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Ready Or Not on FictionPress

Hi Everyone!

Those who are following me here on LiveJournal probably already know that I've been posting a few chapters on FictionPress rather than FanFiction over the past few months.  I'm just using all my resources to try and promote the story that I'm currently working on, called Ready Or Not.  It's a Zac and Anessa fiction that would take place post Hawaii by a few years. 

You know how a lot of my stuff follows the inspiration of Zanessa and I have to say, this one still does too, sort of!  So, anyway, I hope you'll take a look if you haven't already!

http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3064443/4/

Thanks!

Ups & Downs

So, ok...it's been a week of ups, mainly, and just now a little bit of a down.  Some things I can't describe and some that are just indescribable.

Last Friday was my 42nd birthday!  Early in the week there was something on Twitter from Vanessa's mom, Gina, Mama G, about 11-11-11.  I replied saying it would be a great day cause it was my birthday!  Well, she responded to me with birthday wishes - sure made me smile!

I spent my birthday here at home, alone, and watched all three High School Musical movies!  I danced, I sang and I didn't embarrass ANYONE!  So, that was WONDERFUL! :)  I was lazy, did a little fanfic writing, and then went out to eat with my family and just enjoyed my day.  It was a VERY good birthday!  Thank you Sam, Mac, Jon & Becca!!!

Earlier THIS week (Now a week later) Mama G twitted something about November babies.  I, of course, responded with a Thank You.  Her reply said, 'Are you a November birthday?' and I gladly sent back "Yes Ma'am!  I celebrated my 42nd on 11-11-11 by watching the HSM trilogy @ home - kids in school, hubby @ work!!!!!"  (Or whatever would fit on a twitter response!)

Now here's my HUGE UP for this week!!  Mama G then replied back to me... "Wonderful!!  Ur my super duper Anna!  We are very proud of you lucky lady!!  Any new book ur workin on??"

Book?  Did she mention...book?  I took the twitter text message on my phone and practically ran down the hall at work to show ANYONE that I could find!!!  Mama G knows about my book.  O.M.G.  I was FLOATING :)

But that wasn't it!  The convo kept going, just a little more... I told her I didn't have another book in the works, unless she was ready to let me write a Mama G biography!  "Hmmm, well Maybe!  Thanks for asking! :)"  And she followed by saying - I'm sure just from the goodness of her heart - "Maybe I can get some tips from you" about writing.  Last but not least...she said that she 'somehow' had gotten a copy of my book.  I admitted to her that I had left a copy for her when I was in LA to see Vanessa in RENT.  Following that, I got no other responses from Mrs. Gina Hudgens.  I think I'm still floating out there somewhere - I know I've got another silly grin on my face right now! ha ha!  Thanks Mama G, you're the best!

Now, let's see, what else.  The little down side of that is my pessimism...that little part of me that says, 'well, crap, now they've put two and two together and you've admitted leaving the book.  If they don't like it then it's lawsuit city for me!'  Oh well.  It's not like I'm Nicholas Sparks, out there selling a million books.  AND I did mention to her that it was written while my dad was ill and that I owed a special thanks to V & Z and all of them for giving me a distraction during that time of my life.

Another up...on the same day as the Mama G messages... Becca Beth got her splint off for good!  The broken finger has healed and in six months we will probably never even be able to tell it was broken.  Thank you GOD!!! 

Next... Oh, this is a fun one...let's put this into the category of Yes, Lord, I am listening...especially when you kinda put Your point right in my ear!!!  So I'm driving home from work, listening to K-Love.  They are talking about a new challenge for listeners, and themselves, to NOT judge other people.  As I'm thinking about this my phone buzzes w/ twitter messages... Stella (V's little sis) is flying somewhere - my guess is that she's heading to Alaska to visit her big sis.  Well, wherever she's going, I'm just envisioning the flight and wondering...Stella's 16 now.  Is she traveling alone, or is Gina with her.  Then another thought hits me...perhaps someone else is with her.  Maybe she's traveling with one of her & V's CLOSE friends... maybe Laura is flying with her.  Laura... the singer/BG5 band member who seems to have spent a LOT of time in V's life over the past year.  Laura...the young woman that, I'll admit, I don't like because she seems to have spent a LOT of time in V's life over the past year.  Laura...the lady that I DON'T EVEN KNOW and yet I've nicknamed her 'leech' because she seems to have spent a LOT of time in V's life over the past year. 

Take a second and think back, Anna, what are they talking about on the radio?  Judging people????  And you're calling Laura a what??  And why are you calling her that?  And why again don't you like her?  Haven't you assumed some stuff that you shouldn't have?  You've sure taken a lot more from those pictures than you should.  You do NOT know her and it's not your place to judge.  Yeah, that's what you've been doing.

