Authors: Leona Norwell
Trinity Christian Romance
© October 2015
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental. All characters in this work are 18 years of age or older.
Cover design © 2015 Cameron Rowe
First Edition October 2015
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By Leona Norwell
The rain outside is pelting down on the sidewalk so hard that it sprays back up again and causes an eerie mist-like effect to linger above the ground. Heavy rain clouds completely block out the sunlight and show no signs of clearing up any time soon as the rain only starts falling harder and more ferociously. It’s definitely a day to stay inside. I let the long, thin white drapes fall back over the floor to ceiling windows as a loud crackle of thunder and lightning ripple across the city skyline.
The removal men come in and out of the apartment, bringing some odd pieces of furniture that I couldn’t bear to part with and boxes full of my clothes and other possessions. An interior designer kitted the new apartment out for me so that everything was pretty much ready for me moving in. I walk over to the plush lime-green sofa and sit down as I observe my new home. It feels so much bigger than when I came to view it a few weeks ago, as though my thoughts could echo off the walls. The color scheme throughout is black and white - mostly white painted walls with the main wall in each room coated in luxurious black and white wallpaper. The few brightly colored pieces of furniture and accessories stand out brilliantly against such a blank canvas. Nevertheless the apartment still feels cold and empty, like a show home for display purposes only, stylish but not homey.
My thoughts are interrupted by a loud smashing noise. I look over the back of the sofa towards the hallway to see a mass of broken china scattered across the hardwood floor. The removal man standing with the now empty box in his hands is frozen in place with shock. He looks up at me; all the color drained from his face as my eyes narrow to slits which burn into him, forcing him to say something.
“Miss Lindstrom, I’m so sorry, I never meant to, if I’d known, sorry, I’m so sorry.”
He stumbles over his words as he tries to clear up the mess.
“Don’t worry about it, just leave it.”
My words come out coldly, my facial expression unreadable. I watch the large bald man like a lion watches its prey as he wipes the beads of sweat from his forehead and makes a hasty retreat out the front door of the apartment.
What an idiot, did he not take notice of the ‘This way up’ sign printed in bold all over the box? Obviously that would have been too much hassle for him.
When the removal men are done loading boxes into the apartment, I sign some documents and they leave, closing the door harshly behind them. Its late afternoon but the unforgiving winter weather outside makes it feel much later as hardly any natural light finds its way in through the windows. I get up and grab an empty cardboard box from the hallway and start to clear up the broken crockery on the floor, trying not to cut my fingers on the sharp edges of the china. I can hear someone shuffling around outside in the hall before a loud knocking nearly shakes my whole door frame. I get up slowly and brush myself down before opening the door.
Instantly the sweet smell of the Orchids in his hands hits me like a tidal wave crashing against the mainland. He really is a sight for sore eyes. I smile up at him as he hands me the bright pink flowers, grinning at me like the Cheshire cat.
“Welcome to New York,” he says coolly in his slightly husky foreign accent.
I smile back at him. Right now, his face is the only one in the world I’d be pleased to see.
He steps in to the doorway, pulling me in to a tender kiss before he goes off to explore my new apartment.
Leo is originally from London. He still keeps an apartment there; however he now permanently resides in New York. He’s a singer/songwriter/producer, and we met at club where he was performing in L.A around a year and a half ago. He’s no male model but he’s certainly not ugly either. He’s around 6ft, short bleach blonde hair, hypnotic blue eyes, one of the most genuine smiles I’ve seen in years and generally quite ruggedly handsome. There’s also a sophistication Leo has which adds to his sex appeal, I suppose that comes from his 46 years of age.
He came into my life not when I wanted a boyfriend but when I needed one. I hit a brick wall and made a few bad decisions, but then who doesn’t from time to time? Leo didn’t come in to my life and try to be some superhero and save me from myself, instead he became a friend. He looked after me when I got so drunk I couldn’t remember my own name, he stayed out with me all night just so that I wouldn’t feel lonely or do anything I’d later live to regret. He hasn’t rebuilt me or made me a new woman; instead he’s simply managed to keep me on the straight and narrow, salvage the little amount of goodness left in me. He knows how fragile I am, like a knife balanced on the edge of a table, push it just a little and it’ll fall to the ground. Nevertheless he doesn’t take any of my issues either and isn’t afraid to tell me when I’m being a self absorbed pain in the rear. I like that about him, he gives as good as he gets and I think it’s healthy for me to be around people who aren’t kissing my ass or lying through false smiles to me all day long.
He’s had the patience of a saint to be able to put up with a reckless 24 year old, train wreck like me, and for that I will be eternally grateful. I don’t know if I believe in love at first sight, true love or soul mates, I think there’s always someone out there who is better suited to you than the person you’re with. But I do know that I love Leo, and right now whilst everyday is a battle against my own emotional turmoil, that’s all I need.
I take the flowers over to the kitchen and rummage around inside all the cupboards to try and find a vase. I can hear Leo ‘oo-ing’ and ‘ah-ing’ over every little thing in the apartment, which I haven’t even had the chance to discover yet.
“Ooh, did you know you had this? Wow, look at your T.V, Check the lights out!”
I laugh at him as he inspects every room in the apartment; I think he’s even more excited than I am.
Finally he comes back through to the main area as I place the vase full of exotic Orchids on the table, his face resembling that of a child at Christmas.
“Bloody hell, you’ve hit the jackpot with this one, Harmony. It’s incredible.”
