Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
Author's Note: This is my first shot at fan fiction. The idea has been in my head for weeks, demanding to be written, so I finally decided to appease it. I hope you like it!
It was one of those days.
It's not as if something absolutely dreadful had happened; just one annoyance after another, until, finally, the tiniest little mishap – like misplacing your cell phone – held the same weight as, oh, waking up in a bathtub full of ice with your kidneys missing. Seriously, though, I'm not usually one for melodramatics. It was just one of those days.
As I trudged through the streets of Chicago, I purposely navigated my way through the puddles, creating a satisfying splash with each exaggerated step. I had come to Michigan Avenue to do some shopping, hoping it would help cheer me up. After perusing the departments of Nordstrom for about ten minutes, I left even angrier than when I had gone in. Tell me, though, who spends eighty dollars on a pair of gloves? And don't even get me started on the scarves! My measly secretary wages didn't even allow me the necessary accessories to stay warm in this damn city!
I muttered to myself as my stomach growled violently. I had worked through my lunch hour, and, by that point, my stomach was practically eating itself. I was fairly certain that the sleeve of saltines and the jar of pickles that I had at home just wasn't going to cut it, so I headed for a tiny hole-in-the-wall diner I had spotted earlier.
As I rounded the corner and happened upon my destination, I mentally prepared myself. There's just something about a young woman eating alone in public that screams "Talk to me!" to the creeps. Seeing as how I had just gotten into a huge argument with my stupid boyfriend, I definitely wasn't in the mood for the creeps. When I was fighting with Jacob, every man in the world was forced to feel my wrath.
I walked down the concrete stairs and headed into the diner. Upon surveying the restaurant, I decided to take a seat at the counter. I would get faster service that way, and could presumably get out of there before it was very late. The sun had already set, and I definitely didn't want to get stuck walking alone in the streets of Chicago at midnight or anything. I often joked that it was "like New York City, only less scary," but I still got freaked out sometimes. And, besides, the way my day was going, I just didn't want to chance it.
I plopped down onto the black cushioned stool, throwing my jacket and purse down on the floor under my feet. Recollecting the day's events, I closed my eyes tight and rubbed my face with my hands. "Can I get you something to drink, doll?" My eyes shot open as I heard the waitress standing over me.
"Coffee," I replied, propping my chin up on my hands. "Lots of it. Please."
"Sure thing," she smiled, shimmying away to retrieve my sweet, sweet caffeine. I lifted my head to look through the menu she had placed in front of me, when the most breathtaking sight caught my eye: row after row of magical, delicious, homemade pies. I toyed with the idea of eating an entire apple pie in lieu of real food, but I knew I would regret that decision. When the waitress came back, I begrudgingly ordered the meatloaf sandwich.
Staring longingly at the pie, I took a gulp from my coffee cup – and immediately choked on it. Apparently, I had forgotten that coffee was indeed a hot beverage. I coughed violently as the scalding liquid made its way down my throat. As my coughing died down, I heard the faintest snicker to the right of me. I had been in the diner for five freaking minutes and, already, a creep!
I narrowed my eyes. "Is something funny?" I asked bitterly, not bothering to look up at him.
"No, no… I'm sorry," he said, a tinge of amusement in his voice. "It's just nice to see that I'm not alone in my day of misery."
"Nice?" I scoffed. Who the hell did this guy think he was? Was I really that transparent? So I choked on my coffee; that did not mean my day had been completely miserable. Well, except for the fact that it was. Not like that was any of this bozo's business, though. I focused my eyes on the counter, trying to keep my rage toward the entire male population in check.
"Here, this is untouched, I swear." Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him slide a glass toward me.
"Thanks, but I'll pass." Still fuming, I looked up to see the creep who was trying to offer me his water, thinking to myself that he had probably put a roofie in it or something.
Holy shit, he was the most beautiful creep I had ever seen.
"It's just water," he insisted. "Look, I didn't even take the straw paper off yet."
I reluctantly took the wrapped straw from him, silently cursing myself for being a sucker. "Thank you. But I swear to God, if you're slipping me a roofie…"
"Don't worry, I'm fresh out," he retorted, a smile playing on his lips. I had to smile back.
I turned my attention back to the counter, not wanting to encourage further conversation. Thankfully, my meal came at that point. I had never been so grateful for a plate full of meat in all my life.
