Against better judgement

Kara-Lynne lives in New York City as a writer for People Magazine. Fresh out of college, writing for People has never been the job of her dreams. She's hardly given thought-provoking assignments and when Kara's given the task to publish a story on popular, pretty-boy and charming 'love expert' Ryan Barre, she expects it to be a simple assignment. However, she realises very quickly that things are far from simple with Ryan.


10. Small talk

Kara realised pretty quickly that her reaction was rude and for that, she felt a twinge of guilt. Yet, she quickly pushed that away by focusing on the company of the other only British man she knew personally.

Speaking of, Will could sense that Kara's mind was occupied. She probably wanted to be left alone but when he saw her alone walking along the pavement, his mind told him to stay and finish his vanilla milkshake while his legs had other plans. But since he was with her here already, it was an opportunity for him to enjoy the nightlife of New York City in all its glory before he returned to his homeland with Ryan.

He watched in silent curiosity as a pair of girls seemed to be foraging in a dumpster, giggling and high-fiving each other as they found bunches of slightly bruised bananas. He'd noticed the many individuals sleeping on flattened cardboard boxes but he'd never seen dumpster-diving in real life. As they rounded the corner, it was hard to miss the scantily clad women wearing heels that looked painful to walk in. He seemed to have caught a few of their boldly lined eyes as he heard them demanding for his attention. 

"You don't have to walk with me all the way. I'm probably going to get a cab soon." Kara raised her eyes to address Will, grateful that he hadn't pestered her with questions. 

He knew that Kara could take care of herself from how Ryan had talked about her. Nevertheless, it'd make him feel better if he made sure she reached her home before he made his way back to his hotel to pack. "I'm quite enjoying the night air actually. I don't know when or if I'll be back."

She nodded, accepting his justification. "So how do you find New York?"

"There's always something happening. I can't imagine anyone being bored living here. And the bagels do live up to their reputation. Have you always lived here?"

She gave a sad smile. "No, actually. I moved here after I graduated college when I secured a job at People. I grew up in the countryside, in Georgia. After my parents retired, they decided that they wanted to live on a ranch. There were horses, a few goats. Chickens running around."

"How often do you go visit?"

"Not often enough. But work requires me to stay in New York. It's not too bad." She stopped walking and hailed down a cab. While waiting for the cab to drive up, she decided that she didn't really want to go back to her apartment yet. "Hey, how do you feel about taking the Staten Island Ferry with me?"

Will grinned, amazed at the woman that stood in front of him, a warm glow in her cheeks that he could see even under the dim streetlights. "I'd love to."

She was pleasantly surprised. On the way there, they talked about how he hadn't had much time to be a tourist. He'd mostly been working, editing recorded videos and researching for future videos. Ryan and he were good friends and business partners. The former was the face of their company that produced and published videos about relationship and dating advice on YouTube. Will preferred to work behind the scenes anyway. Usually, they'd collaborate to construct video concepts. However, since Ryan's schedule was occupied with interviews, appearances on talk shows and photoshoots, he had to bear most of the work. It honestly didn't bother him but he would have appreciated more time to fully enjoy the tourist experience. 

Kara shared how working with People wasn't her idea of her dream job. It was far from what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Nevertheless, she understood that she was lucky to have a job right after graduating. She was financially independent and she was doing what she loved, to write. Besides that, Kara genuinely had little idea of what she wanted to pursue in the long term as a career.

"Are you sure they're in operation?"

They exited the cab after sharing the fare, welcomed by the cool sea breeze.

"It's 24/7. Much like the rest of New York, the city that never sleeps." He met her kind, bright eyes with a chuckle. 

They found their seats, unbothered by other passengers and sat in mutual silence as they admired the sight of the city, temporarily leaving their worries behind. Will slipped on his jacket around her shoulders. 

"You're not much of a talker, are you?"

She tucked her hair behind her ear and shrugged. "Don't get me wrong, sometimes ranting does make me feel better. But most of the time, I don't see the point. Sometimes I can't find the words to accurately represent my thoughts. That's why I prefer writing much more because I can edit my work." She paused, her eyes fixed on a pair who were leaning over the edge, engaged in what seemed to be an intimate conversation. "And I enjoy people-watching more than talking. In a non-creepy way, of course," she laughed nervously.

"People-watching is a French thing."

"As French as croissants?"

He chortled, bringing a smile to Kara's lips. When he was done, he composed himself and ran his fingers through his tousled hair. "That is typically enjoyed in the cafes of Paris as much as how people-watching is an activity that many enjoy to do in cafes."

Throughout the time the pair spent out together, Will occasionally felt a twinge of sadness when he remembered that his flight was the next day. He wouldn't have minded staying a day or two more.

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