I force an unconvincing half smile at him. It is pretty, but at the end of the day it’s just an apartment. It doesn’t house people or memories which make it a home. There is nothing sentimental which ties me to it, it isn’t my home. But looking at Leo right now, whose very presence exudes warmth, knowing how strong our bond is, gives me hope that perhaps one day, it could be.
“So do you want a hand unpacking?”
“Yeah, you could just pull some of those boxes through from the hall so I can go through them all.”
He scuttles of and makes repeated journeys back and forth, dragging the large cardboard boxes into the living area. I kneel down on the white fluffy rug and start going through the boxes whilst Leo gives me a hand. I didn’t bring an awful lot with me, mostly clothes and accessories, the odd ornament here and there, books, DVDs, artwork, photos, a few plants etc… All the furniture, fittings and finishes were already here and in place when I arrived.
“Whoa, I never thought I’d see myself holding one of these.”
I look up at him holding an MTV movie award in his hands, grinning at it like he’d just won it himself. I guess this must be the first time he’s seen all my awards, I didn’t exactly keep them on public display in my old home. He rummages around in the box some more until he finds the one he was looking for: my Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
“You know, you were actually pretty good,” he says, teasing me with his wicked smile.
“What are you going to do with them all?”
He laughs at my answer but I wasn’t joking. I really didn’t want the glittering awards in my home, the only purpose they served was to remind me of an era of my life that was now far gone, a life that now didn’t belong to me, a life that both gave me everything and yet snatched it all away from me. I didn’t need reminding of that on a daily basis. I’d figure out what to do with them later.
We spend a while longer going through all of my things and Leo seems perfectly happy to be helping me out. I glance down at my watch. 7:38pm. I don’t know where the day has gone.
“Leo, aren’t you playing at the club tonight?”
He takes a quick glance at the clock on the wall.
“I’d better get back home and start getting organized; do you think you’re going to make it tonight?”
“I’ll try, if not I’ll call you tomorrow.”
He gets up and kisses me on the forehead before he dashes out the door.
I take my stuff through to the bedroom, where I find a little red box lying near the door. I know all too well what the content of this box is and I have no desire to rake through it, at least not tonight. It contains memories very dear to my heart, memories I’ve thought about religiously for the past four years, memories of him - the one who still has my heart. I take the little box and carefully place it on the top shelf inside my closet. I let my mind roam for a little while as I think about him, the nostalgia flooding through my mind.
I hadn’t seen Trey now for four years. It was fate that made us part from one another all those years ago. Little did I know that fate was about to strike again. Perhaps the threads of our destinies were more entwined than we had originally thought.
The club is jam packed when I arrive. I didn’t relish the idea of spending yet another night alone shoving my face with Ben & Jerry’s, downing bottles of vodka, watching a tear jerkier on the movie channel and asking God ‘why me?’ So instead I’m dressed to kill, I’m going to drink myself into tomorrow, have a dance and hang out with some of Leo’s friends.
Sounds like the perfect night out.
I’ve never seen so many people here before. There’s bodies rubbing up against each other everywhere I look, girls shoving their rears into guys crotches, groups of men downing shots at the bar and hoards of women congregating outside the ladies’ room. It’s hot and muggy, the stale smell of sweat mixing with the sweet smelll of alcohol. The lights flicker across the club to the rhythm of the music Leo is playing out from the decks, the heavy bass beat pulsating through my body.
Leo’s friends managed to secure a booth so it looks like this is going to be our headquarters for the night. They’re pretty cool people and judging by their alcohol intake they’re all up for a good laugh tonight. Brilliant, just what I was after.
A short guy with wavy brown hair and thick black glasses comes and sits beside me. I think I’ve met him before. Joey his name was, if I remember correctly.
“Harmony, it’s your turn… to get… the drinks in! Woooo!”
His pupils are dilated, his breath reeking. He’s completely and utterly wasted.
I pick up his glass to see what he was drinking.
He just smiles and nods his head as his body sways around in the chair, looking like he could pass out at any minute.
I clamber past him and make my way up to the bar, shoving past people as I go. I order my drinks and as usual the barman decides to be a complete show off and time waster, chucking bottles around all over the place for the sake of two Mojito’s, what a complete jerk. As I wait for him to finish I turn around and lean myself against the bar, scanning the crowds of people in the club. Leo is in his element at the DJ decks, everyone is dancing, and our group of friends at the booth is all killing themselves laughing at something Joey just said. I go to turn around and collect my drinks but something, no someone, freezes me in my tracks.
From all the way across the floor I spot him. I’d notice that tall slender body anywhere. He hasn’t changed one bit. His caramel colored eyes are still heart-breakingly beautiful, his face still striking and gorgeous enough to make any model jealous, his very presence still enough to make my heart leap up into my throat. Trey. Beautiful Trey Frett. He’s spell binding. This is the face that’s haunted me every day for the past four years. I don’t want to rip my eyes away from him but the next thing I see makes me throw up a little in my own mouth.
She has disgusting peroxide blonde hair, streaky fake tan that’s rubbed off on to her tacky white dress, if you could even call it that – it’s riding half way up her rear. Her heels look as though they’re too small for her feet, her make-up looks as though it was done in the dark and she has the vilest cackle I’ve ever heard. If that’s not enough she’s got her filthy paws all over Trey and he doesn’t seem to be protesting. Either Trey’s so wasted right now that he’d find anyone attractive or this is the biggest insult I’ve ever received. I’ve been replaced with a slut. I thought Trey had at least some standards.