"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." -Scott Adams
Laying in my bed, I stared up at the shadows dancing on my ceiling from the forceful winds blowing outside. Tonight for some reason I just couldn’t relax enough to fall asleep.
Maybe it was because of the bad weather. Possible the unsettling movie I watched before. Or the fact I had a slight upset stomach. But mostly it was because I was alone in my apartment.
Taking a deep breath, I closed my eyes trying to shut out everything. Relax, I commanded my body, but I couldn’t.
Turning over I grasped my cell phone and had the urge to text someone. Just so I didn't feel so alone. Scrolling through my contacts, I gave a simple text to Oliver because he insisted I not call during work hours.
I waited a while for him to respond even though I knew he was at work in the emergency room now. Maybe he had a break soon?
My phone buzzed and I jumped with excitement that he could talk, but that’s when I saw it was just a dumb email from a store sale.
Glancing at my phone, I sent a text to Peter.
Maybe he be awake still and could just calm me down from my paranoia of feeling like I was hearing sounds in my house.
Again I sent the same text to Peter.
In a minute, my phone buzzed and I saw he responded,
Hey, you’re actually up. Isn’t your bed time like at eight? Haha.
I smiled a bit as I wrote back,
No, that’s only when I have work. I cringed a little as I continued to write, Today is Saturday thankfully.
He responded back,
Still what’s keeping you up? It’s like two in the morning.
Taking a sigh I responded with the truth,
I’m a little unnerved with the weather and being by myself. I swear I keep hearing noises down the hall.
In a matter of seconds he said,
Maybe it’s your neighbor or a branch could be hitting the house? Just relax. You locked all the doors right?
I sent out before I heard a loud crash of something in my house. I bolted up from my bed and stared at my door in panic.
Oh my god!! Was someone be breaking into my apartment?
Stepping out of my bed quietly, I didn’t hear anything. Grasping my phone, I text Peter in panic,
I think someone is in my house. I just heard a crash.
Peter responded quickly, I’ll be over soon. Call the cops.
I will. My extra key is in the dog statue’s butt, I added.
Shaking like a leaf, I so quietly took my bat out of my closet and hid behind my dresser. Another noise was heard and I tried to pinpoint their location.
Were they in the living room or kitchen? Was there more than one?
Glancing down at my phone, I finally realized something beyond terrifying. My phone had died. Out of all the times I forgot to charge my phone it had to be this day.
My heart was nearly in my throat as I clung to my bat for dear life. After many agonizing minutes of waiting to hear from Peter, I could hear footsteps now and light switches echoing in the hall.
Was that Peter?
Finally a shadow was in front of my door and the footsteps stopped. The door knob began to turn and I seemed suddenly paralyzed with fear.
“Lex? It’s me.” The familiar voice of Peter whispered in my dark room and he flicked the lights on. “The house wasn’t broken into.” He announced confused as to where I was until I ran from my hiding spot and hugged him to death.
I’ll admit, I cried, mostly from relief.
I blubbered out, “I was so scared and my phone died before I could call the police. Oh Peter.”
Peter stroke my head as he said reassuring, “It’s alright Alexia. Everything is going to be alright.” My puffy and probably ugly snot face glanced up at him and he actually smiled down at me, “Let me show you what the trouble maker is.”
I still grasped his arm as I asked paranoid, “So someone was in my house?”
Peter shook his head, “Not a someone,” we turned to my kitchen and he continued to say, “more like a something. Remember when you told me the garbage men didn’t take your recycles and you had to bring them in last night?”
“Yeah.” I said confused. I clean my recycles pretty good, but maybe I accidentally attracted a couple of rodents?
“Look,” Peter pointed out to my floor where many of my aluminum cans and plastic bottles laid.
My green eyes glanced down in surprise to see a small golden white tabby kitten with blue eyes staring up from me in the recycling bin. Peter walked over picking up the adorable kitten and said, “This was your cute intruder.”
My mouth stood open in shock, “How did it get in here?”
The kitten purred in his hand and he responded with a guess, “Well it might have been looking for warmth and crawled inside your bin. And you so happened carried it inside.” Peter baby talked to the cat, “Good thing too. They would have made a can out of you.”
