March 17, 2015

Tessa's Story

by Zahra Barnes

“Savannah tells me you were fired from your previous position.” Dee trained her gaze on my face, eyes cold like steel, and didn’t crack a smile. Well, then. We’d been talking for over an hour, so I wasn’t surprised it had come to this topic.

Instead of darting a glance over at Savannah, who was also sitting at the table, I focused on Dee. “It wasn’t the right fit. There was some miscommunication about who should take on which tasks as we grew. It was unfortunate, but I’ve done a lot of introspection to make sure it won’t happen again.” Then I shut up and held my breath. My stomach decided that was the perfect time to let out what felt like an earth-shattering rumble. I’d barely been able to eat since the day before, when Savannah had called me and asked that I come in to meet with her and Dee.

Dee eyed me, clearly the more serious of the two women, while Savannah smiled encouragingly. Dee was a different kind of intimidating than Savannah. She had close-cut hair, one side shaved while the front sported an impressively glossy pompadour. She wore a sharp blazer, black tee, Levis, and wedge sneakers. I tried not to feel boring in my DVF wrap dress, which I’d pounced on in Buffalo Exchange the second I’d seen it.

Dee shuffled through some papers, then moved on from the conversation about Grey & Boehm. “Tell me about your mock campaign.”

I launched into an excited pitch of what I’d come up with. Sure, anyone could invent a campaign via Facebook or Twitter. But so much of New York’s charm lay in the unexpected discoveries, the things that would stop you mid-stride in wonder and make you late to your ultimate destination. New York was a gritty, grubby city. But there were these blips of gorgeousness that would reveal themselves to you right beneath the grime. It was enough to make you fall in love, to shock you into the here and now. So, in that vein, I wanted to paint the city with beauty.

I’d get an artist named Tamiko Mori to create huge watercolor designs much like the one I’d seen on Savannah’s business card, I explained. Tamiko had showcased at Grey & Boehm soon after I started there, and we’d built up a great rapport. I’d given her an abstract idea of what I was pitching to see if she’d be up for it, and lucky for me, she was. Depending on the location, we’d secure permits from the city or buy ad space, then hang Tamiko’s paintings on buildings all over the city. Each one would be different. Some of them vibrant bursts of color that seemed to usher in spring, others would be cotton candy pastels so soft, they didn’t even seem real. On the top right of each one, we’d tag the paintings with @BloomNYC, so they’d work in conjunction with a regular social campaign. When I was done explaining, I waited for feedback.

Savannah and Dee were both silent as Dee flipped through examples of Tamiko’s past work for 30 torturously long seconds. I know because I counted. Finally, she looked back up at me and, slowly but surely, broke into a smile. “I love it,” she said simply. She turned to Savannah. “I love it,” she repeated with more conviction. “What do you think?”

“It’s perfect,” Savannah agreed. “It’ll stir up their emotions. That’s what we’re here to do.”

“Right,” I chimed in. “But there’s also that curiosity gap—it’ll pique people’s interest, so they’ll just whip out their phones and look up our Twitter handle.”

Dee nodded, satisfied, then turned the conversation to what they could do salary-wise (less than I’d made at Grey & Boehm, but with major room for growth) and when I could start (um, as soon as possible, clearly I had nothing else to do). After I asked a few questions, Dee said, “Tessa, could you step outside, please? I’d like to discuss something with Savannah.”

“Sure.” I somehow kept my voice from going chipmunk and walked out, closing the door behind me. Bloom was slowly staffing up. I saw two girls who had the frazzled look of interns sitting together at a small table, one tapping away at her keyboard while the other wrangled a bouquet of thorny roses into submission. There was also a tech guy setting up computers, sidestepping wayward petals and crunching cut stems under his feet as he did so. Even though there still weren’t many people there, it was all coming together.