Then, I found myself talking out loud, telling Satan to leave me alone!  Yes, it hurts to see Laura in V's life...instead of Zac.  Yes, it hurts to think that V and Z aren't together and may never be together again.  Yes, that really hurts my heart.  But it still gives me NO reason to judge Laura, or call her names, or to bad mouth her to any of the people that I might influence.  So Satan, I'm gonna give this my best shot...NOT to judge Laura or call her names or bad mouth her.  And if I feel like doing that, I'm gonna ask for God's help.  Cause even though the situation does hurt my heart, it's not going to take me away from God.  And it won't keep me from praying for V & Z and yeah, maybe even Laura.

Now, here's the kicker on this little story.  After warring with myself, talking out loud on my drive down the highway, and deciding that I need to call this woman Laura, not leech, I listened to the radio again.  And wouldn't you know it?  The KLove dj's picked a pretty strong e-mail to read about judging others...it was email from a woman named...let's say it together now...Laura.

Yes Lord, I'm listening. :)

Another UP?  take a look at that last 3-5 paragraphs up there... I got to share those with Mackenzie tonight.  And when I told her who the KLove email was from...her eyes got wide & her mouth dropped open.  Yes, my teenage daughter, God talks to us when and IF we listen.

And finally, here's my little bit of a downer...not sure why it is though...  Hubby saw the trailer for the movie New Year's Eve on tv tonight.  He came out to the living room, felt my forehead and said, "Just wondered if you were feeling ok.  You haven't said anything about wanting to see New Year's Eve...I  saw that Zac was in it."  I just kinda shrugged and told him that I DO want to see it...and if I can, I will.

I also mentioned to him that there are a number of movies coming out that I want to see.  And, again, if I can, I will.  Some I will make more of a point to see - the ones with Zac or Vanessa in them...I'll make a point to see, somehow. 

BUT...I guess I'm just not up for the eye rolls or whiny voices.  So, I probably won't ask Sam or Mac to go see any of the Z or V movies with me.  I'm the one that's interested, so I'm the one who'll go.  No need to bother them with giddiness about movies they don't want to see.  If they express an interest, then maybe they can go with me.  If not, then no big deal.  Right? right.

So, on that note... I sure would love to hear from Mama G again!  And I'm doing my best not to judge Laura - Lord, I know you're gonna test me on that ... or Satan likely will - and I'm gonna do my best to turn to you for help!  And -sigh- when all the new Z & V movies start hitting theaters, I hope I can go and enjoy them...by myself, or with friends.

Thank You Lord, for life's ups and downs!  Amen.

I Will Always Love You - Part 4

When a couple shares every move of their life for years it's bound to be excruciating to let go, especially when the love for each
other is still there, and especially when letting go means moving on. So how do they handle it? And when the romance has been in the public eye - the couple a victim of blockbuster fame - can they accept the separation and - in fact - move on with their lives?


This is how I envision their potential, final meeting...

I Will Always Love You - Part 4

I saw him leaning against the passenger side of his car, his forehead pressed against the top of the black Audi.  I wanted to walk around the car and wrap my arms around him again but Lauren’s words were still playing through my ears.
 
I was trembling on far too many levels yet I knew I had a responsibility.  I needed to first get him home…him and his car.

I had to smile slightly through my burning eyes.  It was a rare occasion when I was allowed to drive his beloved Audi.  He always drove.  Unless he was sick or I begged with every bit of acting skills inside of me, he drove.  My car, his car, rental car, he drove.  One thing the past seven months had taught me…better driving skills.

I pushed the button on the key fob and saw the lights blink as I neared the vehicle.  He jerked slightly, raising his head to look at the shiny black metal, almost as though he had been asleep.  After a second he realized the door was open and without even looking toward me he pulled on the handle and let his body slide inside.  I took a deep breath as I watched him lay the seat back and run a hand through his hair.  His eyes were closed, his lips slightly parted and sweat beaded on his forehead.  I sucked in one more drag of the fresh L.A. air before I opened the drivers’ side door and lowered myself into the seat.

We had the same model car, only mine was a convertible.  So it wasn’t unfamiliarity that caused me to sit there nearly frozen.  It was a scent, an aura maybe, a feeling of comforting discomfort that surrounded me as the door slammed lightly.  It was his smell, the aroma of his body, the simple Ivory soap and Suave shampoo that he used, along with the mixture of Tide and Downey that laundered his clothes.  I felt a quiet tear escape from my eyes as I pushed the key into the ignition.  The air now moving through my nasal passages was practically a lifeline.  It was something my senses would never forget, and would revel in for the rest of my life.  Because I knew, whenever I smelled this scent, it meant he was near.  And at this moment he was, right there beside me again.

I glanced nervously at him out of the corner of my eye.  It was like I was taking driving lessons all over again.  I was waiting to be called down for a wrong move, or to have points taken off for some little quirky rule that I’d forgotten.  Only this lesson held a lot more than just a driver’s license at stake.  This time, in this car, with him, potentially held a license for me to love him again –to somehow, possibly, make it right.  I knew as I put the car into reverse and we began to move that I had had five years to study for this exam. 

