Mona woke early the next morning. She stretched her arms out and her eyelids fluttered open. Then she realized, she was in Nick’s room, in Nick’s bed. She remembered all that had happened last night. She thought of her friends and it pained her, what assholes they had been. Why would you drop out of a medical school to waste your life away partying in Miami? It just didn’t make sense. She had never approved of their partying anyway. She rolled over onto her stomach and smelled Nick’s cologne on his pillow. She sighed because it smelled so manly and sexy. She was wearing one of his shirts that she took out of his closet. Mona figured she would have to go back to her friends place before they left so she could get all of her clothes and belongings.
She sat up in the bed and heard snoring coming from the living room. She smiled and thought Nick was probably still asleep. She slid her jeans on and went into the bathroom and freshened up. There wasn’t much to use since it was obvious no females lived here. She washed her face with water, and combed through her hair with her fingers. She walked into the living room to see Nick sprawled on the couch fast asleep. He was laying on his stomach, and the blanket only went up to his waist. His face was turned to the side, and his bare arm was positioned under the pillow. She noticed the arch of his bare back, and gulped when she stared at the muscles in his arms. She couldn’t help but watch his steady breathing, and was mesmerized by watching his body inhale and exhale so peacefully. He looked so sexy in that position and she felt her mouth water. Elvis let out a whimper and she snapped back into reality, not realizing how long she had been staring at him. Nick sighed and rolled over, the sunlight pouring through the window and glowing on his bare chest. She wanted to be in his arms, or run her fingers across his abs but she didn’t want to wake him because he looked so beautiful while he was asleep.
After a few more minutes, Nick breathed in deeply, and his eyes fluttered open. Mona tried to look as if she was busy with Elvis and avoided his eyes. “Good morning” he said, sitting up, his curls pushed in all different directions. She adored the crooked smile he had when he looked at her. ”Good morning” she said and smiled as well. Nick realized he only had boxers on and was suddenly self conscious. He tried to think of something to say.
“So, are you hungry?” he asked.
“Yeah, a little.” she said and made her way to the kitchen. Perfect, Nick thought, and as she passed him he grabbed his jeans and slid them up his legs before she could see. Then he walked into the kitchen.
“We have plenty to chose from haha. We have waffles, pancakes, eggs, oatmeal.. help yourself.” He said and smiled, opening the fridge. Mona watched him look through the fridge, taking in his bare chest again and trying to fight the urge of throwing him on the table and having her way with him.
“Anything sounds great.” she said and he closed the fridge door.
“Alright, I will make us pancakes then” he said, pulling out the batter and bowl.
“So, Nick, you never told me what you are majoring in?” she asked, sweetly.
“Well, I am studying music production and technology.” he said happily, as he stirred the batter quickly. She watched his muscles flexing as he whisked the batter.
“Wow, so you are a musician?” she asked.
“Well, that’s my dream, but for the time being I work part time at a recording studio. It’s not what you think though, I’m just an intern so I don’t get to be involved in producing anything.. but it’s a start” he said.
“That’s amazing. I’m guessing you write music or play an instrument?”
“Of course” he said, smiling and pouring the batter into the pan. “I’ve been writing songs since I was a kid, and I play guitar, piano, and drums.” he said, showing off a little.
“Wow! That’s so awesome..” she said, imagining him strumming the chords on a guitar or playing piano passionately. “You will definitely have to show me sometime” she said and he smiled.
“I will” he said and he flipped the pancakes. “So do you have a job? Or do you just go to school currently?”
“Well, I had a job working with my friend who kicked me out, so I can guarentee that that job is probably gone along with everything else.” she said, sadly.
“Wow, that sucks. What did you do for work?” he asked.
“Well, the business was owned by her Dad and that’s how we both got the job. We were office assistants at the local Lens Crafters. It was great for me to work around eye doctors and get to see patients who would get their eyes dilated.. just the whole process was fascinating,” she said, lost in thought. He watched her as she talked and she seemed to have really loved the job. “But you know, since her Dad owned it, I lost the job cause she hates me now and it’s all so ridiculous.”
“Well, I’m sorry to hear that” he said and slid her plate across the table. She dug into the side of the pancake and chewed slowly on it.