I wanted more than anything to be a part of it. I felt that yearning with such ferocity that I instantly wanted to throw up. The door opened behind me. Choking down my feelings, I turned to see Dee and Savannah standing in the doorway, not realizing they held my heart in their hands.

There was a moment of tension before Dee, stone-faced, said, “We’ve got to go with our intuition here.” My stomach sank. How could their intuition not point straight to me?

A sudden smile danced across Dee’s lips, then streaked up to her eyes. She extended a hand.

“And our intuition says you’re the right pick. Welcome to the team, Tessa.” Savannah crowed and clapped, and I pumped Dee’s hand in glee. I offered my hand to Savannah, who waved it away and pulled me into a hug.

They beckoned me back into the office to go over technical details, like my one-month trial period and my official starting date, which would be a few days later. After signing some papers, I drifted out of the office on a cloud, then texted my friends and called my parents. Marley responded immediately, insisting I had to meet her for dinner, clearly still hoping to make up for setting me up with Cole. I said OK, then scrolled through my phonebook to Jack’s name. My finger hovered over the call button. His shitty actions aside, he’d helped me through so much of my unemployment.

The whole point is that you can’t put the shitty actions aside, though, I reminded myself. Instead of calling, I scrolled down to the bottom of his entry in my phone and determinedly hit “Delete Contact.” The option popped up again, double-checking that I meant it. Without pausing, I tapped “Delete Contact” another time. That was it. He was gone. I was moving onto better things. First, though, going home and jamming aggressively to “I Don’t Fuck With You” had moved to the top of my to-do list.

Later that night, I met Marley for dinner. Thanks to her culinary connections, she’d gotten us a table at some apparently very hard to get into tapas place in the West Village. She was inside already when I got there and perked up as soon as I walked in. She stood up and threw her arms around me.

“My gainfully employed best friend! I’m so proud of you!”

“Thanks, Mar.” I squeezed her back, then sat down.

“OK, let’s get this out of the way. I know I already apologized on the phone, but I’m so, so sorry about the Cole thing.”

“I know you are! It was just incredibly embarrassing that I made a move on a guy who was paid to be there. Not something I thought I’d have to resort to just yet.”

“I totally get it. I was trying to prove to you that there are awesome guys out there who will be into you, but it completely backfired. I’m the worst. Forgive me?”

I stared at her face, which I knew almost as well as my own, in the flickering candlelight. It would have been understandable to keep stoking some sort of righteous indignation after the Cole fiasco, but I just couldn’t stay mad at Marley.

“I forgive you as long as you swear you’ll never try to set me up again. I don’t care how great the guy is—or how much his clients recommend him.”

“I promise.” She held out her hand, and we pinkie-swore. “I’m glad that’s done with. Now we can start celebrating!” She made eye contact across the room, held up a finger, and swirled it in the air. A waitress descended upon us with a huge slice of cake covered in sparklers. The bartender hustled over and set a glass of frothy champagne and a shot in front of each of us.

I sat, grinning like an idiot, while they faded into the background. Marley screwed up sometimes, but she was also the best at making you feel like the most special person to ever exist.

“Take the shot, make a wish, then eat your congratulations cake,” Marley said. “On occasions like this, we start with dessert first.” Who was I to complain?

We spilled out into the night air hours later, shrugging on our jackets and trying to figure out our next move. I was inebriated enough to be interested in second dinner, so I was tipsily expanding on the finer points of the empanada place down the street. Then I saw a familiar face, choked on my words, and froze. Marley, propelled by the kind of hunger that only comes after tequila, rammed into me. I barely felt it.

“Jack?” I gasped. I scanned his body. No life-threatening injuries that I could see, which was the only excuse I’d have accepted for him disappearing.

He was laughing at something his friend had said (those eye crinkles, ugh, be still my beating vagina), and took a second to register my face. His jaw dropped. “Tessa! Uh, what are you doing here?”

“This happens to be a public sidewalk,” I shot back, automatically defaulting to bitch mode. Flustered, I spun and bolted, hoping my sarcastic reply would hide how rocked I was to see him. Out of all the bars in the city, he had to be outside of mine. Really, universe?

