Mia Knows Best

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Dear Mia: From, Your Boyfriend

“You didn’t.” Casey stares at me in disbelief.

I don’t even bother trying to hide my rapidly reddening cheeks. “I did.”

She lets out a boisterous laugh and settles back against her elbows on the bed, a new twinkle in her eyes. “How was it?”

I’m honestly not sure how to answer that, mostly because Casey and I don’t usually have conversations about my sex life. Probably because I haven’t really had one for the past couple years.

But that changed on Friday night. And maybe it shouldn’t have, because maybe I should have known better than to mix business with pleasure, but I don’t currently care. Because in that moment last night, when he was looking at me as though I was the only person in the world who mattered, being with him was exactly what I wanted. So I know I won’t regret it, even if it wasn’t the professional thing to do.

I realize Casey is still waiting for a response and I want to be able to express to her the amazingness of what I felt, but I can’t really seem to sum it up into a string of words, so I settle for. “Incredible.”

She smirks. “I’m proud of you.”

“That’s a weird thing to be proud of me for,” I reply.

“I just mean, I feel like you’re really trying to expand your horizons.”

“I guess,” I shrug, turning back to the full length mirror leaning against the wall to adjust my necklace around my neck. “I think part of me was afraid that if I didn’t seize the moment, I’d never get the chance again.”

“What do you mean?” she asks, and I can see her furrowing her brow in the mirror.

“He’s a rockstar,” I explain. “He practically has girls falling at his feet. He can have anyone he wants. Plus, he’s about to go on tour, which means we won’t see each other for who knows how long, which means he’ll probably move on.”

In the midst of my bubble of happiness from two nights ago, I started thinking about the future and what kind of relationship Hunter and I could possibly have and then the bubble burst because I remembered that we came from completely different worlds and I’m not the kind of girl who has a love affair with a rock star.

“I see,” she says quietly. “Are you okay?”

That’s a good question, and I’m still not entirely sure how I feel, so I shrug. “Yeah, but I think I might have sped up the process.”

“How so?”

“He asked me to meet him to talk.” I might not know much about relationships, but that’s never a good sign. If whatever Hunter needed to talk to me about wasn’t a big deal, he would have just told me while we were texting back and forth Saturday afternoon. But instead, he asked me to meet him at the studio where the band was doing some last minute recording before leaving for the airport and their tour, which means he’d almost certainly going to let me down easy about the non serious nature of our relationship before he leaves for an extended period of time.

“And that’s a bad thing?” Casey asks, not seeing the correlation.

“It is if he’s about to dump me,” I deadpan.

She parts her lips to respond, no doubt to assure me that I shouldn’t be so worried, but is interrupted by a buzzing sound which indicates someone is waiting for me at the building’s front door. “Who’s that?”

“Must be the driver he sent,” I reply casually. Nothing the impressed smirk on Casey’s lips, I explain, “Hunter said I wouldn’t be allowed into the studio otherwise.”

I grab my purse and phone from on top of my dresser and head towards the door.

“Gotcha,” she nods, pushing herself off the bed and onto her feet so that she can walk out with me, picking her purse up from the couch as we make our way through the common area. “Well, good luck.”

“Thanks,” I shoot her a small smile as we step into the hallway and I lock the door behind me. “I’m gonna need it.”

I arrive at the studio forty-five minutes later and because of my special car, I’m let in through the back entrance without question and am not stopped by either of the humongous security guards stationed along the hallway. One even gestures to a nearby door and mumbles, “They’re through there.”

“Thank you,” I smile sweetly, pulling open the door and stepping into what looks like the set up for a recording booth. There’s a common area, complete with couches and a coffee machine, that has one door leading to a sound booth and another leading to a room where the recording is actually done.

As I step through the door, my gaze immediately scans the room for Hunter, but I don’t spot him right away. However, I’m not given much time to assess my surroundings, because I hear my name being called out by a familiar voice. “Mia!”

“Um, hi,” I wave awkwardly at the tall man bounding towards me. I recognize him as being the band’s guitarist.

He’s smiling widely as he comes to a stop in front of me. “I’m Ian.”

“I remember,” I laugh. I had spent a good portion of Friday after the concert with the entirety of the band. But I’m also pretty sure that he drank all of the alcohol in the entire state, so there’s a good chance he doesn’t remember our time together. “Hi.”

