Sunday, March 4, 2012

California Dreaming - Part 8

Alex got settled in and his parents flew back to Colorado.  He was excited to start his new job, he knew something was missing but he really tried to block that out.  Alex knew in his heart he had to just let it go, let her go, so she could move on and the same for him, it was just not going to work.  
Alex went to work the following day, he realized what a challenge all this was going to be and on his own.  He had a new aid coming that night and he was not looking forward to that either.  His first day was lots of orientation, it was not bad, he liked his co-workers they had him working on a few projects to get comfortable, he was enthusiastic.  The nice thing about working for the government was that in general he found that people were not in total shock nor were they mortified to see a young guy in a wheel chair.  People were curious that he could handle it was the gasps and pity he got while working in the private sector. 
On his way home from his first day his gut instinct was to call Kelly and tell her about his day, but he stopped as she definitely did not want to hear about it.  He went home, had some dinner, met his new aid, it was an older women which was fine by him.  Alex was always worried about getting a guy, it would bother him if a guy did his laundry.  He looked frequently at Kelly’s facebook page she was on some, nothing exciting.  She wrote one day that she needed a change, and after a few comments she said I am talking about changing my hair you fools.  He laughed and wondered what she would do with her hair.  Alex tried to learn his way around and learn the public transportation systems; it was not San Francisco that is for sure.  He knew of a friend of a friend that he hooked up with from facebook, she worked in the area but lived in Virginia as did most people, and he thought living close would be to his benefit but he was realizing that may not be the case.  She told him of some hot spots and she said if he ever wanted to have lunch to give her a call, it was nice to know someone anyone at this point. 
Kelly threw herself into her work and started running again.  She also watched Alex’s facebook page, he talked about basketball and football but never anything that she cared about.  She went to write something a few times but erased it.  She traveled some; Kelly was amazed at how quick she was able to get back into her old routine.  She realized that she liked not being so alone and independent and thought if she found it once she would find it again. 
Kelly tried the dating thing again, at first it was too soon, she was not ready, it made her think about Alex too much as she compared everything.  Then Kristy offered to give it another go and fixed her up with someone she did not know but she knew of.  He was a little older his name was Chad he was handsome and very successful he was a sports agent and Kelly thought she had nothing to lose.  She went and had her hair cut, she got it cut shorter and it looked very cute and actually made her look younger.  She loved it!  All Kelly’s friends told her to post a picture of her new doo.  So she did. Kelly got a ton of compliments and Alex even clicked on like and that was the first time she had heard anything from him in weeks it freaked her out a bit. 
Kelly was beyond frustrated because she could not wrap up this Boston merger and her boss insisted that she stay till it was finished so she was there for at least another two months.  She posted on facebook “another 2 months in San Francisco, not the worst thing in the world right?”   Everyone agreed.  Chad picked her up and took her to a very nice restaurant on the bay; he pulled out all the stops.  Kelly actually liked him, he was sort of perfect.   Chad seemed to like her, as he asked her out a few more times.  He knew everyone and treated her like a lady.  He did not really care about her job and that did annoy her but compared to what he did it was boring.  When it came time to be intimate Kelly stalled, she did not know if she was ready or if she was over Alex but beyond a kiss here and there, she stalled and Chad was getting frustrated. 
One night while on facebook Alex popped up on facebook chat, Kelly got chills. 
Alex said, “hey stranger.” 
She replied, “hey right back how is DC?” 
“Getting colder by the minute.  Are you still in San Fran?”
 “Yep, and unfortunately I have no idea when I will be leaving.” 
“Boston merger?” 
“Get  this I had to fire that crazy Phil guy.”
 “No, shit.”
 “He was awful.”
“How are you doing Kelly?”
“OK, keeping busy, you?”
“I am OK, I am working out again and that feels good.  I have the time so why not.”
“Good good for you.”
 “I finally ran that ½ marathon and did pretty good.”
“Nice job Kelly!”
Chad called and she thought saved by the bell, so she said “thanks for the chat gotta run.”
Alex realized he was not too high on her list as she usually let him end conversations.  He missed her. 
Alex, met some people at the rehab facility he was working out at, he had a couple guys he could watch sports with.  He had a few people from work that he would do happy hour with.  All in all it was not that bad, he did hate that nothing was as accessible as it was in San Francisco and the winter was going to be tough.  His job was good, not quite what he thought as they were starting him at the bottom, but he liked that what he was doing meant something, he loved working near the white house, it was something he had always wanted to do.  Alex often wondered what Kelly was really up to, he wondered if she was dating, he thought not but, how would he know.  His parents came out for a visit with his brother and Amy.  They were happy to see that he seemed a little better, he still had a picture of him and Kelly up so they had hopes that he would get back with her as they thought she was perfect for him. 
Amy had not talked with him since the whole thing happened.  So when they were alone she said, ” tell me how it is that you went from having everything to this?”  Looking completely shocked and maybe appalled he said, “what this is great, this is what I wanted.”
 “Give me a break Alex, you can’t bull shit a bull shitter. “
 “It got out of control, I did screw up but she ultimately did not want to come here and I knew that so it was going to happen it was just a matter of time.”
“Keep telling yourself that.”
“Thanks for the talk sis I feel a lot better.”
When Mike returned Alex said to him, “when did she become so opinionated?” 
While shrugging his shoulders Mike said, “she liked Kelly we are all worried about what you might bring home next.”
“You guys suck.”

