Episode 22: Cupcakes and Love Hugs

bakedwiredMonday, December 22nd at 7:23am:
Location: Diane and Chris at Reagan National Airport
Scene: Lots of people everywhere and moving in different directions.  Bags and luggage are strewn all over the floor.

“Oh my, are you ok!?” Chris was carrying my bag into National Airport and trying to hold my hands at the same time.  Go figure, it was kind of awkward and boyfriend/girlfriend-ish but I went along.  His masculine hands on mine provided the comfort and warmth of a pair of cashmere gloves. You could say I was literally warming up to him. My thoughts of other guys slowly drifted away on the wings of the cold wind as we walked through the doorway of the airport.  Upon entering we both stopped abruptly as if crazy glued to the floor. There were people everywhere like sheep in a pasture without a shepherd. As we looked on at the crowd, we heard a loud thud and sound of metal gliding across the floor. It seems like our unexpected stop literally threw a woman running from one end of the airport to the next for a loop. After her fall I helped her stand up while Chris searched for her glasses orienteering based on the direction of the earlier sound it made.

“This is not going to be a good day.” She started crying and slouched over like a teddy bear unable to sit up straight.  “My flight leaves in half an hour and I still have to wait in line to check my bag. My flight yesterday was cancelled. And now I am bruised all over.” At that moment Chris handed her glasses to her unscratched and with another apology. I was able to gather from her morning tribulation recounting how not to maneuver the checking-in process amid the gathering hoard.  Fortunately, Chris using his charisma to the utmost was able to get her to the front of the line. Thank goodness I had no bags to check or this was would have indeed turned into the longest day.

“Diane, here I got this for you.” As I completed checking-in at the kiosk, Chris handed me a white paper bag containing cupcakes from Baked and Wired in Georgetown and a venti Chai latte from the nearby Starbucks.

“So, that’s what was in the bag you took from the car. When did you have time to grab these cupcakes? They are my favorites.”

“I know. Grabbed them yesterday while you were packing and I had that quick ‘errand’ to take care of for the restaurant.” He said with a knowing grin.

“Well thank you. These will be much appreciated by me and the family.”

We walked together towards the security check point and as I entered the line we hugged and kissed goodbye.  Maybe I should go out of town more often.

Monday, December 22nd at 8:55am:
Location: Diane at her dad’s house in Boston, Massachusetts
Scene: Diane arriving home to her stepbrothers, father and stepmother. Ice and snow blanket the ground.

“Hey Dad, I am finally here!” I called from the driveway after my over priced cab ride home from the airport an unwelcome side effect of the ice storm.

“How did you get here so quickly? We were just about to leave for the airport”.

“The plane landed 30 minutes ahead of schedule and so I decided that I would save you a trip. Plus the charge on my phone is low. I’m outside so can you or one of the boys help with my bag?”

“No prob. Do you have enough money for the fare”?

“Yes, I do.” I looked up to see him coming down the driveway with Sam one of my stepbrothers. Both bundled up in their goose down jackets, sweats and boots. It was clear as they moved in robotic fashion down the stairs and towards the driveway, that they had recently gotten out of bed.  They each grabbed one end of my bag trudging through the snow as I made a beeline to the house and a speedy trail to the fireplace enjoying the warm embrace of the emanating heat. I was surprised the room was so fully decorated with both a Christmas/holiday tree and a Jewish Menorah.  I then said hello to Carmela, my stepmother.  As usual she was bent over the stove. I noticed the flavorful smell of her ropa vieja bubbling through the room. We hugged and although she was all of 5 feet and I had to stoop a little to fully get my arms around her torso she gave the feeling of home that had been missing from our lives since the death of my mom.

“It smells good in here! I like the tree.”

“Yeah. Your dad and I decided to be more traditional this year even though we won’t actually go into the religious celebrations.” I opened wide as she placed a spoonful of sauce and meat in my mouth.

“That’s really yummy.”

