CHAPTER 1, My name is Joe
Hi, I’m Joe.
You’re probably thinking: “Oh, he might be a really cool and fun guy to hang out with”...well you’re wrong. Joe is the nickname of Joanna, and yes, I am a girl.
I actually had a pretty messed up life when I was little. I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, which means I know everything and beyond a normal human being should know about the countryside. From what the cows should eat in the morning, to where do I put the eggs that I took from our chickens. I really gotta say that most of our work was done by me...and that makes me want to tell you something about my parents.
My mom was a drunk hooker that was constantly cheating on my dad that never cared about it anyways, cause he would always come home at like 2am, and he would sleep until 12am when he would start drinking again, so he would not even notice when my mom was gone. Now that I told you this, maybe you’re asking yourself: “ And how the hell is she still alive? How did she manage to keep the house all by herself at such a young age?”, well the list of questions could go on and on, but I’ll just stop you right here because I’m gonna answer all those questions.
First of all, my mom’s job was actually being a hooker, the drinking part wasn’t, so she brought money every day she came home, but she was always too tired and too drunk to even bother to use them and so she’d make a habit from that and she would always give me her wallet to keep the house and to work on it. Dad, on the other hand, I never knew where he got his money from, but all I really knew about him is that he met my mother at a hooker house and that the only thing I should never ask him, is where does he gets his money from, and he told me all of that while he was sober, which was a very unique moment.
Second of all, about my education; I spent most of my childhood at my grandparents, and just to clarify, I worked at my parents only during summer breaks, because my grandpa wouldn’t allow me to do it more. So my grandparents were the best. They signed me up to the best online school in the U.S. and they were just like my parents to me. I would never forget nonny’s blueberry pie that she would make every Sunday, or going grocery shopping with paps in his vintage caramel coloured car, or Minty, that is my little dog that I’m lucky to have now because of them.
That’s about what you should know. Now I’m a college girl, very educated and sophisticated woman, and I’m trying to become the best writer and advertiser that New York has ever seen. My nonny always told me that if I got through this type of childhood that no one should go through, then that means I will for sure get that writer job I always dreamed of that would get me to the tallest building in NY in the biggest office.
Now let’s get back to reality!
This is me from the present speaking to you again. I’m entering my local coffee shop that is called “ Barney’s”,I know, Barney wasn’t happy about his name either, but neither do I so…,anyways, as I’m entering, Barney waves at me cause I come here every day and we are friends, and I order the usual thing that Barney already knows:- An iced caramel macchiato, coming right now, darling!, I hear Barney’s voice. I smile and I get the drink and go to my table. I open the book I just got at my favourite bookstore in town and start reading chapter one, while sipping on to my caramel macchiato. Suddenly something is blocking the sun that was heating my face with soft rises. I tilt my head up from the book and I see the person that changed my life forever. It was an almond skinned man, with perfect brown hair and hazel eyes that was dressed very casually but also a little bit formal and dressy, kinda like he was working in an office but he was the boss so he didn’t need to bother himself.
When he came up to me and said”-Those eyes are pure art, why don’t you take them more often from those books so that I can see them?”, I almost faded.
Of course I almost faded, I mean, why does a beautiful businessman know that I come here every morning and read a book at the same spot. For a second I thought he spied on me for so long that he might even know what underwear I was wearing, but I just kept it for myself and answered him back:- I think I just like books too much that I sometimes forget where I am and I just get caught in the plot!”. He then asked me if he could be my company for the morning. I, of course, accepted because I wanted his company. He then started asking me a bunch of simple questions that proved nothing else than the fact that he just wanted to flirt and he was the nicest guy I’ve ever seen. I started asking him about him too, and I asked him about his job too, which I was right about, he is the CEO of one of the biggest companies of writing and advertising in the world. He also told me that today he took a day off just so that he can finally approach me, because the second thing that I was partially right about is that he came here every morning and stayed just a little more before work just so that he can watch me so that I give him positivity at work, which I find it very romantic.We talked since it got dark outside and we got to know each other, because since it was friday, he didn’t have to work the next day cause it was the weekend and on weekends he doesn’t work, and since I’m still a college student, I don’t have classes on the weekends, so we were free. It got kinda late so I had to stop the conversation there, cause Minty probably needed me home to give her something to eat. I told him about it and he was so nice that he offered to walk me home.