Alex hit the town hard one night with Mike and Amy.   They had a good time Alex felt like he could be his old self for the first time in ages.  They drank a lot, he had a few girls flirt with him, same story he was like a pet.  On the way home he said “Amy, watch this.”  He took out his phone and texted Kelly, “hey where are you?” 
Kelly promptly texted back, “Hi, I just left the Nicks game.”
Under his breath he s said, “wow.” 
Amy rolled her eyes and said, “never ask a questions you don’t want the answer to.” 
He tried to shake off the crazy thoughts going through his mind and texted, “that’s cool, did you have good seats?”
She replied, “courtside baby,” Kelly had a little buzz herself. 
After a short pause she texted back “gotta go, call me sometime lets catch up.”
Alex thought to himself, great now I am just an old friend. 
Amy said, “what did you want her to do sit in San Francisco and wait for you.” 
With a shrug he said, “honestly yes, until now I still thought there was a glimmer of hope.”
“Alex you of all people should know you have to make things happen.”
 With a hint of anger in his voice he said, “give it a rest.”

 He was watching sports center and realized the Nicks played in New York so he figured she was on business but she never stayed weekends, he thought that was strange, he combed her facebook page and it did not say much it actually looked like she had not been on in a while.  Thanksgiving was in a couple weeks and he was going to fly home and he was looking forward to that. 
Kelly knew the Nicks thing would bother him, as he loved sports and they never did that stuff, he also did not know she was on a date.  Things with Chad were fizziling, Kelly gave in and made love with him but it was boring and she knew he liked her but it was not going to go anywhere.  So Kelly let it fizzle, she enjoyed it while it lasted.  Thanksgiving was in a week, and Kelly was going home, she could not wait to go out with her friends on thanksgiving eve for the first time in about 5 years. 
While Kelly was home just for a few days and everyone asked, when she was coming home for good and she said she had no idea.  She still wanted to come home but San Francisco was growing on her and she was seriously thinking about staying.  She still stalked Alex on facebook he posted stuff about sports and these articles about politics nothing too exciting. 
On thanksgiving eve after she got home a little tipsy from having a great time out, she saw he was on, she messaged him “happy thanksgiving stranger. “
Alex smiled from ear to ear, he said, “hey you.”
Quickly Kelly replied, “are you in Colorado?”
“You know it! Are you in Cleveland?”
“But, of course.  How is my favorite Colorado family?”
“Good, they don’t change much.  How is San Francisco?”
“Are you sitting down?  I might stay, so I guess it’s pretty good.”
Alex was floored, and did not know if he should even touch that subject. 
Kelly asked, “how is DC?”
“Cold and Icy.”
“Well Einstein, I could have told you that it’s like that here and I honestly can’t wait to get back to better weather. “
He took a risk and called her she answered right away. 
Alex just said, “I hate texting.”
Kelly replied with a chuckle, “I know.”  It was not personal online but to hear his voice, her heart was beating so fast, she desperately wanted to play it cool. 
After taking a deep cleansing breathe Alex said, “so staying in San Francisco, I would never had guessed?”
“We will see, I am still trying to wrap up Boston.”   “It’s one thing after another.”
“So the Nicks game, what was that about.”
“it was a spur of the moment thing.”
“How is the job?”
 “Changing the subject Kel.” 
“Seriously, how is the job?”
“I like it, the grunt work sucks but all in all I like job.  The work is interesting enough.”
 “You will do well, I know it.”
 He missed his biggest fan.
Kelly felt like they were crossing that invisible line, she tried to lighten it up so she just said, “well  Happy Thanksgiving.”
Fully knowing he was jumping right over Kelly’s safe invisible line that she guarded so tightly Alex said,   “for what it’s worth I miss you terribly.”
“Alex I am not doing this.”
“Doing  what?”
 “Going to that place with you, I can’t I have spent a lot of time trying to let go and I think I am getting close.”
With an almost angry tone he quickly replied, “are you over me?”
Kelly sighed and said, “Alex give your family my best and have a great Holiday,” and hung up. 
True to form Alex texted, “goodnight.” 

