What happens when an unsuspecting Lennox meets a classic fella Brady?
Every year Lennox thinks the New Year will be a dud. For the past few years she has sat home on the sidelines watching as the world lights up in glitter and champagne. Cheers and laughs echoing in the halls. The city streets alive with living below her apartment building.
And every year Lennox tells herself it’s all by choice. She chooses to stay in. She enjoys the comfort of her own quaint little apartment. It’s just another year, another night. What’s the big deal, right?
Enough of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Enough of the stress and running around for the whirlwind that has become Christmas. This is her time to unwind.
But just as New Year’s Eve rolls around she gets that feeling. That “I have no plans” feeling. No fun exciting reason to dress up and hit the town in sparkly fashion.
Social Media is no one’s friend. As the updates of girls she barely knows getting ready and dolled up sharing the exciting plans for the evening keep pouring in. Fomo (fear of missing out) is real, and rearing its ugly head.
Lennox sits in her rustic, earthy inspired living room. Her Christmas tree still lit up in the corner. A romantic comedy plays on her TV screen as she watched intently, sipping her cup of tea.
Lennox glances over at the clock- 5:03 p.m.
Less than 7 hours til 2016 she thinks
And I’m sitting here in my pajama bottoms and an old high school sweater, with a stain from Taco Tuesday on it, she thinks and she glances down pulling her at her sweater and sighing at her appearance.
“How sexy am I?” she says aloud huffing and puffing at herself.
Lennox checks her phone-No messages.
She tosses her phone to the side, with an annoyed expression.
Her eyes glance over at it as she reaches for it again.
She decides to be hopeful and proactive and begins to send out texts to all her friends about their evening plans.
Lennox sighs as the rejection texts pour in-
“Sorry can’t, going to a party in the city.”
“Sorry girl, party with my boyfriend.”
“Sorry girlie, got Gala tickets for tonight.”
“Braving Times Square, been here for hours!”
Lennox looks around at her apartment and her current situation of junk food, and wine, and her favorite romantic movie.
“Well looks like it’s just you and me Ryan Gosling,” Lennox says looking at her TV screen with a shrug and a sigh.
Just then, her phone starts to ring with the name Millie displayed.
Lennox, smiles answering. Her older sister could instantly but her in a better mood with her loud and infectiously outgoing personality.
“Hey Loser, what are you doing tonight?”
“Oh drowning my sorrows in a pint of Rocky Road ice cream, and getting a buzz from some cheap wine.”
“Oh what, no hot date?” Millie asks driving on a main high way, passing by car after car, as her radio plays.
“That’s laughable.” Lennox laughs sarcastically as she rolls her eyes at her sister’s out of reach assumption. “What about you, going to some swanky Upper East Side party with ever so hunky John?”
Millie lets out a laugh herself.
“Hell no, I dumped that asshole months ago. I’m driving home now, be there in about an hour. Get dressed. We’re going out.”
“What? Are you serious?” Lennox says looking down at her terribly un-fashionable outfit.
“Uh hell yes! Do you really wanna spend tonight home alone? Get dressed. I’ll be there soon.”
“Okay. Um. Okay. Oh my gosh, I have to go find something to wear!” She says suddenly full of excitement.
“And do me a favorite Len, wear something mom and dad would never approve of.”
“Oh gosh,” Lennox says rolling her eyes at her sister.
“Come on now, you got it girl, flaunt it. Maybe you’ll meet someone completely amazing tonight, a handsome stranger that will sweep you off feet, just like in all those crappy romcom’s you love to watch.”
“Hey those are brilliant.”
“Yea yea, get dressed.” Millie hangs up.
Lennox looks at the clock- 6:30 p.m.
Holy crap! She says rushing into her bathroom, as she jumps into the shower sliding the curtain behind her in a rush.
Lennox stands at her bathroom mirror dawned in a fluffy white robe and a head wrap.
She walks into her bedroom and opens her closet searching for something that sparkled. Hanger after hanger, and nothing. Lennox stops in frustration. Just then she has a light bulb idea, a smile spreading across her face as her eyes light up.
Lennox digs all the way back into her closet pulling out her trusty little black dress. It has a hint of shimmer and an elegance of sparkle. She smiles holding it up and admiring it.
“Perfect,” Lennox says as she sets to doing her makeup and hair.
Lennox glances at her dolled up reflection in her full length mirror.
“Not bad for a rushed job,” She says turning to check all angles of her outfit.
Grabbing her phone a blazer, and a purse, she heads to her living room, where her doorbell rings.
“Wow, perfect timing.” She says looking at the clock- 7:50 p.m.
Lennox walks to her door and opening it sees the bright smile of her sister, who is decked out in head to toe gold sparkle.
“Hello gorgeous!” Millie screams hugging her sister.
“Well you may be in competition with the actual times square disco ball.”