When we arrived at my place, I asked him if he didn’t want to come inside for dinner, cause I wanted to cook something different tonight and I could use some help. He accepted and came. When we entered my apartment Minty jumped right on him like she already knew him. I was glad they got along that fast. After we prepared the food, we started eating. At the table we discussed more about my job, and about how bad I would want to have his life and to work in such a beautiful place.
After dinner, he offered to wash the dishes and we sat on the couch for a while talking even more about each other. I felt like we were having a first date, but it didn’t bother me. Then it got really, really late and I told him he should stay over, cause we already knew each other so well. We went together in my bedroom and we slept there together, just like we would’ve had a sleepover.
CHAPTER 2, The start of an emotional journey
The morning....That moment in movies where the boy usually sneaks out of the girls’ room just like in “Friends with Benefits” with Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake,... but actually, it wasn’t like that at all. Considering the fact that we didn’t do anything else other than sleeping and cuddling a little, I don’t see why he should’ve left me or anything like that.
It was actually way cuter than I would’ve expected, it was kinda like that “Eat me, Drink me’’ scene from Fifty Shades of Grey, but even cuter, because he was still there. When I woke up...yes, it’s true...he wasn’t there beside me, he actually woke me up with breakfast in bed. He prepared all of those cool breakfast foods that I’ve never heard of and then he made me a glass of fresh orange juice, but a glass of water as well, because I quote: “Water is a must in the morning, because it hydrates you and keeps you energised to start the day”.Then it came to my mind I should just ask him:”How the hell do you know how to make all of that and to make it taste like a piece of heaven?”, then he started telling me about this cooking course that his parents made him take when he was 5, just so that he was the perfect kid. I felt his sadness while he was telling me that, but since he knew how partially awful my childhood was, I think he didn’t want me to feel bad for him so at the end he turned it into a joke just so that he can lighten up the mood a bit. I loved that, of course I did, but I also wanted to know more about his past, about his family…all that I knew about his family was that he has a sister named Carol and an older brother named Ryan. He told me that Carol and Ryan were the only people that helped him with his career and that he is in this place today because of them. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that someone from his family cared about him the way I kinda started to care about him too.
After I finished eating while listening to his stories about lifestyle and about his cooking course at 5, I was ready to go into the kitchen and wash my dishes, but he again insisted to wash them for me and he made me go right into the bathroom because he said he had a surprise there. I go into the bathroom and I see a basket full of expensive face and body care, like Chanel, Louis Vuitton and more. I was shook. At first I told him I can’t accept it, but he again insisted I take them cause he said I deserve them. I did not have a choice so I had to use them, just so that I could come out of the bathroom to see that he prepared for me my favourite flowery dress and a pair of sneakers that I could never afford. He told me that he had to make it up to me, because I let him sleep in my apartment. In my head I was like:- Why is he thanking me like that, when I simply just let him sleep one night in my apartment which is clearly a little bit smaller and not that luxurious as his?, but in reality I could not say anything to him because he seemed so happy and proud of what he did, and second of all it was such a big gesture, that all I could say to him was:- Thank you so much! I owe you one!
It was a beautiful Saturday! I was dressed in the clothes he gave me and I looked stunning. He invited me to a picnic in Central Park, since we had our days off. It was such a perfect date. Me looking into his big brown eyes and hoping he’ll learn how to love me one day, him looking back in mine, absolutely giving me a sign that he has something for me. Us standing there on that soft baby blue blanket eating the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten (again a big thank you to those cooking classes he took when he was 5). It was unimaginably perfect. All he did was compliment me all day and talk all about myself, but something in my head was not letting me be fully his. It was the thought of me not knowing where he came from, or what happened in his past that made him be so generous and kind to people, but being less careful with himself. I had to know all of those things.
We stayed in the park until 4pm, and we walked, simply just talking and getting to know each other...but even though we talked about him too, all that I knew by now was that he likes pistachio flavoured ice cream, and that his employees get to choose a free vacation location that he pays on every day that they want and that for Christmas he triples their salaries and then multiplies them six more times. From that again, comes one of the things I want to know about him, and that is “Why does he let people take advantage of him?” and “Isn’t he tired of doing all of those things for so many people?”. By now I was in desperate need of some answers, so this time we got back to his place.
