Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Unfortunate Series of Events

Well, I finally heard from Blast! Drum roll please…..….nope, I didn’t get it. I’m pretty bummed out to be honest but I told myself that it was good experience which I can put to use at my next interview. Which, since I am now actively looking, will hopefully be in the near future. 

I received the email Monday morning about their decision to choose someone whose “skillset was better suited for the position”, and felt pretty rejected all morning long. Elena could sense I was upset about something, but seeing as we work together I felt weird confiding in her about wanting to leave Platform. Always the polite one, she didn’t pry. 

“I’m in desperate need of a dress for a wedding I was invited to as a plus one,” she said as we returned to our desks with fresh Starbucks after lunch. “Want to come shopping with me after work?” 

“Who’s the guy?” I asked. 

“Oh I don’t think you know him,” she mumbled, casting her gaze suspiciously anywhere but at me.

I narrowed my eyes at her, “Elena Henderson what are you hiding!?” 

She looked up at me sheepishly, “It’s with Jeff...”

I swear my jaw literally dropped. “Jeff?! As in, our co-worker Jeff?!”

I could see her sucking in the corners of her mouth, trying to suppress her smile, “Yes, that Jeff.” 

“When did this happen?! Tell me everything!” I squealed excitedly. Sure, Jeff had a reputation as a playboy but Elena was well aware of that. So if she wanted to have a little fun, I wasn’t about to stop her. Plus, he could always change, and the rumors about him had always been just that - rumors. 

“Shh!” she hushed me, half laughing. “I’ll fill you in tonight. Just swing by my desk when you’re ready to leave.” With that, she scurried off to her desk. My eyes quickly darted to the other side of the room where Jeff was preoccupied on a phone call. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I had been so selfishly absorbed in my own dramas lately that I hadn’t even picked up on it until now. But Elena had been wearing ridiculously adorable outfits to work lately and her shiny hair had been even more perfect than usual. Also, I could now distinctly remember two occasions when I had walked over while they were having a conversation and they immediately stopped talking. Grinning, I turned my attention back to my work. The faster I got through the afternoon, the sooner I could get all of the details from Elena. 

There wasn’t a whole lot of work to do that afternoon so the hours dragged by. I even went in and cleaned up who Platform follows on Twitter, I was that desperate for distractions. Maybe I was so eager for a new job because I just didn’t feel challenged anymore. For the past few months my tasks had felt like second nature, and I could hardly remember the last time I got excited about a project. I made a mental note to try to talk to my boss about taking on some more responsibilities. 

Finally, it was 6 o’clock. Elena and I decided to head downtown to one of my favorite boutiques. On the way there she filled me in on the Jeff details. Apparently the Friday that I had been up at Penn State, a bunch of work people went to happy hour. One thing lead to another and Elena woke up at Jeff’s apartment. Ever since, they had hung out a few times and now he was inviting her to a wedding. 

“This is seriously so great,” I enthused, bouncing alongside Elena. 

“Calm down, it’s really super casual,” she replied, but I could tell she just didn’t want to jinx it. 

“Soooo..” I said, wiggling my eyebrows at her. “Is it true?” 

She gave me a stern look. “Danielle Fitzgerald I have no idea what you’re referring to.” 

“Oh come on,” I said. “I’m dying to know.” 

She bit her lip, but smiled, “Fine! Yes, he’s as good as we always thought. Actually, even better.” 

“Ahhh!” I yelped. “God I’m jealous.” 

We stopped into one of my favorite stores, Darling, first. Which was fortunate because Elena ended up buying the very first dress she tried on. It was a ridiculously flattering green number that when paired with nude pumps, was going to make her legs look like a gazelle's.

“Want to grab a drink or something?” Elena asked as we stepped back out onto the street.

“Sure,” I replied. We started to walk uptown, looking for somewhere we could sit outside. The weather was gorgeous and we, along with every other New Yorker, were eager to take advantage. 

I had my nose buried in my phone, googling good happy hour specials nearby when Elena grabbed my arm. 

I looked up to find her staring alarmingly ahead of us. “Actually, I think I know a place near here. Right over on 7th..” she started. 

“You just said you never come down here…” I trailed off once I saw what she saw. Heading right for us was Bray, arm draped casually around a blonde, his face nuzzling her neck. Clearly he had not seen me yet. I was contemplating whether or not to try and slink away when he decided to extract his face from his pretty friend, about three feet before he smacked right into Elena. 

“Danielle, hey..” Bray said. He made zero effort to remove his arm from where it was resting, hand dangling dangerously close to her boob. Seriously, does every guy that I like have to run into me when they’re with someone else? What is this? 

