A/N: Hey all! I know, it's been like forever (4 years) since I actually wrote something that wasn't a requirement from school or an inside joke with my friends. I know I've written a few things that occurred from my own life or existed in my personal thoughts… (Shut Eye, THAT Boy), but I finally got inspired from reading a Gossip Girl fan-fiction, and this story is the result from that. ;p Also, I do intend on finishing those stories I've left behind *watches as they fade into the distance*…but it will probably be awhile after I get into this story, since I haven't much invested time in fiction press. *is addicted to * Anyhow, that's all for this little intro. I hope you enjoy, and if the first five or so chapters feel rushed, they're kinda supposed to. The main storyline doesn't really begin till after chapter six and its eruption begins after chapter 16. So yeah…the story'll end in the mid-twenties somewhere. XD Give it a chance if you're doubting, and make sure to review!!! ;D
Ch.1-Two Sewn Together
The skyscrapers loomed over the city, shadowing the sidewalks and blocking some partial viewing of the cabs and occasional limos in the street. The offices streamed with ringing phones and frustrated secretaries. Over-dressed, fashion obsessed women stuffed themselves down the streets of Manhattan, giggling over frappachinos and the latest boy-toy they dumped. Important business men and supposedly school-focused children erupted from the vehicles lining up down the blocks. Such was the life of downtown Manhattan, New York.
Such was the environment Delilah Everetts lived, worked and attended school in.
"No Tammy, I didn't miss class because I hooked up with a guy," she said, rolling her eyes. It was a prediction that was always in order when talking to her best friend. "I'm serious!" she continued, "I don't have a boyfriend and I don't pick up guys off the street." She smirked, and then burst into laughter a moment later at something her friend had said. "Well, whatever you want to believe…" she shook her head, and broke into giggles again, listening to the madness that was her best friend's list of daily activities.
NYU was inhabited by many young aspiring students, Tammy and Delilah being two of its most profound. They both were straight A students in high school, and never missed a day in class, soaring through the arts and athletics like natural-born professionals. Tammy seemed to jump from boys the way she switched a top halfway through the day. Delilah was hit on once, and the experience was not something she cared to repeat, especially not with epilepsy engulfing her.
Luckily, the seizures had not ruptured her body for some time, a couple years at least. Medication was still necessary.
"No mom…I didn't stop anywhere," she held back whining to her overanxious mother across the phone. She was just a few blocks away, but there was something about her mother that required perfection.
"Then why aren't you here yet, Lila?" Mrs. Everetts began her interrogation. "I already have the chicken put on, and your father's going to be home any minute…"
Delilah rolled her eyes. "I'm coming as fast as I can, mom! Tammy called me and I missed one of my buses. That's it."
Her mother huffed. "So you did get distracted!"
The younger girl closed her eyes in frustration. "You can start eating without me. I'll get there as soon as I can."
"What? Don't tell me she miraculously forgot she had a class she needed to intend," the teenage boy, no older than fifteen, joked carelessly as he arrived shortly from the upstairs. Jonah Everetts could tell from the frustrated look on his mother's face that if he hadn't said something, she would have choked the celery and spit on the salad.
Mrs. Everetts glared sharply at her son. "Your father's almost home! I expected your sister fifteen minutes ago. She has no right to—"
"She has every right, Ma," he spoke, a bite of apple in his mouth as he stood in front of the still open fridge. "She's a busy college student. And her university is in the middle of downtown New York City."
"Manhattan," his mother muttered.
He shook his head, ruffling his thick brown hair. "I'm just saying…"
The woman said nothing, only moved across the kitchen to resume stirring a salad she had concocted a recipe to earlier in the day. The boy moved on through the room and out the back door, sighing to himself and trying to avoid the dangerous whiff that was to come with his mother's freshly made 'pasta salad'.
"Jerry, my man!"
The other man chuckled as he made his way to the cubicle. "We're getting a little casual for being on the job, aren't we?" he raised his eyes in subtle amusement.
"Please. I'm basically an intern. Casual is my middle name."
Jerry got up from his chair and leaned against the small desk area in which was encircled tiny walls made for posting things on. "What can I do for ya, Robert?"
"Wow. Getting really casual, aren't we?" A smirk formed.
He sighed, but then allowed the smile to ease itself on his face. "I…need a favor," he said, abruptly changing the subject.
"…is there any way…I could…" he paused, watching in slight frustration as Jerry chased his thoughts with his eyes, wondering when the request would make itself known.
"Still listening, Robert."
The younger man couldn't roll his eyes at the lack of a nickname this time, or even correct him. He sighed and laughed briefly, awkwardly. "I was wondering…" he looked up at the man before him, his supervisor, his boss, the most laid-back awesome boss he had ever worked here. And here he was, basically stuttering for a simple change in assignments.