“Well you know what they say, the outfit has to match the personality,” Millie says with a sassy undertone.
“Well then, you are spot on,” Lennox says laughing.
“So! You ready to make some guy fall in love with you tonight?”
“Sure,” Lennox says rolling her eyes as she closes her door, locking it behind her.
“Don’t roll your eyes at me miss thing, ok you are fabulous, and you look hot! Ok this is your night. It’s about time you let the New York men see what you have to offer.” Millie smiles with an eyebrow raise, as she links arms with her sister. They enter the elevator.
Lennox and Millie get on the train, as people decked out in their best party clothes and New Year’s crowns and hates flood the subway car alongside the two women.
Lennox looks around feeling a sense of surprise bubbling up in her like champagne does once you pour it into a crystal glass. Excited to see what the night’s affairs would hold. Lennox felt alive.
The two women get off at a stop in the city as they walk down the streets, people are cheering and full of happiness. As they hold the promise of ridding themselves of years past stresses and starting anew with their hearts. Some looking for love. While others just want to- let’s face it- get drunk.
Lennox smiles and her sister pulls her along dodging past people like a true New Yorker.
“Where are we going?” Lennox asks excitedly with slight anxiety.
“Don’t worry, you’ll love it!”
A few blocks later, Millie pulls Lennox over to the back door of a ritzy city hotel.
Millie waves to a man inside wearing a security uniform, who opens the door for them.
“Thanks Billy. You’re a doll,” Millie says kissing his cheek, as she rushes in, Lennox in tote with a baffled expression on her face.
Billy smiles at her.
“Millie what are you up to?” she whispers.
“That’s how you get in for free, when you know people.”
“No basically we just snuck into a crazy expensive party?”
“Yea…cool huh?” Millie says her eyes matching her gold ensemble.
“You don’t think we’ll get in trouble.”
“Oh please, with tickets prices that high, it’s like their begging for people to sneak in, come on!” she says pulling Lennox near the main floor.
They come across a coat check as a smiling red head asks if they’d like to check their coats.
“Sure.” Millie says without reluctance as she legs her faux fur cream and gold coat fall off her shoulders. She hands it to the girl, looking at Lennox in expectance.
“Oh,” Lennox takes off her black sequined blazer and hands it over “Thank you.”
The red head smiles, “Enjoy your night.”
Two men dressed in black suit and ties open a pair of burgundy curtains as Millie and Lennox walk into a dream world, full of fancy hor d’oeuvres, people dressed to the nines, and a DJ playing the year’s greatest hits.
Lennox’s eyes wander over the atmosphere, taking it all in. Millie instantly locks eyes with a handsome stranger.
“Give me two minutes, and then save me, he looks like trouble.”
She leans in, whispering to Lennox.
“So then why bother going over at all?”
“It’s New Year’s Eve, the last night to do something spontaneous, and reckless, for the year. Go sow your oats!” She says pushing Lennox into the crowd as she walks off toward her night’s first target. “I won’t be long.”
Lennox rolls her eyes with a laugh as she looks around the room. She spots the bar and heads over for a drink.
The bartender, a handsome, dark haired guy looks up at her, her chocolate brown eyes locking onto his deep brown ones. Lennox looks down, feeling herself blushing already.
Every damn time. I have issues, she thinks to herself.
“What can I get you?” he says smiling.
Lennox looks back up at him, slightly smiling back.
“Um I’ll just have a mimosa.”
“Sure,” he says grabbing a champagne glass.
Handing the drink to her, Lennox goes to pull out her wallet.
“Don’t worry about it, your smile is payment enough,” the bartender smiles as he winks at her.
“What can I get you?” he asks the next person.
Lennox stands there confused for a second, as she stumbles away, drink in hand.
With Millie out and about Lennox had to fend for herself. It wasn’t like Millie wasn’t close by, and she did check in. But it was more of a -how many guys can Millie make out with before the clock strikes 12-game.
Lennox was starting to dread coming. She wasn’t good at being alone in a crowd of people she didn’t know. She looks around at all the people, beautiful women mingling with beautiful guys. Some doing a little more than mingling. All the women seemed so carefree. As if they are throwing caution to the wind, and guys just flock to them. For Lennox communicating with the opposite sex was a bit more complicated. She was for lack of a better word; awkward. She didn’t know how to flirt and if a guy was even attempting to flirt with her she wouldn’t really stick around long enough to see what would happen. Yup, nerves controlled her love life that’s for sure. But Lennox knew that she didn’t just want any guy, for a whatever night. She wanted a promise of forever. Call her old fashioned but Lennox wanted more.
As Lennox’s wheels in her mind begin to turn, her inner battle of whether she should stay or go begins right on cue. Could she brave this awkward anxiety inducing environment, or should she just decide to go home. She begins to question her ability to have a good time.