“Hi..” I replied awkwardly. 

“Oh um, this is Chelsea,” he said stiffly, gesturing to the girl. 

“Hi,” I repeated, not even offering my name. “We should get going,” I snapped, grabbing Elena’s hand. I wanted nothing more right now than for the ground to swallow me whole. Once we were a block away, Elena spoke.

“Wow, jerk,” she offered, looking sympathetically at me.

I shook my head. “We’re not exclusive,” I defended. “I mean up until a few weeks ago, I was sleeping with Nick too.”

She gave me a look. “Don’t do that Dani. Don’t try to defend him. You slept with Nick before you and Bray had even hooked up. Aren’t you now sleeping with Bray regularly? You deserve way more respect than that.” 

She was right, as Sheryl Sandberg as she was being. I needed to stand up for myself. “Should I text him?” 

“No,” she replied firmly. “Let him text you, and then ignore it.” Grinning, she looped her arm through mine. “Now you definitely need that drink." 

I walked alongside her, quietly contemplating what had just happened. In one day I had managed to lose my job prospect and my boyfriend prospect. Lesson to take away: stop leaving my bed on Mondays. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Three's Company

**Bonus post, hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!** 

On Saturday Bray picked me up at 8:00 and we grabbed dinner before heading to Nick’s. In the spirit of honesty I told him that it was my ex-boyfriend hosting the party, but that I was really going to show support for my best friend, Trevor (PSA: Trevor and I barely talk). Ashley was meeting us there after dinner. I was excited for Ash and Bray to meet, especially because you really can’t form an opinion on a guy you’re seeing until your friends meet him, am I right? 

God that sounded straight out of Mean Girls. I digress. 

It took Bray and I forever to catch a cab after dinner. The pouring rain meant everyone in Manhattan was vying for one. When we finally succeeded, I gave the driver the address that I have said in taxis a hundred times, but haven’t uttered out loud in months. As he started downtown, I pulled out my phone to text Ash.

Hey we’re headed to Nick's now. What’s your ETA?

I turned my attention to Bray. “Thanks for coming with me,” I said. 

“I’m sure you’ll make it up to me later,” he grinned. I rolled my eyes, but smiled back at him before turning my attention to my vibrating phone.

Here now, see you soon! 

I felt a little guilty that Bray and I were running late, but from all my years of dating Nick, Ash had become pretty close with a lot of his friends. I figured she would survive the next five minutes until we got there. 

“I’m so full,” I said leaning back and resting my hand on my stomach. We had split a pizza and two bottles of wine at an adorable Italian place near my apartment that I had always seen but never had the chance to try until now. 

“Really? I’m still hungry,” Bray said, and I knew he wasn’t joking. Homeboy ate a ton. Just then, he reached his hand across the empty space next to us and rested it on my bare thigh, moving it upwards ever so slightly. I raised my eyebrows at him, but didn’t move his hand away. 

He slid across the seat, closing the distance that had been between us. His closeness made my heartbeat quicken. He leaned down and kissed me softly, while his hand kept moving up, up.. until I gasped. I felt him smile at the sound. For the next few minutes, I completely forgot we were in a cab until the car jerked to a halt. 

“We’re here,” the driver grumbled, clearly frustrated with the scene in the back of his cab. Bray paid for the ride and we exited into the chilly night. 

My legs took me straight to the building’s front door without even having to think about it. We walked up to Nick’s floor and followed the noise to his apartment. Taking a deep breath, I pushed it open with Bray right behind me. I scanned the packed room for Ashley, and saw her by the window talking to a guy I didn’t recognize. I couldn’t help the immediate defensiveness I felt for Steve, seeing her talking to another guy. After everything that went down it was hard for me not to think that. I turned around and gestured for Bray to follow me. A few familiar faces dotted the crowd, but so far no sign of Nick.  

“Ash!” I yelled when we were closer. 

“Hey, come here!” she shouted back, waving us over. 

“Hey, sorry we’re late,” I apologized. 

“No problem, I pretty much just got here. Bray I assume?” she smiled up at him, extending her hand. I always felt so old when two people my age shook hands. 

"In the flesh,” he replied. “I’m going to go grab a beer real quick, either of you want anything?” 

“I’ll take one too, thanks,” I said. Once he was out of earshot, I turned back to Ashley. “Well?” I asked impatiently.

“Gorgeous,” she said. “Seriously, I’m jealous.” 

I narrowed my eyes at her, so soon after the Steve fiasco was no time to be joking. “Who was that guy you were talking to when we got here? I didn’t recognize him.”

