Happy Sunday! I don't know about you, but I'm super excited to get this short story going. I won't ramble this week, but I will say that if you haven't already, please read Atonement: When It All Falls Down as well as the few previous blog postings. I did my best to be sure this wouldn't read as just a flashback and in doing so, it's best to read this story if you're already familiar with the characters from the novella. Now that I have that out the way, enjoy!
Blowing out an exasperated breath, I stretched my arms outwards. I'd been laying in bed for all of 10 minutes struggling to fully wake myself. My alarm had just woke me up from a dream that I was not ready to part ways with. It involved me on an exotic beach. The Bahamas or Maldives. Hell, I didn't know. But I had a drink in hand as I moved and grooved to the music being played. Best of all, I'd just caught the attention of this fine ass man. He was tall with his hair waves on swim. He had a smile so damn perfect he belonged on a Colgate ad. And with dreamy, bedroom eyes and full lips, I was damn near drooling over him. Everything just felt real, so needless to say, I was disappointed as hell that it wasn't.
When my second alarm had begun to go off, I finally found the strength to sit up. It was nine in the morning, but with how exhausted I was, it felt like the sun hadn't even risen yet. I couldn't remember the last time that I'd gotten a good night's sleep. But I guess I shouldn't complain. I'd been working hard, so I had to have been doing something right. After everything that happened last year, I was more cautious about the decisions that I made. I'd hurt one too many people because I was all about me, but not in a good way. Going forward, I wanted to be the best version of myself that I could, and while I wasn't entirely there, I knew I was making the right moves.
I didn't have immediate plans to head to work. My morning time had become sacred to me. It allowed me the opportunity to clear my mind of whatever stress lingered from the day prior. This time also allowed me to set my intentions for the day. I reached out towards my nightstand, and after grabbing my journal and pink colored pen, I quickly began jotting down my thoughts. This morning was going to be spent reflecting. While my nightly dreams may not have been filled with my past pains, that didn't mean I still didn't feel them as heavily as I did. I felt regret and a bit of shame for what I'd done, and while I could say that it wasn't something that hit me every day, the times that it did were hard.
I missed Monroe, and I missed Laith. Even with him having his own family, I still felt that me and him were soulmates. Or that he was still at least mine. It was the only explanation I could come up with. Even when I didn't know what I needed myself, he always managed to have the answers. I didn't appreciate it or him for that matter, but I was thankful that we could still be cordial with one another. He wanted us to be friends, but that was just not an option. I wouldn't say that I was still in love with him, but I still cared far too much for that sort of thing.
I was invited to the baby shower and his wedding, but because those events were reminders of what could've been for us, I didn't attend. I have, however, met his beautiful baby boy.
His wife was surprisingly comfortable with things, but I'm sure she was more than confident in her position in his life. I couldn't even smile in that woman's face because deep down in my heart, I knew that if the chance ever presented itself, I'd probably be throwing myself at him. I knew that without a doubt, he wouldn't even entertain me on that level. All it would do was hurt my feelings and put a rift between us. So, while we did communicate, it was always minimal.
Monroe, on the other hand, was a different story. When she dipped, she dipped. I haven't seen or spoken to her in such a long time that I began to accept that it just wasn't ever going to happen. I wouldn't say that I was lonely since our friendship came to an end, but I hadn't met a friend as great as her. The few I had weren't at the level that I was. I didn't mean that in a bad way. I knew what I wanted and was going hard for it, while in my new circle, I consistently found myself having to believe in people more than they did themselves. I had no problem getting them in line when it was needed, but I hated to waste so much energy on those who didn't want greatness for themselves. That's where I currently was. Out of all the things I regretted, it was that I lost two of the most important people in my life. That I'd hurt them, and they didn't deserve it.
While I could confidently say that Laith forgave me, I wasn't sure if the same could be said for Monroe. We did try the friendship thing, but it was short-lived. And I couldn't even blame her. Had the roles been reversed, I knew I wouldn't have been as understanding as she was. No matter how my ex dude got down. None of that mattered now. I could only continue to wish her well and pray that whatever it was that she was doing in life, she was happy. She deserved it far more than I ever did.