“But don’t worry, I’m gonna look for a new job and I can help pay rent in no time.” she said and he stopped her.
“No, don’t worry about it, it’s fine. I make enough money to keep this place for both of us.” he said and she looked at him in disbelief.
“Nick, I’m not just gonna live here while you pay for rent every month.. and you are feeding me, and letting me wear your clothes? What did I do to deserve all this anyway? What’s the catch?” she said, confused.
“Mona, there is no catch… I just care a lot about you. I’m not sure why, but you don’t need a job.” he said, as he ate.
She looked at him trying to figure out why he was so nice. “So you get paid a lot at this recording studio as an intern I’m guessing?”
“Well, I have 2 part time jobs. One at the studio, the other as a waiter, but it’s only 3 days a week.” he said and continued to chew on his food.
“What? Come on, you have two jobs and are working really hard to keep this place going and I’m just supposed to sit back and watch you? I want to help, Nick,” she said and he studied the serious features on her face.
“But that’s why I have 2 jobs, so you wouldn’t need one haha” he said. “I don’t wanna discuss this anymore, I’m paying rent, and you are not,” he said and she gave him big puppy dog eyes. “Don’t you dare look at me like that,” he said sarcastically and they both laughed.
“So, Nick where are you from anyway? I never got the whole background story..,” she said, her eyes full of wonder.
“That’s cause my background story isn’t very interesting. I was born in Dallas, Texas. I lived there my entire life, and then I decided to move to New York when I was 18. Besides, my dream college was up this way so it all worked out..,” he said carefully.
“M-hmm,” she said licking syrup off of her finger.
“Mona, you don’t know me at all,” he said and looked at her. For a moment, she felt afraid. The tone in his voice made it seem as if she made a bad decision moving in so quickly. But then, his face grew gentle and she could feel her stomach un-clench. “I don’t mean for that to scare you but, it’s true.”
“Then I’ll get to know you,” she said. “But first I am going to pick up all my belongings from my friend’s place before they actually leave. I don’t wanna have to buy new clothes,” she said with a laugh. She picked up her purse she had brought.
“I can come with you, if you’d like,” he offered but she put her hands up.
“Nick, please, you’ve already done so much for me. I can do this by myself,” she said and opened the front door.
“I will be back in a few hours,” she said and shut the door.
Nick laid on the couch, and took a long, deep breath. He didn’t have work til later that night so he had the day to himself. What to do?, he thought.
Mona knocked on the front door of her friend’s place. She didn’t even want to see them right now but she had to do this before they left. Her friend, Rebecca swung open the door and when she saw Mona, she immediately started closing it again. “Wait!” Mona said and threw her body against the door. “I just need to pick up my stuff, let me in!”
“Why should I?” Rebecca said, but then the fighting stopped and Mona’s friend Katie pulled open the door.
Mona stopped and straightened her shirt, “Thank you.”
“What do you want Mona?” Katie asked, bitterly.
“I’m just here to pick up my stuff.” Mona said, pushing past them to walk into the house. “I don’t know what I did to make you guys hate me so much, but whatever it is I’m sorry!” she said and looked around the tiny condo. “Where is my stuff?”
“Yeah, about that..” Katie said and looked at Rebecca.
“We threw it out the window last night,” Rebecca said and Mona’s jaw dropped.
“You threw all my stuff out? My clothes, my books, my CD’s? Are you crazy?” she asked, bewildered.
“Well there was no use in keeping it, we thought we got rid of you for good,” Rebecca said and laughed to herself.
Mona fought tears in her eyes. Part of her wanted to punch them in the face, and yet at the same time she felt like sitting down and sobbing. “These past few days have already been hard enough, and now you guys are just making everything worse! Because of you I have nothing other than the clothes on my back and I am living with a man I don’t know!” she said and felt a tear stream down. “I am just stressed out and tired of dealing with your shit, ughh,” she said and stormed out.
She walked down to the coffee shop, and sat at the same chair she did as the night before. The previous night when she met Nick, and she felt so broken. She felt that same emptiness inside of her, like everyone she trusted had suddenly abandoned her. She knew she needed to get a job and despite Nick’s generous offer, she would find a way to help pay. So she gathered her self, wiping the tears from her eyes, inhaling deeply, and walked out of the cafe. Mona started to search the city for job offers.