“No clue, his name was Rich, says he works with Trevor,” she replied nonchalantly. “No sign of Nick yet, by the way.” 

I scanned the room again, and my heart stopped when I noticed Bray by the beer talking to... Nick. I grabbed Ashley's arm.

"Ouch!" she cried out. "What the heck is tha-" she stopped mid-sentence, following my gaze. "Well, that's probably awkward." 

"What do you think they're saying? Should I go over there?"

"Definitely not," she replied. "That would probably increase the uncomfortable-ness tenfold. Plus, maybe they won't even find the connection." 

As soon as the words left her mouth, both guys simultaneously looked in our direction. Clearly, they found the connection. 

"Oh my god they're coming over here," I squeaked. 

"Chill out," Ashley said. "It's not like you weren't prepared for this." 

"Yeah but in my head I wasn't sweating profusely."

Ash didn't have time to reassure me further, because at that moment both guys appeared in front of us. 

"Hey, D" Nick said, leaning in for the worlds most awkward hug. Which was then followed by the worlds most awkward silence

I coughed, "Uhm, so, you two have met? Bray, Nick, Nick, Bray?"

Both men laughed uncomfortably. "We've met, ya nut," Bray answered, pulling me into him. 

"I should go check on Trevor.." Nick mumbled before dashing off. Once he was gone, I let out the breath I didn't even realize I had been holding. 

"So, that's the ex?" Bray teased.

"Yes," I replied. Bray handed me my beer, which I chugged in record time. If I was going to survive the rest of this party, I needed some serious liquid courage.

After the chorus of tone-deaf drunks singing Happy Birthday to Trevor at midnight, I decided to call it a night. We made the rounds, saying our goodbyes and I noticed that Nick had been MIA ever since our awkward encounter.

When we were safely outside the apartment, I turned to Bray and gave him a well-deserved kiss. "Thanks," I said. 

"It was fun," he replied, pulling me in for another kiss. 

I waited on the sidewalk as Bray attempted to hail a cab in the light drizzle that was falling. I pulled out my phone, and was unsurprised to find a text from Nick from an hour ago.

Nice new boyfriend. 

I stared at it, knowing full well I shouldn't reply. 

He's not my boyfriend.

"Danielle!" I looked up at Bray, standing next to the cab. "Let's go!"

I hit send and then followed Bray into the cab.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Better Together

I snuck out of work early on Friday afternoon, eager to meet Ash at happy hour. I waited until my boss was in a meeting to slink out, seeing as her and I have very different opinions on what constitutes a “good excuse” for leaving early. 

It was pretty clear that Ashley hadn’t broken up with Steve, seeing as she had spent the past two weeks avoiding me like the plague. I missed my friend and I was impatient to find out the whole story. But that didn't mean she wasn't going to get a small dose of the cold shoulder, because it is extremely impolite to ignore your best friend when they just want to help.

I got to Reunion (how appropriate, right?) at 6:00 on the dot and immediately spotted Ashley seated at the bar with a half-empty gin and tonic in front of her. I walked over and pulled out the stool next to her.

“Oh my gosh don’t I know you from somewhere?” I joked. 

“Hey,” she smiled back stiffly. 

I tilted my head to the side. “Come on, Ash, don’t be weird! You’re the one who has been MIA for weeks now.” 

“I know, I’m sorry,” she said taking another sip of her drink. 

Before I could say anything, a Chris Hemsworth look-a-like came over to take my order. I tried to play it cool and act like his dimples weren’t giving me tingly feelings. “I’ll have a whiskey coke,” I smiled. 

I settled in next to Ash, giving her a look. “So?” 

“Look, I’m sorry that I froze you out. When Spence was here that weekend, I was so sure I could break it off with him. When I left your place, I felt really confident in my decision…” her voice trailed off as the bartender placed my drink in front of me. Once he walked away, she continued. 

“But then I got home that night and Steve looked so happy to see me, and I just couldn’t do it to him.”

I absorbed this for a minute. “So.. he knows nothing?” 

She shook her head. “I just couldn’t. And that’s why I have been hiding from you,” she gave me a half smile. “I’s bad.” 

“What about James?” I asked, bracing myself for the response.

“He’s called a few times but I swear I haven’t seen him since I told you guys about him.”

I looked at her skeptically. “So what’s the game plan? You just hope Steve never finds out?” 

She looked hurt at the question but I was still pissed at her for disappearing on me, so I didn’t offer an apology. 

“I want to be with him, James was a stupid mistake,” she said.

“Okay...” I replied. I really couldn’t think of anything else to say. 

