Of When We Were Young Part 2
Don't forget to check out part one first, if you haven't already.
"What? Can’t she just push it back in? Oh my god!” I exclaimed, sitting on the couch of my childhood home in my pajamas. It had to be about five in the morning, and my crazy sleep schedule had really caught up with me. I slept at weird hours, and always woke up wondering about my magazine, or auditions, or whatever play or musical I was currently in. This was supposed to be my vacation, and even now I couldn’t calm my mind down. The moment my cell phone had rang I had picked it up, answering it on the first ring when I recognized the number. My fiance – Yes, that’s right, he asked me to marry him and I said yes – sat beside me, an arm lazily snaked around my waist, mumbling things in french about how early it was, and how even I shouldn’t be getting calls from work at this hour. Especially not on my vacation. Biting my lower lip, my eyes darted around the room nervously before I lifted my hand to chew on the tip of my thumb. It was a nervous habit, and I was nearly shaking with nerves now. “I don’t want to sound rude, but this is not the time for her to be having that baby.”
I sounded like one of those rude, executive prick bastards and I knew it, so I sighed, biting down on my thumb a little harder before Pierre took the hand away from my lips. “Alright, give her my best. Send her a basket with chocolates, a teddy bear, sparkling cider, and enough cute little baby toys to fill up the rest of the space. No flowers, we don’t want to end up irritating her sensitive senses, and nothing else in the chocolates because we have no idea what her stomach is going to feel like after she has that beautiful girl. Send her my best wishes, and get everyone in the office to sign a card and write my name for myself as well. Email me all those other resumes we got when we were looking to fill her writer’s job. I’ll go over them right now and call back when I know who I need to have interviewed. Ciao.”
Within a minute I was scanning through applications on my phone, looking for the perfect candidates. Pierre whimpered next to me, and I had to explain the situation before he understood why I was working on our vacation. As soon as he knew what a dire emergency this was, he was looking through the applications with me. One of my more important music reviewer columnists had just been taken to the hospital, and she was having her baby early. This wouldn’t be a problem, but this was an important issue and if this one flopped than I might not be able to fund another one of this magnitude for a while. This was it. The make it or break it moment. Finally, we picked a candidate and I called my assistant back, and he made the plans for the interview. I was pleased to hear that the man was able to meet me here, in Lima, and that I could have the chance to see him and speak with him myself before deciding to hire him on in this important role. It was so important that I made the meeting for later in the same day, because I needed to be able to be sure I had time to look elsewhere if I needed to. Deadlines were coming up close, so I would already have to work really closely with this man in order to be sure he got things done on time.
Pierre and I fell asleep entwined on that sofa, watching mindless cartoons because they made him laugh and he insisted it would help me get my mind off of work long enough to fall asleep. He worried about my health, constantly, because of how hard I had always pushed myself. It was an honest concern, though you would never tell how few hours I slept nowadays by looking at me. I had a wonderful skin care regime, and it kept me looking as youthful and fresh as ever.
The alarm on my phone went off, the time was three hours before my scheduled meeting with my possible new writer. Yes, three hours for me to get dressed and ready to impress well enough to feel like I looked like magazine owner material. I showered and brushed my teeth then moved around my bedroom with nothing more than a robe on, though the sash keeping it closed was held tightly in place. I picked out a deep red colored pair of slacks, dark enough that they looked black unless they hit the sun, and then they glinted with a bit of the brighter color. I grabbed the matching blazer and decided to calm the fashion choice down with a white button up shirt and a thin black tie with little red glittery design details. After laying that all out on my bed I rushed back into the bathroom, intent on finishing my beautification ritual. There was a facial scrub and a hair mask, and after I rinsed all that off I put on three different moisturizers, an under the eye treatment to keep those pesky bags away, and a cream that was supposed to help keep facial hair from appearing. Because, let’s face it, I had a baby face and I did not want to lose it. I dabbed make up concealer on a few spots on my face -under the eyes, my forehead, and some on any spot on my face that seemed discolored in any way- and then powdered my face so it wouldn’t look shiny.
That was only the beginning. I sprayed my hair into place, comb in one hand and hairspray in the other. Once it was done it spritzed it with a leave in conditioner that made it even softer than it normally was. I was already hot from all the effort, so I fanned myself with my hand before dropping the robe, neatly hanging it up on it’s place on the back of the door. It never once touched the ground. No, my clothing never hit the ground, not even my robe. I spread lotion all over every inch of me, except for the more private areas and those I couldn’t reach. There was one more fancy moisturizer I put on, and this one was for the tougher areas to keep soft; My feet and elbows.
