There are always pros and cons to every decision that you make. Ultimately, it’s whether the pros outweigh the cons in that decision that you know the consequence is worth it. At this point in time I can't really say...
It all started six months, and three days ago. Time isn't usually one of my strong points but when something strikes you as being memorable, you tend to imprint it in your brain. I was at the little cafe I managed at the time. Busy as usual, the morning rush never fails to impress.
“Okay, Gena, those three trim cappuccinos are to outside four, the two mochas, table two and that large decaf latte is for bar one. Got that?” I asked, impatient as always when having to deal with newbies.
“Ahh...which one is the cappuccinos?”
“The ones with the sprinkles, but without the marshmallows!” Usually I like to think I'm a patient person. But that day I felt I'd gone over my threshold. Turning back to resume where I left off a quarter of the way down the one and a half pages of coffee orders to get out, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Gena! The ones without marshmallows are cappuccinos-” I snapped, annoyed at having to be asked twice.
“Umm... actually, there's a guy outside who wants to know the coffee menu.”
“Well, tell him to come inside like everyone else, please,” I said while pouring what felt like the hundredth cappuccino of the morning.
“Ahhh...well that might be a problem...”
“Why,” I asked as I turned around, milk jug still in hand. “Oh... I see.”
Outside, down the two steps to the pavement, sat a young guy in a wheelchair, puffing on a cigarette.
“Okay, tell him I'll just be fifteen and a half seconds away. Sarah, are you able to carry on till I get back?”
Dropping off two of the coffees I had just poured, I made my way outside. The young guy was sitting next to a table facing away from me, with a chair moved to the side to make way for his chair. His blonde hair shaved short about a cm away from that nicely curved head, (some people just really suit having a shaved head) a grey knitted hoody fitted nicely over broad shoulders that lead down to a firm toned back. I have to admit my heart did a little gallop.
“Hi there! I heard you wanted to know what coffees we served!” Maybe I was a little too chipper.
The blonde head turned. Baby blue eyes seemed to bore into me (pro one). I gulped. This guy was not what I had expected. Maybe a young, fit, alright looking guy, but not someone who was ridiculously good looking. That just didn't seem right. Big dimples smiled back at me, lighting up his face (pro two).
“Yeah,” he drawled in an American accent (pro three, I adore a foreign accent). “Sorry, I would have come in but there was a slight obstacle,” he laughed while flashing those pearly whites. I love a guy with a sense of humor (pro four).
“Th-thats no problem at all. That's what we're here for!” UGH! I thought. Could I be any lamer?
He just smiled and waited...
“Oh, crap. Umm. We have flatwhites, lattes, long blacks, short blacks... and lastly cappuccinos. But please don't ask for one of those, I have seriously made like a million this morning-oh, unless you really want one?” I hung my head in embarrassment, pretending to focus on the order pad. Sometimes I am such a doorknob!
“Well, actually a cappuccino does sound pretty good right now...”
I looked up to see what was now becoming a familiar glint in his baby blues. Grinning at me, he laughed when I saw his expression.
“Yeah, haha!!...” I said. We shared a smile after that.
“Okay, I'll just grab a latte.” He drawled as he handed me a fiver.
“Sweet. Be right back.” I rushed inside only to nearly bowl into a tall man (me being only barely five foot, means pretty much everyone is taller than me). “OH! Soo sorry!!”
“That’s alright, honey.” I looked up to see my boyfriend of two years grinning at me. (Con one.)
“Hey, Danny, uhh… what brings you all the way over here?! I mean, its good to see you!!” I put the money in the till and then leant over the counter to give him a peck on the cheek, before returning to the coffee machine. I like to keep myself busy when I feel flustered.
“You, of course, baby.” He laughed. “I wanted to see if I could take you out to dinner tonight?”
Guilt overtook me. It's not like I was flirting with the hot American guy outside, I'm still devoted to my loving boyfriend of two years--did I just say hot?--
“...besides, I haven't seen you in three days, I missed you!”
Puppydog eyes followed me as I scrambled to make coffee. I could hear all the girls in various places around the cafe quietly “Awww-ing” in that gooey way. I will have to talk to them later... I thought to myself.
“Of course. I'd love that!” I said. Grateful I had such an awesome boyfriend.
“Okay, see you later, babe.” He leant in for our customary farewell kiss (we already had our 'hello, nice to see you, but I'm a little busy' kiss) I moved away discreetly, pretending the coffee really needed to be poured that second.
“See you, hon. Give me a txt later.” giving that apologetic, 'I’m really busy' look.
In reality, I had noticed two baby blue eyes staring inquisitively through the window.
I hadn't seen my blue eyed wheeler in two days so I figured my stupid crush was over.
(yes, I had spent those two days analyzing and re-analyzing what i'd said or done that could be misconstrued as flirting. All the pros and cons. All this in between my lovely dinner with my adoring, funny, sometimes annoying boyfriend.) No harm done.
I arrived at the cafe a little early, and decided to have a morning cigarette before I opened up shop. Nasty habit I know, but something about cafe work tends to drive you to it.
Sitting on the steps listening to my ipod, pretty much singing along, I suddenly heard a laugh to my left, I looked up as I unplugged one of my poor tortured ears. It was my blue eyed wheeler.
Grinning at me, “I said, how come you’re sitting outside?”
“Oh, sorry I was totally spaced out. Um, I was early for work so I thought i'd have a little Me-time before the madness.” I laughed to myself, mostly.
He joined in. Was there ever a nicer sound? I sighed at the high school feelings he seemed to bring out in me. “Were you wanting a coffee?” I asked a little timidly.
“Actually, yeah. Well I was awake early due to all these assignments I have to do. And needed to clear my head.”
“Oh do you live around here?” trying to be casual as I put my ipod back into my handbag.
“Ermm... actually, I don't.” That nice sound again. “I just really like your coffee.” Smiling seriously.
“Wow, thanks! A coffee barrista never gets tired of hearing that one.” I said, smiling as I stood up and unlocked the cafe.- Almost saying, 'come on in!' as I turned around. Instead I just went bright red. “A latte again?” I paused for his answer.
“Sounds good to me.” he said as he started rolling a cigarette.
After putting the tables and chairs outside myself, my blue eyed wheeler helping by putting the sugar containers and ashtrays on each table, balancing them on his lap as he wheeled expertly between each table; I got to learn a lot about the guy who had been invading my brain lately.
“I'm from California originally, but have been all over the place. I'm now studying journalism at uni for two semesters, then will see where the wind takes me.” He grinned leaning back in his chair. I looked down to see him holding the rims of his wheels, suddenly he pulled up into wheelie. “Well, hopefully not literally!”
