Apart at the Seams

The sideways sequel to the bestselling novels, Life from Scratch and Measure of Love.

What if you could play mental musical chairs and sit down on someone else’s thoughts? Apart at the Seams tells the same tale as Measure of Love from Arianna Quinn’s point-of-view, filling in what is really happening as she pulls away from her best friend. From her budding friendship with Noah Reiser, writer for the popular comedy news show, the Nightly to her relationship with Ethan Katz, her best friend’s brother, Arianna navigates the world of single motherhood while trying to listen to her heart and discovers that the truth is as slippery as the satin she embroiders at work, especially in the lies we tell ourselves.

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Excerpt of Apart at the Seams

My best friend, Rachel, makes blogging look so easy. From what I can tell, she just vomits out the contents of her brain onto the screen, hits PUBLISH, and waits for the accolades and advice to come pouring into her comment section like the tide racing up the sand. So why have I been sitting here, staring at the blinking cursor for over an hour, trying to write my very first blog post? All I can think to write down is I can’t believe I’m asking my boyfriend to move in I can’t believe I’m asking my boyfriend to move in I can’t believe I’m asking my boyfriend to move in, and that doesn’t even amount to a paragraph.

But I can’t believe I’m asking Ethan to move in tonight despite the fact that I can’t really wrap my mind around whether this is a good idea or not.

I want it to be a good idea. But that isn’t really the same thing as it being a good idea.

Normally I’m not one to mess with the status quo. Our relationship works. Ethan has his place in Brooklyn, and I have my place with my son, Beckett, in Manhattan, and there is a short subway ride between us that goes over the Hudson River. Beckett loves that—when the train breaks out of the darkness and the light sparkles off the water. He bangs his toddler hands against the window of the train car and shrieks, much to the chagrin of the commuters. That subway ride between our apartments feels like a nice buffer, a cotton batting that I can wrap myself in, knowing that all is safe and neat in my world.

Which makes sense because Ethan isn’t exactly the poster child for responsibility. When he stays over, I have to hang back for ten minutes after he leaves, straightening up the apartment. Living with him could end up feeling as if I’m parenting two toddlers, only one leaves an adult-sized mess in his wake. But I can tell that Ethan is trying to turn his life around with his new job, and that has to count for something.

The cursor pulses like a heartbeat, reminding me of the reason I ultimately relented to Rachel’s nagging that I should move the relationship forward even though she knows I never want to get married. I am growing older. My colorist found two silvery hairs the last time I went to get my highlights done. Silver hairs, like snakes waiting in long grass.

What do I have to show for the last five years of taking the safe route? Despite my design training, I’m still just a finisher at Davis & Howe. I still have the same friendships, eat at the same restaurants, attach the same sequins and seed beads to pattern after pattern after someone else’s pattern. My life is familiar, comfortable, like a well-worn pair of pajamas that feels good to slip into at the end of the day.

But don’t I owe myself something more than comfortable? Something more than house clothes? Why did I put in all those hours drawing out my own designs if they’re never going to end up on someone’s body? Why start a relationship if we’re not going to at some point end up living together in sin until death do we part? Isn’t now good enough even if it isn’t quite perfect?

I type and backspace as if my fingers are performing the lindy hop before I decide that maybe blogging just isn’t my thing. I’ve never been an analyzer like Rachel. I catch my reflection like a ghost in the screen. Arianna Quinn is a doer, not a navel-gazer. And this week, she’s going to march her designs over to the atelier designer and ask her what she thinks.

But first, she’s going to invite her boyfriend to share her apartment.


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