Days Without Him

My alarm did not go off as expected since I was in Jonathan's apartment and his close proximity to the office gave him the luxury of not waking up with an alarm clock set. My body's biological clock managed to wake up at my usual hour and the first thing I saw, to my delight, was Jonathan looking back at me with a smile.

I asked Jonathan whether he was going to wake up or not, and he answered by remaining in the bed.

"Why are you rushing? We still have ten minutes to waste." he said with his eyes closed, his voice hoarse. "Come back to bed."

"I wish I could, but I need to walk around the block to give the impression that I'm coming from my own apartment and not yours." I told him.

"You're being paranoid." he said. "People wouldn't know the difference if they saw you. And even if they saw you, who cares?"

"I'm just being careful." I told him as I walked towards his side of the bed and leaned over. "I'll see you at work, okay?" I placed a kiss on his lips, then walked out of the room, and out of the apartment after closing the door behind me.

I found it incredibly stupid to go down the block, then around it, and up finally, but it was the necessary thing to do, I cared too much about our relationship to jeopardize it. I finally made it to the company's building, and got off the elevator at Samantha's floor. She was looking fabulous as usual, but there was something different about the way she was acting… it was as if she was radiating.

"How was your weekend Ms. Riles?" I asked her as I placed my purse on the floor and sat down at the seat before her desk. I unbuttoned my coat as I waited for her reply.

"It was okay." she replied with an enigmatic smile. She was acting like it was a regular weekend, but since I was an expert at reading her expressions and body language, I knew that her weekend had been a spectacular one.

I didn't say a thing, because I knew she would somehow end up telling me everything in detail. "Mine was pretty nice. My mom was difficult as usual, but everything turned out okay. And we drank that vodka my father had been keeping for years."

"That means it was a great weekend for your father." she commented. "He had refused to open that bottle even for Ashley's wedding."

"Yeah, I know." I replied with a knowing smile. "So, did you meet up with Riley?"

"Yes." She shied away from replying the question fully. I waited her to continue. "We spent Saturday together…and Sunday as well."

"That sounds nice. You never spent two days in a row with the same guy."

She smiled shyly. "No, I didn't." she said. "I was planning on spending my Saturday alone, but he came to my apartment and took me out. I was just wearing some sweatpants and a shirt and when we went to his house, I vowed to myself that I'd never wear sweatpants again."

"Why, what happened?" I found myself asking.

"I was dressed completely inappropriately." she said, lifting her hands up. "In the middle of his loft, there was a table for two decorated with candles and rose petals, and there was a soft music coming from the background, and I was standing there in my sweatpants in astonishment. He had even cooked for me. He doesn't even have a kitchen in his apartment. He had to go down to a restaurant to cook."

"That's so sweet."

"Yeah." she said. "We ate and talked, and danced a bit. And then he said that he was falling for me. You can't imagine how happy that made me. I know I have always run away from love and relationships and commitment… but Riley makes me want to have it all." she paused to catch her breath. "I told him that I felt the same way."

"Samantha… I don't know what to say. That is amazing."

"Thank you." she replied. "And then we slept together… but believe me, it was beyond that, it was meaningful. It was like… an act of love. I know I sound ridiculous right now, but that's how I feel."

"You don't sound ridiculous. I'm so happy for you Samantha." I said and got up from my seat to hug her.

"Thank you. I owe a lot to you, and to Jonathan. You brought us together, you're our matchmakers."

"I guess we are." I said with a smile Andand got up to leave.

"Before I forget, Riley and I want to invite you over for dinner, like a double-date. I know how much you hate double-dates, but we just want to thank you. Please say yes."

"I'd love to, but I have to ask Jonathan first." I told her. "I'll see you at lunch." I said and left her office for my cubicle.

When I arrived at my desk, I was surprised to see Jonathan already at his desk, dealing with some stuff I had no idea about. We smiled at one another as our eyes meet, but it was nothing more than a smile shared between colleagues. It was hard for me to wake up from his arms in the morning and then pretend that he was just another colleague, but it was something I had to do.

