They were together for three years, Lisa and Dave. But the entire time, he felt they were missing something. Maybe what they felt wasn't love at all. Maybe their relationship had been purely physical. He was unhappy when he was with her, and unhappy when he wasn't. But at least when they were together he wasn't lonely. Now she wanted him back. This was his big chance. Frankly, He was confused. He felt like he was missing something, something important.
There was someone else, Someone in his dreams. The idea seemed silly to him; he was in love with a woman from his dreams. He had this feeling like she was real, and waiting for him. But when he woke up, he couldn't remember who she was. She had to be someone he knew. In fact, he used to think it was Lisa. When he realized she wasn't, he had broken it off with her. But now he wasn't so sure he had made the right decision. Maybe that's why it was so hard to let go. And now she wanted him back. He was torn between a woman he would probably never meet, and a woman he knew, but wasn't in love with. Sure, he loved Lisa, but he wasn't in love with Lisa, not for a long time.
Beth sat at her desk, deciding how she was going to dissuade Lisa from taking Dave back. She knew it sounded insensitive and mean. But her intentions were wholesome. She wanted Dave and Lisa to be happy, just not with each other. They didn't belong together. Plain and simple. She knew Lisa would find someone who would make her happy, eventually. And as for Dave, she planned on being someone who made him happy. Of course, Dave didn't know yet, but when he figured it out she would be there. She didn't know how it was going to happen. She just hoped he was single, when the moment of clarity came. Maybe their relationship would start out slow, or maybe it would devour them. She knew they would be together forever, if only Dave would realize the connection between them.
"Beth?" Lisa asked, bringing Beth out of her reverie.
"Huh?" Beth asked, dazed.
"Is Dave busy?" Lisa asked.
"Ummmm." Beth said, pretending to think. "Yes, he's going to busy for a couple hours." It was time for action. Of course Dave was completely unoccupied.
"How about some lunch?" Beth asked.
"Sure, I'm not going to get much work done while I'm thinking about Dave like this."
Beth felt a pang of guilt for lying to Lisa. They were like sisters. But all's fair in love and war, Beth reminded herself. Besides, Lisa had her chance.
Lunch didn't go as Beth planned. Lisa was not catching the hint, and Beth didn't want to come out and say something, because if Dave found out, he would be hurt. So Beth continued to drop hints, and Lisa continued to miss them. It was going to be a long day.
"That's wonderful!" Jimmy exclaimed after Dave told him about Lisa.
"She's not pregnant is she?" Joe asked suspiciously.
"No." Dave said angrily.
"But she will be eventually, when you two get back together." Jimmy said happily.
"I don't even know if we're getting back together." Dave said.
"Well, why wouldn't you?" Jimmy asked confused. 'That's a good question' Dave thought. He really didn't know.
"Its kind of hard to explain." Dave responded, not letting on how confused he was himself.
"I know, Lisa became pregnant with another man's baby while she was dating Dave. Now, unable to handle her little predicament on her own, she's calling upon Dave." Bill said, completely serious.
"Okay, for the last time, Lisa is not pregnant, and she did not cheat on me." Dave said angrily.
"Well, I'm sure you two will work it out." Jimmy said as he left Dave's office. The rest following. Dave, now alone, sighed. He didn't know what he should do. He knew what he was probably going to do. But he didn't know if it was the right decision.
Beth and Lisa came back from their lunch just as Mr. James left Dave's office. Lisa sidestepped Beth, who was trying unsuccessfully not to look like she was blocking her way. Lisa walked in and closed the door. Dave looked up from his laptop, and smiled.
"We have a lot to talk about." she said smiling.
"Not here, not now." Dave said.
"Agreed." Lisa said.
They were to meet at 7:30 at Dave's Apartment. 'Yay for them' Beth thought as she took another drink. She felt like hell. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. And what was supposed to happen? She asked herself. Was he supposed to tell Lisa he didn't love her anymore, and come confess his undying love to her? 'Hello! Wake up, Beth.' she thought to herself. She ordered another drink.
"Tough day?" The bartender asked giving her a third drink.
"The man I'm supposed to be with is having sex with my best friend right about now." she said, looking at the clock.
"Oh, that clock is an hour fast." the bartender said.
"Well then, in about an hour." Beth mumbled.
"What are you doing sitting here for? Go and stop them."
"There's just one problem with that. He doesn't know how I feel." Beth said, before passing out at the bar. 'It's a good thing I know where she works.' the bartender thought, picking up the phone.
Dave was the only one still working when the bar downstairs called. He found Beth slumped over in a barstool. She looked up at him.
"Beth, I'm going to take you home, okay?" Dave asked.
"You have purdy eyes," she said as Dave helped her into the cab. The cab drove them to her to apartment building, and he helped her out.
"Dave, I'm fine now. I can make it to my apartment by myself. Thanks, but—"
"No buts," Dave interrupted. "I just want to make sure you get to your apartment okay."
"Don't you have to go see Lisa?" Beth asked.
"Don't argue with me." Dave said as they walked into the elevator.
The elevator went the up the first few floors without a hitch. But somewhere between the fourth and fifth floors, the elevator lurched to a stop, knocking Beth and Dave to the floor. The lights flickered once, and then dimmed. It was at that moment that Dave realized that Beth was on top of him. Dave felt very odd. They made eye contact, and he held her gaze for a moment. But that moment ended as quickly as it had begun. Beth moved off of Dave quickly. She was trying to regain composure, but she definitely had seen something in his eyes, a faint sign of recognition.