Finally, I was ready to dress. I moved back into the bedroom, stretching my arms over my head as I walked. After so many years with my own body, I was finally comfortable with it, as long as nobody else was there. I got dressed slowly, I had given myself enough time to do so, and I didn’t want to get sweaty. That would gross me out. There were few rare occasions where sweat was anything but horrible disgusting. Like when a man was boxing, his knuckles tight underneath those gloves, slamming hard fists into those unforgiving punching bags until moisture dripped from heated pores.
Anyway, that was not the topic of the day. I buttoned every button on my shirt, making sure every inch of my outfit was freshly pressed, and checked out every angle of myself in the mirror before slipping on my shoes and socks. The shoes were black, of course, as were the socks. A sideways glance at the clock told me it was time to go, and I grabbed my briefcase and headed towards the door. Pierre was still asleep, and so I leaned down to kiss his cheek chastly before grabbing my keys and wallet from the table beside the door and heading out.
It took me fifteen minutes to get to the Lima Bean, and I sat in my car for an extra five minutes giving myself a pep talk to bring up my confidence.
“You are Jonathon Sparks, and you are amazing. You went for your dreams and you reached them. Forget about the performing, forget about the auditions. You. Are. Jonathon. Sparks. Live it. Love it. Breath it. BE IT.” I said to myself, nearly hyperventilating in my quest to gain more courage. I was always pretty good with people, and I was a bit of a diva throughout my life, so I wasn’t all too worried by the end of my little chat with myself. My inner diva was awake, and I was ready for business. I grabbed the handle of my briefcase with one hand and the door handle with the other and opened the car door with determination. My head tilted up towards the sky as it so often did when faced with it’s first exposure to the beautifully warm sun. I was still pale as a ghost, but I did enjoy feeling the warmth from time to time. I slid my keys and my wallet into my pocket and hit the button on the car door to lock it before closing it, just hard enough to close it all the way. My shoes made a little sound as I walked across the parking lot to the place that should have felt like a second home to me. How I could have gone to this exact parking lot so many times and not known immediately where I was stepping would have been beyond me if I had known how oblivious I was. Sure, it had a new name and it had been remodeled beyond recognition, but I thought that I would always remember exactly where the Lima Bean was.
Maybe I was in too much of a rush to feel the familiar sense of being home as I brushed passed the doors and into the building like I owned the place. Truthfully, I looked like a bit of a snob, my nose tipped into the air as I headed for the counter and ordered a drink. Being in Lima made me feel nostalgic so I quickly ordered a medium, nonfat mocha and leaned against the waiting counter, tapping an index finger against the hard surface as I scanned the crowd. There were a few people hanging around, sitting in various places. Most people were obvious and easily labeled. Nerdy college boy. High school cheerleader. Annoying hipster. There were a few possibilities for who it was that I was here to meet. I thought about it, drumming that finger against the counter all the way until they called out my order loud enough for the room to hear. I turned my head, almost surprised as I was jolted out of my thoughts, eyebrows raised.
“Ooh yes.” I said, nodding my head as I took the coffee from the barista. I pushed off of the counter, ready to take a wild guess and find the man I was here to meet. I picked the most likely candidate and as I stepped up behind him I raised a hand, even though he couldn’t see me, and called out the name I was given.
“Joshua Cru?” I asked, my voice confident and clear as I stepped around to the front of the stranger. My eyes were trained on his face, and so when I came around enough to see the features of the man I was speaking to I nearly fainted. I dropped my briefcase but managed to hold onto my coffee and reached out with my newly freed hand to hold onto the back of the closest chair. Yes. My name is Kurt Hummel and my glasz hues just fell on the man that had been my first love. I couldn’t breath. All of that confidence that I had built for myself before walking in just rushed out of me in one single second.
“Blaine..” I breathed out airily, because after all, how could I not recognize that face? Even with the glasses and the slight scruff, he was still the same Blaine I had known and loved. In the face at least. I had no idea that he actually was the person I was looking for, but I still lowered myself into a chair in front of his table anyway, swallowing thickly and panting out a few puffs of air, my expression trying to grasp an emotion but not sure which one to take. “Can I sit?” I asked, though I was already sitting down.