Where the Lake Meets the Shore

In the part of the park where nobody goes, that's where you will find 20 year old Katie Mason. As she enters her third year at NYU, she seems to have the perfect life, perfect friends, and an all around perfect world. Enter Michael Clark, the new transfer student from down south. Charming young Katie with his southern charm, she just can't help but be lured into his grasp. He might just be the one person she needs to open her up to the harsh reality of the perfect life she believes to have, and sends her entire world into the perfect tailspin.

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3. Chapter 3

My job is in an extremely pretentious part of the city. Only the most pompous and arrogant upper class New Yorkers grace the doorways of 'Rosemary's Coffee and Pastry Shop' . The place is really just an over glorified Starbucks, but the prices are almost double. Imagine the class of people willing to spend $10 on a small latte, and you'll be able to imagine the type  of people that come in here. Even the staff is extremely pretentious with overly high standards. The only reason they hired me on is because Carly's parents own the place.

"Katie!" Carly exclaims as she barges into the shop for her shift. "What happened yesterday?"

"What do you mean?" I ask her, looking up from the table I'm wiping down. I know full well what she means, considering the fact that I woke up this morning to 30 text messages from her.

She walks back behind the counter to pull on her matching apron to mine, which by the way are an extremely obnoxious colour of bright yellow, as she speaks again. "I mean how you completely disappeared off the face of the earth after you left my place and haven't answered a single text message of mine since then" She says, loud enough that a couple patrons hear her at the other end of the shop and rudely glare at her for interrupting their conversation. "And then how you barely even acknowledged Matt and I before the final and seemed to be in a ginormous hurry to leave when you finished"

"I'm sorry about yesterday" I say simply, walking back up to the counter. "On my way home I made a stop at the park and ended up falling asleep" I say, shrugging. "And then I got home and passed out for the night" I continue, leaving out the part where my father tore a strip off me for being hungover before I proceeded to vomit my guts out in the bathroom.

"And how about today?" She asks, referring to her question about the final.

I shrug again. "Before the exam I wanted to focus on remembering what I needed to, and after I needed to rush home to get ready for my shift" I answer her questions, making eye contact with her as she nods.

Just then, the bell at the door rings and in walks Mr. Jameson, the sweet 77 year-old man who moved to New York from England with his wife and granddaughter four years ago. He's one of our regulars, and one of the least pretentious people who come in here, who has been coming in for longer than I've been working here. "Mr. Jameson, how are Mrs. Jameson and Tara?" I ask, referring to his wife and 12-year-old granddaughter.

"Oh my dear, young Tara has been missing her Mum and dad dearly lately" He says in his sweet English accent. Tara's parents passed away a year before she came here with her grandparents after their car was struck by a truck running a stop light, so her grandparents took her in. Her mother was Mr. Jameson's daughter. "And how many times have I told you to call me and the missus Martin and Elizabeth, young lady?" He says, fake sternness in his voice.

"I apologize, Martin" I say, stifling a giggle, since he reminds me of his name every time he comes in, it's pretty much become routine for us. "So what can I do for you today?" I ask him sweetly.

"The usual please my dear, two scones and a chocolate muffin, to go please" Martin replies, pulling out his small wallet.

 I ring up his order and calculate the total. "That will be $15.29" I smile at him as Carly hands him the pastries.

"Heavens" He chuckles as he pulls a 20 from the wallet. "I hope your pay is equivalent to the cost of your pastries" He laughs.

Carly lets out a laugh now too. "Martin, you say that every time. Why come if it's so expensive?" She asks jokingly, as this is a question both of us have asked him in the past.

As I pass him his change, he replies the same way as always. "I come for the excellent service, my dears" He says, winking at us. "Have a lovely day ladies!" He says and turns to walk out of the shop.

"What a sweet man" I say, smiling as the door closes again.

"He is" Carly says, smiling as she rearranges the pastry trays. "So you mentioned that you went to the park and fell asleep" she says, annoyingly continuing our conversation from earlier, before Martin came in.

"Yes, why?" I ask her as I watch a rather large group of people walk in.

"You didn't fall asleep in the tree again, right?" She asks. When I don't reply right away and continue taking orders from people approaching the counter she widens her eyes in shock and exclaims, "Oh my God, you did! You know how dangerous that is? You could've fallen off!"

I turn to reply to her but before I can even open my mouth to speak, a familiar male's voice interrupts us. "Actually she did, it's a good thing I was there to catch her, or she quite possibly could've broken her neck" He says, a hint of laughter in his southern drawl. I spin around, eyes widened in shock as I face the guy from yesterday in the park. "Hello tree girl" he says, smirking as I face him. I look him up and down and take note of his sloppy attire, which is nothing more than a ratty t-shirt and some sweatpants. The type of attire that usually is insanely out of place here.

"Tree girl?" Carly exclaims before bursting into a fit of laughter. While she's struggling to stop her laughter and breathe normally again, I turn to the guy standing in front of me.

"What do you want?" I ask him sharply across the register, feeling my cheeks flare up in embarrassment.

"Whoa, no need to get hostile, that's no way to talk to a customer" He says, winking at me.

I roll my eyes at him and type the 'new order' button on the register. "What can I get for you?" I ask him, my tone lightening a bit.

