The Book Of Love

|skip to part 2|


"Renee, I'm FINE. I'll… ca…rry them. Actually, no, I could use a little help." Ally stumbled down the stairs. Renee, right behind her, was carrying two HUGE suitcases. "Thank you…" Ally exhaled when both successfully stepped off of the last step. "Why are you going to this thing, anyway?" Renee asked.
"Jen. It's her first big concert. I promised her I'd be there. Plus, it's my vacation… it was either this or sitting at home all day eating ice cream. I figured it's better to lose a few pounds than gain some…" Ally smiled and hugged her roommate. "I'll call…"
"Please do." Renee was a bit worried, to say the least, and she wasn't doing the best job of hiding it. On one hand, Ally alone in Chicago was a terrifying thought. Sure, Renee wasn't her mother or older sister, but she still felt a big responsibility on her shoulders. Ally, whatever her age, needed to be looked after. She was a kid, an "emotional idiot" as her therapist called her.

On the other hand, this meant she had the apartment to herself for one week. One full week! Books, music, movies, sex… she smiled, her mind racing through endless thoughts of things she could do in that week. She didn't have to worry about anything, anyone or being anywhere at a certain time. Retrieving her mental checklist, she browsed through its contents - and to her great disappointment found no interesting plans. "That's OK," she thought to herself. "I never plan ahead anyway…"

"Alright, I think that's the last one…" Ally loaded all of her suitcases into the taxicab and went over to hug Renee once more. "Would you speed it up, lady?!" yelled the extremely impatient cab driver. "Would you shut it up, driver?!" Ally answered in the same tone. He took her clue and sat back silently. Finally, the good-byes were done with. Ally climbed into the back seat and waved to Renee, who was anticipating the soon adieu of the taxi. Finally, the time had come, and she joyously skipped back up the stairs…

Pulling out a piece of paper from under some heap of files, she carefully studied its contents. "Call May… Mey… Mi… someone…" Renee read the first thing she saw out loud and laughed. What interested her wasn't the list of useless phone numbers, it was the next entry - a list of names. Male names, to be more precise. This list was titled "Guys I Told You It Would Never Work Out With" and was scribbled in Ally's unmistakable handwriting. Renee smirked and reached over for the phone. "Mark? Yea… Hi." she started. After a few minutes of small talk, she asked "the" question, and smiled after receiving a quite satisfying response. "Thursday sounds great! I'll see you then…" she said and pressed the "Off" button. "HA!" she yelled excitedly at the piece of paper. "Ha ha ha!!!" She circled Mark's name and added his phone number to the list. "There's 5 bucks you'll never see again…" she said to the paper, and joyously sprinted to her bedroom. Collapsing onto the bed, she smiled to herself. She lay there, sinking into the soft mattress, her thoughts flying off to somewhere peaceful and quiet. "Tuesday's Dave, Wednesday's Erik… Thursday's Mark… Friday will be arranged…" she mentally planed out her week, then cleared her mind of all thoughts. Looking up at the ceiling, she thought about the past months - her romantic mishaps with all sorts of clients, co-counsels, opposing counsels & so on… "It would be great to go on a date and NOT talk about law, wouldn't it?" she thought. On the other hand, what would she talk about with these people… martini-mixers they'd recently attended ("big event!")? Sex in the life of the modern man (a topic Ally had once proposed to another Mr. Not-Likely; that was waaay long ago when she had a thing for "theme" dates…)? No. That didn't matter, though… a few drinks, sexy moves on the dance floor, and in 3 hours she'd be blissfully asleep next to her beau du jour. She closed her eyes, trying to imagine the situation perfectly… someone's arms around her, someone's breath on her shoulder… great. This seemed strange to her - she was never in a totally romantic mood. She was always the DA, everywhere - in the courtroom, in life, in love. She was always the strong one… She never allowed herself to slip into something so Ally-ish as "love". Her mind was always the one setting the rules, and now… now it was her heart. It felt good to let go and break out of the DA shell that she had had around her for so long, though. Drifting off into a peaceful and relaxed state, she soon fell asleep.

