A Beautiful Mess
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He returned from the gym late that evening and spent several hours in his very own music room. Olivia would drool over his set up, he thought to himself. He made a mental note to invite her over in the near future, grinning at the thought of Olivia giving him his very own private performance. He stepped over to his Steinway baby grand and checked the tuning on one of his guitars. After tweaking the strings a bit, he sat down to play Damien Rice’s The Blower’s Daughter.
He played through the song, relishing the last verse, thinking of Olivia because he couldn’t get her out of his mind. And he wasn’t sure he wanted her out of his mind either.
He played and sang for several hours that evening, wondering if he and Olivia were inspired to play music by the same person. He hoped they weren’t and that all the similarities were just coincidences. But those coincidences had become too overwhelming for Alexander to ignore anymore. Still, he continued to ignore that envelope containing the letter.
Olivia woke with a jerk after having fallen asleep on the couch. She had that dream again. She saw the boy with those green eyes. Why was she seeing those eyes after years and years of having that dream? Why was it suddenly different now?
She sat up on her couch and Nepenthe stretched, giving her a look like he was ready to murder Olivia for disturbing his precious sleep. She shut off all the lights and climbed up the stairs to her bedroom. Sleep found her again quickly.
The sun woke her the following morning as it filtered through the bedroom windows. She began to stir and Nepenthe started to swat her face, his majesty’s indication that he needed more food. Olivia checked the time and saw that it was a little after seven. Rubbing her eyes, she descended the steps to feed her needy cat.
Throughout her day, she kept thinking about Alexander and their date that evening. The day dragged mercilessly for Olivia, who found herself extremely nervous. Five minutes felt like an eternity. She had nothing on her schedule, but she tried to keep herself occupied. She caught up on her e-mails, spoke to her financial advisor, and called her shrink to schedule an appointment for later in the week.
Finally, she decided it was useless to sit at home all day waiting for the clock to strike seven. Olivia grabbed her bag and headed to the wellness center to get in a workout and review some paperwork.
“Libby! How was your weekend?” Jerry exclaimed when he saw Olivia enter the building.
“Great, thanks. Relatively uneventful, but that’s how I like my weekends,” Olivia lied as she pushed the call button for the elevator.
“Olivia, this is Richard. He’s training to be the new night security guard. And I’ve got a few more guys I’m training later this week who will be taking the weekend shifts. We’ll now have security here twenty-four seven. Apparently there was an incident over the weekend and the big boss man figured full-time security would be better.” Jerry sat at his security desk surrounded by closed-circuit TVs, apparently going over an employee manual with Richard.
“Hi, Richard. Nice to meet you.” Olivia shook the new night security guard’s hand, smiling to herself, knowing she was the reason for the added security.
“I saw you on TV Sunday,” Jerry said, making small talk. “I was watching the Sox game. You had great seats.” Olivia blushed. Did everyone see her on TV? She needed to rethink ever going to another game with Alexander if she was going to be seen across the nation. “It’s nice to see Mr. Burnham out with someone as sweet as you.”
Olivia was shocked. She didn’t know how to reply to that. Alexander was obviously Jerry’s boss. He owned the building, after all. Thankfully the elevator car arrived and she was spared having to talk to Jerry about her non-relationship with one Mr. Alexander Burnham. Or about his sexy bedroom voice telling her how he wanted her mouth all over his body. Or about the way he constantly caught her checking out his body, making her entire being alive with electricity.
The feelings she was beginning to have for Alexander scared her. She still hadn’t quite worked out a few of her issues with her shrink. Granted, Olivia wasn’t the most devoted patient. She had been in some form of therapy as long as she could remember. When she was younger, she thought it was normal to go talk to someone every week about her parents and how they were taken from her. Therapy never really worked, though. She never coped with her parents’ deaths.
When she moved to Boston, her Uncle Charles insisted that she see his therapist, Dr. Greenstein. She helped her uncle cope with Olivia’s parents’ deaths, apparently. While in college, Olivia made some headway, finally being able to form bonds with certain people in her life without the fear of them being taken away. Music became a healthy coping mechanism for her. Music was always her coping mechanism.
When Olivia’s uncle was killed, she panicked. The only family she had left was taken from her again, or so she thought. Instead of dealing with the pain of losing anyone else she was close to, Olivia fled Boston. She moved from city to city for the next several years, not staying in one place for more than a month at a time.
During that time, she no longer played music. Sex and alcohol became her coping mechanisms. And to some extent, they still were.
When Olivia returned to Boston, she had no intention of staying. One night when Olivia was out at a random bar looking for someone to hook up with, she ran into Kiera. When she saw the hurt look on her face, Olivia finally realized how selfish she had been, pushing people away for fear of losing them.
After reconnecting with Kiera, Olivia decided it was time to lay down roots somewhere and Boston was the only place she had anything close to family. Within a month of returning to Boston, she bought a house. Kiera had a friend of a friend who was looking for investors for a startup and, after running it by her financial advisor, Olivia became a partner in the wellness center. It had only been open for six months but was already quite successful and popular in Boston.
Olivia still had fears of getting too close to people. The fear of her world being swept out from under her was still present, although sometimes buried several layers beneath her skin. It was because of that fear that she had refused to get back in touch with Mo. Olivia didn’t want to admit it, but she was glad Kiera pushed to make sure their paths crossed. Music could be her coping mechanism again and maybe Olivia could finally be normal, whatever that was.