 She was actually mad at him for that, and was kicking herself for messaging him. 
Alex hung up with more questions than answers.  He thought she might be dating, he hated that he might have upset her.  His frustration was at an all time high.  He felt completely crippled.  He thought he may never see her again and seriously could not fathom that she would stay in San Francisco.  When Alex thought of November in San Francisco he did get a little nostalgic as he was so done with winter in DC and it was only November.  Alex went to bed.
In the morning while having breakfast with his parents Alex said Kelly said to tell you Happy Thanksgiving.  Grace and Ed both looked up so fast he thought their heads might fall off their shoulders. 
Alex said, “Don’t get too excited, I just chatted with her for a few minutes last night.”
Grace cautiously said, “how is she?”
“She is thinking of staying in San Francisco.”
Ed replied, “can you blame her, it’s not a bad place to live.”
Grace went on to say, “ you loved it there while you were there.”
Alex just said, “yeah, I guess I just never thought she would stay.” Without me 
Ed said, “well I hope she is doing well, she is a lovely girl.”
“She is doing well and he said she seems OK, I pissed her off but what’s new.”
He went back to DC counting the days till Christmas as he took a full week off. 
Kelly was also going home for Christmas and she thought she might stay till new years; her company was all but closed over that week between Christmas and new years.  Her conversation with Alex went through her head over and over and she was actually annoyed with herself she thought she was past most of this. Kelly wondered if he had met anyone and if he had found a new fan club yet.  She stared at Alex’s facebook picture daily, he was so hot.  Kelly wondered how long it would take to really get over him. 
Things with Chuck were pretty much over, he called when he traveled some but there was nothing there.  If she had met him a year later maybe something would have happened, she was not there yet but he definitely was a great distraction.
Kelly was doing her Christmas cards and sent one to Alex but also sent one to his parents.  She wrote in Alex’s, “Merry Christmas, I hope you are keeping warm, Christmas in San Francisco is so weird, I am looking forward to a white Christmas in Cleveland.  Let’s talk soon it’s been too long.”  As they had not talked since Thanksgiving, which she knew was mostly her fault she all but hung up on him.  Kelly sent a sweet one to his parents, saying Hello and she hoped they had a great holiday.  Grace was delighted to get it and could not wait to tell Alex as she knew girls don’t just send cards to their ex’s family; she was still in love with their son. 

When she was talking with Alex she said, “we got the nicest card from Kelly today. “
 Sounding surprised he replied,” that was nice of her.  I honestly would expect nothing less.   Every time we talk she asks about you guys” 
“Oh you two still talk?”
 “Not recently but I may give her a call around Christmas.”
“You should.”
 He sent Kelly a card, he wrote, “great to hear from you, I am still I quite cold but I will survive, looking forward to a nice holiday break,  miss ya Kelly.  Love, Alex.”  He thought that he would throw that out there, why not.  He imagined she would look good in the snow.  He feared she had met someone, but he could always convince himself that she hadn’t. 
Kelly went home and stayed the week, she had a great visit, and she shopped and went out with friends and babysat the kids.  Her brother asked if she ever heard from the jerk, Kelly said “ehhh every now and again.”  John said “what a dick he turned out to be?” 
“Why because he moved to DC for his career,” Kelly said with sarcasm. 
Kelly continued, “he did not mean to hurt me, I hate it, I always will but I know he did not intentionally hurt me.”
“You are too nice.”
 “Now I say that to you but trust me I am not as easy on him,” she said with a chuckle.

