The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something Promised Long Ago: A Scene.

New York City, New York: One Year Ago…

Jamie: Does New York even have beaches?

Grace closes the freezer after taking out the tub of ice cream and places it on the counter.

Grace: Yeah? *laughs* We live near the water, Jamie…

Jamie looks at Grace, genuinely surprised. Grace looks at Jamie and stops what she’s doing.

Grace: What?

Jamie: You’re telling me this city has a beach somewhere?

Grace: *laughs* Not here in the city, but in Brooklyn, we have Coney Island…

Jamie: *confused* Brooklyn? Coney? What?

Grace comes to a complete halt and stops making herself an ice cream cone.

Grace: Jamie, there are 5 boroughs of the city; Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, The Bronx, and Brooklyn. We went to Brooklyn for New Years Eve at Em and Cami’s place?

Jamie: That was Brooklyn? But there was no beach there.

Grace: They don’t live near the beach, but Brooklyn has a beach in a place called Coney Island. I’m surprised you never heard of it. It’s a big tourist attraction during the summer.

Jamie: Alicia Keys did not sing about a beach in her song…

Grace: Okay, first of all, that’s not her song; it’s Jay-Z’s. Secondly, have you never been to a beach before in Korea?

Jamie: Yes, that’s why I’m asking you if there are any beaches in New York, jagiya!

Grace walks toward Jamie and hands him her ice cream cone as she takes out her phone from her pocket. She looks back up to see Jamie eating her ice cream cone. Grace stares him down.

Jamie: Was this not for me?

Grace shakes her head and searches “Coney Island Beach”. Once she finds a picture of it, she shows her phone to Jamie.

Grace: This is the most famous beach in New York. There’s an amusement park, a concert place, a boardwalk, and a beach.

Jamie looks genuinely surprised scrolling through the pictures.

Jamie: This looks like a great place to visit!

Jamie continues to eat the ice cream cone until he looks back up at Grace. He hands it back to Grace, who laughs.

Grace: Maybe we can go to the beach together one of these days.

Santa Monica, California: Present…

Jamie is in the kitchen making coffee by himself. He has music playing on his phone while he prepares to brew the coffee. He turns around and sees Kevin walking toward the island with a bookbag. Jamie raises an eyebrow.

Jamie: Kevin?

Kevin looks at Jamie as he carries three bottles of water in his arms.

Kevin: Yeah?

Jamie: You have plans today?

Kevin: I’m going hiking; I invited you and Shawn a couple of weeks ago, in which you distastefully sucked your teeth and Shawn teased me for doing something *air quotes* I would never do back home.

Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just nods.

Jamie: Are you going to be alright going on your own?

Kevin: *annoyed* I’ll be fine.

Kevin packs his bag as Shawn walks into the kitchen as well. Shawn looks at the bag and then at Kevin.

Shawn: You’re hiking back to Korea or something?

Jamie holds back his laugh. The bookbag is abnormally large for a hike. Kevin deadpans Shawn.

Kevin: Bye, I’ll see you guys later.

Jamie: Call me if you need anything!

Kevin leaves the kitchen to walk toward the front door. the kitchen is now quiet. Jamie turns around to make his coffee. Shawn walks next to him to the sink to wash the mug he was using. Once he puts it in the dish rack, he looks at Jamie.

Shawn: I’m sorry for what happened, Hyung. I shouldn’t have done what I did.

Jamie doesn’t answer right away. He continues to prepare his cup of coffee to his liking.

Shawn: It was irresponsible for me to do what I did. I got carried away that night. I hope this doesn’t ruin the rest of the trip.

Jamie sighs and turns toward Shawn.

Jamie: I apologize for my behavior as well. I shouldn’t have reacted the way that I did and heard what you had to say.

The guys smile at each other and grab each other in for a tight hug. Jamie winces in pain when Shawn squeezes him too tight. Shawn laughs; Jamie quickly follows.

Jamie: So, do you have any plans for the day?

Shawn: I do… but if you want us to hang out today we can, I could cancel, I–

Jamie: *laughs* Something tells me I’m not the person you want to spend this beautiful day with.

Shawn’s face flashes red.

Jamie: You really like her, huh?

Shawn: Hyung, she’s shown me so much of California and introduced me to so much. She’s so fun and adventurous and–

Shawn’s smile is from ear to ear.

Shawn: She’s such a great person to be around. She doesn’t make me feel like a foreigner, you know?

Jamie nods his head. Shawn takes a deep breath.

Jamie: Go and have fun. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Shawn smiles and exits the kitchen, leaving Jamie alone. The music that was once playing on his phone stops, instead the phone rings. Jamie looks at the number, which he has saved on his phone as “Grace”. He looks confused; he picks up the phone.

Jamie: Hello?

Grace: Hey, it’s Grace…

Jamie: Oh, h-hey Grace. Is everything okay?

Grace: Yeah, everything is fine. *nervous* I, uhm… wanted to see if you possibly wanted to hang out together today? I surprisingly haven’t been to Santa Monica Beach despite working on the boardwalk, and uhh… I just wanted to see if you wanted to come along? It’s okay if you can’t, you’re probably busy doing other things and–

The line goes silent. Jamie hasn’t said anything yet.

Grace: Hello? Jamie?

Jamie: Yeah, I’m here; I, uhh… I would gladly accompany you to the beach. I actually haven’t been since being here as well, so…

Grace: Cool! So… uhm, I’ll meet you there, I guess?

Jamie bites his lower lip nervously and shuts his eyes. He opens them, as well as his mouth.

Jamie: I’ll come and pick you up in about an hour?

Grace: Oh! You don’t have to, I can just–

Jamie: It’s nothing. I will come and get you and then we can go to the beach together. Is that alright?

The line goes silent for a moment.

Grace: Yeah, that works for me. I’ll see you in an hour then, Jamie.

Jamie: See you soon, Grace.

The phone call ends and Jamie hangs up the phone. Jamie rubs his face, now stressed out.

Jamie: Aigoo…

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something of a Stretch: A Monologue.

15…16…17…

It feels like it’s been decades since I’ve been to the gym. I guess it’s because I never had the time if I was working on a case; whether it was in New York or Korea. Something told me to come here and just plug in my headphones to my phone and relieve some stress. Ya, how are you stressed while being on vacation, Jaemin-ah?

18…19… 20.

I placed the weights back on the bench, catching my breath afterward. Yeah, you definitely are out of shape. I sit up and grab my bag for my water bottle. I look around the gym as I take a break.

“Just forget her! Let her go already!” Shawn yelled out. My face boiled in anger; I wanted nothing more to rip Shawn’s throat out of his mouth.

“Hyung!” Kevin tried to stop Shawn from talking by backing him away from me, but I saw it in Shawn’s eyes. He honestly didn’t think he was in the wrong. Maybe he wasn’t. I was the one that dragged him out with me because I was too much of a punk to face Grace alone.

As I exited the door, Shawn yelled some more. “She does nothing but gets your head all fucked up anyway!” I had no energy to fight anymore; I had just fought Kevin hours before about Grace and I didn’t want to do it again.

I can’t help but get mad at what Shawn said because I replayed my time with Grace repeatedly in my head. I don’t think I’ve laughed and enjoyed my time like that in a long time. It felt good to be around company–simple company–even if Grace and I are nowhere near being simple people. California is treating her well; her skin is covered in freckles from the sun, her body looks healthy, and she genuinely looks happy. Maybe me coming back into her life unexpectedly was a bad idea. What if she spirals? What if she’s reminded of all the bad memories after seeing me? I would hate to be the reason that she–

Ya, she’s not yours to care for anymore.

I get up from the bench and grabbed my bag and headed to the bathroom to wash up. The gym wasn’t helping me relax the way I hoped it would.

“Hi mom,” I greeted my mother over the phone in Korean as I walk towards the parking lot of the gym.

“Jaemin-ah,” she started. “How are you doing? Are you safe in America?”

“Yes, mom, I’m doing okay. How’s Mina and Minju noona?” I asked, placing my bag in the passenger seat of the car before walking to the driver’s side.

