March 10, 2015

Tessa's Story

by Zahra Barnes

My phone buzzed. I leaped at it, electrified with excitement, then deflated instantly. It was Marley, sending me a command I had no urge to follow. Get out of bed. Ill be at your place in 30. Workout then shopping. Ugh.

I tossed my phone into the mounds of downy pillows and blankets Id turned into my fort of tears and fury. It had been three weeks since Id heard from Savannah, and just a touch longer than that since Id really spoken to Jack. My mind was like a hamster on a wheel. I kept replaying how everything had gone in both scenarios, and I couldnt understand where any of it had gone wrong.

The week of my interview at Bloom, Id sent Savannah my mock campaign early the morning of my deadline. I wouldnt have been shocked if my file had been bleeding, sweating, and sobbing thanks to the amount of effort Id poured into it. Shed responded almost immediately with a gracious Thank you so much, Tessa. Excited to look it over. Will have news soon.

In what world is three weeks soon? Since then, Id only gotten short hang tight, this is taking longer than expected emails from her. Id had the lovely experience of calling my parents and asking them to spot my rent. They werent exactly pleased, but saved my ass anyway because thats kind of what you sign up for when you become a parent. Even though things at Bloom were moving at what felt like a torturously slow pace, I tried to reassure myself. Hiring takes a long time, especially for a new company. It made sense that it was dragging.

Things on the Jack front, however, were baffling. The night of my interview, hed taken me out to to a little French bistro to celebrate. Hed held up a flute of champagne, and toasted my future. If only Id known back then that it seemed like he didnt want to be part of it. To Tessa. It seems like your career is finally in bloom, hed said, a twinkle in his eye.

Id laughed and responded, OK, that pun gets a B. He arched a skeptical eyebrow over his deep blue eye. Just that had been enough to win me over. Fine. A+. We clinked glasses, and the next day he helped me get my stuff into a taxi so I could finally start living in my old apartment. That was the last time things had been normal.

When his constant stream of emails slowed to a trickle, I got confused. When his text messages, which were usually so long they took up almost my entire iPhone screen, shrank to curt sentences, that confusion upgraded to worry. Had something happened to his family? His job? After a few days of hearing nothing from him, I could only assume the worst. Hed gotten increasingly sick while a disease lay waste to his body, paralyzing his fingers and keeping him from talking to me. Then he died. There was seriously no other acceptable reason for straight up disappearing.

Unfortunately, looking at his Twitter and Facebook accounts verified that, no, he was perfectly capable of communicating with the world, hanging out with friends, and basically continuing his life like nothing was off.

I was being ghosted by both my guy and my potential job. I was dazed and seriously fucking confused.

With Savannah, I had been the picture of professional perfection. I refused to hound her or ask what was going on, keeping faith that I would hear from her when she had news. The thing was, those smarts with Savannah transformed into stubbornness with Jack. I could tell he was moving along just fine, and I wasnt going to be the one reaching out and begging for an explanation. If he could be done, so could I.

My buzzer bleated. Marley. She was convinced that exercising would flood my brain with endorphins that would help me see the positive side of life. And for the most part, Id been trying to be optimistic. But it was also within my right to mope a little on days when the thought of squeezing into spandex would be enough to make me start refusing food and drink and just wait for the end. I buzzed Marley in anyway.

Soon enough, she was bounding through my door.

Goooood morning! Her hair was piled into its signature topknot. Decked out in highlighter-bright workout gear, I could tell she wanted her cheeriness and general life goals to rub off on me.

Mar—”

Nope. No excuses. Come on. Get dressed. Sneakers. Leggings. Sports bra. Go. She pointed sternly at my room. I really had no choice.

We made the trip down to a studio on Bowery, where Marley had booked us in some popular class. The second I got outside, I felt better. I inhaled deeply, sucked the fresh, non-stale, non-apartment air into my lungs. This felt good.

So. I have a proposition for you, Marley said as soon as we got onto the subway.

Mmm? It was probably something that would offer me a brush with death, like skydiving or vacationing in a nudist colony. I wasnt going to act too gung-ho just yet.

I want to set you up on a blind date. Marley looked at me hopefully, with wide eyes that were so reminiscent of a puppy I had to stop myself from lovingly nuzzling her head. It was easy to do when the reality of what she was saying hit me.

