NOTE***I do not own any of these characters.

Decisions, Decisions

I was unsure of how to act that next Monday when it was time for me to go back to work. I hadn't heard from Dave since our date and I was afraid that this was going to ruin our relationship in the office. I didn't want him to think that I was a horrible person. So, I quietly sneaked into the station before anyone else got there. I wanted to get a head start on some work anyway, and this gave me ample opportunity to do so.
I hung my jacket up and the walked towards my desk, well, the conference table that I loved to use so much. I was the only one in the office, so I sat in a chair and threw my head forward on the table. THUMP! There goes my head, but I didn't care. I was so nervous as to even see Dave that I didn't care what went on around me.
"That must have hurt."
I looked up. To my horror, I saw that it was Dave, and he was in his office.
"Oh, no," I said, "It didn't hurt at all."
More people started to come into the office. I heard Bill and Matthew and then turned around to see them.
"Audrey, can you please tell Bill about that movie that I told you about last week?" Matthew asked.
"I really have no clue what you are talking about." I said. Matthew kept going on and on.
"Did you want to go over those promos for my show?" Bill asked me.
"Yeah, just give me a few minutes to get adjusted to today."
"No problem." Bill replied. "Hey, Spaz."
Matthew turned around, "Whaddup."
"I heard that you had a date over the weekend." Bill said.
"Yeah," he paused, "HEY! I have a great idea, maybe we could double date sometime, you know, me, Irene, you, and me……."
"Maybe some other time." Bill said, he turned away from Matthew and went to his desk.
"Audrey, can you step into my office for a minute?" Dave said.
I got up from my chair and went into his office, he shut the door behind me and then I sat on the green couch. Dave sat on the coffee table in front of it.
"What do you need?" I asked.
"Well, I wanted to talk about the other night. I meant to call you yesterday, but I got tied up at Mr. James doing some work."
"Okay," I said, "What do you want to talk about?"
"Well," he started, "First of all I had a really great time and I hope that I didn’t make you uncomfortable in any way."
I looked up at him, "No, I had a great time also."
"Wonderful," he smiled, "I also hope that you will be willing to go out with me again."
"I'd love to." I said, Dave then got up and sat right next to me on the sofa.
"I know that you know all the gossip in the office about Lisa and I, but I want you to know that she does not affect anything about my decision to date."
"Well," I said, "you really didn't have to explain that to me. But it's okay, I understand."
I got up and went back to work.

Dave ordered take out for everyone that day so I didn't leave. But Catherine and I did sit at her desk and talk.
"Audrey, I hear that you and Dave went on a date Saturday."
"Yeah, how did you know?"
"Oh, honey, things go around here so fast sometimes I know before it even happens." She took a drink, "But I do want to know the details."
"Well, I went and bought a new dress that day because he had called me and told me that we were going to Carnegie to see the opera…"
"Oh," Catherine said, she looked shocked, "the opera?"
"Yes, why?"
"I was under the impression that Dave hated stuff like that."
"Well, I don't hate the opera, but it just isn't for me." I said. I continued, "Then we went back here so he could change, then I went to my place to change, and then we went to PJ Carneys for a while and then he took me home."
"Well, let me tell you something. I know that since he's been to New York he hasn't stepped a foot into Carnegie Hall, so he must have it for you pretty bad."
I was astounded, "What!?"
"Well, woman comes in from out of town to help us and does a very good job, then she works here for a month and he takes her out on a date to place where he never goes and you never go. Dave is trying to impress you somehow."
"But I don't see why he is, I mean, I will be leaving New York in a couple of months or so."
"Do you really know when you are leaving?" Catherine asked me.
"No, honestly I have no clue." I replied.
"So there's a chance that you could stay here longer than you ever imagined."
I thought to myself, "I guess so."
"Well, what are you ladies talking about?" Bill came up to us.
"We were discussing on when Audrey is leaving us." Catherine replied.
"Gosh, I hope you never leave, you have been so great to all of us here and we really appreciate what you have done for us." Bill said.
Matthew, Joe, and Beth soon gathered around Catherine's desk too. Everyone was just going on and on about why they didn't want me to leave. It was very flattering for me, but I tried to explain to them that I do have another job.