It was the biggest condo of the highest paid apartment building in NYC. He had five or six employees even in his own home. That also didn’t make sense, cause when he’s around me he insists on doing everything by himself, and those things don’t go together. So we finally sat down and talked again, but this time I decided I’m going to be the only one who asks questions and he’s gonna answer me, even though they’re roughly personal or if it hurts him telling me that. Ok...first question:”-What happened to your parents, and what did they do to you when you were little?”...”-Well, my parents abused me sexually and made me see things that a 6 year old shouldn’t see so that made me grow up so fast, and they were also making me do what they were saying or else they would always blackmail me and tell me that they would send me to the orphanage or the kid protection foundation saying that they can’t raise me anymore. That made me really scared so I would always do what they wanted. After I graduated High School, I was lucky enough for my brother to take me with him to University in England where I studied, after that, I had a job and with the help of my sister as well, I became the CEO of the company that I have now. Sadly my parents died in a car accident 5 years ago, and even though they never loved me I still never got the chance to tell them I love them, so I guess my emotions started to fade away along with the time.”
It took a little bit for me to process all of that and to find my words for the next question, but I started digging in:”-Why are you so generous and kind to people and let them use you however they want?”...”-Believe me or not, I observe how people don’t care about my feelings at all when they get stuff from me, but like I said, I started to grow emptiness instead of feelings so, because my parents were so abusive of me and I never got what I wanted all my life, I tend to feel like I need to get people what they want and finally be satisfied to see people happy because of that”...Ok, my last question is:”-Why do you have hundreds of people that work for you and do your work, which means that at home or even at work you have someone else do your things for yourself, but since you met me you still insist on doing things all by yourself and you want to make my work?”...”-That is a different topic that we’re talking, because, I didn’t want to tell you, cause I’m not good at that kind of stuff, but since we met, I started feeling something strange. I was always looking at movies and saw how two people fell in love at first sight and all that kind of stuff, but I never thought it’ll be possible in real life. Since I saw you months ago in that coffee shop, I could not get you out of my head, and I’ve never seen a more genuine, caring, smart, hardworking and beautiful girl with a personality of gold in my entire life. Believe me, that I’m doing all of those things for you, because I don’t know how to love, and I thought, since I think I love you so much that I can’t get you out of my head it’s kinda like I need to venerate you and be like one of your employees. I’m truly sorry!”
In that moment, my heart dropped, and I started crying my feelings out, just so that I can see that after 1 minute he starts crying too, and continuously apologising. I looked in those eyes that charmed me from the second they introduced themselves to me, and started apologising for not seeing behind them and for thinking that he didn’t feel anything for me.I confessed to him my feelings and told him how much I fell in love with him from the first second that I saw him coming up to me, and we kissed in a way that Jamie Dornan has never kissed Dakota Johnson in the Fifty Shades series. Then, after things settled down a bit, he asked me to be his girlfriend and I, of course, said yes. After that, I promised him that in this journey that we just started, I am going to introduce him in a much better way to the definition of love and I will take him through the best love ride he has ever been through.
CHAPTER 3, The inside of a businessman
Last night I slept at James’ place. It was great, but yet again I just want to confirm that nothing happened between us more than cuddling and a good and comfy sleep surrounded by his arms. I decided that at least 2 days from today, I don’t want to make it about sexual intercorse, because I want to show him how real love can be pursued without having to take it sexual. Even though I had a few guys in my life, I never actually experienced true love, so I want to be honest with him and tell him that this journey should be discovered by both of us together. So like I was saying, the morning started very romantic as the journey started as well. I hope he does not make a habit out of that because sometimes it may be difficult to keep up with that, but he again made me breakfast with some exotic names that I never heard of, but yet again the food was delicious. I started eating, but I didn’t feel very good knowing that I’m eating that gorgeous meal in front of him, and he feels good just by looking at me and admiring me. I mean, in a way, that is so cute, but on the other hand I felt like I needed to ask him this question:”-Have you eaten today?”... he then answered me:”-No, but I just like looking at you eating, and it’s like I’d be eating!”, I was like:’’-No, I won’t let that happen again,...if you want to be with me while I’m eating, you’ll have to be making yourself breakfast as well, or in this case, you’re gonna eat from mine,but I care too much about you to see you like that!’’. All that he did was smile at me, kiss me on the cheek and tell me that if I think that this is part of making him a better man and of removing what his parents did to him then he will accept anything that I tell him to do. After we ate, I decided that this time I’m gonna wash the dishes, but instead of one of us doing all of the work, one of us would wash them and the other will wipe out the water and put them back at their place. I told him that no one should do the work and the other should stay and watch, we must do all of the things together, because that’s how we learn to love each other even more and connect with each other maintaining a relationship. All of these small things that we are gonna get through together in life, will make our relationship stronger, will make us learn what true love really is and will eventually solve James’ problems.