“Wow,” I said, blushing, “how old are you? You can't be more than 21?”
“Well, I'll take that as a compliment. I'm actually 26. I left school early graduating at 17 with a snowboarding scholarship until I had my accident eight months later.”
“Oh... I'm sorry to hear that...” I felt awkward like I didn't know what to say. “Uh, I better get back to work.” I stuttered to the ground. I jumped up prepared to leave, realising that Sarah would be arriving any minute. He touched my arm halting me in my attempt at a quick exit.
“It's okay. Don't feel like you have to leave. It’s not such a tragedy. I've done more as a paraplegic than I would have if I wasn't.” I started to sit back down as his smooth American drawl calmed me. “I realised time is short. You don't know what's going to happen from one day to the next. I want to make the most of what God gave me!” he laughed.
I looked up to see no trace of bitterness in his expression. Only kindness and patient understanding.
It's crazy to be able to read someone when you barely know them.
Tearing my eyes away from the intimate moment, I noticed Sarah pulling into staff parking.
“Uh, I better go. Thanks for keeping me company.” I smiled. Though my insides were churning.
“No prob. Anytime.”
I smiled again. Turning to walk inside, I whirled around suddenly,
“Oh, sorry, I forgot to ask, what’s your name?”
He grinned at me. I blushed, thinking, 'How can you have a twenty minute conversation with someone without asking their name?' Silly girl.
“It's Jamie, actually. And you?”
“Penelope. But everyone calls me Penn.”
“Nice to meet you, Penn.” holding out his hand. With a smirk that made those huge dimples seem to pop.
“Nice to meet you, Jamie.” I smiled just as cheesily.
After that, Jamie was at the cafe just about every day. Some days he would pop in first thing in the morning so we could just chat. It became a morning ritual. I realised to my joy and dread that I was developing feelings for this guy. But how could that be? You couldn't really fall in love with two guys at the same time, could you?
As the weeks went by I also started to notice Danny wasn't around much. In saying that, when we were together, he went all out with flowers, expensive jewellery, and restaurants.
After a day chatting with Jamie, feeling smitten as a kitten. I would join Danny at night where he would sweep me off my feet, making me forget the long absences I had begun to get annoyed at, and I'd start to fall in love with him all over again.
I felt like I was being pulled in two different directions. I was Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde. One person with one and another with the other. Not in a fake way. But I could open up in different ways. Their personalities were so different. They were so different.
Jamie with his blonde hair, blue eyes, dimples and...wheelchair. His quiet confidence, and outgoing, adventurous interests, his sense of humor, that bordered on sarcasm more often than not. He could read my face like a book. He knew when he was on touchy ground, and when to push me further. He was an open book. Always answering me honestly, mostly not worried about sparing my feelings.
Danny on the other hand, with his tall lankyness, brown curls and green eyes. Full of life. He was the popular guy who everyone loved. When you were around him he made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He always treated me like a princess, opening doors etc. We would stay up late at night giggling at all the silly things he, me, we had done. His playful attitude was what drew me to him the first time I met him. I never in my wildest dreams thought a gorgeous popular guy would be drawn to little ol’ me.
I guess I should tell you a little bit about me. I hate describing myself. Most people do, I suppose?
Anyway, I'm 25 years old, and as I said, I'm just barely five foot. I'm slim in an 'I used to be a gymnast long ago and still have a little muscle' way. Though Danny calls it athletic looking. I have long black hair, that usually happens when you’re Asian. Oh, I forgot to mention that. My bad. Funny thing is my hair is slightly curly. Don't know what happened there?
Danny describes me as a china doll. I guess I see a little of that? Almond shaped eyes, that are so brown they're almost black. And big lips - I guess that’s the china doll part. I'm also more tanned than a china doll, with numerous tattoos. You could say, I'm not a conventional person. I like a bit of rock, punk, metal sometimes...
My interests and personality seems to border on both personalities. Quiet, and loud, adventurous but also happy to just have dinner, open and honest, but also can keep to myself, put on a smile when inside I'm really not feeling too hot. I'm silly and serious, I'm sarcastic but always love a good fart joke. A closet devotee but I also like tall guys. A typical libra, or so I'm told.
I knew I had a serious problem on my hands that wasn't going to go away by burying my head in the sand. Because I couldn't go on dating two guys- well ok, one of them hadn't actually asked me on a date. But he did meet me everyday at my work. My head was just not going to last the distance...
One night I was sitting in my kitchen diving into a bucket of cookies and cream ice cream, looking up at the heavens. Why God why!? Feeling foolish I pulled out a fresh piece of paper and a pen.
'Pros and Cons'
PRO 1: He has an amazing personality. To be that positive when bad things have happened. Never
shying away from adventure. Where the wind takes him...
PRO 2: He's gorgeous. The eyes, the hair, that body, that smile, that voice, those dimples.
PRO 3: The wheelchair. I've never dated a guy in one, but I've wanted to. Very hot.
Okay, the cons...
CON 1: I have a boyfriend.
CON 2: The wheelchair. As I said before, I've never dated a guy in one. What if it's awkward? Fantasy better than reality? But if I like his personality shouldn't that be what really counts?
CON 3: I have a boyfriend.
PRO 1: I have history with Danny. Good history. We've had a lot of fun together.
PRO 2: He treats me well. And has stood by me through thick and thin.
PRO 3: He's gorgeous. That cocky grin, thick curly hair, the tall broad shoulders, those green eyes.
CON 1: He's emotionally distant whenever I want to talk about 'feelings' stuff. I need more.
CON 2: He's physically distant! Actually, come to think about it, I haven't seen him in a week!
CON 3: There's no excitement. He knows me, I know him. We do the same things every time.
Okay, I feel stupid. Jamie hasn't even told me he likes me. So I should just wo-man up and tell him. Okay....shit.
The next day I went to work, though I actually had the day off, which was unusual for me. I had the lame excuse that I left the rosters there that I had to do before Monday. I parked in the staff parking lot and made my way inside. Sarah was at the coffee machine lazily pouring two flatwhites. Must be quiet, I thought. Next to me, Sarah was the hardest working person I knew.
“Hey Sezza!! what's up?”
Looking up in surprise, Sarah said, “ Hey, hun! What brings you back here? I knew you secretly lived here!” We both laughed at that one.
“I just came to get the rosters to work on over the weekend. Here they are.” I said waving them in the air like it was imperative that everyone see them as proof.
“You are not going to be doing work on the weekend are you Penn?!” she said while rolling her eyes at me. “I'm going to have to talk to Danny. He is obviously not keeping you busy enough.”