I started working with my computer open. I was so preoccupied with the work I was doing that I didn't realize Jonathan standing next to me. "You scared me." I breathed out when I saw his figure. "How are you, Mr. Mason?" I asked him, tuning into the professional tone.

"I'm doing fine Ms. Clarkson. Had a good weekend?"

"Yes, it was great." I replied.

"Great." he said as he slid inside my cubicle. He picked up a frame that had a photo of Samantha and me from our graduation day. "Do you have any plans for lunch, Ms. Clarkson? I was wondering if you could have lunch with me so that we could share our plans for the new beer campaign."

"I was planning on having lunch with Samantha, but I could change it." I told him, astonished by his lunch offer. Ever since we started dating I had been wondering how it would be to have lunch with him on a work day. And he had a great cover for that: a business lunch meeting. "Just tell me when you are ready to leave."

"Okay." he said and went back to his desk, leaving me with a childish smile on my face. I immediately called Samantha and told her about the change of plans, but she accepted it well. She said that actually Riley was coming over to see her with take-outs and that they were going to spend the lunch hour in her office.

Exactly ninety minutes later, Jonathan appeared beside me again, already wearing his coat. I picked up my coat and followed him to the elevator that had been the initiator of our relationship. There was nobody other than us in the elevator so we could talk freely. "I'm so glad you asked me out." I told him. "It bothers the hell out of me that we can't act like ourselves at work."

"My pleasure." he replied with a smirk and held my hand. He was wearing the gloves I had given to him. "I'm just trying to show you that we don't have to act like strangers at work to avoid suspicion."

I caressed his gloved hand with my thumb. "So, where are we going to talk business?" I asked impatiently. We had rarely been to restaurants ever since our first date.

"I was thinking about my place, but I don't want you to walk around the block again, so we'll just go to the restaurant around the corner." he said and we stepped out of the elevator. After a five minute walk, we were at the restaurant, sitting at a booth at the back and the first thing we did as we sat down was kissing.

"So what business are we going to talk about?" I asked him after we ordered our food.

"I was thinking that we could discuss the movie we will watch tonight." he said. He had his one hand in my hair, running his finger through the locks. "Since you weren't completely in favor of the movie I chose the last time, I was thinking that we should talk about it now and I'll rent it accordingly."

"I never said I wasn't in favor of that movie. I can watch whatever you choose, unless it is Casablanca again."

"Alright then." he said as our food arrived. I was pretty hungry so I just ate. In a few minutes, I was already finished with my plate while Jonathan was still eating. "So, after work I'll come by your place, is that okay with you?" he asked me politely.

"Yeah, sure." I told him and leaned over to kiss his cheek before we left the restaurant. Ten minutes later, I was sitting at my cubicle, daydreaming about our movie night. I almost ran to my apartment after I clocked out. I just threw myself into the bathroom and took a shower, then I dressed up in some warm clothes. I remembered what Samantha had told me about sweatpants earlier, so I figured that I would wear something nice and comfy. I checked out the kitchen to find something to cook, but decided that I would wait for Jonathan since he would be arriving in a few minutes.

And then those minutes rolled into hours.

I called his cell phone several times, but it was turned off. I made some instant noodles for myself, realizing that he wouldn't be making it to dinner. I was lying on my bed, reading, my eyes almost closing when I heard the door knocked. I opened the doorto an exhausted Jonathan who was holding a single tulip for me.

"I'm so sorry." he said as he stood by the doorway. "Mr. Hamilton called me in, and my cell phone died and I didn't realize how late it got because I was working on some late minute papers."

"It's okay." I said as I accepted the tulip and ushered him to my bedroom. I just entered inside my bed and waited for him to follow suit because apparently we both were exhausted and desperately needed sleep. Then I realized that I needed to give him some clothes and the extra toothbrush I had.

I handed him a baggy white shirt I had and shown him the place of the extra toothbrush. I got under the sheets and waited for him. A few minutes later, he arrived wearing the shirt and in his boxers. Without saying a word, he got under the sheets next to me. "What took you so long?" I asked him.

"Are you referring to the night in general or my five minutes in the bathroom?"