“Are we good?” she asked tentatively. 

I let out a sigh of relief, “Of course we’re good. Just don’t go MIA on me anymore. I only want to help, you know.” 

“I know,” she smiled at me. “So, tell your terrible friend everything she’s missed lately!” 

“How much time do you have?” I joked. I filled Ash in on my last date with Bray and the drama-filled Penn State weekend. I was halfway through my recap of Thursday’s interview when the beautiful bartender returned with our check. He had definitely caught me undressing him with my eyes twice since Ash and I had been there, so in an effort to keep a few shreds of dignity I kept my eyes focused firmly on the black check presenter.

“Have a great evening ladies,” he said, sporting an entirely too charming smile. 

Once he was gone, Ash mumbled so only I could hear, “My god he is good looking.” 

I nodded my head, “I bet he’s an actor.” After I signed the check and started to gather my things, Ashley grabbed the pen and receipt. “What are you doing, checking my tip?” I laughed at her.

She scrawled something on the receipt and quickly folded it back up. I narrowed my eyes at her. “What did you just do!?” I grabbed the piece of paper to see that she had written my phone number and name underneath the tip. “Ashley!” 

I could see she was about two seconds from a full-fledged laughing fit. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

I shook my head, trying to hold in my own laughter. “Well then we better get out of here before he reads that and thinks I'm a psycho.” We hustled out of the restaurant, managing hold in our laughter until we were safely on the sidewalk. I was shocked at the relief I felt at having my best friend back. Even though I could see this whole Steve/James/Ashley triangle blowing up at some point, I wasn’t going to butt in and tell her what to do when it came to her love life. I had even convinced her to join me and Bray on Saturday at Nick’s so that it would look less like I was rubbing Bray in his face. Even though that was pretty much exactly what I was doing.

** Keep an eye out for a bonus post tomorrow! Have a great Friday xoxo

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Second Impressions

It took me a few days to recover from acting like a college student all weekend, which meant I pretty much did nothing all week besides go to work, binge watch Netflix and prep for my second interview with Blast. The interview was scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday with Renee Carr and a guy named Michael Schwartz, who from a thorough LinkedIn stalking sesh appeared to be the CEO. So, ya know, no pressure.

It had also been nearly two weeks now of Ash avoiding me. However, I had convinced her to go to Happy Hour with me on Friday, so I was anxious to see what she had to say about the whole Steve/James debacle. 

I left obscenely early for the interview on Thursday morning, because when I need to be anywhere important I’m convinced that the journey will be similar to Mario Kart, with unexpected obstacles at every turn. Just as I was locking my apartment door, my phone rang.

“Hey Mom,” I answered as I descended the steps of my apartment building. 

“Oh good, you’re awake!” she chirped on the other end. I swear the woman thinks I spend my days sleeping until noon and lunching. Her idea of the New York lifestyle was some sort of Carrie Bradshaw/Rachel Green hybrid, and it never sunk in no matter how many times I sent her emails from my office at 8 a.m. that I’m a real-life working woman.

“Yeah, just on my way out the door though, what's up?” I replied anxiously. I only had about two blocks until the subway. 

“Your brother is coming home next weekend, so I think you should too,” she said. “You haven’t been home in forever Dani.” I did a mental calculation. She was right, the last time I made the trek to Philly was back in January #horribledaughter. 

“Okay I’ll look at my calendar when I get to work and text you,” I replied. 

“Please try, Danielle,” she said sternly. “We miss you.” 

“I will, Mom. Love you,” I replied before hustling down the subway steps. 

When I got to the Blast office, two other girls around my age were seated in the waiting area. I checked in with the same receptionist as last time and took a seat next to a blonde girl, shooting her a polite smile which she did not feel the need to return. Apparently, this was my competition. 

The blonde with a stick you-know-where, who apparently goes by the name Hillary, was called in before me. I’d never been in a mass-interviewing situation and it was definitely rattling my nerves. At 9:20 the receptionist squeaked out my name and lead me to a conference room. Renee was seated along the far side of the table with a stack of papers in front of her, with a man who looked to be in his mid-50s next to her. They both stood when I entered, extending their hands in greeting. 

“Nice to see you again Danielle,” Renee said, giving my hand a firm shake. “This is Michael Schwartz, our CEO.”

“Hello Danielle,” he replied in a very deep, radio DJ-esque voice.

“Great to see you again, and wonderful to meet you,” I said, directing each comment at the appropriate person.

