Friday, September 30, 2016

The Emotional Trainwreck

Earlier in the week her sister had stopped by her apartment to give her some food and give her crap about not calling their mom to spend time together.

"The phone works both ways, she hasn't contacted me either."

"She's waiting for you, just have lunch with her or something."

She was already getting a headache just from the conversation.  Her mom always made her feel crappy about all her life choices, and she always felt like shit about herself no matter what.

That's exactly what happened.  She met her mom for breakfast at 10:30, and finally her mother said she should go home and get ready for her date around 3:00 PM.  The time was filled with asking her three times if a divorce was really what she wanted, if she was going to move to another state with Piz when he transferred for his job, and why she was staying in an apartment that was more than some people's mortgages.  It was relentless, it was awful, and she was emotionally drained by the time she was "allowed" to leave.

All she had to do was get dressed when she got a text from Piz asking if he could come up early.  He had said he wasn't feeling well, so he might not make the Improv show but still wanted to do dinner.

She quickly changed, and when she opened the door her face fell.  He looked really sick; she had given him her cold.  Damn her sex drive and thinking that it was allergies instead of the cold it really was.  He was hanging in like a champ, but clearly his sinuses were giving him trouble, and his eyes looked swollen. She asked him if he was really okay to do dinner, and he was determined. "I'll feel better after I eat" he reassured her.

"Okay, but I'm driving."  She said.  It was less than a mile away, but she didn't want to make him walk in his state.

The restaurant was too cold.  She put on the jacket she brought and he rolled down the sleeves on his button up.  He ordered the tomato soup to keep warm, and she ordered the chicken curry so he could try it.  They both had drinks, but he barely had half of his beer.  Knowing how much of a lush he could be, this worried her.  He seemed to be getting worse.

Lately they had been splitting things monetarily, but he paid for the whole meal.  It was a pricey one, and she made sure to thank him.  By the time they got back to her apartment, he was in really bad shape.  She made him sit on the couch while she got him lots of water and some DayQuil Cold and Flu medication.  He said he was cold, and she made him get into bed with her.  Under the covers, he shuddered.  She took his temperature, did the whole Florence Nightingale routine.  Upon his request, she crawled into her bed with him, and cradled his head to her chest.

Eventually his shaking subsided, and she could see that the pressure was finally being released from under his eyes.  "I should probably go." He said, attempting to sit up weakly.  He looked up at her, and said "Maybe another few minutes."

He started kissing her neck, but kept falling back into bed, exhausted.  It was nice to be lusted after that badly, but she felt horrible for getting him sick.

"You are so passionate.  Are you always like this?"  She asked him again.  He nodded.

"How did your ex ever say that you weren't passionate?  Did she grow up inside a romance novel?" She joked.

He got quiet, then said that it was something she said near the end, when they weren't getting along.  It was most likely something she said just to hurt him.

"Oh." She said, thinking about how sad it was that he was in a relationship where they got to the point of saying untrue things just to hurt one another.  Even at the worst part with KSL, it never got to the point where she said anything untrue to him.

He asked what she was thinking, and she told him.  "I understand a little more of where you are coming from regards to us.  I know it's hard to believe me at this moment, but I've never been the untrue person type.  I might not be with people anymore, but that doesn't make them suddenly things they aren't.  My ex is still a good person.  KSL is still a good guy, at his core.  Your positives will always be your positives."

"I've been thinking a lot about what you told me about KSL...about how you felt like you were just a warm body to him.  You know that's not what this is, right?  What we are doing is nothing like that.  At all.  It upsets me so much that someone made you feel like that.  You are amazing.  You should never feel like that."

She wasn't sure how to respond, so she just kissed him.  For some reason, his words hadn't convinced her.  In fact, they had done the opposite of what they intended to do.  She felt a dread.  Then, apropos of nothing, he said that he did sometimes just lose interest and just leave people.  "Not to alarm you or anything."

"Could you drop me off at the Improv show on the way home?  I should still show them some support."  Really she just knew she couldn't be alone after this exchange they had.

When he dropped her off he kissed her, and said "So, when are we meeting up again?  Monday?"

"Let's play it by ear, you are still sick.  I want you to get well.  We will figure it out." She said.

She needed her distance, and knew by Monday he wouldn't be up for meeting.  She needed to buy some time to think.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Aniexty Attacks are Back!

She decided, the next night, to take the bull by the horns.  Afterglowing, and after making sure the other was happy, she saw the look cross his face again.  Where KSL furrowed his brow and got puppy dog eyes, Piz's soft brown eyes almost turned inward as he thought about his struggle.

She was again reminded that this was the first relationship that she'd ever had with an introvert...this must be what it was like to date her.

"I see you worrying about me.  I can see it in your eyes.  Why are you so scared?" She asked him.  Her heart must have stopped waiting for him to answer, she became lightheaded.

"I'm worried about you...hurting you.  I've been hurt before, and I don't want to be the cause of that for anyone else.  I'm....I'm not looking for anything long term right now."  He said, searching her eyes with a look that screamed "understand me!"

"I'm not looking either...but I don't even want to think about that right now.  Where it will go, where we will end up.  I want to enjoy the time we have and figure it out when you leave in March.  When you worry though, I worry."

"I'm sure you will find someone else in a second.  You're cute and you are a phenomenal kisser!" Piz told her.

The comment stung.  She didn't want to find someone else.  She didn't even want to think about it right now.

She took a deep breath, and she talked to him about KSL.  About how it was doomed before it began, and how she emotionally put a lot into it and got hurt.  She told him that she was scared too.  Piz and KSL said similar things that freaked her out.  She started to really think about how similar this situation could be.  Maybe he was saying this because he didn't really care about her that much, this was really just a fling for him.