“It’s nice to finally meet you,” he says, confirming my suspicions. “Hunter won’t shut up about you, so it’s good to have visual.”

“I’m sorry, that must be annoying,” I respond, feeling my cheeks heat immediately. It’s actually super flattering that Hunter would talk about me at all to his friends and I wonder if I should take that as a sign that the conversation we’re about to have actually won’t be that bad.

“Nah,” Ian shrugs. “We like it when he’s happy.”

I’m pretty sure I look like a tomato at this point and the simplicity and sincerity with which he said that statement catches me off guard, so I change the subject to something that won’t make me completely flustered. “Um, where is Hunter?”

“In the recording booth,” he nods towards the door on the back wall and I follow his gaze through the think mirrored wall to see Hunter sitting inside the booth, his lips pursed in concentration as he plucked at his strings. “Wanna hear?”

“Is that allowed?” I ask, surprised that he’s offering. I’d always thought that the in studio work of musicians was top secret.

He flashes me a grin and takes my hand, pulling me towards the door on the side wall. “Sure, come on.”

Once we’re inside, he lets go of my hand, gesturing for me to take a seat in one of the empty chairs behind the sound board with about a million different levers and knobs and switches. I settle back into my chair and watch in awe as Hunter strums a slow, acoustic bass line and hums a harmony with his eyes closed.

Watching him on stage the other night was the most fantastically surreal moment of my life. I’m a fan of the band, so I was excited about the concert anyway, but watching Hunter on stage was like watching the world’s most beautiful sunrise: I just couldn’t tear my eyes away. He’s so alive while he’s performing; so unbelievably focused and vital and filled with passion and love and joy and at the end of the night, I couldn’t help but feel all of those feelings as well.

“So, I thought that you guys were about to go on tour,” I manage to work up the nerve to start a conversation with Ian. “How are you touring for an album that hasn’t been released yet?”

“We’re touring for the album that was released last October!” he replies. “The recording we’re doing right now is for our next album. We like to block off a couple months to do the heavy writing and recording and then we’ll make tweaks over the next few months and it’ll probably be released later this year.”

“That’s so quick.” I’m surprised at the pace and I wonder how long they can possibly keep up with that hectic of a lifestyle.

Ian seems unfazed. “You get used to it.”

“Do you guys ever get time off?” I ask, genuinely curious. Every needs a vacation eventually. “Besides right now, I mean.”

“Yeah, we usually get a couple weeks off between each leg of the tour.”

“That’s good,” I let out a sigh of relief that I hadn’t realized I was holding in.

He laughs softly and smiles sympathetically. “Overwhelmed?”

“A little,” I admit.

His smile widens. “Understandable.”

I turn my attention back to Hunter, allowing myself to become enthralled by the movements of his fingers and the pursing of his lips and the focus and pure joy in his eyes. I’m so completely enraptured by him that I forget that he’s even real and when he lifts his gaze to meet mine, I startle in my seat.

“Hey!” He grins, his voice a bit muffled through the glass as he sets his instrument to the side and moves towards the door. “You made it!”

“Yeah!” I can’t help but return his smile when he reappears on my side of the recording booth. “You sounded great.”

Ian probably notices the fact that I’m currently extremely flustered because he says, “I’ll give you guys some space,” and promptly leaves the sound booth to hang out in the common area.

Once we’re alone, Hunter takes a step towards me, reaching out to grab my hand and intertwining our fingers. “Thanks for coming.”

“Of course,” I breathe out, unable to read the emotions in his eyes. He’s staring directly at me and I want to say what I see is nervousness and I’m wondering it’s because he’s getting ready to say something I don’t want to hear. So I decide to make it easier for him. Maybe if I get the ball rolling on this whole breakup situation, I won’t feel as though my world is crashing down around me. “I’m glad I’m getting a chance to say goodbye.”

He looks genuinely surprised by my choice of words, lifting one eyebrow quizzically. “Goodbye?”

“Yeah, well, aren’t you guys leaving from here to go to the airport?” I respond. I don’t want to say what he wants to say for him, mostly because I’m pretty sure it’s not physically possible.

He looks even more confused. “Yeah, but that’s not why I asked you to meet me.”

