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And After All This Time, I'm Still Into You


Late January, I found myself getting ready for a date. Yes, a date. I guess I was surprised myself, to say the least. I hadn’t dated since, well, high school. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I looked back down at my phone, opening the text that I had reread about a hundred times today.

Pick you up at 7. That’s all it said. But those words still sent me into a panic because it was proof that this was real. This was actually happening.

I could hear squeaking coming from the living room, a result of Max playing with his toys. Looking at the clock, I realized I had about 5 minutes till he came. Quickly, I grabbed my phone, dialing Lisa.

“Look Jenna, if you chicken out and don’t go on this date, I will catch the next train out there and strangle you.” she threatened the moment she answered.

“I can’t do this. I - I haven’t been on a date since high school. I don’t know how to act, or what to do.” I rambled.

“Calm down. Breathe. It’s just a date. It’s not like you’re meeting up with a spy on the opposing team and trading secrets illegally.” she said.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“Sorry. Me and Jack are watching this crazy movie about a Russian and American spy. They’re so going to get caught.” I rolled my eyes.

“Lis, I’m nervous. What if I’m bad at this. What if he tries to kiss me?!” I exclaimed.

“Then you let him. Duh.” I sighed. “Listen, when was the last time you had sex?” she asked. I could hear Jack through the line, laughing as she asked this, a sign that she had me on speaker phone.

I blush, though she can’t see. “I don’t know. Two years ago?” I say timidly.

“Two years?!” The couple shrieks and I had to pull the phone away from my ear.

“Yes. Some Christmas party the firm below us was having.” I mumbled. “Too much spiked eggnog and a clouded mind.”

“Okay well, I don’t normally suggest sex on the first date, but hey, if the opportunity presents itself, don’t hesitate to take it.” Lisa chuckles.

“I am not going to have sex with him on the first date! I barely know him!” I say loudly, causing Max to run into my room to see what the commotion is all about. Suddenly, there’s a knock on the front door and Max runs out the room, his tiny bark making me laugh. “He’s here. Oh my gosh, he’s here.” I say panicking.

“Okay, I’m hanging up. Go and have a good time. Stop worrying and enjoy yourself.” Lisa says, and before I can respond, the line cuts out.

I groan and put my phone in my purse. Taking a deep breath, I slowly exhale and walk out my room to answer the door. Blue eyes stare back at me as I open it, a smile forming on my face.

“Hi.” he says and I blush as I say hello back. My mind wanders to last week at the vet’s office.

It was time for Max to go back to visit the vet for his shots. After last time, I knew the poor pup was probably thinking it was going to be a whatever trip. Little did he know that he was going to get stuck with a needle. When I was little, I use to hate getting shots.

A nurse came in and got everything ready. After waiting a few more minutes, she came back in to give Max his shots. I was surprised when I seemed disappointed that Xander wasn’t going to be the one to do it. When she was done, I followed her to the front desk, where I paid and was handed an appointment card scheduled in two weeks.

I sighed as I walked out of the building, Max eager to be outside in the snow. I was ready to make the trek back to my apartment when I heard my name being called. Turning around, I saw Xander, his white lab coat a bright contrast to the darkening New York sky.

“Um, I just…” he chuckled. “Look, this isn’t something I do that often. Or actually, I never do this, to be honest. But um, I wanted to know if I could take you out to dinner sometime.” he said.

The shock was evident on my face, that I knew. He looked nervous as he waited for my reply, but I couldn’t find my voice. A few beats later and I blurted out my response.

“Yes.” I said. He smiled, relief washing over his face as he asked for my number and now here we were, a week later.

“You look beautiful.” Xander says as I shut the door and lock it behind me after making sure that Max had everything, even leaving the TV on on some dog channel. I was wearing a simple long sleeved, dark purple dress with black leggings under.

I blushed, thanking him as we walked into the elevator. My nerves are getting the best of me as I play with a loose thread on my dress. The close proximity is making my heart race and all I can think about is getting out of this elevator. I sigh in relief as the doors open, letting us out into the lobby.