"The former." I replied.

"I was just about to leave the office when Mr. Hamilton called me in his office." he said. "He told me about a company in Chicago that wanted to do business with us and that we needed to do negotiations with them. He gave me an idea about their product and wanted me to brainstorm. It was already late when I was finished. I wanted to call you, but my cell phone was dead and I was already late, so I just got here."

"I wasn't in the mood for a movie anyway." I told him. "I am too tired to do anything."

"Yeah, me too." he replied. "I'm going to Chicago. Mr. Hamilton wants me to take care of the meeting with the clients there."

"I didn't know about that." I said. "And since when are you being sent to take care of meetings?" I asked him even though it sounded a little harsh. We were of the same position in different branches and our branches worked co-dependently, so if he was needed for such a thing, I was supposed to be needed, too. It We were to work co-dependently but it was actually the first time I had heard about the Chicago deal.

"Since Mr. Hamilton will be busy this week and wants one of his minions to do his work for him. I told him that you needed to come with me, but he said that you would run both our departments while I'm in Chicago." he said as he played with the hairs on my neck, bringing tingles down to my entire body. "And the job thing came off pretty short notice, so he didn't have time to tell you. I'd have loved to be in Chicago with you though."

"Yeah, that'd have been wonderful." I whispered. "How long will it take?"

"I really don't know." he said moving in the bed so that he had his arm me while I had my back against him. "It's supposed to take three days, I think. I'll be back by Friday."

"Oh, I hope you'll be back earlier." I told him, meaning the words coming out of my mouth.

"Why, are you going to miss me?"

"Aren't you going to miss me?" I asked him back. Instead of replying, he kissed my cheek softly. "That's what I thought. I'm going to miss you. I got used to being around you, sleeping next to you. I don't know what I'm going to do here on my own while you are there dealing with those people."

"Don't worry about me. It's just going to be a few meetings and hopefully a few drinks so I'll know I did a good job."

"You'll do great." I told him, then leaned for the table lamp, turning it off. "When is your flight?"

He yawned lightly. "Six a.m." he replied. "I need to wake up at four in the morning the latest."

"Then you should just sleep, okay? I'll wake up with you in the morning to see you off. Good night." I said as I picked up his hand and kissed his knuckles. I really hadn't done such a gesture of emotion with a guy before.

"Good night." he said and a few minutes later, we were both fast asleep.

I woke up to the sound of my alarm going off but I realized something was wrong because I was supposed to wake up earlier, much earlier. I found myself alone in the bed Jonathan was long gone and it felt horrible falling asleep next him and waking up to find him gone in the morning. There was a note on the pillow where he had slept. "Beautiful, I couldn't dare to wake you up. I'll call you in the morning. Jonathan." the note read in his neat handwriting.

Even though it had been only minutes since I realized his absence, I felt like taking the day off because I felt horrible without him next to me. I was supposed to be used to the feeling because every day I would see him at work, I would pass by him, I could smell his cologne, but could only behave like he was another colleague of mine and nothing more. Knowing he was there in the office was enough, his presence would suffice. Him being away in another city did not suffice.

My thoughts drifted back and forth to Jonathan as I got ready for work. I wished to see the rustled look he would have when he just woke up. Or the way he would move swiftly when he was getting ready for work. Or the tiniest kisses he would place on my neck. There was only one logical explanation to why I was feeling like that.

I was falling for Jonathan Mason.

We had been dating for almost a month now and I was engaged to another man just before we started dating.I already liked Jonathan immensely. I cared for him immensely. And apparently, I ached for his presence. I really did not want to feel like that so early in the relationship, but evidently I couldn't fight off my feelings.

Samantha called me the moment I got to my office. "Hey, I called Jonathan's number but he didn't pick up. Can we have the double-date thing tonight?"

I turned on my computer. "He is in Chicago today, probably in a meeting. Can we reschedule?"