After Mona left, Nick fell back asleep. He had been laying on the couch, trying to find something to watch on TV, but nothing interesting appeared, so his mind drifted off into imaginative dreams. He found himself dreaming about Mona. They were in his bedroom, hips pressing against one another, and his mouth was on her neck. He felt his hips stirring as he slept and the dream became more and more vivid. She was moaning his name, her hot breath blowing on his ears, sending tingles up and down his body. Suddenly he woke, confused and aroused. ”Shit”, he muttered under his breath as he sadly realized it was all a dream.
He knew he liked Mona. How couldn’t he? She was a beautiful young woman with hopes and goals in life, which is everything he ever wanted. Not to mention her body. It was slim, and curvy in all the right places and her chest was naturally large, and he found his eyes always wandering to her breasts. But it was something about her innocence that attracted him the most. The way she acted as if she didn’t even know how beautiful she really was.
Nick grazed his hand over his firm dick and stroked it once, letting out a long moan. Then, suddenly there was a knock on the door. ”Fuck”, Nick cursed under his breath, and pulled himself off the couch to look through the peep hole. It was Joe, his older brother. Nick turned, wondering what he should do. He didn’t want to answer the door with a full blown boner. His brothers made fun of him for the awkward situations he would put himself in, like this one. “Just a minute”, Nick said and tried his best to calm himself down and get his mind off of Mona. Once he felt himself relax a little, he swung open the door, and Joe walked in, “what took you so long bro?”
“I’m sorry”, Nick said. “I had.. I was.. I had a problem. Anyway, what’s up?”
“Not much, I just wanted to stop by. Savannah is getting her morning coffee with her friends and I didn’t have anything else better to do than come see you.” Joe said.
“Wow, I’m touched,” Nick said, sarcastically.
“Whoa, hold up…” Joe said, and pointed at Nick’s crotch. “What’s going on there?”
Nick blushed and threw his pillow at Joe. “What do you think asshole?”
“Who is she?” Joe asked and smiled, suddenly very interested.
“You assume its a girl? For all you know I could’ve been watching porn, or there might have been a hot weather girl or something..” Nick said.
“Yeah, sure, who is it and why haven’t I met her yet?” Joe asked, eager to know.
“I met her last night..” Nick said, thinking of the tears streaming down Mona’s cheeks.
“Whoa! Nick got laid??? Damn, I didn’t think you were that type to have one night stands but -” Joe said and Nick cut him off.
“No, it wasn’t even like that okay? She just needed somewhere to stay and I happened to be in the right place at the right time..” Nick said.
“Damn, you got lucky last night didn’t you?” Joe asked, and Nick was starting to get annoyed.
“No, Joe. We didn’t have sex. It’s not what you think…” He said, looking away from his eyes. “Her friends kicked her out, and she would’ve slept on the street last night, but there was no way in hell I would’ve let that happen. She’s beautiful, like a rose among weeds, and I couldn’t bare to see her sad..”
“A rose among weeds? Who are you? Nicholas Sparks?” Joe asked, and Nick rolled hs eyes. “Wait, so you just let a stranger into your apartment to stay the night? Are you fucking crazy?”
“Dude, I’m not crazy, I was willing to help a beautiful young woman who was in serious need of help..” Nick said.
“I bet she’s hot, right? You wouldn’t do this for just anyone, she must be seriously attractive.. right?” Joe asked, a cocky smile on his face like he knew he was right.
“She’s sexy as hell, if you must know.” Nick said, glaring at him. “But that’s not important, I’m just glad I could help her out.”
“Yeah right dude, you only helped her out in hopes you would get laid in return.” Joe said, laughing. “And she didn’t even return the favor, she just left?”
“I did not do it because of that Joe. Some of us aren’t sluts, and we actually have morals.” He said, his eyes narrowing.
“Some of us aren’t sluts? Haha, bitch tell that to your boner that you still haven’t fixed.” Joe said and laughed.
“Fucking douche” Nick said, grabbing another cushion from the couch and throwing it at Joe. Nick got up from the couch, and made his way to his bedroom. “I’ll be right back.”