“Mina is about to have the baby any day now,” she began to say. “Lia is helping around the house while Mina is resting.”

“How about you? Are you okay? Do you need anything?” I asked. My mom laughs over the phone before responding.

“Honey, you won’t be able to help me with anything being so far away,” mom answered. I hated when she did that. She makes me feel guilty every time I leave the family home to go back to Seoul, let alone leave Korea for a country across the world.

“Mom, don’t say things like that,” I tell her. “You could always tell me if you need anything.”

“I’m okay,” she coldly stated. “Minju will help me.”

As I got into the car, I shut my eyes, not answering my mother.

“Jaemin-ah?” Mom called for me.

“Yes?” I answered back.

“You are coming back before Chuseok, right?”

“Of course, I am,” I answered. “I’m just on vacation here. I’ll be back home at the end of the summer.”

“Okay,” she simply said. Nothing else was said. It was like I was talking o a stranger at this point.

I opened the front door of the house and placed my keys on the table next to the door. I didn’t want to check and see if anyone was still downstairs; I immediately went straight upstairs toward my room. As I got to the top of the stairs, I see Kevin on the balcony looking out. I sighed and walked towards the balcony; I can’t stay mad at the two people that I’m on vacation with for another month and a half.

I walked outside and Kevin turned around. He was on the phone. I raised my hand, letting him finish his call.

“Okay babe, I will talk to you later. Have a good day; love you,” he said over the phone. Hearing Kevin talk to JooAh always makes me smile; he’s so in love with her. He hangs up the phone and faces me.

“Are we going ring shopping anytime soon? Or,” I teased. Kevin rolls his eyes and sits on one of the balcony seats. I do the same.

“Some day. She is the one,” Kevin smiles as he speaks about her. I can’t help but squeal to tease him some more.

“Daebak,” I said in Korean. “I’m excited for your future with her.” Kevin nodded his head and took a deep breath. There was an awkward silence. We seem to know what is causing such a dead silence all of a sudden.

“Where’s Shawn?” I asked.

“He went out,” Kevin nervously answered.

“By himself?” I was genuinely curious. “He doesn’t even know that much English to be getting around by himself.” Kevin nervously picks at his fingers, which I don’t understand why he is.

“He went out with Skylar,” Kevin admitted. I rolled my eyes at his answer.

“Aigoo, didn’t he just see her last night, you know, when he ditched me?” I sarcastically answered.

“Hyung,” Kevin started. “Shawn hyung has never said those things to you before. He’s never been that angry,” Kevin continued to explain.

“Shawn is just on a high because an actual woman is giving him attention,” I said, and I can tell it bothered Kevin.

“You mean how Grace gave you attention when you first got to New York?” Kevin spat back.

“Grace was different. She was my friend and was good company while we first were in New York–“

“Maybe that’s how he feels? Maybe he likes Skylar’s company,” Kevin debated.

“Yeah, he likes being in her pants,” I said, annoyed at the conversation.

“Hyung, I think you should go easy on him. I think you would be understanding about how he feels since… well, since you’ve been there before.

I began to get up from the balcony chair, regretting even coming back here in the first place.

“Hyung,” Kevin called out.

“Yeah?” I said, wanting to just go to my room.

“Talk to Shawn when he gets home, please,” Kevin pleaded. I sighed, not really in the mood to make up with Shawn after hearing he’s back out with Grace’s cousin.

“Okay,” I said, tired.

I turned back around and went towards my room. Is Kevin right? Is Shawn spending this time with Grace’s cousin because he feels the same way I first met Grace? I shake my head and scoff, walking towards the closet to change for the night.

“You’re just gonna get hurt, buddy,” I tell myself.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Spicy Little Something: A Scene.

Grace: Skylar!

Grace yells toward the upstairs balcony. She continues to yell out for Skylar until Skylar is seen walking towards the balcony, looking down at Grace.

Skylar: What, what?!

Grace: What the fuck is wrong with you?

Skylar walks down the stairs; tired.

Skylar: I literally just woke up; I couldn’t have done anything wrong…

Grace: What happened last night?!

Skylar smiles and sits on the sofa.

Skylar: Shawn is so funny. I never met a man like him before…

Grace: That’s because he lives in Korea; I can’t believe you really left me for some guy, Sky!

Skylar: What? You were with Jamie, you were in a man’s hands for once…

Grace: That’s not my point! You really didn’t care where the fuck I was before you decided to come back here with Shawn.

Skylar rolls her eyes and flips through a magazine on the coffee table. Grace yanks it out of her hand.

Skylar: *annoyed* What the hell is your problem?

Grace: I don’t have a problem; I could care less what you do in your free time, but when you make dumb decisions that affect other people, then we have a problem! I’m sick and tired of having to look after you like a damn child and when I don’t, you continue to act like one!

Skylar: No one told you to look after me! I’m a grown woman; not your child!

Grace: *yells* Then stop acting like a damn child!

Skylar: *yells louder* If you want to look after a child, maybe go and look after your actual one!

Grace doesn’t say anything, but her face says it all. Skylar becomes apologetic, but Grace isn’t having it.

Skylar: I’m so sorry, Grace–

Grace grabs her purse from the sofa and walks upstairs, ignoring Skylar. Skylar tries to get Grace’s attention by grabbing her arm, but Grace turns around and yanks her arm away.

Grace: Don’t. Fucking. Touch. Me.

Skylar doesn’t say anything. Grace turns back around and walks toward her room.

When Grace enters her room, she drops her bag near the door. She looks up towards the ceiling; trying to keep her tears from falling down.

Grace: *to herself* For fuck’s sake, Grace, keep it together…

She takes in a deep breath and slowly walks to her bed, then plops herself onto it. She looks up at the ceiling, heavy in thought. She slowly closes her eyes, tired from the night she had.

Grace is seen wearing a emerald green dress with nude, strappy high-heels. Her hair is down and her natural auburn red curls frame her face. She looks around the venue, not knowing anyone there besides the people that invited her. She follows a crowd of people towards a ballroom hall, in which is decorated with an assortment of flowers, lights, and flowy curtains. She walks to the greeting table and gets her number for her seat in the venue.

As she walks towards her table, she sees an elderly woman holding the hand of someone she knows. She smiles and walks towards the elderly woman.

Grace: Hi, Eleanor–

Grace’s crouches down to look at the little girl with Eleanor.

Grace: Hi, Willow!

The little girl hides behind her great-great grandmother. Grace’s face turns red and quickly gets back up.

Grace: It’s okay, it’s mommy!

Willow: No you’re not!

Grace is dumbfounded. She looks towards the man and woman walking in their direction. The little girl turns around and runs up to the woman and hugs her. The woman bends down to pick her up, in which she continues to walk with their man.

Eleanor: Max, Mariam; the ceremony was beautiful…

Max: Thank you, nan.

Max looks at the woman and kisses her. The couple looks at Grace; the woman still holding Grace’s daughter. Grace is confused as there is now a loud noise going off in the venue.

Grace opens her eyes to the sound of an alarm going off. She rubs her eyes and looks at her bag that is near her bedroom door.

Grace: Fuck–

Grace quickly gets out of her bed and rushes to her bag. She takes out her cell phone and shuts off the alarm. She then quickly walks to her vanity where her laptop is and flips it open. As soon as she sits down, she gets an incoming video call. When she answers, Max appears on her screen.

Grace: Hey!

Max: Hey Grace, just give her a moment; she wants to show you something.

A little girl’s voice is heard in the distance on Max’s screen. It gets louder as the little girl approaches Max. He picks up the little girl and puts her on his lap. She faces the screen and waves at it.

Willow: Hi Mommy!

Grace’s face lights up when she hears her daughter’s voice.

Grace: Hi, little bean!

Willow: Look what I made for you at camp!

Willow holds up a decorated macaroni necklace with different colored beads and tri-colored dry pasta.

Grace: It’s beautiful! I love it!

Willow: Daddy said I can give it to you when you come to see me.

Grace keeps her smile on her face, despite feeling immensely guilty for being so far from her daughter.

Grace: I can’t wait. I will always wear it when I do.

Willow smiles. Max looks down at his daughter.