"Sure, we can reschedule. It sucks that he is away." Samantha commented and I completely agreed with her. "You really like him, don't you? Peter would go out of town all the time, and you would never be bothered with it. Yet Jonathan has been gone for, what, a few hours and you already sound like you've lost a relative. Could you cheer up a little? He'll be back soon. And then we'll go on that double date and I'll keep talking about how amazing Riley is when we sneak into the bathroom and you'll blush when I comment about Jonathan and you."

I started laughing despite myself. Samantha Riles definitely knew how to cheer me up. "Thanks Samantha. We will talk at lunch, okay?"."

My phone started ringing the second I hang up on Samantha. I checked the caller ID and decided that I needed to be in privacy while having that call, or at least that I needed to be careful and not say his name out loud.

"Hey, I'm sorry I couldn't call you earlier." his accent brought me a smile.

"It's okay." I replied. "How are you? Did you have a niceHow was the trip?"

"Yes, iIt was great, being on Business Class and all. I'm sorry I didn't wake you up." he said. "I was going to, but you were sleeping so beautifully."

I wanted to blush freely to his comment, but instead, I replied formally to him. "Thank you sir." I said, hating myself while doing that. "Is it anyhow possible that we have this conversation later on in private?"

"Oh, you are at work, right? I forgot about it. I'll call you later." he said. "Until then beautiful." he said and I hang up.

I worked monotonously and almost mechanically until lunch and once Samantha and I reached to the café we were going to have our lunch at, I immediately picked up my phone and dialed Jonathan's number while Samantha was already having a conversation with Riley that rather sounded like phone sex. "Hello gorgeous, how's the Windy City?" I said immediately when he picked up with my most flirtatious voice.

"I'm fine Ms., how are you?" he replied and I realized that he was in the proximity of some people from the office.

I started laughing, knowing how awkward it was for him to talk that formally to me on the phone. "I'm pretty okay, just missing you like crazy and all. Are you in a meeting?"

"Yes, one second." he said and then I heard him talking out to somebody else. "This is kind of urgent, I'll be right back." Then there was again a pause. "I can talk freely right now. It sucks that we have to do this."

"I know. I'm sorry about earlier, I was surrounded by colleagues So, how are you? How's it in Chicago?"

"I'm okay. But here is boring. And snowy. And pretty lonely without you. I've quite gotten used to your presence." he said and regardless of the look Samantha gave me, I smiled and blushed like a teenager. "I'm at this boring meeting with our team, we still haven't met the clients. We were supposed to meet today, but apparently they couldn't make it due to the snow, which is ironic because they're from Chicago and we came from New York."

"Is it snowing that bad?"

"Yes, and it kind of worries me." he replied. "And the meeting that didn't happen today unfortunately extends my stay."

"Really?" I asked, reflecting my disappointed. "Don't worry, it'll be fine though I'll miss you even more." I said and heard his amused laughter. "Anyway, I shouldn't keep you from your meeting. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"I'll call you by six." he said. I couldn't wait for his next call. "Enjoy your lunch."

I did enjoy my lunch. Samantha kept talking about Riley. It was evident that she was head over heels in love with him, but she was not aware of it yet. She would realize it soon though, I was sure of it.

"Riley is painting me. I mean, he is going to paint me, soon, this weekend, maybe, I'm not sure when."

"Are you finally getting that nude painting of your dreams?" I asked back.

"No." she protested. "He has a theme for his new gallery. He is painting fairies and I will be the fairy queen. It may be a little nude though, we haven't talked about the specifics yet. I just know that we are both very excited about it."

"It's great news, Samantha." I said. "So hopefully when Jonathan comes back, we'll have that double date, and Riley and I'll brag about the painting."

"Can't wait." After finishing our meals, we left back for work. The second half of work was pretty similar to the first half, and I was exhausted when I reached home. I just threw myself into the shower to get rid of the weariness.

I threw myself out of the shower while clumsily wrapping around a towel around myself when I heard my phone ringing. I answered it without checking the ID. "As promised, I'm calling at six. You should see the snow here, it's amazing."

"I bet it is." I answered. "Is it cold?"

"Yeah, pretty much, but the room is warm, so I have no worries. How are you?"

"I'm okay. A little naked and wet, but okay?"

