Lucy pushed the doors of the tall business building open, exiting on to the busy sidewalks. She felt herself get caught in the flow of the sea of bodies and went with it, taking long, quick steps. She could hear the sharp clack that her heels made against the concrete amongst the pound of thousands of other feet. It had been a long day at the office and she could feel the pulse of headache starting to form in her left temple. If she could just get to her car parked off in some remote garage then she would be fine.
As Lucy walked with a purpose, she felt someone bump into her and she looked up to yell at whoever it was when the Starbucks design caught her eye. She stood there for a moment, trying to decide what she wanted to do most, home or Starbucks, when another person bumped her. She had to take a step closer to the café shop to keep her balance and that made her decision.
Stepping closer to the door, she yanked it open, still peeved at the people who bumped into her. She shimmied her way inside the crowded store and pressed her way to the back wall where the line seemed to end. When she was situated, she rolled more on her toes in attempt to see over the heads of the crowd to look to see if her friend Jason was working. She could just manage to make out his form, flying back and forth between taking orders and making them. He probably didn't see her when she came in. Not with all the people and with how busy he was.
By the time that Lucy stepped up to the register to order her coffee, twenty minutes had already passed and she was wishing that she had just gone straight home instead. But when she looked up from rustling around in her purse to look for her wallet, a large, white smile and warm, crinkled brown eyes were directed at her.
"Jason!" Lucy exclaimed as she let out a heavy, happy sigh and her shoulders dropped an inch. It felt like a hundred pounds had been lifted off of them and all she could feel was the relief.
"It'll be two oh five," replied Jason, already sliding Lucy's coffee across the counter. "Stay here for a minute. I'm going to grab a five."
Lucy nodded and handed over three dollars, her fingers brushing Jason's at the transaction. She back away from the counter before he could give her any change and looked for a less crowded area where her and Jason could talk. She ended up settling for the back corner, furthest away from the counter and door. It was the least crowded and most quiet, if one could call it quiet with people still packed in the store.
She was searching the store for Jason with her eyes, jumping from one strange face to another, when she felt a light brush against her elbow and down her arm. Lucy turned a bit and there was Jason, still smiling and in his dirty and stained green apron and faded black hat that held his unruly dark hair. He swooped in for a hug, his arms coming around her in a quick, but tight embrace. She could smell sugar and caffine on him, with a hint of earth and dirt from his earlier landscaping job.
"How is everything going at work?" asked Jason as he encircled her upper arm in a light grasp and pulled her closer to the back of the room in attempt to get even further from the crowd of customers. They ended up standing with nothing less than a hair's breadth between them, Lucy looking up and Jason looking down, their noses almost touching.
"Landed the lead job for the business dealings I was telling you about last time," said Lucy with a cocky, confident smile. Jason nodded his head and his smile grew even larger at the exciting news.
"That's great news Luce! I know how hard you've worked to get that job!" Jason said as he placed his hands on her shoulders and pulled her in for another hug, this one lingering longer than the last.
Lucy closed her eyes and breathed in the smell of Jason again before she pulled away from the hug, her hand coming up to grip Jason's bicep. "And what about you? Did you get the landscaping job?"
It was now Jason's turn to flash his own cocky, confident smile. He gave a playful shrug as his hands came up, palms facing the ceilings in an "I-dunno-maybe" manner.
"Ah! You did, didn't you!?" squealed Lucy, just as excited for her friend as he had been for her. She gave Jason a hug herself, flinging her arms around his broad frame, her hands not even managing to make it all the way around him.
Lucy pulled back and turned her head towards the call as Jason craned his neck to see who was speaking.
"Jason! We need you back here!"
A sheepish smile crossed Jason's face as his hand came up to rub the back of his head. "Well, that's my call," he said, turning from Lucy and taking a step towards the front of the store, "Sorry our talk couldn't be longer, but I'll text you later."
"Alright," said Lucy, stepping closer towards the exit of the door, eyes lingering on Jason, "just let me know whenever."
Jason nodded and waved goodbye to Lucy as he made his way through the crowd towards the counter and his register. Lucy waved back and pushed her way through the mass of people so she could get to the door. When she made it, she rested her hand on the bar and turned her head back towards the front of the store and her eyes met Jason's. He gave a last wave and she raised her hand in return before pushing her way through the door and back out onto the busy sidewalks, into the heavy flow of bodies.