Yeah, right. No way. Blind dates? No one even does those anymore. I realized how absurd that sounded, but it was true. At least with Tinder, you got to see the person and talk before meeting up and potentially getting killed.

Tessa, be real. Its the 21st century. Also, its been almost a freaking month since you heard from Jack, Marley said. Whats the harm in going on a little blind date?

I dont know, I groaned. Blind dates arent my thing. And Im not ready to be dating, anyway.

Oh? What? Are you too busy feeling sorry for yourself and refreshing your email?

I glared at her, only because her description was a little too on the nose on my bad days. Ive been applying for lots of jobs, too!

Which was true, although everything Id seen had paled in comparison to Bloom. Ive also been trying out the stuff I learned in my mixology class. Day drinking really was a great benefit of being unemployed.

Marley rolled her eyes. Listen, dont make me beg. Every girl in my high school would have killed to bone Cole. He just moved here, and apparently hes only gotten better with age! He is like the finest of fine wines.

I hesitated and she huffed impatiently. Look, Jack is not treating you with anything remotely resembling respect. Anddont hate me for thisdid you guys ever even decide you were together? You know, officially? I bashfully shook my head no. Somehow in between all his whisking me away on getaways and us exchanging I can really see this going somewhere sentiments, we hadnt covered that very significant territory.

OK, so then whats the big deal? Marley continued. I know you want your perfect meet-cute in Trader Joes that ends with a happily ever after, but this isnt some Katherine Heigl movie circa 2007! You have to make an effort, even when an assface like Jack disappears and makes you want to stay in bed and eat until you suffocate in a sea of takeout bags.

Ill think about it. That was as much as Id give her in the moment.

She nodded, satisfied. Then she pointed at an advertisement above our heads. It showed a drawing of a person sitting down, splaying his legs out and taking up way more space than necessary. The sign read, Dude, stop the spread, please. Its a space issue.

Genius! Marley exclaimed. I once asked a guy if he had cantaloupes for balls, his legs were spread so wide. I wish I could have just shown him this.

We spent the rest of the subway ride talking about everything except the blind date, which loomed over me like a silent threat.

We finally got off the subway and rushed to the studio. As soon as we walked in, I saw a pair of legs that could only be described as shapely, even though thats something someones aunt would say on an 80s sitcom. They connected to a lithe torso, which led my eyes up to the face of the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in real life. My eyes darted to the women on the right and left of her. They were just as pretty. I looked around more. Everyone was this pretty.

Mar, I whispered. Did you take us to some frat guys idea of heaven?

Did you not read the confirmation email I sent you? Negative. This is where all the models go. I figure, work out with them, look like them, right? Or as close to them as possible, at least?

I nodded, then tried not to stare as a Victorias Secret model swanned past me.

The best part, though, is what were doing today, Marley said.

I was about to ask her to elaborate until the bald instructor clapped his hands and instructed us all to get gloves.

Boxing? Oh, I could get into this.

We punched and kicked until my entire body bore a sheen of sweat. When Marley and I teamed up for partner exercises, she yelled out, cheering me on. Pretend its Jack! Beat him up! Engage your core and kick his ass!

Instead of being embarrassed, I did exactly what she said, my strength spurred on by my anger. It was the best Id felt in weeks.

After our cool-down stretch, I went to grab some more water. The model in front of me turned around and smiled, towering over me. She had creamy skin, blonde hair, and eyes that were set just far enough apart to be alien-esque but still gorgeous.

You were good in there, she said in halting, accented English.

Thanks! You, too. Id honestly been shocked at the level of ferocity that had burst forth from her Bambi-like limbs.

Who is this Jack your friend was speaking of?

Just this guy who is kind of breaking up with me. Its a long story.

She nodded understandingly. Apparently even models get dumped.

Marley popped up from behind me. Yeah, and Tessa wont go on a blind date to help get over him.

The model glanced between us, uncomprehending. Blind date? she asked.

Marley explained, and the lightbulb blinked to life over the models head.

Oh, but you must go! She grabbed my hand. That is the perfect way to, how you say, stick it to the man!

I laughed, completely and utterly charmed. Fine, fine. Ill go! But if my danger alarms go off, Im leaving.