"Is this your way of initiating phone sex?" he asked and I just started laughing and was unable to make out a word for an entire minute. I heard him laughing as well. "Just so you know, I'm open to those things."

"Yeah, you sound like you are." I replied. "I'm not initiating phone sex. I was in the shower and heard the phone ringing and just threw myself out."

"Oh, for a second I thought you were trying to bring out the pervert in me, not that I mind it though." he said, laughing. "I better let you go before you catch a cold standing in the middle of your living room with a towel loosely wrapped on you."

"God, do you have a camera in my house somewhere?"

"No." he protested. "I was just guessing."

"So what are you going to do for the rest of the night?" I asked as I made my way back to the bathroom. I wanted to know if he was feeling miserable because he was lonely like me.

"I will just stick to the cable TV and order some food in, then go to bed early. We have a meeting early in the morning." he said. "And I'll imagine you're sleeping next to me."

"Me too." I told him with a huge smile. "So, I'm heading back to the shower, and I'll call you right before you sleep, okay?" After exchanging our goodbyes, we hang up and I continued my shower.

Wednesday had never received love from me all those years and it wasn't an exception that week as I woke up ten minutes late, almost broke my heel when I almost stumbled down the stairs of my building because the elevator was not running and arrived to work twenty minutes late. Samantha had taken the day off because she was supposedly sick but in fact was spending the day with Riley. I was bored because even though I was running two departments simultaneously, I had nothing to do except from sitting and checking my e-mail inbox.

"Bored?" asked a voice. I didn't have to look up to to know who it was. The most annoying woman on the surface of earth was standing beside my cubicle with her usual demeaning look.

"No Shirley, I'm not bored. However, you look bored yourself."

"Oh sweetie, I'm never bored." she bragged and let out that laugh that would give children nightmares. I was exaggerating, but that woman had that effect on me. We disliked one another. My reason to dislike her was her dislike of me, but I had no idea why she never liked me in the first place. She had been acting towards me like a total bitch ever since my first day in the office, even though I was an intern back then. I had given up examining how Shirley Cloven's brain worked years ago. I just wanted to strangle her with my bare hands, but I loved my life too much to waste it because of her.

Just when I thought that I had my enough share of Shirley Cloven for one day, she was back at my cubicle after the lunch I had had all myself. "How can I help, Shirley?" Even though usually I called everyone at the office with the titles Ms. and Mr., when it came to Shirley Cloven, I always called her by her first name to remind of her that she was below me in position.

"I was just curious. I learned that you broke off your engagement. It gets hard to figure out whether you are engaged or not since it's already been, what, your third engagement since you first started working here and you have never worn a ring. It must be frustrating for you." she said with a sinister smile. I wanted to pull her ginger hair.

"And it must be extremely frustrating for you to talk about things that are none of your business. I wish you could put the same amount of energy and effort that you put into your gossiping into your work." I told her and her face just fell down and she immediately disappeared from my sight.

I went home and talked to Jonathan on the phone, but since he was exhausted after two consecutive meetings, we kept the conversation short. It wasn't enough for me to just talk to him on the phone. I really missed him, and found it strange because, well, I had been engaged to another guy last month and Jonathan and I were so early in our relationship.

"So, is he coming back today?" asked Samantha when we were in the taxi, going to her apartment on Friday.

"Yes, finally." I replied with a huge smile. "I am so happy."

"You should be." she said and then paid the cab fare and I got off. "I can't imagine being away from Riley that long. I see Riley everyday and I still miss him while I am at work."

"If you were saying such a thing a few months ago, I would have thought that you were abducted by aliens or something. Now you are saying all these lovey-dovey stuff and I'm so happy about it."

"I am unpredictable and amazing, right?" she commented and I nodded, then we entered her apartment. "So when exactly is Jonathan coming?"

"He'll call before his flight takes off. Then I'll go and pick him up from the airport." I replied as I settled myself at her couch. And at that exact moment, my phone started ringing. "Hey." I answered excitedly.

"Hey." he said and I could clearly detect the discontent in his voice. "I've got some bad news."

