Monday, January 27, 2014

Goodbye January, Goodbye Heartbreak, Goodbye Extra Weight

Shopping for gowns makes me feel like a princess
Hello :) Today was such a fun day and I was in need of a day like this. I woke up early, frantic of course, and went to a place called the Bar Method. I was told it was workout dance but it ended up being workout, haha with crunches, sit ups, and all sorts of tortuous stretching. It was one hour of pain but my stomach already feels a little bit flatter even if my legs feel like jelly. I had a delightful lunch with close friends and we tried on dresses for our senior ball in May haha, I'm excited! We also watched Frozen. Frozen was a GREAT and I have no complaints about the feminism or what not. I loveeee how one huge premise of the movie was that you can't marry someone you just met. Maybe watching a fairytale like romance isn't the best way to get over a breakup but Frozen actually had something rather insightful to say. Perhaps what SEEMS like the best option isn't the picturesque thing you make it out to be. After a really long chat with my friend L, I sort of came to the conclusion that S and I were not really meant for each other. Perhaps no one is perfectly meant for you, but there were a lot of strains in our relationship just because we were so different and I ended up relying way too much on him. Being away from him also made me see the community of supportive, wonderful, and lovely friends I've built up over the years.

Anyways, click on below for a state of the union (just in time for Obama's tomorrow!) and another chapter of the City Girl story I've been working on!
I've missed doing official state of the unions c: so here is the state of the union for January!

In:
Long ball gown shopping
Sparkly dresses with lots of pizazz!
Exercising with friends!!
People who clap in movie theaters
Guy friends who you plan to eat ramen with 4 months from now
Polaroid cardssss
Revival of Doodle Jump
Spring! 
TopShop/BP/Lush/that top floor of Nordstrom
Colored pens!
No sugar yo! 
SECOND SEMESTER

Out:
Short ball gown shopping
beaded, tulle dresses
Sitting at home like a loner
People who glare at you for talking loudly
boyfriends who seemingly change overnight
Regular cards..
High School/Bakery/Fashion/Restaurant Story
Winter! 
Forever 21/Urban Outfitters/Madewell/J.Crew
Black and blue pens 
Chocolate
First semester..

Music: 
Frozen soundtrack <3
Safe and Sound
Vampire Weekend
Sweater Weather
Bastille

Books:
Gillian Flynn
Olive Kitteridge 
Sophie Kinsella 

And now time for that story :)

