soundtrack: no buses by arctic monkeys
paige for fated to pretend r.p. 1/5/12
 {the ending to this story is so cheesy but it had to be done}

--------
Today's my birthday, I can now officially say that I am twenty four years old. Being a year older certainly doesn't feel any different. However, I do like that my age is now an even number. And, although it is my birthday it's also a workday so my celebratory mood is currently sitting on the shelf until later tonight.
 
"Who taped balloons all over my cubicle?" I asked my co-workers that were situated closest to me. "It's what we do every time its somebody's birthday," Cecilia said in-between phone calls, her busy fingers furiously typing up something on the computer. 

"It certainly didn't happen last year," I replied beginning to remove each of the balloons off of my computer screen so I could start today's tasks. "Well, you were kind of an intern." She said setting the phone back down on the receiver, her reply delayed in between the multitude of e-mails and phone calls she had to make.

"Alright, yeah. I get it," I tried my hardest to avoid any conversation that had to do about me being an idiot, just moved to New York City twenty something year old that survived off barely any money. Things were different now but I very much preferred to act as if things were always this way.
 
"Oh! Paige! Employees don't have to come into work on their birthday, I thought you knew that?" Stephanie told me setting down a tray of Starbucks drinks on her desk and then taking her sweater and scarf off, wrapping them around her chair before sitting down. "No, I wasn't aware." I replied beginning to feel more irritated than when I was forced to get out of bed this morning.

"I mean you can come in, it's just that people usually don't." She went on before handing me a peppermint mocha frappuccino. "Well, I have to finish my article for next month's issue so I might as well just stay until i'm finished but, anyways you're coming tonight right?" I decided as I clicked to open Pages, beginning to type up my three paragraph review on a new album by some obscure indie band named 'Paint Store'.

 "Of course! Is that new guy you're with coming also?" I shook my head as I opened up word program on my computer. "Invite him, why not? Do it now before it's too late." The usual Stephanie began instructing me on what to do as she tried making eye contact but failed as I was too busy typing. "Fine," I said letting my hand go from the mouse to the phone, dialing Adam's number without putting thought into what I would say when he picked up. 

"Hi, it's Paige. It's actually my birthday and Stella's having a party for me at her place tonight. I was hoping that you could possibly come? It starts at eight, call me back." I began getting flustered, cutting the voice mail short. "He's probably going to think I have something against him if I didn't invite him until last minute." The worrying started as I put my phone back down on the desk. My eyes blankly staring at the word document I still had open.

"Don't worry about it."
 
So, I stopped worrying and put all of my thought into the article that I had due Monday which ended up taking much less time than I thought. I sent it to the editor's inbox before grabbing my things and hugging Stephanie goodbye. "See you tonight!" I jotted out the office doors, shouting good bye as I waited for the elevator.

 "Is that my phone or yours?" Somebody asked me as the sound of ringing filled the inside of the elevator. "Mine." I detected my phone from my purse and pulled it out to discover it was Adam calling. "Hey," I said hoping he wasn't mad at me for the very last minute invite.

"Hi, I can come to your party tonight just text me the address."

 "Okay, I will." Our conversation lasted only a few minutes longer before hanging up.
 
°°Six hours later°°
 
"Happy birthday! I decided I'd come over early and help set up." I answered the door to find Nick waiting with a gift bag that was clearly holding a bottle of wine. I thanked him, taking the bag out of his hand and going to the kitchen. "Stella can tell you what to do. I'm not supposed to be involved after all it is my birthday." I said to Nick before returning back down the hall.

"Of course," Nick replied with a small grin before I ran off into the bathroom to finish drying my hair. Finishing my hair took much longer than expected but I kept myself entertained by listening and of course singing along to 'Suck It and See' out of Stella's old school boom box. 

"Paige! I forgot to get a cake. Me, Kate, and Justine are going to go to the bakery down the street and there's people arriving so perhaps..?" Stella knocked on the door loudly before I opened it to find her talking to me in her 'i'm in a hurry and also incredibly stressed' voice. She ushered me out of the bathroom and into the living room where I was forced to start up meaningless conversations with guests that I'd only seen maybe once or twice before but barely acquainted with.
 
Nick must of spontaneously decided to MC my much larger than expected birthday party by himself, because somehow he found his way to a microphone and hooked it up to the stereo before going onto make an impromptu playlist that included many one hit wonders. Minutes passed by and I couldn't stop watching the clock, as usual I was worried. Was Adam actually going to show up? Maybe he was actually insulted by my quick invite. He probably wondered if I was even planning on inviting him in the first place. 