Maybe he would realize his mistake and bail out tomorrow, or next week.  Leave her now instead of in March.

After she walked him to the elevator and was back in her apartment, she felt a stabbing pain in her back.  It radiated to her chest, and she realized this was a quick, intense panic attack.

It lasted three hours.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

INFJ Night

The BFF couldn't make it to movie night, so instead she came over to AB and PJ's to have pizza and do some INFJ talk.

"How is your heart?" PJ asked her, settling in for a long, intense chat.

"Good...I think it's really good.  He makes me really happy."

PJ looked at her, tilted his head, crossed his arms over his chest, and waited for her to continue.  He knew her so well, knew that there was a small thing that had to be bothering her, weighing on her mind.

"On the surface, everything is fantastic.  We can make out for hours, have amazing conversations.  We are getting along like crazy.  But...he's worried about me.  Worried about hurting me.  Every time we are getting closer, falling...I see it in his eyes.  He's worried...and we don't have time to be worried.  I don't know what to do about it.  I can't just tell him not to, it doesn't work that way."

She continued, "And I can't help but fall for him, he has everything I was lacking in previous relationships.  He's so passionate, he says things, he does things...but I can't help but think that's just the only way he knows how to be in a relationship.  He devours my body because he doesn't know any other way.  I'm sure he'd do that with any chick he was into."

"Or," PJ said, "He could just be doing that because you fit into a Penny sized keyhole in his heart."

She smiled, said maybe, and then sighed.  She was afraid she would never really find out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Champagne Wishes

Her easy Sunday was marred when Goldie asked her to help with a "walk for the cure" style fundraiser that meant leaving the building at 6:45 in the morning.

It was hard getting up that early, and everyone was a little grumpy.  The event was good though, and they got out in time for a champagne brunch that Goldie sprung for.  It was pleasant and she got to give SD a hard time for standing her up all weekend.  She only had two mimosas, but they seemed to hit her a little hard.

She left them to walk the rest of the way home, where Dusky was waiting on her to go to a wine walk.  There was trivia afterwards, and they came in almost last place, but had a good time.  They shopped around a little bit, and had a drink at the wine bar.  She was tired though.  She wasn't drunk or buzzed, just drained.

She and Dusky had decided to start a podcast together, so they went to her house to record it.  She held her own, or so she thought, during the process and then drove him home.

When she got back to her apartment, she could barely walk to the elevators.  She didn't feel well at all, her thighs hurt from too much chair pose in yoga the day before, and she had far too much to drink.

The last time she had champagne she napped for two hours.  That had to be what was making her feel sick.  It was time to give up that brunch life.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Whine Walk

"I'm in your lobby and I'm drunk, come join us on the rest of the wine walk!" MG had called her up, as she said she might, so that she could meet the new boyfriend.

Piz was away for the weekend and her other plans weren't until much later in the evening.  She put on pants and went downstairs.  It was hard being the sober one in a mix full of drunks, but she managed.  MG's friend was there, and the Near-Boyfriend.  They had sex for the first time the night before, she learned through stage whispers while trailing behind the boys on the way to the next stop.

"I really, really like this guy.  Like, a lot" She almost pleaded with her.  "I know you are so quick to judge people, and you are never wrong...what do you think of him?"

"It's been minutes MG, give me like half a conversation with him first.  I can tell he's very chill.  He's not being an asshole."

MG insisted on buying them shots at the next bar, which hilariously came in a syringe penis.  MG was already so drunk that she accidentally moved it out of her mouth and it shot everywhere, getting in her hair and on her shirt.

There was a girl doing free face painting that drew a panda on MG's face, and mermaid scales on hers.  When she looked in the mirror it looked like the shellback that Piz had tattooed on his arm from his days in the Coast Guard.  She texted a photo to him, but he was busy at a music festival and didn't respond.

MG got more and more drunk even though they had slowed down in their drinking.  Except for the penis, she was stone cold sober.  It wasn't really fun, but she talked to MG's friend since it had turned into a bizzare not-double blind date.  The guy was nice enough but kind of a loser, or not really well educated.

They ended up taking a long walk to go get food, and MG fell asleep at the table.  She suddenly realized she had a really long walk home, and checked to see what the price of an uber would be.  She decided to walk the three miles instead of pay the $8 it would have cost, and by the time she got home she was too tired to do anything but lay on the couch in pain.

Her phone dinged, and it was Piz.  Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros had just came off the stage, and he had recorded "Home" for her.  She didn't expect him to do the whole song, and she fell even more for him though he was many many miles away.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Three Little Words

"I was giving him a blow job and he said 'I love you' which I know he didn't mean, because you did the same thing once." She texted KSL.

"I said that???" He responded, clearly in shock.

"Yeah, you did. Nearly made me stop then too, but I decided to just glaze over it so it wasn't this whole big thing. But you did."

"Yeah, guys say things. We're dumb."  He said.

No fucking kidding, she thought to herself.  She had a PTSD type response when Piz had said that to her.  He said it plain as day, "Oh Penny, I love you."  Not even a full beat after, her brain echoed the same cadence and tone...only in KSL's voice. 

She didn't want him to mean it at all.  If he did, then the first time he said it was when she had his dick in her unromantic.  He didn't mean it.  He couldn't.

They had gotten close though.  He would usually come over one night a week, and she only had two condoms left from the box after just a few encounters.  He was insatiable, and she was more than willing to go along with it.  He was...perfect.   Attentive, kind...just everything she was looking for.  Everything she had been lacking with her ex and KSL.  