I silently ate my food, suddenly extremely aware of the man sitting two stools down from me. I wanted to get a better look at him, just to see if he really was as attractive as I had thought, but I refrained. Just eat your damn meatloaf and get the hell out of here.
"I'm Edward, by the way."
Startled by his sudden dialogue, I choked on my food. "Bella," I said, taking a sip of water. "I'm Bella."
"Bella," he smiled, politely ignoring my embarrassing new choking issue. "I like it."
"I'm glad you approve." I took the opportunity to get that aforementioned second look at him. He really was gorgeous, almost offensively so. His hair was the first thing I noticed - a fabulously mussed shock of bronze that stood out in sharp contrast to his extremely fair complexion and dark clothing. His mouth curved up into an impossibly mischievous crooked grin.
"So what's got you down tonight?" he asked, his eye meeting mine. Direct eye contact with people for extended periods of time usually makes my skin crawl, but I couldn't break away from his gaze. His eyes were a vivid shade of green, flecked with gold throughout. They were friendly, yet somehow so intense at the same time. They were exactly the kind of eyes that could make you say all the wrong things.
"Um, you know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that," I replied, taking a bite of mashed potatoes. "What about you? You said you were having a misery-filled day." I silently cursed myself for encouraging further conversation.
"It's just been one of those days," he smirked, echoing my earlier sentiments. "I seem to be leaving a path of destruction everywhere I go." He rolled his eyes for emphasis. "I lost a big account at work today, and everything went downhill from there. To top it all off, my apartment was painted this afternoon, and I fear that I'm going to go to sleep tonight and never wake up. It smells pretty noxious in there. Then again, that may be a good thing."
I laughed at his comment in spite of myself. "I had a rough day at work myself," I admitted. "I feel like I'm everyone's scapegoat. Anytime someone screws up, it can always be skewed until it's apparently my fault. I worked through my lunch today just so I could fix someone else's mistake."
"What is it that you do?"
I suddenly became very self conscious about my job. This beautiful creep looked and sounded like he had a professional position. "Well… I'm a secretary. I mean, that's my official title, which I think is bullshit, unless 'secretary' means 'she who does everyone else's work for them while they're holed up in their fancy offices surfing the internet and avoiding calls,'" I spat, not quite sure why I felt the need to justify anything to him.
"Actually, I'm fairly certain that the word 'secretary' comes from a Latin word meaning exactly that," he laughed, popping the final bit of his sandwich into his mouth. I smiled back, strangely fascinated by the way his jaw flexed as he chewed. What the hell, stop staring! When did I become the creep?
I turned my attention back to my plate, simultaneously trying to eat quickly and avoid looking like a hog. I just needed to get out of there. I was far too interested in this Edward character, and nothing good could come out of it. I had a perfectly acceptable, albeit insensitive, pigheaded, and slightly boring, boyfriend at home waiting for me. Well, scratch that last part. He probably was out with his buddies and in no way, shape or form, "waiting for me."
"Bella?" My name rolled off of his tongue, jolting me out of my thoughts. "Is that short for something?"
"Isabella. But don't call me that."
He smiled. "Okay, then, Bella, what are your plans for this evening?"
I racked my brain, desperately trying to come up with the best excuse as to why I immediately had to go home. "Nothing, really. I'll probably just go home and crash early. I'm ready for this day to be over." I could feel my face getting hot. I don't know what it was about those stupid green eyes… I just couldn't lie to him while they were fixed on mine.
"Already?" he questioned, raising an eyebrow. "It's nine o'clock on a Friday night. You can't just go home and go to bed!" He turned his body toward me. Oh, shit, here it comes. "Listen, there's a little bar right next door. Would you let me buy you a drink?"
"Why?" was my dumfounded response.
He smirked, running his hand through his hair. "Haven't you heard? Misery loves company."
I wanted to say no, I really did. Every sensible voice in my brain was telling me to just pay my bill and get the hell out of there. I had a boyfriend, so why in the world would I want to cavort around town with the beautiful creep? Edward. He really didn't seem so creepy after all. Still, though, I had a boyfriend. Jacob. I chanted his name in my head, in hopes that it would give me the strength to overcome the power of those green eyes and turn his offer down. Jacob, Jacob, Jacob…
"Just one drink. But you're not paying for it." I hopped off of my stool and gathered my belongings. "Don't forget your jacket, Fonzie," I teased, nodding toward the leather jacket that was slung across the stool beside his.
