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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1971917
Rated: E · Draft · Women's · #1971917
This is a piece I wrote in 2006. Feedback and reviews are always welcome. Thanks!
Reality has finally set in.

When Dana heard the door to her new place close behind her, she started to feel the lump in her throat again. She started to scan the living area. The big windows seem to smile at her but she couldn't bring herself to return the favor. She didn't bring much furniture, just enough to get comfortable. Dana didn't feel much comfort, though. Her mind was still reeling from the shock of the sudden change in her life. In less than one week, she went from someone's significant other to alone. For the first time in two years, Dana was single.

Dana and Kenny met in college at a job fair. The two hit it off quickly. Kenny was fairly conservative while Dana, on the other hand, had opposite interests. Nevertheless, they complimented each other well, and as a result, their relationship began to blossom. They could spend all day at the museum, and then spend the evening dancing at hip-hop night at the coffeehouse. What Dana loved the most about their relationship was their friendship. She could share everything with him. There was nothing they couldn't talk about. They always had time for each other.

As luck would have it, the two had job offers in the same city and it worked out perfectly. Kenny was hired at a prestigious bank while Dana began her career in the graphic arts. The two ended up sharing an apartment and considered each other in all major decisions. Despite his quirks and bad habits, Kenny was Dana's dream man. Most women would never be this happy.

Dana soon saw a change in her Kenny. He began to place more emphasis on being with the 'right people' to advance his career in finance. He dragged Dana to boring social functions to mingle with the corporate upper class. She admired his ambition, but something was wrong. Kenny began to turn his back on the things that were important to him. His friends, his loving, blue-collar parents, and a jailed twin brother were overshadowed by his quest for success. This was particularly disturbing to Dana, since she became close to Kenny's parents. She even sent Kenny's twin, Kevin, greeting cards on holidays on his behalf. Kenny also became increasingly critical of Dana and her habits. Her clothes, hobbies, and friends were the subject of constant objection. Nothing was ever good enough for him. Kenny began to tell Dana what to wear, what to eat, and who to be friends with. He hated the fact that she went to the club every Friday after work and hated that she never found his crowd interesting. After enduring his tyrannical behavior, Dana decided to put her foot down. She just couldn't take it anymore. She had no intention of leaving; she only wanted to tell him how she felt. They were always able to work things out. Just as she was building the nerve to speak her mind, Kenny dropped a bomb.

"I can't do this anymore. We're just too different. I still care about you, but I need someone who can appreciate my goals, someone who wants the same things I want. You'll just be holding me back."{/i}

Dana just couldn't understand. Kenny cast her off like the last two years meant nothing. Words couldn't describe what Dana was feeling. His dismissal burned a hole through her heart. After hours of pleading and crying, Dana came to a grim realization: Kenny didn't want to be bothered with her any further.

Dana considered herself lucky to find such a nice apartment with almost no notice. It had a loft-like appearance with high ceilings and hard wood floors. She had a corner apartment in a historic building. She was closer to the gallery where she worked and the neighborhood was close to the cultural mecca of the city. Restaurants, galleries, and shops decorated the area. The art museum was about three miles away and Union University was also nearby. Dana was able to surround herself with the things she loved most. Sadly, this was no consolation. She still felt unloved and empty. Big part of her life was now missing and she didn't know what to do to fill the void.

Dana began to open boxes silently when she heard her cell phone ring in her backpack. It was the furniture store calling from downstairs with her living room set. She buzzed them in and her phone rang again.
"Hey sweetpea!" Her father's voice generated a spark.
"Hi Daddy." There was a brief silence.
"Are you feeling better?" Dana could hear the concern in his tone.
Dana's voice cracked when she spoke. "I'm okay."
"Did the couch and things get there okay?" Dana started to perk up a little.
"Yeah Dad, it's really nice. I'm starting to feel at home already." Liar.
"Good. Consider it a housewarming gift from Gina and me. We've been pretty worried about you all week. Do you need anything, baby?"
"I think I have everything under control. You've done more than enough already. You've really helped me get through, Daddy. Thank you." She smiled.
"Anything for my little girl. I don't want you to worry about bills this month so I deposited some money in your checking account. Get some new stuff, go shopping, and have fun. I don't what this whole breakup thing to linger."
"I know. I'll be fine. I'm going to get home to visit as soon as I can."
"Okay sweetheart. I have to get back to work. Call me when you can. I love you." "Love you too Daddy. Talk to you soon."

