It was New Years Eve, I had been lonely and surfing the social network sites. Most were quiet, but a few posts were about their party plans, and how much they loved their significant others. A tiny, little number one popped up in the corner of my web browser, informing me of a new message. I assumed it was Hazel or another family member wishing me a Happy New Years. It wasn’t though.
Just a note to say Hi, he wrote. Harmless, completely and utterly harmless. No confession of long lost emotions, just a note to catch up. So I wrote back, “hi.” After a second, he switched the conversation over to instant messaging, and we caught up.
His wife just found out she’s pregnant, he explained, though they weren’t sharing the news quite yet. He didn’t seem happy with it, and manners said it was rude to ask if it was an accident, but I did anyway. It was planned, by her at any rate. He hadn’t objected, but he wasn’t sure he was ready for another one quite yet.
A long pause in our conversation, then he said he had to go.
And that was the end of it, or so I had thought. I spent New Years Eve in my apartment, thinking back to our history, when I had broke up with him after dumping the information that we’d been pregnant, and I’d miscarried. It seemed eons ago, another person ago. Just a young girl, taking college courses, planning out life perfectly. There wasn’t even an inkling that I would be an Architect Apprentice living in Paris. I didn’t even know how to dream that big.
I wouldn’t have any of that though if things had worked out differently.
I even lost my friendship with Rebecca over my renewed feelings for him over four years ago. I had explained it all away once I was on the flight back to Paris, but my reasoning didn’t sound strong enough to say out loud to Rebecca, so I didn’t call. It was just a blip, I had explained firmly to myself, and yet just his little “hi” on my screen had sent my stomach into flutters.
It escalated into phone calls from there. First a few conversations online, and then he asked for my number, he could call me more easily from his toy store then.
By the time February rolled around, he was calling me every day, sometimes twice. He told me about his son’s recent birthday party. He just turned four and they invited Rebecca and Quint, as well as Caroline’s hospital friends, Morgan and Zeke.
Alex whines a lot, he explained, it’s hard for him to relate to his son sometimes.
It was worst at the party, he sighed. I would listen as he went over the events, most of the time all he needed from me was a listening ear.
When he talked about Rebecca, I felt a pang of regret. I missed her, and our phone conversations. I wondered how Scarlett was doing, so I asked most of my questions whenever he made mention of the Siew family.
He informed me of her miscarriage, and I felt even worse to not have been there for her during that time.
He had been disgruntled that Caroline spilled the beans at the birthday party, she explained that she was 8 weeks, and she had to share with her closest friends.
He had even called me from the birthday party, just to see tell me good luck at my meeting for work.
I appreciated the gesture, my boss Maurice had informed me of a meeting the day before, and I’d been in knots since. Bernadette was always trying to cause strife, and had even gotten me demoted a year ago.
I spent my morning working as cheerfully as I could force, and talking with Etienne over upcoming projects when Maurice came to grab me and Etienne.
The nice thing about Maurice is that he doesn’t waste time, he jumped right into the news. The new Mayor of South Port, Cole London had a proposal for me specifically. The city was in need of some modern pieces of architecture, especially affordable living houses. And he wanted me.
I don’t think Etienne had an idea, his face was pretty speechless, and not pleased. Maurice said we had to go as a combo, because I needed a superior to oversee my work. Cole wanted to use the cities personal brightest stars whenever possible, he had explained, and he thought of me and my success.
I was flattered. It wasn’t just that easy though, I needed time to think it over. It wouldn’t be permanent, unless I wanted it to be. But it would be a year to see the project to the end, maybe two, depending how construction went out.
Both Etienne and I agreed we would think it over, he had to discuss it with his girlfriend, while I had to deal with the ghosts of my past. Maurice left us, but not until he urged us to take it seriously. Offers to head up such a large construction project, specifically asked for by name wasn’t something to turn down lightly. Not if we took our careers seriously.
Before he’d shut the door behind him, Etienne and myself both looked the same. Resigned. The project was amazing, but the locale, the people, weren’t.
We both told Maurice by the end of the day that we’d take it, just had to work out details with my apartment before leaving.
Bernadette was too happy about the news. I still don’t feel sure that this isn’t going to kill my Paris career, with Bernadette flying to my superior, but at the end of this, I will have headed up a major construction project from design to completion, and that has to count for something.
A few wants popped up recently, re-opening this can. Reed’s wife is pregnant, he suddenly got the fear of having a baby, and to talk to Violet-Adele. And strangely, without having seen Reed in sometime, Vi wanted to talk to him too… And so they have.
Which led to title, and song choice – Someone like you” by Adele.
As for the project, I already built the units, shared on N99 sometime ago in the today thread. But they were always intended to be Vi’s project, given to her by Cole. I figure Cole wants all the good people he can get in his city, and the best talent, so he aims to get them. But she’s only an apprentice, and Etienne is a fully certified architect, so he has to go along. Etienne walking the streets of South Port is pretty out of the ordinary for me!
Next update hopefully this week if I get off my butt and write it out! Pictures already taken.
Thanks for reading!!