Oct. 17th, 2010


Kristy is a Bossy Busy-Body

It hadn't taken a full twenty-four hours after Stacey left Sam for word to spread.  Stacey moved into Mary Anne's apartment, filling her in, and she sent Claudia a short e-mail, hoping that her best friend would get on a computer in Japan sooner than later.  Claudia did and then made an international consolation phone call, but that only made Stacey feel slightly better.  Since she hadn't expressly told Mary Anne to keep things quiet, Mary Anne almost immediately told Kristy so that she could find out if Sam was okay.

Kristy wanted to give Sam time to tell the family on his own, but after a week she realized that he wasn't going to.  It was time to take matters into her own hands--like always.  So she picked up her cell phone and called her older brother.

"Hey, Sam, it's me," she said when he finally picked up.  "How are you?"

Oct. 11th, 2010


No Word

Prior to this weekend, Stacey had been excited to get Columbus Day off from work, but now she thought that work might have been the better option compared to sitting by herself in Mary Anne's empty apartment.  Mary Anne was visiting her boyfriend and her roommate was at work, leaving Stacey to sit and angst.
And she knew that she was angsting and that it would annoy the crap out of her if she had to hang out with anyone doing the same, but she was in the mood to feel sorry for herself and nothing was going to stop her.  Today was the anniversary of her miscarriage and it shouldn't have been a big deal; Little Elizabeth was clearly not ever supposed to make it and nothing could be changed about that.  Sometimes Stacey even almost forgot about her, but when she became broody she let it consume her and she fantasized about what life would be like today if her baby had lived.  Would she and Sam have gotten married?  Or would everything have gone the way that it did, anyway?
They hadn't spoken since Friday night and it was killing her.  She had hoped that he'd wake up on Saturday morning with the realization that he couldn't live without her and of course he wanted to marry her someday with no doubt in his mind.  Then he'd call and she'd rush home and they could be them again.
But no call came on Saturday or Sunday and now Monday was mostly over and there was still no word.  Stacey wondered if Sam even remembered what today was, but maybe he wouldn't call even if he did remember.  Maybe he hadn't figured out a way to tell her that his feelings hadn't changed and he didn't really want to be with her forever.

Maybe it was time to just give up.  He would have called by now if he wanted to, if he really cared.  And Stacey needed to stop replaying his promises in her head, the ones about how they'd talk soon and their relationship wasn't over.  Because maybe it was.

Oct. 8th, 2010


Sam and Stacey

Stacey and Sam had been invited out on Friday night, but Stacey was exhausted from a hard week at work.  She was one of the lowest members on the totem pole at the financial firm where she had worked since August, and with the 2010 Fiscal Year coming to a close on September 30th, her firm had been going crazy trying to process everyone's taxes.  She'd done twelve hour days every day this week and now that Stacey was finally home and in her jeans and bare feet, she simply wanted to relax.

Relaxing had been hard recently, mostly because of work, but also because of Sam.  Stacey still loved him every bit as much as she always had, if not more, but she hadn't been able to make herself not care that he didn't seem to have any plans for them beyond the present.  They had been living together for years and had almost had a child together and yet no plans?

And that was another thing.  Monday would be the fifth anniversary of her miscarriage and because of all the stress that she was experiencing, Stacey was feeling it more this year than in the past.  She didn't want to be sad, but she just was.  She often thought that she should bring up her concerns to Sam so that he could assure her that of course he wanted to marry her and of course he wanted to have babies with her--even if he just wanted to wait on all that for a couple of years.  She was fine with waiting...as long as she was waiting for something that was definitely going to come.

She was pulled from her thoughts by Sam as he let himself into the apartment.  From her spot on the sofa, Stacey grabbed the remote and turned off the TV.  "Hey babe," she smiled wearily.  "How are you?"