Suck it up, she thinks. Look at where you are. It’s a beautiful party, full of gorgeous guys. And you look nice. You can do this, get in there, Lennox thinks to herself.
As she looks around the room, her stomach flips.
“Nope, time to go,” she whispers to herself as she turns, she comes face to face with the Bartender.
“Leaving already?” he asks.
“Oh hi.” She says shyly.
“Hi.” He smiles at her as she avoids his eyes.
“Um I was thinking about leaving. I came here with my sister but she seems to be having much more fun without me.” She says looking up at him as his glare makes her heart flutter.
“Oh well that’s a shame. Maybe we can fix that? Would you like to dance?” he says holding out his hand.
“Don’t you have to work?” Lennox says confused.
“I just got off my shift. So how about it? I mean that is if you don’t mind dancing with a bartender?”
“I don’t mind at all,” she says smiling as she takes his hand.
He pulls her close to him, as he holds her waist with one hand, and her hand with the other.
“You know how to lead?” Lennox asks surprised.
“Sure, I watch Dancing With The Stars,” he says shrugging and laughing.
“So…mysterious, beautiful girl in the sparkling little black dress…what’s your name?”
“Hmm, maybe I should keep that a mystery until you tell me yours.” She says.
“Ah, Okay. I’m Brady. Born and raised in Brooklyn. Went to culinary school, but the restaurant jobs haven’t exactly been rolling in just yet so, I help out here with catering, and sometimes I bartend.”
“Wow, that’s amazing. Good for you. I mean you do make a mean mimosa.”
“Thank you.” He says. “So…what about you, what’s your story?”
“My name is Lennox, I was born and raised in Brooklyn as well, just got my own big girl apartment in Williamsburg though, and I am an interior designer for a small design company in SOHO.”
“Very cool. Now that we got the pleasantries out of the way. Shall we move onto something a little more personal?”
The song ends as Lennox looks at Brady suspiciously.
“What’s your New Year’s resolution?” he asks smiling.
Lennox laughs as the two walk over to a nearby table and sit.
“Well I kind of need to break out of my shell. I’m kind of a loner.”
“Well I think you’re doing a pretty good job of that tonight,” Brady says encouraging her.
“Thanks,” she laughs “baby steps,” she shrugs. “What about you, what’s your New Year’s resolution?”
“I don’t usually like to make any. I tend to break them within the first week of the New Year. So for me, it’s kind of just like what’s the point?” he says shrugging with a laugh.
“I hear ya on that one.” Lennox says nodding.
“Yea I mean people think the New Year is a new beginning, and that somehow everything will be magically perfect. Don’t get me wrong I’m definitely guilty of that, but it’s so easy to fall into old habits.”
“It’s like you’re reading my mind,” he says laughing and shaking his hand.
Lennox laughs as she looks down.
Brady waves over a waiter carrying a silver plate of champagne flutes.
He takes two, “Thanks bud,” he says as the fellow employee nods walking back toward the crowd.
“Here, we’re just about 5 minutes til midnight,” Brady hands Lennox a glass.
“What? Really I didn’t even realize the time went by so fast.”
“Well I guess you’re having a good time,” he says smiling.
“I am, it’s so easy to talk to you, I feel like I’ve known you for my whole life, or something.” She laughs
“Yea, I know what you mean.”
As a staff member begins handing out New Year’s Eve crowns, hats, poppers and noise makers, Lennox and Brady are ready for the New Year.
The countdown begins…
10, 9, 8,
Brady stands up extending his hand to out to Lennox, she smiles taking it, as he walks her to the center of the dance floor.
7, 6, 5,
The crowd is electric. People shouting along with the countdown. Lennox looks up at Brady, nervously.
4, 3, 2, 1
Brady leans in and kisses Lennox, catching her slightly off guard, but not so much so that she doesn’t reciprocate.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” The crowd screams.
Brady looks at her, “Happy New Year.”
“Happy New Year.” Lennox says smiling pulling him to her as she kisses him again.
Millie notices from the other side of the room, a big smile across her face.
“Atta girl,” she whispers as she grabs the guy next to her into a kiss.
In typical New Year’s fashion the lyrical melody of “Auld Lang Syne” echoes through the venue as confetti washes over the crowd of people pairing off in embraces.
Brady looks at Lennox.
“I changed my mind,” he says in a serious tone.
Lennox looks at him nervously.
“I think I just thought of a New Year’s resolution,” he says.
“Oh yea? What is it?” she asks smiling.
“To fall in love,” Brady says looking into her eyes like he’s known her soul forever.
“I think I can help you with that,” she asks pulling him into another kiss.
Lennox begins to feel a new chapter beginning for her and this handsome stranger on the very night she used to dread.
*I do not take credit for any images used in my edits or otherwise.*