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Gerard Butler GALS
AbandonThought

City of Angels

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City of Angels

I never wanted to go to Los Angeles again.

I loved Los Angeles.

I loved the consistently gorgeous weather, where the sun had the capacity to kiss your skin with warmth, but lacked the oppressive humidity of the bayous in Louisiana where I'd grown up. I loved the towering palm trees, and the iconic Hollywood sign cutting into the hillside. I loved the hills that protectively hugged the city. I loved it all. But it was the ethereal glow of the downtown lights at night, and watching them with him from the comfort of his Los Feliz abode that I loved the most.

I'd had some of the best times of my life in L.A. The problem was that all of those times were with him.

L.A. could never be the same to me once I knew that he was no longer in my life. Down every street were memories that we'd made, and every attraction reminded me that just like the perfection of the clear Los Angeles sky, my life had been perfection for a time.

Yet, there I was. I'd flown in to LAX on the red eye from my office in Tulsa, Oklahoma the previous evening. It certainly wasn't my decision. Only months before, I'd taken any excuse available to fly out for a visit with him. Our company did a lot of business with L.A.-based firms, and in repeatedly volunteering for the trips out, I'd become acquainted with our contacts on the West Coast. I was nominated for the trip before I could even raise a protest.

This was my first trip out to L.A. since we'd broken up. I'd never known what it was like to be in the city and not see him. It felt strange to me not to rush out to his house as soon as my flight landed.

As I drove down the Golden State Freeway in my rented car, memories rushed to me, so thick that they almost clouded my vision...

"You said it would be on the right!" I protested, turning my head side to side frantically, searching the street signs as I passed by them, too fast to read. I was sure that I had gone too far. Nothing around me seemed familiar.

"No Love, I said you'd need to get into the right lane for the split, but that the exit would be on the left."

"Left exits?!" I exclaimed, exasperated. "What kind of city is this?"

He just chuckled at me. "I love you Darlin'. Take a right, and get your sexy arse to my place soon."

It was happening already. I knew that I shouldn't be there. I knew that it could only cause me pain to be so near to him, and not see him.

Shaking away the unwelcome thoughts, I steeled my resolve, painted my face with determination, and returned to the task at hand. I was here to do a job. Nothing else. Just a few quick meetings, seal the deal, then jump on the first plane back to Oklahoma.

Back to mediocrity. I sighed. L.A. was a very high energy city, and I fed off that energy. Compared to the excitement of the West Coast, life in Tulsa seemed to trickle along with a humdrum cadence.

That was one reason why I had loved him so much. He had taken me outside of myself. He rescued me from the mundane, and gave me excitement everyday. At least for a time, he invited me to tag along on his life of adventure. With him I felt like I was someone. I felt like I'd found the place where I belonged.

I probably loved him too much. I probably gave up too much of myself to him. I couldn't help it though. From the moment I saw his mesmerizing green eyes looking at me, I was beyond hope. I fell hard for him.

For awhile, everything was perfect. We were both very busy with our careers, but since we both traveled a fair amount, we didn't have too much trouble finding excuses to bump into each other in this city or that. A few days in New York in the fall, Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the spring, a summer escape to the Virgin Islands. Still, my favorite times were always those simple days that we spent in his home in Los Angeles.

Being on the road, though full of excitement, was hectic and busy. By contrast, during those times when I caught him in L.A., the most stressful thing we had to do was decide what to eat for dinner. I allowed myself a smile as I thought about those lazy days spent lounging by the pool, and those passionate nights spent making love and discussing every dream that hid within our souls.

We dreamed. We lived. We laughed. We loved.

I sighed again as I parallel parked the rented car on the busy street, studying my side mirror and ensuring that no traffic was coming before I opened the door to step out.

I didn't know why I was still feeling so melancholy. It had been over six months since he'd finally ended things with me. I figured I would be over it by that point. But of course I wasn't over it. I was never ready for it to end. I'd loved him long past the point when it became clear that he couldn't commit to me.

At one time, I would have done anything to keep him in my life. As I walked up to the coffee shop, I reluctantly admitted to myself that that time had not yet passed.

