January 21, 2013 - No event.
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I take in a deep breath, preparing myself for the cold air that I was about to encounter. I know it would be my own fault, since wasn't dressed for the weather, but I think I needed to feel the cold air against my skin to kind of bring me back to the reality that was school.

I had a pretty uneventful, but busy break over winter. I had gone back to interning for the magazine downtown and pretty much spent my entire break doing that, especially since I needed to money, and I didn't exactly have anywhere to go for Christmas. I spent the day alone in my apartment, editing photos, and sending projects to my boss. It was lonely and it kind of sucked, but i dealt with it. I was used to being alone.

And honestly, working through the break was the best thing I could have done. Since if I hadn't, I would have sat around my apartment thinking - about Mason, about my depression, about everything going on in my life that I would have probably ended up more miserable than I would have before. Work was a friendly distraction. A distraction I needed.

I finally walk outside, freezing a moment at the cold air that comes rushing towards me. As much as I thought I could prepare myself for that, there was no was I could have. I close my eyes, take in the freezing air, and then continue making my way outside. I actually was planning on heading downtown to get some nice pictures, pictures for my own personal work, not my bosses, before classes started up again tomorrow. I mean, today was going to be the only day of my entire break where it seemed like I would have some 'me' time, and I'd rather not spend it in my room alone, thinking about the oh so poignant question Mason asked me before break.

Before break, Mason and I had met up and talked at the tree lighting ceremony. He basically made it very clear to me that he wanted to date me - but from it appeared to me he was only saying this because it seemed like he wanted to save me, the oh so lost soul I was. And that didn't sit well with me. I didn't /need/ anyone. I had gone through enough s.hit on my own to know I could make it through anything by myself. 

But at the same time, I had felt a strong connection with Mason. And I think he felt that same connection too, and maybe I had misunderstood what he had said, and this was the reason he wanted to be with me. 

Whatever the reason, he wanted me to think about it over break. And I hadn't. I was too scared to think about this, honestly. I had never really sat down and seriously considered the possibility of being in a serious relationship. It's not the opportunity never arose, but I had much bigger, more pressing things going on in my life and I could easily ignore those prospects, but something about Mason and my connection with him just kept making its way back into my thoughts.

Luckily for me, Mason wasn't coming back until the end of the week, so I still had some time to figure this all out before I had to go and talk with him. Although, he and I had talked a lot over break, but it was never anything serious. Just light conversations about movies or bands or art.... nothing really reflecting feelings or anything of the sort.

I'm brought out of my thoughts by a huge gust of ice cold wind. 

"S.hit." I mumble under my breath, crossing my arms over myself and rubbing my arms to try and warm myself up, but ultimately failing. This whole short sleeves thing in winter was a terrible idea. I could handle the cold for a little bit, but I just needed to warm up at this point.

I look around, and realize I'm only a block or two away from my favorite coffee shop, so I decide I'll just head over there and warm myself up. I take the corner, heading down the street towards the cafe.

I walk in side, smiling some to myself once I feel the heat hit my face. It felt so nice. I could feel my body warming up already.

As I'm waiting in line, I hear a familiar name being called from one of the baristas. 

"Peppermint mocha for Hope. Hope?" They call out, and I raise my eyebrow. It couldn't be right? I mean Hope was a pretty common name. I decide to glance over at the counter anyways, and sure enough it's her.

I had met Hope last semester after I had bumped into her. Although, I guess we had met before that time, but I was completely s.hitfaced, so...you know. At first, I think she probably found me too abrasive and annoying, but somehow we started to get really close, and besides Mason, she's probably one of my closest friends here.

I hesitate a moment before I decide to call out to her. "Hey, Hope!" I say, smiling some.

She instantly turns around, a little confused, but that confusion turns into a great big smile when she sees me. "Marah! Hey!" She says, smiling even more, if possible. "I'd totally hug you, but I don't wanna spill coffee on you!" She pauses, "Come and sit with me when after you order, yeah? I'll find us a seat."