When Lucy had at last made it home, her feet were killing her from her heels and she was exhausted from her day. She wanted nothing more than to fall asleep, hard, on her bed and not open her eyes again until the morning. As she pushed through her front door, she yelled out into her shared apartment to let her roommate, Melony, know that she was home. She walked further into the living room that doubled as a dining room. Lucy dropped her purse by the front door, next to the sofa that took up much of the room and threw her keys onto the dining table that held bills, mail, and other papers of sorts. She stretched herself out reaching above and behind her head with her arms and felt various parts of her body crack. A sigh of relief escaped her as she began making her way to her room. As she passed by the table, she slowed though, noticing her roommate's own keys thrown haphazard on the table. She turned back to the door and saw that Melony's purse was also dropped by the sofa.
With a quick sweep of her hand, Lucy scooped up her keys and walked back to grab her purse. She hung her keys on the key rack that was next to the door instead and decided to bring her purse into her room with her. Satisfied with her decisions, Lucy spun on her heel and her pants hissed as they rubbed against one another with the speed that she walked to her room with.
Lucy burst into her bedroom, throwing the door closed behind her. She made it to the middle of the room before she kicked off her black high heels, shimmied out of her black dress pants, tossed her black suit jacket, and flung her white blouse. She dropped her purse off to the side, hearing its heavy thump as it hit the ground. Ignoring it, she stepped up to her dresser and opened a drawer, pulling out an oversized shirt and shorts that were two sizes too large to replace her work clothes. Once she had put on more comfortable clothes, she walked towards her bed and flopped on to it face first, exhausted from work. At this point, she wanted nothing more than to sleep the rest of the night away, but a knock at her door reminded her that she had other things she had to do first.
"Hey, I just wanted to ask if you could still take me to Jade's house tonight," said Melony, Lucy's roommate and friend. She stood outside of the door with only her head poked in, leaning against the door frame. Her short, black hair covered one side of her face so Lucy could only see Melony's one grey eye, the other just a small glimmer behind the fringe.
Lucy pushed herself on her hands, hearing her back crack at the angle she put herself in. "Yeah, I can still do that," Lucy said as she let herself fall back to her bed, her face turned away from Melony to stare at the wall. "What time did you want to go again?"
"Is five thirty alright?"
Lucy flicked her eyes upwards towards the headboard of her bed and looked to the digital alarm clock that sat on the bedside table. The red numbers flashed to 4:38 as the time turned over. That left a little less than an hour. "Yeah, that sounds good."
Melony made a little noise of thanks and backed out of the room with the soft click of the door latching back in place. Lucy turned her head to make sure Melony had gone and when she had confirmed it, she turned over onto her back and scooted herself further up the bed. When she felt the pillows beneath her head, Lucy groped around her to her right for little table, finding its drawer and pulling it open. She reached her hand and felt around until a small, hard ball was in her hand. Withdrawing her hand and closing the drawer, Lucy brought the little racket ball to her face and rolled it between her two hands for a moment, thinking.
Lucy didn't know Jade all that well – she only met her a few times, when she would drop Melony off somewhere to meet the girl. But at the same time, she felt like she did know Jade because of Melony talking about her all the time. From their conversations, it didn't take Lucy long to figure out that Melony held Jade as more than a friend, even if Jade was straight and had a boyfriend. When Lucy had asked about it, she remembered Melony's sad smile as the answer to her question. It made Lucy's heart break a little for Melony.
Now tonight, Lucy had to take Melony to Jade's house after she had received a call earlier in the week from Jade saying that she had something important to tell Melony and when would she be able to come over. Lucy was eating in the kitchen at the time, leaning on the island with her bowl of cereal, and watching Melony's conversation. She only caught snippets of the conversation, but with the play of emotions on her roommate's face, she could tell that Melony was upset. After the conversation, Melony threw the phone back onto its receiver and almost ran to her room, throwing a "she's getting married," over her shoulder to Lucy.
Melony had locked herself in her room that entire night. Lucy went to the door and knocked, checking on her every once in a while, but Melony never opened the door. Lucy just let her be, even as she walked by the room to her own and heard things being broken.
Lucy let the ball between her hands fly upwards and almost hit the ceiling before gravity took control and brought it back down to her hand. She continued doing this as she looked to her wall of pictures, picking some out here and there with her eyes. The few that stood out to her the most were the ones with her Jason. They had met in high school and had been friends since, even when Lucy had gone off to college. She came back to the city though, so she still was able to see him from time to time. It was looking at Jason's face that Lucy felt like she knew what Melony might be going through.