Dave tried the alarm button again. It was no use. He was going to miss his one chance with Lisa. She would wait, but not for long. The question he was now asking himself was why he didn't seem to care. Why was he content to stay here in this elevator with Beth?
"It won't work." Beth said from behind him. "It's been broken for awhile."
"How can you live in this building?" Dave asked frustrated.
"With my paycheck, it's lucky that I live in an apartment at all." Beth answered, half joking.
"I think I'll give you a raise then." Dave said, looking around the elevator.
"Wow, and you haven't even seen my apartment yet." Beth joked.
"It's cold in here." she stated. She was huddled against the wall.
Dave responded by giving her his suit jacket. He sat beside her, and gradually his arm found its way around her shoulder. He was surprised that she allowed him to do this. He was surprised again, when she laid her head on his shoulder.
"Thank you." she said sleepily.
His mind drifted from place to place, but finally rested upon how well Beth fit in his arms. She had fallen asleep about twenty minutes before, and he had been content just to watch her as she slept. Every once in awhile she would whimper, then snuggle into Dave a little more. When she did this he found his arms tighten around her.
She woke to find herself wrapped in Dave's trench coat, with his arms hanging loosely around her. He appeared to be sleeping, but when she moved he opened his eyes.
"How long have we been in here?" Beth asked
"Two and a half hours." Dave answered.
"They'll come fix the elevator soon." Beth stated nonchalantly.
"So, I take it this has happened before?" Dave asked, to which Beth just nodded. Then it was silent.
The silence seemed to stretch before them. Beth looked at Dave's face. She remembered when he first came to WNYX. He had looked so young. So naïve. Now his face was worn, evidence of the sleepless nights, and the long hours spent at the office. As she looked at him, she knew she loved him. She was contemplating whether or not she should tell him, but she was afraid.
"Do you believe in true love?" he asked suddenly, not moving his eyes from the spot on the floor. The question, though she knew the answer, threw her back. 'This was it!' she thought, but before she had a chance, he continued.
"I've been sitting here thinking this whole time. Do you believe that there is one person out there for everyone? And if so, is there only a chance that the two will meet, or is it like fate? That you will meet them eventually, you just have to wait for them. How will you know them when you meet them?" he said.
"I believe—" Beth began, but she was interrupted by the elevator humming to life.
"It's about time." Dave said angrily.
He walked her to her apartment, looking just as perplexed as ever.
"You want to come in?" Beth asked, hoping that he would say yes.
"No, I have to go apologize to Lisa for being two and a half hours late." Dave replied.
"Okay. Thanks for, well, everything." Beth said, kissing him on the cheek.
She could tell the kiss surprised him. He stood there for a moment looking at her; he looked at her like he wanted to tell her something. Something he was just figuring out for himself.
Beth closed the door. She felt terrible. She had the perfect opportunity to tell him. 'Who knows, you probably would have been with him now,' she thought to herself. She laid down on her bed. She had never been able to tell men that she loved them. She knew that because her stepfather didn't like to acknowledge his feelings towards her, that she felt like no guy would ever say that he loved her, and mean it. She wondered if that's why she always chose the kind of men that didn't require her love. They were the wrong men.
She remembered when she was a little girl how she used to pretend to be a princess. The story always started with the princess in danger from a dragon or an evil wizard, or some other magical creature. It always ended with Prince Charming coming to her rescue. Then she realized something, earlier that night Dave had come to her rescue. He was her Prince Charming.
Beth knocked on Dave's door. Her realization had given her courage. She knocked again. She didn't know what she would find behind the door. Lisa or no Lisa, she knocked again.
Finally, Dave answered. He was wearing plaid pajama bottoms, and a white T-shirt. In his hand was a coffee cup. Behind him, she could hear the TV.
"Beth, what are you doing here?" Dave asked surprised.
"Is Lisa here?" Beth asked, stepping past Dave into the apartment.
"No, Lisa's not here." Dave replied.
"What happened?" Beth asked, surprised.
"Well, she came over. And while were talking, I realized that neither of us would be happy together. I think there's someone out there for me. I told her that I couldn't be with her. She was really angry. She's probably at her apartment, if you need to speak to her."
"Actually, I came her to see you." Beth announced.
At that moment the microwave went off.
"Hold that thought." Dave said, disappearing into the kitchen.
While Dave went to retrieve the microwave's contents, Beth tried to regain her composure and nerve. It was different now. Before he could reject her because he was with Lisa, but now it would be just rejection.
She was ready to bail, when she heard a loud thud in the kitchen. She ran into the kitchen, to find Dave sprawled out on the floor. She ran over to him and made sure he was still breathing.
"Dave? Are you alright?" Beth asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Dave stopped short when he realized that Beth was practically on top of him.
"It's you—" He whispered, recognition clear in his voice.
"What?" Beth asked quietly, deep inside she knew what he meant.
"Beth, you never answered my question. Do you believe in true love?" Dave asked her, not moving from where he sat on the floor.
"Yes," Beth answered, she didn't move from where she sat either.
"Can I kiss you?" Dave said quietly.
Beth nodded. At first, the kiss was slow and gentle, like a kiss shared between two children who were experiencing their very first kiss.
"Dave, I think I'm in love with you."
"Beth, I'm in love with you."
After they declared their love in whispers, Dave kissed her passionately and openly. She knew they would be together forever, and now he knew it, too.
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