Marley caught up to me on the next block. “Oh my God. Was that Jack? Why’s he here?!”

“I don’t knoooow,” I wailed, burying my head in my hands. Then I remembered that before meeting Marley, I’d tried to contour my face based on some Kim Kardashian devotee’s YouTube tutorial. Great, now I’d look like a sad watercolor abandoned in the rain.

When Jack had whisked me away on that weekend trip, I truly thought we were headed toward blissful coupledom. But him pulling a total Houdini was devastating. Our last exchange, before I’d offered up the same silent treatment he was giving me, involved me forwarding an email about a cool film festival happening in Central Park. It was a test of sorts. He’d written back a simple “I’m sorry, I can’t.” Even though “don’t hate me” wasn’t tacked onto the end, he was serving me some Sex and the City Berger realness. The guy straight up e-mauled me. I was moving on, but my heart and ego were both still smarting.

Seeing Jack’s face flooded me with memories of us: ducking into antique shops while he wound his fingers through mine, lazing in the park as we named the dogs running by, the last time he slipped inside me and cradled my face, breathing into my neck as he moved. I snapped back to the present and heard his feet pounding behind me.

“Tessa,” he called. “Wait!”

I whirled around and leveled him with my best bitchface, aka my hidden superpower. He faltered, looking wounded. “I just want to talk to you.”

“Go for it.” I folded my arms so he wouldn’t see my hands shaking. As furious as I was, I couldn’t deny that he looked maddeningly delicious. I shushed my body’s urgent “ex sex is so good, don’t lie” whisper and forced myself to remember how pathetic he’d made me feel. He was just staring at me silently, so I turned away. I didn’t need to deal with this.

I thought I heard him croon something and turned around to make sure my ears were working properly. They were.

“When we go crashing down, we come back every time” he warbled. Taylor’s popular song was streaming out of the bar we’d stopped in front of. “We never go out of style…” his voice trailed off and he smiled sheepishly. “I know you love that song.”

My heart caught in my throat. What was he saying? What did he mean? All of a sudden, I was furious that he was manipulating me like I was your garden-variety marionette. One word from him could tug on my strings like none other.

“Stop it.” I pointed at his face. “I deleted you!” His eyes were so pretty, they almost broke me. “I deleted you,” I said more softly. I didn’t know how to explain what it meant, but I hoped he got the finality of it. Again, I turned away.

“Goddammit” he blurted, rushing up and grabbing my arm. “I’m sorry. I was trying to break the tension, like an idiot.” He took a deep breath, his chest barreling out. “Ex sexxx,” my body hissed. I sternly told my hormones to calm down.

“I want to talk, but not like this when we’ve both been drinking,” Jack continued. “Can we meet tomorrow? I need to explain.”

I pulled away and chewed my lip, wondering, what would Beyoncé do? Graciously hear him out (while looking so hot she’d melt his face off), then never speak to him again. And then make millions and party on some yachts. I could at least manage some of that. “Fine,” I caved. I couldn’t help my curiosity.

The next day, I walked up to the café we’d agreed upon and saw Jack waiting inside, staring off into space. I stopped, drinking him in. When he dropped whatever our relationship had been, I felt like he’d flattened something inside of me. I was only just coming out of my carb and heartache-induced coma, in large part because of everything that was happening with Bloom. But I couldn’t ignore that seeing him still made me feel like my stomach was falling out of my ass in the best way possible. Forget it, I told myself. It’s over. I took a deep breath, pulled open the door, and walked inside.