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” Renee apologized. “We’re just running a bit behind schedule!” She was so much more cheerful than the woman I had interviewed with two weeks ago. I couldn't tell if that meant she was super impressed by Hillary or excited to see me again. For my confidence's sake, I decided to believe the latter.

“No problem,” I replied giving her the most genuine smile I could muster. The first ten minutes of the interview consisted of me recapping my background for Michael, along with a few other standard questions. We covered the job description again, my work experience and why I was interested in Blast. I tried to be as animated as possible with my responses in the hope that would make up for my sub-par answers. But honestly, how does anyone answer the question "What are your weaknesses?" It's a trap, I tell you!

“Great, Danielle. Thanks for coming in, we should be making a decision within the week,” Renee said, standing to signal that the interview was over. That’s it? 

Taking a deep breath, I stood and shook hands with both of them, making sure to get Michael's business card so that I could send him a thank you note. I was out the door and on my way to work by 9:45. I wasn't sure why the interview had been so short and ended so abruptly, but I was not taking it as a good sign. 

I hailed a cab on Church and headed uptown to work. Once I was settled in the soft leather seat of the taxi, I pulled out my phone. My stomach flipped seeing both Nick and Bray's names on the screen. I decided to read the text from Bray first. 

What are you up to this weekend?

An involuntary smile played at my lips at the memory of the last time I saw him. I was definitely ready for round two this weekend. I clicked on the message from Nick next. We hadn't spoken a word since Penn State, so I had no clue what he wanted. 

Hey D, I just wanted to invite you to a party at my apartment this weekend for Trevor's birthday. Saturday night. You should at least swing by.. I don’t like how we ended things up at State. Let me know. 

I wanted to slam my phone into the plastic partition in front of me. He “didn’t like how things ended”, yet he was the one who couldn’t come up with any words when we were standing there on the street. Taking a deep breath, I realized exactly how I could answer both of them. I started typing my response to Nick.

Sure, okay if I bring someone with me? 

Maybe once Nick saw me with Bray he would finally give up. Smiling at my newly-hatched plan, I slid my phone into my bag. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Miss Moving On

I managed to avoid Nick and his hussey for the rest of the day Saturday, but the encounter put a serious damper on my mood. I was mad at him for ruining my day, and even madder at myself for caring enough to let him. 

On Sunday, a group of us decided to grab brunch before tackling the long drive back. We sat around a too-small table at one of our favorite restaurants in town, reminiscing on the weekend. It felt just like I was in college again. But if this weekend was any indicator, I was so glad to be a fully-functioning adult in the real world. I could not hang the way these 20-year-olds could, it was borderline insane. 

Halfway through brunch, Spence shot me a look from across the table. I furrowed my brow at her, confused. What? I mouthed across the table. She cast a pointed side-eyed glance across the room and I followed her gaze... to where Nick was walking in the door. Taking a deep breath, I turned back to Spencer and rolled my eyes. I was not going to react. 

Spotting us, Nick walked over to the table. “Hey guys,” he said awkwardly. 

“Nick!” said my friend Rachel, standing up to give him a hug. “We didn’t see you all weekend!” 

“I know,” he replied. “I was at the tailgate yesterday… but only for a little while.” He continued to chat with a few of my friends and I remained fixated on my basket of chicken fingers. My friends knew we weren’t together anymore and I was silently praying one of them would send him on his merry way. 

“Dani?” he said, snapping me out of my zone. I glanced up at him, raising my eyebrows. “I said do you want to come outside with me for a second?” he shifted his weight uncomfortably. Good, I thought, squirm. 

Silently, I pushed my chair out and walked out the door. I didn’t turn around until I was on the busy street, people clad in Penn State gear pushing past me. He appeared a moment later looking uncomfortable with both of his hands shoved into the pockets of his jeans.

“What?” I said flatly. 

“You didn’t answer any of my calls last night,” he said.

I snorted. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to pull you away from your new girlfriend.” 

He sighed loudly “She is not my girlfriend, okay? She’s the little sister of one of my buddies, and she let us stay with her for the weekend.” 

“And I see you were extremely grateful for that,” I retorted. “Look, I don’t get to see these girls often so I’m going back inside,” I said, starting to walk past him. He grabbed my wrist and turned me around.

“Don’t be like this Danielle,” he said sharply. 

“Like what!” I was fed up at this point. Fed up with conversations that led nowhere, fed up with his bullshit and most of all fed up with being stuck in love with him. 

He released my wrists and ran his hands through his hair, something he always did when he got frustrated with a situation. I narrowed my eyes at him, waiting for a response I knew would never come. Looking him in the eyes I shrugged, letting him know there was nothing more to be said. I walked back inside to where my friends were waiting. 