Joe rolled over in laughter. “What a loser” he said as he grabbed the remote and turned on the tv, watching a cooking show. He got himself a glass of water and sat back down. As he watched the shows, all he could think was, I could do that. That’s easy. Why don’t you try cooking something that takes real skill? He sat there, mesmerized by the television when suddenly a beautiful woman appeared in the doorway. She had long, spirals of dark brown hair, and long tanned legs, with pointy black heels on her feet. Joe licked his lips at the way her dress was tight around her waist, and he didn’t realize he was staring until she smiled at him and asked, “Is Nick here?”
As he went to respond, he felt his mouth go dry and no words were coming out. He went to stand up, and knocked the glass of water off the table and onto his lap. “Shit” he said under his breath, and the water seeped into his pants, ice cold. He tried to make it seem as if it wasn’t a big deal and he smiled at her, “yes he is in the bathroom” he said. Is this the girl Nick was talking about? Holy shit. He didn’t think his brother was capable of bringing home a girl that attractive.
Nick walked out of the bathroom, and was putting a shirt on over his head as he walked into the kitchen. “You know Joe, if you took one look at Mona you would get a boner too —-” He said and stopped after his shirt was over his head and he realized she was standing in the kitchen with Joe. “Hey Mona.. I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were back”, he said, his cheeks flushing red.
Joe bit his lip, trying not to laugh, but failing, he burst into laughter. Mona smiled and said, “Yeah, my friends are such assholes, they threw all my stuff out last night..”
“That’s terrible” Nick said and pulled up a stool, sitting on the opposite side of the counter as her and Joe.
“Friends?” Joe asked. “Are they as attractive as you are?” he asked and winked at her.
Nick rolled his eyes. “Joe, you are married, back off.” He said and turned his attention back to Mona, who seemed flattered. “I can put money aside to help you get more things you need.”
“Nick, don’t be ridiculous. You are too sweet really. But not to worry, I’m looking for part time jobs as we speak. I picked up a bunch of applications on my way back here that I plan on filling out tonight and sending out. Hopefully I can get a job by the end of the week, if I’m lucky” she said and smiled. “But I appreciate the offer”
“Alright, but I’m still gonna be doing everything I can” Nick said and smiled back at her.
“Just so he can bone you” Joe coughed under his breath.
“Okay, it’s time for you to leave” Nick said and grabbed Joe by the back of the neck, pulling him to the door. “Leave asshole” he said, shoving his chest.
“You better fuck her.. before I do.” Joe said and smiled.
“I’ll tell your wife you said that, okay bye!” Nick said and shut the door in his face.
“Wow,” Mona said and laughed.
‘I am so sooo sorry about that. I have no intentions of doing that, he’s just - ” Nick said, but she cut him off.
“Oh you don’t?” she asked, her eyes lighting up “That’s too bad, I was planning on tapping that tonight”, she said, smiling and letting her eyes roam his body, and he stopped in his tracks. His mouth was dry and he looked at her, raising his eyebrows. “I’m totally kidding, Nick!” she smiled and he cleared his throat.
“Right, I knew that.” He said and breathed in deeply, rubbing his hand on his chest.
“But your seductive eyes are really cute,” she said and smiled.
He flinched at the word ‘cute’. He didn’t like to associate the word cute with things, when he was trying to be sexy. Sexy and cute were two completely different things. Cute was something you might use to describe a young child, or a pet. But sexy was only something you would see in a person you are physically attracted to. Was she not physically attracted to him? He faked a smile, “Thanks, your seductive eyes are sexy.. and really believable.”, he laughed.
“Maybe you’ll get to see them again when you get home from work tonight.” Mona said, and smiled, walking into the next room. Nick felt a shot of electricity run down his spine. This girl was going to drive him crazy.
The alarm clock blared loudly into Nick’s ear and he woke suddenly on an early Monday morning. He sighed and gently rubbed his eyes. Last night had been a late one, up doing his homework until the early hours of the morning. He was attending a local university, majoring in music production and technology and his dream was to be a musician. But here at 20 years old, he lived in a small apartment that he could hardly afford in New York City, and had never shown the world his talents and abilities. He’d never been much of a show off, but he had confidence in his voice and his passion for music. He’d taught himself guitar at a young age, and piano came naturally to him. Nick also learned drums and found it an amazing way to vent out all of his frustrations.
