Love is a Choice We make from Moment to Moment
Logan watches Audrey hunched over in her chair, her knees brought up comfortably to her chest furiously taking down every aspect of the scene. She tilts her head and closes her eyes tightly the way she does when she's trying to think of the right word, her eyes pop open and she jots it down.
"Damn her," he mutters quietly to himself. It's his own fault the dark haired beauty won't talk to him, hell forget talk to him, she won't even grace him with a dirty look. Him and his stupid need to stay unattached, that's over, now, he has a desperate need to be near her, it's the same driving force he felt when he first met her, saw her, talked to her, touched her, smelled her, kissed her…left her…
Logan's sitting on the opposite corner several rows back so that he can watch Audrey but still pretend like he's watching Sophia onstage. He pretends to flip through the script Sophia gave him while running his fingers absentmindedly through his dirty blonde hair. Every so often he has to flip through the script so that Sophia thinks he's there to watch her. She suggested he go watch her, begged him actually, he was reluctant, until she brought up that Audrey would be there. She assumed that's why he was reluctant. He put on a guilty face, and sighed and kissed her and said he would go. He mumbled that he didn't really want to go, and Sophia bought it. The cute raven-haired girl jumped and squealed and threw her arms around him. Sophia is gorgeous, she has an incredible body, the voice of an angel, and she's damn sexy, but he still can't tear his eyes off the demure beauty sitting in the front row.
He looks over at Audrey again, she jots down a few notes and pulls the sleeves of her long-sleeved shirt down. "She's cold," he thinks to himself, unconsciously grabbing the sleeve of his jacket. "Damn her," he says again realizing what he's doing. He looks up onstage and finds his current girlfriend singing her heart out to him. The song ends and Logan claps loudly in an attempt to hurt Audrey. Sophia smiles and blushes before disappearing backstage. He steals a look over at Audrey who has stood up and is packing away her things. She puts her notebook and Crime and Punishment in her purse. He watches her unflinchingly, wanting desperately to close his eyes. It hurts to see her. She puts on her sweater, and jacket and pulls her hair out of her jacket and picks up her purse. "How can she be so oblivious?" He mutters silently to himself.
But she isn't. She's aware that he's watching her; she tries to ignore it. She's also aware that he's dating Sophia and rather than watch him paw at her, she decides to slip through the backstage door of the theater. She breathes a sigh of relief, she got through an entire rehearsal without looking at him, she leans against the brick wall and muffles a sob, she sighs again, trying to regain her composure, and after doing so, adjusts the strap on her purse in an attempt to straighten out her own emotions. She starts walking towards her dorm, keeping a stoic face.
Inside, Logan gets up, frustrated that Audrey didn't even glare at him. "Damn it," he mumbles picking up his book bag.
Sophia sneaks up behind Logan and puts her arms around his neck from behind.
"Sorry Sweetheart," she says softly and kisses his neck lightly. He smiles at the stunning girl in front of him. Sophia is by no standards ugly, or stupid, she's gorgeous, she reminds him of Audrey. They both have that long dark hair, beautiful complexion, and yet, there's something about Audrey that drove him crazy in a way, that even Sophia, a near carbon copy of Audrey has yet to master. "Rehearsal isn't usually this long," Sophia says bringing his thoughts back to her.
"No complaints," he answers like a good boyfriend. No complaints because he was able to watch Audrey. Sophia giggles and kisses him softly. Logan returns the kiss before she pulls away and he hugs her tightly. "You were great," he says making her blush, "C'mon let me buy you something to eat." Logan puts his arm around Sophia's waist and guides her out the door.
Audrey drops her book bag on the floor and opens her purse searching for her keys, finally finding them hiding at the bottom, she pushes open her door and carelessly tosses her book bag on the couch.
"Bad day?" Hayley asks turning around from her computer. Audrey nods sullenly. "What happened babe?" she asks getting up and reaching into the fridge for some coffee for her friend.
"Well, it was bad enough that I had to go watch Sophia star in Evita, but Logan was there," Audrey explains taking a drink from her coffee. Hayley loans her a sympathetic face.
"Was he a prick?" She asks cautiously, Logan is known to be a prick, especially when it comes to Audrey.
"I didn't talk to him," Audrey confesses, feeling somewhat relieved, somewhat pathetic. Audrey hates that she still has feelings for Logan.
"How are you?" Hayley asks Audrey as she waits for Audrey to put her stuff down and get settled.
"I'm fine," Audrey says with determined happiness, "I'm over it, it was a while ago, I can't—pine over him."