Jerry then pulled Robert out of his thinking reverie and pushed him into the chair that he had just previously been sitting in. "What is it?" he leaned over him menacingly, with a huge grin plastered on his face.
The jittery feelings all faded away. Jerry had a strange presence over the fresh out of college journalist. He would intimidate most people, but for Robert it offered nothing but comfort and confidence. Two of the best qualities for a new-born journalist. Robert smirked. "Could I have a different story?"
Jerry sighed. He should have expected this. He had seen the look on the young man's face whenever he left to gather information for his stories. There was a forced happiness, and excitement was not exactly on the menu.
"It's not that I don't appreciate that I get stories period, I do!"
He nodded slowly.
"It's just…" Robert looked away, trying to gather the right words, "I can only write about ducks and children at the park for so long."
Jerry cracked a smile, humor retrieved. "That was only one story, junior."
Robert nodded along, trying to find this all funny somehow. Fail. "Well, in all respect, Sir, statistics in patients in hospitals and students in schools wasn't much better. Then there was that remotely more significant story about animal cruelty. That one actually got a few more readers in the newspaper, but…" he looked into the eyes of his boss hopefully, trying to find something. "…I need more, Sir."
Jerry looked at him intently.
"I've wanted to be a journalist all my life. I want to find interesting stories or put criminals to justice, find relief for a grieving widow and her children. I can't do that if my most interesting story is that the local animal shelter decided not to put an old dog to sleep this week!"
The older man seemed to be considering something, but the younger man was on a role. He began to pace, completely unaware of people trying to get through or what his boss may have considered. "And I know that you have to work for these things, you have to climb up the corporate ladder. But I had all the credentials for this job and more. I have shown nothing but good work, except maybe for a little less than normal enthusiasm over the boat-rowers at the local park…"
The older man chuckled, not even trying to interrupt anymore.
"I just…I need more! If you want enthusiasm, I can give you enthusiasm. Just give me something to be excited about!"
Jerry paused before speaking again, just in case another tangent would burst out of his newly acquired employee. "You've got spirit, kid, I'll give you that," he smirked, noticing how Robert was out of breath and quickly took a swig of his boss's water bottle.
"…that better be water," Robert muttered under his breath, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and focusing his attention back on his boss.
The smirk turned into a smile. "Never waiting for an invitation…" he chuckled briefly, before becoming serious again. "Listen Bobby, if you keep doing these trivial stories and do them well, like I know you can, I'll see if I can get you something a little more interesting at the beginning of next month. Deal?"
The wide grin seemed frozen in place. "Yes, Sir!" he said, shaking the man's hand firmly and nearly skipping off back to his own cubicle, hardly realizing that his boss had finally called him by his so desired nickname.
A few days later, and nothing much had changed. The taxis still honked their way through traffic. The towers still loomed over the people rushing from one place to another. Everything was as busy as ever, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The Starbucks on the corner was just what any busy or laid back individual needed to get through their day. Robert Caliman entered the small coffee shop, hardly made it to the front of the shop without getting mauled by the crowd in the process. The place was packed!
Everyone from his aunt's mother to his brother-in-law from Alaska seemed to be in line to purchase a most delicious coffee from the well known beverage shop. What peaked his interest the most though, was the quirky brunette with blonde streaks standing agape in front of the desserts display.
Robert cleared his throat.
She didn't turn in his direction, and hardly even registered that a noise had erupted outside of the normal crowd buzz.
He cleared his throat again.
Finally, it seemed, she had reasoned that someone was trying to get her attention. She turned to look behind her and found the deep-brown haired individual staring at her with raised eyebrows.
"Can I help you…" she looked him up and down, "Sir?" She propped a hand on her cocked hip and he just about did himself in then and there.
"Uh…" he stared down at her propped hand, and tried to focus, "Yes," he said, allowing his gaze to drift up to her face and those deep baby blues. His eyebrows had returned to their normal positioning but hers had risen in return. "I'd like to introduce myself," he said, extending a hand. "I'm Robert Caliman." He smiled vividly, but she was suspicious.
"Delilah," she said, cautiously, shaking his hand in return.
"Delilah," he said, smiling widely.
"Robert," they said simultaneously.
She was still unsure of him.
"And why exactly did you feel the need to introduce yourself on this particular occasion…Robert?" she folded her arms across her chest and waited for his answer.
He cleared his throat. "I noticed you were examining the desserts!" he spoke excitedly.
She turned to where she was before, retracing her steps. "I see," she said, examining her prior actions. She looked to the desserts, back at him, and then repeated those minimal steps.