He rose out of bed and lazily opened the closet, putting on a long sleeved shirt and his pea coat. The pea coat kept him warm through these cold months, but every now and then, the sun would peek through the clouds and the air would turn warm. Today was not one of those days, though. He peered through the window shades and saw the rain coming down, quick and hard. He grabbed his school bag and quickly headed for the door because he didn’t want to be late for his classes.
As he arrived on campus, he saw many couples holding hands and kissing passionately and he rolled his eyes. Sure, he had many girlfriends in his lifetime, but he had never found ‘the one’. He wanted nothing more than to fall in love, and everytime he saw the couples that desire would sting him like a needle once more. He had two serious girlfriends before, and they lasted a long time. But he had his fair share of breaking hearts and being broken hearted. He fell head over heels in love when he was only 13. People assumed it was puppy love, but he felt differently, and the relationship lasted for 2 years. It was great while it lasted, but their love faded over the years as they constantly were fighting and he could see her changing in front of his eyes, so that December he ended the relationship. He had never seen her so mad, and he was mad at himself for some time too, but he got over it eventually and allowed himself to forget and move on.
That’s when he met Selena, a young, free-spirited, beautiful girl who was 16 years old at the time, as was he. They spent each day together over the summers they shared together and he was her first love. He felt so free with her and he could see himself spending the rest of his life making her happy. One stormy night when they were 17 years old, he made love to her in the old family barn, as the thunder clashed among them. The world felt just right, and everything was perfect. Then, a few months later, she met someone else. He could feel the distance growing between them, and she would make up excuses not to see him anymore. It was like watching a rose slowly dying and not being able to do anything about it. She ended up breaking his heart, and ran away with the man she met. He felt haunted, living in Texas, driving past the barn, and seeing new people living in her old house. He couldn’t let go, at least not while he was still there. So, he decided when he was 18, to leave Texas and move to New York, and that is exactly what he did. His parents lived in Texas, and so did his brother Joe, and his wife Savannah. His other brother Kevin, lived in New Jersey with his wife Danielle, and he would visit them occasionally since they lived so close. Even though both of his brothers found happiness, he still wondered if he would ever be as hapy as they seemed to be. They constantly reminded him “it takes time”, or “when you meet her, you will know”, but what was that supposed to mean anyway? He had thought Selena was the one for a good amount of time and it took him years to move on. Every now and then he questioned whether he really had moved on completely or not. He hadn’t had a girlfriend ever since, and he thought about her more than he should. Where was she now? How was she doing? Was she still with that guy? He hadn’t spoken with her in over 3 years. He wondered if the saying ‘time heals all wounds’ was true.
He opened the door to his first class, and held it open for a pretty brunette who was wlaking behind him. “Thank you” she said flashing him a smile and he nodded. Nick took a seat in the back, and opened the text book in front of him. His first class was the study of copyright laws. He glanced at the clock, this class would last for 2 hours, then he would have his next class, music production, and that would go for another 2 hours. Luckily, he only had classes 3 days a week. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. He had two jobs in order to pay rent. Those two jobs including a part time job at the recoding studio he dreamed of working at, and a waiter for a local 5 star restaurant. He had to wear formal attire for that job, which he didn’t mind, but he hated the high class people who came to the restaurant. They all acted so snobby and were rude to him and the other waiters.
While he was attending the university, working part time at the studio, and working part time as a waiter, his schedule was crammed and he rarely had time to himself. He went to the university 3 days a week, then as soon as he got out of there, usually around 3pm, he would head straight to the studio and work as an assisstant to the music producers. Then, on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights he worked extra shifts at the restaurant because he needed the extra money. Living in New York didn’t come cheap. But during his free time, he did enjoy walking his dog Elvis, to the local dog parks and playing guitar and writing music.
People inspired him, in general. He was obsessed with life stories and it was like a big, fun mystery to him. He went people watching as often as he could, and tried to guess the different challenges that person might have faced in their life. What if that person survived cancer? Survived a tragic car accident? Was getting married soon? Was cheating on their partner? It was questions like these he pondered at the people he passed walking down the city’s streets. He was curious, and even though he might not ever know what these people’s lifes were really like, he was still always fascinated. That’s what inspired him most when he was writing songs.