So after we washed the dishes together, we stayed a little bit more inside talking and telling eachother everything about our pasts, because at 6pm we were supposed to go to my favourite ballet, “The Nutcracker”, that he got us tickets to, after I told him that I wanted to see it since I was little.The time flew by so fast, that it got 5:30, so we were supposed to get ready for ballet. While I was changing into an outfit that I couldn’t give it back to him, I felt a weird feeling that he was watching me from somewhere, and I was completely right. He was looking at me through that little space between the door and the wall. The moment I observed him I told him to close the door and that we’re gonna talk after I get dressed. After I got dressed, I got out of the closet and went into my bedroom where he was waiting for me. It was 5:45pm so we had a little more time to talk before we went to the show. I told him that in this journey that I promised I’m gonna take him, I don’t want to talk or hear about sex or anything sexual (We can of course touch and kiss like teenagers, cause that is normal in a relationship, but not more),because I want him to feel what true love means without having to make intercorse and that I want us to experience it together. Until Tuesday morning we won’t deal with sexual stuff, but after we start, I don’t want him to make it just sexually or anything like that. He told me that he totally understands it and if I think that this is the best for our relationship, and that it will make him change as a person, then he is completely fine with that, and that he apologizes for spying on me. “No worries”, I told him. Then we had to head out the door, cause it was 5:55pm and we needed to get there in time.
We took his sports car that cost over a billion dollars and we arrived there at 6pm. Luckily, the show didn’t start so we got to our seats and waited for it to start.
The ballet finished at 8pm. It was the most beautiful show that I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
After the show, we had dinner at the fanciest italian restaurant in town, “Ben & Margherita”. I told him once that it is one of my dreams to taste the plain cheese pizza, which is my favourite food, from Ben & Margherita, and that I would’ve went there myself if I would’ve had enough money just to enter the restaurant, so I guess he took it very serious and he felt a little bit sorry for me so he decided to get me there. I don’t see a bad thing in that, because I find it actually a very romantic way to tell your girlfriend you love her, but I just don’t want him to spend too much money spoiling me, cause at the end of the day I am an independent woman and I have to keep my pride untouched.
The dinner ended in laughter. When we got home it was 11pm. We weren’t tired, so we decided to listen to some music to see each other’s style of music. Our styles are almost similar, but something even magical happened. He suddenly started playing Lady Gaga’s song “Always remember us this way”, and that is one of my favourite songs, so because my grandparents also took me to singing lessons when I was little, I was a really good singer, so I started singing and he didn’t have words. Then he started crying and he kissed me with his plumped but also thin lips and I was more in love than ever, with him. Now, I learned another thing about him. That he’s very sensitive to things that have something to do with me, and that he is very proud and overprotective of me, which I love about him. It got pretty late, and tomorrow was Monday. I had to go to my classes and he had work, so I asked him if he could drive to my apartment so I could get ready for tomorrow. He told me firmly that he won’t take me home, but not because he is a douche, just because he had a better idea. He asked me to move in with him. I told him that this is so crazy, and even if we were gonna move together now, we couldn’t possibly get all of my things from my apartment to his, before tomorrow, so we can be prepared for Monday.
He promised me that everything could go very fast, but I just have to say yes and he’ll be the happiest ever. I accepted his offer, because I love him to death and I think that this is a very mature thing to do, and it’s also a very good start to our relationship. In approximately 2 seconds, his guys from the moving store came to his place to get my keys so that they could get my stuff and bring it here. I gave them the keys, because Will and Ferrien were 2 of the guys from the moving store and I trusted them for years so there was no need to go with them. In an hour or less, they finished bringing everything in James’ apartment. I was so hyped about it, that I didn’t have a bit of tiredness in my body. I could actually see the happiness and love in his eyes when he looked at me unpacking. He helped me unpack my things because he finally got the point I tried to teach him...and that was the fact that he doesn’t have to always count on somebody for doing his work, he can do it by himself and also have fun. That made my night even better. I mean...don’t get me wrong… I’m gonna let the workers do their things around the apartment, because it’s nice to have someone do stuff for you from time to time, but we have to understand that they have lives too, and they have families who they have to go to, and at the end of the day, it would be nice to sometimes cook together or organize something together, or maybe even building a shelf together, even though maybe it won’t turn out perfect, but it’s teamwork and creating a solid and healthy relationship in the same time. So, we put all my things in their place and we were ready to go to bed, just when I realised that my car is still at my apartment and I cannot let it there. I told him that I need to get it from there and bring it in my new home since tomorrow I have to go to University. He couldn’t force me one more time to offer to buy me a new one, because I don’t want to be selfish or anything, but it was a Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, that I had to save 3 years of not going anywhere other than University and Barney’s and all of the money from my grandparents that now were living their best life in a beach house in Florida, where I was planning on going with James next weekend so they can meet him.