I had been in the drivers’ seat for over sixty months, learning, studying and passing with flying colors.  Then in a matter of just two or three months I had apparently forgotten everything and decided to make my own rules.  Whose idea was that again?

“Just go to your house.”  The voice from the seat beside me practically moaned.

I jerked my head around at the sound of his voice, coming back to reality.  He was drunk.  Was he sick?  “Why?”  I tried to sound strong.  “Are you gonna puke?  I’ll pull over.” I thought I sounded authoritative, even with a little fear in my voice.

“No.  I’m not gonna hurl.  Don’t worry you won’t have to clean up after me.  Bad enough you’re driving my car.  Just go to your house, that way you’re home.  I’ll drive myself home from there.” He answered with more than a little frustration in his tone.

I shook my head and looked out the windshield.  “Not an option.”  Why would he think I would offer to take him home and then not take him home? 

“Just save the ‘I’m feeling sorry for you’ act, would you?  Why did you make that scene back there anyway?  Get it through your head you don’t have to take care of me.  I’m a big boy now.  I’ve gotten pretty good at taking care of myself.  Don’t need you jerkin’ my chain.”  The slurred speech told me he was intoxicated.  But the words he said told me he was hurt.  And, thanks to the alcohol he really felt no need to hold back his thoughts. 

Suddenly I wondered if this had been a good idea after all.

I steadied my nerves and kept my eyes forward.  “I’ll only go to my house if you get out of the car there with me.  Otherwise we’re heading to your place.  I’m not feeling sorry for you.  I just don’t want to be charged with neglect or with letting a drunk idiot drive off when I’m aware of it.”  I lowered my voice to a whisper to try and convince myself of the lie I’d just told him.  “Not sorry for you, just trying to protect myself.”

I felt his eyes watching me and ran my hand over my face.  Now I was just a little angry but that only meant more tears and I wasn’t ready for him to see that.  I tried to set my jaw like he does when he’s mad.  It never worked for me and didn’t now.  He just reached his hand up toward my face and slid his fingers along the underside of my jaw.

I took one hand off the wheel and smacked at him, not admitting that his touch had felt so good to me that I had almost moaned.  I was trying to remember that I was angry at him in this moment.  Or was I angry at me?

“Keep your hands off me.  I’m trying to drive.” I ordered without looking at him.

“Sor-ry,” he emphasized.  “I forgot. She’s the only one who can put her hands on you now isn’t she?  Or do you like it both ways now?  Huh?”  The malice was obvious, the tone not hesitant, and there it was, just like that, more truth from his heart coming out of his mouth.

I hadn’t expected him to bring up my current relationship so blatantly.  But, in light of his uninhibited state I figured I should brace myself for more.  I pressed my lips together just trying to form a response.

“That’s nice,” he had barely given me a few seconds to say anything.  “No answer, no denial, nothing.  Yeah, that’s nice.”

“You didn’t give me time to say anything.” I gritted my teeth as I spoke to him, a sure sign he was getting under my skin.  “Jerk.”

He sat up from the reclined seat and leaned against the passenger door.  “Jerk?” he stared at me, his eyes reddened from the vodka.  “I’m the jerk?  You left me and I’m the bad guy?  Damn good thing you noticed that before I did.  I wouldn’t want you to be stuck with a jerk.

“You’re not making any sense,” I countered, trying to make eye contact and yet avoiding it to attempt to keep my focus on the road.  “You are drunk, again, and you’re not making sense.  I’m not…”

Thank God for the red light just before Mulholland.  It gave me just a moment to close my eyes and remind myself that I obviously wasn’t dealing with the man that I remembered.  I was dealing with his alter ego practically…the one who was drunk and likely wouldn’t even remember how he got home in the morning, let alone some argument that he was picking with me.

How exactly did I expect to reason with him or even have a conversation with him when we couldn’t even get back to his house without arguing?

I sucked in a breath and thought for just a second about the drying tears around my eyes.  My skin felt tight and had a slight stinging sensation.  I kept my hands in my lap while the car was stopped just so I’d have something to look down at.  I still felt him staring at me, watching me, and I didn’t want to return his gaze.  My mind was giving me second and third and fourth thoughts about this plan of mine. 

“It’s green,” his garbled voice mumbled.

“What?”  I looked in his direction for a split second before he motioned his chin upwards, towards the traffic light.  “Oh.”
 
I placed my hands back on the steering wheel and stepped gently on the gas pedal.  All was quiet for a moment until we started up the winding hill.

“Why are you taking me home?” His voice shifted slightly to one I was more likely to recognize.

Still I rolled my eyes.  Had we not been over this twenty times since before we even left the parking garage?  “You’re drunk and I want to make sure you get home safely.  The last thing I need on my conscience is you getting hurt after we’ve seen each other in a restaurant and you drained all of their vodka bottles.” I hesitated knowing my attitude was showing through and hoping that maybe it would just make him think about whatever he wanted to say to me.