"Absolutely," Hayley agrees, glad to see her best friend back in the swing of things. "So, what are your plans? Because if you don't have any, I figured we could go out or something, see the sights, it's the weekend, we should be out partying," Hayley says trying to convince her friend to tag along.
"I wish I could," Audrey groans, "I have to finish this stupid article." Audrey pulls out her notepad from her notes, as well as her video camera, in case she needs to look over anything.
"Just forget about it," Hayley whines, "come out with me tonight, come on Audrey, you have got to get out of this stupid prep school, it's so boring, and plaid, please? It's the weekend, you know, the weekend, look it up in the dictionary, I'm sure you had one or two of those before you learned to read," She says laughing. Audrey shakes her head.
"I'll work on it today and tomorrow, and we can go out tomorrow night, I promise," Audrey says convincing her friend. "Have fun, and tell me all about it when you come back at two in the morning, that is, if you come back." Hayley giggles as she grabs her sweater and scarf.
"Okay, I'm going, but if you change your mind, I have my cell phone on, call me any time babe," Hayley pulls out her cell phone and waves it around before putting it in her purse.
"Got it," Audrey says hugging her friend goodbye, "bye!"
"Bye," Hayley says closing the door behind her. Audrey turns to sit at her computer, and turns on her camera, to review footage of the rehearsal. While her computer starts up, Audrey walks back to bedroom to find her calculus book; she has to finish that homework tonight too. She walks over to the schedule she's hung on her wall, it clearly details every hour of her life. After dedicating one hour to the article, she allots another hour to study calculus.
She looks up at the unlit blue star lights stapled across the ceiling and sighs. At the beginning of the year, when she and Hayley arrived for their senior year, they were highly depressed by the blandly colored walls, and lack of light. But because Linden Preparatory School is funded by people like Hayley's parents, Hayley, Audrey, Nathan, and Logan painted walls powder blue, and the ceiling bright yellow. Logan brought the star lights for Audrey, and then proceeded to help her hang them up, he also brought her a bouquet of sunflowers, they are currently in a box in her closet, covered up by books, clothes, and anything else Audrey could find to keep it safe.
Audrey blinks furiously, attempting to keep from crying. It's nearly impossible to be away from Logan, he's a building away, yet he floods her honors classes, not to mention her mind, besides he's a school and societal icon, it's impossible to keep from seeing him, and it hurts.
11 months ago…
After watching Audrey sift through the half-read papers carelessly left on the table by passers-by, Logan walks behind Audrey who is reading the sports section.
"You know, you could just buy the newspapers, then you wouldn't be dealing with already-filled out cross-word puzzles, and something other than the sports section," Logan smirks at the brunette who looks up smirking at him.
"Maybe I'm a sports fan, and you don't know that I hate doing cross-word puzzles, maybe I like reading about athletes shooting up steroids rather than thinking of a hyphenated eight letter word for nosey," Audrey watches, stunned as Logan sits down, returning the same smirk, she was previously offering him.
"Busy-body, I'm impressed, there aren't many girls who can count how many letters a word has at the drop of a hat," Logan sits across from Audrey at the coffee shop, clearing his throat and picking up the stock section of the newspaper.
"Do you presume to sit there?" Audrey asks, she's only proper when she's offended, or in this case, surprised. Logan looks up from his paper, takes a sip of his coffee, before looking back down at the stocks.
"Doesn't matter, I've been over by the cream and sugar for half an hour you haven't so much as glanced in my direction, I come and I take your paper, and all of a sudden, you're interested in me," Logan replies from behind his paper, shaking his head and smiling at the no-doubt surprised face across Audrey's face.
"Fine," Audrey says flipping to the next page of the sports section, "I already read the stocks, Nasdaq is up by the way." Logan looks up from his paper frowning.
"You spoiled it for me," he says whining. Audrey rolls her eyes, "Okay, okay, I'm sorry, I'm Logan…Dalton," hoping that his name will carry some weight with her.
"I know who you are," Audrey mumbles, she recently transferred to Linden Prep School and Logan is in two of her classes, and even if he wasn't, every girl is in love with Logan, and even if that weren't the case, he's the Paris Hilton of Hartford, a page in the gossip column because his father owns the Dalton Firm.
"Oh you do? Well thank you Miss—I'm sorry it seems you have yet to introduce yourself," Logan extends his hand out hoping Audrey will offer hers.
"Audrey Laurette Marcoux," she finally says after feeling Logan's eyes boring into her head.
