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1 Joining the Lonely Hearts Club

    Samanta had just locked her car's door when the rain started. Cold, fat drops running trough her neck and dampening her messy ponytail. The thin jacket she was wearing was definitely not enough to prevent the chilling sensation that ran down her spine, making her body slightly tremble.

    "Fine" she mumbled to herself, breathing deeply before running the few steps towards the large stone building where she lived "what else can go wrong today?".

    Closing her eyes tightly in an attempt to rein in her frustration, she remembered those last two hours with painful clarity, cursing herself all the way up the stairs until her apartment on the fifth floor.

    Looking back at the last two days, of course she should have seen it coming. All those late nights working, the secret phone calls, the growing detachment... Well, it was all there for her to see. As her best friend normally pointed out, Sam seemed to simply not know how to live on her own - which resulted in chronicle selective blindness.

    Since her parents death, four years earlier, she had been in and out of disastrous relationships, some more problematic than others. There was Cain, a colleague on her first job that just wanted her to do everything for him while he dated his OTHER girlfriend. Then there was Richard. Pretty boy next door. She had just received her inheritance when the two of them started dating. It lasted just as long as the limit of her credit card. After that came Charles, and then Ross...

    And now David.

    The lowest, most insufferable type of human being she had ever had the misfortune to meet. A tall, dark-haired leech that had been feeding on her dreams for the past eight months. And that probably would have still be attached to her, if not for that moment of inspiration that made she answer his phone while he was in the shower - something she never did.

    She needed two words to know something was wrong, and then a quick search through his computer - also something she never did - to understand that everything was over. That the scumbag had stolen and patented her family formula, so he could now sell it to the highest bidder.

    Sam actually felt sick to her stomach.

    She didn't need to revise her sad love life history to know what the problem was. Deep down, Sam always knew she just didn't like feeling alone. After the fire that had taken the lives of her parents, and being an only child with no close relatives, she presumed it was understandable for her to seek companionship.

    Right?

    Well, no matter. It was over now. Just like her dream of opening her own business.

    Sighing deeply, she fumbled a bit until finding her keys on her bag and opened the front door just in time to hear her phone ringing.

    That person, whoever she was, indeed had a perfect timing.

    Scrunching her lips in a sour look, she locked her door once more and kicked the high heeled shoes carelessly before falling on the soft cushion of her sofa and stretching one arm to catch to phone.

    "Samanta..."

    "So, how was it?" a familiar voice said before she could complete her name "Did you beat him?"

    Sam closed her eyes again, feeling a all too well known headache creeping closer and closer.

    "You mean, if I beat my cheating Boyfriend that not only lied to me but also stole the family formula I was planing to use to start my own business?"

    On the other side of the line, Amelia snorted.

    "Well, when you put it like that..."

    "I know."

    "So... You did beat that piece of sh*t, right?"

    Sam couldn't help laughing at her friend, her light tone betrayed by the wicked glee she could imagine on her blue eyes.

    "Yes, I did beat him. And, I've got to say, it was surprisingly satisfying" she admitted, pushing her knees up and crossing her legs so to be on a more comfortable position.

    "Better late than never, girl!" Amelia chanted approvingly "That a*s didn't deserve you".

    "So you said about the last four."

    "And I was right about each and every one".

    Sam bit her lower lip, taking her time in assessing her friend's words. She had always been one to think long and deep before doing anything, and wasn't one to do anything halfheartedly. Whenever she decided to do something, she would put her heart and soul into it until the very end.

    Even if the results weren't all that satisfying. Just like all those guys she had been with. It hadn't mattered how much effort she exerted to make things work with them. It had always been one sided.

    And she had always felt lonely. Even when she lied to herself, repeating time and again that those guys were just one phone call away. That if she didn't show up at work the next day they'd notice, even if no-one else did. But it was all like the pretty paint on a wood box: thin, breakable. The type that, with any scratch, would show you the darkness underneath.

    And really, how could they care for her when she wasn't sure she cared for herself?

    Oh, her head hurt. A lot.

    "Sam" Amelia called suddenly, bringing her back to that cold, rainy night "You still there? Look, I'm sorry if..."

    "Mel" she interrupted, feeling a bit detached from herself when that one truth finally downed upon her "I think you are right".

    "Well, sure. I usually am" the other girl agreed goodheartedly "But... What exactly am I right about this time?"

    She couldn't contain the faint giggle that passed through her lips - even if she herself was one who rolled her eyes at giggling girls.

    "I think that's it for me. I'm done with guys".

    The deafening silence between the two girls was only cut off by the sour of the rain hitting the glass windows and pooling on the small balcony outside the dining room.

    "Don't get me wrong now Sam" Mel started carefully, her voice uncertain "I'm all for gender equality and sexuality freedom, but I never got you for a...".

    "WHAT?" Sam felt her eyes widening and jaw dropping "NO! I'm not lesbian! Oh my, Amelia, where did that come from?!".

    "Well, you just said you were done with guys" her friend defended herself, sniffing "what was I supposed to think?".

    "I don't know, maybe that I would adopt celibacy?"

    "Girl, I never knew you gave it up to begin with." she singsonged wickedly.

    Sam felt her cheeks heating.

    "This is really not the point! Can we please be serious here? I'm coming to a life altering decision!" she complained, mildly annoyed at Amelia's laughter.

    "Ok, ok, sorry. But really Sam. Aren't we being a bit extreme here? To sworn off all man population? I mean, I know you've stumbled on some bad ones but...".

    "No, I'm sure" Sam decided, feeling her resolution grow stronger "No more boyfriends. Nada. From now on, it'll be only you and me!".

    "Hum... Are you sure?"

    "A hundred per cent".

    "Well, that's something I supposed" Amelia conceded " it seams you will finally join Miss Amelia's Lonely Hearts Club, hein?!".

    Sam laughed.

    "I thought it was St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club".

    Amelia feigned affront.

    "Well, it is not. And you are not a Beatle, so shut up and go along".

    "Yes ma'am".

    To two of them laughed, the air suddenly much lighter as their conversation wavered to other topics.

    It was already past midnight when Amelia remembered her friend had a big day coming tomorrow and decided to hang up the phone.

    When she woke up the next morning, in spite of a headache that refused to leave and an uneasy feeling she couldn't shake off, Samanta felt well enough to brave the day and discorde what else her future held in store for her.

    "Well, let's see how things go from now on!" she said to herself, smiling at the dissolved image on the mirror "It simply can't go worst than yesterday".

    As if the havens had taken it as a challenge, a thunder tore trough the sky.

    In the years to come, Sam would constantly remind herself that keeping your mouth shut was an underestimated virtue!
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