That night, I walked into a cozy wine bar in the East Village and instantly zeroed in on a Hemsworth-level gorgeous guy. My college friends didnt brand me with the nickname the heat-seeking missile for nothing! I wanted to pounce and run my fingers through his hair, then make everyone tell him how sexy it looked pushed back.

He glanced at me. Tessa? I nodded, unable to speak. Cole, he pointed at himself and grinned. Marley gets dibs on my firstborn, I decided as I walked over.

Marleys told me a lot about you, he started as I got settled.

Only good things, I hope, I purred with a wink. Haha! No. Like Marley said, lifes not a rom-com. Actually, I just stared at him like a freak until I realized it was my turn to talk.

Luckily, I relaxed as the night progressed. After some surprisingly witty small talk over wine, we headed to Upright Citizens Brigade for improv. Each time he laughed at a joke he glanced over to make sure I was laughing, too. Then, halfway through, he slid his hand onto my knee.

I immediately felt sick. It wasnt Jacks hand. It wasnt even Grants hand. Was this going to be my life? Jumping from guy to guy?

He led me to another bar after the show, and I tried to mentally come back to earth.

Tessa, get real, I thought. You are not in any way ready for a new guy. Plus, hes a hot lawyer with a good sense of humor. Theres no way he has a nice penis.

We spent another hour talking, covering everything from climate change to the trip hed just gone on to Tulum with friends. I cant believe youre single. He shook his head as we sipped our cocktails. You seem like everything a guy could want. He stared at my lips, then back up into my eyes.

Even my grandma knows what that move means.

Forget Jack, Tessa, I thought to myself. This is just what you need to put him into your past.

I leaned in, just doing my part to make Sheryl Sandberg proud, and Cole jerked away like I had an infectious disease.

My face was on fire. Um, Im sorry, I thought…”

He avoided eye contact. This isnt right," he said quietly. "I dont care about the money.

The what, now?

I have to tell you something. Crap. Where were the cameras? He put his hand on mine. This isnt a real date, he confessed.

My brow furrowed. What do you mean? Definitely on a hidden camera show.

I work for a male companionship service called Rent A Gent, He spoke slowly like I wasnt capable of understanding which, lets be real, I wasnt. Your friend hired me.

Wait. Are you an escort?! I hissed.

Absolutely not! he insisted, offended. Marley rented me to give you a confidence boost. When he saw I was speechless, he barreled on. She said you wouldnt hook up. I guess I did my job a little too well. Smug bastard. But Im contractually banned from having sexual contact with clients.

Clients?! I yelped, yanking my hand away like Id touched a hot stove.

Suddenly his face lit up and he scooted closer to me. But I just realized youre not actually the one paying me, so…”


If I had anything to do with it, Marley was about to be a dead woman.

36 comments:

  1. I am pretty sure this is the best post I have read in months, from any blog. lol

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  2. WHAT.

    I have whiplash from this post. Jack is suddenly gone without a trace?? That doesn't make sense to me. Sure, ghosting happens, but after she practically lived with him for a while? I get it if he thought everything was moving too fast, but I just can't believe he just stopped talking to her.

    And as for the male companion???? I did not see that coming. Wow!

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  3. Wtf? I hope he is trying to pull a little improv joke on her and he's actually a "real" guy. A friend paying for a good looking guy to date you is a pretty big insult - plus how is it a confidence boost to go on a fake date with a guy who would then never call you again?

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  4. Allow me to pick my jaw up off of the floor. Are you effin kidding me?? If this guy is for real, Marley has stepped WAY over the line. If it's a joke, I still think it's a little extreme.

    And what's with Jack? I would have sent him a WTF text a while ago. mum

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  5. K, she's gotta get over herself and barrel into Jack's place and find out what the F he's doing! Like obviously we've got to wait for more of the story cause it clearly won't be over, but wtf! This post, tho! Great writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris - @nylonlover69 on IG/TwitterMarch 10, 2015 at 3:25 PM

      For sure. Your only contact is through email/texting/social media? Go to his place and pound on the door!

      Delete
  6. Chris - @nylonlover69 on IG/TwitterMarch 10, 2015 at 3:21 PM

    Shut the Front Door!

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  7. LOL..........Loved it.