His classes went by quickly, as usual and he made his way down to the recording studio at 3:30 in the afteroon. He wasn’t sure how he got the job at the studio, and he really didn’t do much while he worked there. His job wasn’t anything he dreamed it to be. Nick met the owner of the studio, Amanda at a local cafe after he had moved to New York. They chatted for a bit and he said he was majoring in music production and technology and was looking for a job and she just so happened to be opening a new studio. It was all luck that he got the job. But even still, he wasn’t doing anything involved with music while he worked there. He was only considered an intern, so they never allowed him to touch the stereos or control boards. His job is to update the record labels Facebook and Twitter pages, promote the label by creating flyers and posters that could be put up all around New York, and to check emails about events the label was involved in.
When the place was first bought out by Amanda, his first task was to help her paint the walls and set up the equiptment. It took a day or two and he was paid by the hour, so he didn’t mind it taking so long. He learned a lot about construction, like how to tile a floor, the correct way to apply paint to walls, and install shelves.
He walked into the studio and saw Amanda, sitting in her chair hunched over the control boards and computers, as usual. She glanced at Nick as he walked in, “Hey Nick” she said and smiled. She was a pretty woman, he woudl admit, but she was near thirty and too old for his taste. Ten years was a big age difference. She was always happy, which created a positive atmosphere everytime he came to work and he admired that about her. She had never been married, he assumed this because she didn’t wear any ring on her finger and he never saw any guys coming in here that were affectionate toward her. But that was all he really knew about her, and he was okay with that.
“Hello, hello” Nick said as he set down his school bag and textbooks on the bench.
“It sure is pouring out there today!” Amanda said as she was absorbed in the computer screen.
“It sure is.” Nick said, and shook the rain off his pea coat, and hung it on the coat hanger by the door. He started up the computer he usually worked on and sat down, fixing his curls as he waited for the system to re-boot.
“So how were your classes today?” Amamnda asked, glancing in his direction.
“They were great, as usual.” Nick said glancing back. He liked to imagine Amanda like a ‘mother-away-from-home’ since he rarely saw his parents these days. He made sure to call them every week, but phone calls only helped the sting of lonelieness so much.
“You know, someday, you could own one of these yourself” she said and smiled. ”I believe in you.”
He smiled widely. “That’s the dream.”
The band that was booked for the time finally arrived and came through the doors. “Sorry we were late, there was bad traffic in that rain.”
“I don’t wanna hear excuses, I wanna hear some music.” Amanda said and pointed to the recording booth. The musicians took out their guitars quickly and the drummer went to the drum set already set up in the back.
He spent the rest of the afternoon checking on the Facebook and Twitter, replying to people with questions about how to get booked, and making phone calls to book more bands who needed to get in that week. He sighed and filled in names and phone numbers into the schedule book. It was past 8pm when he realized how hungry he was, and realized he hadn’t eaten since lunch. If you could even consider the granola bar he snacked on in between classes ‘lunch’.
“Go home, Nick” Amanda said. “Call it a night. You need rest, and apparently food.”
He laughed because his stomach was so loud, even she coudl hear it. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I got it from here. See ya on Wednesday kiddo.” Amanda patted his back and he got up to grab his pea coat and made his way out.
When he reached the streets he realized the rain had finally let up, but there was still a harsh, cold moisture floating in the air. He cuffed his hands and blew hot air, rubbing them togeter furiously. All he wanted was to curl up in his warm blankets, his dog Elvis stretched out beside him, and go to sleep. Then he passed a Starbucks, with many people walking in and out. ‘Warm coffee’ he thought to himself, and made his way to the store. He walked inside and the line was long but he waited anyway. His fingers were red and numb so a hot coffee would be perfect.After he ordered, he looked around and there wasn’t one free seat to wait for his drink.
Then, he saw her. A young, beautiful brunette, sitting at a table with her drink clutched tightly in one hand. Her facial expression was worried, and she looked as if she had been crying. There was one empty chair on the opposite side of the table, and even though he didn’t want to bother her, he asked, “Do you mind if I sit here?”
She looked up at him and he noticed how strikingly green her eyes were. “Of course, go ahead.”, she said politely and wiped at her runny nose.