Dragging my feet into the kitchen, I search my cabinets. Peter glanced over to me, “What are you looking for?”
“Something to drink,” I responded as I hoped maybe one bottle had made it through Oliver’s health inspection.
But as I glanced around, I sighed seeing the only thing containing the word wine was the red vinegar I owned. “Do you think if I drank enough of this the wine might actually become present?” I joked as Peter leaned against the counter with a smile.
“No, I’m afraid not Lex.” He glanced at his watch and added, “Tomorrow’s Sunday so….”
I finished his sentence with displeasure, “every liquor store is closed.” Gosh I just want one drink.
Peter sensing my disappointment responded, “If you want I can bring some later today?”
My green eyes shifted over to Peter unsure, “You’re leaving?”
“Well, shouldn’t he be coming home soon after seeing your panic text?” Peter glanced at his watched slightly annoyed.
Leaning against the counter, I stood quiet for a second.
I wasn’t sure if I even sent that text out he would have gotten it until his shift was over. If it was an actual intruder I probably be dead. Scary thought.
Making eye contact with Peter I replied, “No.” In the back of my mind it whispered, he’s barely around.
Taking a deep sigh, I promised myself I wouldn’t be needy. After all he was saving lives. “I didn’t get to text him that because he’s at work and um, he doesn’t get off until 7 in the morning today,” I informed Peter.
And after that Oliver would go his home to bed to sleep because it’s closer to the hospital.
Peter shifted closer to me and studied me hard with his soft brown eyes. What was he thinking? I pondered before he asked placing stress on the want part, “What do you want to do?”
Glancing around my creaking apartment I thought, I definitely didn’t want to stay here alone. I didn’t feel safe.
“I kinda want to stay with you today.” I stared at Peter with a sudden fear maybe he wouldn’t want me to come over. I tacked on unsure, “If it’s okay?”
Peter stretched out his hand for me, “Yes. Come on Lex. We'll get some sleep.”
Grasping his firm hand, I smiled up to him, “Maybe we could go to the next agenda of wedding planning?”
He sighed as he shook his head in disbelief at my persistence to get planning done, “Maybe?” Peter laughed as I picked up my coat and keys.
Handing over the extra key, I slid it back into the statue outside in the flower patch. He responded with sarcasm, “Classy.”
My green eyes narrowed with humor as I replied, “Would you have thought to find a key there?”
Peter smirked as his eyes still held a mocking look, “No way.” I noticed Peter was still holding the kitten and I asked, “What are you going to do with it?”
Petting the kitten, Peter joked, “Aren’t you going to keep it?”
I shook my head at the thought and I responded, “Nope. I have no experience when it comes to pets. He’s all yours.”
We walked down the stairs in the cold air and he tucked the kitten into his jacket. “You had no pets ever?”
Slamming the doors shut in his car, Peter started the engine up and turned to me in surprise. Shaking my head I answered back, “No.” My eyes lifted up in thought as I added, “I’ve only had the fish for two days before you killed it.”
“Well here’s your first experience,” he handed the kitten over to my lap and I panic not sure how to hold it. “Peter, I, I….”
Without touching the kitten, it went in between my crossed legs for warmth and purred with sleepiness. Peter pulled out onto the street and added with encouragement, “See you’re a natural.”
Shaking my head, I stroked the kitten’s fur gently and said, “I’m not keeping it.”
Still pulling my leg, Peter joked, “But where will it go? You can’t let him go and freeze out in the cold again.”
Sending daggers at Peter’s guilt trip I said, “Maybe the nice person you are will adopt him.”
He gave a contagious laugh that somehow made me smile, “You wait Lex. This little one is going to make you think twice on your decision.”
Finally we pulled up to his apartment complex and I replied sarcastically, “I highly doubt it.” Peter gently picked up the kitten back into his jacket and slowly we climbed up the stairs until reaching his door.
Flicking the light on in the kitchen, Peter placed his keys on the counter top and made his way to the living room. Placing his jacket on the chair, he tucked the kitten in the middle as a temporary bed.