"What is it?" I asked, suddenly concerned. His voice was coming from a crowded place.

"Remember the snow I mentioned? Well, it's making everything impossible here." he said. "I'm here at the airport now and our flight is delayed until further notice."

"Oh." I paused, not knowing what else to say. "That really is bad news."

"Yeah, I know." he said, the tone of his voice mirroring my own disappointment. "I wanted to come back, to you, but I guess I have to wait until further notice."

"I'm sorry to hear that, I was expecting you tonight, but I really wouldn't like you to travel in bad weather, so it's better for you to wait."

"Yeah, I know." he said, accepting his situation. "I can't go back to the hotel, I'll stay here. I'll call you to let you know, okay?"

"Sure, I'm at Samantha's and we are waiting for Riley." I told him. I was actually planning to go home and get ready for his arrival, and then go to the airport to pick him up. Now I had to change my plans and instead I was going to spend my night with Samantha and Riley, not that I minded it though.

We were watching TV idly with Samantha when Riley came. Samantha's overall mood changed as he came inside and sat down with us. She started ignoring me for a little while and talked to him with a huge smile on her face. Her eyes were sparkling. The same thing went for Riley, he was smiling and his eyes were shining as he talked to her.

When Samantha went to the kitchen to fix some food for her hungry artist, Riley and I were left alone. There was a documentary about Expressionist art on TV, mentioning the works of German and Austrian expressionists. Riley and I were both listening intently at first, and then we were suddenly discussing the topic, talking about the artists, the movements, their origins and about how much we both liked it. I didn't know who initiated the discussion, but before I could realize it, we were discussing other artistic movements, such as Futurism and did not even realize Samantha in the room holding a tray for Riley. Yet even though we were not aware of her presence in the room, the topics we discussed somehow revolved around. Riley loved linking everything he loved about art to Samantha, but evidently Samantha was not aware of it because when I looked at her, she gave me a sad smile and left for her room.

Realizing that Samantha was upset, I immediately went after her. Samantha Riles rarely got upset about things. But now she looked like she was on the verge of tears as she was sitting on the edge of her bed, with her hand propped under her chin, her eyes downwards.. I sat down next to her without saying a thing. I knew she would mention what she was upset about before I would ask her.

"I have no chance with him, do I?" she whispered. To her, it wasn't a question but was a statement. To me, it was just a stupid thing for her to say. "I have nothing in common with him. He talks about art and his love for it and when I think about art, I start talking about the shoes I saw at the store yesterday." She sighed deeply. "We don't have anything in common. I wish I did, I really wish I did, but we don't. And yet I'm falling for him, hard and I'll end up badly because he'll leave me after he realizes that I'm boring."

"I don't remember an artistic movement that was about you." I told her bluntly. "Nor I remember reading about Samantha Riles in the Futurist Manifesto."

"What's that supposed to mean?" she asked me, with an eyebrow up.

"It means that Riley talks about you even when he is discussing art movements. He links everything about you to the things he loves. He said that all he can see is you when he thinks about a making a new painting." I told her. "You didn't listen to our conversation because you think you're not familiar with the topic, but you are very familiar with it because it was about you."

Her eyes grew bigger. "Really?"

"Yes." I replied without hesitation. "The guy is quite smitten with you. You should pay more attention to the way he looks at you." I said and saw the smile on her face. "You are both in love."

"And you make me sound like a lovesick puppy." she said. I laughed, then got up to go to the living room to pick up my things. "I thought you were going to stay?" Samantha asked as she followed me.

"I don't like sleeping on couches." I replied. I was actually going to stay, but I decided that I wouldn't ruin their night by becoming the third-wheel. The lovebirds needed some privacy. I knew that they wouldn't mind me being around, but I just felt like I needed to leave them alone. Samantha was in love for the first time in a decade, and as her best friend, it was my job to make her spend more time with the guy she loved.

I went home alone and exhausted. Jonathan had promised to call me if there was any change in his situation, but hadn't called, so I knew that he was at the airport, waiting for the weather to get better.