Jun. 10th, 2010


More Poor Timing

Recently, things had been a little tense in the McGill-Thomas apartment.  Stacey's inability to broach the subject of their future was putting a strain on her at an already stressful time in her life.  Now that she had graduated from Columbia, she was trying to find a job.  Well, she'd been applying to jobs for months, but now that she was out of school and her father was cutting her off financially, she was making her job search a full-time job.  In the past two weeks alone, she had attended three interviews, sent out her resume to over forty businesses and filled out extensive applications for fifteen more positions.  Many of her friends from graduate school were in similar circumstances as her, so she knew that she wasn't the only one not getting responses, but it was still stressful.
The added tension was messing with her blood sugar slightly, too.  It wasn't enough to talk to her doctor about, but she had to pay closer attention to her levels than usual.  All of this combined with Sam's ill will towards Ethan was enough to stress out anyone.  She had seen Ethan only once since the shower fiasco, when they rode the elevator up together.  She had been friendly and tactful, but also firm and clear that walking into her apartment in nothing but a towel had not only been inappropriate, but it had caused tension in her home and he had better not expect to be welcome there anytime soon as far as Sam was concerned.  Ethan had apologized profusely and then irritated her the tiniest bit by saying that he hadn't even considered whether it was appropriate or not because he wasn't interested in her any longer.  Stacey was glad that he wasn't, but she couldn't help but be a little miffed at the same time; no girl wants an ex to think that she's undesirable, ever.
Still, when Stacey relayed the conversation back to Sam that evening, she could tell that he remained unconvinced over Ethan's true motives and it only gave her something additional to worry over.
As if that wasn't bad enough, she returned home from the post office--where she'd bought more stamps to mail out more resumes--the elevator was out of service.  "Oh, you're effing kidding me," she scowled to herself.  Of course it would happen on a day when she'd worn cute but entirely unpractical high heeled shoes.  Glaring down at her feet, she removed the shoes, resigning herself to washing her feet as soon as she made it to the eighth floor, and started walking upstairs.
As she neared the seventh floor landing, she could hear someone calling out for help a little uncertainly, like he wasn't sure if he needed help or wasn't sure whether anyone would hear him.  "Uh, help?  Help?"
"Ethan?" Stacey called out, entering through the open stairwell door.  Immediately, she saw smoke coming in from #707, his apartment.  She dropped her shoes and purse and rushed in, nearly knocking Ethan over.  "What's going on?!"
"Thank God you're here!  I was cooking and, well....the pot caught on fire!"
Stacey rushed over to the stove and, sticking her hand into an oven mitt, grabbed a pot lid and put it on top of the pot, shutting the fire inside and tamping it down.  She turned off the burner and then used the mitt to start waving the smoke away.  "What on earth were you cooking?!"
Ethan bit his lower lip sheepishly.  "I was trying to make stove top popcorn.  I guess that maybe I turned the heat on too high?"
"You think?" Stacey asked with an eyebrow raise, clearly suggesting that he was some level of stupid.  She thrust the oven mitt at him.  "You're not going to have a fun time cleaning that up, but definitely don't go near it until it cools off.  And you need to check the batteries in your smoke detector because I didn't hear it go off."
"Oh, I definitely will, I promise," Ethan swore.  "Thank you so much for helping!"
"Well, it was either that or let my apartment potentially burn, too.  Anyway, I need to get going," Stacey continued, cringing inwardly when she thought of what Sam's reaction would be to all of this.  "I'll talk to you later."
She started walking out the front door, which was still open, only to see Sam right outside the door holding her purse and heels.  Oh crap, Stacey thought, wishing that she could have just explained later.  "Baby, you wouldn't believe what just happened.  Let's go upstairs and I'll tell you all about it."  She wanted to separate him and Ethan as much as and as soon as possible.

