AN: This is my first story on fanfiction. I have one Wicked one shot as well, if you want to read that. This is my first attempt at a multi-chapter story. Please let me know what you think. Thanks! –elphiemolizbeth
It's Nothing You Prepare For
It felt like a fateful day. The sun was shining through the lone window in my single bedroom Manhattan apartment. It was one of those sunny fall days in New York, when you knew the universe was about to give you something radical.
I have always been of the belief that fate determined every step of one's course; I actually can't remember a time when that wasn't how I felt. It has always been a part of me, and often, people are put off by it. That's the reason my ex-boyfriend gave for breaking up with me anyway. Regardless of how people reacted, I knew the stars, and that day, they were planning a revolution.
It was a Saturday, the new school year had just started, and I had gained a wonderful group of kindergarteners to teach. They were funny, smart, and they were interesting. Before I became a teacher, I never realized how interesting five-year-olds could be. The universe was kind to me with these kids, and I knew more was coming. After all, I spread the message of fate, so fate was going to reward me. It may seem sort of narcissistic, but I was right.
On this particular Saturday, I decided to go to Madison Square Park and look over my kids' homework in the fresh air (well, as fresh as it can be in NYC), something I did every year at least a few times. I picked a good day for my first time in the park this school year, or the universe picked a good day.
I grabbed the supplies I would need, and started to make my way down the apartment complex's stairs. The walk to the park was pleasant as always. There was nothing in the world I enjoyed more than the sights and sounds of New York. The hustle and bustle of Times Square, the bright lights of Broadway: this was home and I was proud to call it such.
Once I arrived to the park, I sought out my usual bench and set my stuff down. As I always did, I dropped a dollar in the case of the man playing guitar. He was talented and it bugged me that the universe hadn't given him what he deserved yet, so I did what I could to hint hint towards fate.
I went back to the bench with a satisfied smile on my face, and as I emptied my schoolbag of its contents, I took a moment to scan the happenings in the beautiful park that I loved so much. The NYCC were protesting something, which always sort of annoyed me. I mean, don't get me wrong, I admired that persistence and all, but going up against fate like that isn't gonna get you anywhere, my friend.
The young man in the front of the group was handsome, almost blond, and had a naïve look of innocence about him, the kind of look you'd expect to see on a teenager, or I guess in his case, a man who had retained his youthful ideals and continued to chase his glory days.
As I was looking at the NYCC protest, my grip on the paperwork loosened, and a breeze took several sheets of paper from my grasp. They landed over a meter away in front of a jogger. The jogger had seen my ordeal in trying to reclaim the homework and stopped to pick the paper up. She brought the pieces of paper over to me, and without making eye contact handed them over.
"Thank you," I told her.
She looked up at that and our eyes met. She had the deepest blue eyes I had ever seen.
"You're welcome," she replied with a smile. I looked at her in silence for what was definitely way too long, but she wasn't innocent of it either. And I couldn't help it. I was entranced.
Uggghhh. Why did it have to be morning again? I felt gross. I was gross. My bed was gross. My apartment was gross. My world was gross. I thought about getting up to close the blinds, but I figured that was too much effort, at least if I was simply planning on going back to bed.
My life sucked. You know that whole "friends with benefits" thing? Yeah, I had just been on the receiving end of that failure. And let me tell you, it hurts when you fall in love with the woman you were "just fooling around with", and then you tell her so, and she breaks up with you. A lot. So much that you're going to want to stay in your bed for six years. Alone. By yourself. Solo.
And my plan to do just that was working, except for the fact that the sun insisting on coming up every morning. Like, why did it need to do that? The earth is warm enough at night, usually.
My phone buzzed and I instinctively groaned. It was my sister, Maureen, with another one of her "advice" text messages.
Hey Anne. Just checking in. How are you doing? Have you been out of your apartment at least? You need the fresh air. Go run in the park for an hour, please, and if you hate it, just go right back home. I think you'll feel better if you do. And besides, you never know who you might meet in the park. ;)
The winky face was almost too much. I almost replied with some choice words of my own, but I knew Maureen was just trying to help me. So I replied after carefully considering my response, which was ninety-nine percent a lie, well except for the park part; I figured that was actually a good idea, at least I'd get out of this stuffy apartment.
Hey Mo! I'm doing okay. Every day is a little better. Thanks for asking. You're right, I'll go for a run. It's the only vice I have right now anyway.
I left my apartment and walked to the park. The things about New York that I usually loved were actually pissing me off, like I was freaking angry. Who cares that Wicked is Broadway's biggest blockbuster? My girlfriend left me! I realized that I actually said that out loud and I got some looks, but whatever. I mean, she wasn't really even my girlfriend, but…oh, shit—said that out loud too.
Finally I arrived to the park and fought the urge to grab the guitar from its player and smash it on the ground. Instead, I used that anger and frustration to run. I ran really, really fast. I sprinted for a little over a minute and then slowed to a jog. I had to sprint again when I saw the New York Citizens for Change group because I wanted to punch all of them, especially the man who was leading them. Does he ever shut up? But I kept running, slowing to a jog again when I felt my anger dissipate. Maureen was right. I did need this.
Suddenly, I saw a woman out of the corner of my eye struggling with some papers. They flew out of her grasp and directly into my path. I almost yelled at her, I was angry at first, but I thought maybe this woman was having as bad of a day as I was, or maybe I could convince the karma gods to start treating me kinder. That went into effect rather quickly.
I grabbed the paper when I arrived to it, and walked over to the flustered woman sitting on the bench. I purposefully didn't make eye contact with the woman because I couldn't handle people right now, and I didn't want to do something I would regret.
"Thank you," I hear come from her.
Her voice drew me to her, and I couldn't not lift my eyes to meet hers for my response. It would be impolite. But did I really care about politeness? No, I just wanted to see the face that belonged to that beautiful voice. And I did.
"You're welcome," I said as my voice hitched in my throat. In front of me was a stunning chocolate-skinned woman, the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen. No, Anne! I screamed at myself. Not again. Not unless you're dying to cry your heart out. I was just going to excuse myself and walk away, but my mouth had other plans.
"Hi, I'm Anne."
"Hi," she smiled, seemingly just as entranced as I. "I'm Kate."
"It's nice to meet you, Kate," I replied and stretched out my hand for her to shake. As soon as I did it, I regretted it. Skin touched skin and I almost made a sound. It had been too long since I'd been touched by another human being. Almost two months to be exact. Too long for me.
"You too, Anne." Our hands remained in contact for an inappropriate amount of time, but neither of us seemed to care.
She was the first to pull away and as I braced myself for a rejection, she spoke. "You know, it's getting kind of cold and, as we have both learned, breezy. Do you want to go get coffee somewhere?"
Say no. Say no. Say no. "Sure."
"Great. Let me just put my papers back in my bag."
I smiled at her and then turned around. God, I was stupid.
What the hell am I doing?
AN: So, what do you think? Ideas for the future? Please review!