"I've been thinking about you a lot these last few days" Piz told her.  "Oh yeah?  What about me?"  She responded, head still on his shoulder.

"I don't know...just all about you."  She was happy he didn't see her blush.

But she still saw the worry in his eyes sometimes.  Piz was always worried about hurting her.  "And you aren't afraid of being hurt yourself?" She asked him again one night.

"I mean, I am...I guess it was silly to say that I couldn't be hurt...of course I could be hurt."

"I guess I can't make him not worry...maybe it will come with time" she thought. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Foster Lovers

While enjoying her favorite portable beverage, Piz mentioned that he had been talking to one of her friends that worked in local radio on the dating site before meeting her.  He was never really interested, but wanted to meet a local celebrity.  They never ended up meeting up.

The friend sought her out after seeing an Instagram post of them at the event.

"How did you guys meet?"

"Same way you guys did, on the dating app.  Confidentially, after last night, thank fuck your summer was too busy.  Otherwise it would have been really awkward."

She told her about the awesome sex and the promise to be exclusive until March.

"OMG I'm so fucking HAPPY FOR YOU.  He is sooooooooooooo sweet.  He was really great for my ego but I could tell he wasn't for my heart.  You'll bring him to Improv right?  I'm so excited to finally meet him, but now in a context that feels more right.  You know what I call your situation?  Foster Lovers."

She asked what she meant, and she explained;

"It's this super honest way of saying I know this isn't forever, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm gonna love you like you're mine right now, and hold your heart and help you heal it until It's time to let you go to your forever home."

Except for the forever home part that reminded her too much of dog adoption, she thought the sentiment was right on the money.  Maybe they would make it beyond March...she didn't want to rule that out.  But it was a beautiful sentiment.

She told Piz about it one night over dinner, right after explaining that Dawn was going through a hard time.  He asked to read the text for more clarification, and nodded his head, but when his warm brown eyes met hers, they looked worried.

"Did I just freak you out?  With the whole 'not ready just got out of a divorce' Dawn story and the Foster Lovers?  I'm so sorry!"  She reached across the table and grabbed his hand.  He stroked the top of her hand with his thumb and said "No, not really.  Just a lot to think about."

She realized at that moment he was the first introvert she had been with.  Maybe that was what made him so different.  So intense.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Exclusivity Part 3

"Do you have a condom?" She asked him, knowing that she did but seeing if he had come prepared.

He looked at her, laughed awkwardly, and said no.  "I figured you were on birth control."

"Even if I was, that doesn't protect against STDs!  OMG what is wrong with you?!" She laughed.

He shrugged, shot her his trademark open mouthed smile, and said "What?  I used to be a sailor."

She burst out laughing, and he held her lovingly until she calmed down.  It was a great joke, as he had been in the coast guard for 4 years, but hadn't slept with a single person during active duty.

When she finished laughing, she looked up at him with a smirk and he asked "Do you have a condom?"

"You might have been a sailor, but I was a girl scout.  You are so lucky that I always come prepared."

She had heard of girls that had thrown out perfectly good condoms because they were meant for another man.  She felt that was stupidly wasteful, and pulled out not only the box of condoms with just one missing, but they also tried out the free condom she had in her purse from the center where she took yoga.

The sex was so different from her ex and was romantic and passionate.  He worshiped at the alter of her body, and she was overcome.  Although a little awkward due to the fact that he hated condoms, they had an amazing time.

She woke him with kisses at 4AM, and they were late getting out of the apartment.  They parked about a half mile away and walked into the park.  They snuggled throughout the event, and met up with AB and PJ halfway through the event.  As they were all introverts, it was quiet and reflective.  PJ wanted to snap a photo he was going to turn into a meme, and AB was her usual millennial self.  Near the end they randomly ran into Dusky, and she and AB did an ugly scream and ran over to him.  She was glad some of the main great people in her life had finally met him.  It felt right that they were seeing just each other, and she was head in the clouds happy.

"Isn't Piz cute?" She texted Dusky.  "Cutie Patootie" was his response.

After a short breakfast, they went back to her place for a nap.  Of course more sex happened first, and they collapsed in each other's arms.  She reluctantly got up to go to the bathroom, and when she returned she stifled a laugh.  He was spread eagle across the bed on his back, snoring away.  It was adorable.  She wanted to take a picture, but didn't think that would be nice at all.  She instead took a mental snapshot and crawled up beside him.

Even in sleep, he grabbed for her and snuggled her to his chest.  It felt like home, and she fell asleep almost immediately.  The epic nap was restorative, and the overnight date had been a huge success.

Later, when she asked PJ what he had thought of Piz, he paused to think before responding.

"Whenever I looked over at him, he was looking at you.  I think he's good people."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Exclusivity Part 2

They went for her favorite portable beverage.  It felt a little strange to be at the bar without KSL, but not strange enough for her to stop.  She had never had their signature hamburger, and because it was so big they ended up splitting it as their meal.

Their relationship wasn't brought up, but they did discuss food, religion, Greek myths.  It came up that he actually was talking to the head of the Improv troupe on the dating site for awhile, and she laughed at what a small town it was.  She would have to text her later and thank her for never meeting up with him.

After they were done with their food, He was feeling the drink, and suggested they take the rest of their drinks back to her apartment.

"How are you going to get up at 4AM to do this thing?" He asked her.

"It's literally the only thing that will get me out of bed early.  The only time when watching the sun rise doesn't make me angry that I'm awake.  It's favorite thing." She couldn't help but smile when she talked about it.  Her face felt warm from his gaze.  "What?" She asked.