More Than 1 Dark Past

         The early seven o’ clock buzz begins and Ashley and I are cranking out all sorts of drinks. Life is a lot harder than when black coffee was the only offering. It’s been another week and I’m slowly getting used to life here. I could never imagine living here forever but it’s an okay temporary shelter. I still don’t have many friends but coming to work isn’t all that bad. I stay until eight now since Hans needs me to make drinks. Ashley is looking better and has stopped wearing sunglasses to work altogether.
         “So Brie, there’s a new party happening tomorrow night. It’d be really fun if you came,” Ashley says while brewing the milk. It’s been almost a month since I’ve been here and this is my first invitation to a social event. Ashley is my only friend, besides Ray. “Everyone will be there and it’s a blast.”
         “Will Hans be there?” He lets out an amused laugh from the register.
         “Of course not, tiger. Am I crazy? I’ll be here though. I like to hear the chatter of parties.”
         “Okay everyone except Hans. I bet I could introduce you to some nice guy.”
         “Fine, fine, I’ll go,” I tease. “I better go buy a new dress and everything.”
         “The dress code is fancy,” Ashley says with a dreamy look on her face. The chatter stops once a few more customers arrive. The afternoon hours are popular with housewives who want the frothy beverages that could only be found in the city.
         I leave work an hour early. Ashley convinced Hans to let me go dress shopping before all the shops closed down. There are two clothing stores here and only one sells dressy pieces. I take brisk steps under the glowing light of streetlamps. It’s rare for anyone to be walking out at late hours. My ratty purse is at my side as I finally enter Heavenly Delights. It’s my first time here and a bored shopkeeper immediately pounces on me.
         “Darling, what are you looking for?” She evaluates me quickly. Her expressions say it all. Not in a million years was she expecting some country girl to step in to her fancy dress shop. A country girl, I realize I’ve categorized myself as. I cringe and feel an insurmountable sadness. This lady looks like she’s in her mid forties with scary purple eye shadow and short unnaturally red hair.
         “There’s a fancy party tomorrow night and I haven’t really got anything to wear.”
         “Poor darling,” the lady says stressing each and every syllable. Not having something nice to wear isn’t the end of the world I want to tell her. I hold back my tongue because I know I can’t afford to be snippy. “Well I’ll help you find something.”
         “I have a budget too,” I carefully add. There’s no way I’m blowing all my savings on some dress for a stupid party. Maybe I would’ve before but not as Brie.
         “Sure thing darling.” I can see the lady clenching her teeth. She gives me a tour and informs me on how the dresses are organized. Most of them look like cheap city knock offs but I don’t say a word. I just ooh and aah when she twirls out a non-descript and rather boring dress. She leaves me for a moment to make a phone call. I skim through the racks until I see something that catches my eye. It’s a short, tight, and sparkly dress in a deep blue. The feel of the fabric is expensive and something I would’ve worn in another lifetime. I have the impulse to buy it but I take a look at the price tag. It’s almost five hundred dollars. The lady comes back in and observes that I’ve found something truly breathtaking in her little shop of horrors.
         “Darling, that’s beautiful.” There isn’t an ounce of patronization in that sentence. I beam and pull it off the rack.
         “It’s much too expensive,” I say wistfully.
         “Oh honey, but it’s your dress. I’ll give it to you at two hundred.” I grin and hurry to the dressing room to try it on. The dressing room is nothing but a little area closed off with a curtain. I shed the hideous jeans and ribbed turtleneck. I slide the dress on over my head and she comes around to help me with the zipper.
         “Darling,” the lady says. She’s gaping at me and doesn’t say another word. She tosses me a pair of shoes. They’re so high and I wonder if I’ll break my ankle trying to walk. “You look stunning.” She looks at the curves of my body and I feel embarrassed. I leave the store having spent three hundred dollars.
         I feel excitement as I walk into work the next morning. Ashley is obviously feeling the same buzz in her stomach. We can barely work without fantasizing what it’ll be like. Apparently in a small town like this, fancy parties are a rarity. I don’t ask where Ashley went during the late hours. It doesn’t seem like something appropriate to ask her.
         “Let me do your makeup,” Ashley says in a giddy voice. Even a week before, I would’ve flat out rejected her but why not?