Giggling at her own joke, she handed the coffees to a confused looking Gena. “Table four.” without so much as a glance at her. “By the way, I'm now making a latte for a certain someone who called to ask if you were here,” she said with a little smile.
By now everyone at work knew I spent most lunchbreaks or morning breaks chatting with Jamie. Luckily, no-one thought to mention it to Danny. I guess they didn't see a guy in a wheelchair being much competition for the great Daniel McGregor.
“Ahmm… is that right…” I said as casually as I could, pretending to check everyone’s time sheets.
“Yes, and its to-go.”
“And why do I need to know this?” Still reading the time sheets.
“When he found out you weren't here he said he was on the run.--Oh! I mean not literally. I wasn't trying to make fun of his...ah...handicap -- His words not mine--” she said scrambling to dig herself out of a non-existent hole. Her face bright red.
“It's okay. It’s fine, Sarah. Don't worry about it. It's not like he's here to get upset...” I saw the look on Sarah's face. Turning to look to see what had made her face that unusual shade of red I spotted… Jamie.
He didn't look upset. Just not exactly happy.
Shit, I thought. This was not the way I wanted to begin that talk. 'The Talk'. Sighing, I thought, oh well here goes...
“I'll take that out Sarah. Don't worry about it. I'm sure he's fine.” I patted her arm, not really sure if I was lying or not.
“Hi.” He was just sitting there, looking at me, while starting to light a cigarette.
With my palms sweating just a tad, I handed him his coffee and sat down on the empty seat next to him.
“This one's on the house,” I said with a smile to keep it light-hearted.
He frowned then said “you don't have to do that. I've got the money--”
He started to reach into the bag hooked onto the back of his wheelchair, the chairs next to his chair making it impossible. Unhooking his breaks, he began to maneuvre his chair at a different angle to get better access to his bag.
“Shit. Where is it?” he mumbled, cigarette wedged between those full lips.
I took in all of him in that moment. Normally I was too scared to look properly in case he caught me and got offended.
He looked good. His hair had grown out a bit. He was wearing a loose black zip front hoody that had some surf label logo across it in patterns. He had on faded black jeans, with skate shoes covering feet that sat still resting on a singular footplate. I could tell now that he must have been in the chair for sometime. His upper body somehow seeming normal height, compared to his lower body, though still beautiful and intriguing, it looked like it had been cut to fit the wheelchair. Somehow the disproportions made him seem more beautiful.
His chair was not one of those clunky things I had seen at the hospital. (The one time I had been admitted there was for appendicitis. They tried to get me to sit in one of them but I refused on the grounds that I wasn't dead yet. For some reason I have a natural aversion to them. But I find men in them attractive. Libra. Jamie's answer for me later on) His chair was the sporty kind, that had a low back with no handles. I couldn't imagine anyone thinking, 'he needs a push', not with those arms. He handled the chair as though it was a part of him. Not something that he was stuck in to get around. It was erm...nice to watch him. That's all I'll say.
He was still fumbling in his bag when I blurted out,
“No! It's okay! I mean, you're one of our best customers. It's the least we can do.” Sometimes I wish I could just shut up. He was looking at me with narrowed eyes, as though he was trying to figure me out. “Besides,” I said, smiling, “you've helped me out most mornings, I figured I owe you at least a coffee.”
An awkward silence filled the air for a moment. Until I couldn't take it anymore.
“I just wanted to apologise for earlier. We don't normally talk about customers. She was just telling me that you had ordered a coffee...” I trailed off not sure how much he had actually heard.
“Yeah, I figured that. I just didn't think I was that obvious.”
I glanced at him, confused. He was staring at his lap, wiping imaginary ash off his pants.
“What do you mean, obvious?”
He looked up, his hoody partially covering his eyes.
“I thought you would have figured it out by now?” his baby blues raking over my face in disappointment.
“What?” My heart was doing the fifty yard dash, I was not going to jump to conclusions.
“I really like you Penn. And not in a 'hey lets be friends at your workplace' kinda way. But in the 'I would love to take you on a date sometime' way.”
I could feel his eyes boring into me as I looked at the table. The intensity in his eyes would have jumbled my already confused thoughts. Didn't I come here to say pretty much the same thing? I didn't have a clue anymore. I knew now, for sure, that he liked me as much as I liked him. The one real con I figured out that night, was Danny. I froze with that thought.
“You know I have a boyfriend.”
I realised I sounded like I didn't want him to like me. But I was confused. Either way someone's feelings were going to get hurt, and I didn't want to be the one to do it.
Danny didn't deserve it. He'd never hurt me, he'd endured the tough time I had when my dad had died a year and a half ago, he'd kept me laughing. Yes, sometimes he wasn't emotionally available. (Or physically available as of lately) Choosing to make jokes instead of talking about his real feelings. He was good to me.
But I also didn't know how good or bad it could be with Jamie. Could I risk that? I knew it wasn't just the wheelchair or the good looks that drew me. It was him. That much I could say confidently.
“Yeah, I know that. It's just... I never hear you talk about him...” Taking a deep breath, he continued, “and you're always telling me you've had a boring lonely weekend, and you'd like to do this and that. I just thought that's no way to live. You deserve better than mediocrity. Penn, you're not the type of person to just sit down and shut up. Doing what everyone else is doing. I've seen the fire in your eyes when I've talked to you about my travels. And I just wanted the chance to maybe show you, or be with you, when you decide to jump off that cliff.”
He smiled my smile. The one that makes his dimples pop.
I was speechless. I didn't realise he felt how I felt? Or he knew how I felt? It was crazy.
“I… I didn't realise I was that obvious?” I stammered out as my answer.
“You're not. I've just had time to get to know you. I'm just asking for more time, to really get to know you. If you want to?” he looked at me with those blue eyes all innocent. Hard to resist.
I didn't know what to say. He answered for me:
“What are you doing tonight, Penn?” he reached across putting his hand on top of mine. Only just realising I was frozen in place I looked him in the eyes.
“Going out with you.” I laughed feebly.
He smiled with those dimples again, “Only if you want to.”
After trying in vain to figure out the rosters before my. Ugh! 'Date.' I gave up and decided to take a cold shower. What really got me all worked up, well, maybe just more worked up, was Danny had left a message on my phone saying he couldn't go out this weekend. “Work is crazy! They're sending me to the big city again, for the weekend. Sorry babe.” Irritated that it had now been officially eight days that I had last seen him, why shouldn't I go on this date? Because you have a boyfriend, kept nagging in my ear. I decided to ring my best friend, Kayla, to hopefully get an outsiders perspective.
“Hey K, it's P.”
“Ohhh! Hey hun! Long time, no see! Missed you, babe.”
