For the past few months, she’d been working on a novel. Since college, she’d been writing mostly short stories and articles. They’d been fairly successful. She was published in a few small publications and blogs. However her dream was to publish a long solid piece of fiction. She knew that it was quite difficult, but she felt that she had already paid her dues. For several years now, she’d struggled. Through those struggles she grew into a stronger person, learned a lot about the publishing industry and established a network of contacts.
For the past three years, she’d been free-lancing on and off for a local magazine. During a party thrown by this magazine, one of the editors introduced her to another young editor. The young editor was newly hired at a fairly well-known publishing house and in search of fresh talent. As the two got to talking, she explained to her that she had been writing a novel for some time now. The editor requested two or three chapters of the manuscript to look over.
The editor lived on the coast at the opposite end of the country. She was in the city for a few days on business and was leaving right away. The two emailed one another regularly for almost a month, until she asked her to fly over there to meet with her supervisor to talk about publishing her book. She was in awe. There were no words that could describe how ecstatic she was.
Her friends were excited for her and decided to join her for a vacation. The publishing house provided her with accommodation. So she packed her life and prepared herself for this move. This was second time she moves to another city. The first time she was seventeen and moving over 8000 kilometers away from her home. This time the distance was significantly less, and the move would certainly be easier. There was a more stable future lined up for her.
Her best friend helped her unpack and settle into her new place. It was a small apartment by the beach, which all she could ask for. They arrived six days before her meeting. The editor agreed to give her the keys to the apartment earlier than scheduled. Her and her friends planned on enjoying every moment of the next few days.
She walked on the beach with her friend. He had one hand around her shoulder as they walked through the water. The waves crashed at their feet, and the wind blew their hair. She wore his jacket over her bikini; it was cozy and long enough to cover the entire swimsuit. The sun was starting to set over the ocean. With the exception of their friends, the beach was empty. The group had their fair share of beer and cocktails, thus they were all tipsy by the time the sun began to set.
He wrapped his arms around her waist as they both faced the ocean.
“I’m really gonna miss you,” he said.
He ran his hand up and down her waist, close enough to tough her breast but not close enough to grab it. She didn’t pay any attention to him. She enjoyed the motion of his fingers across her body. She allowed him to touch her as much as he pleased, without any engagement on her part. His phone rang in the midst of all this.
As he spoke on the phone she joined the rest of their friends. It wasn’t until she felt that his absence had taken longer than anticipated, that she went to him. He was sitting a few meters away, to give himself some privacy.
“Important phone call?”
“No just a friend.”
She sat next to him; he placed her leg over his knee as they talked. The conversation was random and unimportant; however the motion of their hands was what’s intriguing. He worked his way from her thigh up to her breasts, as she ran her hand up his spine to his neck. Mimicking her action he placed one hand on her neck; he kissed her collar-bone as his hand moved back down the jacket and cupped her right breast. She started breathing heavily; his hands were cold, as her nipples grew harder against his hand, his heart rate accelerated. She ran her fingers through his hair, her thumb moved up and down the back of his ear. Their conversation continued naturally, as if nothing was happening. He lightly swiped his thumb across her lower lip. For her the entire endeavor was friendly, playful and not leading to anything.
They laughed and joked; he took her into his arms and kissed her on the cheek. In an attempt to return the kiss, it accidentally landed on his lips when he moved his head. He smiled and said “do that again”.
The second she pecked him on the lips again, he bit her lower lip and stuck his tongue into her mouth. She was shocked for a moment, before realizing that was the nature progression of their actions. He tasted of cigarettes and peppermint. She laid her back on the beach chair, bending one knee. She felt vulnerable and noticed that he was more excited than she had thought. He leaned forward; they never unlocked their lips, as he ran his hand up her thigh grabbed her ass cheek firmly. “You have a great ass,” he whispered in her ear. They never really gave themselves a chance to catch their breath. Their hearts raced, she was getting wet, his body was tight. The moment was incredibly intense.
“Guys we’re leaving!” they heard her best friend say. The two sat up straight, she pressed her lips against one another and took a deep breath. The two adjusted their clothes and got up.
“You’re a very good kisser,” she said.
They all changed and head to a club. As her friends were on the dance-floor she stayed behind; sipping her cocktail and staring blankly at them. They almost appeared as nothing more than moving shapes to her.
“Why aren’t you dancing?” he asked. “It’s unlike you.”
“I don’t feel like dancing.”
“You look depressed. You’re about to get everything you’ve dreamed of and worked for, so why are you down?”
“Cause you guys are leaving in the morning. And I don’t want you to leave.”
“Me or everyone else? You know she’ll probably move out here with you right?”
“Yeah she said she might. She might actually find more work here. But you won’t be here.”
He hugged her and said “sweetie I’ll visit, so will you and we’ll Skype all the time. What are you really worried about?”
“Starting over. Alone. Again.”
“Even though you don’t really know anyone here, you won’t be alone. And you’ve done this before, so it won’t be hard for you. You’re a very strong girl. Even if you don’t believe that, it’s the truth.”
“You always know how to make me feel better.” She smiled.
“Come on let’s dance.”
He took her by the hand and led her to the dance-floor.
After her friends left, she started preparing for her interview. It was still a day, but she was growing restless and anxious. Her best friend promised her that she would visit soon or even move all together. She had wanted to move there for years, but there was never a right time. She read her novel, tweaking it along the way. After, she found herself in an empty apartment with nothing to do. She spent the day at home with her beloved dog, watching movies and reading.
The meeting went better than she had hoped. With the exception of a few minor details the editor loved her novel. “It’s fresh and original”, were her words. Her book was going to be in stores in two months. She was filled with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that filled her eyes with tears. She stared at the ocean from her balcony and imagined being surrounded by her friends again. She wrapped her arms around her dog, which sat on the ledge. Her laptop was hissing inside, she paid no attention to it until one particular song started playing; “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good.”