*Like a Rose*
By: Katie (Princessilsa@aol.com)

    Greenlee came breezing into Jake's loft at 8 am sharp. He looked at
her
in a mixture of confusion and amusement from his position on the couch.

    "Hi, Greenlee," he greeted.

    "Hey," she replied, casually tossing her keys onto the counter. "I
forgot
to give you those"

    He nodded, raising an eyebrow. "And that's the only reason you're
here?"

    "Yeah, well, you know, that… and I wanted to ask you how I look,"
she
finished.

    "Um- well, Greenlee, you look great. You always do, but-"

    "There's a but?" she questioned.

    "The thing is, I'm not sure tweed is you're best fabric," he
informed
her, struggling to suppress a grin.

    "What's wrong with it?" she asked a bit defensively, smoothing down
her
tweed, knee- length skirt.

    "Well… nothing! I'm just not sure it's YOU."

    "That's where you're wrong, Jake," she said determinedly. "This IS
me.
It's the new me! I told you, I'm changing my whole attitude. I mean,
I'm
skilled! I have a degree. I can be a hard worker."

    A small laugh escaped from him as she made her last point.

    "I CAN!" she insisted. "From today I'm going to be a whole new me."

    "Well," Jake said calmly. "That's good, Greenlee, but the truth is
I sort
of liked the old you."

    Her eyes softened and she smiled slightly, sitting down next to
him.
"That's nice of you to say, Jake, but you're going to like the new me
even
better." She paused for a second. "How's your leg?"

    He shrugged. "Getting better. So tell me how is the 'new' you going
to be
different?"

    "Um-" she began seriously, thinking hard, "I'm going to stop
drinking."

    He nodded. "Okay…" he responded, waving his hand in encouragement
for her
to continue.

    "And I'm not going to envy other people, and I'm going to be happy
with
myself, and not be selfish, and I'll put the people I care about first.
Um…
I'll…"

    "I think that's enough to start, Greenlee," he offered generously.
    "I'll be a giver!" she exclaimed, ignoring him. "I'll help other
people
even when it won't help me. I'll forget about Le… PEOPLE… who
discourage me.
I'll-"
    "Never make it one day," he predicted with a wry grin.

    "You don't think I can be a good person?" she asked, hurt.

    "I think you already ARE a good person. Yes, you could use some
serious
improvement, but most people could. Just be yourself."

    "This is the new myself," she insisted stubbornly. "I think. Be
quiet,
you're confusing me," she whined.
    He laughed. She glared at him, but forced herself to give him a
thin
smile. "Did I mention I'm going to be forgiving?" she questioned. He
shook
his head no.

                                                                        
CONTINUE Chapter 1
Chapters: 1   2
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