Max: Tell mommy more about summer camp, sweetie.

Willow begins to talk about her day at summer day camp, and Grace does nothing but listens to Willow speak.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Out of your Mind or Something?!: A Scene.

It’s been a couple of hours since Jamie was awoken by the screams of Grace and Kevin. Since then, he’s been awake. He rubs his eyes in frustration and tosses around the uncomfortable sofa. He makes the decision to get up from the sofa and walks to the kitchen.

He stops in place when he sees Kevin sitting on the island, drinking a small carton of chocolate milk. He slowly walks to the island and toward the counter to make a pot of coffee. Kevin watches him.

Jamie: I know you’re watching me.

Kevin: Why are you making coffee at 4 in the morning?

Jamie: Why are you up at 4 in the morning?

Nothing is said afterward. Jamie turns around toward the island after grabbing a mug from the cabinet. Jamie doesn’t look at Kevin as he pours the coffee into the mug.

Jamie: Just say it already.

Kevin: Why? I’m only going to waste my time telling you what I’ve been telling you these last couple of months…

Jamie: It’s really not what you think, Kevin.

Kevin: It’s exactly what I’m thinking, hyung! She’s here like nothing happened! And then you defend her after everything she’s put you through!

Jamie leans in close to Kevin on the island.

Jamie: Can you please keep your voice down? At least let her sleep through the night.

Kevin: Do you hear yourself? You literally don’t know who Grace is; she’s not the same person you knew back in New York! She left that life behind. Why are you holding onto something from the past?

Jamie can’t answer right away. He sighs.

Jamie: That night the three of us went to the bar on the pier, I took a walk on the boardwalk. There’s a cafe a couple of stores down from the bar, I walked in there and… she works there. I gave her my number. She didn’t call me, her cousin did, which is who Shawn is with right now–

Kevin shakes his head in confusion, holding his hands up for Jamie to stop.

Kevin: My point is that she put you through hell, yet you see her once and bam… none of that matters anymore.

Jamie: I appreciate that you are looking out for me, but I know what I’m doing. I wasn’t going to leave her at the bar without a place to stay for the ngiht–

Kevin: Why not? She left you in New York by yourself…

Jamie grows frustrated.

Jamie: We weren’t together when she did that–

Kevin: No, but it wasn’t long after she told you about–

Jamie: *stern* Don’t.

Kevin scoffs; his voice gets louder.

Kevin: Do you see what I mean? How do you have the woman who did that to you laying in your bed like nothing happened? She has the right to do whatever she wants to do with her body, but you have the right to protect your heart.

Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just takes his mug and begins to walk out of the kitchen.

Kevin: Hyung–

Jamie stops and turns back to look at Kevin.

Kevin: If you felt like you had to hide this from me, then you know this isn’t a good idea.

Jamie turns away and walks out of the kitchen.

The sun is up for the day and Grace and Jamie exit the house and walk to the car in the parking lot. Nothing is said between them. Before Jamie can open the passenger’s door, Grace opens it and enters the car. Jamie doesn’t take it personally; he proceeds to walk around the car to the driver’s side and enters.

Jamie looks at the GPS on his phone as he drives on the highway. Grace looks out of the window; she hasn’t said anything for the entire ride. Jamie keeps looking at her direction, anxious. He takes in a deep breath and quickly lets it out.

Jamie: Are you okay? Are you feeling hot?

Grace: No, I’m fine.

Silence.

Grace: Thank you again for allowing me to stay over your house for the night.

Jamie: It was nothing. Again, I feel responsible for Shawn going off like that. It’s not like him to do that…

Grace: Skylar can be very persuasive.

Grace finally looks at Jamie.

Grace: She persuaded you to go to The Voyage.

Jamie: She seemed to have persuade you to go as well.

Grace chuckles and looks forward towards the highway.

Grace: Touche.

Jamie smiles without even realizing he is. He clears his throat.

Jamie: I also apologize for Kevin’s behavior. That was very much uncalled for.

Grace: Hey, you can’t help your friends that are just trying to protect you… Ari would’ve killed you before killing me if it was the other way around.

Jamie: I’m… legitimately afraid of Ari.

This makes Grace genuinely laugh and smile. Jamie feels less tensed up.

Jamie: *looks at GPS* Do I keep going up this road?

Grace: *nods* Mhm.

Jamie continues to drive. Moments later, Grace turns on the radio to ease the silence between them. Jamie is relieved.

They eventually get to Grace’s place. Jamie stops the car in front of the condo where Grace lives. There’s a silence between the two for a moment.

Grace: Thanks for the ride home, I really appreciate it.

Jamie: It’s the least I can do.

Grace smile and begins to exit the car. Jamie walks her, never taking his eyes off of her. As she gets out of the car, she turns around to smile through the window; Jamie returns the smile back. Grace then proceeds to walk towards the condo. When she enters, Jamie lets out the breath is was keeping in.

Jamie walks into the front door of the vacation house. He hears laughter coming from the kitchen; he immediately knows who it is. He speed walks towards the kitchen. He’s not surprised to see Shawn standing over the island talking to Kevin.

Jamie: *stern* Ya~

Shawn and Kevin look at Jamie.

Shawn: Hyung! Where were you?

Jamie: *sarcastically* Oh nowhere important, just had to drop off Grace since she couldn’t go home last night.

Shawn: Did you spend some quality time with her?

Jamie: *yells* Does it look like I’m joking with you, Shawn?!

Shawn walks over to the fridge to take out a bottle of water; unbothered.

Shawn: What has you in such a bad mood today?

Jamie: You ditched me at the bar last night!

Shawn: You were with Grace though, it couldn’t have been that bad…

Jamie: Not only did you ditch me and leave me with Grace, you went and stayed over her cousin’s place that you had just meant hours before! Are you out of your mind or something?!

Shawn: Hyung, Skylar is… so amazing.

Jamie: *yells louder* I don’t care, Shawn! My point is you were irresponsible and wreckless and left me for a woman!

Shawn: You were the one that tagged me along so you can meet up with Grace! I just gave you two some alone time!

Jamie shakes his head and walks out of the kitchen. Shawn, now defensive and annoyed, follows Jamie. Kevin tries to stop Shawn, but is unsuccessful.

Shawn: I don’t know what’s your problem! You had a whole night with Grace! What happened? Did she break your heart some more?

Kevin: Hyung!

Jamie doesn’t even turn around, he just keeps walking towards the front door.

Shawn: If you had such a miserable night, then maybe that’s your sign that you should let her go! Forget her! Don’t be angry at me–

Jamie: *yells* Ya!

The house gets quiet; nobody makes a sound. Jamie grabs his keys and opens the front door.

Kevin: Hyung!

The door slams shut.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something To Explain: A Scene.

Jamie and Grace pull up to a house in a Santa Monica neighborhood. Jamie turns the car off and unbuckles his seatbelt. He quickly gets out of the car to open up Grace’s car door. She unbuckles her seat belt and holds Jamie’s hand as she exits the car. Jamie closes the door behind her and they begin to walk toward the house.

Grace: This is a nice place you’re staying in.

Jamie: Thanks; the guys were the ones that booked it for the summer.

Jamie opens the front door of the house and lets Grace walk in first. She looks around before Jamie closes the door behind them. She follows Jamie toward a staircase.

A door opens and the lights are turned on; it’s Jamie’s bedroom. Grace looks around, a bit nervous to be in here. Jamie awkwardly stands at the door before Grace sits down on a chair in the room.

Jamie: So, uhm, I figured you could sleep in here for the night and I can sleep on the couch.

Grace: You don’t gotta be kicked out of your own room; I can sleep on the sofa–

Jamie shakes his head no.

Jamie: It’s completely okay.

He walks over to his dresser and looks through the drawers. He pulls out a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. He walks over to Grace to hand them to her.

Jamie: You can freshen up in the bathroom if you’d like.

Grace: Thanks, Jamie.

Jamie nods his head and closes the bedroom door. When he does, he lets out a deep breath.