"My ex," he explained, "She would always sleep in on the weekend.  Like, until around 4 or 5 PM.  I would sit around waiting for her to wake the time she did we didn't have time to go out and do anything.  I missed this event for 3 years."

She let him sit with the weight of that wasted time, and gently took his hand.  It was nice to be with someone who was different than all the past shit they had gone through.

"My idea of sleeping in is like...10AM.  That sounds like heaven, but the sun wakes me at like 8.  I love to sleep in, but 4PM is getting into major depression territory."  He nodded and looked down.  She decided to lighten the mood and said playfully "Am I going to be able to get you to wake up in time?"

He looked into her eyes and smiled, said "I bet you could think of a good way to wake me up."

She felt her heart warm at his glance, and said "I'm sure I'll think of something."

He took her face in his hands, and stated for the millionth time; "You are just so cute!" before kissing her.  Before long they were down to their underwear again, and he confidently grabbed for the fabric.

"Wait!" She exclaimed, "We haven't talked about this with our clothes on and sober yet!"

Piz looked down at her and said "I'm good with it.  I'm ready to do this.  Are you okay?"

She looked into his eyes, and her heart started to pound so loudly she could barely hear.  "I need you to say it."

Though he was drunk, he obliged.  "It's just you and me until March.  Then we'll figure it out from there."

He waited for her, caressing her shoulders.  She caught his eye, then nodded.  She was ready to leap off the cliff.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Exclusivity Part 1

Their date was set up for picking up her favorite portable beverage, eating, and sleeping for a bit before getting up at 4AM for her favorite community event.  She was excited for it, and rounded the corner to pick him since his brother had borrowed his car.

He came out of his house with his dog, and she had a mini-panic attack.  She didn't realize she was going to meet the dog yet, and hadn't mentally prepared.  He handed her a large handful of treats and told her that his dog was known to snap at new humans, so it's better to have a treat.  She treated the dog with care, and the dog seemed to be okay with everything.  He put the dog back in the house, grabbed a coat, and they were on their way.

They got back into her apartment, and she asked if he was hungry right now, or if he wanted to wait to get food and drinks later.  He said he could eat right then, he was fairly hungry.  But then he started to kiss her neck.  Before long they were again just down to their underwear on her bed.  She again had to ask him what he was doing when he tried to get the remainder of her clothing off of her.  He respected her and stopped.

Piz laid down beside her, absently stroking her hair, and she commented on how passionate he was. "Sometimes I wonder if that's just the only way you know how."

He laughed, and said that his ex had said that he was completely lacking in passion, one of her main complaints.  She must have been Cleopatra in a past life or something.  She felt so worshiped by him that she almost didn't trust it, especially considering his reluctance to date exclusively.

As if he was reading her mind, he brought up their developing relationship.  He said he was really afraid of jumping into another serious relationship, he was deathly afraid of hurting her.  "You don't think you'll also be hurt?" She asked softly.  He again said he thought he had been hurt so much that he didn't think he could be anymore.

"So, do you think you are maybe overthinking this?  I mean, we both just got out of relationships where you were the person's everything.  We can be in a relationship without being in a Relationship.  You know?"

He took a deep breath, and said he thought that was true.  He had fallen into a Relationship with his ex pretty quickly, and he thought that might be what went wrong...they hadn't taken the time to get to know each other.

"Yeah....I'm overthinking this.  Let's do it.  I want to do it."  He looked deeply into her eyes, and although she saw his honesty and earnestness in his face, she didn't trust it.  She was so damaged.

"How about we wait until we have all our clothes on before you go making those big decisions?  I don't trust your words with your hands almost down my pants."

He laughed, and they got dressed and went down to get dinner.

Friday, September 16, 2016


"I think KSL really fucked me up."  She told SD one night.

"How so? I mean, I don't doubt it, but you'll need to narrow it down for me.  Did I tell you he's on my team at work now?"

"No!  How is that?  He's loud huh?" She asked SD.

"Yes.  Plus, I just don't want to talk to him."

"Why, because of me?  Should I not have told you about us?  Did I make it weird for you guys?"  She bit her lip out of concern.

"No, he does this to everyone...but I'm especially mad that he did that to you.  I mean, you are the smartest one, but I'm still mad at him for it."

She felt bad she had potentially ruined a friendship over her big mouth and loose morals.  SD assured her that she would hate him anyway, so she proceeded with her story.

"I'm just so afraid to let this guy in.  I feel like as soon as we have sex he's going to freak out about his ex like KSL did, or say that it's not that serious for him.  I don't know, I'm just afraid of getting hurt again.  I mean, KSL didn't break my heart or anything...but I think he fucked me up a little bit.  I'm having trust issues.  Even though this guy is so straightforward and honest...I just like him too much already.  KSL hurt my feelings, but Piz could break my heart."

"He's different.  You know he's different.  He really likes you, you can just tell.  You don't need to be worried.  In the meantime, have fun making out with him and leaving it at that.  He'll come around soon enough.  You at least know he likes you more than KSL did.  He didn't even take you out on dates."

It was really nice being able to be excited about him to everyone.  It was already so different, so much what she deserved.

She might be a little damaged, but she wasn't going to let that stop her from finding happiness in however the situation played out.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Making Time

"Is 9:30 too late to come over?"

Piz was getting out of his class late.  He had all night classes for his masters in finance, and it was a really intense program.  Because she worked a normal 9-5, their schedule during the week was slightly problematic.

"Sure, I'll just grab a quick nap now."