I stepped into the long and winding line, glancing down at my wrist watch nervously. With a line like that, and knowing the propensity for coffee buyers to order devilishly specific concoctions ("I'll take a double ristretto venti nonfat organic chocolate brownie cappuccino, extra hot with foam and whipped cream"), I figured I would have to really push it to make it to my meeting on time. Still, there was no way I was going to show up sans-caffeine.

Standing idle in the queue, my memories intruded once again.

"I'm exhausted. Can we just sit for awhile?"

I chuckled. The protest would have sounded more natural coming from me, rather than my tough and burly six-foot-two male companion.

"I'm not wearing you out, am I?" I poked fun at him, taking a seat on a fallen boulder. We had been hiking through the canyon most of the day.

"Just wait 'til we get back; I'll wear you out tonight," he promised with a playful pinch of my butt. I gave him a smile and rolled my eyes, loving the attention. I took a swig from the water bottle and passed it to over to him.

He took a drink himself, and silence descended on us as we gazed out at the setting sun. Red, orange, yellow, pink and blue hues all intermingled with the endless clouds to create the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen.

I turned and gazed into his deep green eyes.

Well... the second most beautiful sight I'd ever seen, at least.

I pulled my thoughts back to the present, glancing impatiently at the head of the line. All I wanted was a large coffee, for f**ks sake. Did I really have to wait through all this? Since when had it become so difficult to get a cup of coffee?

I'd been standing in the Starbucks for five minutes before it suddenly hit me: I'd been to that Starbucks before. He'd taken me there several times when I'd been in town; stopping in for a jolt of caffeine on our way here or there.

I lost my breath suddenly.

What if I saw him there? I felt a sudden pain in my chest as I imagined being so near to him and not being with him. I breathed in sharply as I imagined seeing those strong arms and knowing I couldn't be inside them. It would kill me.

Still, the idea of gazing into his enchanting eyes just once more made me smile inside. Even if I couldn't be with him, just to see him again...

I didn't know what I was hoping for. Both the idea of seeing him and not seeing him brought me simultaneously intense pleasure and intense pain. I wasn't sure how to feel...

I didn't have time to figure it out. As if my intense yearning had manifested him from my dreams and into reality, I was suddenly able to pick his voice out from the rabble of the crowd in front of me. My eyes snapped forward and I saw him at the front of the line; the profile of his broad shoulders and strong back; his short brown hair, curling slightly on the ends. Though he was facing away from me, I would have known anywhere that it was him.

I wanted to look down at the floor. I wanted to stare at him forever. I wanted to run up to him and throw my arms around him. I wanted to run out of the coffee shop.

He placed his order and moved off to the side, waiting for it to be prepared. He leaned against the high table next to him, his weight on his right leg. He had his thumbs resting casually in the belt loops of his jeans.

The time seemed to pass in an instant, and before I knew it, he'd grabbed hold of his coffee and was heading toward the door. A few steps away from me, he picked his eyes up from the linoleum floor of the shop, and they connected with mine suddenly.

Time stood still. There was a spark of intensity as our eyes locked. He gazed at me, and I stared at him. All of the feelings that I'd ever felt for him; all of the feelings that I continued to feel, were brought to the forefront at that moment. I stared deeply into his enchanting green eyes, studying once again the breathtaking color that I'd known so well. In his eyes, in that one moment, I saw into his soul. I saw the pains of his past, and the dreams of his future. I saw the loneliness within them, and all I wanted to do was take that loneliness away. I wished that he would once again give me the chance to try.

Bumping into him there couldn't have been a coincidence. It had to have been part of the greater cosmic plan. The spark of electricity between us had to mean that there were still feelings there, although they might have been buried deep. As I held onto his eyes, I held onto that spark.

Unfortunately, the spark was only on my end.

Though his eyes betrayed his surprise at seeing me there, he didn't even break his stride. He gave me an obligatory, disingenuous half-smile, and nodded as he passed by me. I heard the bell on the door ding as he pushed it open and let it fall closed behind him. He was gone.

I felt like I couldn't breathe.

I never wanted to go to Los Angeles again.

Steph

Edited by AbandonThought

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:thud:

Oh boy Steph!