27 comments:

  1. So excited to hear what happens next!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really love this story, but does it ALWAYS have to end in a cliffhanger?! Driving me crazy over here!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I REALLY hope she does not take him back.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also hope she doesn't take him back. I hate when people make an effort to talk to you only after they run into you. If they can't reach out to you on their own I always doubt how genuine it is.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dude's a prick.
    Shady from the start. He just whisks her on weekends away, pretends she's his long term "i'm sooo in love with you" wifey but never actually said it was serious. Poo poo to you Jack I say!
    Now, Tessa should start investingating whether old mate here has a brother or bestest of all best friends, and go and bang him. Eat that Jacky boy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Need to know what happens next!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm sorry post was so predictable. We all knew she would get the job she stressed over and of course she runs into jack. To the comment about Jack not reaching out on his own and that shows that he doesn't care. Isn't it the same with Tessa not contacting jack? The rent a date story line ended abruptly and predictable. Every post ends with a cliff hanger thats a let down in the next post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No not the same at all. He blew Tessa off so if he wanted to repair the situation he needed to reach out to her. Running into her and THEN wanting to explain and apologize just shows that he was embarrassed in the moment and decided to do the right thing because he was ashamed. But if he couldn't do the right thing without his hand being forced then Tessa should move on. What was Tessa supposed to do? Hound him when phone calls and then sit on his doorstep when he ignored them? Desperate much? Jack has shown all the signs of being an emotionally immature man child. Tessa would be smart to run.

      Delete
  8. Another boring breakup. They dated for what? A few months? Who cares. Even Tessa's break up with Grant didn't last this long.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey everyone I know this has nothing to do with this post but go sign my petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-boy-meets-world-to-netflix

    ReplyDelete
  10. Am I the only one who found this post to be all over the place? It just seems like this blog can't find a heart-beat. She's trying so hard to keep it interesting that she keeps jumping from story line to story line, without actually thinking any of the story lines fully through. The bloom thing seems to be promising, but we have no explanation for why it took so long to hear back from them. And as far as this Jack thing, why is it that she seems to be mourning the end of their relationship more than the years-long relationship she shared with Grant? It was clear from the beginning that Jack was shady, with all of his "I'm going to whisk you aways" and "Sweet nothings" and all of that. I, for one, thought that he may be secretly gay (does anyone remember the weird interaction he had in the bathroom with that guy, the same night Tessa met Savannah?). I just wish we could get some consistency in the blog, and not always have to hear about every situation being so dramatic and dire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris - @nylonlover69 on IG/TwitterMarch 18, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      Where should I start...

      If every situation wasn't so dramatic and dire this comment thread would be full of people bitching about waiting for a post only to have it just be "filler".

      Why did the Bloom thing/job take so long with no explanation? Even established businesses with job openings don't fill them with the first person that walks in the door. Sometimes it takes them months to fill a position, or they hire someone and realize it wasn't a good fit and reach back out to other people.

      Grant vs Jack? Don't forget that Grant screwed up their relationship and THEN moved half a world away. Haven't you ever had someone just up and stop talking to you? It's bad enough when you just never hear from them, but if you're still connected (even via social media) and they are still out and about, it can certainly be gut wrenching!

      Delete
    2. She should have been more upset over Grant. HE was the one she was in love with for years, the man she was going to spend her life with. She wasn't perfect in their relationship either. Jack is right to stop talking to her. She moved into his place after a couple dates to get away from her roommate. No one wants to deal with Tessa's crap. She isn't this saint. She has a mouth and knows how to talk. Why not call him instead of putting the onus on him. Seems like she got discouraged when he stopped leaving long ass messages and texts. A post doesn't have to have drama and cliff hangers to not be boring. We need to see Tessa as a normal human being. She bitches about everything and the world is always against her. She's always the victim and it's getting old fast. Grow up Tessa and be the strong women you claim to be.

