(n) the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which is lost
"That'll be 3.99", I said as I handed over the latte. The woman paid by card and then I started all over with the next customer. And then eventually the next one. And then the next one. That had been what the last six hours had consisted of. Luckily I was about to finish the shift and I was more than ready to go.
"So, how's the job-situation looking?" Anna asked as she took over the cash register.
"It's barely a situation at the moment", I answered and scoffed. I wanted to get a new job, I just hadn't had the energy to do anything about it lately. Calum called quite a lot but I kept pressing decline for my own sake. Talking to him again would only make it worse and I was already fighting to heal. The night in the club a few days ago had really pulled me in the wrong direction.
"Well, I'm going to miss you if you leave", Anna continued and I couldn't help but smile as I grabbed a broom and started sweeping the floor behind the counter.
"We'll have to continue to hang out if it happens", I added and chuckled. Anna was my only female friend around here, and it was nice to have somebody who related to me on a deeper level. I would genuinely miss her too if I decided to quit my job in the coffee shop.
"We have a deal, then", she answered before turning her attention to a customer that walked up to the counter.
Another hour passed before our shifts was over. Anna had just finished college so she worked full time as well. She wasn't in a rush to find anything "better", as she said.
We went out to the back room of the store getting our things.
"I have to catch a bus, but I'll see you tomorrow, alright?" Anna said before leaning in and giving me a hug.
"See you", I sighed and smiled as she hurried out of there. I got my coat on and grabbed my bag, then I left the shop as well, but she was already long gone when I got out on the sidewalk. I just started walking.
I'd just rounded the first corner when my phone started ringing. My heart almost skipped a beat as I jumped to conclusions. Was it Calum once again? But then I actually picked it up and saw a number that I didn't know. I hit the accept button.
"Ella speaking", I sighed as I kept walking.
"Ella! It's Matt. I don't know if you remember me, but I just thought I'd finally give you a call."
"Of course, hey", I answered and smiled a bit to myself. I had thought about when he'd call once or twice, but then I'd started to doubt it ever happening.
"So, are you free this evening?" Matt asked after a second of hesitation.
"I am, actually. Why?" I answered even though it was pretty easy to figure out.
"I just wanted to see you."
I bit softly down on my lower lip, cracking a slight smile at the same time. He seemed so sweet. Almost everyone else was in some kind of shitty situation at the moment, Matthew's attitude made it feel like I was breathing fresh air for the first time in weeks. It was nice.
"What do you have in mind?" I asked and slowed down a bit as I was almost home already.
"I don't know. Dinner? Drinks?"
"Actually," I said, interrupting his train of suggestions, "could we just do something chill? Nothing fancy." I just needed to relax and be myself.
"That sounds great, honestly. What about you come over to my place?"
"I'd love that."
"Uh, great. I'll text you the address then. See you."
Then we both hung up.
I got the text a moment later and decided to just jump on a bus the rest of the way, so that's what I did. I arrived about half an hour later and walked the last few blocks to the address that he'd given me. It was a fancy part of town that I hadn't really spent much time in, but I managed to find his place with the help of the map on my phone.
I then walked inside the apartment complex and started climbing to the top floor. It wasn't something to be proud of, but I felt pretty out of breath when I got there, so I had to take a moment before I knocked on the door.
I heard footsteps on the other side of the door before it opened and Matt showed up in front of me. He was dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans. His hair was messy as usual but his stubble was more prominent than the last time I'd seen him. He looked great.
"Hi", he said. We both hesitated for a moment before leaning in for a quick hug. Even though I had a good feeling about this guy, I still barely knew him. It just felt like we were already friends. I stepped inside.
"Good to see you", I continued as I took off my coat and looked around the room.
"You too. Hold up, I'll get us something to drink", Matt then said as he walked to what I figured was the kitchen. I just continued walking down the hallway until I reached what must've been the living room. It was a large, open room in a very rustic style. The back wall was raw bricks and a lot of light was coming through the large windows.