"We got the cake!" Stella announced as she walked in with a big paper bag in her arms. Everyone clapped as if they were already aware that there was a chance there wasn't going to be any cake.

 "It's strawberry, your favorite." Kate told me as I thanked them. I crossed my arms in worry, leaving the kitchen to go over and talk to Nick. I decided to go ahead and ask, "Has Adam talked to you about me? At all?" I gulped down a sip of my champagne cocktail before fixating my eyes on his, waiting for a response. "Um, well, we're not that close. I mean we know each other but, we don't really talk." 

"It's eight thirty and he's still not here." I blurted out, watching the clock that hung on the wall behind the small corner Nick had managed to turn into a makeshift DJ booth.

"Don't worry about it, he's probably busy right now and running late." He tried to comfort me, making my worries seem meaningless and petty. I walked off, away from Nick, out the door, down the stairs and outside Stella's building. It was just me, a pack of cigarettes and a champagne cocktail. 'Happy f*cking birthday.' I said to myself as I lite a cigarette, trying my best to shield the wind from the flame.
 
"Hey!" And there he was in person, the owner of the voice that'd been residing in my mind for the past five days, not managing to leave even for one minute. "Where have you been?" I asked as my voice went from low to high. Though still disappointed my frown turned to a smile, my arms widening and my legs walking towards him almost automatically. His skin warming up my jacket-less body.

 "Apparently I was on call to help shoot a night scene without realizing it. I'm sorry." 

"It's okay," I kept my arms wrapped around him, my cigarette dangling from my fingers as I gazed non-stop at his beautiful face. "Happy birthday," He smiled, pushing the hair away from my face. I kissed him, forgetting to say thank you.

"Let's go inside. You don't want to get a cold on your birthday," Adam said ruining the moment as he could feel my cold arms. He followed me upstairs to the party by now only my closest friends were left, seems that people in New York City can't go to just one party but instead go to one after another before passing out in someone's loft.
 
"I have a gift for you," Adam grabbed my arm as I went to sit down. 

I turned around. "What is it?" I asked, more than curious.

"I'm not going to tell you. You have to open it," My eyes lit up as I noticed a somewhat large, unwrapped box sitting by the door. 

"Is that it?" 

"Yeah. Don't laugh, okay? I didn't have time to wrap it." Instead of laughing I smiled.

 "Follow me," He grabbed the box, following me down a little hall to Stella's bedroom. I closed the door behind us and sat down on the edge of the bed. Adam sitting down next to me, placing the box in between us. I lifted the box up and onto my lap, opening the flaps. 

"Oh my God," I gasped at such a lovely image, all of my favorite things that I should have in my possession but never have. "How'd you remember all of the things I mentioned?" I picked up the dvd copy of 'Annie Hall' before going onto look at all of the other beautiful things that I happened to have mention about during our two hour phone call last night.

 "I have a good memory," We looked at each other, both of us grinning. This time I thanked him, as he gave me another one of his gazed looks. We both sat in silence for a few seconds before leaning towards each others lips conveniently at the same time. Whenever he touched me it left a lingering feeling on my skin that wouldn't go away, I could feel it for even moments afterwards. His kisses making me smile and ache at the same time.
 
Adam picked me up, gently pushing my body up towards the top of the bed. I let things continue for a few more minutes, his fingers slightly tugging on the bottom of my dress. I apologized pulling my lips away from his, "It just feels really weird to be making out on my best friend's bed," My hands dropped to my sides before I quickly got up, fixing my clothes and brushing my hair with my fingers. 

"It's okay, I understand." 

 "Paige! Time for cake! Get over here!" I could hear Kate yelling all the way from the kitchen. I looked back at him stammering to get up and onto his feet, his jacket zipped up as it was just before we started kissing. "Okay, be right there!" I yelled back, hoping she could hear me. I ran around picking things up and placing them back in the box before putting it on top of Stella's desk.

I put my hand on the door knob, twisting my body around to kiss Adam before going back out. By the time I actually left the room, the candles on my strawberry flavored cake were already lit. The lights beaming from each of the candles were all different colors, blue, pink, purple. There was a multitude of tacky, hot pink roses iced into a border around the cake. All of it distracting me from realizing that I had to blow the candles out at some point.
 
"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Paigey.. happy birthday to you!" Everybody sang smiling at me as if they were purposely trying to make me feel awkward. I blew out the candles as everybody clapped, making me feel like what I just did was a great accomplishment.