      Delete
    3. It's a different situation. Grant had cheated. When they gave it another shot, neither of them were as emotionally invested as they were before. The damage had already been done.
      When my ex and I broke up after 4 years of marriage, 3 of which he treated me like crap, I was over the sadness by the next day. I'd already done all my mourning over the relationship while it was happening, and by the time I finally had enough and kicked him to the curb, I was already checked out.
      But a guy I dated for 4 months just last year? I cried about that one for a couple of days because it was still fresh, and it was nothing but drama for the last month or so.
      Not only that, ghosting hurts in a completely different way as well. There's no explanation, and you have no idea what happened.
      As to what you said about her not saying anything...I personally have a 3 text/phone call rule. If I've tried to contact you on 3 separate occasions and hear nothing back...the ball is in your court. You've got my number.

      Delete
  11. Love this blog! Really look forward to reading about Tessa!! I wouldve wanted more about the Cole situation, but ill let it slide. I hope she doesn't take Jack back, hes totally shady. And although it was predictable that Tessa would get the job at Bloom, it would have been absurd to have so much about her interview process only to have her not get a job offer in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chris - @nylonlover69 on IG/TwitterMarch 18, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    Jack, it would have been better for you if you acted like you didn't recognize Tessa and then say that you just got out of the hospital with amnesia! Not sure I want to hear what you have to say... ass.

    ReplyDelete
  13. nice blogg but you should get a crazy design like this

    ReplyDelete
  14. Something about Tessa's character and these storylines are just not believable at all.

    Whatever happened to Finn btw?

    Idk what it takes to write a blog like this, but I'd imagine you'd need some foresight and think about where the plot will go in the future and how things will come together.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ughh I realllllly hope she doesn't get back with him!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yeah, I remember the interesting interaction with that guy in the bathroom the night she met Savannah (in answer to Anonymous 2:20 AM). I thought right away that it could be a hint at Jack's secret sexual preferences; wondered why nobody commented on it from that post. He also could have been doing something drug-related being in there so long - maybe making a purchase or something. But, my bet is on him being gay, and that interlude was the set-up of his exit from Tessa's love life. I always thought he was *way* too dramatic and quick about his protestations of long-term with Tessa; seemed artificial.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Adult dünyasında yani porno dünyasında birbirinden güzel Porno videolar bulunur.
    Bir çok kişi kısa Pornolardan sıkılmış Porno film izlemek için arayışa girdikleri bellidir. Tüm bu Porno zevklerinin sebeplerinden bir
    de pornosikis-izle.com adında bir porno sitesinin açılmasıyla başlayan çok çeşitli Porno videolarıdır. Biz yine her zaman ki gibi
    Türk Pornoları ve buna benzer durumda olan sex videolarını izliyoruz.
    Kullanıcıların tamamı olmasa da arada bir kaç kullanıcı türkçe porno diye arama yapıp bu tarz Porno izlemek istediklerini söyledi.
    Adult videolar tamamen kişisel zevke göre yayılmıştır özellikler hd porno filmler son zamanlarda daha fazla rağbet görmüş ve
    türk pornolarının da bu özelliklere sahip olması beklenmiştir. Tabi birde ateşli fanteziye sahip olan sex filmleri var
    onları esgeçmeyelim. Her kullanıcı mutlaka kaliteli sex filmi izlemek istiyor. Donmadan hızlı açılan sex videoları
    tatmin edebilecek düzeyde olması beklentisi var herkezde. Bir kısım kullanıcı da türk türbanlı pornolar olsun liseli pornolar olsun
    bunların yanında liseli amcık resimleride arıyorlar. Porno izle ve Porno sikiş kelimeleride çok aranan kelimelerden Porno dünyasında zevkler sınır tanımıyor özellikle türkçe porno film izleyicileri
    götten sikiş pornoları arıyor. E o kadar Porno zevkine sikişenler sizce nasıl bir fanteziye bürünsün ki.
    Tüm kullanıcılar bunlardan ziyade bilinmeyen pornoları yani x porno arayışında. Bilinen videoların sanki hepsini izledik tükettik bunlar kaldı birde değil mi.

    ReplyDelete

  18. قصص سكس و صور نيك

    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


    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


    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

    ReplyDelete