She set her alarm for 10 minutes before his arrival, and fell asleep in her "at home" shirt and no pants.  She awoke to her phone ringing; it was Piz.

" alarm must've been set for AM instead of PM for some stupid reason...are you here?"

"Yeah, I'm downstairs...the doorman wants to talk to you."  Piz handed the phone off to the doorman, who checked to make sure that Piz was expected.  She laughed, thanked him for his concern, and told him it was okay to send him up.

She scrambled to find some pants, and failed because less than a minute later she heard his knock on the door.  She was about to apologize for her being half-dressed, when she saw his face.

"You shaved!"  She put both her hands on either side his face.  "I did it for you...since you got beard rash last time.  I wanted you to be comfortable."  He stared into her eyes and swooped down for a kiss.  She swooned a little.

Before long his hands were everywhere again, but each touch was calculated and loving.  They moved from the couch to the bed quickly.  He tried for her underwear again, and she told him she was starting to read his eyes a little more, and she saw the mischief in them now.  His smile became wider, and she suddenly thought of the adorable child he used to be.

He finally gave up and laid next to her, looking into her eyes and stroking her hair.

"I feel like we are teenagers.  Like, I'm never going to get tired of kissing you.  I feel like I can't hold you tight enough."

She smiled at this and responded "I was just thinking the same thing."

They talked about their weekend plans, and she said that she had a little wrench to throw into the mix.  She wanted to go to her favorite community event, but it involved getting up at 4:00 AM.  She really wanted him to come with her.

"You know, I've lived here 3 years and I've never actually been.  I'd really like to go."  She smiled, admiring how easy it was, and for a moment thought about how hard it was to get her ex to go, and even when it came down to it, he said to go on without him, and she ended up going with her sister.

As she was thinking of this, Piz said "This is so awesome.  My ex, she would sleep all the time.  On the weekends she would sleep until like 4 PM, and I never really got to do anything.  I didn't get to go out and enjoy these kinds of events."

They smiled at each other, discovering they were getting exactly what they wanted.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Netflix and Beard Rash

"Do you want to watch a movie?" Piz asked her.  Their plan of an all day make out session got knocked down considerably when he had unexpected plans at noon and 7:00 PM, but they still had a good chunk of time together. 

They put on a movie and snuggled on the couch for a few minutes, interlacing their hands together and chatting about their day.  She told him that she had hit her head on the car door during her road trip and it had given her a small headache that day.  A few minutes later cuddling gave way to their make out session, eventually getting down to just their jeans on the bed.

He gave her another back massage, kissing all the way down and making her feel like the sexiest woman in the world.  He kept telling her what a great kisser she was, how great it was to just look into her eyes.  "Your eyes are amazing."  Every time she opened her eyes, he was staring into them intently.  His eyes were a warm brown, always searching her own.  She felt naked looking into his eyes, like he could see straight into her psyche.

"Your eyes are always telling me a story in a language I can't understand." She told him.

He took her face in his hands, stroked her cheek, and continued to kiss her.  She felt she would never tire of kissing him.  It never got old, his sweetness and passion.  She was determined not to ruin this night with pressure of being exclusive.  She was just going to enjoy the moment.

But then he brought it up.  He brought up he was scared of hurting her, the way he had been hurt over and over.  All his past relationships had made him afraid of commitment.  "Life is pain," she said.  "Why not bring a little joy into it?" She talked about what Dawn had said about all relationships ending at some point, so why let that end date bother them now?

He talked about his first love, how he thought he was going to spend the rest of his life with her.  She cheated on him.  His ex-wife, he suspected that she cheated.  He had still gotten hurt so many times that it would kill him to do something like that to someone else.  He stated how much it hurt to be in a perfect relationship, then years later have it all fall apart.

"Tis better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all" she quoted.  He smiled at her, and said he'd think about it.  She said "Hey, you might hate me by next week!"  He laughed, said it was doubtful.  He grabbed her by the waist and she stood on her toes to give him a kiss.

"You really are the perfect height.  I can wear heels and you are still taller, and all I have to do is come up on my toes a little to kiss you whenever I want." He smiled, touched her forehead with his own, circled her waist and drew her in for another kiss. 

He was so honest, so loving, so careful.  She was on the edge of the cliff yet again, waiting to see if he would jump with her...even for a short time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Road Trip

She and Dawn decided a day trip was in order to shake off the emotions from their life.  Dawn had a rough week at work and her niece was very sick.  She had gone on a marathon day of dates that had all ended badly.

They had an all day conversation about work, boys, all the relationships, the friendships.  One of Dawn's favorite books was How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People).  In the book it describes how Buddhism looks at romance and relationships.  Basically, Dawn explained, the philosophy was that everything ends.  Whether in death or in a broken heart in two weeks, everything ends. Does that mean that you never start it at all?

Not for her.

While she was talking to Dawn, birthdays got brought up.  Her ex's was coming up soon, and she wasn't sure what to do or how to approach it.  "What did he do for yours?" Dawn asked.

She remembered her birthday night...setting her phone to airplane mode so that he couldn't locate her..the night with KSL.  She searched in her mind and finally realized it.

"He didn't do anything.  He didn't even plan on doing anything."

She remembered last year when it was his birthday, and she had bought him $50 worth of food at his favorite local festival.  She felt angry.

She needed to get out all the aggression she felt towards her soon to be ex husband.  She needed an emotional purge.

Monday, September 12, 2016

All Night/Morning Long

"You are such an amazing kisser.  I could kiss you for hours."  Piz said to her.  She smiled into his kiss and said "I think you have been, actually."  His warm brown eyes met hers and smiled back.