That's one of the reasons I loved her. Regardless of how long I hadn't talked to her, she was always so excited to hear from me.
“Missed you too.”
“Well, not pleasant circumstances really, sorry K. Man troubles.”
“Oh. I was waiting for this.”
“What do you mean?”
“For you to find out our little Danny boy is not being so good anymore.”
I was dumbstruck. Drama just seemed to revolve around me lately it seemed.
“What?! ” I screeched into the phone.
“I didn't know if you two had broken up, I was actually going to ring you this weekend, so busy at work. Anyway, last weekend I was out clubbing with the girls and who should be there but Danny. And he wasn't alone. I saw him flirting with this blonde bimbo, with legs up to her eyeballs. I started stomping over there to give him what for, when he shoved his tongue down that disgusting hoe’s throat.” I could hear her gagging over the phone.
“Are you there P?”
“...Yeah. I'm here.”
I heard an audible sigh on the other end.
“Are you okay, hun?”
“Yeah. I was going to get your advice on a problem. But I think you just solved it for me.” I answered flatly.
I didn't feel relieved as I thought I should be. I felt kind of deflated really. A little numb.
“What problem was that, hun?”
“Oh. I just met this other guy. And he asked me out. I didn't know what to do. But I guess it’s okay to go now.”
“Wow. I didn't expect that. You always seemed so into Danny I didn't think you noticed other guys.”
“Yeah. Well this guy is nothing like Danny, thank God. We just click. He excites me.” I still felt like I was on autopilot, just saying the words I was so passionate about just an hour ago, now seemed like I was reading the news.
“That's so awesome Penn. I'm glad that there's light at the end of the tunnel.”
“So tell me about this guy?” she said lightly, as if trying to not be obvious that she was dying to know who had diverted my attention from the amazing Danny. Well, not so amazing now.
“Sorry K. I'm not really up for this right now. Besides I have to get ready for my, ah, date.” I cringed at that last word. It seemed so unnatural, given the bombshell she just dropped, and the fact that the 'date' wasn't with Danny.
“I understand Penn. Sorry to dump it all on you like that. I just thought you should know.”
“All good, hun. I'm glad you're honest with me. Better to know. I better go.” I sighed, relieved to be able to focus on something else for a while.
“Okay, hun. Well, have fun on your date. Love you P.”
“Thanks. You too.” I hung up the phone. And decided I was going to forget what I heard and have a clean slate with Jamie. An open mind. And most of all, I was going to look good.
I was in the bathroom applying last minute touch ups nervously, when I got a txt. I raced through to my bedroom where I left my phone lying somewhere in the chaos that used to be my bed. Clothes I had tried on then discarded as being too formal, too sexy, too librarian, now seemed to be piled on top of my bed in mountainous proportions. I never realised I had this much clothing. I sighed and began the search...
Ahah! I thought victoriously. I found it. Take that! Giant man eating clothes mountain! Scrolling through I read:
Hey Penn.It's Jamie.Jst checkn
to make sure u havn't convincd
urself tht this ws a bad idea, &
u weren't goin 2 txt me u hav
a contagious disease. Lol. I'll b
outsde ur house n 10 so let me
knw now if I need 2 turn
This is it. I sighed. No going back. I stand firm in my decision. Txting back:
Hey J.Of course not! Tho tht
contagious disease myt b
handy 4 sme otha ocasns
in the near future. Lol. Beep
tha horn if I'm not already
out. C u soon!
I had decided to wear my hair down, so it waved around my shoulders, and minimal makeup. On top, a white floaty hippy blouse that I loved, with black dress pants. Not to casual, not to sexy as a skirt or dress would be. On my feet I had ballet flats, knowing that I didn't need to try to be taller for once in my life. Dressy, but casual.
I realised, I might see someone I know, then I couldn't pass it off as a work meeting or as two friends just catching up. I knew deep down that I had considered this more than I wanted to. I still felt as though I was doing something wrong, even though nothing had happened yet. And Danny was cheating on me.
I realised I had been staring in the mirror for more time than I thought. I raced around grabbing last minute things. Spray of perfume, keys, phone, wallet, purse. Lip balm. Mints. Lock the door. I reminded myself as I stepped outside and down the steps from my apartment building.
I could see him smiling through the windshield, watching me as I tried not to fall down the stairs. Opening the passenger door to the car, he looked me up and down appraisingly, “You scrub up nice.” Grinning like a little boy.
“You're not bad yourself, mister,” mirroring his smile.
And he did. He was wearing a black shirt, with a black army-style jacket and black pants. I never realised he had tunnels in his ears? Nice.
I took a deep breath to calm my nerves, “So what's the plan for tonight?”
“Well, I thought we'd go easy tonight. How does a little ten pin bowling, dinner, then playing the arcades for dessert sound?” He dimpled at me, as he pulled onto the main road.
“Sure. Sounds great, actually,” I said, surprised. He seemed to know more about me than I thought.
I smiled to myself. This actually was going to be fun. Maybe I didn't need to be such a stress-head?
We pulled into the entertainment complex parking lot in the centre of town. Pulling into one of the three empty disabled parking spaces next to the back entrance, I realised I had never seen him transfer or do anything other than what I'd seen of him at work. I didn't know what to do?
“Ah. Shall I get out now?” I said with my hand on the door handle.
“Yeah, that would be easier, so I can get my chair out of the backseat.” He seemed just as serious, as the reality of the situation had officially seemed to sink in. We were crossing into new territory.
“Okay.” I nodded and climbed out. I rummaged around in my bag for my cigarettes and lighter to distract me from Jamie getting out his chair, reassembling it, piece by piece. Then watching him lift his left leg out. And then scoot his butt into the chair--oh! Okay...maybe the distraction hadn't worked...
I gave up and decided to pretend to look around at the scenery, while I slyly watched him lift his right leg out of the car and then adjust his legs onto the footplate. I felt something nudge me in a place I didn't want to think about right now. Not now.
He seemed to be just as nervous. After deciding he was in right, he unlocked his breaks and wheeled over to where I was standing beside the car.
“Shall we?” he gestured for me to go first. I was grateful. I didn't know whether I was supposed to walk in front or behind, or beside...
We waited in silence for the elevator to arrive at ground floor, only to find out that the lift was almost full with people coming up from the underground carpark. I stepped forward to squeeze in.
“I'll just wait for the next one Penn.” he said in a low voice, as to not draw attention.
Oh, I thought, feeling ignorant and rude. A couple next to me spoke up,
“Don't worry love. We're happy to take the stairs. Old porky here needs the exercise!” the lady laughed, slapping her husbands middle. He grunted a response that sounded like, “Look who's talking.”