Once my journaling session was over, I prepared to get ready for work. As much of a mess as my personal life was, the same couldn't be said about my business. I was still consulting with people and helping them get their finances in order. Soon I would have enough money to rent out an office space, and I could not wait. It was hard as hell having to do everything out of my apartment or meeting up at cafés to discuss business. I needed a physical location where I could leave my work problems at work and not bring them home with me.
I had just finished brushing my teeth and turned on the shower. While I was waiting for it to get hot enough to my liking, there was a knock at my door. I assumed it to be my neighbor from across the hall and had every intention of ignoring it. He needed either one of two things. To borrow something or make small talk with me. I wasn't up for either. But when the knocking turned into a pounding, I was quick in exiting the bathroom. I didn't know what his problem was, but I was it damn sure about to find out. The moment I had the door unlocked, I was flinging it back, hand on my hip, ready to light into him. Me and Benjamin were pretty familiar with one another, but that didn't mean he had the right to come over here and knock on my door like the police.
"What the... Hell?"
"Yeah, what the hell is right! What is this?"
My eyes were widening as I took a step back from the envelope being shoved into my face. I was in such shock that I couldn't find a single word to speak. It was a birthday card, but with the way Monroe was shoving it in and flailing it around in my face, one would've thought it was an envelope full of shit. I wasn't expecting anything when I sent the card, but I did want her to know I was thinking of her for the big day. How was I supposed to know she was going to show up at my door, huffing and puffing like this was the breaking point for us?
Her eyes were wet as she blinked rapidly in an attempt to hold back her tears. Had I known this would've hurt her, I wouldn't have even bothered. It seemed like I really couldn't win for losing because this had to have been the sincerest thing I'd done for her in recent years.
"Happy birthday," I whispered.
"Fuck you! You don't get to act like you care about me. Not when you were fucking with my nigga and tossing me to the side because y'all were foul."
I wasn't sure what she wanted when she came over here, but I'm guessing that public humiliation had to have been on her list. Why else would she be screaming our business out at the top of her lungs? I folded my arms across my chest, leaning into the door frame. If her verbally assaulting me was going to make her feel better, I would just stand here and take it.
"You're a selfish bitch, and a fucking card doesn't change anything."
She began looking around, taking notice of the neighbors coming out to watch the scene unfold. It was only four other tenants on this floor, and I knew them all. But I was only embarrassed about one in particular—Benjamin, the man who lived across the hall. Our eyes locked together for a moment before I was staring into the ground. After all the self-reflecting I'd done this morning, I was back to feeling shame and guilt. I felt like the size of an ant, and I honestly wouldn't of minded being stepped on with how low I felt.
"Are you done?" I asked.
Without another word, I was closing the door allowing my body to slide down until I was on the floor. I took my knees into my chest, doing my best to regain control of my breathing. I was embarrassed, but I was also angry. I couldn't truthfully justify what I'd done, but she knew the situation wasn't how she just made it out to be.
"What are you looking at?!"
The voice belonged to her. I could only assume that she was still outside about to get into it with someone. I didn't even bother getting up to look through the peephole and see what was going on. I just sat and listened.
"The crazy chick who just yelled at somebody who sent them a birthday card."
While one set of footsteps could be heard fading away, another set could be heard approaching. There was a knock on the door, and this time I knew it belonged to Benjamin. It was funny how I wished it wasn't him that first time, and now, I was relieved. Not enough to let him in. Or enough to respond to him speaking.
"Juniper, are you alright?"
He continued calling out for a few more minutes before ultimately leaving. I'm sure the only reason for that was because he had his own job to get to. As upset as I was, I didn't want or need for anyone to comfort me. I just wanted to push what just happened to the back of my mind so that I could go on about my day.
Talk about a reunion, right? Find out what happens next Sunday and as always, have an amazing week!