She was fairly certain that she had officially kissed Piz more than any other person ever.  At first he said that he would sleep on her couch, and she had laughed at him.  She knew that wasn't going to happen.

He sat down on her couch and pulled her to his chest.  She let her head rest there, and commented on his rapid heart rate.  His arm encircled her shoulder, and he used his thumb to gentle stroke up and down, sending shivers up her spine.

He was so sweet, loving, romantic.  She suspected that was because it was the only way he knew how to be with a woman.  She attributed the romance and sometimes unbridled passion to the drinks they had that night.  They kissed and groped for hours, and he pushed his boundaries when he started kissing down her thighs.

"What do you think you are doing?" She asked him lightly.  "You aren't allowed down there!"

He kept kissing down while looking at her, moaned and said "But....I really want to."  His fingers looped under the fabric and her heartbeat quickened.

"Piz, no!  I won't be able to stop myself from having sex with you if you go down on me.  I can't." He acquiesced, but his hands wandered up her nightshirt.  She decided to allow it.  Later as he tried to take it off completely, she said "uh-uh, quid pro quo.  You first."  He backed down, and eventually they stopped kissing and fell asleep in each other's arms.

He clung to her even in sleep, and she never in her more life felt so desirable, so wanted.  She did come back to her first thought about being the only way he knew how to do things, to ground herself.  As weird as it sounded to say, she couldn't take all this attention and attraction personally.  He was acting out carnally...he had a penis that hadn't been used in a long time.  He hadn't felt loved in a long time either.

In the morning she woke to his gentle stirring, and they kissed sweetly for 5 minutes before actually greeting the other a good morning.  Her initial thought about the passion being alcohol related proved false as he managed to get them both down to just their underwear.  They giggled, laughed out loud, and shared stories of their families.

"We should plan a whole day where we do just this." He said as they got ready to leave.

"Monday is a holiday...let do it then?" She asked.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Rebounded Again

Piz had come to her play, even though he didn't need to at all.  She was nervous to see him again, and he walked in as she was talking to the bartender.  She smiled as he spotted her and made his way over.

He seemed unchanged by the time they spent apart, and went to go sit down in the house as she continued to watch the lobby through the show.  She snuck in a few times and caught him smiling, his reactions.  When the play ended he said he had forgotten to eat dinner, and he was going to grab something to eat quickly and then meet her and the cast wherever they decided to drink.

He was unsuccessful in his search, and met them at the bar a few minutes later.  He was clearly hungry, but got a beer and sat down with the cast.  She told him they could leave for food when he was done with his beer, and she hurried to finish hers.

Her actors, as usual, dominated the conversation.  Banana got a little upset at a girl that was flirting with Acrobat.  She caught her eye from across the table and said "Don't worry about it.  You got it, be confident with who you are."  Piz looked at her with a confused expression, and she said "Girl shit...I'll explain later."  He nodded and she gave him the low down as she got into his car to grab food with him.

Their meal was pleasant, and he seemed to feel a lot better.  "What do you want to do now?" He asked her.  She had no idea.  They drove around for a little while, talking and holding hands.  He eventually ended up at her building.

After making out in the car for awhile, he said he could do it all night.  She hesitated, then said "Can I ask you a kind of personal question, and you can totally tell me to fuck off if you don't want to answer it?"

He seemed a little shocked, but said she could ask.  "Am I the first person you've kissed since your divorce?"


The word hit her like a bowling ball to the chest.  She was the rebound.  Again.  She really liked this guy, he was amazing.  And she would never mean anything to him.  She started to panic and then stopped herself.  She asked for clarification.

He responded, "There is this one girl...we walk our dogs together, but there is no romantic attraction at all."

Again, his ability to be honest was super attractive.  There was no one else...right now.  And what they had was nice...right now.

He looked into her eyes, lost.  "I really want to keep doing this, but I'm getting really tired."

She suddenly remembered when she had first moved in, and how she hadn't wanted KSL to leave her first night.  She was overcome with emotion, again.  Dare she?  She did.

"Listen," she started.  "I don't feel comfortable being intimate with someone unless we are exclusive.  I'm not going to have sex with you tonight.  That being said, do you want to come up and spend the night?"

It sounded stupid as soon as she said it.  She berated herself in her mind, and was so busy doing so she almost missed his response.

"I'd really like that.  You sure you don't mind?"

Maybe she should have minded...but she didn't.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


"I'm getting nervous about having sex with this guy...I know eventually we will get to that point. When we did it, it was quick with no actual feelings, so it was different. This will be the first time I've had sex with feelings in a long time, and I'm afraid it will make me awkward."  She was trying to be friends with KSL, so they were talking about her current events.

"It will most likely be the opposite of awkward
Especially when you don't have to deal with the other party's batshit craziness
But in all seriousness
You'll be fine
It'll probably be better than anything we did"

"Hey, there is always the chance he'll cry about his ex after...she's WAY prettier than I am. But seriously, he's not you are. I'm just afraid it will be so slow that I won't be able to go through with it. I have *time* to get nervous."

"Well, that's up to you then to pace it out. Although if he's as understanding and honest as you've said, perhaps actually talking about this with him might alleviate some of the tension" 

She almost laughed out loud at his comment.  It's that easy huh, just talk to him?  Also, his comment seemed almost...upset?  Jealous?  She knew she'd pissed him off with her happiness.