He laughed, slipping the jacket over his snug black shirt. "Aren't you a little too young to be dropping Happy Days references?"
"Aren't you a little too young to be catching them?"
We paid for our meals, and I proceeded to follow him out the door. I walked a few steps behind him, taking his appearance in, at the same time cursing to myself. I suddenly felt silly for agreeing to accompany him. He probably pulled this act a hundred times for a hundred other girls, all ending in the same manner. As he looked back at me and grinned, I knew that I was just another conquest, albeit one he would not conquer.
I don't know what it was about that September Friday night. Maybe it was the loneliness finally setting in, maybe it was a subconscious ploy to avoid going back to my fume-infested apartment, or maybe it was the way her brown eyes sparkled when I managed to get her to smile. Whatever it was, it took even me by surprise.
I have been called many things in my twenty-three years, but spontaneous was definitely not one of them. As I peered over my shoulder to assure myself that this wasn't a figment of my imagination, I had to smile. Bella was right behind me, her eyes fixated on the ground in front of her.
Trying to remember where exactly that bar I had seen was, I laughed to myself. Never in my life had I asked a random girl to follow me to a bar, or to follow me anywhere for that matter! It was terribly out of character for me. My brother, Emmett, would have been so proud.
At the risk of sounding cliché, there was just something about this girl. Even as she choked on her coffee, I felt the urge to learn everything about her. I wanted to know why she was having a bad day, why she hated her job, what made her tick. The interest that I immediately took in Bella was almost unsettling to a self-proclaimed loner like me.
I entered the rundown bar with Bella still in tow. We settled in at the end of the bar, a bit away from everyone else. As she stood, shaking her coat off of her arms, I took the opportunity to really look at her. She was small; I probably had almost a foot on her. Her brown hair fell a bit past her shoulders in easy waves, spilling over her black v-neck t-shirt. She was pretty in the purest sense of the word. She turned to face me, her warm brown eyes finding mine. I smiled sheepishly, knowing that I'd been caught staring.
"Hey, Top Gun, are you going to take your jacket off and join me or what?" She wasn't smiling, but her eyes danced with playfulness. I laughed, wondering what she had against my leather jacket. Fonzie? Top Gun? Really?
I slid out of my coat and settled back down into the chair. We ordered our drinks; a beer for me, an amaretto sour for her. "So, Bella," I said, turning toward her. "Tell me about this loathsome job of yours."
"It's not a big deal, really. It's the only job I could get when I first moved here, short of working retail." She crinkled her nose in disgust. "I figured I could work my way up in the company, but I pretty much have given up on that. I work my ass off for those people, but it doesn't seem to matter. It's a man's world as far as that office is concerned. The only thing they hire women for is cleaning positions or secretarial positions. It's pretty demeaning and I hate myself a little more each day for subjecting myself to an environment like that."
I was taken aback by her honest response. Maybe it was because she had appeared so hesitant at the diner, but I thought surely I would have to work like hell to get an answer like that out of her. The bartender set our drinks down in front of us and she continued before I could even prompt her to.
"I just get so frustrated, you know? I went to college for four years to be a secretary. I'm paying of thousands of dollars worth of school loans while working for peanuts!" She took a sip of her drink and rolled her eyes at me.
"What did you go to school for?"
"I have a bachelor's degree in English," she laughed. "I wanted to be a writer. It was silly, I guess. I came to Chicago with dreams of that big city author's life… and look at me now. I guess I've given up on the dream."
I frowned at her sarcastic tone. "Do you still write?"
"No," she said wistfully. "No time for that."
"It sounds to me like you're settling." I regretted the words before they even finished coming out of my mouth. It was a harsh accusation to place on someone I had just met, but the sadness and longing in her voice when she mentioned her writing was hard to ignore.
Luckily, she brushed my comment off with a wave of her hand. "Enough about me. What's your story?" She looked at me expectantly.
There aren't enough hours in the day for my story, I thought sarcastically. "Well, I've lived here all my life. I went to school for Business, and now I manage a small manufacturing company that my father owns." I cringed, thinking that I surely made myself sound like a privileged little daddy's boy who just had a good job handed to him. That couldn't have been further from the truth.
