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Giving Her Some Alone time: August/Chase’s Story – When the Time is Right

The first time August met Chase was at the gym. Curious to a fault, August had tagged along with Her to meet the mysterious gym partner. She took an immediate liking to him. He was nerdy, but seemed friendly enough without any immediate flaws. She wasn’t shallow; she just believed people should present themselves to the best of their ability as a respect to others. She thought about the first day as Chase walked her home to her apartment.

“Do you remember the first day we met?” She questioned.

“At the gym right?”

“Yeah, I remember being curious about you.”

“You’re always curious.”

“Aren’t you glad I was, or else we might have never met,” She flipped her dreds at the idea of never having met Chase. It made her heart hurt.

“Of course I am. But we would have met regardless.”

“How do you know?”

“I just do. If not then, then later…it’s only logical. Once you became friends with her, you were bound to meet me.”

She sighed; he was as romantic as a bag of peanuts on Valentines Day.

“Aren’t you worried about her? Even a bit?”

“Of course I am, but she will get over it. Besides picking at her wounds won’t solve anything. Just give her time.”

“And us?”

“What about us?

“You are going to pretend there is nothing between us?” Seeing her friend in pain made her realize, she had to address this thing between them before it was too late. She couldn’t imagine a life avoiding Chase, like her friend was her crush.

“No, I am not pretending. I just didn’t realize you were ready to talk about it.”

“Well I am.”

“What do you want to talk about?”

“You’re really going to make me start? Fine, I really like you Chase, so much it bothers me sometimes, but you’re right I don’t know if I am ready for the type of relationship we deserve.”

“I understand.”

“You do?”

“Of course, I know I don’t say it much. But I do get it. We are at different points in life, you want to get established, and I want to explore the world. You want to make your name; I want to scratch my name into every continent. And I really like you too…if that wasn’t obvious”

She gave him a genuine smile and then continued, “And you’re okay with that? Us not being together?”

“No, I am not. But sometimes it’s better to wait for the right moment to start something, than to rush in and ruin it forever. “

“I don’t want to do that,” she whispered.

“August,” he held her hands in his and stopped walking, “look at me.” He waited till she did. “I promise you my feelings and I aren’t going anywhere, we will be right here until we, me AND you, are both ready.”

“What if that takes decades?”

“Then it will take decades. For now take it one day at a time. Think of it this way, there are worse things in life than waiting for the right moment.”

“Like realizing there never will be one?” She thought back to Her.

“Precisely,” he let go as he pushed up his glasses and his frown deepened.

As they resumed walking, she reached for his hand again and together they walked the familiar path to her place, not knowing where their relationship was heading but taking comfort that it had a future, however far in the distance.

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Giving Her Some Alone time: Judy’s Story-Deal or No Deal?

Judy couldn’t give two shits about people she didn’t care about. But the ones she cared about, she was a like a mama bear, notoriously protective. That’s why the whole Her and Him situation worried her. It also hit close to home because she was in a similar situation.

A paper ball landed on her desk, right next to her monitor, dispelling her thoughts.

“What the fuck Anthony? What is this?”

She opened the paper and a crude drawing stared back at her.

“You’re pathetic. Antonio, my lover is so much better at talking dirty.” She smiled sweetly. Antonio was Judy’s infamous and totally imaginary boyfriend. He was a running gag between them.

“Oh yeah? You really think so?” Anthony, her colleague was enjoying this.

“I know so, he’s a-MAZ-ing.”

“Shuddup Juju, no one can be as good to you as I am.” He winked and looked back at his computer screen; she could see him from her cubicle. They were working late. Again.

“Are you really?”

“Really what?”

“Good to me?”

“Hey…Juju, what’s this about?”

“He broke her heart.” Anthony knew who she was, there were only a handful of people that got to Judy. He came to sit by her.

“Is that what’s going to happen to us? This flirting, all the tension and then one day you will up and decide I am not worth it?”

“You messing with me, right? You wouldn’t admit there was an “us”. You all but forced me to date Tonya so you could be sure I wasn’t gay.”

She laughed, “Yeah, I am a bit fucked up.”

“That you are, but I still love you for it.”

For once, Judy shut up and let her self enjoy the moment and not worry about getting hurt or self-sabotaging the situation. She moved closer to him, touching his face.

He stopped her hand, “If we do this though, there are some ground rules: First, I tell Tonya the truth because she deserves it. Second once you’re on board you CANNOT dip out when you’re scared and third, you will finally tell me you love me…deal?”