         “Okay,” I say and watch as her face lights up. I thought seven would never come. Hans lets us go an hour early again. I stop by home and pick up the things I bought at Heavenly Delights. We giggle in the backroom as she takes out her makeup brushes and different powders. An hour later, we’re ready.
         “You look beautiful,” Hans says and I feel euphoric. Tonight will be unreal.
         “Are you sure you don’t want to come? It’ll be fun.” Ashley pulls me away without saying anything more to Hans or me.
         “He doesn’t want to come,” she brusquely says and leads me away. I nod without protesting. She starts the engine of her car and I realize I haven’t ridden a car in over a month. We drive for a good thirty minutes before she stops at a huge mansion. There is a rosebud garden at the entrance of almost a mile of paved driveway. The whole house is made of marble and it radiates under the little lights they installed. Guests are flocking and I almost want to join them. Ashley parks the car and we start our long trek up the driveway.  
         “Whose house is this?”
         “Ray Concha,” Ashley says without looking up. “Well their family’s house.”
         “Who is he exactly?” Hans isn’t here to stop her from babbling.
         “Ray was extremely popular before he moved away to college. He went to one of those big name schools because he was so smart. He even went on a scholarship. The stuff he told you about his mum and uncle are true. Except, the mum didn’t do it out of need. She was bored of Ray’s dad and decided to jump on his uncle.”
         “What about the plumbing business?”
         “Oh, they do a plumbing business all right. It’s all over the country, all over. Their whole family does this and they make billions each year.” I feel my heart sink. What happened to the nice, country boy I met?
         “Why did Ray come back?” Almost everything he told me about himself is a lie. How could I be so stupid as to tell him about my past?
         “That’s the interesting part that no one knows too well. There are rumors that he got kicked out of school or got a girl pregnant. He wouldn’t tell anybody and people started to doubt everything he ever said. He doesn’t interact socially much anymore. Oh there’s one of my friends. I’ll see you later Brie.” I nod. Why did I assume that Ashley would include me in her social endeavors? I sit in my pretty dress on the couch and almost feel like someone else. The Brie I know wouldn’t have shown up to this thing in a million years.
         “Hey pretty lady, can I get you a drink?” I turn around. It’s some lowlife person hoping for a one night stand. He almost touches me but he’s had a drink or two, and I haven’t. I move out of his reach and decline his offer. He shrugs and moves on to some other girl. I hear his greasy voice followed by the chortles of some young girl. I wince in disgust.
         “Brie, you showed up.” I look up and it’s Ray. He’s the only person I know in this whole town. The house is dark and drinks are loitered everywhere. I don’t know what makes this a fancy party except for the gowns. “You look nice.”
         “Not bad yourself.” He’s actually wearing a suit instead of his collared shirts and tweed pants. He hasn’t called me once in these past few weeks but he thinks he can just say hi and everything will be the same. “Why haven’t you called?”
         “Obviously it hurt you the last time I called.”
         “Mm, that’s what it was.” I look around. I see Mindy in the corner. She’s wearing an outrageously ridiculous dress with feathers and sequins everywhere. “Why did you lie to me?” I don’t mean to say it but it slips out. His eyebrows crumple together in concern. His cheeky little smile is gone.
         “Lie to you? When?” His voice is shaking. He sits down next to me.
         “Let’s see, you didn’t tell me your father was a multibillionaire in the plumbing business. You made it seem like you’re so some poor country boy!”
         “Hey, hey,” he says to calm me down. “Lower your voice.”
         “This is your house! You probably never even worked a day in your life.”
         “Hey, that’s not fair, city girl. I worked my ass off, Brie. Do you think it’s easy going to Harvard?” I take a deep breath and close my eyes. Harvard. I suck in my breath. I wasn’t expecting that one. I’ve had too many people tell me that in my lifetime. This was probably his attitude when he came back to this small town.
         “So honestly, why did you leave?”
         “It’s a long story.” He leans forward and clasps his hands together. “A story I don’t really want to tell you at this party.”
         “There must be some quiet room.”
         “Fine.” He leads the way up the stairs. We’re just talking, I remind myself. My nerves are a tingling mess and I hate the warmth I feel. I try to clear my mind but I can’t. He reaches out to hold my hand but I back away. He opens the door to one of the rooms in his mansion. It looks like his room.