"What'd you wish for?" Stephanie asked me pulling the candles off as Nick went to cut up the cake. I remembered that I didn't wish for anything so instead of lying I just shrugged my shoulders. I went to grab a plate before going to sit by Adam who was already sitting down at the end of the table. "What'd you wish for?" Adam whispered in my ear expecting more of an honest answer than what I'd given to Stephanie. 

"I didn't wish for anything."

 "Why?" He sounded surprised. "I forgot," I smiled trying not to laugh at how important people think birthday wishes are. I looked over at Adam, he looked like he was thinking about something as he quietly ate. Turning my head, I looked at everyone else.

They all stood, talking about where they were going after this, what time they had to leave and what their plans were for the coming weekend. "Where are you going after this?" Adam asked me as he sat back, not eating even the smallest piece of cake.

 "I don't know yet. Where are you going?" I responded, looking back at him as I took my last bite before pushing my plate away to keep myself from eating the crumbs. "I mean, I don't know. Where are you going?" He replied in a perfect Joey Tribbiani voice that made me laugh. 

"I'll go wherever you're going," I stopped laughing as his sarcasm faded away.

"Sure," I got up, walking to Stella's room to grab my birthday gifts, "Is this your coat?" He asked me grabbing it off the hook. I nodded, thanking him as he helped me put it on, he took half of the bags from my arms, carrying half of my presents including the ones he gave me. I hugged everyone good-bye before we left.
 
"So, where are we going?" I asked as soon as we had made our way down a couple flights of stairs.
 
"What about my place? I need a cup of coffee," I agreed to his idea. He lived only a few blocks up the street. The walk there was chilly, but at least it wasn't raining. My coat kept me warm as my arms were still full of small wrapped boxes and gift bags that looked straight out of Target's gift wrap aisle.

 "Wow, nice place." I said looking around the band posters plastered over the walls of his studio apartment. He thanked me, apologizing in advance for his lack of furniture. I made myself comfortable, nearly sinking into his worn out mattress.

"Thank you," I sat up to take the hot cup of coffee out of his hands. "You like The Strokes?" I asked noticing an 'Is This It' poster among several other framed music associated pictures and posters that took up the entirety of the wall facing me. 

"Yeah, they're my favorite band." He sat down next to me, I stared at the wall for a while as he talked to me about all of his favorite albums. How much he admired rock n' roll because of bands like Led Zeppelin and The Doors. A short story of about his dad and how he'd given his Who flag to him for his twelfth birthday. His admiration for music amazed me, it was like we were the same person.

 "We should of met each other a long time ago," I said after hearing an hour's worth of all of his favorite things. A smile settled in his face, showing his dimples and cute teeth.
 
Nine hours later, my eyes struggled to open. As soon as they widened, my head felt as heavy as a rock. I didn't know where I was but I could tell from my confusion that I wasn't at home.

"Good morning," I heard Adam's voice. 

I shook my head, sitting up and stretching. I looked around, still too tired to say anything. A few minutes later, I got laid back down, "When did I fall asleep?" I asked, curious as to how I managed to sleep here.

"We were half way through talking about 'In Transit' when I went to the bathroom and when I came back you were asleep," He got up, walking over to the kitchen. 

"You could of woke me up," I said starting to crawl out of bed, only a thin blanket covering my still fully clothed body. He assured me not to worry about as he opened the fridge, taking out a gallon of milk.
 
The room stayed quiet for a few minutes while I gathered my things. "Are you leaving?" He asked as he scrambled eggs in a bowl. "Are you sure?" I asked as I put my coat on, my bag already in hand. 

"Why don't you stay? We could do something today," Adam offered, I put my purse down as I walked into to the kitchen still not having replied. "Do you like me?" I asked standing by the sink as I tried hard to not get in his way. "Of course I like you," He turned around from the oven moving a couple steps closer to me.

 "Do you like me?" Adam asked in return. "Yes," I nodded with a smile. By this time he was no longer looking into my eyes but rather at my lips which he focused in on as he leaned in towards me.
 
And then our lips touched for a third time, but this time more than any other time, it was different. I felt lucky, because finally I had found something to hold onto. I wanted to cry because I realized I had fell in love with someone that death could touch, someone there was only one of and I wanted to laugh because of just how grateful I am to be one of those people who get to experience this extreme feeling of happiness, a happiness that stayed. Suddenly everything around me became hazy and in that moment nothing else mattered. I was in love.
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two comments

laurizta
Wrote 5 years ago
super fab!!!

shift
Wrote 5 years ago
beautiful, dear

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