I’m pretty sure my heart stops beating, but for first time in the past twenty-four hours, I feel a fluttering of hope in my stomach that maybe my feelings aren’t entirely one sided. “It’s not?”

“No…,” he shakes his head. Catching on to why I’m so anxious, he tilts his head to the side. “Did you think I was about to dump you?”

“No,” I automatically respond, even though that’s exactly what I thought was about to happen. I’m apparently really bad at judging emotional situations. Or maybe I’m right and the reason he’s confused is because he never thought we were at the point where dumping was in order in the first place. “I mean, yes, but I guess you can’t really dump someone you’re not dating.”

He pauses for a moment, his eyes flooding with about twenty-one different emotions and his lips parting and then pressing together and then parting again, before he finally says, “I thought…I thought we were.”

That’s a twist I didn’t see coming. Eyes wide, I say, “Are we?”

“Well, we’ve been on a few dates and neither one of us is seeing anyone else,” he rationalizes, hesitating before he continues. “Or at least, I’m not.”

“You’re not?” I feel my lips unconsciously stretching into a wide smile, my heart feeling lighter than it ever has in my entire life. “I’m not either.”

What a complete miracle. Here I was thinking that I didn’t want to let him go just yet and it turns out that we’re actually on the same page. Part of me feels guilty because I know that us not seeing anyone else means that we’re exclusive and that has implications for a real relationship, which means Lillian will constantly be on my case about updates. But the other part of me can’t help but be elated that he might be a part of my life for just a little bit longer.

His grin mimics mine and he squeezes my hand gently. “That’s good, cause there’s something I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Oh yeah?” I manage to reply, feeling my heart rate pick up.

“I was thinking that while I’m gone,” his voice is shaking a little, as though he’s fighting back his nerves, and I squeeze his hand back to let him know that I find him absolutely adorable, “we could continue that whole not seeing other people thing.”

I feel like my heart’s about to burst and my cheeks are hurting from how wide I’m smiling. “Like, we’d be in a relationship?”

“Exactly,” he nods, inhaling sharply. “What do you say? Will you be my girlfriend?”

I don’t hesitate for a second with my reply. “Yes.”

He breathes out a sigh of relief and laughs softly. “Awesome.”

I wonder what kind of luck I have to end up this situation: being asked to be the girlfriend of a guy I genuinely enjoy being with. And for a moment I think the universe must be working in my favor, but then I remember the job I have to go back to tomorrow and the boss who will want to see my notes and I feel a bit sick to my stomach.

I think about telling him the truth, about telling him how my boss wants an exclusive on what it’s like to date a celebrity and just hoping that he’ll be cool with it. Because maybe he likes me enough not to care about an article that I’ll write at some point in the future. And maybe I want him to know the truth because honesty is an important cornerstone to any healthy relationship and I so desperately want this one to be good and true and real.

My lips even part and purse, but before I can get up the courage to actually form words, Ian sticks his head through the door and says, “Hunter, we’re heading out.”

Hunter nods to his friend and then turns his attention back to me, reaching out for my other hand and sighing. “I guess this actually is goodbye.”

“When will you be back?” I ask, wondering why I suddenly want to burst into tears.

“Two months.”

That’s a long time. And considering we became exclusive thirty seconds ago, I’m not really sure how we’re going to deal with not seeing each other, so I offer, “I can come visit.”

“That would be great,” he says quickly, obviously realizing the absurdity of this entire situation. “We’ll text and talk all the time. This won’t be that bad. I promise.”

I wonder if he’s talking to me or to himself, but I decide that the best way to handle the anxiety is to be calm, so I agree. “Okay.”

Lifting the corners of his mouth into a smile, he leans towards me, pressing a soft kiss to my lips and whispering, “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you, too,” I respond between returned kiss, wanting to make sure he believed me. Because I would miss him. More than he probably realizes. “Be amazing.”

“You too.” He kisses me one more time and I soak it in, trying to memorize the way his lips feel and I find that I’m colder when he pulls away. Releasing my hands, he takes a step backwards, as though intentionally creating distance because he’s afraid he won’t leave if keeps holding my hand. I understand, because I feel exactly the same way. “See you soon.”

He walks backwards towards the door, waving goodbye, and only turning away at the last minute. I can’t seem to form words until he’s disappeared through the doorway, at which point I inhale to hold in the inevitable tears and whisper. “Can’t wait.”

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