In the middle of the night, Kevin walks down the hallway and opens the door to Shawn’s room. He tits his head when he doesn’t see Shawn in his bed. He closes the door and proceeds to walk toward Jamie’s room.

Kevin: *knocks on door* Hyung?

No answer. Kevin puts his ear to the door before knocking on it again.

Kevin: Hyung?

When he doesn’t get an answer, he rolls his eyes and slowly opens the door of Jamie’s bedroom. He calls for Jamie before entering it.

Kevin: Hyung, Shawn didn’t come home tonight, do you know where he went?

No answer. Kevin grows frustrated and sighs, walking towards the bed.

Kevin: Hyung! Wake up!

He pulls the covers away from the bed and immediately notices that the person in Jamie’s bed wasn’t Jamie. He yells in shock, waking up Grace and startling her. She screams in horror.

The scream echoes throughout the house, which wakes up Jamie in the living room. He jumps up, waking from his sleep.

Jamie: Grace?!

Jamie runs up the stairs towards his room. He opens his bedroom door and stops when he sees Kevin standing there. Grace is wrapped up in a blanket on the opposite side of the room. Kevin looks at Jamie, confused.

Kevin: Hyung?

Jamie swallows hard. He doesn’t answer back, he just looks at Grace.

Jamie: *to Grace* Are you okay?

Grace nods her head. Jamie proceeds to look at Kevin.

Jamie: Kevin–

Kevin scoffs and walks out of Jamie’s room. Jamie looks back at Grace.

Jamie: I’m sorry.

Grace: It’s… fine.

Jamie doesn’t say anything back. He just closes the bedroom door as he exits. Grace wears an unsettled look on her face.

Jamie runs down the staircase towards Kevin’s room. He catches the door before it is slammed shut by Kevin. He walks in, closing it behind him.

Jamie: Kevin, let me explain–

Kevin: Explain what? How the woman that broke your heart is in your bed all of a sudden? She must really have you wrapped around her finger…

Jamie: It’s not like that–

Kevin: I thought Shawn was incompetent when it came to women but my god, you must be the most stupid man I’ve ever met!

Jamie: *stern* Ya~

Kevin: No! Don’t tell me I should show you respect as my senior! I am talking to you as a friend, Jamie. How the hell did you even know she was in Santa Monica?

Jamie: I-I didn’t. I mean, I did, but I didn’t–

Kevin laughs and shakes his head.

Kevin: I’m not going to sit here and watch you destroy yourself again over a woman with issues like Grace–

Jamie: *snaps* Ya! Don’t talk about her like that!

Kevin: Whatever, Jamie. You can see your way out of my room.

Kevin turns his back toward Jamie.

Jamie: Maybe when Shawn comes home from her cousin’s house, you can ask him why Grace is here in the first place.

Kevin doesn’t respond. Jamie leaves Kevin’s room.

When Jamie enters the living room, he stops in place when he sees Grace sitting there, still in his t-shirt and shorts. Jamie takes a deep breath and walks slowly toward the couch. He sits on the opposite side of where Grace is. Nothing is said.

Grace: Maybe coming here was a bad idea.

Jamie: You did nothing wrong. I apologize for how tonight went.

Grace: No, no. I should just go while I can–

Before Grace can leave the couch, Jamie grabs her by the arm. She’s startled at the touch, which Jamie notices right away. He immediately takes his hand back.

Jamie: Just… stay for the night. I will drive you home in the morning.

Grace doesn’t say anything right away. She sighs loudly.

Grace: Okay.

Jamie nods as Grace walks back up the staircase, towards Jamie’s room.

Grace: Goodnight, Jamie.

Jamie looks up towards the staircase.

Jamie: Goodnight.

The door to Jamie’s room closes. Jamie cups his face with his hands; exhausted from the night.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

21-Something-Questions: A Scene.

Grace crosses her legs as she sits on a bench close to the railing of the boardwalk. Jamie is seen walking from a food cart after ordering food. He walks towards where Grace is sitting. He hands her food and a drink. She accepts it.

Grace: Thank you.

Jamie nods his head and looks out towards the beach.

Jamie: The beach looks so different at night.

Grace: It’s always the prettiest when the sun goes down. During the day it just looks all dirty and crowded with people.

Jamie: Once my family and I took a trip to Jeju Island and the beaches there were breathtaking. I’ve never seen a beach as pretty as that ever since.

Grace looks at Jamie as he speaks, mesmerized. She looks quickly towards the beach when he stops talking, eating french fries. He looks at her when she’s not looking, mesmerized as well.

Grace: Beaches are never that pretty here in America, so one day I will love to go someplace where the water is crystal clear and the sand is soft-looking.

Jamie doesn’t answer back; he hopes that Grace doesn’t stop talking. She does, and there’s a brief awkward silence between them. Jamie just wants to keep Grace talking after not hearing from her, or even knowing where she’s been since he left for Korea back in January.

Jamie: So what made you start working at the cafe on the boardwalk?

Grace: *scoffs* Well, I needed money. I used to work as a barista at a Starbucks near my college when I was a student. So I figured it would be the easiest way to make money while I’m here.

Jamie: *curious* Oh; do you still own the company back in New York?

Grace: *nods* My mother is helping me run the company while I’m here, but I’m still in charge of choreography.

Jamie: Do you still dance?

Grace: Yeah, I still make the dances up for my dancers and–

Jamie: No, no; do you still dance?

Grace looks at Jamie as he asks the question. They share a moment looking at one another.

Grace: I do. I dance with a team here.

Jamie: *smiles* I’m glad to hear that you’re still dancing.

Grace looks back at Jamie.

Grace: You’re still in law?

Jamie: *nods* I am. I’m under a different firm though. The cases are minor; nothing that requires too much traveling outside of the country.

Grace: That’s good. You can be with your family more these days.

Jamie nods. Grace turns her head to continue eating her food and drinking her soda. Jamie doesn’t take his eyes off of her.

Jamie: How’s Willow?

Grace freezes in place. She doesn’t answer right away; it’s like she has to think about what to answer with.

Grace: She’s doing well. She’s starting Kindergarten in September, which is crazy to think about.

This makes Jamie smile wide. Grace knows that hearing about Willow makes him the happiest. She knows he really cares about her.

Grace: But yeah. *smiles* She’s something else. She’s so fascinated with nature and is literally a flower child. She’s always helping Max’s wife plant new flowers, and always shows me her plants in her bedroom whenever I video chat with her. But she’s doing good though.

Jamie: I’m glad to hear that.

Grace looks down at her body before she looks back up to Jamie.

Grace: How’s your family doing?

Jamie: Everyone’s doing well. Mina and her husband are having their third child. Lia is getting married in the Fall. My mother is very excited about all these events coming up.

Grace: That’s great. I’m… glad you’re able to be with them, y’know?

Jamie nods. Silence.

Grace: So, you said that you and your friends are here for a vacation?

Jamie: *nods* Yeah. Shawn and Kevin wanted to do a guy’s trip before Kevin settles down… Shawn and I think that he’s thinking about proposing to his girlfriend.

Grace: *shocked* Oh, wow! That’s great. That’s exciting. Seems like everyone is getting married these days. Ari is getting married next year.

Jamie: That’s nice. Her fiance seems like a good man, I–

He stops in his tracks. Grace looks at him when he does. Jamie doesn’t even want to pretend or lie anymore.

Jamie: I briefly met him when I went to Ari to ask about you before I left New York.

The conversation ends there. In a way, Jamie regrets bringing that up since it caused the conversation to stop.

Grace: We should probably get back to the bar to check on our company.

Grace gets up and Jamie follows; regretful.

When Jamie notices that Grace is finished with her drink and food, he kindly gets up and takes her trash for her. He walks towards the trash can to toss it out. He turns around and is surprised Grace is still standing with him. They begin to walk back to the bar.

Jamie: So, you have family in California, I’m assuming?

Grace nods her head.

Grace: My uncle lives in San Diego; Skylar moved from there a couple of years ago, I believe? So I’m staying with her. Love her, but she can be a lot to handle.

Jamie: Really?

Grace: Oh yeah. She has no responsibility bone in her body, but I’m grateful she’s allowing me to stay with her.

