In My Arms

By: Taryn Plendl


“That is what the kiss was about—just a show for Kyle.” I tried hard to keep the disappointment out of my voice, but it was impossible, and Talia noticed too.

“Ava, he may have pretended to be your date to get you away from Kyle, but there was absolutely nothing pretend about that kiss.” She fanned her face with her hand. “I almost came right there on the dance floor watching you two.”

I sat up with my mouth hanging open. “Sometimes I really wonder about you. You are so wrong on so many levels!” I stood up and walked to the door trying my best to hide my smile. “I need to get home.” I blew her a kiss.

I could still hear Talia giggling as I closed the front door, shaking my head.



***

I crashed down on my aunt’s sofa and groaned. My feet were killing me!

I’d spent the entire weekend looking at numerous apartments. My aunt had insisted that she didn’t mind me living with her, and we hardly even saw each other anyway because she worked nights, but after two years of living with Kyle, I was actually really excited about having my own place.

Out of the five apartments I had looked at over the last two days, I finally decided on one. It was close to work and Starbucks—in the Center City business district—very important things. It was also beautiful!

The large apartment complex had been completely overhauled and the unit I would be getting had not even been lived in yet! The floors were a gorgeous dark hardwood and the walls were freshly painted a rich crème color. The kitchen was just begging to be used with its ample counter space, granite and top of the line appliances. I had half a mind to take some cooking classes just so I could do it justice.

It was going to set me back a little more than I had planned, but I could afford it, and I wanted it. It was time to think about my wants and needs for a change.

Next weekend was moving day. I should let Talia know that she is helping me. Most importantly, I should probably let her know so she could tone down the hangover. She wouldn’t be any help if she was walking around like she was ready to shatter at any moment.

I looked around, taking in my surroundings. I really didn’t have much to move anyway. After I caught Kyle in the disgusting act, the thought of bringing any of the furniture with me made me sick. Who knows what and who had been on it? Gross! Nope, I would make a fresh start. That meant I needed to go do some serious shopping this week. I guess I would have to plan it for after work.

As excited as I was about the new apartment, I was utterly exhausted. If I was going to be worth a darn tomorrow, I needed to get some rest.

***

I juggled my coffee and cinnamon raisin bagel in one hand as I tried to maneuver my way through the glass door of the high rise office building.

The hustle and bustle of the city in the morning was something that never got old. I loved the energy of the people, if only someone would slow down enough to hold the door for me. Good thing for ample hips!

I managed to make it to the elevator with only one coffee mishap. Hopefully I still had some of those little Shout wipes in my desk still. The elevator doors finally opened to the fifteenth floor and I fought my way to the front to exit.

Monday mornings were always a bit crazy. They began with the usual morning meeting with the staff on the advertising floor. With so many new accounts coming in, I was hoping to head one of the projects for once. I had worked in the advertising field for almost four years. I had to be tough and tenacious. Driven. Focused. That probably had something to do with the demise of my relationship with Kyle. Somewhere along the line my love life had taken the back burner, not to mention that Kyle was a complete ass to me. I see that now more than ever.

“Good morning Ava.” Chelsea, the cute red head receptionist greeted me.

“Good morning Chelsea. How was your weekend?” I had always gotten along great with the young woman. She was pleasant to a fault and hardly ever riled, which wasn’t easy in this man driven office.

“Uneventful.” She shrugged. “The meeting is in ten minutes in the board room.” She handed me a folder and excused herself when the phone rang.

I hurried down the hallway to my small office and tossed my purse in the desk drawer. I searched for a Shout wipe and went to work on the coffee stain on my chest. Great! It looks like I’m lactating! When it was as good as it was going to get, I tossed it into the garbage pulled my jacket tighter around me and logged into my computer to check some final accounts before the meeting.

My office was small and was actually supposed to be shared, but I had been there alone for the last four months after the other creative director left. I didn’t mind having it to myself. It was a nice break to be able to work in quiet.

I grabbed my folders and iPad for notes, smoothed my hair and walked into the hallway.

“Good morning Ava.” Shit! I tried not to groan. Josh was one of the copy editors for the advertising firm. He was nice, but was always a tad too friendly and seemed to always be encroaching on my personal space. I mean seriously, back the hell up! “Morning Josh.” I put on my best smile and then realized it might have been too much when I saw the way Josh seemed to be encouraged by it. Down boy!