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  8. Great post, I had actually stopped reading when she instantly got with Jake and couple other unrealistic things happened, so I picked it back up today and was pleasantly surprised. Good riddance to Jake he was just a rebound anyways. And it makes sense that the up and coming business might take a little longer to call, hopefully she hears soon.
    Wad not expecting that ending

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  9. OMG! WTF!!! Lol. Woah, did not expect that from Marley. Or kinda did but didn't think she'd actually do it. Wow.

    Jack, WTF! I knew he was too good to be true. I get Tessa though. I wouldn't go over there either or reach out first. It's a pride thing.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah....he knows where she lives and is clearly ok and has access to modern forms of technology so he could be in touch if he wants. To me it's not even a pride thing but a "why am I going to put effort into making you act like a decent human?" thing. He's a grown man and if something was going on where he needed space or wanted to stay in contact, he could use his words. All that said, The Ghost is the worst. It's not hard to tell someone you don't want to date them. I had to do it a lot pre-hubby. Just rip the band aid off and let everyone move on with their lives.

      Delete
  10. Very good parts in this post but as a whole, still kind of unbelievable and impractical. It's hard to believe that she could go from living in his apartment to breaking up middle school style over text. Why wouldn't she ask to see him in person? Or call him? I love the spin of the rented date, but would like to have seen it later, and after her and Jack finished. It's frustrating as a reader because you have great ideas but just spill them all out without considering logistics. Less can be more.

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    Replies
    1. I'm with you on this. This post was really far-fetched. I think that after Tessa lived with Jack for awhile she would be comfortable enough to call and ask what's going on. Even a friend would do that.

      Delete
    2. The writer can't please everyone. If everything was working out perfect for her, there would posts saying how unbelievable that is. I don't think the whole Jack situation is so far fetched, she only knew the guy for six months max. I think the Marley situation is a bit far fetched, entertaining, but far fetched. Marley is her best friend you would think she would know her a little better and realize Tessa isn't exactly the rent-a-date type.

      Delete
  11. I'm shocked Marley thought a rent a date would be a good idea. ..her boundaries are totally off.

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  12. To me this post is unbelievable even for fiction. First Jack. She lived with him for weeks and all of sudden he stops reaching out to her and she doesn't even try to find out why or text/call him. Instead weeks later she looks on his Facebook and sees that he's having a good time out? Wouldn't a normal woman who is seeing a man that she thinks is perfect see if he's okay if she doesn't hear from him in a day or so? This is doesn't make sense to me. Nor does Marley hiring an escort to take her out. The storylines are so out there that they aren't compelling or even make sense. Then we have the interview. Is Tessa sitting around waiting on this one job? Why isn't she out there sending out resumes and looking for other opportunities? Seems like she's putting her eggs in one basket. I keep trying to get into this blog but it is hard. The storylines keep changing based on the comments and lots of things don't make sense or even seem plausible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She said she was sending out resumes, but the job at Bloom was the one she wanted

      Delete
    2. Yeah I really wish Zahra wouldn't let the comments get to her. She is the author and we are the readers if we don't like it, we don't need to read it. When she caters to comments the story just seems so.....off.

      Delete
  13. Suddenly his face lit up and he scooted closer to me. “But I just realized you’re not actually the one paying me, so…”



    I just died laughing.... this was an awesome post!

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  14. I am completely confused about jack though. ...

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  15. I don't know why everyone is saying the Jack situation is so unbelievable. He's ghosting her so she obviously was reaching out to him and he was basically ignoring her. Some people would bombard a guy who did that to them and some people would have too much pride like Tessa and would refuse to beg him to talk to her. Would it have been more grown up for Tessa to leave him a heart felt voice mail asking him what happened? Probably, but Tessa is flawed, as we saw from the Grant situation. If she wasn't flawed this blog would be boring. Hopefully we'll find out what's up with Jack. Let the blog develop!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much time do we need to give the blog to develop. It's been almost nine months! NINE MONTHS! And many of us can't get into the story. Everything is so far fetched. She flawed but not stupid. If she really cared for Jack as she claimed she would have reached out him. Almost positive next post she'll hear form Jack and that mystery will be resolved. Then we'll get a resolution on the job (she'll get it) and of course the rent a day will be a scam. Tessa is so damn unlikeable and all these unrealistic storylines make it hard to follow. Zahra is a professional writer and should stick to her guns and write what she wants instead of catering to the comments. Maybe then the story would be more interesting.