Pushing her head further into her white pillows with black flower flourishes, Lucy let out a heavy sigh. She didn't really know when it began, but after being away for college for four years and then moving back and seeing Jason, Lucy felt her heart skip a little beat when she saw him. She couldn't help the smile that would seem to always overrun her face, even when she was having a bad day. Hell, just a little bit ago she had forgotten about how horrid her day had been at work. It wasn't until she met Melony at the office and became her roommate and saw how she was with Jade that Lucy realized that was a very good she chance she was in love with Jason. Seeing the way that love made Melony miserable, Lucy did her best to try and lock away her feelings, but she still couldn't help the smile when she would see him.
Lucy turned her head to get the time. The numbers read 4:56 in their glaring red glow. She shook her head at herself as she crawled to the edge of her bed and clambered off of it. Lucy walked to her computer desk and leaned over her chair to wiggle the mouse to her computer. The light of her computer flashed on and the little trill of music that signaled it was turning on played. When the desktop screen loaded, she clicked into her email. Most of it was junk, but there was one from her mom who was just learning how to use a computer. She was about to delete all of it when one caught her attention. It was a horoscope thing she had signed up for. She would delete it without thought any other day, but today, she felt like she should read it, even if it was a load of bullshit.
Clicking open the email, Lucy scrolled down to the parts on life and love. The life section read that she should partake in an adventurous endeavor. The love section said she should be getting laid in the next week under Jupitor. Lucy snorted at the horoscope readings and clicked on the little trashcan button. Load of bullshit, like she knew it would be.
She walked her way to her closet and pulled out a pair of skinny jeans, then went back to her drawer and picked out a better fitting t-shirt. She switched her clothing and looked at herself in her vanity mirror that sat on the drawer. Lucy wiped away at the bottom of her blue eyes to clean up her eyeliner, pinched her pale cheeks to give them colour, and pulled her light brunette hair back into a long braid that fell against her back. She glanced back over her shoulder and took in the time to be 5:14, time to be going soon.
Lucy exited her room, digging through her purse to grab her wallet and cellphone first, and then took a left down the hallway. She stopped outside of Melony's room and knocked, entering without waiting for Melony to say anything. Hanging onto the doorjamb, Lucy swung in and saw Melony at her own mirror, placing a dab of makeup on around her eyes, her mouth parted in concentration a bit. It was blue, a colour that Lucy had used to wear but decided against it when she noticed Melony wore it. It didn' t look all the well with her eyes anyways. Too much blue.
Lucy made eye contact with Melony through the mirror and made a passing motion over the back of her head to indicate that Melony's hair was a little messed up in the back. Melony gave a small nod and held up her finger to show that she'd be just another minute.
Pulling back, Lucy shut the door and made it the rest of the way down the hallway into what could be considered the living room. She walked to the island that separated the kitchen form the living room and grabbed her coat, swinging it around her shoulders. Walking to the entrance, she bent down and slipped on a pair of comfortable shoes. They were her blue and white checkered Sperry's that were like walking on a bit of Heaven's clouds and that Melony hated with a passion.
"Melony! Let's go!" yelled Lucy down the hall. She had a feeling that if she didn't get Melony going that she wouldn't want to leave the apartment and go to Jade's. She put the hand that held her phone to face. "It's almost five…twenty."
Lucy stared down at her phone, a message stamped across the screen. It was from Jason and it read "Meet me the park at 600 i have sumthing to tell u." Lucy could feel herself get jittery with nerves. She expected a text from him, but this? What could Jason have to tell her that he couldn't just say when she saw him earlier? Maybe he wants to tell her about some amazing girlfriend. There was a burning in the back of her throat and her vision got blurred.
"Melony! Let's go!" screamed Lucy down the hall, more forceful than she needed it to be. She just sounded angry and frantic now.
Melony busted out of her door looking confused at Lucy's sudden change. "Okay, okay," she said as she closed the door behind her, "I'm coming."
Seeing Melony walking down the hall, sad and miserable, a sight to be pitied, Lucy sobered right up. She didn't want to be like Melony, to have waited until it was too late to let someone know that she loved them. To never have given love even a chance, no matter how small that chance was.
Lucy looked back to her phone and typed back with quick movements of her fingers "OK, but might be a little late. Have to drop Melony off." She stuck her phone into her pocket and turned to open the door. She wasn't going to be like Melony. She was going to do what Melony never did. She was going to go to that park and tell Jason how she felt, regardless of what he said. That way, she would know that it didn't work not because she didn't give it a try, but because he didn't feel the same. At least then, she would have closure and be able to move on. She wouldn't be stuck like Melony was.