They stepped out before I had a chance to thank them, and headed for the stairs, the old lady leant in to whisper something in Jamie's ear momentarily, before they were gone.
I began to notice people pressing into the walls of the elevator, even though there was now more than enough room for us. Jamie seemed to not notice, just continued staring at the numbers climbing, with his hands on his wheels, as if to take off the minute the doors opened.
The air felt awkward. Like Jamie had some sort of contagious disease that people didn't want to catch. It confused me because on one hand I now knew what it was like to be around someone who was disabled, for the first time. But I also knew that someone in question, right now, and he was the loveliest guy I'd met in a long time. I stood there beside him staring at the double doors, willing along with him, for them to open any second.
At last. We made our way to the counter of the fancy new bowling alley/bar.
“Can I please get two adults for one game, please?” he asked politely to the young guy behind the counter.
“Ah. Do you have a… ah... handicap ID card dude?”
“Is the wheelchair not suitable ID?” he said, putting his hands back on the wheels as he began to move a little closer to the counter.
“Ah. Yeah, that’s fine man. Sorry, company policy.” He turned back to the computer quickly.
“That's alright. I was going to pay full price anyway.”
“You want to pay full price even when you get a handicap discount? Wow, man. Weird.”
I watched Jamie clench and unclench his jaw, then hand the money to the ignoramus at the counter. I felt mad. Mad that some people were just so rude. But then I thought back to all the times I had judged people I didn't understand. I wasn't much different. Was I?
After taking my shoe size and giving me a pair of hideous bowling shoes, the guy turned his attention to Jamie, “Hey man, what shoe size you want?”
“Are you serious?” he answered incredulously, then pulling up into a wheelie so the guy could see him more clearly.
“Oh yeah, right!” he laughed. “You must never need to buy new shoes. Cool man.” Laughing, he walked out the back.
We made our way to Lane 9, all the way at the other end. I began walking up the four stairs to where the bowling lanes were situated, not even stopping to think.
“Hey Penn! I'll meet you at the lane,” he called out from below, pointing to down the end. Just over halfway down there was a ramp parallel to the raised section the lanes were on, as it hit the wall it turned right and started running along the wall until it was level with the lane floor. All this in place of four little steps. I thought, in wonder of how hard/annoying it must be for him.
After minor setbacks, we were up and running. He obviously had a different way of doing things. But I found they worked out to be most effective, as he won hands down. Including the four strikes he had added to his score in his first four turns.
“Total fluke, Penn!” he said smirking at me, as we stared at the scoring screen, I gave him The Look. You know the one that says, 'Aha. Yeah right, mister.'
He continued to laugh, until I threw a potato chip at him. He retaliated. I lost. Yet again. I sighed. I really didn't mind losing to him. He wasn't the type to rub it in your face the way Danny did every time he beat me at SingStar. I found out I liked losing to Jamie. Just to see him try to make me feel better. Even up the margin of loss by counting in factors that really didn't matter.
“Seriously, Penn. You did really well for someone who plays less than once a year.”
Told you, right? What a sweetheart.
“Yeah, totally. I think I got RSI from pressing the names into the score board, so that totally affected my game.” Rolling my eyes, as the sarcasm rolled off my tongue at the same time. I attempted to push him away as he pretended to console me, instead he grabbed my hand and pulled me closer to him, though I was sitting, we were almost on the same eye level. He had at least half a head on me. Looking into his eyes, I thought, uh-oh. This is it.
He leant in and kissed me softly on the lips. Pulling away a little, he spoke quietly, “Do you want to know what that lady said to me?”
I nodded a little breathless from the unexpected moment of intimacy, I remembered that I had wanted to ask him after we had gotten off the elevator.
“She said, we make a lovely couple, and that you are a beautiful girl and I should hold on to you.”
I blushed not knowing what to say to that. Was it that obvious? We already look like a couple?
“She's right, you know,” he added seriously.
“About what?” I mumbled, grabbing one of the few potato chips left in the basket.
“You are a beautiful girl. And I'm going to do my best to try to be that someone you'd want to be with.” He smiled my smile, to keep the moment from being too serious, I guessed. I smiled back.
“Well, you might want to let me win a game once in a while. That's really my one requirement for future happiness.” Joking felt good. Kept things light. He laughed back.
After the ass beating, we made our way one floor up to the rooftop restaurant. I'd never been there, as it was fairly new, and pricey. I had heard rave reviews about their oven fired gourmet pizzas. Looking forward to it, we waited for the maitre'd to seat us. Minimal fuss was made to get us seated, compared to what we had just been through. We began to peruse the extensive menu.
“Penn, do you like seafood?” he broke the silence.
“Yeah, actually I love most seafood. You?”
“Yeah. These tiger prawn skewers are amazing. So are the bluff oysters, um...and the smoked salmon and cream cheese with dill, crostinis. Oh man. The seafood Mediterranean pizza is awesome.” He dimpled at me.
I raised my eyebrows at him.
“I may have been here a couple of times.” he laughed in explanation.
We ordered all of his recommendations. And when they arrived, it quickly became evident that it was enough food to feed a family of four. We ate, and chatted animatedly about everything. The food, our recent bowling match, his family, my family, his aspirations, my aspirations.
While waiting for dessert, things turned a little more serious. I knew it was going to happen sometime. I just didn't think it would be so soon.
“So. How's Danny?” he said, quickly proceeding to take a long sip of his beer.
“He's good. I guess? I haven't actually seen him in over a week,” I admitted.
“Oh. Is he sick or something?”
Sighing I replied, not really wanting to go into it, “Work is keeping him busy, I guess…”
He took another sip.
“...and he's been cheating on me.” This time I took a sip of my juice, as he almost choked on his drink.
“Are you serious?” he looked at me in surprise with those blue eyes of his.
“Yeah. My best friend saw him in a club last weekend.” I didn't really want to talk about it. Not with my 'prospective alternative'.
“Wow. I'm sorry Penn. You don't deserve that.” He reached across putting his hand on top of mine.
I pulled my hand away to lift my glass to my mouth again. I gave him a look that said, 'are you really?'
“If you don't mind me asking, when did you find out?”
“About an hour before you picked me up.” I shrugged noncommittally. Like it was no big thing.
“That sucks, Penn. I don't want to put you in an awkward position. I know it must feel a bit like a competition. But I'm not going to push you to make a decision. I just wanted to spend time with you.” He sighed, then added quietly, “At the same time, I don't want you to choose me because he cheated.”
Our desserts arrived then, cutting off conversation temporarily.
“I appreciate that Jamie. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do. I don't condone cheating at all. But I also have history with Danny, and he deserves to be heard out. In saying that, I haven't enjoyed myself this much in a long time,” I admitted.