I woke up to the sound of my phone ringing insistently. With half-closed eyes, I located it by my nightstand and answered with a hoarse voice. "Hello?"

"I'm so sorry for waking you up in the middle of the night." I heard the accented voice I was waiting to hear. I finally managed to open an eye completely, and saw that it was still dark. "And I'm sorry for not calling earlier."

"It's okay." I told him. "How are you? Still at the airport?"

"Yes." he said, sighing. I could hear noises in the background. "The weather isn't getting better, so I'm planning on renting a car to get home, to you."

"Are you sure? The roads must be terrible now." I told him. Maybe it was due to the fact that I was still half asleep, but I was having trouble believing in him. It was senseless to drive from Chicago to New York in such terrible weather, despite him being a great driver he was. "You can just wait until the flights are announced back."

"Yeah, I know, but I'm rather impatient." he replied. I smiled to myself. "I missed you, I'm bored here, I hate being in the airport. The company is willing to pay for the expenses, so why shouldn't I spend some of their money by renting a car?"

"Go for it." I replied. He laughed lightly. "So listen, I'll go rent the car now if the rental is still open and I'll call you once again when I hit the road, and I promise I won't wake you up again."

"Okay." I said.

"Sleep tight beautiful."

"Drive safe gorgeous." I told him and turned off the cell phone and went back to sleep.

When I woke up in the morning and turned my phone back on, there still wasn't any news from Jonathan. He had called me few hours ago to tell me that he would call me when he hit the road, but he hadn't called. It wasn't until lunch time that I heard from Jonathan, I had gotten quite worried.

"I was only able to hit the road now." he said, his voice was cheerful and that cleared my worries away. "I convinced the guys I'm with that I'll be able to drive in snow, then I dealt with the rental office. And after waiting two hours for the snow to be cleared off the road, I'm now on the road and will be there before you get off work."

"I'm fine with the timing as long as you are back in one piece." I told him as I gulped down my diet coke. Samantha was eyeing me curiously. I mouthed "Jonathan" and the moody look on her face changed into her chirpy one.

Because Samantha wanted to spend her night, again, with Riley, I went home alone to wait for Jonathan. He had told me that he would arrive before I got off work, but I was already home and he was not around. I called his phone several times, but the call never went through. I was getting worried. It was cold and I was already wearing my pajamas, so I just went to bed and started reading a book. It was a little pathetic of me actually, reading a book alone at home on a Saturday night, but I was waiting for Jonathan to come and was killing time until he arrived.

The doorbell rang and excited, I ran to the door and the last person I was expecting to see was standing before me . "Peter? What are you doing here?" I asked even though it sounded rather harsh.

He somehow looked different, and happier. His hair was shorter and looked much darker than its usual dark blond color. He was clean-shaven and no longer had a stubble. His brown eyes were sparkling. His selection of clothing was much more different that what I was used to see on him. He was holding a box in his hands, and I understood why he was at my apartment. "I was passing by and decided to call you, then I saw your lights on and came up here. I wasn't expecting you to be home on a Saturday night. I'm sorry if it's a bad time." he said with his polite, less-formal voice.

"No, it's okay." I replied. For some strange reason, it was good to see him again, I had missed him. "How are you? Your hair looks nice."

"Thanks." he replied sheepishly. "I'm doing fine."

"How is life in New Jersey? You moved there, right?"

"Not yet." he replied. "I am staying in and out of hotels for the moment."

"Mind if I asked you why?"

He scratched the back of his head. I realized that he was nervous. "I don't know how to say this to you because it feels strange to tell it to you, but… while I was in New Jersey, I met this girl. We became friends, and that was all. Then, after you and I broke up, she and I got closer and started dating. I hope you don't think that I cheated on you or anything because nothing happened when you and I were together." he said. I wasn't angry at him, because the story he was telling was strangely familiar and reminded me a lot of Jonathan and me, and we even had a kiss involved in our story. "So we are dating now, and I'm staying with her from time to time, and she insists that I move in with her, but I'm taking my time before doing that."

