Clarissa circled the arrow cursor slowly around the on-screen prompt with her computer mouse.
“Am I crazy?” she asked, glancing up at her feline companion resting on a shelf above the monitor, one back paw dangling down the screen. Stormy was her boy, a gray fluffy ball that curled up next to her at night upon the old denim shirt. Clarissa gave the cat a soft scratch behind his ears. She chuckled. “You realize, Stormy, you’ve been the only true love in my life for the last nine years? You’re far less a flea bag than some of the fellas who’ve been through here.”
Yes. She was crazy, talking to a cat.
And her love life was a catastrophe. Grabbing her wine glass, she took in a long sip of robust Chianti. She could feel the buzz flowing through her veins like a gentle river current. The pulsing angst from the day’s event was down to a dull throb. Drinking always helped… for a while anyway. It usually got her into trouble too, depending on where she was.
By day, Clarissa was a confident, high-profile editor for the most prestigious fashion magazine in New York. Threads had launched her status and placed her on the map as one of the most well respected editors in the industry. But her power on top was equally matched in weakness when it came to love.
“I’m safe tonight, Stormy. It’s just you and me buddy.” Clarissa glanced back at the computer screen. “Should I just go for it? Get away for a while?”
She pushed away from the desk with a heavy sigh. Wine glass in hand she wandered over to the window and looked out at the magnificent sky line view. The moon was bright, floating freely against the dark night.
Maybe 1:00 in the morning isn’t the best time to make this decision, she thought, drinking in another sip of wine. Or when I’ve consumed so much vino.
This was Ryan’s fault. What did he think would happen, coming into her office unannounced and backing her into a corner… both literally and emotionally.
The familiar song of Skype’s incoming call echoed through her living room. Stormy, clearly annoyed by the interruption, jumped down from the shelf.
“I bet I know who that is, Storm,” Clarissa said walking back to the computer.
She clicked the Answer icon and Ryan’s face appeared.
“Hey Clarissa. I figured you’d still be up,” he paused, “Chianti?”
“No, Ryan! How could you do that to me? At work!”
“Claire. I asked you to marry me,” Ryan said with hurt in his eyes. “I’m not some creeper who stalked you or something. What’s wrong? Talk to me. Have dinner with me tomorrow. Please?”
Clarissa let out a frustrated sigh.
After a moment of thought she said, “I can’t. I’m leaving town.” She minimized Ryan’s face and clicked Confirm Purchase.
One round-trip ticket to Tahiti. I’m out of here.