“You don’t need to feel responsible for me.  You gave up that right months ago, didn’t you?  I’m not supposed to be responsible for you or involved with you... Hell, I’m not even supposed to know where in the world you are or try to talk to you, am I?”  He hit his fist against the window startling me.  I moved my eyes quickly to my right and then back onto the road.  This wasn’t the best street to try and hold a meaningful conversation, let alone a head pounding disagreement.

“What do you want to talk about?  Huh?  You’ve got me strapped into my own car, taking me to my house so we can talk.  Isn’t that what you said?  So talk to me.  Do it here.  Or would you rather be inside the gate…or inside the door so I can associate my own home with you walking out on me?”  I heard his voice break.  I could see him starting to hit his head against the window beside him. 

“What the… Stop that!” I put my right hand on his bicep and squeezed until he looked at my fingers wrapped around his arm.  “Stop it!” I raised my voice, feeling like his mother.  He looked at me.  “Just stop it.”  I shook my head and reversed my hands on the steering wheel, using my left one to massage my forehead and temple.

“That’s what this is about isn’t it - Making everything official?  You let me know that we’re done…however much it hurts you to admit it; we’re through because you’ve realized who you really love and it’s her, right?  Her.” He spat the word like venom out of his mouth.

I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks as I listened to him.  What he was saying…it was the opposite of what I wanted, wasn’t it?  Wasn’t I driving him home to tell him I was wrong and that I needed him in my life?  I leaned my head back against the leather seat “Please, we’re almost home.  Just…it’s not what you’re thinking, just shut up until we get to your house, ok?”  I tried to plead with him.

My shaky voice apparently worked.  I saw him wrap his arms around himself and lean his head against the window.  His shoulders shook just a little and I knew what that meant.  “I just don’t understand what I did wrong.  All I wanted to do was love you.” 

The tears hit home.  Even though they came out of drunk, bloodshot eyes they hit home.  The times that we had argued in the past, the times he had called me, scared because he thought I was angry or hurt, the few times in five years when he thought I was going to leave him all came back to me as I heard him cry.

I said nothing.  My own tears welled in my eyes.  It was the last thing I’d heard him say the morning he left my house the last time.  He had spent the night, not trying to convince me to stay with him, but trying to gather some of his things that had been left there over the years.  Every time he had grabbed an item I had taken it right back from him.  He argued that I shouldn’t have anything in my house that would remind me of him.  I told him I needed everything that was there because I wanted to be reminded.  It was a night that confused both of us.  And in the morning, when I had finally given up and fallen asleep, crying at the kitchen table, he walked out with a duffle bag of his belongings.  He didn’t know I’d heard him when he kissed the back of my head and told me, ‘All I wanted to do was love you.’

IWILLALWAYSLOVEYOU
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http://www.fictionpress.com/~adcgordon
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I Will Always Love You - Part 3

When a couple shares every move of their life for years it's bound to be excruciating to let go, especially when the love for each
other is still there, and especially when letting go means moving on. So how do they handle it? And when the romance has been in the public eye - the couple a victim of blockbuster fame - can they accept the separation and - in fact - move on with their lives?


This is how I envision their potential, final meeting...

I Will Always Love You - Part 3
I pressed my lips together when I approached the bar.  I must’ve been in the bathroom for a long time, because just as I suspected, my girlfriend was headed in that direction.  I saw her catch sight of me, place her hand over her heart, and tilt her head as though she was feeling sorry for me. 

Then I saw her eyes move to him and her demeanor shifted completely.  She began to breathe heavily, and stomped toward the counter with an evil glare in her eyes.  I tried to step purposefully forward, toward him, even though he had no idea I was even near.  Before I could block his view though, he obviously spotted her.

He downed what appeared to be his fourth, maybe fifth, shot glass of liquid and slammed it down against the counter.  Then he proceeded to stand up off the bar stool he was occupying.

I managed to step between them as Lauren was still several feet away.  I put my hands up in front of my chest asking her again.  “Don’t, please, not here.” I tried to keep my voice down.

“What the hell did he do to you?” she managed to say without even looking at me.  Her eyes were over my shoulder watching the figure that was now casting a shadow over mine.

“What the hell did I do?” I heard his voice slightly slurring and gravely from the alcohol.  The sound made me ache; my entire body ached and suddenly felt weak.  “What the hell did I do?” he asked again with his voice hitching up half an octave.

I felt his fingers reach out and grasp my shoulder and knew more tears were already falling from my eyes.  Every thought I’d had in the bathroom was coming back to me.  Add to that, a new measure of fear that he would never love me again, on any level.

“Nothing,” I tried to raise my voice but it came out in a choked cry as his fingers tightened on my joint and pushed me out of his way.