Being the daughter of a successful criminal lawyer obviously had its advantages, but Dana was too independent to be spoiled rotten. She always took care of herself. Dana learned that from her father. He also taught her that nothing in life is promised. She appreciated this lesson even more after her mother passed away.
Dana wasn't particularly fond of her stepmother, Gina. Gina was a friend of her mother's before she passed, so she wasn't exactly thrilled with her being married to her father. For his sake, Dana tolerated her.

Dana's conversation with her dad made her feel better. With a smile on her face, she began to stroll around her new place. The bedroom was large with a walk in closet and large windows. This was pleasing because Dana preferred natural light. The bathroom was probably her favorite. There was a huge old fashioned bathtub that jutted out of the corner along the wall. It was easily big enough for two people. Dana planned on christening the tub later. The living area made her place look like a loft. The kitchen was off to the side as soon as you entered the front door. There was no defined dining room, but there was plenty of space for dining room furniture. She immediately decided where her workstation would be. There was plenty of room for her drafting table and photography equipment. Dana really began to feel at home. She didn't have this freedom of choice with Kenny. Everything had to be his way. Not anymore.

After unpacking for a few hours, Dana realized she didn't have some essentials. After making a list, she freshened up and ran out the door. She came across the large service elevator. Dana had been using the stairs and never used it. Might as well. She cautiously entered and pulled the gate down closed. She noticed the directions posted on the wall. Pretty simple. The elevator proceeded slowly to the first floor and the door opened automatically. Cool.

Dana was almost blinded by the sunshine as she exited the back door of the building. The tiny lot behind her building was connected to a narrow driveway. Despite the size, she easily maneuvered her Chevy Blazer onto the street.

The neighborhood was alive with activity on Friday afternoon. She got to Paseo Avenue and witnessed the masses enjoying the day. A potpourri of people kept the sidewalks occupied. Heading east, Dana found a flower shop, numerous cafes, and a New York Style deli. She was familiar with the area, but she saw it differently. She was part of it now, not just being here to work. Paseo and Union Street was a popular place. It was where campus and the city met. Students were making their way to and from class. Dana began to think about college.

"What do you think you're doing?"
Kenny had a disgusted look on his face as he walked through the door. Dana tried to keep her smile as she greeted him with a hug. Unresponsive, Kenny tossed his briefcase on the sofa and leered at all the black and white photos that were sprawled all over the living room floor.
"Explain this please."
"I'm trying to decide what photos to use for an exhibit I've been invited to participate in. My pictures are going to be at the art school on Union's campus. It's my first major show! This could really put me on the map." Dana's enthusiasm fell on deaf ears. Kenny went on to the kitchen and pulled a bottle of water out the fridge and sat at the kitchen table. Dana planted herself in the chair in front of him. }
"What do you think?"
"Dana, I don't feel like talking right now. Get dressed. The reception starts at seven." The tension in the room began to swell. "Kenny, did you hear me?" He rose to walk away when the frustration finally took over. "Did you hear me!?" Kenny got a softer look on his face. "I'm sorry, baby. I'm happy for you. It's been one of those days. Get dressed. We'll talk about it on the way."

But they didn't talk about it at all, she recalled. Dana remembered Kenny doing all the talking at the reception. Outside of introductions, he didn't say a single thing about her or her interests. He left her alone for more than two hours before she caught a cab home. Kenny didn't notice. He didn't care. That was just a few months ago.

Dana started to fight back tears as she pulled into the MegaSave parking lot. She was shaken back to reality when she heard a car horn behind her. She turned into the first space she found.

The climate was crisp in the humongous superstore. It was the kind of place where you could get ice cream and a garden hose in one trip. Since she had no food, Dana proceeded to the grocery section. She picked up the usual things, remembering to shop for one. She thought of all the things she bought for Kenny, bypassing them all. She picked up everything he hated: red meat, white bread, glazed doughnuts, and a six-pack of Coors Light.

Dana felt a sense of victory as she stood in the checkout line. She noticed a little girl in the cart in front of her. Her tiny voice sang out, "If you're happy and you know it, say 'Amen!'"

Amen.

© Copyright 2014 SashaKate (skathryngaskin at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1971917