“I'm glad to hear that. I thought it was just me.” That familiar glint in his eyes returning.
“I do really like you, Jamie. And I want to really think about my decisions objectively. I don't want you to feel like a runner-up. You deserve better than that... And I know there's a lot I need to learn about you, first.”
Another honest answer, easier said in my head, but I felt he deserved the truth. I don't like games, and I could tell neither did he. The hidden meaning was obvious. I didn't know anything about disabilities, paraplegia, or being with someone with disabilities.
I had first thought, it doesn't make a difference. I like the guy, not the disability. But I knew the reality of living with or dating a person with a disability was not going to be the same as an able-bodied person. I didn't want to do anything wrong, or offend him at my ignorance. We both knew, without saying, if this relationship continued I would have to be caught up to speed.
We ate the rest of dessert with only a small amount of chit chat. Both of us mulling things over in our heads. After he paid the bill sneakily, I had stepped out to go to the ladies, we headed down to the ground floor, where the arcades were situated. For an hour we lost ourselves in shooting games and basketball throwing. When we were about to leave I noticed the little asian photo booths,
“Oh man, I love those!” I squealed like a six year old.
“You wanna go in one?” he looked at me expectantly.
I looked at him, the wheelchair, then back at him.
“Nah. Not tonight.”
“It's okay Penn. I can just shimmey onto the seat, no prob.” he smiled as he lifted himself up in his chair by his hands and proceeded to show me his version of shimmeying.
“If you want to,” I said, not wanting to put him on the spot.
“Done. Let's go before it closes.”
I noticed on the wall clock it was five to one. Yikes! Where did the time go?
We headed toward the booth. I held the curtain back and waited as he parked his chair facing the opening and then proceeded to lift one leg out again, like he had getting out of the car, then scooted his butt over to the seat inside where his hand was holding on. He proceeded to move his other leg, then adjusted himself until he was comfortable. He made it look so easy.
“There,” he said, smiling at me, “now hop on.” he said patting his lap.
“Are you sure?” I asked, concerned. I didn't want to break anything on him further.
“Of course. I can't feel a thing Penn. I won't know how heavy you are. Promise.” He dimpled at me.
“Okaayy.” I said as I started to sit down carefully. I needn't have bothered, he pulled me down quickly, and wrapped his big arms around me.
Popping in the money he turned and grinned at me, “Say CHEESE!”
I got to take home the first set of photos. And he took the second. After dropping me off, with a goodnight kiss, and a promise of seeing him again, outside of work, we said goodnight.
I climbed into bed, tired, but happy. Only problem now was, what was I going to do about Danny?
The next morning I woke up early and unusually perky, with memories in my head of the night before, I noticed our pictures on my bedside table. Picking them up, I really examined the smiling, happy faces. We looked like a couple. An in-love couple. I thought sighing. The unpleasantness of conversations came back to me. I put the pictures down and picked up my phone, which was next to the photos.
We need to talk.
Putting the phone back down, I got up and made my way to the shower. After feeling refreshed and calm, I made myself a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs on toast, with bacon and mushrooms. Planning what I was going to do with my free time until I heard my phone ring.
“Hey babe, got your message. Whatsup?”
“Just wondering when you'll be home. I haven't seen you in over a week, and I don't want to talk to you over the phone,” I grumbled, annoyed that he sounded so perky even though I had said those dooms-day words, 'we need to talk'.
“Well... I have a week long conference here, in the city this week. Then I thought I'd just stay for the weekend and watch the rugby. What did you want to talk about?”
“Oh, nothing. Just that Kayla saw you last weekend with your tongue down some bimbo's throat.” injecting as much sarcasm as I could.
“So it's true?”
“Okay. If you're not going to say anything, I think there is nothing to say. Goodbye, Danny. Don't call me again.”
I was about to hang up when I heard a whisper, “Please don't.”
“Why shouldn't I? Give me one good reason. Give me something! Aren't you even going to defend yourself?” my voice was starting to rise.
“I was going to tell you. I've been offered a permanent job here. I didn't mean to hurt you... it's just that with everything that's been happening... I hadn't seen you in a while, and we weren't seeming to be clicking the way we used to, you seem so different lately, happy...” Sighing, he pulled his thoughts together, “It started a couple of months ago, when we were working on a project, Layla was my co-ordinator on the project. Her fiance had just recently left her, and I was feeling lonely, having not seen you in--”
I interjected harshly, “I do not want to know the details!”
“I'm sorry.” Barely audible.
“I'm glad you have been offered a job there, Danny. Because I don't want to lay eyes on you again. Hope you are happy. I am now. I'll drop your shit to your mom's house. You can explain to her why.”
“I'm so sor--”
“Have a nice life, Danny. Don't ever contact me again please. Goodbye.” Banging the phone back into the cradle, I fumed at the nerve of him. A few months ago!
I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want to see anyone. Not even Jamie. I decided a run was the best option to blow off steam. Yes, I thought, a run around the lake. I picked up my shoes, grabbed my keys, and slammed the door shut behind me. I was going to run until the world became a blur-or until I passed out, whichever came first.
The lake was fairly busy. I had no idea that so many people went there on a Saturday morning. Gosh, I thought, there was no way I'd be here if I hadn't somehow managed to wake up so early. I began to stretch out, and warm myself up a little.
I took a look around. The sun was shining already, I began to notice other runners, families with children feeding birds and fish, and a group of cyclers. Well, from so far away they looked like cyclers.
'Okay, here I go...' I encouraged myself.
To tell the truth, I am not a natural runner. I don't ever think, 'Hey, it'd be really awesome to go for a run right now.' But as circumstances had changed from the norm, it was easier than dealing with my problems. As I ran around, slowly, on closer inspection those bicycles weren't normal bicycles. It looked like some sort of backward, go-karty bicycle? Oh-oh. Actually it looked like hand-cycles. Yep, and those people looked like they were staring at me. Oh-oh. Actually, it's pretty much one person staring at me. Jamie.
Looking at me surprised, he called out, “Penn, is that you?”
I slowed to a walk as he began to wheel toward me, still in his wheelchair. I noticed he was shirtless and had on biking shorts that clung to him everywhere.
I tried to just concentrate on smiling and looking at his face, instead of that smooth muscled chest and those, gulp, huge biceps... this was hardly the time nor the place for distractions.
“Hey. Yep, it's me.” I continued to smile my fake smile.
I think he noticed.
“Are you okay?” blue eyes all concerned.
Stop that, I thought, please! Oh crap, here come the waterworks...