“So?” Spencer asked, speaking for the whole group. 

I shook my head “So nothing, he always tries to fix things by standing there and looking sorry. I’m over it.” I didn’t realize until I heard the words coming out of my own mouth how much I truly meant them. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I finally heard back from Blast on Monday, and guess who scored a second interview?! This gal! However, that is scheduled for Thursday so onto more unimportant matters, like my run-in with Nick. 

This weekend I went up to Penn State for a hefty dose of nostalgia with a side of binge drinking for the annual Blue & White Weekend. The real purpose of the weekend is that the football team plays a scrimmage game (blue v. white), but in all of my years I have never witnessed said scrimmage game. I always find that I am much more captivated by the tailgating situation, and this year was no different. 

Haley, Spence and I rented a car outside of the city and set out on the four-hour drive to State College on Friday afternoon. We had rented a house for the weekend with five of our other friends, and I was eager to get up there for the much-needed reunion. It had been forever since I had been back at State, and I was so ready to leave all of my worries in Manhattan for two whole days. 

As our tiny Nissan pulled into the unchanged town, I tried my absolute hardest not to be that girl and start crying. The familiar campus held four years of my absolute best memories and my heart swelled at the sight of Happy Valley. Friday night passed quickly in a blur of bars and old friends. I knew Nick was up, but we hadn’t talked in more than a week. I didn’t want to start anything up again until I had decided what I really wanted, and as of now I had absolutely no clue. Regardless, my Nickdar was on full alert all night and every time a blonde guy walked by, my heart stopped for the three seconds it took to register that it was not him. 

Saturday morning after shaking off our hangovers with breakfast sandwiches and lots of Gatorade, we donned our PSU attire and headed up to the tailgates. It was a glorious 70 degrees out, and I was relishing in the feeling of the sun on my skin again. Vitamin D, I have missed you. 

“Why does everyone look like babies? I swear I just saw an 11-year-old smoking a cigarette,” Haley said as we navigated the crowds on campus. 

I laughed “I seriously have never felt older.” 

“So, do you think Nick will be at the tailgate?” Haley asked me tentatively. Since Nick and I ran in the same circles in college, I assumed he would be at the same tailgate as us. Which was why I had spent an extra ten minutes on my makeup this morning, but I wasn’t about to admit that.

“Probably,” I replied, trying to sound nonchalant. 

“You two seemed pretty cozy at my birthday the other week,” Haley said, nudging my shoulder with hers. 

“That was the tequila, not me,” I joked, bumping her back. Afterall, she was the one shoving said tequila down my throat. 

Haley draped her arm over my shoulders, syncing her stride with mine. “Well who needs men, when we have a full day of tailgate food ahead of us?” she raised her Red Bull in a cheers. 

“Hear hear!” I replied, clinking my Red Bull to hers. 

Two hours into the tailgate, I could already feel the sunburn I would have on the tip of my ski-jump nose. My friend Rich and I had been running the beer pong table (if I’m being honest, he was running it, I was merely guzzling the beer down) for more than an hour. Midway through game four, Spence came wobbling over to me on some serious looking Bambi legs. 

“Dani!” she slurred, looping her arm through mine. 

I laughed at her “Spence, it’s not even 1 p.m., how are you possibly this drunk?” 

“I just need to sit down and I’ll be fiiiine,” she said.

I scanned the area, and found all of the four possible seating options occupied. The tailgate had been put together by Rich who had even rented an RV for the occasion. I turned to my beer pong partner and pasted on an apologetic smile.

“I know that my skills are pretty much carrying this team, but do you mind if I run inside and sit with Spence for a little bit?” I asked him, gesturing towards my now swaying friend. 

“No problem,” he said with a chuckle. “The door is unlocked and there’s a couch in there.” 

I thanked him and lead Spence up the narrow steps of the RV. I spotted the tiny couch immediately, and my stomach dropped before I could even register what I was seeing. Nick was sitting on the couch with a blonde girl I didn't recognize practically in his lap. Their faces were close together, laughing. It took him a full ten seconds to even notice our arrival. 

“Danielle!” he yelped, looking sheepish. 

I took a deep breath, determined not to overreact. He was not my boyfriend anymore. He was, however, about twenty other names I was presently calling him in my head. 

“Spencer needs somewhere to sit down, do you mind?” I asked, a little more rudely than I had intended.

“Of course!” said Nick’s blonde buddy. I shot her a closed-mouth smile and lead Spencer over to the couch. The blonde walked out the door and Nick hovered for a second before following her. 

“Dani…” he started. 