 Kelly wondered if she would hear from him, maybe if she called him the she could better control the conversation, she did want to talk to him it had been nearly a month.  She had to work up the nerve.  Kelly wondered what they would have done for Christmas.  She wondered what she would have bought him for Christmas.  Lindsay and her fiancé had just bought a house and although she did not live there yet she had a nice Christmas Eve party, Kelly went there and to a few other places. 
When Kelly got home to her Moms, she thought she would call Alex before it got super late.  It was about there so it would be a little earlier there.  Alex ould be out for all she knew and that would make the conversation real short.  Kelly curled up on the couch and called him.  He was sitting in the kitchen with his family; his grandmother was there they had just gotten back from mass.  His brother was telling stories of his adventures when his phone rang, he saw it was her and excused himself.  
Alex answered, “hey stranger”
 “Same to you  Merry Christmas.” 
“Wow it’s great to hear from you.” 
“We have not talked in a while so I figured I would touch base and see how you are.”
  “Same old, home for the holiday’s mom is trying to make me fat.”
“I think you will be fine.”
“They they send their best, they were tickled you sent them a card. How is your family?”
“They are good.”  Then when on to say that she had just come from Lindsay and her fiancé’s new house and how nice it was.  She said the girls were over the top for santa and she was excited to see them rip through the gifts in the morning. 
He told her Mike and Amy were just starting to talk kids and how he actually hoped they would do it soon.  Kelly squealed and said “oh your Mom will make a great grandma.”  It got quiet, Alex “said are you there?”
 “Yeah I am here.”
Alex hesitated then said, “I am trying real hard Kelly I would love to say a lot but I refuse to upset you.”
“Thanks Alex.  Oh  I could say a lot to but what good would that do.  It’s weird right when I think I can let go, I realize I don’t want to but I have to.”
“You never have to, there will always be room in my life for you and that could be many different capacities.”
“I hope we are always friends.”
“I guess it’s probably selfish of me to ask for more. “  She needed to switch it up this was getting too serious.  She asked when he was going back and he said in a few days, that he was going to stay but he was invited to a new year’s party and thought he needed to attempt to meet people.  He told her it was very hard to meet people.  Kelly said, “tell me about it, you did not know because you were in school but this is a tough social age, people are starting to get set in their ways.”
“Are you still planning on staying in San Fran?”
“I am about 99% sure that I will.  Everyone back here has a live, and I am starting to think that my life is out there.”
“Sounds like you know what you want.”
 “Well that is a stretch but maybe.” 
They talked for about ½ an hour and then Kelly said, “well, I better let you go.”
 “Oh Kelly I could talk to you forever it is so nice to hear your voice.”  She said the same to him. 
Alex said “before you go, please know I am not trying to upset you but I want you to  know I love you and I am always here.”
  “Thanks that means a lot and I am sure you know I love you.”
 “I hoped.”
 She actually said goodnight.  When he got off he had a tear in his eye but he felt like he had gotten a Christmas gift.  Alex went back out to say goodnight with that he thought he should head to bed.  His brother said, “who was that?”   Alex replied, “Kelly.  She sends her best and with that I am off to bed. “ They all looked at each other and smiled. 
Kelly was back in San Francisco a week later, working hard and trying to run off the ridiculous amount of sweets she had consumed over the holidays. Her boss was in town and she was happy to present to him a merger plan that should be very prosperous.  Steve was impressed, very impressed; he was taking back to New York for final approval by the board and then came the part she did not like, implementing it.  She was proud of herself though; there were quite a few obstacles in this one.  He took her out for a nice dinner and played  catch up on her life.  He asked who the new guy was and she told him she was dating this sports agent but it did not work, bad timing.  Steve said, “it’s always something with you.”
“What at do you mean?’
 “Kelly you are tough, you want things to be like your mergers flawless.  You find something wrong with everyone, I hate to break it to you but none of us are flawless, not even you.”
Kelly said, “I am not over Alex, I know that.  That is why it did not work with the last guy.”
“Remind me Kelly why did it not work with Alex?”did
“Well something was not there, something was just missing.  He did not trust me enough”
“So then why are you not “over” him?”
“Steve, I thought you were happy with me and this was a celebratory dinner.”
“When we touch a cord she changes the subject,” he said with a smirk.
 ‘You can’t fool me Kelly, you are like a daughter to me and you are amazing in board room but awful with your love life.  You need to let loose and take a risk, so he did not tell you about a job, he told you he would stay right?”
“But he should stay because he wanted to know because I want him to.”
 Steve looked at her and said, “this is a 30 year old male you are talking about, they are not thinking like that and trust me he would not offer to stay if he did not want to.  You proposed a lot of risk today with your proposal that is why it is so good, try using some of that in your life.”
Kelly sat back and twirled her hair and then said, “thanks, I needed that,”
“I know you did.” 
“So I want to stay in San Francisco.”
“I knew if we gave it enough time, you would stay.  Good Kelly I need you here, you do your best work here.”  He shook his head with confidence and said, “well, start looking for a place because once this proposal goes through and you get phase one implemented, you will be out of your little pent house.
Kelly laughed and said, “the deal breaker is Kristy, I want to keep her.”
Steve shook his head and said, “done.”
They negotiated a few other details and Steve ordered them another drink and they toasted Kelly finally making a decision. 
Kelly went home in such a good mood and realized she was alone she wanted to call Alex but she knew better, was her boss right, she pushed Alex away.  Kelly however was excited to tell Kristy she was staying and that she Kristy was staying with her.  She got online and looked to see if Alex was on, he wasn’t, she wondered what he was doing.  She got the idea to write something on his page, she wrote, “hey stranger” and then erased it.  She thought she was pretty pathetic.  Her birthday was in a couple weeks and that really did not excite her. 
The next morning while getting ready, Kelly noticed her one breast did not look quite right, she had implants so she thought you have to be kidding me, the last thing Kelly wanted to do was have to have a revision.  She went to work, shared the good news with Kristy and took the rest of the day off; she made an appointment with a realtor and started to look at places to live.  Kelly also called a realtor in Cleveland and put her town house on the market.  She put a post on facebook that said she was selling the townhouse if anyone was looking.  She was pretty excited. 
Alex was busy working on a case advocating for an autistic students right to be in the classroom.  That is the kind of thing he wanted to do, he was enjoying it.  He really did not like DC but he figured you do what you have to do.  He was counting the days till spring.  When Alex saw that Kelly was selling her townhouse he knew she would be staying in San Francisco for sure.  He still was surprised; Alex thought for sure she was headed home.  It was almost disappointing as if he knew for sure she was going to stay in San Francisco, would he have left?  
Kelly had put her birthday in his phone while they were dating so he knew it was coming.  He did not know what he should do if anything.  He got a card and decided to have flowers sent to her, then he thought better yet I will have a dessert sent to her.  He needed some help facilitating it so he called Kristy.  Kristy was very happy to hear from him, she said did you hear Kelly is staying and he said I came to that conclusion she told him how excited everyone was.  Alex said, “is she around?”
 “No she is actually out with a realtor.”
“She does not waste time does she?”
 “Oh you know Kelly always on the move, on to the next thing.”
He laughed.
Kristy said, “why don’t you call her cell?”
“No I actually need your help.”
“What can I do for you?
Alex went on to say that he hoped she could order a large cake or pastry for Kelly from her favorite local bakery and have it delivered on her birthday from him.  He gave her his credit card information.   Kristy was thrilled to help out.  They chatted a bit more and hung up. 

