No one else came to pick me up from the hospital today. It was Jamie, waiting for me in the waiting room, taking my things and putting it in the backseat as he opened the passenger’s side for me to get in. He didn’t say a word to me, and I didn’t say anything top him back. What was supposed to say after yesterday? Thank you for picking me up today after I basically told you to get lost just a couple of hours ago!
Driving back into the city at night on the bridge with the cold air hitting my face felt refreshing. I closed my eyes and saw the last year just flashed through my mind. Meeting Jamie, quitting the firm, going after my dance career, getting Jamie back, being Jamie’s girlfriend, and here we are. I opened my eyes and looked back at him as he drove. How did he handle me? Why put himself through the torture of being with Grace Ashmore? Why be linked up with someone that doesn’t have their life all put together? Why be with someone as damaged as me?
“Stop torturing yourself, jagiya,” Jamie finally said without looking away from the road.
“What?” I asked suddenly.
“Whatever you’re thinking about, it’s not true.” I cocked my eyebrows up and crossed my arms across my chest.
“So if I was thinking that you’re the sexiest man alive, that’s not in the slightest but true?” I teased. Jamie smirked to the question. I couldn’t help but be happy that I was still able to smile to my snarky remarks.
“I doubt that’s what has that perplexed look on your face,” he responded. I took a deep breath and looked out of the window. The drive seemed to be longer than expected; New York City traffic was always bad around this time of night. I was not gonna lie, going back to the city into my apartment was getting me sad. It meant that we would have to come back to reality and talk about the one thing I’ve been dreading since we left the hospital.
“Don’t take me home,” I blurted out. I didn’t see if Jamie looked at me, but his silence spoke volumes. Maybe he knew what I was dreading already, but he kept driving.
“Okay,” he simply said.
The rest of the drive was somewhat silent. The radio kept the air a little less tense, but it didn’t mean that our minds weren’t racing. Jamie looked tired; did he get any sleep last night? Has he eaten anything today? I was sad; I remember he used to have so much more color on his face. Fuck, he seemed so much happier.
The car stopped in a familiar place. His favorite place to think. I was glad to be close to the cafe; it felt like home without it being home in this exact moment. He got out of the car and walked around to open the door and take my hand. I put mine in his and he pulled me out of the car. We sat on the ground and looked out to the city and the Hudson River. It was truly something beautiful.
“Thank you,” I started to say. Jamie looked at me and placed his hand on my knee.
“I figured you needed some thinking time,” He said. I chuckled to myself; this man knows me too fucking well and it scares the living shit out of me. He brushed his hair back and continued to look out towards the city. I placed my head on his shoulder; the softness of his coat made me comfortable.
“Are you ready?” Jamie softly said. I knew what he meant. I faintly said yes and took my head off of his shoulder. I could tell he was nervous; he does this thing when he fixes the glasses on his face and licks his bottom lip, slightly biting on it. Could he tell I was also nervous?
“So… when did this start?” Jamie asked softly. I crossed my arms over my chest. That’s what I did when I get really nervous. I looked down at the grass.
“I’ve always had this issue with my body, especially when I was a dancer,” I briefly explained. He still looked so concerned and confused; I knew he had questions.
“I was worried sick about you, Grace. I didn’t know what the hell happened.” I could tell Jamie was trying to be as gentle as possible, but he was growing frustration at me for not just telling him about this in the first place.
“I would’ve known what to do,” I quietly said.
“Before or after you passed out in Emerson’s bathroom?” Jamie said snarky. I was pissed now, he simply wasn’t going to let this thing past me, and I mean– I don’t blame him– but I just wanted to get passed this conversation and spend our time more productively, like being on good terms with him before he just ups and leaves my fucking life.
“It wouldn’t be the first time,” I spat back. Jamie sighed and looked at me.
“Why didn’t you tell me you weren’t eating?”
“I needed to lose a couple of pounds.”
“For what?” Jamie raised his voice.
“My job, Jamie!” I responded even louder.
“Why the fuck would you need to lose weight for your job?” Jamie was angry, and I was getting angry for him not understanding that this was just not the conversation I wanted to had in this moment. I didn’t want to go home for this exact reason.
“The same reason you would leave Korea and attend to a case here in America; you just fucking have to!” I get up from the ground and stumble; Jamie quickly gets up and holds me so I don’t fall. Nothing is said, he just holds me.
I wrapped my arms around him and begin to start crying. I don’t know why I did, and I hate that I did, but I couldn’t help myself.
“Please don’t go back! Please!” I sobbed in his arms. I looked back up and with tears running down my face, I kissed him hard on the lips. He was tense; he didn’t know what was coming, but he suddenly wrapped his arms around me and kissed me back. And we were there for God knows how long.
It wasn’t long after until my bedroom door slammed open with me in Jamie’s arms. He placed me on my back on the bed and began to undress me. He looked at me in a way I don’t think any man has ever looked at me, but it felt good. It felt good to be seen for once; it felt good to think that someone took my flaws and fuck-ups and still wanted to be with me in this moment. I knew I loved him, and I wanted nothing but to let him know that in the way he touched my body tonight.
I remember the ecstasy of the night coming to an end when I realized the night was coming to an end. I looked over to Jamie, who then suddenly looked at me. He looked like he knew what was coming.
“When do you go back to Korea?” I finally asked. I dreaded the question all night. I know this wasn’t the right time to ask him this; us laying naked in my bed, but it was literally eating me up inside. I couldn’t wait to know the answer any longer. I needed to prepare myself for the heartbreak it will be.
“January 31st,” he simply answered. I didn’t say anything after that. I just laid there with his arm around me. I don’t know what this meant for us, but in this moment I was too exhausted to react.
I guess it’ll be something we’ll figure out.