Jamie: At least you just have her; I have Shawn and Kevin to look after.

Grace laughs and shakes her head. She doesn’t respond back through the rest of the walk back to the bar.

They both return to the Voyage Bar and try to look for Skylar and Shawn. They look around the crowded bar, not seeing them anywhere.

Grace: Skylar?

Jamie: Shawn?

No answer. Both Grace and Jamie walk out of the bar to get away from the loud music playing inside. Grace takes out her phone and calls Skylar; Jamie walks away and calls Shawn on his phone.

Jamie: Ya! Where are you?

Shawn: *slurs* Hyung! What’s up?

Jamie: Where are you? I can’t find you at the bar–

Shawn: Oh! About that…

A few feet away, Grace is talking to Skylar on the phone.

Grace: Skylar? Where the fuck are you?!

Skylar: The question is where were you with Mr. Jamie!

She laughs over the phone, but Grace is not having it.

Grace: I’m not playing with you. We have to get you home–

Skylar: No need, cuzzo! About going home…

A few moments later, both Grace and Jamie walk back to each other, getting off the phone with their rides home.

Jamie: Did you hear from Skylar?

Grace: I did, and if you didn’t hear from Shawn–

Jamie: Oh I did…

Jamie cocks his eyebrows up, and Grace gets the message. Grace rubs her eyes and lets out a deep sigh.

Grace: I’m not going home to listen to Skylar and Shawn *air quotes* have fun with each other.

Jamie’s face flashes red.

Jamie: You can stay at my place for the night if you aren’t comfortable going back home.

Grace looks at Jamie, which makes him even more nervous.

Jamie: I mean if you have another place you want to stay that’s completely fine, I can drive you there if you like–

Grace: Jamie.

Jamie stops talking and waits for Grace to speak.

Grace: Thanks, I’ll stay with you for the night…

Jamie tightly smiles and walks with Grace down the boardwalk. Jamie dabs the sweat falling down from his neck.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something About Grace & Jamie: A Scene.

Jamie stands in front of the bathroom mirror trying to put his contacts on. He keeps failing since he is shaky and nervous. Shawn walks toward the doorway of the bathroom, looking at Jamie getting ready.

Shawn: So, what are we going to tell Kevin when he gets back from the market?

Jamie: That we’re going out to the bar tonight.

Shawn: But wouldn’t he want to come with us?

Jamie: We’ll tell him we’re going out to talk to women– *poke his eye* Ouch!

Jamie rubs his eye with his hand before trying to put his contact lens back into his eye. Shawn shakes his head.

Shawn: *teases* She’s already getting to you, hyung?

Jamie: Ya~

Jamie tries to get Shawn out of the doorway until they hear the front door of the house open and close.

Kevin: *calls out* Jamie hyung? Shawn hyung?

Both men walk out of the hallway and see Kevin standing near the doorway with a couple of bags of groceries. Kevin puts them down on the floor and looks at the two men, clearly dressed up for an occasion.

Kevin: Why are you two so dressed up?

Shawn: *nervous* We, uhm–

Jamie: We’re going to the Voyage Bar tonight.

Kevin: Why?

Jamie: We’re going to try to put ourselves out there.

As Kevin places the groceries on the island in the kitchen, he turns around and questions his hyungs.

Kevin: But it didn’t go well the last time you guys did that.

Jamie: We know what we’re getting into now; before we didn’t.

Kevin rolls his eyes and starts putting food away.

Kevin: Well, count me out. The last time I went to the bar, Joo-Ah was upset.

Shawn: Are you sure? I mean we could–

Jamie intently stares at Shawn, not wanting him to say anything else. Shawn catches the hint.

Shawn: We, as in me and Jamie, can go out and you can call Joo-Ah and do like a distance dinner date!

Jamie’s surprised that Shawn would think of something so sweet and sentimental. Kevin considers the thought.

Kevin: You know, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea!

Kevin walks out of the kitchen to go grab his phone from the living room. Shawn is surprised at his own lie.

Shawn: I’m good!

Jamie rolls his eyes and gathers his things so that they can leave. Jamie nervously puts on his bracelet before heading out the door with Shawn.

Skylar: You’re seriously not wearing that out tonight, are you?

Skylar stands in the doorway of Grace’s bedroom, looking at Grace who is wearing a pair of ripped jean shorts and a t-shirt.

Grace: *looks at her outfit* What’s wrong with it?

Skylar: *disgusted* Everything.

Skylar walks into Grace’s room and looks through her closet. Grace sighs.

Grace: I don’t know why you’re making a night out to the Voyage such a big deal…

Skylar: Because it’s my birthday month and I want to celebrate it every weekend leading up to my birthday!

Grace shakes her head.

Grace: So what is “your vision” for tonight’s outfit?

Skylar pulls out a red dress and a pair of open-toe red heels. Grace’s eyebrows cock upon her face.

Grace: Seriously?

Skylar: Yeah, seriously! What if you meet a cute guy at the bar?

Grace: *annoyed* Only drunk tourists go to that bar; why would I want to pick up a guy from there?

Skylar throws the outfit on the bed, annoyed at Grace’s attitude.

Skylar: Grace, I just want to go out with you for a night. I feel like you never want to do anything with me and it’s like, shit we live in the same house and we barely hang out. So for my birthday, it would be nice if my only cousin would go out and celebrate with me without feeling like this is a chore for her.

Grace doesn’t say anything, she just walks towards the bed where the outfit is on and takes it. Skylar smiles.

Skylar: Thank you, Grace!

Grace: *from the other room* You should become an actress with all that drama you carry.

Shawn and Jamie walk towards the Voyage Bar on the pier. Jamie looks around, visibly nervous. Shawn notices and pats Jamie on the back to grab his attention.

Shawn: Are you okay?

Jamie: Yeah, I’m alright… I’m just going to take this night for whatever it becomes.

Shawn: Are you ready to see Grace though?

Jamie doesn’t answer. He takes a deep breath and walks toward the bar. Shawn follows Jamie.

Skylar and Grace walk up to the Voyage Bar. Skylar, excited to go inside, grabs Grace by the arm to help drag her toward the bar. Grace tries to fight her cousin.

Grace: For God’s sake, relax woman.

Skylar doesn’t listen to Grace and continues to pull her into the bar. Once they enter, Grace looks around and immediately is uncomfortable.

Skylar: Look at the people in here tonight!

Grace: Skylar!

Skylar begins to dance on the dance floor as Grace attempts to follow her.

At the bar, Shawn looks towards the dance floor and notices the women dancing. He gets excited and gets up from the bar.

Shawn: Looks like the dance floor is where it’s at for the night!

Jamie, still sitting at the bar, tries to go after Shawn.

Jamie: Shawn!

As he attempts to follow Shawn towards the floor, he bumps into someone who is also walking through the dance floor.

Jamie: I am so sorry, miss–

The woman turns around slowly and faces Jamie. She looks up, completely mortified to see Jamie.

Jamie micks the woman’s face, realizing it’s Grace.

Grace: Jamie?

Jamie doesn’t answer back quickly; he processes what he sees in front of him. He shakes his head, trying to come back to reality.

Jamie: H-hi, Grace.

They both don’t say or do anything else until Jamie hears Shawn call out from him.

Shawn: Hyung!

He walks towards Jamie with a woman. Grace widens her eyes to realize the woman is Skylar.

Grace: Skylar?

Shawn looks at Grace, who is shocked to hear that she knows the woman accompanying him.

Shawn: You know each other?

Grace: She’s my cousin…

Jamie stands there taking in the situation. His eyes go to Skylar, who is now looking at him.

Skylar: *shocked* Oh! You must be–

Shawn: That’s Jamie.

Jamie nervously waves at Skylar and then immediately looks at Grace. Grace looks upset.

Grace: I need some air–

Grace walks out of the bar and Jamie follows her. Skylar looks a little discouraged and Shawn notices.

Shawn: Jamie will see if she’s okay.

Jamie walks out of the bar and sees Grace sitting on the bench near the boardwalk. He walks over to Grace and sits down next to her. She looks at him, then quickly looks towards the beach.