“Get your hands off her,” Lauren’s eyes had a fire in them that I hadn’t seen.  And yet, when I looked over my shoulder at him, I saw an inferno that I recognized…blazes of anger that said he was going to protect me.

“I’ve been wanting to say the same thing to you since you walked in the door,” his voice was barely above a whisper.

I bit my lip and forced myself to turn and look at him.  I felt Lauren’s movement toward us stop, just a few steps away, when she saw me place one hand over his on my shoulder and the other onto his chest.

I swallowed the horrendous taste of disaster that had filled my mouth and felt my courage roll down my throat, moistening the passage just enough to get a few words out.

“Let me drive you home, please.”

His jaw ticked, the pulse in his neck throbbed, begging me to soothe it as I had in the past.  In the years past when he thought I was threatened, his body gave me all kinds of signs and I had learned to ease each and every one of them.  Only I knew those things about him, this moment revealed to me.  His possessiveness, protectiveness, his … love … he had only given those to me. 

I couldn’t help it.  My heart pumped even more tears through my eyes, down over my cheeks and lips.

He looked down at me once and saw the pain on my face.  That’s when he released his grip on me and stepped back.  He shifted back toward the bar and pulled several bills out of his pocket showing them to the bartender before tossing them on the granite beside the empty shot glasses.  I thought he was then going to hand me the keys and fulfill my request to just take him home.

Instead he began to push past me and practically snarled at Lauren when she stepped closer.  “Don’t need you to drive me home.  I have friends here … just get out of here and leave me alone,” he growled.

I watched him head toward the front door of the restaurant rather than the back room where his friends were still located.  At the same time I felt Lauren’s arms wrap around me, apparently trying to comfort me.

But I couldn’t let him leave that way; drunk, angry and hurt.  I wouldn’t let this evening end like this.  I needed answers; I needed to tell him that I needed just a little more time.

“Wait!” my voice lifted this time above the dull noise of the crowd, just enough for him to hear.  I know he heard, because he hesitated. 

“Please just let me go to him,” I pushed Lauren away and began to follow after.

When I reached him his breath was heavy and I could see his hands shaking.  He tried to put them in his pockets, pretending that he was searching for his keys, but I could tell. I let my own shaking hand reach out with my fingertips grazing his shoulder.  “I need you in my life.  Please talk to me.”

I stepped closer and wrapped my hands around his waist before letting my head rest against his shoulder blade.  “Let me drive you home so I know you’re safe.  I know you may not believe me but I care.  I don’t want to see you hurt.  I need you.”

His tense muscles gave way to either my touch or my words or both, I’m not sure.  He never turned to look at me but he pulled his keys from his pocket and shoved them into my hands, forcing me out of the makeshift hug.  Once our contact was broken he stepped again toward the door.

I looked back at Lauren, standing there horrified.  She numbly made her way over to me, a pleading look covering her features.  “What are you doing?” she asked with a scared, frustration-laced tone.

“I’m taking him home.  I won’t let him drive in the state he’s in.”

“He’s an adult.  He brought this all on himself.  Let him find his own damn way home.”

“I need to talk to him,” I tried to explain calmly but her heckles were raised and she wouldn’t even listen.

“About what?  You both have phones, e-mail, texting, so talk to him.  There’s no reason you need to be face to face with him at his house.  Do not do this.” 

I understood her tone.  It wasn’t a request, it was an order.  Even through my emotional distress I could tell she was battling her own.  She knew, from the night we first met, that I loved him and yet she had eased me into a relationship that I now was less than sure of.  Still I held feelings for her as well.  Not as strong, though, apparently, as the ones she had for me.

As I stood there watching her I understood even a little bit more.  I had drawn them both in.  They both had given me pieces of their hearts while I was still trying to figure out how to give part of my own.  The difference was, he had stolen my heart – and owned it …whether I knew it then or not…and in order to feel that way again I needed him.  We needed to share our hearts and lives.

“You can’t just run back to him, feeling sorry for him because he’s drunk.  He let you go and pushed you away, you can’t pretend everything would be the same,” she warned.

I nodded as tears slipped down both of our cheeks.  “I just need…to talk…to him.  You mean…so very much to me…” I wasn’t sure what else to say.

“Then come home with me,” Her words were straight and to the point, though I knew if I did end up at the same residence with her tonight, my life would be in even more shambles that it was at that very moment.

“I’m taking him home, Lauren, and I’m going to try and talk to him.  He and I need to try and work through…whatever mess this is between us.  I need him in my life, in some form or fashion.  I cannot live without him.  You deserve to know that, and you need to accept it.  I don’t know if he shares my feelings any more or not, but that’s the God’s honest truth, from my heart.” I confessed as she watched me and cringed.

“I…I love you.”  Her voice weakened and she turned to make her way toward the bathroom.  I pressed my lips together knowing I couldn’t give her the proper response.