Loved, loved, loved it!! :D

That was absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

I'm loving these short stories - keep it up! :pointy:

Stace x

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Steph,

Well...you've gone and done it. Tore my heart out and it's now lying bleeding all over my desk blotter... (How will I explain this mess to my boss?)

You captured those emotions perfectly. I've felt those exact things.

You have a gift.

Now to find a "spill kit" to soak up this blood, bandage my heart and continue on my day...

Sharon

Buffalo, NY

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Oh my gosh. :tissues: Steph, that was beautiful and so moving and heartbreaking. I'm torn between slapping him upside the head, and imagining that half-smile and just staring.

I love your writing, it's so emotional and descriptive. Wonderful work, yet again. :D

:wuv: Amy.

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Well you did it again, Steph. You put the emotions on paper that tore at my heartstrings. How sad, that story was. You wrote it so well.

Note: I corresponded with Sadie Montgomery on Facebook last night. Her sixth book in the Phantom series will be coming out this spring or summer. Can't wait. She talked about how tough it is to get everything in order for publishing and getting her book on Amazon. You can learn from her.

~HUGS~ Kathy

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Awww, I didn't mean to make everyone so sad!

Err... well... I guess I did, since that was the emotion that I was trying to convey in the story... But... You know! :)

Thanks everyone!!

Steph

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Steph,

You have GOT to write a book! You are an incredible writer! :pointy:

How about one from HIS perspective. Lamenting a relationship he terminated because he feared how it would change "life as he knows it". How it would feel to see her again.

How he felt upon leaving that Starbucks. You always write like you really know him, Steph. You could do it.

Edited by beacon1

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Steph,

You have GOT to write a book! You are an incredible writer! :pointy:

How about one from HIS perspective. Lamenting a relationship he terminated because he feared how it would change "life as he knows it". How it would feel to see her again.

How he felt upon leaving that Starbucks. You always write like you really know him, Steph. You could do it.

Interesting... I'll have to give that some thought. :) I know I definitely favor the female perspective. :lol:

Steph

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Steph,

This is such a wonderful story from the opening sentence to the ending.

You did a fantastic job of showing us her life before, during and after the relationship, making her easy to identify with.

The coffee shop encounter was perfection! You put me in that moment between the two of them, breaking my heart. :tissues:

Excellent work, Steph! I can't wait to see the next one.

:hugs:

Bex

Edited by ready2fly

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Steph,

This is such a wonderful story from the opening sentence to the ending.

You did a fantastic job of showing us her life before, during and after the relationship, making her easy to identify with.

The coffee shop encounter was perfection! You put me in that moment between the two of them, breaking my heart. :tissues:

Excellent work, Steph! I can't wait to see the next one.

:hugs:

Bex

Thanks Bex! And thanks a million for all your help on this one! :)

Steph

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Alright Sharon, you put the idea in my head. And of course, once the ideas started flowing, I had to jump out of bed and boot up my computer (one of the rare times it was off, actually).

Tonight I wrote the sort of continuation, but from his perspective. It should be posted sometime tomorrow or the next day. I'll link from here once it's up. :)

Steph

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Alright Sharon, you put the idea in my head. And of course, once the ideas started flowing, I had to jump out of bed and boot up my computer (one of the rare times it was off, actually).

Tonight I wrote the sort of continuation, but from his perspective. It should be posted sometime tomorrow or the next day. I'll link from here once it's up. :)

Steph

Wooooo Hoooooooooooooooo! Can't wait to read it!!!!

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Goodie, Goodie!!!! Can't wait!!!!

~HUGS~ Kathy

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You always write like you really know him,

Know who??? ;)

Nice story, Steph!

Delene

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Hey gals! My continuation story, Change My Life, is up now!! Enjoy!

Steph

And it is BRILLIANT.

Steph, so many possibilities at the end of this one. LOVE IT!!!

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Hey gals! My continuation story, Change My Life, is up now!! Enjoy!

Steph

And it is BRILLIANT.

Steph, so many possibilities at the end of this one. LOVE IT!!!

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Bump...because no one should miss this or the companion piece "Change My Life"

Edited by beacon1

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