Jamie: *nervously* Are… are you okay?

Grace doesn’t answer back right away. Jamie looks down at his hands and then back at Grace when she takes a deep breath.

Grace: You didn’t have to do what my cousin says, y’know…

Jamie: I didn’t.

Grace looks uneasy and looks away from Jamie.

Jamie: But your cousin did call me with the number I gave you.

Grace rolls her eyes and scoffs.

Grace: She’s… a handful.

Jamie: No wonder Shawn’s hanging out with her; they are basically the same person.

This makes Grace laugh; Jamie feels accomplished and smiles at Grace.

Grace: Sorry if she dragged you into this. This is kinda what she does.

Jamie: No need to apologize… I did agree to come tonight, so–

Grace finally looks at Jamie, and Jamie looks at her back.

Grace: I just wish Skylar picked a place that wasn’t the Voyage Bar…

Jamie: *laughs* I don’t know what is about this place anyway… the drinks aren’t that great.

Grace: The food isn’t either.

Jamie gets up from the bench and gives a hand to Grace.

Jamie: Let’s go someplace with good drinks and food.

Grace smiles and grabs Jamie’s hand. They both let go when they stand next to each other and walk along the boardwalk.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

“Am I Missing Something?”: A Scene.

Shawn and Kevin sit on the balcony that is looking out towards Santa Monica. Shawn is sipping on a cold iced tea while Kevin sits across from him, applying sunscreen on his face.

Moments later, Jamie walks onto the balcony with a pizza box, placing it on the table in between the guys.

Jamie: American pizza may not be as amazing as Pizza Heaven’s potato pizza, but it’s sure a close second.

Kevin: Hyung, I think you’re the only person that keeps that pizza place in business the way you order potato pizza all the time.

Jamie shakes his head as the guys take a slice of pizza each. Jamie pulls a chair to the table and sits in between Shawn and Kevin.

Shawn: *to Kevin* Have you called your mom– I mean Joo-Ah– yet?

Kevin rolls his eyes at the comment as Shawn begins to laugh. Jamie moderates the two.

Jamie: Ya, leave him alone. At least he has a woman back at home waiting for his return.

Shawn: *offensive* What are you talking about; you don’t either!

Jamie: You don’t see me teasing him about Joo-Ah though.

Kevin continues to laugh at the banter. Shawn finally shuts up and continues to eat his pizza.

Jamie: How is Joo-Ah doing, Kevin?

Kevin: She’s okay. She hasn’t been feeling good lately; she said it might be stress about work.

Jamie: It definitely can happen to a person.

As the guys continue to eat, Jamie’s cellphone begins to vibrate on the table. He looks down at it, a bit confused that the number is a local, American number.

Jamie: Huh?

Jamie gets up from the table and walks back into the house before he answers the phone.

Jamie: Hello?

It takes a while for him to realize it’s a woman on the other line.

Caller: Hi! Idk if this is who I think I’m talking to so I just wanted to see if it actually was! *pause* You don’t really sound attractive like I thought you would…

Jamie: I’m… sorry? Who is–

Caller: Omg no I totally didn’t mean it that way, it’s just that–

Jamie looks at the phone number once again and then places the phone back to his ear.

Jamie: I’m sorry miss, you might have the wrong number…

Caller: Is this not Jamie?

Jamie doesn’t say anything back right away. He’s shocked that the woman over the phone knows his name.

Jamie: This is he… I’m sorry, but who is this?

The woman on the phone curses at her mistake.

Skylar: I’m sorry, where are my manners; I’m Skylar.

Jamie: Nice to meet you, Skylar, but you still may have the wrong number, I–

Skylar: I found your number in my cousin’s room and needed to see if it was really true, or if she’s picking up women now at the bar or something…

Jamie: I really don’t think I gave my number to your… cousin?

Skylar: Do you not know a woman named Grace?

Jamie’s eyes widen. He suddenly remembers the encounter he had with Grace at the cafe a couple of weeks ago where he gave her his number.

Jamie: Grace Ashmore?

Skylar: Yeah! Y’know, short, skinny, red-head. That’s my cousin. I don’t know why she left your number on her dresser, so I’m just helping her out and calling you for her, since I know she wasn’t going to do it…

The comment stings Jamie a bit. He takes a deep breath before he continues the conversation.

Jamie: I’m sorry, that number was meant for Grace.

Skylar: Oh for sure! I’m not calling you to steal her from me! I’m trying to see if I can get you guys to finally meet up!

Jamie looks concerned at the thought. He doesn’t want to do anything that Grace doesn’t want to do.

Jamie: I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Skylar: Why not? Listen, Grace has always gotten numbers from random strangers, and I end up finding her tossing them out because she’s not interested. I don’t know what it is about you, but she kept yours. Grace isn’t the type to call people if she’s interested; it’s probably why she hasn’t gotten laid in God knows how long…

Jamie squeezes his eyes shut; this girl was truly related to Grace by the way her personality resembles her over the phone.

Jamie: Miss…?

Skylar: Oh! Sorry! But yeah! Look I know she’s not the easiest girl to get a hold of, but clearly, she’s been contemplating calling you back if she kept your number, so I am doing the liberty of doing it for her! How about I bring Grace to the Voyage Bar on the pier? She’ll thank me later.

Jamie looks up when he sees Shawn walking back in from the balcony. He panics, needing to end the conversation now.

Jamie: Yeah, that sounds good.

Skylar: Awesome! We’ll be there tonight at 8! Don’t wait up!

Jamie hangs up the phone and looks at Shawn, who is looking at him back.

Shawn: Who was that?

Jamie: Nobody.

Shawn: Your face is red; you were talking to a woman!

Jamie: Ya, it’s not like that…

Shawn: Look at you swooning over a girl! Finally! Are you going out to meet up with her? How’d you find her? Hyung, does she–

Jamie: *stern* Ya!

Shawn stops talking. Jamie looks towards the balcony, where Kevin is still sitting on his phone.

Jamie: You have to promise not to tell Kevin.

Shawn: Why?

Jamie: Because I will never hear the end of it from him.

Jamie grabs Shawn and brings him further in the room.

Jamie: Grace is in California.

Shawn laughs, not believing what Jamie just told him.

Shawn: Right, and I’ll meet my next girlfriend in California as well. Come on, what’s the deal?

Jamie: I’m not lying to you. Grace is in Santa Monica. She works at the cafe a couple of stores down from Voyage Bar. I bumped into her that night we went to that bar.

Shawn: *shocked* What?! What is she doing here? Was that Grace on the phone?!

Jamie: No, it was her cousin.

Shawn: Why would her cousin call you?

Jamie: Because Grace left my number on her dresser.

Shawn shakes his head, trying to understand what was going on.

Shawn: Hold on, you gave Grace your number and her cousin called you?

Jamie: Look I know this doesn’t make sense but… I have to see this through.

Shawn: But wouldn’t Grace have called you if she wanted to meet up with you?

Jamie doesn’t think about that. Shawn looks at Jamie, now being a bit more serious.

Shawn: Hyung, are you sure you want to go back down this path? You were pretty messed up over everything that happened between you and her…

Jamie: I know but… I have to at least talk to Grace one more time, and I feel like this is my only opportunity to do so.

Shawn doesn’t say anything right away. He takes in a deep breath.

Jamie: Come with me to the bar tonight.

Shawn: Wait, tonight?!

Jamie: Yes tonight! It’s going to be her and her cousin—

Shawn: Is her cousin cute?

Jamie: *taken back* I don’t know, Shawn! I never met her before! I would rather have you there with me instead of hearing Kevin all night…

Shawn: Count me in! Maybe her cousin is cute and likes Korean men like Grace does.

Jamie shoves Shawn as he laughs to himself.

Shawn: How are we going to get pass Kevin though? He’s going to want to know where we’re going tonight.

Jamie looks back at the balcony to where Kevin is.

Jamie: I don’t know, but I’ll think of something.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Focus on Something: A Monologue.

I walk out towards the balcony of the condo and look out into the California scenery in the morning. The mornings were the best time to be outside; it wasn’t too hot yet and the streets weren’t crowded with people and cars traveling in the city. California was a lot different than New York City, but not too different.