“Are you nervous?” Xander asked softly as he opened the door to a waiting cab. I look up at him, biting my lip.

“In all honesty, I haven’t been on a date since high school. So, yes, I’m nervous.” I reply with a slight chuckle.

Xander smiles at me and takes my hand. “It’s okay to be nervous. Truthfully, I’m nervous too.” he said with a smile.

The drive to wherever he was taking me was short. When we got to the restaurant and got down to really talking, my nerves disappeared. He was funny and charming. We talked about everything and anything. He told me about how he got into the veterinarian business, and I told him about how I got into the wedding planning business.

Being with Xander was like a breath of fresh air. For so long I had distanced myself from guys, people in general. I thought I was fine with the life I lived, but in truth, I really wasn’t. I craved that closeness from being surrounded by friends. In a city so full of life, it was exactly what I lacked.

By the end of the night, I wondered why I was even nervous in the first place. The conversation on the way to my apartment was light. The air around us wasn’t awkward, but calm. It felt right.

When he walked me to my door though, that’s when the nerves set in.

“Well, thanks for tonight. I had a really great time.” I told him.

“I did too. And...I was wondering if you wanted to do it again sometime?” he asked, sounding hopeful.

I bit my lip, contemplating. Tonight was definitely a good one. Xander was charming, funny, and I wanted to get to know him more. I needed to move on from Alex and this was the perfect opportunity.

“I’d love to.” I finally said and I watched as his face turned from hopeful to happy. His smile was contagious.

“Great. I’ll call you.” he said and leaned in. I slightly panicked, not wanting him to kiss me. First date kisses were just not my thing, especially if we didn’t know where this would take us. I was relieved when he hugged me instead. As he pulled away, he chuckled.

“Don’t worry. I wasn’t going to kiss you. Not that I don’t want to, it’s just…I read somewhere that kissing on the first date is a no.” Xander said.

“Well, maybe on the next. You never know.” I said. He smiled and turned to leave.

“I’ll hold you to that.” he called out as he walked down the hallway. I chuckled, opening my door and walking inside. Moving on was going to be a good thing.


With my job, I got to work with tons of people. Some, you learn a lot from. The stories you hear from these people make you grateful to be part of something so wonderful. It’s the smiles they give you as you show them flower arrangements, china patterns and other things. They keep you going, they make you proud to do what you do.

Some might say weddings are all for show and shouldn’t matter, the only thing that matters is the love that two people have for each other. But when you see that dream come true, that dream that all brides have for their wedding day, it makes everything worth it.

When I was younger, I dreamed of a winter wedding, with a black and white color scheme and blood red roses to contrast perfectly against the two. When I married Alex, I knew I wasn’t going to get that. The only part of my dream wedding I actually included, was the black sash around my dress, something I wanted since I could remember.

Part of not having my own dream wedding was what pushed me into being a wedding planner. If I couldn’t have my dream wedding, then I would at least try to make it happen for other people.

The fact that we were so young in getting married always made me think, what if we were older and had a long engagement? Would we still be together? Would we be able to have a big wedding? I know we didn’t want one, but part of me always wanted that wedding I had dreamed of when I was a little girl.

As I walked into work on a Wednesday morning, I set to work, looking up various could-be-wedding locations and things. Most clients wanted things close to home, but there were those few that wanted some things a little ways away and we had to work with them to accommodate as best we could. I was in the middle of a call with a client who wanted something in Jersey when Trisha came in. I held up my finger, signaling that I’d be a moment. When the call ended, I turned to her.

“Rachel wants you in her office.” she said and I nodded.

Rachel was the owner and co-founder of the planning service. You did whatever she wanted you to do if you wanted to keep your job. She had the power to make or break you. Everyone was always trying to impress her in order to get made an official partner of the firm. Me, I let my job try to do the impressing.

“You wanted to see me?” I asked, knocking on the door frame to her open office.

“Jenna! Yes. Please come in.” she said, motioning to the room.