"Do you like what you do?"
"I don't know if 'like' is the appropriate word for it. It's a good opportunity, but it's very stressful. I guess I should be thankful that I even have a job these days, though."
Bella looked at me accusingly, he eyes sparkling with amusement. "What?" I asked, wondering what she found to be so humorous.
"Sounds like I'm not the only one here who's settling," she retorted, giving me a pointed look while polishing off her cocktail. She caught the bartender's attention and ordered a new drink.
"I thought you were only going to have one," I teased.
"I've got time," she answered, flashing me a slight smile. I smiled back, trying to hide that fact that I was elated that she wanted to spend more time with me.
We sat there at that tiny bar, talking about everything new acquaintances talk about. We compared our favorite bands and books, made snide comments about the people in the bar, and laughed as we exchanged work horror stories. Before I knew it, all my tension from the day's events had melted away and the bartender was yelling for last call.
I looked at Bella, disappointed that our time together was coming to an end. "I cannot believe we've been sitting here for four hours," I admitted.
"I know," she agreed, biting her bottom lip. "I guess we should get going before they kick us out."
I reluctantly stood up and slid my jacket on. I took my wallet out, fishing for a few dollar bills to throw on the bar as a tip. Suddenly, Bella was right beside me, her hand pushing mine away. "I got this, Danny Zuko," she said, throwing a five dollar bill on the bar.
I laughed, too wrapped up in the fact that her little hand was touching mine to get mad over yet another dig at my leather jacket. I proceeded to follow her out of the bar.
We silently walked back to the diner. "My car is over there," she said quietly, pointing to a parking garage across the street. Shoving her hands in her pockets, she fixed her eyes on the ground. "Thanks for the company tonight, Edward. You completely made me forget about my bad day."
As I watched the slight blush creep over her cheeks, I smiled sadly. I wasn't ready for the night to end. I wasn't ready for this girl to walk back out of my life. Not yet. "Bella," I said, grinning at the idea that had popped into my head at that moment. "Will you wait here for me? For just a minute? I have to run back in there. I think I forgot something." She nodded in acknowledgement.
"I'll be right back out!" I turned on my heel and headed into the diner. This girl wasn't going anywhere, at least not yet. And I knew exactly what I had to do to get her to stay, if only for a few more minutes.
My mind was racing as I stood on the sidewalk outside of the diner. I didn't know exactly what time it was, but I knew it was late. Jacob was probably filling up my voicemail box, unaware of the fact that I hadn't the slightest clue where my cell phone actually was. I hadn't meant to stay out so late, but Edward's company proved to be exactly what I needed that night. As we talked about everything under the sun, I found myself feeling happier than I had been in months.
I guess he wasn't such a creep after all.
I closed my eyes and leaned against the cool brick wall of the building. I was dreading going home and facing World War 3: Bella vs. Jacob. What the hell was I supposed to tell him? Oh, sorry, Jacob, I was out all night with a terribly attractive man. Yeah, that would go over really well.
"I have a confession." I opened my eyes to see Edward standing in front of me, plastic bag in hand. He had that mischievous grin playing on his lips again.
I eyed the bag suspiciously. "What?" I asked, unable to suppress my own grin.
"Well, earlier, I noticed that you were lusting after something," he said, raising an eyebrow. "And I couldn't let you go home without getting exactly what you wanted." He stepped closer to me, his eyes fixed on mine.
I wasn't sure whether to be angry or embarrassed. I could feel my face getting hot as I tried to figure out what he meant. I thought I had done a pretty good job so as not to let onto the fact that I thought he was the most gorgeous man that I had ever laid eyes on. "Edward," I said a bit too breathily.
As he laid his hand on my shoulder, his face broke out into a huge smile. Lifting the bag up, he revealed the contents of the bag to me. "One apple pie and two forks."
Relieved, I laughed. "Was I really that obvious?"
"You were drooling."
I wanted to take him up on his offer, I really did. The thought of that apple pie was making me salivate. Unfortunately, the thoughts of Jacob were canceling that out at the moment. "I have to get home," I insisted. "My… roommate… is probably worried sick about me." My roommate? Why did I just say roommate?