So anyways, he took his Bugatti Veyron, which is ranked one of the most expensive cars in the world, and we got to my place. I took my keys and drove my car beside his. I opened the window and told him:”Hey, let’s have a race like in Fast and Furious up to your building!”. I have to admit that I could read his fear and insecurity for me from his eyes. I told him that I won’t accept a no as an answer, and that if I win, I won’t allow him to doubt me ever again. He accepted, but I think he did that just because he had that security that he would 100% win the race. I told him that he doesn’t have to bet something with me until the final destination. So we started the race.
Just imagine. In the silence of a beautiful and quiet night in New York, you hear revs of two very cool and expensive cars racing into the city lights. You would never imagine that a boyfriend and his girlfriend are racing in the middle of the night up to his apartment. Well it’s true, because I took part of it and it was the coolest thing ever. At some point I let him think he’s winning, but then I came from the back and made the coolest drift ever and arrived first, at his place. He was so embarrassed but also, I could see that he was proud of me as well. He apologized for not believing in me and he promised that from now on he’ll trust me in anything. We got home and we changed into our pajamas and got to bed. Before we were ready to fall asleep, I needed to tell him that especially today, I discovered a lot of things about him and his personality, and that I’m really glad that God made it like this, for us to meet and for me to find him.
It is the next day. I never thought a monday morning could’ve been beautiful, until I woke up hugging a loving and charming boy that loves and cares about me. I woke up at 7:30 a.m., cause I usually have classes every morning at 9. So I woke up and he was still sleeping, I knew I needed to wake him up, because he started work at 9 as well, so that’s what I just did. I woke him up. The second that he opened his eyes, I couldn’t say anything, because he was already prepared to tell me:”Good morning sweetie, I love you so much!”...and in that moment my whole body started to cheer up and be happy, then of course it continued with me saying:”I love you too”. After we went to the bathroom to clean ourselves for the morning, we went into the kitchen to make some breakfast. The chef was already in there, and our breakfast was waiting for us on the table in the dining room. I was very surprised when I saw the chef and all of that, but I also felt excitenness because I was really happy to try the chef’s food. We both sat down at the table and started eating, but also discussing our plans for the day and about other insignificant stuff, like the weather or just simple things that two people discuss in the morning. I ate faster than him, and after that I went and got dressed. He also ordered some new designer clothes for me, which I couldn’t refuse, cause I had no choice knowing his feelings for me, so I got dressed with something from there, and I was ready to head out the door... when suddenly...a hairdresser, a makeup artist and 2 designers enter the room. I said hello with a very strange figure on my face and called James from the kitchen. When he came, I asked him what was happening. He told me that they could come every morning before I got to university so I can prepare myself for the day. This one, I had to say no to, because I don’t have that much time to do all of those things, I’m not fully awake in the morning for doing those, and I don’t really care about dressing myself up for a school day. He understood my point of view and he also said that I’m more beautiful without those things so he told them to come only on special events from now on. I thanked him for doing that, gave him a kiss, and went to my car to go to university, telling him I’ll see him after school.
At school, my friends went crazy, cause I didn’t call them all weekend, so they kinda freaked out. They also had seen paparazzi photos of me and James walking around NY, and they asked me what I was doing with him and told me to say every detail about it. I have my boundaries when it comes to exposing myself in front of anybody, and I did mention that these are my friends not my “best friends”, so my nonny thought me from when I was little not to expose my life in front of other people, cause you never know who to trust. I told them simple things, like the fact that he’s my boyfriend and things about our date, but that was all. I don’t really have time to explain my life problems to them, cause despite everyone else in that University, I really go there to study, not to gossip about
Publisher: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG
Text: Roxana Ionita
Cover: Roxana Ionita
Editing/Proofreading: Roxana Ionita
Layout: Roxana Ionita
Publication Date: 09-22-2020
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