Chapter Eighteen.

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Songs for this chapter are:

She- Zayn

Pushing Away- Kevin Garrett

Heaven Forbid- The Fray



My classes felt so long today. Well, they have all week. I couldn't focus after Hardin called to tell me that he is coming just next weekend.

Next weekend.

Next weekend doesn't give me enough time to smooth things over with Tessa and let her get used to the idea of him being here, in her space. He said he can't change it, that he has an appointment here that he can't miss. I can't help but think he's applying for jobs here, why else would he have an un-moveable appointment here in New York? It has to be for a job, or he's growing tired of being away from Tessa. My second thought is that he can't stay away from her long, he must need his fix.

When I reach my building, a loud delivery truck is idling in the middle of the street. The deli below has deliveries at all times of the night. Voices and the heavy sound of doors closing, opening, closing again drove me nuts at first because I was so used to the still silence of the suburbs in Pullman, Washington in the Scott castle on top of the hill. I remember how big that house looked to me as we pulled up in my mom's station wagon.

We had chosen to drive there, despite Ken's many attempts at buying our flights and shipping our stuff. Looking back, I think my mom had too much pride to let him think she was around for anything other than her love for him. I remember the first time I heard her laugh in front of him. It was a new laugh- the kind that changed her face and her voice. The corners of her eyes drew up, her laughter sprang from her and coated the room in light and fresh air. It was one that made everyone around her feel a little lighter.

I felt like she was a different, happier version of the mom I knew and loved. She didn't change much, she has always been a worrier. She worries about my sleeping habits since I moved to the city. She keeps asking when I'm going to find a doctor, but I'm not ready to do most of the practical parts of living in a new city. The doctors and getting a new license are things that can wait. I don't want to drive in this city anyway. The trash comes at around three a.m every night and the loud pounding of the plastic against shrieking metal used to wake me up every night when I first moved here. Perhaps a doctor could give me some advice, but where would I get the time?

Instead, I made the best purchase of my life and got one of those sound machines that play noises of the sea, the rainforest, and the only setting that I actually use- white noise. It helped me tremendously. Tessa likes the noise but she said she grew up next to a railroad track and missed the noise during the night. Lately, we have both seem to be reaching for anything that reminds us of home.

The hallways of my apartment building are empty and silent on the first floor. I wait patiently for the elevator to lower to the first floor and step inside. It's small, only suitable for two medium sized people and one shopping bag. I usually take the stairs, but I ran a little harder than usual this morning before class and my calves are paying for it tonight.

When I step off the elevator and into the hallway on my floor it smells like sugar and spice. Nora must be here and her and Tessa must be making a sweet, floury mess in my kitchen.

Music is playing, the crooning voice of an edgy girl taking a stand for disregarded youth who are the New Americana fills the apartment when I open the door. I take my shoes off and leave them by the door. When I walk into the kitchen, I put the gallon of milk on the counter and Nora thanks me first.

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