“Buzz, Buzz.” That must be my phone, probably Cindi or Jaz.  We were all heading to our respective family homes for the holidays.  Whoa! It was actually Chris.

“Hey! How’s it going? I just arrived home.”

“Glad to hear that. Gee Diane thanks for calling and letting me know.”

“Darling, I’m so sorry. I was so focused on making it home safe and fast since there was ice everywhere that I did not even tell my dad until I pulled into the driveway.” I was not used to hearing him so concerned.

“Well I am happy you are ok. I just wanted to make sure that you arrived safely. The meteorologist mentioned that that ice storm should be getting a little worse.  Well, take care. Let’s talk later.”  As we hung up I turned to see Carmela staring at me.

“So, who was that?  Sounds like he is really worried about you, missy.”

“Ummm, maybe.”

“Well, go change into something more comfortable and come back down so we can talk.”

“By the way, here are some cupcakes my friend gave me this morning. You will really like them.”  I left the bag on the counter top and ran upstairs thankful to have some time away to clear my mind of all that happened this morning.  I was still afraid to let my guard down with Chris. Getting hurt was never fun.

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Episode 12: Betrayal Confirmed

dc-metro-map(First Timer? Read from the start)

Friday, September 19th at 11:00pm

Tap! Tap! Tap! “Oh that must be the door. Jaz, I will be right back,” I uncoiled myself from the lotus position and half walked and stretched my legs on my way to open the door.

At the door, Cindi asked while whispering “How is doing? Is she OK?”

Lowering my voice as well, I responded “She is doing a lot better now. Not crying as much. She is debating calling and asking him right now about his Match.com profile and his cheating on her, but I told her maybe she should confront him face-to-face that way she can better gauge his reaction.”

“Not sure if she should wait. Well anyway, let me in I want to show her the goodies I brought with me.”

“Hey sweetie, how are you doing?” She exclaimed walking into the room making a beeline to a sullen Jaz curled up on the couch swaddled in my favorite quilt. “I brought you some junk and some Sex and The City. They are right here when you need them.” Cindi noted as she placed her bounty on the coffee table.

On cue, I walked to the kitchen to grab some plates, napkins and bottles of water. On my way back to the living room, I noticed that Jaz was now sitting up and sobbing.

“I can’t believe he would do this to me, to us.  Crap! I would have even understood if he wanted to take a break or not date anymore. But to cheat?! What a loser! What did I ever see in him?” And with that outburst she swigged half of the bottle of water.

“Hon, so what are you going to do?  Diane was saying that you wanted to wait to talk to him later?” Cindi inquired. I could already tell that she did not think that was a good decision and that the fighting litigator in her was getting ready to roar.

“I am really upset, but I am going to wait to talk in person.  He  texted me ten minutes ago that he wanted to stop by tonight after quote, unquote – hanging out with his friends. So, I am going to head home in a few to confront him. I copied and pasted his profile in an email to myself, as proof. Gosh, I am so annoyed!  I don’t even know how I can tell my mother!”

Saturday, September 20th at 3:30am

“Hello, Jaz darling what is going on? How did the talk go?” I said after calling her still half asleep.

“We’ve been arguing for hours. He finally left a few minutes ago. He admitted to dating other women for the past two years.  He said he was only doing it as an ego boost but that none of these relationships were important to him.  He claims there was only heavy petting involved. ‘I still love only you baby’ he said over and over. At this point I don’t believe him. He says we should go to a counselor and not throw away eight years. But, I feel like such a fool. Two years and over ten women, maybe more!  His best friend AJ even knew what he was doing all this time and no one told me. They must think I am a stupid. I am so sick about the whole situation.” She said tearfully.

“Do you want me to come over?” I was thinking that she should not be by herself.

“Ummm…not really.  I just need to be by myself right now.” Sniff. Sniff. “I just have to take all of this in. It’s all so new. I am 29 years old. He and I dated ever since my last year in college. My entire twenties I could’ve dated other people! I even thought he would pop the question when I turned 30. To think that I could’ve married someone I never really knew is scary. How did I miss the signs?” She said all this and just went silent.  Then I heard her in the background fiddling around.