"As to your other comment, exes are often exes for a good reason. For all the back and forth my ex and I went through, we kept coming back to that reality. Attraction and emotion may still be there, yes. But its not the same. Its residual. Even if one or both of us would like to believe otherwise, its over. So, dont fret about his ex. As for my boldness, it isnt always the best route. It reeks of rash decision-making, springs from a deep well of insecurity, and might just be my worst characteristic"

"I'm not too worried about his ex. We are different enough that I know he's actively not wanting what she was all about anymore. I have to disagree about the boldness though. I mean, with some people you were bold with it was a mistake I guess, but for me it was your best characteristic. Like I said when I was angry, without the orgasms you were just the second worst friend I ever had. Bold is hot. I'm just scared about this because it is the opposite of what we did, and I'm afraid it will also lose all of the passion too. It's too soon to really talk about it. We've talked pretty boldly about other things relationship-wise, but we've never actually talked about sex. Or being exclusive really, so I feel like bringing up sex would be presumptuous of me."  

She hesitated, then asked if it had been awkward with her. 



"Indeed it is.  And was."

"And shall be again...just with other people." 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Girls Weekend

The girl's weekend started out strong with them getting upgraded to a penthouse suite with an amazing view.  Until the suite was ready, they went down to hang at the hotel pool.  SD kept mostly to laying out and napping, and Goldie decided to go all in as she sat by the pool talking to her.

They caught up on Goldie's life, and she told her about Piz.  She gushed about how he was the opposite of the ex and KSL, and complimented her, and how he just ended his marriage so they had something in common.  "Well, I like him" Goldie said, and she felt better.  She was making good choices.  It was also nice to be able to freely talk about a guy she met.  She could get excited without feeling like she was being kept a secret.

"But no sexy-time yet?" Goldie asked.

"No, just a short make out session in his car at 3AM as he dropped me off.  I'm in that bubble of perfect happiness right now."

They had a full pool day the next day, and in the evening Mo came by to take her on an adventure for sushi burritos, drinks, and her favorite dessert.  They laughed and joked and everything was just like old times.

When they were having drinks, he stopped what he was saying and said to her "You seem great, you seem so happy.  You certainly aren't the same Penny who left here."

It struck her that he was totally right.  She was a completely different person, had lived a million different lives in the last year and a half.  She had gotten worse since leaving, but was on a hell of an upswing.  She felt she still had a ways to go, but it was so nice to see a light at the end of her long, dark tunnel.

"I am different." She confirmed, almost proudly.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Good Place

"I miss you already, which I guess I shouldn't say with 9 days to go.  But I'm glad you are out having fun with friends and family."

"I know, I miss you too :-)"

She felt a warm sensation come over her heart, and she knew she was done overthinking.  This was the good place, and she wasn't going to waste it.

She awoke the next morning and it automatically opened to the message: "I know, I miss you too."

Today, no matter what happened, was going to be a good day.  Everything was The Good Place...she didn't know Piz's downfalls yet, if he had a temper or anything bad about him at all.  And he liked her...and he missed her.

"I have never seen you giddy, but you are giddy!" TM said to her during the start of her show.

"I don't know that I've ever been giddy," she replied.  "But I am now.  This is the good part...the part of the relationship where it's not even a relationship yet, but you know that you like each other and that it's going somewhere beautiful.  The forced separation where you know the other one misses you and is thinking about you.  It's my favorite part."

TM replied "You're right.  This is the most beautiful, most pure part.  All the looking ahead is full of promise and light with no black spots in it.  You've been through so much, you need to embrace this time.  Conquer what you have done with your life, and now it's finally changing for the better.  Enjoy beautiful!"

She would.  She needed to take this break to revel in The Good Place.  She went to sleep that night, still smiling even though she hadn't spoken to him once that day.  She knew he was also residing in the good place with her.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Dude Date

They had been talking back and forth for about a week, and had plans to meet long before things got a little more serious with Piz.  Pilot was a really smart guy who had even done a local Ted Talk, and she found it easy to talk to him online, sometimes all day.

He had a bad weekend at his buddy's wedding, but said he owed her a sushi dinner for putting up with him complaining through it.  Never one to turn down free sushi, she decided to meet up with him.

Pilot started talking the minute he got in and never stopped.  They had a good rapport though, as long as she didn't feel like talking.  She ate most of the sushi while he regaled her with stories about his parents, early childhood, his mom's crazy side of the family, and his hideous dates from various dating websites.

She shared 1 story for every 5 of his, and got interrupted quite a few times, but she didn't mind.  He clearly didn't have a lot of people to talk to, and she felt bad for him.  He was a really intelligent, no filter, every so slightly socially awkward guy.  They got along great, just like her and BFF did.  She wouldn't be able to hang with him everyday, but she was glad she met up with him.  She had a feeling that she and Pilot would be great friends as time went on.  She liked that she didn't have to have a filter around him, and got to say many things that she would never say to anyone else.  Not only did he not flinch at it, but he found it amusing.

"You are just such a cool ass chick." He kept saying repeatedly.  Had anyone given this poor kid any attention at all?  It was a little sad.

She invited him to her play, he said he would come see it next week.  He invited her to his future house warming party, and she said she would try her best to make it and bring some potential awesome people.

It ended a dude date, and she was perfectly okay with it.  She no longer felt guilty for going out with him, as it had ended very platonically.  Her heart was still swaying towards Piz.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Too Much Time To Think

"This was a trial period," she told herself about their 2 week separation.  She told herself this to calm down, to get herself to not overthink the situation.

