Chapter One: Welcome Back Andy.
Andy slammed his door, threw his coat on the floor and stormed off into his bed room where he flung himself onto his bed, mad. He grabbed his pillow and screamed into it for a good five minutes before finally allowing the weight of everything that had happened to consume him as he flopped backwards onto his bed and sobbed.
Three days before, Andy was in a good mood. His spirits were up and he couldn’t wait to take a trip down to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to see his cousin Micah and husband Ben. While there Andy had plans to warn J, a man he loved that his boyfriend was cheating on him. Andy had hoped that after all the crying and sorrow had passed from J that the two would end up together. Somehow instead he had stuffed everything up completely.
For starters he had told J’s boyfriend to tell him, rather than telling J himself. Then J tracked him down and started screaming at him. The two fought and as J was moments away from walking away, Andy did the one thing he shouldn’t have. He had told J that B, an ex of J’s who J loved more than anything in the world still loved him. J had been pleased to hear it, but as for Andy, the trip to Pittsburg and the plans he had to reconcile a lost relationship were now over.
Lying on his bed in his home back in Newhaven, Andy couldn’t help but wonder where to go from here. After all, his plans were to go to Pittsburg, see J, break him and Edward apart and come back home to New Haven with him. This plan gone awry and Andy had no idea how to fill his day. Just then there was a knock at the door.
Whoever that is, they can just go away! Andy thought.
“Andy!” came the familiar voice of a woman.
Instantly Andy’s opinion changed and he darted out of his bedroom.
“Andy! I know you’re back, Mrs Miller saw you come home and you know how sh-…” the voice trailed off as Andy opened the door to see A tall, slim, good looking American woman with long brown hair and the bluest eyes you ever saw. Eyes that always screamed I’m here for you whenever you need me.
“Hi Lauren,” Andy managed to say, his voice croaky owing to the screaming from moments earlier.
“Wow,” Lauren replied. “Andy, you don’t look so good.”
Andy stepped aside to let Lauren in and she instantly noticed the coat on the floor.
“Wow, not home two minutes and this place is already going from Hyacinth’s to Ozzy’s!”
“What are you talking about?” Andy croaked.
“Andy, you cook and you clean, then you clean and you cook. This place is normally immaculate. Thrown jacket on the floor can only mean one thing.”
“And that would be?”
“That you need to sit down while I make you some coffee. Or better yet since its 91 degrees out there maybe a soda with ice?”
Andy smiled and nodded in appreciation. Taking a seat in the living room, Andy was so grateful that Lauren had taken this moment to come and talk to him. After all, who better then Lauren in all of new haven, to dump this crap on?
Moments later Lauren could be found, completely enthralled in Andy’s tale of despair as he had predicted. She hadn’t interrupted once, but listened intently to every word, gasping and gaping at every detail.
“No!” Lauren gasped for what seemed like the twentieth time that discussion.
“Yes,” Andy replied. “And then stupid me rushed to think of something to say and basically told him that B still loves him hopelessly…”
“How very Grease of you,” Lauren chimed in.
“And now he’s probably shacking up with him all la-di-dah all because of me!” Andy finished his monologue with a big sigh and got up to refill his drink. Lauren naturally followed him.
“You want my advice?” she asked confidently.
“Lauren, I would pay for your advice,” Andy replied.
“No fee necessary, just come down to the hotel one night and pay cash,” she laughed.
Apart from being a great listener/ advice giver, Lauren was well known in New Haven for running the Dètendez-Vouz a popular 3 star hotel.
“OK deal, now shoot,” Andy replied pouring some more soda for him before getting some more for Lauren.
“Ok, well first thing first. You have to work out how much you want this guy. Is he a Dan or a Leo?”
“A Dan or a Leo?” Andy asked.
“Yeah, charmed. Piper and Dan were an item for what, say 3 months, Piper and Leo were forever.”
“Ok well that’s hard to answer because prior to leaving here I would say Leo, now I’m thinking more Dan.”
Lauren went to answer but immediately her cell rang.
“Oh it’s Rein, crap I have to pick her up from the airport!” Lauren said.
“What? Where was she?”