I Will Always Love You - Part 2

When a couple shares every move of their life for years it's bound to be excruciating to let go, especially when the love for each
other is still there, and especially when letting go means moving on. So how do they handle it? And when the romance has been in the public eye - the couple a victim of blockbuster fame - can they accept the separation and - in fact - move on with their lives?


This is how I envision their potential, final meeting...

I Will Always Love You - Part 2
Lauren looked almost pained when I sat back down.  She noticed the tears as a couple of them slipped down my cheeks.  That’s what led her to get up, come around the table and slide in beside me – as she had wanted to be seated when we first arrived.

She put her arm around my shoulders and shushed me.  I didn’t want to make a scene so I just left things as they were, grabbing my napkin to dab at my eyes.

“I’m fine,” I shrugged a little to try and get her arm off of me.  She moved it, but her hand made contact with my thigh and stayed there.
I couldn’t help but glance back at him and noticed his view looking toward us, and the distaste that altered his beautiful features. 

“Lauren, don’t, please,” I requested when she tried to lean her head against mine.

“You still love him, don’t you?” she asked with no emotion in her voice as she stared at the side of my face.

Before I could answer the waiter showed up and asked for our orders.  Lauren tried to wave him off but instead I told her to go ahead.  I was glad she requested two of the entrees.  I still had no clue what we were ordering, but it allowed me the time to watch him stand from the table and shake his head at his buddies.

When our waiter left I was able to see even more as he took out his wallet and threw a wad of cash on the table.  He pointed his head toward the front of the restaurant and then headed that direction with none of them following him.

Lauren watched the whole thing play out as well.  When I thought about standing to follow him she shook her head.  “What good would that do?” she asked and rolled her eyes.

I didn’t know if it would accomplish anything, either, but I thought I would at least be able to look at him and touch him to try and help squelch the feelings that were torturing him…or was it me?

Did I do that to him?  I didn’t mean to.  I loved him.

Lauren and I pretty much ate in silence.  I only took four bites of the food and then asked for a to-go box.  I watched her eat for another minute and then sighed.

“I’m going to the bathroom to freshen up,” I notified her. 

She immediately put her fork down and took the napkin out of her lap. 

“Don’t,” I told her and held my hand up to make sure she stopped.  “I can go to the bathroom by myself, I’m a big girl,” I pouted slightly and she hesitated to let me go alone.

“You sure you’re ok?” she asked meaningfully.  “Sorry, I’ve been a bitch,” she said hurriedly when I stood up.  “He just has no right to dump on you, that’s all,” she finally admitted.

I squinted my eyes at her trying to understand.  “Dump on me?” I questioned.  “He never dumped on me.  All he’s ever done is care about me,” I told her what was on my heart.

“Funny way of showing it,” she nearly hissed with her retort.

I lifted my head and let it fall back to try and ease some of the tension in my neck. When I felt the slight pop I raised up to look back at her.  “Why are you doing this here?” I asked.

Lauren shrugged, “No reason.” She claimed.  “But we can finish it at home if you want.”

I shook my head with a bit of pain running through my heart.  “There’s nothing to finish.  We went our separate ways.  I made that call, not him.  I can’t help it if I still have feelings for him.  He’s been kind enough to give me space and time.  What more am I supposed to ask of him?”

She shook her head.  “Nothing.”  She answered plainly, “absolutely nothing.”

I stepped away from our booth and noticed easily the faces that were watching me from the other table.  One of them, a friend of mine, opened his mouth to say something but stopped when the man beside him smacked his arm.  He grimaced with an apologetic look on his face.

My head suddenly felt like it was spinning around.  I wandered toward the front of the restaurant where the bathrooms were situated.  They were on the opposite side of the bar.

That was where I saw him again, elbows planted on the counter.  The drink in front of him looked exactly like the one he had left at the table.  His point at the bartender gave way to a second identical shot glass.

It was all I could do not to break into tears right there.  I was desperate to talk to him, desperate to know what was going through his mind, and desperate just to be near him all at the same time.  My desperation and my nerves apparently run in the same circles, because as I got closer to him every nerve in my body became overly sensitive and I thought I would throw-up before even having the chance to say ‘hello’ again.
 
I quickly moved on through to the bathroom, thankful that Lauren hadn’t come with me.  That was part of my head-spinning issue, I realized…Lauren, my girlfriend.  My girlfriend who wanted more from me in our relationship; and I had finally given in to her when I returned from the movie shoot in New York. 

I hadn’t thought about regretting that step, until I took it. It was a complete change in my lifestyle, and went against my little bit of rational thinking.  Somehow my head told my heart that if he wasn’t there waiting for me – and my body was screaming that I deserved to feel a loving touch from someone – then I could still find that pleasurable release without, in fact, giving myself completely to another…man.

My attempt to rationalize swept through me again.  I felt hot, nervous, my heartbeat seemed to alter while I tried to figure out the entire meaning of my life right there based on the past 15 minutes of time.  I grabbed a towel from the sink and let some cool water run over it.  Then I held it onto my forehead with one hand and braced myself against the counter with my other. 