Edward's face fell, making me feel absolutely terrible. "Come on," he said gently. "What's one more hour? We can walk down to the lake and eat it. After that, I promise I'll let you go."
Surprised at how hearing him say he would let me go affected me, I tried the chanting technique yet again. Jacob, Jacob, Jacob, Jacob...
"One more hour."
He laughed as we started making our way down to the lake.
We sat on a bench overlooking the lake, the only light coming from the numerous streetlamps along the street. The city was eerily quiet as we sat, talking softly in between bites of apple pie. There never seemed to be a lull in the conversation between us.
"Tell me, Bella," Edward said suddenly, his green eyes locking with mine. "Are you happy?"
I stared at him, not quite sure how to answer his question. Finally, I decided to go with honesty. "No," I admitted, taking another bite of pie.
His face softened. "May I ask why?"
"I feel like I've had the life sucked out of me, Edward. I go to work at my demoralizing job. I come home. I spend the weekends laying around, trying to work up the motivation to even take a shower. Repeat." I could feel tears welling up in my eyes, and, suddenly, I felt stupid. What was it about this boy that made me spill my guts at the drop of a hat?
"I used to play the piano," he said softly. Relieved that he was turning the conversation to himself, I looked up at him. He was staring wistfully into the lake. "It was the one thing in my life that I was passionate about. If I was having a bad day, I could just lose myself in my music. It was so calming, so soothing. I used to play for hours…"
"Why did you stop?" It was my turn to pry.
I watched as his features shifted, a pained look on his face. "My mother was my biggest fan." He closed his eyes, losing himself in the memory. "I would play for her constantly – while she cooked dinner, while she did the laundry, while she cleaned the house. She would give my original compositions the most ridiculous titles, naming them after her housework." He laughed to himself. "When she died, I lost all of the passion that I had for that piano."
He turned his head away from me. "When she died, I lost all of the passion that I had for life."
I wanted to comfort him, to wrap my arms around him and tell him that I knew exactly where he was coming from, but I couldn't. I barely knew him. "I'm sorry," I finally breathed.
He turned his attention back to the lake. "I've never told anyone that," he whispered.
We sat in silence for a few minutes. As I stared out into the water, I tried to ignore the rapid beating of my heart. I had known Edward for all of 6 hours, yet I somehow felt closer to him than anyone else in my life at that moment. Overcome by the emotion, I suddenly blurted out one of my deepest secrets.
"When I was seventeen, I was sexually assaulted by a thirty-year-old man." Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his head snap toward me automatically. "It was the worst night of my life. It ruined my relationship, it ruined my friendships, it ruined me. That's when I lost my passion for life."
"Bella…" He wanted to say something, but I cut him off.
"It was five years ago, but it still affects you, you know? You never feel 'normal.' When something like that happens, you wallow in self pity for years. You blame yourself, you push everyone away, you cry… but then you have to make a choice. You can choose to let it define who you are as a person, or you can choose to become stronger because of it. I chose to become stronger, Edward, but I'm still trying to find that passion again."
I turned to face him. "I've never told anyone that."
Again, we sat in silence for a few moments, not quite sure of what to say. Within a matter of hours, Edward and I had gone from perfect strangers to sharing our deepest emotions. It was a lot to take in.
Suddenly, Edward snatched the apple pie up from in between us. I felt a pang of regret as I realized that I had said too much. He was getting up to leave. To my surprise, though, he placed the pie on the other side of him, scooting his body closer to me. I felt my heart speed up as he closed the space that was between us. He placed his hand on top of my right hand, resting in my lap. Trying to ignore how amazing his hand felt on mine, I looked up at him.
"Is this okay?" he asked quietly, searching my eyes for something.
I looked at his hand on mine, asking myself that exact question. It wasn't okay, though. It wasn't okay that Edward's hand on mine was making my heart swell ten times its normal size. It wasn't okay that his hand on mine was making me feel more emotion than I felt when making love to my own boyfriend. It wasn't okay that his hand on mine was stirring up feelings that I thought had been long gone. It wasn't okay at all.
It was perfect.
I flipped my hand over, interlacing my fingers with his. As I absentmindedly stroked the top of his hand with my free hand, I smiled up at him. "I guess it is," I admitted quietly.