"You were right, your apartment is pretty sweet", I said loudly enough for him to hear.
"I'm pretty happy with it too. I don't know how long I get to keep it, though", he answered as he walked in with two wine glasses in one hand and a bottle of red wine in the other which he placed on the coffee table in front of the gray corner sofa where he sat down. I did too.
"What do you mean?" I asked and frowned a bit as he poured some wine into the glasses and handed me one of them. It all felt very sophisticated.
"I'm only here temporarily for work. At some point I'll have to go back to New York."
"Oh", was all I could say, so I just took a sip of the wine instead.
"So, that ex of yours... Is he still an idiot?" Matt asked after about half an hour of just casual chatting.
"We don't talk anymore", I answered and shrugged, looking down a bit.
"I'm sorry if it's a touchy subject, we can talk about something else."
Calum wasn't a touchy subject in that sense, but my heart was tired. So tired. It wasn't like I was going to break down in tears by the sound of his name, but I'd prefer to let the past be past. He wasn't the Calum that I thought he was, end of story.
"I'd rather hear your story, Matt. We barely know each other", I said in an attempt to change the subject like he'd suggested.
"Well... Where to begin," he sighed and took a sip of wine before continuing, "I'm Matthew, you knew that. I'm twenty five and I'm a journalist."
"A journalist?" I asked and raised my eyebrows with a smile on my lips. "That's really cool."
"Maybe you can write about me sometime", I teased and flicked my hair. Matt chuckled.
"I might. You're interesting", he answered and shrugged a bit.
He just nodded and we made eye contact, his green eyes looking directly into my hazel ones. He was beautiful. The color of his eyes was quite the contrast to his black hair, and he had this smirk on his plump lips, but not the douchy kind. The nice kind. After a moment of silence, Matt started leaning in towards me and as soon as I got where he was going, I looked down and he quickly pulled away.
"I'm sorry, I just thought-.."
"No, no, it's fine," I assured him, "I want to kiss you, but could we take it slow?"
Matt seemed to lighten up once again, a smile growing on his lips, making me feel warm inside. I'd like to kiss him, that was true, but I needed a moment to just get to know him. Other than that, I had to be sure that I was ready to put myself out there again. Maybe it would only take an hour, maybe it would take weeks. I just hoped I was worth the wait.
"Of course, whatever you need", he quietly answered before holding up his glass for a toast. "To us."
"To us", I answered with a slight chuckle as I clinked the side of his glass with mine.
So we just talked, and minutes became hours. He was smart and he'd traveled a lot, making him even more intriguing. He told me that he'd lived in the UK before moving here, and that he hadn't been home in more than a year. He also told me that he'd been engaged until just before he had to leave for England where he found out his fiancé had been cheating on him. It was safe to say that he was experienced in life. I guess those five years between me and him could be felt like that. He was less of a boy and more of a man compared to... Others. But the way his smile lit up his face and the way he seemed wise beyond his years was traits that I'd also seen in Calum. They were alike in a lot of ways until Calum suddenly changed for the worse.
"The sun is setting", Matt said after approximately two or three hours. I didn't even know. His voice had become more and more raspy with each glass of wine we both got through, and I felt a bit light headed too.
"Yeah", I mumbled as I looked out the window. He had an amazing view from here over all of the other buildings, making me able to see how the setting sun cast a orange light over the entire city. I carefully placed my glass on the coffee table before getting up from the couch and walking to the window.
I could see Matt's reflection in the window as he also got up and walked up beside me.
"The view is incredible", I mumbled, my voice not much louder than a whisper.
"Indeed", he answered, but out the corner of my eye I could see him looking at me, not out the window, making my cheeks burn red. I didn't comment on it, though, and neither did he. I then turned towards him and leaned a bit on the window as I looked at him. His eyes had turned golden in the orange light and I couldn't help but smile a bit.