"I'll have the iced coffee with a shot of expresso and some cinnamon please" He says, grinning widely at me.

"Coming right up!" Carly says, apparently finally gaining her composure, and goes to get the iced coffee ready.

"That will be $9.75" I say to the guy, whose name for some reason I cannot remember.

"Damn, I hope the coffee is laced with gold for those prices" He jokes and hands me exact change.

"Well, you didn't have to come in" I snap at him.

"Now Katie, no need to be rude" Carly says in a sweet voice and hands the guy his drink. "So where are you from? Your accent is funny for this area" She asks him, her incredible lack of subtlety showing once again.

"Charleston, South Carolina" He replies, a smirk lining his face. "I transferred to NYU starting in the fall" He says to her.

"Where are you transferring from?" She asks, curiosity about this southern stranger getting the best of her. 

"I'm not inclined to give that sort of information to someone I just barely met" He winks at her.

"Well, that's a shame" She says cheerily. "Well, welcome to New York, hopefully we'll see you around!"

Hopefully not.

°♡•♡°

The rest of the shift goes by relatively quickly. At 6:30 I'm relieved by Carly's mother and get to leave, hugging Carly first and promising to call her soon so we can plan a girl's day. Thankfully our interaction with the guy from the park was not again brought up for discussion after he left.

I still don't remember his name, but whatever.

Since my house is only a few blocks away, I begin walking, but then out of nowhere a torrential downpour starts falling and I find myself running for cover under the patio awning of a bistro on the corner. "Well, well, fancy seeing you again" A voice says from a car pulling up along the sidewalk. Again, it's the guy from the park.

"Are you stalking me or something?" I snap at him over the pounding rain. Hopefully this stops soon. I think to myself, but apparently I won't be that lucky because right at that moment lightning flashes overhead and thunder rolls immediately after.

"My landlord lives nearby so I was just picking up a spare key to mine and my friend's place" He calls back, through the darkness from the clouds I can see him smirking at me through the window. "I hear we're under a severe storm warning. This is going to last a while so may I offer you a ride?"

"No thank you, I can wait" I call back.

"Suit yourself" He says and moves to put the car in drive again.

Thunder crashes loudly overhead again and I jump. Rolling my eyes and sighing, I call out to him before he drives off. "Wait! I'll take a ride"

He grins and unlocks the passenger side door so I can jump in. "Smart choice, Tree Girl" He says as I slam the car door shut.

"Could you not call me that?" I mutter, wringing my hair out over the floor in front of my seat.

"Well, you never gave me a name, so I'll have to deny that request" He says, making me roll my eyes once again.

I ignore him for much of the ride, barely speaking other than to give directions. "Look, we got off to a bad start" He begins, but I cut him off.

"Wow, you're smarter than you look, what were you expecting to happen when you shout at someone climbing down from a tree?" I snap at him, looking in his direction.

"Listen, I'm sorry" He begins. "But you know I could've let you fall and break your neck. I feel like you'd be slightly angrier if that happened" He says, making me grin a little. "There's a smile" He says. "Anyway, like I was saying, we got off to a bad start so maybe we can try again and possibly start getting along" He suggests.

"Turn left here and I'm the house at the end of the street" I say, purposely giving him the final direction home instead of responding. He drives through the rain and stops at the house. Before I can make a move, he locks all the door. "Let me out please" I say, irritation entering into my voice.

"Not until you answer my question" He says, shutting the car off and turning to face me.

"Listen here, cowboy" I snap at him. "I don't know what it's like back in Charleston, but in New York, it's illegal to lock girls in your car" I say, glaring at him.

He chuckles. "Sweetheart, if you're trying to insult me, keep trying. But I'm not unlocking that door until you answer my question"

I let out a huff and lean back in my seat, glaring out the front window into the heavy rainstorm still pounding on the car. "You didn't ask me a question" I say back.

"Let me rephrase it then" He says shortly. "Do you think that we could possibly start over and try getting along?" He asks again.

"If I say yes, will you let me out of the car?" I ask him and he nods, a grin widening across his face. "Fine. Then yes, sure" I say.

"Good, and one more thing" He says and look over at him. "I still need your name, Tree Girl"

I roll my eyes again. "Katie" I say. "Can I go now?" I ask. Before he answers my question he reaches over and snatches my phone from where it sits on my lap and begins trying to unlock it. "Hey! Give that back!" I scream and try and grab it back, but he holds the phone away from my grasp.

"1234. Great code, real secure" He laughs at me and begins fiddling with it, which lasts a couple of minutes before he finally tosses the phone back in my lap, trying, but failing, to conceal laughter. "See you later, Katie" He smirks at me again and finally unlocks the door.

I jump out of the car and slam the door behind me without saying another word and race back into my house to find that it is empty. Plopping myself on the sofa I start fiddling with my phone to see what the idiot did with my phone. Finally I get to the messages app, after finding all my other apps free of tampering, to see at the top of my list that I sent a new message to a name I've never seen before. Michael. So that's his name.

I open the message and almost scream at what he sent to himself.

To: Michael

"Hey it's me, Katie, I just wanted to let you know that I think you're super hot and that I'm glad I met you again today. Thanks for saving my life yesterday! xoxox"

That asshole.

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