on top of my classic every-day make up routine. I switch my stuff from my purse to a little clutch and slip out of my classic black heels and opt for the cheetah ones instead to pull my whole look together before rushing for the door, grabbing my coat on the way.
I walk the short block distance to the bar I know Madi and the rest of the bridal party is waiting at. Why we were having this little get together to pick dresses from a book at the local bar? Simple.. it's finally Friday, which means we need to let loose. Which means we need alcohol.
I walk through the door, excited I made it in 30 minutes instead of 40. At least until I see the sour look on Madi's face as I walk up to her and take my seat next to her at the bar.
"You know, it's kind of important that the Maid of Honor shows up on time..." she says with a sigh. I open my mouth to explain, but she cuts me off. "I know, I know. You couldn't get away. You couldn't tell them you had to leave. You couldn't explain to them that you've already worked your 40 hours this week. You couldn't verify the fact that you are human and demand sleep and time to have fun, and to eat ocassionally" she finishes before rolling her eyes. "I know that. I just don't understand it."
"I love my job," I say with a shrug of my shoulders, which just makes her roll her eyes at me again. "Where is everyone else anyways?" I ask, looking around to find the rest of the bridesmaids.
"Linda is sick and Jenny is out of town, so it's just you and me," she says while taking what looks like millions of books out of her bag and plopping them down on the counter. I take the first one excitedly, wanting to help her pick out just the perfect dresses for everyone. I look up from the book to try and find the bartender, but instead my eyes land on someone else.
We were seventeen.
"Whatever," I say through clenched teeth before trying to walk past him. I get about four steps away when I hear him starting to come after me. Moments later, he has my arm in his hands, tugging me around to face the deathly serious face he's sporting.
"It's not whatever, Ashlee," he says while staring down at me. It's times like these that his height intimidates me. "This is a big deal for me. This is probably the biggest game of my life so far. I don't think I should be looked down on for wanting my girlfriend there to support me."
"Oh yes, because it's just all about you, now isn't it.." I say while rolling my eyes and scoffing at him. He doesn't get it. He doesn't understand. I try to get my arm out of his grasp, making him hold on tighter to the point where it's hurting me, and that just pisses me off even more.
"What's that suppose to mean?"
"It means that you aren't the only one with important stuff going on, Schenn!" I yell, and I automatically feel a little guilty for raising my voice. "Yes, I understand that this is a big game for you, but it also is for me too. Fashion week decides a lot as far as interns go. If they like me and my stuff, I could get the internship at Teen Vogue." I add before successfully ripping my arm out of his grasp. We continue to stare at each other, and it's now that I wish I had heels on instead of flats.
"Ooo.." he replies sarcastically. "Because all of us just care so much about what we wear on a daily basis."
"Maybe you should!" I reply while throwing my hands in the air. "If you did, you would realize khaki doesn't go with white!" I add while pointing to his clothes. "Besides, not everyone cares how many times dumb jocks can pound each other in the boards, so we're even!" I continue while turning around to leave again. He once again chases after me, and when I go to open the door, his arm reaches up and holds it shut, keeping me from leaving.
"Maye you should, then people without an athletic bone in their body, like you, would understand all the work and effort we put into being able to skate around on that 'big ice block'." He counters, using the words I so frequently use to describe the hockey arena he always seems to be at.
"You didn't seem to have a problem with my body last night," I retort before crossing my arms in front of my chest and putting all of my weight on one leg as he narrows his eyes at me.
"I didn't hear you say no, either," he returns. We both stand there, starring at each other, almost daring the other to speak. "You are so like your mom..." he mutters under his breath.
"What was that?" I ask even though I know what he said before I take another step toward him. We're so close now that I can hear him breathe.
"You heard me."
"I can't believe you are bringing this up right now!" I yell, pushing him with every amount of force I can muster. He doesn't take more than one step backwards. Damn it..
"Well, it's the truth! You don't even need to work if I make it into the NHL. What are you going to do next, cheat on me like she did your dad? Get knocked up with some other guys baby?" Out of instinct, I reach out and slap him, hard.. and I don't regret it.
"I can't believe you'd even bring that up," I say while shaking my head. We both stare at each other again for what feels like forever. I turn my head and look at the ground before speaking up again. "I hate you," I mumble under my breath.
"What?" he asks, even though I know he heard me. I can tell by the pained expression on his face.
"I hate you!" I yell with more volume and force this time. "Do you hear that? I hate you, you arrogant, son of a bitch!" I spat out before turning to leave once again, but naturally, just like last time his arm shoots up and stops me from getting out the door. I sigh defeated as the tears start to form in my eyes. I turn around, looking him in the eyes while I stand there.
"Ashlee," he starts while reaching out and attempting to wipe my tears away, but I stop him.
"Don't," I say while batting his hand away and walking in the only direction I can; toward his room.
Once I finally reached his bedroom, I slam the door shut, locking it behind me. He knocks one time before he finally gives up. I look around the room, and the irony only pisses me off more; his room is filled with hockey stuff, the reason we're fighting in the first place. I lay down, not wanting to think about any of this any longer.
I wake up to the rumbling of my stomach. I sigh before looking out the window, noticing it's dark and concluding it's probably early morning. I glance at his alarm clock, proving it's a little after 5. I get up out of his bed and walk as quietly as I can to the door. If he's not awake, I don't want to deal with him. I open the door quietly, only to find him leaning back against the wall on the opposite side of his door, asleep. My heart flutters a little bit, but I take a deep breathe to regain my composure before walking over to him and kicking his foot lightly.
"Get up," I mumble as he starts to wake up. He looks up at me, and the drowsiness fades quickly.
"Ashlee," he says while standing up. "I'm so sorry, I.."
"I know," I interrupt while shrugging my shoulders. Sure, it hurt, and I'm not over it yet, but I don't think I could stay made at him long anyways. He sighs, and I take that as my hint to be near him so I allow him to envelope me in a tight hug. I pull his shoulders down a little bit and stand on my tip toes until I'm tall enough to lightly press my lips to his neck.
"You know I didn't mean it, right?" I simply nod my head yes, continuing with my work. "I don't know why I even said it."
"Luke," I say while looking him straight in the eyes. "Shut up." I smile faintly before pulling his lips down to mine. Getting the hint, he picks me up and takes me back into his bedroom, shutting the door behind us.
My eyes go wide as I continue to stare at him, at the way he just stares down into the cup in front of him, swirling the last bit of liquid around in the bottom of the glass before downing it. He looks up to find the bar tender, and that's when I turn around as quickly as possible.
"I have to go," I mumble to Madi before taking off as quickly as I can, hoping and praying I can get to the door before he sees me.