"Congratulations." I told him. It was rather odd to congratulate my ex-fiancé for his new girlfriend, but I was genuinely happy for him. I wanted to tell him about Jonathan, but then I decided not to, because no matter how hard you tried, it was always no fun to talk about your new boyfriend to your ex-boyfriend especially when you were engaged and you got together with the new boyfriend almost right after you broke up the engagement. "You should think about what you want to do before you do it."

"Yeah, that's what I'm doing. I'm taking baby steps, we both saw what happened when I pushed things." he referred to us. I nodded. "Anyways, this is for you. You never went to my apartment to pick these up, so I thought I'd bring them to you myself."

"I'm sorry, I really never had time to pick them up." I said as I accepted the box. It was a box full of memories with Peter and even though I didn't acknowledge it at that moment, it was the symbol of the absolute end of our relationship. Peter would no longer be in my life again, even as a friend, because I knew very well that friendships could not built on ended relationships and failed engagements. "Thanks for the box."

"No problem. I'd better get going, I'm sorry again if I ruined your evening."

"You did no such thing." I told him with a genuine smile and looked at him in the eye. "I'm sorry we didn't work out, Peter, but I'm glad things are working out for you now."

A small smile appeared on his face. "I'm sorry we didn't work out, too."

I nodded. He looked like he wanted to leave since he was eyeing the door and the corridor. It was over. "It was really nice seeing you. Don't be a stranger, okay?"

"I won't." he replied. "Have a great night, and a great life Chloe Clarkson." he said and kissed my cheek in a friendly manner. "Bye." And then he was gone.

I went back into my apartment and found myself a pack of my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I closed my eyes in order to rest them, and before even I could realize, I was fast asleep with the now empty package of cookies. I heard a knock on the door in my sleep, but only after hearing several knocks on my door that I realized somebody was knocking on my door.

With half-open eyes, I walked to the door and there he was leaning on the doorframe, looking at me. "Hey."

Without saying a word, I just threw myself into his anticipant, tired arms and hugged him. I had missed him so much. He looked exhausted, yet still gorgeous. He smelled the smell that was distinctive to him. We held each other like that in the doorway for a couple of minutes before I led him inside my apartment. He was in his coat, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck and was carrying a bag over one shoulder, a briefcase in one hand and a shopping bag in another. I took those off him and placed them on the couch and led him to my bedroom.

Through some form of non-verbal communication, we decided to just go to bed after he went back to his bag and took out his sleepwear. He was back with holding his sleepwear and the shopping bag he brought. He left the bag on the bed, then went into the bathroom to change while I got under the covers. I wondered what was in the bag, but held my curiosity until he came back to the room and got under the covers next to me.

"What's in the bag?" I asked him as I laid myself down on the pillows, pulling the covers over my body.

Jonathan smiled at me, then leaned over to retrieve some items out from the bag. I looked at him with curious eyes from my position. "First, there is this." he said and brought out something that was wrapped in an old newspaper. He handed it to me and I unwrapped the paper and was left with a snow globe in my hands. It was of Chicago with the numerous skyscrapers and the lake surrounding it. I shook the globe and watched the artificial snowflakes fall down on the artificial city replica.

"It is beautiful". I told Jonathan. "Thank you."

"The city wasn't this beautiful without you there." he told me, then reached into the bag once again and brought out another small plastic bag, which was filled with grapefruits.

"You brought me grapefruits?" I asked him amidst my laughter.

"You love them, I saw them, I decided to bring you some." he said with a smirk. I couldn't help but lean over and kiss his cheek. Right after my small act of gesture, he brought out a piece of paper and handed it to me.

The note read: Will you spend your entire Sunday with me in bed?

I lifted my head from the small piece of paper with his handwriting and was met with his eyes looking right into mine. Instead of replying with my words, I nodded at him. Those simple words with the simple invite made me happier than I had ever been the whole week. He then took the paper out of my hands and placed it on the nightstand on his side, then gathered me in his arms right after he turned off the lights. I had missed the feeling of him being next to me, his smell, his skin. I had missed him, a lot. Seconds before I finally fell asleep, the lone thought I had in my mind was that I had fallen for Jonathan Mason, hard.