“Oh please,” I shot back at him. “Save it. I have to take care of my friend.” I turned my attention back to Spencer, who was already fast asleep, sitting up on the couch. 

I kept my back turned until I heard the screen door of the RV slam shut. The noise made Spencer’s eyes shoot open. 

“Asshole,” she mumbled. I couldn’t help but smile at my friend. Asshole was spot-on. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Great Expectations

By Wednesday morning, Ash was still avoiding me. It was pretty clear that she had not had the talk with Steve, and I was thisclose to giving up completely. However, my supremely stubborn nature kept sending her an annoying text roughly once every four hours. 

The work day passed slowly, which may or may not have had something (read: everything) to do with how excited I was for my date with Bray that night. I had already mentally picked out my outfit, and I had spent an extra ten minutes that morning perfecting my hair. As soon as the clock hit 6 p.m., I hightailed it out of work like there was a lululemon sale happening downtown.

At home I helped myself to a glass of vino while attempting to perfect the winged eyeliner look. The end result just made me look like I was about to put a hex on some popular girls, so I wiped it off and decided to stick with what I knew: mascara and an eyelash curler. Before I left I debated throwing a toothbrush in my bag in case I ended up staying the night, but decided I didn’t want to jinx it. 

Bray lived in one of those fancy apartments with a doorman and everything, the kind of place I always lusted after on CraigsList before my bank account would politely tell me to calm the F down. Apparently, Bray was one heck of a graphic designer. His building even had an elevator - ah how the other half live - which swept me up to the 8th floor, and I knocked tentatively on apartment 8F. 

He opened the door barefoot, wearing faded jeans and a white tshirt. “Hey, gorgeous” he said, pulling me in for a kiss. 

“Hello,” I replied after I regained my breath from the very warm greeting. “That smells amazing.” 

“Thanks, I remembered you saying you studied abroad in Spain, so I thought I would treat you to my household-famous paella,” he said. 

“Household famous? I wasn’t aware you had made it so big!” I joked. I shrugged off my coat and hung it over the back of a barstool, subtly taking in my surroundings. His apartment was at least three times the size of my studio, and every surface was adorned in shades of black and gray. The whole place screamed bachelor pad, and I couldn't help but wonder how many other girls he had cooked dinner for. 

“Is your roommate home?” I asked, praying the answer would be no. Even though it would be nice to meet one of Bray’s friends, I’m a firm believer in the phrase ‘you can tell everything about a person by who their friends are’. 

“No, he’s out of town on business. He actually travels a lot for his job,” he answered, while adding more ingredients to the pot that was emitting heavenly smells. “Do you want a beer or wine or anything?” 

“A glass of wine would be perfect," I said. 

We enjoyed the absolutely delicious paella while sitting at his kitchen counter, and he promised to teach me how to make it sometime. I silently cheered myself for already scoring a 4th date. After we ate, he placed the dishes in the sink and pulled me onto the couch to watch the end of the Phillies game. 

“Can I get you more wine? I’m going to grab another one of these,” he offered, shaking his empty beer. 

“Sure,” I said, smiling back at him. While he was in the kitchen, I did a quick fluff of my hair and breath check. If he wasn’t going to make a move soon, I was going to have to take matters into my own hands. Two innings has passed and he hadn't made so much as a flinch in my direction.

Bray returned and handed me a full glass of wine. I took a long swallow and set it down on the coffee table. He relaxed back down next to me and praise the lord placed his muscular arm around my shoulders, pulling me into him. I snuggled closer and lifted my face upwards, letting him know it was absolutely okay to kiss me. 

He leaned down and met his mouth to mine. The kiss started off slowly, and got hotter and hotter until the next thing I knew, I was pinned underneath him on the couch. I ran my hands up the sides of his body and under his shirt, tugging at the sides, gesturing for him to remove it. He pulled from the back of the neck and yanked it over his head, and my eyes ravenously took in his body. All I could hear in my head was Emma Stone’s voice in Crazy Stupid Love screaming “It’s like you’re photoshopped!” He unbuttoned my blouse and pulled off my jeans. I spread my legs, wrapping them around his waist using them to pull him closer to me. There was nothing but his briefs and my thong between us now, and I could feel how hard he was growing. 

I pushed up, placing my hands on his chest until he was sitting up and I was straddling him. I shifted my weight forward and then slowly slid down so that I was pressing on his cock. He groaned my name, and I smiled. He grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me towards him again, his mouth next to my ear “I want to fuck you so badly.” 

I gave him a lascivious smile, “So do it,” I challenged.