I did as she told me, sitting in one of the chairs.

“Well, as you know, Walter decided to move out west and start his own wedding planning service.” Rachel said with a hint of annoyance. “And we’ve of course, had to acclimate to that loss. I’ve been watching everyone closely. Losing a partner...well, that’s opened up a spot.”

My back straightened and I gave her my full attention. Of course when Walter left, we all knew that meant a partner spot could be opening up. We didn’t necessarily expect it, but we hoped.

“You’re one of our best, Jenna. Our clients have nothing but positive, and wonderful things to say about your work. And I think you could be a great asset to this company as partner.” The moment those words left Rachel’s mouth, a feeling of elation and surprise ran through my body.

“What?” I stuttered out. “Are you sure?”

Rachel chuckled. “Yes, Jenna. You have real potential to be a partner. And if you get through this next client, the job is yours.” She said as she handed me a file packet.

“Now, Tabitha Jensen is one of my closest friends. Her daughter is getting married this summer but of course, Tabby decided she wants to have the last say in all the details. Of course, that’s expected when the parents are paying for everything. Although her daughter is even lucky her mother is doing this for her. You have an appointment with her this afternoon to go over the beginning stages of everything. Here’s the details.” I stood as Rachel wrote down an address and time for me. She handed me the paper and sent me off.

“And Jenna?” I turned back towards her. “Don’t mess this up.”

Tabitha Jensen was...well, she was anything you would expect from a rich family this side of New York. The private-boarding-schools, trips-to-Aspen-for-weekend-skiing, ginormous-trust-fund lives of these people were what most others dreamed of. The moment I sat down with her, she explained to me how she wanted things done before her daughter arrived.

“My daughter is lucky I’m even doing this for her. Leaving home, moving to a different state. And working in that shop?” she shook her head. “And marrying that boy wasn’t at the top of my list. But,” she sighed. “If she loves him then he’ll do. Oh, here they are.” She stood up to greet her daughter. I sighed and composed myself before getting up and doing the same.

I wasn’t prepared to see what I saw. Alex and Stacey, both with happy grins, were suddenly staring opened mouthed at me as they realized it was I who would be planning their wedding. I swallowed the lump in my throat, wishing I wasn’t seeing them standing there before me.

“Stacey, Alex. This is Jenna Hoult. Rachel recommended me to her. Jenna, this is my daughter Stacey, and her fiance Alex.” I smiled and before either of them could say anything, I decided to take that step in whether we would have to say we knew each other, or pretend we didn’t.

I chose the latter.

“Hi.” I said as I extended my hand to both of them. “I’m glad to get started. This will be the perfect wedding.” I told them, confusion on their faces.

We all sat down and I pulled out a binder from my newly bought messenger bag. I cleared my throat, setting it down in front of them, all the while trying not to make direct eye contact. It was mostly me showing them stuff and Mrs. Jensen saying yes or no.

It wasn’t until she got up and left to take a phone call that we all could take a breath and talk about what was going on.

“Jenna,” Alex began. “You don’t have to do this, if it’s uncomfortable for you in any way.” He turned to look at Stacey, who only nodded her head in agreement with him.

“And I just want to say I’m sorry about the last time. I didn’t…” Stacey said, not able to finish.

I shook my head. “No. Don’t worry about it. And I have to. This is my job. As of right now, the only relationship we have is a professional one.” And with that, Mrs. Jensen returned, and we got down to business.

I couldn’t let our past interfere with this job. I needed to get through this. I had to put aside what I felt, towards him and their relationship. This wedding would be perfect. It would be the best damn wedding I’ve ever worked on. And then, I would be partner. Lord, just give me strength to get through this.
♠ ♠ ♠
And this, my friends, is where things take off.

I want to thank everyone who reads my story. Your comments keep me going. I hope everyone had a good Christmas, or whatever you all celebrate. Next time I post will be next year, so happy New Years to you all! <3

As always, I hope you enjoy reading and feedback is always appreciated!