Whenever I think of New York, I think of Ari and remember just how much I miss her. I couldn’t help but call her on this warm morning, although she will probably hate me for calling her before noon.

“Bitch, it’s 10AM here, what the fuck are you calling me at 7AM?” Ari answers the phone right away. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and smile. Same bitch named Ari.

“Well good morning to you too, Ari,” I said back. Ari sighs on the phone and wrestles around. She was most likely still in bed.

“Morning, Grace. What’s up?” Ari finally responded as I heard her possibly rolling in between her bedsheets.

“Nothing much, just on the balcony before I go and, you know…”

“Grace,” Ari began. “Saying the word “therapy” isn’t a sin. You’ve been going for almost a year now; why are you still so weird about it?” Ari was right. I’ve been going to therapy for about a year now, yet it was still something I only told Ari about.

Ari was the one that drove me to my first session when I was still in New York. I can still vividly remember her using the spare key for my apartment and dragging me out of my bed and into her car to go for my appointment. I was pissed at her in the moment when she did that, but I also am thankful she did. Because of that, I’ve been quite serious about going to my appointments on time and having them frequently. I guess it’s still something so personal that I wouldn’t want anyone to know.

I walked back in from the balcony and into my room to start getting ready for the day.

“I don’t know, I just am I guess…” I answered. I put my phone on speaker and placed it on my nightstand before walking towards the closet.

“Well, tons of people go for therapy, and if it’s helping you keep your shit together, then it’s a good thing,” Ari preached. I rolled my eyes and smiled at her words. I take out a dress from my closet and place it on the bed.

“Enough about me though,” I said, changing the subject. “Are you and Dean going to do some wine-tasting today?”

“You fucking bet we are! We are so pumped. I might be more excited to do this than go shopping for the wedding dress,” Ari answered. Ari and Dean got engaged a couple of days before I left the city. I was supposed to tell Ari that day I was leaving New York but I didn’t want to ruin her moment or her engagement day. I feel bad not being able to be there with her as she preps for her big day, but she knows I’m always here for her in spirit… and on Facetime whenever she’s indecisive about something.

I walk over to my nightstand to grab my keys and my wallet from the drawer, and I’m instantly reminded of the piece of paper that I put in there a couple of nights ago. Jamie’s number. I take it out and read the digits on the paper and Jamie’s name underneath it.

“Whenever you’re ready.”

“Hello? Grace?” Ari called for me on the phone. I snapped out of my thoughts and focused my attention back on my phone.

“Yeah, sorry; what was that?” I asked. I dropped the piece of paper on th nightstand and grabbed what I needed instead.

“I said I’ll talk to you later; since I’m up I might as well make breakfast for Dean and I,” Ari said. We both said ou goodbyes and ended the phone call. I took a deep breath and walked out of my room.

I passed by Skylar in the living room, hoping I could walk out without her stopping me to help her find something but yet again, SKy got me where she needed me.

“Oh! Grace!” Skylar stopped me in my tracks.

“Sky, I really have to get going, I’m a little busy today–“

“Can I please borrow your sunglasses for the beach today?” Skylar asked. I sighed, knowing this isn’t the first time Skylar has asked to borrow something of mine.

“Don’t you have your own pair?” I asked.

“I have to go get them fixed, some guy stepped on them the last time I went to beach… he was cute, I should’ve gotten his number…” I rolled my eyes and sighed even louder. Sky was such a horny 20-something year old at times; I can’t believe that I was once also in my 20’s doing the same thing.

“Whatever Sky, they’re in my nightstand drawer; don’t lose or break these!” I warned her. Sky sucked her teeth and began walking towards my room. I used the opportunity to book it towards the front door.

“So how has your week been, Grace?” Chelsea asked me. Chelsea is my therapist that I started to see once I came to Cali. Chelsea and my therapist in New York actually know each other, so when I told my old therapist I was moving to California and didn’t know what to do regards to staying in therapy, she recommended me see Chelsea. I understand why; Chelsea was someone that allowed you to speak when you needed to speak about things, but she also would tell me when it was time to stop messing around and be honest with what was going on.

I sat across from Chelsea with my legs crossed on the cushioned chair. I took a deep breath before starting.

“The week has been alright. Work at the cafe has been the same and Sharon is still uptight most of my shifts…” I recapped the week.

“Has things at home with Skylar improved?”

“Yeah, for the most part” I begin to answer. “She seems to be more aware about our space and treating it with respect… she tries to not have any guys over when I’m there since the condo is pretty small.” Chelsea nodded her head and continued typing on her computer. I looked out her office window to see the sun peaking in through the shades.

“Come on,” I whined as I covered my head with the comforter. His laugh echoed in the bedroom.

“Jagiya, you have to get up! We have plans for the day,” Jamie said as he sat on the side of the bed I was in. I took the covers off of my face and saw him. He had his gentle smile on, and the sun coming in from the window was making him glow.

“Can’t we just postpone them?” I asked, still quite sleepy. Jamie sighed and then lifted the covers off of me. Before I went to grab them back, he gets into the bed and under the covers with me. I was confused. He looked at me and smiled.

“Fine, we can stay in bed for another hour, but then we absolutely have to get ready, okay?” he said. I smiled at him and cuddled in his chest.

“Something on your mind, Grace?” Chelsea said. I look back at her, realizing I wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying.

“No, no; I’m alright–“

“Grace,” Chelsea stopped typing. “You’re typically more proactive in our meetings, but today you seem to be a little distant mentally. Is there something you want to talk about?” I hate how right Chelsea could be at times. I haven’t been this absent in a session since–

“Jamie,” I said without context. Chelsea raised an eyebrow.

“Jamie? Your ex-boyfriend from South Korea?”

“Jamie’s in California, and I don’t know how to feel about that,” I admitted. “He showed up at my job one night and–“

“Did anyone tell him you were now living here?” Chelsea interrupted before I continued. I shook my head no.

“He seemed just as surprised to see me at the cafe as well… we didn’t speak for long since he had to get going and, well, Sharon being a bitch, but…” I had to rethink that night in my head again. Maybe I was happy he somewhat found me here in Cali, but a part of me wishes I was still hidden in my own universe.

“How did you feel seeing him for the first time in a really long time?” Chelsea asked. I looked at her, not really knowing how to answer her. How did I feel finally seeing him after so long?

“The dreams came back. I’m not really sleeping that well because of it,” I said. Chelsea nodded her head, finally typing on her computer again. She stops for a moment and then looks directly at me.

“You’ve made so much progress within these last couple of months. You’ve been going to the AA meetings I spoke to you about, you’ve been following up with your medication and appointments well, and I have to say: you haven’t brought up your ex-boyfriend in a session for quite some time now.” I knew Chelsea was talking to me more than just my therapist at this point. She was talking to me as the person who saw me probably at my lowest. She was the person who I had on call when I relapsed and was hospitalized a couple of weeks into living here. She was the person that would make sure I checked in with her when I was trying to get back on my feet. I know this portion of our therapy session was more personal than the other things we spoke about. “Grace, you have to do what’s right for you. From what I know, Jamie brings back a lot of negative memories from your past, and it’s easy to get caught up in that once more now that you know he’s in California. If you got the closure you needed already, then he is just another human being in the same state. You don’t have to get closure if you were already in the process of getting it on your own.”

I leaned back on the chair and sighed. I know I was doing a lot better knowing that Jamie didn’t know where I was and that I didn’t know where he was either. Jamie represents my old life, the one that nearly destroyed me inside and out.

“Also,” Chelsea continued. I looked back at her, wondering what she was going to say next. “You have Willow to think about. She’s getting bigger, and she’s going to need her mother to be in a good mental space to help her get through her childhood smoothly.”

Willow. I couldn’t help but begin tearing up when I heard her name. The fact of the matter is is that my relationship with WIllow has improved so much since I started therapy and since I started to leave my old life behind me. It still kills me that I wasn’t able to be in New York when she started her first day of pre-school earlier this year, but I made sure I’ve been there for her if she ever needed me. I was always just a phone call away.