“Yeah, I'm fine. How are you?” I smiled, dabbing my eyes as though the sun had got into them.
“Penn? You don't look fine. Do you wanna talk about it?”
Here comes a fresh batch...
“Nah, it's okay. You look busy, and I was about to go for a run around the lake. It's fine, Jamie. I'm just being over-emotional. So stupid being a girl sometimes!” An awkward laugh filled the air. Cringing at the sound, I added, “See ya! Will text you later.” With that, I took off. I glanced back once quickly to make sure he wasn't following me. He looked like he was contemplating it, then I heard a guy say it's time to go over team strategies or something.
Wind in my hair, and drying my face, I breathed deeply, happy to escape from everyone for a moment. Just keep going, I told myself. Run.
After what seemed like eternity I arrived back to familiar territory. It should be dark by now, I thought grimly. Yes, that tree is familiar. There's the jetty those kids were throwing bread off. There's Jamie waiting for me. There's that swingset I saw--hold on. Go back.
Yep. There was Jamie. Shirt on this time, sitting in his chair with his arms crossed, hoody over his head, listening to his ipod, staring straight at me.
How could he still be here? I thought, while checking my watch. It had taken me over an hour to get around the lake. But there he was. Waiting patiently.
I slowed down, trying to make my breathing normal so I wouldn't sound like a dick.
“What are you still doing here?” I gasped unsuccessfully.
“Waiting for you, of course.” He dimpled at me. “I didn't buy that bullshit that you're alright. And I knew I couldn't leave knowing you were upset. So here I am. Ready to listen. Offer advice, if asked, be a shoulder to cry on if needed, or a punching bag to hit.”
I had to giggle a little at that last one.
“Seriously, Penn. I want to be in your life for the good and bad. If you want me, that is.” He looked up at me with innocent puppy-dog eyes.
I groaned internally. Why does everything have to happen so fast?
I had just broken up with my long-term, cheating, boyfriend. Now my stupid heart was falling for a new guy already! Wasn't there supposed to be a certain amount of mourning time so that your heart can heal and learn to love again? I always knew I was born differently.
“Okay.” I sighed, feeling defeated that my self imposed solitude was going to end. Time to face the real world. “Can you take me back to my place to get cleaned up, then we can go somewhere to talk.”
He just nodded. Obviously concerned that I didn't make it obvious whether it was good or bad news for him.
I waited for him to do his transfer and get all his gear safely in the car before hopping in the passenger side. I noticed he wasn't as fluid as the last time I'd seen him transfer. He looked shaky. Cursing to himself everytime he did something wrong. It took him three times to finally get seated in the car how he wanted, then as he lifted part of his chair into the car, he seemed to keep losing his grip on it, until finally a wheel managed to roll about a metre away.
“Shit!” he cursed angrily. He started to grab his left leg and move it onto the ground outside when he seemed to reconsider. Turning to me, he spoke quietly, not actually meeting my eyes,
“Penn can you please get that for me?”
“Of… of course.” I stammered. I had no idea why I didn't think of that myself.
“Thanks.” He didn't look at me as he took the wheel from me.
We drove in silence, both lost in thought.
As I was thinking, I realised it was because even though I knew Jamie was disabled, I still didn't really think of him that way. Except when it was pointed out, I reminded myself. I didn't know if that was a good thing or not? Or even whether it was important right now?
I showered and got changed in record time, then decided to pull out the phone plug before jogging back to the car. I couldn't stand the thought of getting home and having a message from a certain someone waiting for me. Who knows what I’d do?
We drove for a while, past town, towards the other side where the fancy suburbs where. Confused, I asked loudly, “Ah. Where are you going? I thought we were going somewhere to talk?” I waited for him to look at me. Instead he seemed intent on staring at the road.
“We are. I just didn't think it was the kind of conversation you would want to do in a public place.”
Still concentrating on the road.
“Then where are we going?” I said, quieter this time, as I wasn't quite sure what he meant.
“I thought I'd take you to my place.”
I understood now. A private place for me to make a scene and not embarrass him when he finally realises I'm such an over-emotional, crazy lady, and decides to tell me that he doesn't want to be with me anymore.
We pulled up to a modern, new looking, one story house. There was a wide circular driveway that went into a double garage to the left of the driveway. And a wide wooden door under an alcove. The outside of the house was Mediterranean looking while somehow still looking like a beach batch.
Once inside the garage, while he was still transferring, I began to look around. Noticing that the doorways were all unusually wide like the front door.
As we went inside, I saw that the light switches and doorknobs were lowered, as were the benches in the kitchen. There seemed to be no cupboards overhead at all. The whole place felt homey and warm, and was extremely tidy. But it also seemed to scream out to me, 'disabled person lives here!'
Instead of thinking about it, I murmured, “I love your house. It's totally my taste. Apart from I'd probably be a lot messier than you.” I giggled as I thought of my room at home, still in the same state I left it in the night before.
“Yeah. I would probably be too if I wasn't a cripple.”
I froze, uncomfortable and confused, he'd never been that abrasive with me before.
He turned to open the refrigerator and bury his head in it. Calling out, “You want something to drink?”
“Ah. No, it's okay.”
I waited for him to get his drink. Watching as he placed it in between his legs, he began to wheel toward the sliding doors, noticing for the first time how his feet seemed to bounce a little in the footrest as he pushed over the carpet. He looked up, catching me in the act, his face went red. Mine went flaming red.
I decided to wait for him to go first, so I wouldn't be tempted again. Though, watching him from behind was just as good, I thought guiltily.
I followed him onto a huge wooden deck that had a ramp that sloped down onto a neat, green lawn. I noticed to the left was a spa pool. Nice, I thought. It seemed to complete the whole batch-ey feeling.
He wheeled over to the outdoor table, and into the space with no chair, putting on his brakes, he then took his glass from between his legs and put it onto the table in front of him and began to roll a cigarette. I sat down on a chair opposite him. He lit the cigarette and smiled. It wasn't my smile, it was one I hadn't seen before.
“Okay. I'm ready. Let me have it.” He sat there nonchalantly.
I hesitated, not knowing where to start. I figured I should say the quick version to get it over and done with. Breathing deeply I started, “Danny rung. Confirmed the cheating. Has been for a few months. Got offered a job so he's moving to the city. I got mad and went nuts at him. Told him never to contact me again. I didn't know what to do, and I didn't want to bother you, so I decided to go for a run--even though I've never in my whole life would have gone running under normal circumstances. And that's the whole story.”
He paused for a moment, obviously considering something, then sighed, “That's it?”
“Yes.” I said, confused that he was expecting more. Wasn't that painful enough? I didn't know how to say anything further. “What were you expecting?” I looked at him curiously.