He took his seat, keeping his eyes glued to her the whole time. She was so beautiful, even through the tear stains he could see on her face. He was curious to know why she was crying, but he felt it would be rude to ask. So he just kept still, waiting for his drink, but more interested in her than anything else. They called his name and he went to grab his coffee. As soon as his cold fingertips touched the cup he sighed with relief and took a huge swig. The stinging hot coffee traveled down his throat and into his stomach and he felt warmer instantly. He knew he should get home, and catch up on sleep, it was nearly 9pm already, but he took the seat across from the beautiful, name-less woman he couldn’t help but admire. She looked about his age, and the youth showed in her skin. Beauty marks were spread on her cheeks and a hint of sadness in her eyes. He wanted to wipe the tears that spilled from her cheeks, and hold her in his arms, but he had to stop himself. He wanted to get to know her. He needed to know her.
“I’m Nick” he said, surprising himself, and held out his hand. She grabbed it and shook it.
“I’m Mona”, she said and smiled, and the couldn’t help but smile back. He felt desperate after she let go of his hand. He wanted nothing more than to hold it again. To have her skin touch his.
“That’s a beautiful name.”, he said and sipped his coffee to hide his smile.
“Thank you..” She said and her mind looked like it was wandering. “I’ve always kind of hated it.”
“Why? It’s realy unique and lovely.” He said and studied her body language. She played with her hands as she was talking, like she was afraid to look at him. As if her eyes were going to give away a secret.
“I don’t know.. I was always made fun of because of it.” she said and let out a quiet laugh. She bit her lip, instinctively, and he watched her lips curl slightly upward into a smile.
“Well I don’t see a reason to. Your name is beautiful.” he said, finding his way back to the conversation. “You are beautiful.” he said shyly.
Mona looked at him, her eyes sparkling, “Thank you” she said and her eyes filled with tears again. Oh no, did he say something wrong? “You have no idea how rough of a night it’s been and you are making it much more pleasent.” she said and looked up, making sure the tears didn’t stream down her cheeks once more.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what’s wrong?” He asked, looking at her with a sympathetic expression. She looked down, and her bangs swooped across her left eye. He noticed the casual way she brushed them back, and her face turned serious.
“My friends kicked me out of our apartment. They are dropping out of school, and going to party in Miami, and I can’t afford to pay for the place by myself. I mean, I can hardly pay for the school I’m attending and I am too stubborn to call my parents and ask for money…” she said and he could hear the stress and concern in her voice.
“You can stay with me.” he said suddenly. He didn’t realize he said it until after he did. He didn’t want to freak her out.
“Are you serious?” she said, turning to him in disbelief.
“Well, I sure as hell don’t want you sleeping on the street tonight. I know you don’t know me but, you don’t have to stay forever, just a night until you can figure out what you want to do..?” he asked, his eyes pleading.
She looked deep into them, as if pondering whether or not she could trust him. “You can sleep in my room. there is a pull out couch in front of the tv that I can sleep on.”
“Why would you want to do that for me?” she asked, questioning his actions.
He thought about that. Why was he doing all this for a stranger? He didn’t even know her. “I don’t really know…” he said honestly, but when he locked eyes with her again, he felt happy inside. “Maybe because I want to help someone out, and it physically hurts me to see a beautiful girl like you cry..” he said with all serious-ness.
She couldn’t help but crack a smile. Who was this guy and why was he being so sweet anyway? There had to be a catch right? “Are you sure?” she asked.
“Yes” he said, his brown eyes staring at her as if she was the only person in the room.
“Okay” she said and smiled. What was she thinking? Going to some guy’s apartment that she didn’t know? All she knew was his name? But he seemed so sweet and generous. One night wouldn’t hurt, right? They would even sleep in seperate rooms, so she had nothing to worry about.
Nick smiled widely. “Great, let’s go.” and he held out his hand. She grabbed it and he lifted her from her chair. Again, he smiled at the touch of her hand. They walked out of the Starbucks together, side by side and the sidewalks were covered in small puddles from the rain.
“So what kind of asshole friends would kick you out?” Nick asked, and she laughed a little.
“I don’t know. They weren’t the greatest people. I met them in school and they asked me to be their room mate. Since I had just moved out here and din’t know anyone else, I decided to stay with them… I did consider them my best friends, but I guess they didn’t think the same..” she said, gazing at the different buildings as she talked.
