Imperfect Truth(9)

By: Ava Harrison



As soon as it is feasible, I place my napkin on the left of my plate, signaling the meal is over. Excusing myself from the dinner table, I decide that the fresh air might do me some good, so I decide to take a walk.

The night is vibrating with motion. Lights dance in the distance as the cabs rush by. The sound of laughter permeates the air as young professionals gather outside the local drinking hole to enjoy an after work libation. I smile, remembering what it was like looking at the city with innocence. Their eyes dance with wonder as they experience the cities “firsts,” the right of passage of becoming a true New Yorker…

Get your first underpaid job then lose your first underpaid job. Rent a ridiculously overpriced apartment then be forced to put up a fake wall to rent out a ‘room’ to afford said apartment. Eat pizza at 2:30 in the morning. Fall in love, fall out of love.

Fall.

Stand.

Repeat…

New York City has always been a salve for my soul.

As I embrace the strength of the city, I feel empowered. Reaching into my classic, quilted, aubergine Chanel purse, I pull out my phone and message the one person I think might appreciate my news.



Ava Readsalot: You will never guess what happened today!!!!!

Ryder Matthews: No probably not.

Ava Readsalot: LOL

Ava Readsalot: Ok seriously though… Très Chic interviewed me…CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!

Ryder Matthews: Wow, what an honor!

Ava Readsalot: I know RIGHT???!!!!

Ryder Matthews: What did they want to know?

Ava Readsalot: The types of books affluent housewives read!!



Holding my phone in my hand, I walk towards a beautiful brownstone. I decide to take a seat on the limestone stoop so I can concentrate on the conversation.



Ryder Matthews: Wow, and they asked you? Wow!

Ava Readsalot: I know right! Wait…why do you seem so shocked? Lol

Ryder Matthews: Like I said that’s a huge honor. Not that I don’t think you deserve it you definitely do. Sorry if that made me sound like an ass. I didn’t mean anything by it.

Ryder Matthews: So what did you tell them? You mention me? ;-)

Ava Readsalot: I can’t tell you that lol

Ryder Matthews: Why?

Ava Readsalot: Cause then I would have to kill you ;-)

Ryder Matthews: LOL, anyone ever tell you you’re cute?

Ava Readsalot: Yep, a few times.

Ryder Matthews: I love how modest you are LOL

Ava Readsalot: Seriously, though. They wanted the types of books I read and to talk about what I thought readers gained from the books. I didn’t give them specifics.

Ryder Matthews: Well, fine, don’t mention me. I’m still so proud of you.

Ava Readsalot: Thank you, Ryder! Thank you!!!!



I stand up and actually jump from the stoop to the sidewalk. The excitement emanates off of my body in waves. I swipe my finger across the screen as I begin to walk again.



Ava Readsalot: I’m jumping up and down right now telling you this.

Ryder Matthews: I love hearing you this excited.

Ava Readsalot: Happy to oblige.

Ryder Matthews: You’re really selfless.

Ava Readsalot: Yep! That’s me selfless.



I continue to walk, looping back to my apartment.



Ava Readsalot: Okay, I’m going to head back home.

Ryder Matthews: You’re not home?

Ava Readsalot: No, I had to get air.

Ryder Matthews: That bad?

Ava Readsalot: Worse.

Ryder Matthews: You are drowning in your own sorrows, Ava. Let me help you swim. Your husband might not see you but I do and I promise you…

You. Will. Be. Fine.

Ava Readsalot: You make me think so.

Ryder Matthews: Good.

Ava Readsalot: Okay, I’m going to concentrate on walking back.

Ryder Matthews: Good night, Ava.

Ava Readsalot: Nite, Ryder xoxo



Hours later I lie in bed tossing and turning. I feel like I’m suffocating. I feel locked in a cage where I can never be myself. I glance over to Alexandre, and I listen closely. I can hear the light sounds of his breathing...

In, out.

In, out.

I’m not sure if the man lying next to me still loves me. If he even likes me.





A FEW WEEKS HAVE passed since Ryder and I started talking online regularly. I keep myself busy. I fill my days with meaningless tasks, and I read incessantly. But most of all, I look forward to my conversations with him. Ryder has become a dear friend of mine; I divulge so much it’s scary. We talk of my marriage. He knows of Alexandre’s indifference, always listening and giving me advice. We laugh about Jules. He makes fun of me… We are playful together and it’s refreshing. Opening myself up like this is uncommon for me. I have always feared rejection and disapproval. I have always guarded my words. I don’t fear this with Ryder. I feel safe with him.

Today starts off like every other day since our “friendship” has started. I lay in bed pretending to be asleep as Alexandre prepares to leave. I watch from squinted eyes as Alexandre gets ready for work and count the moments until I can send my first hello of the day. The moment I hear the familiar sound of the door closing behind him my lids pop open. I’m wide-eyed with anticipation, a nervous energy courses through my veins. Anxiety and excitement set in as I throw my robe on and pad down the hall to grab my laptop in the kitchen. As I wait for the screen to load, I place a cup into the Keurig and sign in. Opening the window to our previous conversation, I begin to type.

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