         “I graduated,” he says. We’re sitting on the carpet floor together.
         “In what?”
         “Political science and economics.”
         “You’re only twenty one.”
         “I went to university when I was sixteen, Brie. Graduating at twenty is four years.” I feel so dumb having bragged about graduating at fourteen. Graduating college, especially at Harvard, at twenty is far more noteworthy.
         “What are you planning to do?”
         “I want to go to New York and work on Wall Street or something. Maybe be a lawyer. I’m not sure.” Coming home because of an ambiguous future doesn’t sound like a heinous crime.
         “Why did you come back here?”
         “My pop honestly did need surgery and I needed a place to go.”
         “What happened?” He takes in a deep breath. This is obviously a story he doesn’t like sharing either. 
         “I met a girl at a party,” he pauses to state the irony. “She was something, something I couldn’t have. I wanted to marry her and somehow I thought I was good enough. I was almost as naïve as you were. She said she loved me, she wanted me, she needed me. She didn’t introduce me to her parents and that was fine. I don’t like meeting parents. Her dad found out a while later, a rather awkward moment in my life.”
         I can imagine what happened. He was probably thinking it was his lucky day over at her house. She probably didn’t even recall why she invited him over. The lights were dim and candles were everywhere. Ray is the type of person to do that. They’ve had a couple glasses of wine and he kisses her, the gateway kiss.
         “Her dad found out and told me to stay away from his daughter. He had enough power to ruin me but I didn’t listen. I wanted her and she was the only thing I wanted.” Thing, I repeat in my head. He didn’t love her. He never loved her.
         “What was her name?” I don’t know why I ask.
         “Violet. She had a lovely heart shaped face, almost like you,” he pauses and I try not to think too much. “Anyways, I didn’t leave for my own good and like her father said, he blacklisted my name. She told me it’d be okay coming back to her place because her father was away on a business trip. I was an idiot, I guess. Her father was horrified to see me. I still flinch every time someone turns on the lights. The worst part was when he asked her if she would give up everything for me. I could see he was really trying to understand what we had. She shook her head and betrayed me in less than a second. Violet never thought about it and that was it. He blacklisted my name and I had nowhere else to go.”
         “I’m sorry,” I simply say. I don’t know what to say.
         “Don’t be. I’m not sorry anymore. I can join up my dad’s plumbing business and it’ll be okay.”
         “Were you always Ray?” It’s a question I probably shouldn’t have asked.
         “Were you always Brie?” Does he know? He has a little impish look on his face. He knows.
         “Do you really want to go to school again?”
         “What kind of question is that? I can’t.”
         “Do you really want to?”
         “Of course,” he looks at me like a confused puppy. “Wouldn’t you jump at any chance to leave this place?” I shrug. The place has really grown on me.
         “Yes. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?”
         “Harvard law,” he says without skipping a beat. I nod and wonder why I’m even thinking of doing something as crazy as this. “Don’t tell me your dad or something is the dean.” Nervous laughter fills the room.
         “No, not that,” I say, stifling a laugh. “Just forget it.”
         “Thank you Einstein. Come here.” Time freezes. I look up at him and he’s completely sincere. I inch closer to him without any idea of what I’m doing. Was this all a story to get me to sleep with him? I wish that were the case. Has it really been that long for me to forget everything? He looks into my eyes and I feel the butterflies thrashing in my stomach. It’s because I’ve been single for a while. It’s because I haven’t gotten much attention. He kisses me and I almost melt. This is not who I am I want to yell. His tongue slides into my mouth and I don’t protest. It feels nice, to be honest. There’s something special between us and I’m sure he can feel it too.
         “I’m sorry,” he says pulling away without any warning. I nod. That was probably a good call but I don’t take it. I grab his shirt collar and pull him closer to me. Our lips meet and his hands find their way to my waist. I kick the stilettos off and he effortlessly slides his suit jacket towards the floor. He kisses my neck until he picks me up. For the third time tonight, I freeze. I try to protest but realize I can’t. I feel the cold silkiness of the sheets and his body gently pressing on mine.
         “Stop,” I just say and sit up. Half his buttons are undone but I can’t do this. I’m not her anymore.