He watched her as they walked, “Wow, what a shame… People like that don’t deserve you anyway.” he said and she smiled. “So where are you originally from?” he asked.
“From the small town of Summerville in South Carolina. I lived out there for 18 years with my parents and siblings until I decided to move to New York for college.” she said and smiled at him.
“Wow, I moved out here when I was 18 for college too.” he said and her eyebrows went up in amazement.
“Where are you from, Nick?” she asked, and he loved the way his name sounded when she said it.
“I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas.” He said. “But I moved here when I was 18 as well. It just seemed like the better way to go.. I had to get out of that town.”
“Yeah I agree.” she said.”That’s weird how we’ve never crossed paths before”
“It is weird… but I’m glad we did now.” He said and smiled sweetly. “So what are you studying at college?”
“I am actually studying to become an optometrist, which deals with the health of eyes, and vision. Basically like your local eye doctor, and my major is biology. They have me drowning in various science classes for the time being.” she said, and he was fascinated.
“Wow, an eye doctor? That’s really cool.” He said. “I bet that school costs a lot of money.”
“Oh yeah, trust me it does. My parents are helping out a lot though.. They know this is my dream andthey are very supportive.” she said and smiled.
“That’s really cool.” he said and thought about how proud her parents must be to think their daughter is making a difference in the world.
They arrived at Nick’s front door, and he pulled out his key. “I wish I would’ve cleaned up a little more. I would’ve if I had known..” he started but she stopped him.
“No, seriously, don’t even worry about it. I’m so thankful you are even letting me stay.” she said and he smiled and unlocked the door. Her eyes scanned over the apartment, and it actually smelled rather pleasent. You would never be able to tell a young man lived here if you closed your eyes. She looked around and saw a large, golden retriever sleeping on the rug. “Aw, you have a dog?” she asked, and walked over to it, petting its head.
“Yeah, don’t say that too loud cause we aren’t allowed to have them live here, but I do anyway haha” he said, smiling and she laughed. “His name is Elvis.”
“Wow, what a cute name.” she said and Elvis was rolling over and playing with her. Usually, Elvis didn’t like company, but with her, he was so calm. He liked to snap at people, or pee on their leg, but with Mona, he seemed to like her. Nick was amazed as he watched them play together.
“Well, this is the bedroom” he said walking to the closed door and opening it. He held it open as she walked in. “It’s nothing special, just a small closet, with a medium sized bed, and a desk haha, but you are welcome to sleep here tonight.” he said and she looked at him.
“This room is very adorable.” she said and looked straight into his eyes, her expression turned serious. He felt a sudden urge to kiss her, to feel her warm mouth on his, but he resisted.
“Thank you” she said, almost in a whisper, and very sincerely.
“You’re welcome” he said, his breath caught in his throat. “The bathroom is right down the hall, if you need to use it. You can use one of my shirts to sleep in, if you want.” he said and pointed toward the closet.
“That’s perfect, thank you so much Nick, really. You are the sweetest guy.” she said, her eyes beaming.
“You’re welcome.” he said, gazing at her beautiful eyes. He couldn’t help it. She said goodnight and closed the door, so he walked over to the couch. Elvis came up to the side of the couch and Nick grabbed Elvis on both sides of his face. “That’s Mona, and she’s really pretty. She’s our new roomate” he said in his talking-to-a-dog voice. Elvis just looked at him with a weird dog like smile on his face.
Nick sighed and pulled off his coat, setting it it on the coat hanger, and turned on the tv. The news came on and there were stories about various crimes committed in New york, weather reports, and things like that. He pulled off his jeans and threw them on the floor lazily. Then he pulled his shirt over his head, and threw it onto the floor beside his jeans. He pulled a blanket over him and the news was boring him so he shut it off.
He laid awake, thinking of Mona and her flawless complexion, her bold, tender eyes, the way her bangs curve her face, and the way she smiled at him. He felt as if he’d been hit by a bus, or struck by lightning, but in a good way. Like nothing else in the world mattered at that moment he met her. He couldn’t wait to discover more about her, and learn about her life and spend time with her. He drifted off into sleep, thinking hundreds of happy thoughts about the girl who could wake the caveman from his slumber.