“She was in Rome on some exchange thing, but she got back a half hour ago…Hello?”
Rein was Lauren’s daughter, the most modest yet brilliantly gifted academic this side of the US. She was currently attending an ivy-league university, which was no surprise to anyone, nor was anyone any more deserving then Rein. Lauren and Rein had the mother/daughter relationship most mothers and daughters envied. They were less like mother and daughter and more like best friends. Yes this was weird when Rein was younger, but now at 19 years old and Lauren aged 36 this was considered not only ok, but classically beautiful. Lauren hung up the phone and turned to Andy.
“So, I have to go and get Rein,”
“Go, go!” Andy said, rushing Lauren to the door. If anyone knew what it was like waiting to be picked up from an airport it was him, having waited at least an hour for a cab home this morning.
“I would invite you to come along, but Rein’s all tired and…”
Andy put his hand up to stop her.
“No need to explain, go and get her and we’ll catch up another time.”
The pair hugged and after agreeing to say hi to Rein for Andy, Lauren left.
Andy shut the door and took a breath. Lauren’s sudden urgency to leave, whilst warranted, had come completely out of left field especially considering their discussion. However as expected Andy did feel, if anything, a bit better than he had before Lauren’s arrival. Andy smiled noticing the coat still on the floor and raced over to finally pick it up. Just as he was placing it onto the hook however there was another knock at the door.
“Hola Andy! It’s Carmita!” came a sing-song Spanish voice.
Carmita was Andy’s friend from his high school days as a cleaner; they had worked together and had become the best of friends. However work had taken Carmita out of the state and she now lived in California. So it was a huge surprise to hear her at the door.
Andy opened it and smiled.
“Hola Carmita!” he squealed in excitement. “Such a long time no see.”
“This is true, why you never pick up the phone and call me up? Last time I checked I was the one with the job!” Carmita replied hands on hips. However very quickly a once stern looked changed back into a happy one as she pulled Andy into an embrace.
“I could never stay mad at my Andy!”
Once apart, Andy invited Carmita in but she declined.
“I can’t, I need to go and see someone about…wait for it…”
Carmita fiddled around in her bag clearly searching for something. Once she had found it, she smiled and pulled out what was clearly an Album with her face and name on it.
“My concert right here in New Haven!” Carmita squealed and Andy squealed too.
Andy knew just how hard Carmita had worked to make it into the music industry and on several occasions she had been only a signature away from securing a deal before someone or thing had come along to stop it.
“So I now have a manager Hulio, and he is mucho perfecto, I performed in California twice already and they got word of it here, don’t ask me how, and now here I am ready to dazzle your people!”
“Oh my god, Carmita, I’m so happy for you!” Andy replied.
“I guess if you’ll be in town a while, we can catch up later yeah?”
“Si. I will come by again tomorrow and take you out to lunch. You’re too skinny! But I love you. Ok Buenas Tardez amigo! Adios!”
And with that Carmita stopped only to embrace Andy in a hug before leaving again. Andy couldn’t help but notice the black limousine outside of his house that Carmita raced to and knew that finally, she would be ok.
Once Carmita left the drive, Andy went to check the mail. After all having been away for three days who knew what was in the mail now. Most likely bills Andy thought. But there was nothing there.
Just as Andy went to go back inside a fed-ex truck pulled into his drive-way. A man got out and handed him a letter.
“Wow!” Andy said to the man. “Since when do fed-ex send a simple letter?”
The man smiled and held out something for Andy to sign.
“Since people wanted their letters getting to their destination an hour later rather than say 2 days later.”
The man rolled his eyes before getting back into his truck and driving away.
Andy couldn’t help but replay the man’s words in his head as he walked back inside his house.
Since people want their letters getting to their destination an hour later…
Who’d want me to know something that urgently? Andy wondered.
But as he looked down the answer became evident. His address on the front of the envelope was written in the neatest of scripture. Only one person wrote like that, that he knew. And clearly this would also be the one person that would want him to receive mail the moment it was written.
Andy sighed as he closed the door and went to the living room, preparing to read the letter that was clearly from J.
(End of chapter one, 1,728 words) leave page blank as you would with a book).