“What are you doing?” I asked curiously.

“Getting his stuff ready to dump in the trash room. I never want to see him again!”

I stayed on the phone with her until early in the morning. She needed to talk and I so I just listened also in shock at all that was happening to her relationship. In the end, at least physically all reminders of him were no longer at her place. I still had to remind her to change her locks the next day but after we both got some sleep.

 

 

Episode 10: To Hook Up or Not…

14th-and-k_2(First Timer? Read from the start)

Tuesday, September 16th at 10:00pm

“So babe, Lauriol Plaza was a great choice for dinner.  It reminds me of Florida.” He had his hands on my shoulders giving me a light massage as we walked to my car.

“Yeah? It seemed like you really enjoyed the Margaritas.” I responded and the other women were more your speed – I thought to myself, while wondering what Chris was up to. The massage felt good physically but I could not stop thinking about his actions in the restaurant. Another well tanned player with a great smile AND magic fingers.

“Why don’t you come up to my hotel room for a minute? You seem really tired and I can finish rubbing your shoulders and make you feel better.”

Oh my gosh! I needed to get away from him before I did something I would regret. Hadn’t I been at the junction of lust and common sense before and ended up choosing the option of skin on skin action. Yikes! My phone started to buzz and the alarm message said “Call Mom 2morrow” just the sign I needed. We were both in my car and the kissing and massaging just would not stop. Didn’t his hands ever get tired? Finally, we arrived at his hotel.

“David sweetie you are correct I am tired. <fake yawn> I have an early morning meeting so I have to get my beauty rest.”  With that said he plastered on a lip-to-lip with his pale pink and well moisturized seducers and it was simply “GLORIOUS!” I took a deep breath and turned the key in my car. He walked out. Should I be proud of myself? My phone alarm buzzed again.

Tuesday, September 16th at 10:30pm

“Cindi Alexander speaking,” she answered like a robotic secretary.

“Darling, you are so lucky to be at work.  At least you don’t have to deal with the guy drama I am faced with.” I let out a sigh.

“How was the date?” she asked.

Did I just hear her typing away…oh well what’s new. “Florida David and I went to Lauriol Plaza. He was dressed well, button front shirt, jeans and Gucci sandals, but dry as a bone in the area of conversation. And, I caught him looking around at some other chiquitas and flirting with the waitress all night long!”

“Well, the good news is that since you are talking to me now you are obviously not going home with him.  Thank goodness! We’ve been there before.”

“Thanks! Whatever? He was a great dancer. Maybe I will call him just to hang out the next time we go to visit Jaz’s family.  So, how was the engagement party?” I asked unlocking my front door.

“It was great!  Thanks for helping me pick the J. Crew watercolor dress. I also took your advice and wore it with ankle booties.  The outfit was a hit. Unfortunately, Yvonne is already emailing me lists of things to do and wants to talk about who she should invite.  I don’t think she understands the word busy. Thank goodness the wedding isn’t for a year. I already need a vacation!”

“Darling, maybe you need a man and/or regular romance in your life?” I said what I’d been holding in for some months now.

“Who are you telling! Darn it! Just spilled coffee on my new ruffled front pinstripe…Aaah! I have no time right now to find that itch to scratch or scratch that itch. Whatever! I just never have time for anything and I hate that my job is so time consuming. And I hate that I have my LIST of what the perfect guy should be!” Sniffs and inhales followed. This conversation was taking a turn for the worst.

“By the way, I have someone who is perfect for you. Just go on this one date and I will not bug you about this again! Good night and stop worrying about everything!” I informed her a little taken aback by her sadness.

Wednesday, September 17th at 8:30am

“Jaz, wake up! Operation ‘Find Cindi A Man’ is on.”

“Oh, okay.” She answered groggily.