After work that day I went back to my place to relax, I was tired and I really hated Mondays, I felt like Garfield. I fixed myself a drink when my phone rang.
"Hello, Darling!" It was Lucinda, "Jimmy tells me that the ratings are soaring."
"Well, not soaring, but they are up." I said.
"I called to let you know that I have you scheduled to return sometime next week."
"What!" I asked.
"That's right, actually now that I've put my glasses on, it's Friday night."
I sighed, "Okay."
"Audrey, what's wrong darling?"
"Nothing," I replied.
"Oh dear, you haven't met anyone out there, have you?" I kept silent, "I was so afraid that this might happen. You can't stay out there, Audrey. I need you back here in Oakdale."
"I know," I said. "I'll be on the first flight home."
We hung up.
'Okay,' I thought to myself. I knew that I needed to sort through my feelings. What was I going to do about Dave? I started to like him.

I told everyone at work through the next couple of days that I was leaving to go back to Oakdale. Everyone seemed upset that I was leaving. Mr. James had me sit down with the staff to sort through some stuff that they might need to keep on hand when ratings started to slip again.
That Friday morning I had everything packed and ready to go. I kept my things at the penthouse so I could just go back there and then to the airport after work. As soon as I walked into the office Mr. James, Dave, Bill, and Catherine took me into Dave's office.
I sat down on the green sofa again while everyone stood around me.
"Audrey, how much do you want?" Mr. James asked me.
I was very confused, "What?"
They all seemed very nervous, "How much do you want?" Mr. James asked again.
I was still lost. "I am sorry, but I do not understand."
"What Mr. James is trying to say, " Dave said, "Is what will it take for us to convince you that you need to be here in New York with us."
I was very much in a state of shock, "We all knew that I had to leave…"
"But what no one knew is how much we would need you and how much that you need us in return." Bill said. He was right though, I found a great bunch of people to work with and I grew so close to the people at WNYX.
I also knew that I come back to New York all the time when I do reports for Dateline, which is the newsmagazine that I worked the most for, and being in New York all the time would make my life a lot easier than commuting from Oakdale to New York about four times a month.
"What will I do about my house, and my car, my items in my house?"
"Do you want to stay?" Dave asked me.
I just stared at him, we had grown so close over the last week since our date. He had come over for dinner a few times and he had taken me out. We would stay up late and talk to each other about ourselves and I felt like that I had known him since the day that I was born. I can't believe what I was about to say, "I…" I didn't want to say it, "I do want to stay."
They all smiled and cheered, "This is great." Dave said, "we'll find you a new place."
"Hell," said Bill, "we can go right now."
"Now hold on, kids." Mr. James said. "Audrey and I need to sit down and discuss a few things before we get carried away here."
"Okay," everyone left the office.
Mr. James and I sat down and discussed what we were going to do about salary, which was a very, very nice figure. He said that he wouldn't mind if I still worked for NBC, but just to let him know a couple days in advanced when I was leaving. He would take care of all my belongings in my house in Oakdale, but most importantly he would take care of Lucinda. I was nervous, but also very excited at one time.
Then Mr. James let Bill, Dave, and I leave the office to look for a new apartment. I actually had Mr. James call a realtor right before we left the station. Mr. James had him meet us as soon as we got downstairs.
I spoke with the realtor and I told him what I wanted, but to my surprise Mr. James had already set me up with an apartment on the east side in the Verona, I was astounded by the generosity that Mr. James had shown. It was very nice of him to do that for me.
We all went to look at the condo, it was huge but very elegant and distinguished. The realtor said that he would draw up the paperwork that I needed to sign and that he would get back to me.
"Dave lives on the floor above." Bill whispered to me.
I sighed, I knew the office already knew that Dave and I had gone out on a date and we had seen each other a few more times after that, but I had no idea that we would end up living in the same building. I thought that it was a set up. But intuition told me that it was only by coincidence.
About an hour later we returned to the office where everyone had already learned about my stay in New York, and everyone seemed excited and pleased, with the exception of Lisa. She didn't speak to me for the rest of the day, I knew that something was wrong, and I had a clue on what it was.

Part 8