"Audrey Laurette Marcoux," he repeats, he knows her name, he's known her name since she registered at Linden, but hearing Audrey say it… "Nice to meet you Audrey Laurette Marcoux," Logan holds on to her hand for as long as possible.
"Audrey, just Audrey," she insists, and Logan smiles heartily at her. Audrey laughs aloud, "You still have my hand."
"Do I? So sorry," Logan responds not letting go of her hand. Audrey laughs again and Logan takes notice of how beautiful Audrey is, much prettier than he had originally thought when he stared at her from the back of the room. "So, Audrey Marcoux, why don't you buy your own copy of the newspaper?" He asks finally releasing her hand and leaning back cockily in his chair.
"I don't like reading the paper," Audrey says looking up at Logan from her eyelashes.
"You've been reading the paper for the last half hour," Logan points out while simultaneously pointing at the spot where he had stood for that half hour, stirring his black coffee.
"Oh, so you've been watching me," Audrey points out, knowing full well she's caught him.
"For the last two weeks for that matter," Logan shamelessly admits. Audrey laughs aloud again and Logan raises his eyebrow in a way that makes him look like Cary Grant. "So, you don't like reading the paper?"
"No, I want to be a journalist, and I just can't bear to read other people's work, it's too much for me," Audrey shakes her head as if in explanation.
"Because you're not a journalist yet?"
"No, because they're terrible writers, all of them, the features page in particular." Logan stares at Audrey, completely taken aback, that this inordinately beautiful and quite girl just criticized the New York Times and the Washington Post simulataneously. "That makes me sound terrible, I just—" Audrey groans throwing her hands in the air, "they don't put passion into their writing, there's no human spark, there's nothing in there that makes me want to read about the "Girl from Ipanema", there's no sympathy, all transitions, proper grammar, proper English, and no real stories that draw upon the same flood of emotions that Charles Dickens lived off of."
"Wow," Logan leans back and crosses his arms, "I don't think I've ever met someone who has impressed me within the first five minutes as much as you, I mean, you had me at "an eight-letter word for nosey", but I've never met someone with such good taste in music—I love Sinatra by the way—and such bad taste in literature, Dickens?" Audrey blushes and shakes her head across the table. "Plus, I've never heard anyone hate newspapers so much, but I get that passion you're talking about."
"That's why I read the sports section, the writers all really love the sport, they narrate it, and you can just see them sitting in front of their TV yelling and ripping at their hair you know?" Logan watches Audrey as she continues talking and animating how the writers must act when they're watching sports, without any idea what she's actually saying, he's never actually seen anyone like Audrey, so uninhibited, so delicate and dainty, and completely breath-taking, with the ability to make him forget that he should be suave and charming.
"And why do you read the stock section?" Logan asks after she smiled and shook her head shyly after her reenactment of the writers.
"Because only businessmen on Wall Street really care about it, but work goes in to it, so I read it out of pity," Audrey smiles and bites down on her lip while Logan tilts his head to look at her. "I should get going, I have homework to do, and I was just taking a coffee break," Audrey starts putting the newspapers back in order and collecting her books and papers. "It was nice meeting you," Audrey says sticking her hand out politely at Logan as he looks at and then back up at her, before standing up and taking her hand in his.
"You know, since you already knew me before you met me, you probably already knew that I have broken up with Kate Foster," Logan's almost positive that he wants to date Audrey.
"I did hear about that, there was quite a celebration on the girls floor, and Kate was left without consolation, how are you holding up? Are you in need of sympathy?"
"No, but I am in need of a date," Logan delivers smoothly, still holding Audrey's hand as she turns to the side laughing and smirking.
"No thank you," she manages turning back to him, still smiling.
"No thank you? I haven't heard that one before, is that anything like yes, please?" Audrey shakes her head and Logan adopts a falsetto politeness, "Might I be so bold to ask, why not?"
"I don't date playboys."
"Good rule of thumb me neither, playboys are only good in the bathroom," Audrey smirks at him, wide-eyed at his crude humor.
"I mean, I don't date guys like you, you're in the gossip column constantly, you always have a rotation going on, and I like stability, but thanks for the chat, and the offer," Logan lets go of Audrey's hand and she turns to walk away and Logan nods to himself, surprised that he's not upset over being turned down.
"Audrey Marcoux!" He yells out and Audrey turns around, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "And why is it you read the gossip column? Is it the passion of the writer wanting to know more about the lives of the rich and famous? Is it the glamour and the glitter, or is it how it humanizes those who are pegged as inhuman?"
"It's the picture of the son of the Dalton Firm," Audrey confesses turning around and walking through the door of the shop towards Linden's campus to her room.