Piz texted her the next afternoon.  Just a "Hi" with a blushing smilie face, and asking how her day was going.  After some idle chitchat about their day so far, he texted:

"I had fun last night.  You're a good kisser :-D"

She couldn't control the smile that spread across her face, wide and warm.  She felt like a weight was lifted, one that she didn't even know had settled on her.  She had been gliding on happy all day, but still felt some uncertainty as to how it had gone for him.  This was that ultimate validation she was searching for.  She told him how awesome that made her feel, and that she wished the next kiss wasn't so far away.

"I know right.  It'll be just that much better haha"

She literally couldn't stop smiling all the way to her show.  Her cast gave her a little crap for being on a date the night before, but they had all really liked him.  He had fit in very well with them, and was so very easygoing about everything.  He was a really nice, great guy.  She felt so comfortable with him, they got along so well already.

Sadly, with a week and a half alone with her thoughts, she went into overdrive.  When she had too much time to think, she thought about every possible outcome.  There were too many variables, and so she went through them all.

She thought through the romantic comedy route, with their meet cute already out of the way.  She saw them getting closer, having "at home" dates snuggled up on the couch watching something.  Going for walks by the river.  Even as far as when he left for 7 months, they got a place together that he could come home to, her taking care of the dog she hadn't yet met.  The dog loved her, of course.

The next day she went the opposite direction.  It had only been three dates in a month.  He was a straightforward dude, he most likely was dating a few girls who he had this talk with.  Maybe he had made out with them too.  Maybe he was sleeping with multiple people right now...and there was nothing she could do about that.  He was online on the dating website every day still.  Per her rule, she couldn't tell a dude what to do unless he was sticking his dick in her.  Even then, it didn't work out too well the last couple of guys.

She both celebrated and mourned this potential relationship.  She went a little batshit crazy and googled him...hoping not to find arrest records.  Instead she found his engagement photos, in which his ex was beautiful.  Radiant. You could tell he was in love with her, the way he looked at her.  Her bridesmaid dresses were a gorgeous Alice/Tiffany blue.  He had dipped her for their kiss.  She wondered if that had been her idea or his.  He had looked at her in almost the same way....or was she making that up in her overactive imagination?

Tomorrow she would settle on the truth.  The truth was they were only 3 dates and one make out session down.  They weren't exclusive, but it was hopeful.  It had a lot of potential.

She tried to forget and yet hang on as much as possible.  She still had 9 days to go before she saw him again.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Beautiful Honesty Part 3

As they walked down the street, he gave her a quick sideways glance and took her hand very very gently.  She'd never actually had someone hold her hand this gently.  It was almost as if the two hands weren't even connected, they were just existing alongside each other.  She could only handle a few seconds, and then grabbed his hand and interlaced their fingers together.  He responded in kind and they got down to serious hand holding business.

As they walked down the street they ran into her cast, just coming from the same food place they were headed to.   They warned them of the large line, so instead they ducked inside another late night restaurant for food.

Once their food had arrived and they had dug in, they realized how burnt out they were on all the noise and interaction.  They were introverts at heart, but suddenly after the nourishment they both felt at peace and got back to their long talk.  It had been around 3 hours at this point, and it showed no signs of letting up.

They talked about how awesome his new job was going to be, and about how terrible dishonesty was.  He told her that he really was nervous to tell her that his job was going to take him away for 7 months during the next year, but knew that he had to make her aware as soon as possible.  After all the KSL lies, this honesty was beautiful and romantic.

"I appreciate your honest with that so much, more than I can say.  I get that it is important to have that information in order to really decide if we should move forward, even though last time we kind of talked about how we aren't sure where this is going.  But I like you a lot.  I'm glad I can prepare for a 7 month gap if this ends up going anywhere.  It doesn't change anything for me, I'm still in it to see where it goes."

Piz smiled at her.  "Me too, me too."

They walked back to the car hand in hand, and he offered to drive her home.  She said if it wasn't too much trouble, if not she could just walk the 2.5 blocks to her studio.  He said he'd like to drive her home, and so they walked with their bodies close to the parking garage.

He pulled up to her loading zone, and they commented on all the drunk people still out and hanging on her stoop at 3 in the morning.  They were loud and yelling, and she commented how the doormen usually don't let people hang out like this, as it makes the geriatrics in her building angry.

He laughed, and she told him she would miss him the week he was gone, and the three days after that when she was gone.  She embraced him, and as they pulled apart he kissed her on the side of her mouth, clearly missing what he intended to do.  She decided again to take the bull by the horns and just moved slightly and kissed him again, fast enough that he wouldn't be embarrassed by the initial kiss.

He was a good kisser, but there wasn't as much passion as there had been with KSL.  She attempted to intensify, use her tongue on his bottom lip a little.  He must have been too nervous and never really got terribly aggressive with her.

She knew, even in the moment, that it was unfair to compare anything to KSL.  That boy was bat shit crazy and you have to work up to that kind of passion.  She enjoyed the kissing, and it felt great to be kissed by someone who actually liked her, maybe wanted a relationship with her.  He was straightforward and honest, so he would have let her know if things went too far or she was too aggressive.

"We could move the car and park somewhere for awhile and keep doing this" Piz suggested, almost out of  breath.  She leaned her head on his shoulder and said "I would love to...but it's really late, and I should get to bed.  You should too!  You must be so tired."

"A little less tired now, but yeah.  Man this is going to be a long week."

"Hey, make sure to keep in touch this week okay?  This is sort of our trial run in being apart...let's not let anything die.  Text me."  She said.

"I will." Piz answered.

They kissed a little while longer, and then she reluctantly got out of the car.  She watched the car's reflection in the glass as he drove away, then walked past the drunks into her building.

She fell asleep with a huge smile on her face.