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From A Distance

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She arrived at Leah’s apartment wearing ripped jeans,
a tube top, and flip flops. Her curly brown hair was
pulled up into a messy pony tail that looked like she
woke up this morning and didn’t bother to style her
hair. Knocking on the door, she tried to compose
herself, but making herself beautiful was not her
specialty.

“Hey Cassie,” Leah said, pausing to look at the
clothing choice Cassie picked out for herself that
morning. “Hmm, I’m guessing we are going to a nice
restaurant for brunch,” she joked.

At that very moment, a nicely dressed man with curly
brown hair and a tall frame took his usual spot at the
outside table of the local coffee shop across the
street from Leah’s apartment. He ordered his usual
black coffee and blueberry scone and picked up the
daily paper, pretending to read it. He had been
watching Leah for three days.

“Very funny,” Cassie said sarcastically. “I was
kicked out of my house this morning ‘cause my mom was
having her weekly book club and these jeans and this
shirt were the first things I found laying in my pile
of clothes on the floor. I’m gonna need to borrow some
clothes if you want to go to The Star Plaza for a nice
breakfast.”

“I wouldn’t mind that, but that’s most definitely not
in my budget today, especially if you want to go
shopping later. Why don’t we just go to that coffee
shop across the street and plan our day from there.
Besides, I’m still full from that steak dinner we had
last night,” Leah sighed, rubbing her stomach.

“Your still full?!” Cassie laughed, “no wonder I’m
three sizes bigger than you...I eat way more than you
do. Maybe I should go on a diet.”

Leah grabbed her wallet and a jacket from the closet.
“A diet? Ha you would never last on a diet. Why don’t
you try not eating for a couple of days?”

Cassie took her hair out of the pony tail and grabbed
a brush from Leah’s bathroom counter, quickly brushing
each section of her hair.

“Yeah, I guess I could try not eating. Maybe I’ll just
drink smoothies for every meal. Are you okay? Your
eyes are all puffy...and there are tissues overflowing
in this trash can...” Cassie’s voice trailed off.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” Leah tried to force a smile, but
tears trickled down her face from her eyes instead.

“Sweetie! What’s wrong?! You were fine when I dropped
you off here last night at ten. Did you go out after?
Did something happen? Did someone hurt you?” The
questions were coming out of Cassie’s mouth faster
than the water coming out of the faucet where Leah was
washing her face.

“Well, last night after you left, Parker came over
and broke off the engagement,” Leah said in between
sobs.

Cassie grabbed the box of tissues, what was left of
them, and handed them to Leah. “I’m so sorry Leah! Did
he say why?”

“He told me a couple of weeks ago that he had to move
to Italy for a few years for his job. I told him I
didn’t want to move there right after we got married
and that I thought he should turn the offer down. He
told me he would think about it, but he came back
yesterday and said he couldn’t be with me if I
wouldn’t be willing to compromise things.”

“Aw, Leah, there are plenty of other guys out there
who would die to be your boyfriend. Parker has no
right to ask you to move to Italy right after you get
married. And to leave all your friends and family
behind during the first year of your marriage...that’s
not fair at all.”

They continued to talk, the tears on Leah’s face
quickly drying up at the realization that what Cassie
was saying was true.

“It’s just that I was with Parker for four years, and
I still didn’t know him that well. That means I have
to wait another four years at least, to find someone
to settle down with...”

“It was meant to be this way,” Cassie interrupted,
“you will find a guy and you will know you were meant
for each other. I’m sure of it.”

They talked for a little while longer and decided to
make their way to breakfast. Walking out of the
apartment, Leah locked the door behind her and hugged
her best friend.

Across the street, the tall man sat up in his seat at
the sight of the girls walking his way. He put down
his paper, finished the rest of his coffee, and shoved
the muffin into his mouth. The moment he had been
waiting for was approaching him quickly. He had to be
ready.

Cassie squeezed back, smiling. They skipped across
the street, Cassie eyeing the tall man sitting at the
table at the coffee shop where they were headed. She
knew it was the perfect set up.

Leah, too, noticed the tall man, and her heart
skipped a beat. She smiled and thought to herself, the
city is filled with men. For the first time, she was
content and her confidence was back.

Cassie and Leah walked into the entrance of the
restaurant and made their way to the back of the line
to order their breakfast.

“Did you see that man?” They both turned to each
other and asked.

They laughed.

“Yes,” Cassie replied, smirking, “You should go talk
to him. He looks like your type.” There was a certain
twinkle in her eyes and Leah was thankful for having
such a great friend right there by her side.

“Maybe I will,” Leah glanced back to the tall man who
was staring back. “Thanks, Cassie. For being here for
me, I mean. I don’t know what I would have done if you
weren’t here for me. You saw how I was...a miserable
wreck. Thanks for looking out for me.”

“I want you to be happy, Leah. When you aren’t happy,
I’m not happy. We are like one, remember?” Cassie
chuckled. “Now, after we get our food, I order you to
go talk to this guy.”

Leah smiled. “Fine, you win. I will talk to him,” she
pretended not to be interested, but inside her heart
was racing.

They ordered their food, and Leah slowly made her way
over to the table.

The tall man noticed her walking his way. He prepared
himself for the last time, as if it was his last
chance.

“Hi, I’m Leah,” Leah said, flashing him a smile and
then glancing back at Cassie who was watching from a
distance.

“Hi, I’m Paul.” The man who has fallen in love with
you in the past couple of weeks and the man who you
will shortly fall in love with, he thought.





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