We sat like that for hours, talking intimately about our lives. He spoke of his birth mother and his adoptive parents. I told him about my parents' divorce and my decision to leave both of them behind for my own mental health. "Our relationship is much healthier when it's maintained strictly over the phone," I laughed.
"That's why I worry sometimes," he admitted, stretching his legs out in front of him. "Part of me wants children someday in the not-so-near future, but I'm so scared that I'd screw them up. Parents always screw their kids up, you know? Too much attention, not enough attention. They either left them or they took them under their wing and taught them the wrong things."
He laughed, continuing, "I guess I really shouldn't worry about things like that yet, though. I've never even had a girlfriend long enough to entertain the idea of children. It's not that I'm afraid of commitment or love or anything. I mean, sometimes I even dream about being a good husband and a good father. I just can't stick around in a relationship that is obviously built on all the wrong things."
I winced as he said that, thinking of my own relationship. My own relationship which I still had not managed to mention to Edward. I had shared my dreams, my hopes, and my fears with him. He knew my heart inside and out by that point, but he still knew nothing about Jacob. What a terrible person I was.
"Shit," he said under his breath, snapping me back into the present.
He looked at me and sheepishly nodded toward the lake. "I guess I kept you longer than I'd intended."
I followed his gaze and immediately knew what he was referring to. The sun was rising over the lake, casting gorgeous orange and red streaks across the sky. "I've lived in Chicago for almost a year, and have never seen the sun rise over Lake Michigan," I admitted. "It's beautiful."
"Absolutely breathtaking," Edward concurred. I felt my face grow hot, as the fact that he was looking at me when he said that did not escape me.
As I gazed into the water, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I'm not sure what it was, but I was suddenly overcome by emotion. Maybe it was the way the brilliant colors were reflected on the lake. Maybe it was the fact that I had just poured my soul out to this beautiful stranger, confessing all the things that had been buried inside of me for so long. Maybe it was the fact that I knew it was all coming to an end.
"I really need to get home," I whispered, looking at the ground.
"Yeah," he agreed quietly.
We sat there for a few minutes, neither one of us wanting to make the first move. Finally, Edward stood up reluctantly and reached for my hand. I took it, suddenly feeling very heavy, as he led me back up the street.
Our walk to the diner was completely silent. As I stood on the sidewalk, looking up at him, I couldn't find the words to say. He was just as gorgeous in the daylight. His hair had gone from stylishly messy to just plain unkempt, and there were faint circles under his eyes from staying up all night, but nothing could take away from that face, those eyes.
"Thank you," I finally breathed. "For everything." There were so many things I wanted to tell him, but all I could focus on was the feeling that my chest was going to collapse at any second.
"It was absolutely amazing to meet you," he replied, his voice like silk. I bit my lip as I met his gaze, trying to calm down my rapidly beating heart. He took a step toward me, his fingertips brushing against my cheek as he tucked a wayward strand of hair behind my ear. I felt my breath hitch as he brought his lips down to kiss the spot where his hand had just been. "Bella," he whispered. The feeling of his warm breath on my skin combined with the way his name rolled of his tongue created a stirring inside of me that I had never experienced. I was sure that my heart was going to explode out of my chest at any moment.
"You, too," was all I could manage to choke out. "Goodbye, Edward."
I allowed myself one more glance into his eyes before turning on my heel and rushing across the street to the parking garage.
Finally letting my emotions take over, I burst into tears as soon as I got into my car. I had been numbing my emotions for so long; it felt amazing to just be able let everything out, even if just for one night. After my sobs dulled down to silent tears, I started my car. I had to get out of there fast, before Edward realized we hadn't exchanged phone numbers, or last names for the matter. I had to get out of there before I let the part of me that wanted to run back to him take over.
As I drove away from that parking garage, I couldn't bring myself to think about the confrontation with Jacob that lied ahead. I couldn't think about anything. I had never felt more alive than I did during those ten hours I'd spent with Edward. He had awakened so many dormant emotions in me, probably even more than I realized. And I would never see him again.
During the commute home, I couldn't help but notice that the numbness that I had inside of me for years was gone. It had been replaced by a dull ache in my chest, a longing for something that I would never know again.
Author's note: Reviews would be appreciated, as I'm nervous about how my writing will be received! I love how this story is shaping up in my head, and I plan on updating at least once a week, but I'm aiming for twice a week.