Rubbing my arms, I knew the kitten wasn’t the only one cold in this room. Peter someone how caught my subconscious action and quickly started the fire place as I pulled a blanket off the couch for myself. Snuggling up in the blanket, Peter asked, “Do you still want some wine?”
I nodded my head in appreciation and Peter got up and collected two glasses and a bottle of red wine. As he was unscrewing the cork, I bent over to notice a few blue prints of different perspectives on a structure. Handing me a glass of wine, I stated, “What are these?”
Peter scratched his head before answering, “My latest project I’ve been working on.”
Taking a sip, I added after, “It’s beautiful.” It was true, the structure was very unique and had this brilliance of planning.
Excitement lit up Peter’s tired eyes, “Really?” His hands pushed a few papers away as he asked, “Want to see the finish project?”
I nodded my head just imagining it magnificent with small details, complementing colors and amazing landscaping to attract the eye to the focal point.
But as he handed me his drawing of the final pencil drawing, I stared at it with discouragement. For how beautiful the foundation of the structure was, the final revealing seemed to lack appeal and well imagination.
There was so much potential, my thoughts screamed.
“What do you think?” Peter asked slightly nervous. My eyes bobbed up to his hopeful ones and he added, “You can be honest if it sucks.”
I gave a small smile as I explained, “It doesn’t suck. I can see such passion and thought in the planning of the unique structure.” The unique modern building need some curb appeal, that’s all.
Biting my lip slightly I dared to ask, “Would it be alright if I could work to give you some options to brighten it up?”
He smirked at the idea and replied, “Knock yourself out. If I handed this in now, it probably be dismissed anyway.”
I looked intently back at the drawing and whispered, “And that would be a shame.”
Filling up my wine glass again, Peter said, “So how long have you been without alcohol?” I glanced at him confused and he added with a smile, “You’re sucking the bottle dry as if you’ve been deprived for years.”
I giggled to overcome my embarrassment, “Now you’re making feel like I’m some kind of alcoholic downing two glasses already.” Swirling the red wine in my glass around, I replied, “I really haven’t had a drink in awhile. Oliver and I are supposed to be on this health kick. But as you can see I had a rough day….”
A health kick we both decided to do and we both donated our junk food to the soup kitchen. That meant no sweets, chips, soda, ribs, alcohol, bacon, hot dogs, no extra carbs of bread, bagels, pancakes, cereal and no burgers from my favorite fast food restaurants, which I was dying to eat.
Instead we went to restaurants that didn’t hold those temptations and good taste in my opinion. I hated to admit, but being with a health nut sucked.
“You’re being such a rebel.” Peter rolled his eyes and asked perplexed, “Why are you on a health watch? You look good.”
My cheeks I could feel were warm now and I wasn’t sure if it was the wine suddenly hitting me or possible the nice compliment from Peter?
I shrugged my shoulders, “It’s not bad to keep in shape and healthy. Just think, I’ll probably be able to live until 100 if I keep it up.”
The tussle blonde hair of his shifted when laughing. It made me feel please that I could bring such happiness to him. Peter responded, “My great-grandfather only drank a small glass of wine everyday and lived to be 99.”
I shoved his shoulder a bit, “He probably just had good genes.”
Finishing his glass, he responded joking, “I don’t know. A little wine and a good movie goes a long way Lex.”
Placing my cup on the table, I could believe that. I responded feeling slightly buzzed already, “I’ll keep that in mind.”
I tipped my red head back on the couch with my eyes closed and Peter patted my leg. “Alright, bed time.”
I tried picking up my heavy head and stated, “I’m not tired.” I seemed to wiped by all the drama.
Peter chuckled as he swung my legs onto the couch and pulled the warm blanket over my whole body now. I laid back on his comfy couch as I watched Peter picked up my empty wine glass and walk to the kitchen to set our dirty dishes in the sink.
I then heard the running water and a yawn over came me. I was sleepy. My eyes slowly closed and before I dozed off into pleasant dreams I heard Peter lips whisper, “Night Alexia.”
The sensation of warm lips touched my forehead gently and I was out.