So today for Five Word Wednesday, I asked for songs to inspire the story. So, I borrowed a little from this:
a little from this:
and a little of this:
and came up with this:
My phone buzzes in my purse as I fumble for the door lock. I shove the door with my foot, then yelp as pain sears through my toe. The buzzing continues and I dump my bag and fish for my phone. "Hey."
"Oh. Hey. It took you a while to answer. I thought I'd missed you."
I brush back a piece of hair from my damp forehead. Sweat drips down my brow and I kick off my shoes. "I just got done with class."
"Are you a black belt yet?" I can almost feel Dean smile through the phone.
"Ha. Not likely."
"Did you assault your instructor again today?"
"Ugh, stop reminding me." I open the fridge as the memory from my first karate class flashes to mind. Because of course I would be the girl to bravely sign up for a karate class, and then accidentally knee her instructor in the groin the first day.
"I'm serious. It's embarrassing enough having to go back. You're making it worse."
"Sorry. How was your day?"
I pour a glass of milk and chug half of it before answering. "Horrible. Sharon is driving me crazy."
Geez, what isn't there? Sharon became the new Dean at work five weeks ago. She makes type A's look relaxed. "She's changing everyone's responsibilities. And now she wants handouts of numbers every Friday and Mondays."
"Doesn't sound too unreasonable."
I huff out a sigh. "She's changing things just because she has the power to, and not because they need to be done. It's taking me an extra hour each day to pull together reports that have the same information on them as the ones I run on Friday. Then, she comes into my office and dares to tell me that they're not formatted how she wanted, even though she hadn't said how she wanted them done and told me to 'just put them together'."
I stand and pace around the living room as I rant. Work has gone from comfortable and tolerable to doing tedious things at a break neck speed. All because Sharon has to have 42 copies of the same dad gum thing and can't pull up reports herself.
"She's just one person, Kace."
"Yeah, one that I'm around and whose in charge of me 8 hours of every day."
"It's just a job."
I fling off my sweatshirt, my body radiating heat from class and now from anger. He always says this when I bring up Sharon. Which I do a lot of lately, but still. "Easy for you to say. You love your job."
"It's just a job."
"One you moved states away for."
Dean doesn't answer. I peel off my sweaty socks and wait. When he does speak, his voice has a hard bite to it. "Are you mad at me or something?"
"No." I throw my socks onto the couch. "It just seems like my bad work life doesn't matter."
"It does. Of course it does. It's just..." His voice goes quiet.
Oh gosh. I'm a whiner. One of those girls who thrives on drama. I clench my fists, waiting for that accusation to come. "It's just what?"
"It's just, I guess I like it a little that you aren't head over heels in love with your job."
What the hell? I grip the phone tighter. "Why would you like that?"
"Because a job you don't absolutely love is one you would leave."
I lean against the wall, my anger so palpable I can almost feel it pulsing through my veins. "You think I should quit my job?"
"No. What I mean is maybe one day, you know, down the road, you might leave your job there and be ok with it."
"To do what? You think I'm wasting my degree or something?" Geez, now he sounds like my dad.
"No. I mean, if someday you left Atlanta."
"To go where?"
I come to a halt and lean against the wall.
"I'm not saying now," Dean rushes his words. "It's just, long distance sucks, and I hate not seeing you all the time. And well, don't think I'm an ass, Kace, but my job is going great and I love it. So I've been thinking that maybe, eventually, one day, you would move up here."
I slide down the wall until I'm sitting. "You think about that?"
"Yeah. Again, that's down the road, not something I'm thinking for the immediate." I hear him breathe into the phone. "Does that make you nervous?"
Yes. I didn't know we were there. Or that he was there. But it does make sense. Eventually.
If things go well.
Geez, how'd we go from my bad work today to a possible future move? I curl my legs up to my chest, eager to cling to something.
"What are you thinking?" Dean asks.
"I don't know. It sounds like you have everything figured out." And I don't. Not with Dean. Not with life. Do I want to quit my job, even now?
"Look, I shouldn't have brought it up. I just..." He sighs heavy into the phone. "It's not a bad thing, right, to think about?"
I think of all the times I've fantasized about me trying on white dresses. "No," I whisper.
"I didn't mean to make you mad or freak you out. It's just, I want you know I'm not just wasting time with you. That if this wasn't going anywhere, I wouldn't do it. Ok?
"I think maybe I'll drive down next weekend."
"I thought you were going to visit your sister?"
"I can change that," he says.
"It's an eight and a half hour drive."
"I'd drive eight and a half hours to see you. No problem."
"You already had plans with your sister. Don't change that just because I'm having a hard time."
"Don't be a martyr, Kace."
My voice raises. "That's not what I'm trying to do."
"Ok. I just don't want you think that you're not worth my time. You're my girlfriend, I haven't seen you since Valentine's and that was what - 4 weeks ago? - and I want to see you."
Even though we just fought? But that's the thing I'm learning about Dean. It's not a math equation of he gives, then I give, and everything has to even out at the end. This is grown up and big, and lots of the time, it's uneven.
"Ok?" Dean asks.
I smile. "Ok."