Kelly found a few places she liked; she wanted to wait till the town house in Cleveland sold before she bought something new.  Kelly was able to get into a very good plastic surgeon the next week.  She kept busy with planning her official move.   She had dinner with her running friends and she was back in her groove. 
Kelly went to see the surgeon and was shocked by what he said.  Apparently there was a large mass behind her implant that she needed to get biopsied and eventually removed.   He said he did not like how it felt.  Kelly said because she had implants she really never did breast exams.  He said, “well there is still breast tissue there.”  Then  he asked if breast cancer ran in her family and that scared her.  He told her not to worry till she had something to worry about and he referred her to a great oncologist which freaked her out even more.  Kelly left in total shock that was not what she was expecting, she thought she was going to have to have her implant removed, which she wished was the problem now.  She called her Mom in a panic, she offered to come out, and Kelly said, “no let’s wait and get a better picture of what we are looking at.”  Even though all she wanted was for her Mom to come and hug her. 
Kelly was a nervous wreck.  She did not want to tell anyone she hated pity.  She told Kristy, and Kristy did some research on her oncologist, she found out he was very good.  Kristy got her an appointment for the next week, which was impressive.  Kelly tried desperately not to worry.      


  1. Every day I come to this site hopping to find an update from you!!!!! Thank you!!!

  2. I always hate it when you get news that could be life-altering in a bad way. But it does make you stop and consider everything in your life from new and different angles. There is often a way to turn the 'bad' into something better.

    Thanks for the terrific episode. You handled all the transitions superbly.

  3. Kelly.... we are waiting for an update!!! Please!!! :P