May. 15th, 2010


And Things Get Awkward

While Stacey and Sam were usually pretty good about keeping their apartment clean, recently they'd grown a little lax.  Stacey had marked today as her cleaning day and had even gotten up earlier than normal to make sure that she could start laundry before anyone else claimed the three washing machines in the basement because she and Sam were both nearly out of clean clothes.  She was also the one who took care of all the laundry responsibilities for both of them because she didn't mind adding his things with hers, but mostly because the first time that Sam did her laundry he had shrunk one of her sweaters to toddler-size.  Stacey decided never to risk it again, especially with such a large variety of clothing that had special washing and drying instructions.
On this particular Saturday, she had been lucky enough to put a second round of loads into the three washing machines after the first round was done; usually there would have been someone waiting by then to take them over.  All of her and Sam's things would soon be done and she thought that if that was the only thing she accomplished that day, she would feel productive.  Luckily, the cleaning frenzy had barely begun.  In their apartment, Stacey hooked her iPod up to the expensive Bose radio that her father had given her as one of her Christmas presents a couple years before, and put on her "Cleaning" playlist that consisted almost solely of Oldies because that's what she and her mom had always cleaned to in the past.
She had just finished making the kitchen immaculate when she heard a faint knock over the sound of her radio and her own voice singing along with Dusty Springfield's, "I Only Wanna Be With You."  She guessed that Sam must have forgotten his key when he went out since she wasn't expecting anyone, so she swung the front door wide open without looking through the peephole.  Then she wished that she had because she was acutely aware that her ragged denim shorts were too short and that she wasn't wearing a bra beneath an old t-shirt of Sam's that almost fully covered up her shorts because of its length.  If it had been Sam at the door she wouldn't have cared, but it was her ex-boyfriend instead.
"Hey," she said, giving Ethan a curious glance.  "Uh, what brings you by?"  She crossed her arms over her chest, hoping that he wouldn't notice the lack of a bra.  Even if she had known it was him at the door, Stacey wouldn't have been able to do much about her predicament because all of her bras were currently air drying on the drying rack that she'd set up next to the open balcony/ fire escape window.
"Stace, I know that this is a huge inconvenience, but do you mind if I use your shower real quick?  My water somehow got shut off and the Super can't look at it for another couple of hours--and I have to be at work in thirty minutes.  Please?  I'll really owe you one."  Now the reason why Ethan had a bath towel over one shoulder made sense--as did the two bottles of shampoo and body wash in his hand that Stacey hadn't noticed before.
Stacey wasn't sure how much Sam would like it, but she couldn't think of a good reason why Ethan shouldn't use their bathroom.  "Of course you can!  The bathroom is, uh, just through there," she said, pointing and letting him walk inside the apartment.
"Thank you so much, Stacey," he said, already making his way towards the door.  "I really appreciate it."
"Let me know if you need anything," she called after him as he shut himself inside the bathroom.  She wondered if she should grab a bikini top to use as a bra until he left, but figured that it was unnecessary--he would be gone soon.
And how is Sam going to like that when I tell him that Ethan was essentially naked in our apartment?  Ugh.  There was never any question in Stacey's mind about letting Sam know, but that didn't mean that she was looking forward to it.
As if God knew the exact moment to screw her over, Sam let himself into their apartment just then.  Above the sound of a Beatles song coming from the radio was the unmistakable sound of the shower running.  "Hey sweetheart," she smiled at him a little awkwardly.  "Um, so Ethan needed to use our shower....His water's off or something."

Apr. 7th, 2010


Someone's the birthday girl - backdated to April 3rd

Sam loved seeing the sunshine become more prevalent as summer drew closer, but he didn't love it in the mornings, when it woke him up. There was a tiny slit between the curtains of their bedroom window where they wouldn't close tight, and the sun always seemed to line itself up directly with this slit and make its way to Sam's face.

Groaning, he sat up and rubbed his eyes, glancing at the clock radio next to their bed. It was only 9:34; not too bad at all, he decided, for not being able to get to sleep last night. He hadn't managed to drift off until about 2 AM, and he wasn't sure why.

Stacey began stirring, and Sam leaned over and kissed her on the forehead as she opened her eyes.

"'Morning, birthday girl," he said with a grin.

I can't wait to give her her gift, he thought with glee, practically rubbing his hands together in anticipation. He was planning on taking her out somewhere to eat once they got back in Stoneybrook, where Sam would present her with the gold earrings Kristy had helped pick out for her. He hoped she would like them. He wanted to make her birthday dinner special.