      Delete
    2. So...the last time I checked, Zahra isn't holding a gun to your head forcing you to read a blog you can't get into. So, for NINE MONTHS you have been reading a blog that you "can't get into the story" instead of just stopping wasting your time on it. And most likely, you hide behind your anonymous title and post comments talking about how you can't get into the story. Here's an idea...STOP READING. What I find "far fetched" is the fact that you CHOOSE to come back every week despite the fact that you don't even enjoy it! And then you bitch about the post. That's way more far fetched than the story.

      Tessa choosing to not reach out to Jack is completely realistic. Why waste her time on someone that was so quick to forget about her the minute she was safe to go back to her own apartment? It's called pride.

      And as for Zahra "catering" to the comments, if she didn't then people would bitch that she doesn't care what her readers want and that she doesn't respect them. It's a no-win situation for her. So if you don't like it, how about you go start your own blog and quit reading the unrealistic FICTION blog.

      Zahra- I think you're doing great! I love reading your posts every week and can't wait to see how things wrap up with Jack, Marley and the rent-a-dude, and the job. Whatever route you choose to take each of those story lines will be great!

      -Ashley

      Delete
    3. Aren't you the same Ashley that posted a similar rant on minneapplegirl? Who are you to tell someone to stop reading a blog? People are entitled to their opinion like you are. How about you stop being aggressive and let people be.

      Delete
    4. Shut up Ashley. What the hell makes you think that leaving a screen name makes you any less anonymous than others?Also, no one has to explain why they read the blog, they can not like, post what they don't like about it and read all they want. Good grief you act like it takes hours and hours a day to do this when it takes like 20 minutes a week. Get off your pedestal because you actually LIKE the blog. That doesn't make you better than anyone else.

      Delete
  16. The Jack thing is really annoying. Did she not ever ask him what was up when his communication started being weird? Did he make excuses to not meet up in person and she didn't call him out? I get that ghosting happens, and they never had the "relationship" talk, but she literally lived in his apartment for a while...why was she more worried about him when he started acting weird? She jokingly alludes to the mysterious illness, but seriously never asked him? There's pride and then there's how humans actually interact. However, I'm still hooked and hope he's not gone for good without a final confrontation! I wouldn't be surprised if maybe an ex is back in the picture?
    As for the Rent a Gent, what the hell Marley? And what the hell Rent a Gent! Yeah, I'm sooo sure he's never been on a date with a girl who turned out to be nice. How does this guy make any money if he feels bad for clients? But seriously. I would kill Marley. She seems so generally cool, this is weirdly out of character...

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  17. This post was amazing!!! I can't wait until Tuesday to see how she tears her 'friend' a new one.

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  18. Hhahahaha what even? I seriously just read this blog just to see how bad it is, it's like a car crash, I can't look away :/

    That "Rent a guy" thing is not believable at at. The whole "I'm contractually obligated not to have sex with clients" and then suddenly realizing that Tessa isn't the one directly paying him. I would think that most of his clients are renting him out for another person? Or do people just rent guys for themselves? I could not get into that at all.

    Also, he was really presumptuous about sex! It didn't seem to fit. And just because they were going to share a kiss that automatically meant that sex was in the cards?

    I really don't understand this story.

    Also why is there another cliche "easy breezy foreign woman"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha "how you say..." Not every foreign person uses this phrase!

      Delete
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    الولد الشقى واخته وهى نايمه (احلى سكس )

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    قصص سكس و نيك


    صور سكس و نيك

    نيك اختي .... و لا اروع


    قبول اختي سهام في الجامعة /محارم

    الولد الشقى واخته وهى نايمه (احلى سكس )

    عهد و اخيها انس قصة اخ واخته فى بلاد الغربة

    هيثم وريم اختة

    قصة الجناينى وست البيت

    قصة اللص الذي سرق البيت واغتصب المرأه المتزوجه


    ناك حبيبته المتزوجه فوق السطح


    قصص سكس و صور نيك

    قصص سكس و نيك


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    نيك اختي .... و لا اروع


    قبول اختي سهام في الجامعة /محارم

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    قصة اللص الذي سرق البيت واغتصب المرأه المتزوجه


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    ReplyDelete