Most of the time, she didn’t equate lonely with being alone; majority of the days, Val liked it. She preferred being alone because people normally brought baggage with them and she felt it all, leaving feeling heavier.
But today was a bad one. A day where she needed someone to be there; she needed someone to be next to her, no talking, no interaction. Just be there. Just be with her. Cooking alone, eating alone, working alone, sleeping alone…all she felt was alone.
Val thought about calling her dad, her mom had passed three years ago, but he was on a romantic getaway with his new girlfriend and she didn’t want to interrupt—it was no life-and-death matter. Her relationship with her brother hadn’t been the same since the death of their mother, so she didn’t feel like she could call him. The new people she met were more colleagues she hung out after work than friends; she wasn’t ready to open up to them.
And everyone else in her life…Val didn’t want to impose. And phone calls were just a Band-Aid on her bad day. She needed presence. Today, she was in desperate need for someone there. She was tired from starting a new job and a new life; she missed the boring routine she ran away from. Today, the known monotony sounded better than the exciting unknown.
She poured herself a glass of wine and grabbed her current read. Opening the balcony door, the glass slipped from her fingers and she stepped back. “Who are you?”
“Hi, neighbor. I thought I’d come introduce myself.” The stranger stood up and smirked. He was hot, she would give him that. But that’s not the point. Serial killers can be charming too.
“You could’ve used the door.”
“I could. I’m Ian,” he said, smiling.
She couldn’t stop her eyes from roaming his handsome face and his fit body. But he didn’t have to do that; he was well-aware how attractive his new neighbor was. How beautiful her hazel eyes were; how good she looked in her work attire; and how she looked even better in those workout clothes four times a week.
“What are you reading?” he asked, taking the book from her. He surely didn’t consider personal boundaries; no one was allowed to touch her books.
“Just picked it up this morning. I heard it has great reviews.”
Her mouth fell open; it was one of her favorite authors. No work of his sucked. “Not possible.”
“Get me another glass of wine and I’ll tell you why you’re in for a rude awakening.”
He was direct and it was a quality she wasn’t used to. “If I get the wine, what do you bring to the table?”
“My charming looks and amazing viewpoints.”
She chuckled inwardly, not giving him the satisfaction. “Then you take this glass, because I’ll need a bottle.”
Ian laughed. “Sounds great. Everything is better after a bottle of wine.”
I didn’t start writing this with this story in mind but it had a mind of it own. So here we are.
Allow me to kindly remind you to go and buy my damn book. 🙂 Equinox is out and Eclipse is joining it on May 31.