"Yeah, of course. I'll be right over." I say, smiling at her before she skips off to find us a seat. She seemed happy, and not as shy as she used to be. It could just be the time of year I guess.

I finally make it to the front of the line, and order my drink. I step away, looking around for Hope, and I see her sitting by the window. I go and sit down across from her.

"Hey." She says, smiling some more. "It's really nice to see you."

"Yeah, it's nice to see you too." I say, returning the smile, although mine definitely wasn't as bright as hers.

"How have you been?" She pauses, "Although, guessing by what you're wearing, you're probably freezing."

I shrug, "I can handle the cold." I pause, 'but I've been busy...I've been working a lot. How about you? How was your break?"

She finishes her sip of coffee before speaking. 'It was amazing. I had missed my family a lot more than I thought I did. It was great seeing them."

I nod some, "What about you and that boy of yours? Any progress there?" I ask, playing with my hands some.

Hope sighs, giving me a slight shrug. "Not really...I mean, we've been talking a lot, so that's good." She says, adding a small smile.

"What would you qualify as a lot?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.

"Like.. we talk pretty much everyday. And most of the time he calls me first, so.." She says, smiling a bit more.

"Well, that's certainly a good sign." I say, trying to return her smile.

"What about you? How are things with you and Mason?" She asks, but before she can answer, the barista calls my name. 

I shrug, getting up. "I'll be right back, yeah?"

"Don't think you can get off that easily! You better be prepared for an answer when you get back."

"Yeah, yeah." I say, teasingly as I make a face at her before going to get my coffee. I try and take as long as possible to get back, since honestly didn't know how to answer her question.

I finally get back, sitting down across from her again, taking a sip of my coffee. Perfect. Just the way I liked it.

Hope raises an eyebrow. "So, spill. How are things between you two?"

I let out a heavy sigh. "I..I honestly don't really know. They're....complicated, I guess."

"Complicated? What do you mean by that?" Hope asks, sipping her coffee.

"Just..I'm not exactly sure where he and I stand. Like.. we're friends and we talk like constantly, but..." I trail off, not really knowing how to explain this.

"But what?"

"I don't know..." I pause, sighing, deciding to tell her. "He asked me to be his girlfriend before break, and I haven't really given him an answer."

"What!? Maaarah! How come you didn't tell me!" She exclaims, obviously excited for me. Too bad I couldn't be excited for myself.

"I don't know...I've been trying not to think about it, I guess." I say, shrugging. Hope must pick up on my uncertainty, since her expression drops some.

"Oh... why not?" She asks softly, tilting her head.

"I don't know..I just don't feel like he's asking me for the right reasons, I guess... and I'm scared of what it would mean to actually say yes to his question..." I say softly, not even really sure why I'm admitting this all now when I couldn't even admit it to myself earlier. I guess its just because this is the first time I've really been forced to think about it.

Hope nods, knowing not to really push the issue with me. "Have you talked to him about this...?"

"No... his flight home was the day after he asked me, and I don't want to have a messy conversation like this over the phone. I'd rather it be in person, you know?"

She nods slowly, "Well, do you think you're ready to talk to him about this?"

I shake my head. "No, not at all... like I like the guy, but..I'm just so unsure."

Hope obviously hesitates before speaking. "Well... whenever you do see him, you're just gonna have to be like the girl I met last semester, you know.. as you've so nicely put it before 'balls to the walls' honest with him, even if you make a fool of yourself. It'll be easier for you to just get everything out in the open, you know?"

I sigh softly, nodding. "Yeah... I do." I say simply.

Hope smiles at me, waiting a moment before standing up. "Come on, I'm free for the rest of the day. Let's go shopping or something, or take pictures or something find to get that spirit of yours up, okay?"

I look up at her, smiling weakly before I nod some. "Okay. Let's go." I say, getting up and following her out of the coffeeshop. 

And that's how I pretty much spend the rest of my day - messing around the city with Hope, which was, when you boil it all down, another distraction for me to get through the day.
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