Snap Shots Series: Picture Perfect


It was all happening in slow motion. It was that "Dream-Weaver" Wayne's World sort of hazy vision that makes everything and everyone in your vision seem perfect, almost too perfect.

Willa had seen things like this happen to people in the movies. That moment in the movie where the main character finally gets to find out that the leading man is in love with her. Willa felt it, but had never gotten as nervous watching a movie scene as she was right then. This was the real thing.

He was here.

In New York.

For her.

She caught site of him when he entered the restaurant. He was alone and for the first time she saw some vulnerability on his part. He seemed a little nervous and kept looking around as if someone was going to go and jump out at him since the security crew wasn't with him.

As he approached her, the only sound she could hear was the beating of her heat. It filled her ears and almost got to the point of being annoying, but there were other things to think about so she tuned it out and tried to pay attention. She wanted to remember everything about this moment. The only things she could see were the smile on his face and that twinkle in his eyes that was undeniable. It was love. Nothing else seemed to matter.

"I'm glad I caught you," he said almost breathlessly as if he'd been in a hurry to find her. He pulled her into his arms, fitting her close to him as if she belonged there permanently. It felt good to be in his arms, although she was a little anxious to know why he'd traded his flight out west for one going north. "I have something to tell you."

She leaned back and her heart seemed to pause as if it was waiting to stop forever if he said the wrong thing. "What?" she asked with a smile. She leaned against him and hugged him again. She caught sight of Amy's face and could tell that something wasn't right. When she turned and saw that he wasn't smiling she let her face relax. "What do you need to tell me?"

"Sit down," he said and walked with her around to the booth where she, Amy, and Spanky had been for the last hour.

Amy had arrived as she'd promised and they'd spent their time together discussing the pros and cons of her future relationship with Lance.


"He's not an asshole anymore," she stated when Amy started in with her critique of Lance. Amy had the right to bash him, since she'd been doing the same thing for weeks now, but something had changed in her and she suddenly felt like she needed to defend him since he couldn't defend himself at the moment. "I don't know what happened…" She really couldn't help but to wonder if Lance really had been pretending or if it had all been real. She wanted it to be real so badly that she prayed that it really would be. "It's not the same anymore."

"He was nice to you for about twelve hours!" Amy made a face and threw her hands in the air in frustration. "Granted that's got to be a record from him, but it's nothing special! Guys aren't supposed to treat girls like he's treated you. He's practically ruined your life. It was career suicide to get involved with them."

"What are you talking about?" she asked. "I've gotten a lot of work because of him. A lot of work that I wouldn't have gotten without the extra publicity."

"Well I hope that it's worth it," Amy said, "No woman should have to go through all the shit that he's done to you…"

She sighed and sipped her drink then checked the clock, praying that his flight would get their earlier. She needed to prove, not only to Amy, but to herself, that he wasn't the jerk that she'd been fighting for the past few months. He had to have changed. She never would have thought that he would fly to New York just to tell her something if it wasn't something important and if he really cared about her. "He's really not that bad."

"Well then the next time he grabs you and yells at you don't come looking for my sympathy."

"I won't."


"Oh," she said and looked around for a moment. "This is Amy."

She felt strange for a moment wondering about the big news he needed to share with her. Spanky had said it was something huge and her curiosity was getting to her. She wanted it to be him telling her that things were going to be ok between them. He'd hinted about it in the airport in Orlando, but she wanted some promises. Promises not for time or for space for them, but just the idea that he was thinking of her as much as she was thinking of him.

Lance spoke to Amy for a moment. She was glad to hear Amy actually being civil to Lance as everyone settled into their seats at the table.

"I have some news…"

"I know. Spanky told me."

"Spanky told you what?" he said suddenly.

"Told me that you needed to talk to me."

"Oh." He took a breath. "I don't know how to say this."

"Say it," she encouraged him.

He leaned towards her and kissed her softly.

She pulled back. "Please tell me."

He leaned and kissed her again. He made eye contact with her and began to open his mouth to speak, then stopped again.

"Just say it!" Willa said with a smile when he seemed to pause.

Lance took her hand and squeezed it as he spoke; "Tracy's dead."

Willa could feel her heart stop in her chest. Her mind raced with crazy thoughts. She wanted him to repeat his news. He hadn't said the right thing. He hadn't. She at first didn't even realize what he had said because her ears were still ringing with the thought that he hadn't said "I love you." The blood drained from every appendage. Her hands went numb and her toes began to tingle and for an instant she saw black. Her smile faded and her breath caught in her throat.

"What?" she finally choked out.

"Her mother called and said that she died this morning," Lance explained. There was a pained look on his face.

She wasn't sure how to take it all in. She'd been expecting good news and what she'd gotten had taken the floor out from under her. This was so not what she wanted to be hearing right now. She'd run the whole thing through her mind over and over while she'd been waiting and this wasn't how it was supposed to be going.

"No." Willa let go of hi hand and looked around. This wasn't a joke. No one was kidding around and certainly no one was laughing. "No."

"Willa?" Lance's concern was evident to her, but she tried to ignore it.

"No!" she said loudly. She got up from her seat and began to collect her things. When she had everything she pushed past Lance, who'd gotten up and was trying to block her exit.

"Willa?" Lance called to her as she started to walk away. When she didn't stop he called to her again then he maneuvered around her and came between her and the door. "Willa wait!"

"Why are you doing this to me?" she asked pushing at him when he wouldn't move. "Do you enjoy seeing the tears? Is that your sick obsession?"

"What?" he asked.

"This is probably some sick thing you like to do. I guess the last day or so we had together went too well. I expected you to ruin it, but this really takes the cake!"

"What are you talking about?" he asked.

"I'm talking about the fact that every word out of your mouth is a lie!" She watched the words sink in. She'd hurt him with that one, but she didn't find herself enjoying the feeling. Not that she enjoyed fighting with him, but at least before she would have at least gotten some sort of satisfaction out of seeing him as confused or hurt, the way she'd been so often. "Why should I believe this?"

She pushed again and stalked out of the VIP lounge and found herself outside a few moments later trying to hail a cab, although she didn't remember exactly how she'd gotten there.

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