There was a point, about seven months ago, when the blue-eyed man at the bar told me again that he loved me, and I had repeated those words back to him.  Except for some reason, at that time, the words just didn’t feel right.  I started questioning myself, questioning him, questioning what love was and why it mattered to someone in their early 20’s.  We were just having fun, weren’t we?  What did love have to do with it?

I let my mind think about the things that perhaps I had missed out on because I was in love with him.

Sure, we had shared tons of things together.  No, he never told me I couldn’t go out with my girlfriends, or other male friends for that matter.  He always encouraged me to go, have a good time, learn new things, try new things, enjoy myself.  And he was doing the same.

But the little devil on my shoulder started replaying the five years that the two of us had spent together.  I remembered my father saying that it couldn’t be healthy for me to be in a serious relationship at age 16.  I fought him on that.  I loved my father, but I also knew I was in love with my co-star-slash-boyfriend.  Daddy wasn’t there to see us together, the chemistry between us.  How could he know?

During that time of questioning the prickling pitchfork had poked me numerous times telling me that maybe, just maybe, Daddy had been right. 

That’s when I started telling him that I needed a break; and that’s when his heart started breaking.  I’m sure he loves me.  I was sure of that before the two of us ever even shared a deep kiss.  I could see it in his eyes when he first kissed me on my cheek.  And I could feel it in the sound of his voice when he whispered to me.  I never questioned that he loved me; and I don’t question that I love him; but I question how deep my love is, and whether or not there’s just something else out there that I need to experience before settling down in a completely committed relationship.  Plus, with the career I … we’ve … chosen, could I really have a completely committed relationship?

I looked in the mirror and the realization dawned:  I was in a committed relationship.  That’s what I had with him.  But it was also what I had now with Lauren.  The difference is, I know what I had with him.  I don’t want to hurt Lauren, but what we have… well, it’s just not what we had.  And I don’t know if it ever will be.  I haven’t told anyone about my feelings for Lauren, potential feelings.  But the way he looked at me as Lauren held my hand back at the tables... He knows there has been more than hand holding between us.  He just knows. 

I wiped the cool towel across my forehead and under my eyes to blot the mascara that had smeared.  I saw the midnight blue on the white cloth and rolled my eyes.  My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding and my mind was throbbing with my confusion.  I had to talk to him.  He had to talk to me, or listen to me, or something.  I couldn’t just sit here in the bathroom.

Among other possibilities, hell could break loose at the bar if Lauren came looking for me.  And, God forbid, if she found me crying in here she’d go jump on him for causing this.  I can’t say that I know the drunk version of him.  I’ve been with him when he was the happy-go-lucky, get a buzz and ride it man; but not the ‘I’ve-drunk-a-half-bottle-of- vodka-and-dare-somebody-to-screw-with-me’ twenty-something.  That’s the person I’m afraid would come out if Lauren confronted him at that moment.

Truth of the matter is, it’s all my fault.  And somehow, before Satan’s minions took the opportunity to put the two of them in the same location, I needed to be the buffer, the mediator, the one with a clear head.

I sucked in a deep breath, and then another.  I tried to touch up the worn makeup under my eyes and looked in the mirror.  My eyes were bloodshot from the tears and the wiping.  But I had to get out of there.  Somehow I had to let the angel on my other shoulder take control.
I wasn’t ready to come to terms with losing him as a lover and best friend.  And yet, it had already happened.  Neither of us had acted like that toward the other in months.  Like I said, we’d barely spoken since Allison’s premiere – actually, since before that.  But somehow, through it all, I’ve still been telling myself that we were still in love.  His faith in me, his strength, that’s what’s pulled me through any number of nights.  Even without talking to him I could hear him, feel him reassuring me. 

Somewhere in the back of my mind and heart we were still us.  There was something inside of me saying that I could just go back to him whenever I wanted or needed to.

That was until I saw him tonight.  The look in his eyes, seeing his body stiffen at my presence, such a foreign look on his face… on this night I finally opened my eyes to the truth of the matter.  Maybe I couldn’t go back.  Maybe, just maybe things…or I…had gone too far. 

But before I could believe that, I had to know for sure.  I had to get rid of the naïve little girl who fell in love with her boyfriend and yet never really understood that love was what I was feeling.  Tonight I needed to let him know that my eyes are opening to what we had…er, have?  And I’m beginning to see just how special that is.  If he would listen I need to let him know that – if he could give me a little more time – I still want him, and need him, and yes, maybe I do really love him.

I steeled myself for the next part of this evening.  I had seen the vodka shots and I knew he had already overdone them.  Because of that I decided I would drive him home.  It would make him mad, and Lauren mad, and Lord only knows what would happen to me.  But, I made up my mind, whether we ended up going for coffee, arguing, sleeping or making love, the confusion had to end.  It had to end tonight.