Ling & Nelle walked past John's office, the latter flashing him a sexy smile. His nose whistled in delight, and she detached herself from an incredible captivating discussion of face masks with Ling to say good morning. He was sitting at his desk, and she bent down to kiss him. "You two did it last night, didn't you?" Ling asked, rather interested in the response. "Ling!" both snapped. "What, it's not like I'm never going to find out…" With those words she turned around and walked out. "Where's Elaine…?" she thought, turning towards Ally's office.
John was in the middle of taking a rather poughkeepsie-ish moment when Nelle bent down and gave him another long, satisfying kiss. "Hi…" she smiled. He smiled back, losing himself in her eyes, and was brought back to reality by current cases. "We have a… thing… "John started, and quickly caught himself before drifting off into fantasies again. "Richard's client, Darwin James, is suing his parents…"
"For what?"
"They won't let him see his girlfriend. They say she doesn't "suit" him."
"And he's claiming… what?"
"Intentional infliction of emotional distress… It's come to the point of them cutting off his phone line, crashing his car, everything… what's wrong?" John stopped, noticing her slight discomfort.
"What? Nothing… I'm fine. Why should anything be wrong?" Nelle replied, forcing a smile to replace the rather troubled look she had earlier. "I'll get right to it…" she flashed another smile at him and quickly left the office.
"Nelle Porter…" she answered her cell phone. Hearing the voice on the other end, she sighed unhappily. "Yes… Hi." The voice seemed awfully displeased with something. "I know… I'm sorry. Really…" she stopped for a moment, then continued "I was with someone…" She sat down, losing her patience. "Look, it doesn't matter… NO, it doesn't." She snapped, calmly but firmly. "Why can't I make my own decisions?… Because why?" She was beginning to get angry. "I'm sorry… I said that. Yes, I DID!" After another moment of silence on her part, she went on "Yes, HIM." Glancing at her watch, she cut the other voice off in the middle of a sentence. "I have to go… I'll talk to you later. Bye." She pressed the "off" button and stood up, picking up her purse. She opened her wallet in hopes of finding a 5 dollar bill for a cup of early morning coffee. A picture fell to the floor - a girl of about 15 standing next to a handsome middle-aged man. Bending down to pick it up, she looked at the man on the photo for a second, then shook her head and threw the picture in the trash.

"Jenny! You were… AMAZING!" Ally was hysterically happy to see Jenny, her old childhood friend and one of the few people she'd been able to maintain a long-distance friendship with. A tall, slim velvet-clad woman walked up to her, cello in hand. Placing it by a chair, she came closer to Ally and they exchanged hugs. "Oh my God! You were great!!!" "Thanks…" Jenny smiled and added "I love it here… great people, great orchestra, great everything! Hell, I even like the conductor!"
"Married?" Ally asked seriously.
"Yup…" Jenny replied disappointedly.
"I know." The two laughed and Jenny took Ally's hand, showing her to the bar.

"Ooh, what about that one?" Ally asked, sipping her martini. "Taken… by this violin bitch."
"Damn. OK, how about that one over there?"
"Which one?"
"The one standing with his back to that one black lady…"
"Ohhhh… the "lady" is a He and the "guy" you were referring to is a She."
"Whoops…" Ally said, embarrassed.
"Everyone makes that mistake… they're a… you know…" Jenny explained.
"Oohhhhh…" Ally nodded, understandingly. "Gay?" She thought. "Transvestite?" She decided to not ask any more questions about those two.
"OK!" she yelped. "9 O'clock…" she said quietly.
"My clock or your clock?" Jen asked.
"Your clock."
"Nope…" Jen shook her head. "He's single, but totally not your type."
"What???" Ally asked. She was desperate to have ANY kind of fling, regardless of "types".
"I can set you up, but I hope you have good ears… ever listened to katydid lectures for two hours?"
"Scratch that… moving on… There's a cute guy - single, no bad habits, sorta monogamous…" Jen pointed to a tall dark-haired guy standing near a champagne fountain.
"He's a male stripper…"
"OK, forget him." Ally said, disgusted.

The two got up and walked over to a group of stylishly-dressed young people, most carrying instruments, and Ally was introduced to everyone, including a handsome French Horn-ist who seemed to really like her. Every once in a while, she'd lean over to Jen and nod towards some guy, but Jen always ended up shaking her head or whispering everything that was wrong with Ally's "pick" in response. Defeated and miserable, Ally made her best attempt at smiling and just stood there while Jen gabbed away about the concert. Ally was in the middle of examining her shoes when she felt Jen tug her a little. "What?" she asked, still looking down. Suddenly, a little kid of about 3 stomped on her foot by accident. Not expecting anything like this, Ally turned around and fell. Still on the floor, she heard Jen's soft voice say "David, that's okay…" to the kid and "Hi!" to someone else whose face she couldn't see yet. She tried to get up while Jen started to explain to the "someone" - "Greg, this is…" "Aaaaaaaa!" Ally shrieked upon seeing the stranger's face. "…lly" finished Jen. "We've met…" Said the man… "YOU?!" Ally asked in disbelief as she looked at him, then at the kid standing by his father's leg. "Yes…" he said quietly.

>>>>to part 2>>>>