He gulped vividly.
She stepped towards him then.
"I wasn't examining the desserts," she said.
"You weren't?" he asked lamely.
"No," she said, stepping away from them. "I was merely standing in front of where they were being showcased. She beamed proudly.
He felt as though sweat were dribbling down the side of his face. This had to be the worst conversation he had ever participated in with a girl he hardly knew. She was gorgeous and confident and scared the heck out of him. He had never been so nervous, felt so fluttery throughout such a process. He was excellent in luring in women, and pretty cocky to add to it. But now? It was all a blur.
She was so magnificent.
"Okay…?" he blinked, completely lost.
She shook her head and laughed lightly at him and his oblivious state. His eyes sparkled as he watched her.
"I was looking at the menu," she assured him, gesturing to the words hanging on the walls behind the cashiers.
Robert turned his face to the direction she was suggesting, and noticed, for the first time, how she could have been analyzing the items from where she was standing by the display case of desserts.
"Ah," he said, as if suddenly deciding he was very philosophical.
"Yep," she smirked, watching him as he attempted to recover from acting like a complete idiot.
"The menu," he said, matter-of-factly.
"That's right," she glowed, watching him, intent on his next move.
"And has it helped you decide on what you're going to order?" he asked.
Her smirk widened. It seemed as if this was the moment she had been waiting for all along. "Oh, I'm not going to order anything."
His eyebrows narrowed again. "You're not," he said blankly.
"Nope," she shook her head, stifling a giggle.
He looked about himself, trying to find a solution to this mess, an answer to this trivia question. Nothing. "Well, then what the heck are you looking at the menu for?!"
"Shh!" she shushed him and pulled him in the direction of some abandoned tables.
He loved the feel of her fingers grazing his skin as she pulled him along.
"For a man who says he knows exactly what he's doing, you sure do get worked up over the little things," she said, laughing a bit again and looking about the café to see if anyone was getting riled up over their situation.
The coast was clear.
"So…" he began again, finding it odd that she had shushed him when they were in a room full of people.
She looked up to him then. "Oh right." She exhaled deeply. "I have epilepsy, and the medication I take is pretty much toxic if I consume caffeine with it or whenever it is in my system."
He seemed to take a step back with that information. It concerned her.
"So, I can't get any coffee. I can't get anything they offer here pretty much." She smiled.
"Then, what's the point?" he asked, his eyebrows fusing again.
She shrugged. "I'm not really sure…but I keep coming back week after week, so it must be something."
He seemed completely aghast at what she had told him.
"What?" she asked, noticing his expression.
"What?" suddenly her mind switched to the worst, "You think I'm not capable of normal life because I have a disease that invokes seizures??" her eyebrows narrowed dangerously.
"W-what?! NO! T-That's not what I mean at all!"
Now he was terrified.
"Oh, and I've got you stuttering now, do I?!" she huffed, "Well, that's fabulous. I hope you enjoy your beverage," she spat at him and made her away out the door.
Robert stood there, confused. This was truly an odd experience. He hadn't said much, especially not in regards to her illness meaning anything in regards to her daily life. Then she had just blown up at him and left.
He shook his head, and turned for the exit in an effort to clear his head from the whole situation. When he was half-way through the extending line of customers at the far end of the shop, he heard a call directing to him from where he had come from.
"Sir! Sir!! Sir, stop! Come back!"
He turned and found an ever-eager cashier girl calling out to him desperately. There were twenty plus customers impatiently waiting for their orders, or waiting for their turn at ordering, but he was singled out.
"Sir," she was breathing heavily by the time he got there, and he looked at her confused. "What would you like, Sir?" she asked, having retrieved her cheery air.
"Uh…I wasn't in line," he looked behind him, trying not to notice the eye rolls of the people behind him.
She sighed a little bit. "I know you weren't, Sir, but the girl that just left after you insulted her—"
He scoffed. "I didn't—"
"She paid for your beverage, so…it's on the house, so to speak." Her shoulder shrugged.
He was speechless, and turned away from her while trying to grasp the strange intensity of the situation. A moment or so later, he felt a light distant tap on his forearm.
"Excuse me, Sir?"
He turned back to the patient girl. His eyes glazed over her in earnest confusion. She looked down briefly, and smiled.
The expression on his face cleared, and he pulled his arm away, dropping it to his side. "Whatever you want," he said, then turned on his feet and left.
The young coffee employee was gaping at the man's sudden change in manner, as was the frazzled woman lying in wait against the side of the building, who watched him curiously as he strode down the block and away from viewing eyes.
A/N: Well, that's my first chapter. Please review and tell me what you think! Hopefully I'll have chapter two up soon. ;p