Different Coasts

Getting ready to head out to see Beastly.  Been so excited for it for seems like more than a year now.  And yet this whole day has been mixed emotions.  Have tried to stay upbeat about the Zac and Vanessa 'break'.  Still want to think of it as just a break due to their schedules.  But the more I think about it, the more stuff goes through my head and I start thinking, yeah, maybe it is a breakup.  

Lots of stuff about them going through my head.  His drinking, her tattoo... both seem to be entering their 'college days', free from someone else overseeing what they are doing AND free from having a significant other who might say "ooo, not so sure I like that idea for you."  And, to a 41 year old parent with kids who are still yet to reach that age, I kinda wish those years wouldn't come.  Cause it seems the less you take your 'partner's' thoughts into consideration, the farther away from them you drift.

I can say I'll always be a Zac and Vanessa fan...a Zanessa fan...I love their young romance and want the best for each of them.  But I gotta say, it sure hurts the heart to see them on different coasts, in more ways than one.

What do you do when...

What do you do when...
-your muse takes a hike and refuses to return?
-the thoughts that used to excite you about writing only bring short, uninspiring glimpses?
-it's time to stop escaping and focus on reality?

It's funny, yet it's not.  As those thoughts go through my mind I just realize again that I'm an adult.  I'm an adult with a family and a full time job and I wonder exactly where I've found the time to escape over the past couple of years.  My family has supported me.  Is it now time for me to come back 'home' and be their support?

I feel torn between the reality and my escape mechanism.  It/them...me/life...

I don't want to lose the friendships that I've found through my escape...real friends...even if communication is only through text and written words most of the time.  They are friends...friends who understand why I could escape the way I did...the way I have.  I won't break from them...maybe just from the activity that has boosted me; yet now I'm struggling to even know how I was able to do it.

Maybe the muse will return.  Maybe it will return in a different fashion.  Maybe it's actually here and I'm just being dramatic as I search for it.  Maybe...but until I know, what do I do?

Bummed About the Grand Scheme...

Just finished writing & posting a pretty emotional story.  I'm pretty proud of it honestly, although it was full of emotional twists and turns and it was supposed to help me get a particular thought OUT of my head.  Instead I think it just added a few more thoughts to that one.  Why is it sometimes when you think you're doing well at something that you make a decision and you feel like it causes all of your hard work to come apart at the seams?

That's kinda what I feel now.  I've been on a high for probably a year now simply because my various writings were being accepted and I felt as though they were appreciated.  But this last story that I wrote...well, it got reactions - and honestly they probably are the reactions that I expected -  I just am not sure how to react to them.  The real downer is that I think I've lost some readers b/c of it.  

Am I out anything?  Nah. Nothing but the time served writing it.  Course, if you imagine about 4-6 hours per chapter and the thing was 19 chapters long...well, ok that is a chunk of time.  But in all honesty I'm afraid some of the reactions have cost me faith in myself.  If that makes any sense at all.

In the grand scheme of things, does it matter if I believe in the longevity of Zanessa's romance?  Probably not, except that it gives me something to smile about, something to spark my imagination and some inspiration to help me have a few good laughs and other emotional ties with my hubby. ;)  But even if it doesn't matter I guess what kinda hurts is that my support of them is being questioned.  (I know, I know... really Anna, in the grand scheme of things people are questioning your support of a Hollywood couple?  And that bothers you?)  Yeah. It does.

It probably does b/c earlier in the year I was accused of saying derogatory things about them.  That one I still haven't figured out, but I took it lying down.  Problem there is that I can't leave good comments to help outweigh the bad ones now.  And the person who has blocked me out is tied to a couple of the other sites where I've enjoyed enjoying the news of Zanessa with other fans.  I'm really, really hesitant to comment now, and certainly not as animated with the comments that I do leave.

Now, with this last story I have a feeling that I've just dug my own grave, so to speak, for being able to share my Zanessa love with other fans.  ((Or perhaps my real fear is that (well, fear may not be the right word but anyway) it'll take away future chances of meeting them.  Like that would ever happen anyway.))

So okay, in a world where I'm not really even known by my real name, I'm bummed b/c I may never meet an inspiring couple due to a fictional story that I've written about them.  I likely would never meet said couple anyway.  And while I'm bummed about this, one dear friend is trying to keep custody of her child; another is battling cancer; several are debating whether or not to keep their jobs or take early retirement; and I'm blessed in so many ways I can't even begin to count them.

In the grand scheme of things?  Yeah.

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Quotes & Quips

**Click on calendar date for chronological view of chapter/story entries.**
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"We don't call them 'crazed fans', we call them 'moms'." -ZEfron (2008)
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"Catch me in 10 years and I'll give you a great revelation." -ZEfron (2007)
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Obstacles are the frightening things that come into view when you take your eyes off your goal.

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