“Yeah,” I simply said. I knew that if i wanted to contact Jamie again, I would’ve done so by now. Maybe my soul already was telling me it wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I have to go and throw his number out when I get home.

But I guess Skylar already did when she got my sunglasses from the nightstand earlier. Better he than me, I guess.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

California Livin’ or Something: A Monologue.

I woke up to the sun hitting my face. The curtains were slightly blowing from the morning breeze. I rubbed the sleepiness out of my eyes and turned around to face the other side of the bed. I see him laying there, under the mountain of blankets. I slowly pulled them away from his face to see him.

He wasn’t there, and I panic.

I wake up when I hear the alarm go off on my nightstand. I looked around my room frantically, not realizing that it was just me in my room. These fucking dreams again? I threw the covers off of my body and got it out of bed. I checked the time on my phone; it was 9AM. You definitely need coffee.

Before reaching for my glasses on my nightstand, I see the piece of paper that I left there last night. I can’t help but feel the last couple of months flash before my eyes. I never would’ve thought that the worries and life I had back in New York would carry here in Cali. It’s like the higher-ups in life just don’t want to give me a break.

My phone ringing is what got me out of my thoughts. I look down and see it was my mom.

“Hey mom,” I answered. I tried to kill, like, 5 birds with one stone by getting ready and still talking to my mother. What the hell is she even doing up? Isn’t it like 6AM in New York?

“Morning, Gracie,” she responded back. “I have that information you needed for the studio.” When I left New York, I told my mother that I wanted her to run the studio while I was gone. Let’s be honest: my mom was more passionate about the studio than I was. She practically grew up in that studio, and I could tell deep down that she really wanted to help run the business. I’m grateful for her passion for the craft; sometimes I feel like I have no passion for anything, not the way other people have it.

“Oh good, how’s everything going?” I asked as I hopped into my overall shorts.

“Things are going as planned; the recital for the end of school show is starting to look like a real dance,” Mom stated. “We will probably hold auditions after the 4th of July for incoming dancers for the Fall,” she continued. I’m listening as I brush out my very knotty hair. “How’s everything going with you? Your dad and I miss you.”

“I’m fine,” I responded quickly, not really wanting to get into this at this time. Or ever. “I’m getting ready for work, and then I have practice tonight.”

“Busy day ahead for you, huh?” my mom teased. I rolled my eyes as if she could see me do so. In some weird way, she knows when I do.

“I just try to stay as busy as possible,” I said as I slipped on my shoes while sitting on my bed.

“You and me both, kid,” my mom laughed. “Well, your father and I are going out for breakfast today, I’ll text you the practice video when I record it later.”

“Alright, have a good day. Tell dad I said hi.” I said.

“Will do; bye, sweetie!” The phone line went dead after we said our goodbyes. I look at myself in the mirror, trying to get myself together before I walk downstairs and see Skylar. Skylar was a handful, needless to say. My uncle, Mason, told me that Skylar lived here in the Bay Area of Cali a couple of months before I left New York. Uncle Mason was relieved knowing that someone would be watching over her, considering she was fresh out of college and on the “wild” side. Skylar, despite being in her “do whatever I want and can” phase, she’s been a pretty cool roommate. Since I was an only child growing up, Skylar was like a little sister to me, and no matter what, we always had each other’s backs.

I see the time on my phone and realize I’m running a little late. I grabbed my bag and exit my room, heading downstairs.

Skylar is sitting on the sofa, flipping through the channels on the TV, drinking the biggest cup of iced coffee I’ve possibly seen. She looks at me for a moment and then looks back towards the TV.

“You’re leaving already?” Skylar asked. I grab my dance bag from the floor next to the front door, getting ready to depart.

“Yep, today I have practice,” I began to say. “Please no strange boys in the house, Sky.” I looked back up to Skylar, who looks at me as if she is offended at what I said.

“I don’t bring strange boys home,” Skylar argued.

“My bad, I meant weirdos,” I continued. Skylar rolled her eyes and went back to doing what she was doing.

“Whatever, mom,” Skylar responded. Between the two of us, I am definitely the responsible one. Me? Responsible? I know, it shocks me too. “What time are you getting home?”

Before I open the door, I turn around one last time towards Skylar.

“Don’t know, so make your plans strategic this time around,” I smiled and left the condo. Another day, another dollar.

I grabbed my bike from the building’s parking lot and ride my way to work. Driving in Cali literally doesn’t exist. I thought driving in NYC was bad until I came to Cali. I invested in getting a bike because it saves me the little money I make, and gas prices are literally insane here. And I mean, the weather is always nice here, so why not just ride my bike? I get on my bike and begin to ride. The wind goes through my hair as I pedal; these rides to work in the morning are possibly the highlight of most of my days.

I lock up my bike on a pole in front of the studio before entering it. I walked to the front desk, in which Eduardo greets me.

“Hey, Miss Grace!” he smiles and says. I smile back, greeting him as well.

“Good Morning, Eduardo,” I politely answered back.

“Studio 25; correct?” Eduardo asks as he grabs the key for the studio. I take it from him and thank him once again before heading to the studio. The studio space is small, but I tend to make ends meet here. I open the storage closet and see my video setup for the choreography videos I record for the studio back home.

“Almost ready?” A man’s voice is heard next to the studio door. I look over at him, smiling and inviting him in.

“Ready as can be,” I said as he wrapped his arms around my body. I look back up at him, who is looking down at me with reassurance.

“You got this, jagiya,” Jamie softly said.

As I set up, I can’t help but think about last night at the cafe. A part of me still believes it was some sort of fever dream I was experiencing; maybe I didn’t drink enough water or something. Jamie just looked like a different man. When we first met back all those years ago, he looked smaller, younger; he kinda had this naive look in his face when he first came to New York. Now, he looks older, bigger; he still had some light behind his eyes, but he definitely looks like he has his guard up. He looked… sexy with his blue black hair and the little tan he has on his skin. It was a sight I didn’t think would look that good on someone like Jamie. Despite that, he just feels different… like he’s not the Jamie I once knew.

But, why am I surprised? Mad shit had happened between us since we first met, and I know it could take a roll on even the nicest person on the world. I could understand his hesistancy when he saw me. I definitely can.

I turned on the video camera in front of me and wait for the students to join into the video call. “Hey guys!” I greeted the students coming into the call. “Make sure to warm up for 10 minutes and we will get you guys started for this new choreo I got planned for you.”

I wanted to still teach those who come to the dance academy. I still wanted to create dances and still do my job in a sense, I just didn’t want to be in New York anymore.

I got to my job at the cafe around 7, and of course Sharon is already on her bullshit. I took this job because it was a simple one, plus it allowed me to do what I wanted to do during the day, and then make a little bit of money at night. I also just wanted an excuse to be on the boardwalk all the time, but shit, Sharon will suck the fun out of anything around her.

“Nice for you to come tonight, Grace,” Sharon said. I went to the back to drop off my things and get an apron on.

“It’s literally 7:03, I’m here,” I answered. I tried to walk past Sharon and begin my shift of the night, but Sharon stops me midway out to the cafe area.

“Grace, I wanted to talk to you about your shift last night. This is a classy cafe for people to come in and enjoy drinks and food…” I don’t understand what Sharon was saying, but then again; I don’t ever understand what the fuck Sharon is talking about half of the time. Sharon folded her arms and looked at me. “You’re not here to pick up numbers from tourists, you’re here to do your job.” Sharon walks away before I could even say anything back. It wasn’t even worth arguing with her… I mean, she just better not talk all crazy and fire me or some shit, because then she’s really going to get these hands.

I couldn’t help but worry that Jamie would come back to the cafe. Like, maybe I should just quit? Maybe it’s best if I just go somewhere else so that Jamie doesn’t keep coming back here. I mean, as much as I wanted that, I also found myself looking towards the cafe door whenever a customer entered. Maybe I was just overthinking this. Maybe Jamie moved on… he has every right to do so.

The thought instantly makes me focus on the cafe at the moment; it was just better to not think about things that will just hurt me in the end. This fucking blows.