“Deal.”

He walked back to his table, a big smile on his face.

“Hey Anthony?”

“Yeah?”

“I fucking love you.”

“Best deal I ever made.”

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Excerpt #14: Obtuse and Acute

Senior year of college was definitely kicking her butt; it was late in the evening when she returned home to her tiny apartment above a Chinese restaurant. She shared the floor with the owner of the restaurant who lived in the only other apartment. She wasn’t really hungry, but Ms. Wong had noticed her lurking up the stairs and forced a container of lo mein onto her from the restaurant. Container at hand, she struggled to unlock her door.

“Is that lo mein I smell,” was the first thing she heard. It was lucky Judy took the container from her before she dropped it in shock.

“Thank God, you’re finally here, I was getting bored sitting around,” August whined.

“Hey Sweetie,” Marielle, waved from the donated couch where they were all sitting except…

“I don’t know why I am here,” Chase, who was sitting on a donated ottoman, held his hands up at her accusing glare.

“Why the HELL are you all in MY apartment?!”

“Do you really not recognize a friendtervention when you see one?” Judy said between mouthfuls of her lo mein.

“A what?”

“Friendtervention. It’s a friend intervention.” Explained August, looking at her incredulously.

“Okay…” They had officially gone insane. “First thing first: How did you guys get in?”

“The key in your cactus fertilizer? Seriously, that was probably your stupidest idea. A random cactus by your door, it obviously holds your spare key. Anyone can get in.” This was Marielle’s standing objection about her safety.

“How does the cactus survive? That’s my question,” Chase’s nerdy senses had kicked in.

“There is a window in the hallway, this building faces south and the people who come up here are screened by the Wong family first. I would like to see someone get past Mr. Wong…but that is not the point! You guys violated my cactus?! Please tell me you put the dirt back.”

“Yeah, yeah, I wanted to let it die, but they wouldn’t let me.” Judy grinned.

“Of course we did, and we cleaned up in here a bit too,” Marielle said proudly.

Ignoring the jab, she continued, “Okay, secondly, why are you guys here? Intervention for what? I thought you guys were going to let go of my coffee addiction?”

“The whole ‘Him’ thing.”

“Guys I am fine!”

“Yeah sure, he’s obtuse but that doesn’t mean we are too. You have been moping all week,” August drawled.

“Have not.”

“Have to.”

She looked at Chase for back up and so did August. “I know nothing, as I said I don’t know why I am here.”

“As her friend you had to be here, to get her out of this funk!” August was on a roll.

“I am not in a funk or moping, maybe you guys are just acutely gauging my emotions for no reason”

“Really? When was the last time you spoke to Him?” Judy asked.

“A week ago or two ago?”

“Is that normal?”

She bit her lip.

“And I heard you have been trying to switch your classes, the ones with him…in the middle of the semester.” Marielle frowned.

“I just wanted a break! It’s been a tough semester.”

“Because of the subject or him?”

“Both!”

“Now we are getting somewhere.” Judy rubbed her hands.

“Guys I am fine, I just need some alone time to think okay?”

“Okay, take your alone time, but hurry up please, I need your ears to bore you about Anthony.”

“And I need you for our little shopping adventures.”

“I still have you as a gym partner, so no complaints.”

“CHASE!”

“Okay, okay, I want you to be your happy self.”

“And I need my little sister back for our weekly conversations, I missed them so much I had to come up here.”

“Gee, thanks guys. Nice to see you care about me and this wasn’t just a selfish endeavor.” She said sarcastically.

“Of course we care!” Marielle exclaimed, and they all nodded.

“Yeah, now that all that is over, can you get us more Chinese food for free? That lo mein wasn’t enough.” Judy was a bottomless pit. She ate everything and gained nothing.

There was a knock at her door. Wondering whom it was, she opened the door.

In came Ms. Wong with containers of food, “I heard growling stomachs downstairs so I bought up all your favorites.”

As they happily sat down she added sweetly, “That will be $40.00, only She eats for free and you (looking at Judy) pay extra, I can still see the stain from the lo mein on your shirt”

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Excerpt #13: When A Heart Breaks in A Ribcage

“I heard about Friday night,” He said while they sat in the park for their weekly meet.

“Yeah, that was weird.” August had obviously blabbed.

“What was weird about it? You’re pretty, it’s only normal.” He said offhandedly.