"Matt?" I whispered and bit my lip a bit, anticipating what I was about to say. I'd figured that I wasn't completely ready for something new, but also that I'd never be. That you could go all your life waiting for the right moment, and that it might never come. I might as well take the chance.
"Screw taking it slow", I whispered and it seemed like he got the message as he immediately leaned in, placed a hand on my cheek and pressed his lips to mine, and I immediately put my arms around his neck. His lips were so soft against mine, and even though it all felt very passionate, his touch and the kiss still felt gentle. No rushing, no obvious, constant wanting of more. We were just in the moment and it felt great, but I kept forgetting that it wasn't Calum's lips I was feeling and that made me feel bad. I shouldn't be thinking of somebody else, especially not when I was standing here with this amazing man that a lot of girls would love to be with.
My heart was pounding and the adrenalin was rushing when my phone suddenly rung and Matt pulled away.
"I'm so sorry", I said but we both couldn't help but laugh. Then I pulled out my phone and hit accept.
"Hey El, where you at?" It was Parker.
"I'm at Matthew's", I answered as Matt leaned in once again, leaving a trail of soft kisses on my neck as I spoke.
"Matthew? Who on earth is that?"
"Just this guy I know", I said and bit down on my lip to keep in a moan as Matt hit my sweet spot, but apparently he caught on to my reaction when he suddenly bit down on my skin ever so slightly, forming a hickey and making me shiver.
"Well, when are you coming home?" Parker then asked, suddenly sounding more tense than before.
"I don't know, I'll text you later."
"I'll text you, I promise."
Then we said our goodbyes and I hung up and put my phone back in my pocket just as Matt pulled away. He ran his fingers through his hair before sticking his hands in his pockets and turning his gaze towards the light wooden floor. I had no idea of how I'd gotten here with a guy like this, but it had happened and I actually felt happy about it. It was a step in the right direction when it came to my journey of moving on. The best way to get over somebody was to get under somebody else, right?
"You know," Matt started and looked back at me, "you deserve better than the shit that Calum guy was giving you the other night."
"But you barely even know me", I answered but smiled ever so slightly. I was joking, I really did appreciate his kind words, but he didn't know how it was between me and Cal. It was a mess, but it was our mess. Until it suddenly got out of control.
"Mhm, let's just say I have a feeling about you then", he continued as he walked back to the couch and sat down, picking up his glass of wine once again. I stayed by the window for a moment before continuing around the room. I stopped by a bookcase by the wall and traced my fingers along the spines of some of the books.
"Can I ask you a question, Matt?"
"How did you get over your fiancé?" I asked. "If you don't mind me asking."
He just looked at me for a while, then he looked down, and then he looked back up at me. I almost felt bad for asking the question, but there was a purpose to it. He'd been cheated on by somebody who he'd expected to spend his life with, and even thought it wasn't exactly the situation I'd been in with Calum, we'd both experienced very similar things.
"Let's just say that eventually you just do it. You get over them", he finally answered.
I then turned around and made my way back to the couch as well, sitting down beside him. I felt really sorry for him, but then again not. He'd been screwed over quite terribly, but he'd managed to pick himself up again. He didn't need any pity anymore, and all I wanted was to blue able to say that I had reached that point as well.
"What if it doesn't happen by itself?" I quietly continued.
"Then I would say that meeting somebody like you helps a lot too", he answered and then we made eye contact once again. I felt my heart flutter, but the constant voice in the back of my head telling me to slow it down was nagging me. Here I was with this great guy and I still couldn't just figure out how to give myself fully. "Look," Matt added, "I don't know what's going on in your head right now, but... If one day you feel like maybe giving us a try, I'd be up for that."
I just nodded, not knowing what to say.
"Can I kiss you?" he then asked and I couldn't help but chuckle which felt nice.
"You can", I quietly answered. He then leaned in and softly pressed his lips to mine.