         “What’s wrong?” He looks hurt. It’s all a façade.
         “I can’t.”
         “I found you again, Violet.” I stop breathing.  “I’m not going to lose you again.” Did he even think about me before we had this conversation? This is why I came isn’t it? How long was I going to deny the reality of the situation? Everything was going to be better and now it’s ruined. The lights turn on and I sit in agonizing embarrassment. My dress is still intact and he quickly buttons his shirt again. “I love you, Violet.”
         “Love? Love, Ray?” I look up to see Mindy, and her cronies. I can feel Ray tensing up next to me. “Who is she to you?”
         “Nothing, nothing, Mindy.” Isn’t he a guy planning to leave this town? I look at him with all the hurt I can muster.
         “Nothing,” I repeat. Seconds ago, he told me that he didn’t want to lose me again. Ray has the audacity to hold my hand. I wave it away from him. “Get away from me,” I whisper. It’s as if he pierced a spike through my heart. “Is she your girlfriend?”
         “Fiancée,” Mindy screeches showing me the diamond ring on her finger. How could I be so stupid? How could I be so idiotic? How could I just give into my impulses like that?
         “Lies, that’s what you are,” I say before strapping my shoes on again and leaving.
         “Brie, wait,” he reaches out but I don’t turn around.
         “It’s okay baby, I forgive you. I know she’s a bad girl,” I hear Mindy in the background. He doesn’t come after me and I didn’t expect him to. This isn’t some kind of fairytale movie where everything goes according to a prepared script. I try not to cry. Why does this always happen to me? No one pays attention to me as I run down the stairs. I see Ashley in the corner of my eye. She looks like she’s having a good time. I start running once I reach the front door. The shoes come off again as I run barefoot on the empty highway. I run and run until my legs are tired and my lungs are screaming for air. The lights in the café are still on. I see Hans reading a book and I pound my fist against the door. He did say he was going to be here after all.
         “Brie,” he says with concern. “What happened? Why are you running? Are you okay?”
         “Ray,” I croak out. He nods his head. He seems to understand with just that one word.
         “Ray does that to all the new girls. He told you his little story about Violet didn’t he? He told you about Harvard, Harvard my ass. He went to the same state school I went to. He got kicked out for some drug related issue a year after entry and had the gall to come back here. Ray’s been engaged to Mindy for a year or two now.” I ignore the apparent lies. Maybe I haven’t changed that much after all.
         “How could I be so stupid? He told me he loves me.” I shake my head. I’m not that girl anymore. How could I forget that?
         “Ray is quite the charmer, isn’t he?” I nod and to my dismay, the tears start to roll down. They’re fat tears rolling down my hot cheeks. “Don’t worry Brie, he does that to all the girls.” Hans embraces me with a tight hug. It’s the first time he’s shown any interest in me. I smile up at him. Before I can think, he’s kissing me. I try to push him away but I can’t. He’s just too heavy and I’m too small. His rough hands start pushing my dress down and I want to scream. One of his hands clamps my mouth shut. The tears won’t stop.
         “Please, please stop,” I cry out. “Hans, I’m not ready.”
         “Oh stop with the bullshit Brie! I know you’re not a virgin.”
         “How . . .how would you know that?”
         “Don’t act dumb with me. You’re here because you want this. Virgins are shy and cower in fear. You’re not like that.” He slaps my face and pushes my head down. I can barely breathe. He pushes his weight against me and I try to say something but I can’t. I’m still crying but he doesn’t seem to care. Why did I come back? His shirt has been discarded somewhere and his hands squeeze my breasts. I squeak because everything hurts. He tongue latches on to my neck and I try again to push him away. I realize I’m not wearing anything except underwear. There’s nothing I can do.  There’s no one walking by to help me. The phone is too far away. I’m stuck in a horrible place.
         “You like this too, Brie,” he says in a matter of fact tone. I can’t speak but he releases his hold for some bizarre reason I can’t fathom in my brain.
         “Hans, stop,” I cry out for the last time. “I didn’t come back for this.” Someone is banging at the door. I look up to see Ray. What is Ray doing here? Hans pushes me aside and I hit my head on the counter. He doesn’t do anything to help me. I hear shouting and there’s another slap to my face.
         “What the hell are you doing to her?” Those are the last words that I hear. Everything goes black.


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