“Thanks?”

“Don’t mention it.”

They became silent. She didn’t know what happened, but something was wrong.

“You should have taken his number.”

“What?”

“You should have taken his number and seen where it might have gone.” He didn’t meet her eyes.

“So it wouldn’t bother you.” her heart beat painfully fast. This was the closest they had ever gotten to this conversation.

“No. Why would it? You should date whomever you want. We are friends…Right?”

He looked into her eyes then.

She recalled Chase’s words.

We men are not as complicated as you make us to be, if he is with her it’s because he wants to be.

“Right.” She made an excuse to leave early. She didn’t want the sound of her heart breaking anywhere near him.

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Excerpt #12: Look Me in the Eye

“Pst! Guys!” She whispered, “There is a guy two table away that keeps looking this way.”

“Is he cute?” August immediately sat straighter.

“Where?” Chase, who was sitting next to August and opposite of her, began to turn.

“NO!” Both girls started and August pulled him back.

“What the hell?”

“Chase, you don’t just turn around, he will know we are talking about him!”

“You guys ARE serious?”

“So, is he cute?” August reiterated.

“Yes, wait…he’s leaving with his friends. Never mind.”

Their food had arrived and all other thoughts fled their mind.

“Excuse me?” A strong male voice chimed about a minute later.

She looked up and it was the same guy they were just talking about.

“Hi, I am sorry to disturb your dinner, but may I speak to you for a minute?” He directed his gaze at her.

“Um, yeah” She took his outstretched hand to stand.

“I am sorry but you have such beautiful eyes that I had to come and introduce myself. My name is Mark, and I really like your eyes.” He spit this out rather quickly and then looked about ready to crawl under a rock.

“Thanks…I really like your…beard?” Her voiced hitched as she realized it was a goatee. August and Chase sniggered in response.

“Well listen, my friends and I are leaving, but I really would like if we can talk, can I give you my number?” He seemed sincere, but she hesitated.

“I’m sorry, I am with someone”, she fibbed, and your eyes are the wrong color.

Mark looked at Chase.

“No, not that one! Another one, Sorry!” She sounded like an idiot even to her own ears.

“Oh, well…do you love him?”

A familiar face flashed into her head, “Yes,” she said honestly.

He looked into her eyes and accepted the truth and said, “He’s a lucky man then, hope you have a great night.”

“You too.”

She looked back at Chase and August, “What the fuck just happened?”

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Excerpt #11:Lifting the Weight off her Shoulders

“August is at it again.” She told her childhood friend Chase during their daily workout.

“At what?” He stood at the station facing her.

“She is telling me that I like him. Again. And she won’t take no for an answer.”

“Well do you?” He chalked up his palms.

“What?” She was concentrating on putting the weights on her barbell.

“If you don’t, why does it matter?”

“He has a girlfriend anyways.” She faced him at her station.

“Exactly, look, we men are not as complicated as you make us to be.” He locked his hips “If he is with her it’s-“ he huffed as he lifted his barbell, “-because he wants to be.” He finished as he dropped it back on the floor, having maxed out.

“Exactly.” She mimicked him.

As they finished their set and paused to rehydrate he added. “Look if it’s weighing you down just ask him, but honestly August can say what she wants all the way to December and it won’t change the truth.”

“Should I tell her you said that,” She teased.

“Please don’t.”

As they returned to their lifting stance, she continued, “By the way that month joke was horrible.”

“How bad?”

“Even the crickets refused to chirp.”

“Fair enough.”

Words spent, they became silent as they resumed with the weights, this time lifting them, and the stress, off their shoulders.

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Excerpt #10:Home is Where the…You Guys Know the Rest

“You guys can’t be friends.”

“And why the hell not?”
“Because when one friend likes the other it’s not friendship anymore. It’s betrayal!”
“You’re so dramatic August.” She said to her self-appointed relationship coach.
“And you’re pig headed.”
“I don’t like him!”
“You’re still sticking to that dumb ass story?  You guys aren’t fooling anyone but each other.” August didn’t know how to pull any punches, being blunt was her signature.
“Whatever.”
“Well even if you don’t, he does.”
“He has a girlfriend.”
“His keeper?” That was Her nickname amongst the group.
“Yeah.”
“Well that’s cause you don’t give him time of day.”
“Whatever… I won’t be a home wrecker.”
“Honey they didn’t have a ‘home’ to begin with. His home is with you.”