He blushed, “I was actually expecting that you had decided it was too hard for you to be with me, after last night. I didn't know how you felt,” he admitted.
“Jamie, I told you that it was one of the best nights I'd had in a long time.” Still confused at his difference of opinion.
“I thought you might have been just humouring me, considering all that's happened lately...” he trailed off, as if he didn't want to remind me.
“I meant it.” I spoke firmly, as I looked at him square in his big blue frightened eyes. “I like you a lot. I just didn't want to even think of starting something when I was still attached to someone else. I knew from the beginning that you were something different.” I smiled at the thought of our first meeting.
He sighed again, “So I didn't scare you off then with my being 'different'?” he looked down at his legs as he said this.
I knew what he meant, and I realised what he had been thinking all along.
“No. Yes, I had a lot to think about. But I realised that you're more than this,” I said, gesturing to his chair, “this, changes nothing.” I spoke honestly from my heart.
“Yes, it does, Penn. You have only seen a little bit of what it's like to be with me. To be with someone with a disability is not an easy thing.” He still couldn't look at me.
“That's true. I have seen a bit of what it's like to be with you. And I liked it. I like you. I think actually,” Gulp. This time it was me looking down, “I love you.” barely escaped my lips.
Silence, for what seemed like an eternity, took place. I didn't want to be the first to break it so I sat there stubbornly.
“Penn?” a quiet voice seemed to caress my name.
“Penn, would you please look at me?”
I shook my head, childishly clinging onto my resolve.
Sigh, “Okay, then. I am stoked you told me. I just want you to know what you're getting into.”
Interrupting him I spoke a little harshly, “You are the one that wanted me to be with you first. I told you I'm now willing to try and--”
“I know. I know. I just want what's best for you, even if it's not me,” he interrupted me.
“Don't be a doorknob!” I said, speaking gently this time.
This time I leaned in and kissed him.
It was a nice kiss. Starting slowly, unsure, then building, as pent up emotions seemed to be let out. He started to pull me toward him, toward his lap. I stubbornly didn't want to go as I am not the type to just jump into the sack with someone straight away.
He pulled away gently, “Come sit on my lap, Penn. It'll be a lot more comfortable for you.” He smiled more confidently.
“Ah, Jamie. I probably should tell you now before we become 'official',” groaning at the cheesiness of that word, “I don't jump into bed with people, well, ever...” I looked down, embarrassed.
“Well, if we were to get married – not that I am proposing anything, or proposing in general, especially not now, as we've only really started to get to know each other- oh gosh, that sounds so stupid!” I groaned and lay my head on the table, repeatedly.
When I finally looked up, he was smirking at me, with that familiar glint in his eyes,
“Well, for your information, Miss, I wasn't intending to defile anyone right this minute. I just thought it would be comfortable for you, and me, for this particular task if you were situated a little closer.” Still smirking.
I turned bright red. Trust me to turn something nice into something ridiculously stupid.
“And also for your information, I don't take sleeping with someone, lightly… well, maybe not as much as you, but I am willing to wait and do it by your terms. Now that that's over, will you please come here?” Looking at me with puppydog eyes, he patted his lap, and started reaching for me.
“Fine,” I pouted, feeling silly still, I stood up and hesitated, eyeing up his lap momentarily.
“You're not going to break me, Penn. Please don't be scared.” He spoke quietly, as if I was hurting his feelings.
That was the last thing I wanted to do, now that we seemed to be reaching a happy ending.
“I know.” I said, as if I really did know, “I was just thinking how good you look today, and this might be the last time I get to look.”
He laughed at that.
“Come here, you crazy girl!”
And with that, we spent some time, together...
It has now been seven months, since I met Jamie. And officially, our one month anniversary of being together.
After everything had gone down, life went back to reasonably normal, apart from a few changes.
Jamie and I have spent as much time as possible with each other, still in that honeymoon phase. I don't know if it will ever end, not that it's a bad thing, by far!
I still haven't seen Danny. Obviously my threat has convinced him not to even try, or he is too wrapped up in Lilo, or whatever her name was.
A week after we officially got together, Jamie convinced me that I wasn't fulfilling my God-given talents by working in a cafe. I agreed. As I had been thinking about my future a lot since I met him.
The pros were quickly evident after that decision was made. I handed in my resignation.
Sarah was upset, but she agreed whole heartedly that I could do better. She is now managing the cafe. I still talk to her, and we go out for girls only night outs now and then.
I enrolled in the same University as Jamie, to start studying photography. (I had always had an interest in it since an early age. My walls of my apartment were covered in photos I'd taken over the years.)
Shortly after then, I got a job working part-time for an amazing local photographer in his studio shop. Selling portraits, expanding client base, and the important job of enticing other new artists to display their work in his studio, occasionally getting to do some prints in the darkroom when the regular guy is busy or away sick. I love it.
Jamie… is Jamie. I have learnt a lot being with him. Like the fact he has such a hectic schedule!
Between studying, going to the gym Mondays and Wednesdays, swimming laps on Tuesdays, playing wheelchair basketball every Friday, as well as games every six weeks, either tennis or rock climbing on Saturdays, cycling every Sunday morning, he also goes skiing in the winter, which I have yet to witness, and hang-gliding, amongst other athletic, adrenalin-inducing thrills. In the summer, he decided to get an internship at the local paper, while he finishes off his degree.
I never actually knew how busy he was. Or how he found the time to woo me in the beginning.
In saying that, he always found time to see me. (Another major pro.) At school we have lunch together everyday, and on the afternoons I work, he drops me off and picks me up after. I also watch some of his practices when I'm not busy cramming or doing assignments.
In the evenings, even when he's really tired after all his crazy activities, we go to his house, because my apartment is inaccessible to him (he's been in it once, when his friend piggybacked him up the stairs… after that we realised it was easier for me to go to his place, plus it is roomier than my hole in the wall), and we hang out at his house all night, he cooks dinner (I'm a useless cook), I talk and tidy, then afterwards we always end up cuddling up on the couch until either he's asleep or we are both ready to go to bed. I pretty much have been living there for the last four weeks, but not officially. Ugh! It's too soon to even bring that up!
We have even started to make plans for the near future. After studying, visiting his family in California, he wants to take me skiing in Canada, then over to Europe for who knows what else!
The only cons seem to be teething problems. I'm still learning. But that's another story.
Overall the future looks bright. Well, so does the present!
Oh-oh, got to go, Jamie's waking up. I couldn't have asked for a better ending to this story!
Until next time...
Disclaimer: None of this is true (apart from the intial meeting at the start).
All characters are fictional. Sorry, but I hope you enjoyed it!
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