He grabbed my ass and lifted me up as if I weighed ten pounds (PSA: I do not), and carried me down the hall and into what I presumed to be his bedroom. I was too turned on to even attempt to analyze every bit of the room. He threw me onto the bed and climbed on top of me, dragging my thong off with one hand. He pulled down his briefs and in an instant was inside of me. I arched my back as he pushed in, savoring how good it felt. We stayed in missionary for a minute before he flipped me on my back - I’m one of the few girls I know who actually thoroughly enjoys doggy style. His hands were grabbing my ass and I knew I’d have bruises tomorrow, but that just turned me on even more. After only a few minutes I was shaking with orgasm, and fell forward onto the pillows. He pulled out, put on a condom and pushed back into me, causing me to gasp. Within seconds, he finished with a loud groan pushing into me one last time. After we had cleaned up, we laid side by side on his bed. 

“Not bad,” I joked breathlessly. He laughed, pulling me onto my side and kissed my head. Within minutes we were both fast asleep. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


It was harder than usual to see Spence off on Sunday afternoon. Aside from the Ashley and Steve drama, we had spent a great weekend catching up and laughing nonstop. I stood by the escalators in Penn Station, waving as Spence strolled towards her track. My eyes stayed fixed on the back of her shiny hair until the crowd swallowed her up, and I couldn't differentiate between where one person ended and another began.

I sighed, turning around and heading out of the crowded station. The warm air from the afternoon was still clinging to the city, so I decided to walk home instead of heading back underground. There is absolutely nothing better than walking in New York, people watching and enjoying the city as it sheds its winter skin. By the time I got home, I had almost forgotten about Ashley and Steve. I looked at my phone, it was 6pm and I still hadn’t heard a word from her. 

Did you talk to Steve? 

I hit send and left my phone face up on the coffee table, eager for her response. 

Two episodes of Friends and half a bag of popcorn later, Ashley still hadn’t replied. I didn’t want to seem like I was butting into her relationship, so I made the executive decision not to send her another text until the morning. I settled in to continue my marathon of season 7 when my phone’s ring interrupted one of Chandlers one-liners. I had already started to slide the green bar to answer, assuming it was Ash, when I realized it was actually Bray. I panicked for a few seconds, completely caught off guard. 

“Hey!” I said, coughing a little to clear my throat. Sexy.

“Hey babe,” he replied. Babe? That’s soon, but I’ll take it.

“How are you?” I asked, we had only ever texted before so this whole real-life phone conversation thing was new territory. 

“I’m good, just recovering from a bachelor party this weekend, we were down in AC and it got a little out of control,” he said laughing.

“Oh I know how those weekends can be,” I replied. 

“Anyway, I just wanted to see how you were, and what your week looked like. I’d love to have dinner if you’re free…” he trailed

I did a mental review of my week, I had zero plans that I could recall, and then I was going to Penn State on Friday for the Blue & White weekend. I decided to try and sound a little busy though, because, you know, I get all of my dating advice from romcoms. 

“I think I’m free Tuesday,” I said trying to sound noncommittal. 

“Great, why don’t you come to my place and I’ll cook?” he offered. I was definitely eager to see his place, and if his shirt happened to be removed while I was there, well that would just be collateral damage. 

“Sure, sounds great. Just text me the address and time,” I said trying to suppress the excitement in my voice. I hadn’t had a boy cook for me in forever, and I was a total sucker for a man who knew his way around the kitchen. We said our goodbyes and I hung up feeling giddy. Nick and I hadn’t spoken in days, and I now had a third date with Bray. Things were definitely headed in the right direction. 

On Monday morning, I woke up before my alarm and played my morning ritual of 'find the iphone in the sheets'. Seriously, does everyone else have this problem? When I finally located it wedged between the wall and my mattress, I was dismayed to see no new messages. Still no word from Ashley. I frowned, this was definitely not good. I sat up in bed and dialed her number. After a few rings, I heard her familiar voice telling me she could not get to the phone right now. I knew she went into work a solid hour before I did, so she was most definitely awake. I shot her another text.

Come on Ash, talk to me. Please. Want to meet for lunch today? 

I tossed my phone into my tangled mess of a bed, and began getting ready for the day. As I was jetting out the door to work forty minutes later, half-eaten banana in hand, I grabbed the discarded phone. I was relieved to see my best friend had finally decided to come out of hiding. 

Hey, sorry didn’t see my phone last night. But crazy busy at work today, raincheck? 

Frustrated, I shoved my phone into my bag and jogged out the door. I was already running late for work, and had no time to deal with Ashley’s annoying avoidance of talking about the Steve situation right now.