The sun started to creep through the cracks in the blinds as he lay in bed fully awake. He rolled to his side and looked at the clock. His alarm was not set to awaken him for another two hours, but it was no use to try to sleep. Howie hadn't slept very well the weeks following his drunken night, waking the next morning to find he got himself implanted. He looked down at his wrist with the timer and groaned as he watched the timer tick away the seconds.
“Stupid, stupid, estupido.” He said out loud to himself. How was he going to prove to Anna that they were meant to be as the timer counted down until he would meet his one true love? AJ was no comfort when he talked of his regrets the morning after he'd been implanted He couldn't see Nick sympathizing with him and Brian would only admonish him for insisting on the implant in the first place and pushing Anna away.
Since he wasn't going to get any sleep anyway, Howie decided to get up and start his day. He rolled out of the bed and ran his hand through hair. He made his way into the bathroom and started running the water for a shower. He peeled off his underwear and stood in the shower as the water went from cold to warm to hot.
Thirty minutes later he was drying off and browsing through his clothes trying to decide what to wear for the day. The smell of coffee wafted up into his room. The smell started to wake him and he picked up her pace a little. “Coffee?” He questioned while pulling his shirt on. He didn't remember setting the timer on the clock to start brewing today. The smell of churrizo began to waft upstairs, now he knew there was no timer to start cooking breakfast. Curiosity getting the better of him, he wandered downstairs.
Before he turned into the kitchen he could hear Usher's 'More' playing quietly. He turned into the kitchen and stood back and watched as Anna stood over the stove cooking. Her hips moving to the beat of the song. How he'd missed watching her dancing around as she made breakfast or cleaned.
“That's a sight I have missed,” Howie broke the silence, he noticed Anna jump a few inches before turning to face Howie.
“Howie,” She smiled, holding the spatula. “How long have you been standing there?”
“Just a couple of minutes,” He moved closer and making sure he used his timer-less arm he took the spatula from her. “I'll take it from here.” He kissed her cheek lightly and finished up the breakfast.
He placed the plates on the island and stood across from her. He kept his arm with the timer down. “To what do I owe this visit?” He sprinkled hot sauce over his eggs and churrizo before spearing a piece and putting it in his mouth.
He watched Anna play with her food, moving it around her plate. “Anna?” He questioned. He knew something was up.
“I feel so bad for standing you up the other night. I wanted to be there, but my sister nagged at me and I gave in to her and didn't show.” She reached her arm across and placed her hand on Howie's.
“So would you like to have dinner tonight to talk?” Even with the timer on his arm ticking away, he still wanted to work things out with Anna. He still felt he wanted to be with her the rest of his life. He'd heard of people getting the timers removed. He would do that before meeting her for dinner.
She bit her lip and continued talking. “There is more.” She looked down at her plate of food. “I was rash, it was crazy, it was stupid...” Her eyes filled with tears as she spoke.
“Anna?” he moved closer to her and started to put his arms around her, but before he could she thrust her arm in front of him. He now knew what she was talking about. His eyes widened as saw the timer ticking down the time until Anna meets her one true love.
“I was drunk, my sister, she was trying to get me to get over you and she drug me to this place and I got implanted.” tears were flowing from her eyes now. “I...”
Howie cupped her head in his hands and looked her straight in the eye. “Anna, I love you and I always will. I don't care that you have a timer on your wrist. I still believe we are meant to be.”
“But how, you thought if we got them you and I would zero out and it would prove we are meant to be and now...” She started to pull her head away turning her eyes to see the timer on Howie's wrist. “Oh God, you have one too.” She pulled away and grabbed her purse. “I should go. I knew this was a bad idea. You've moved on and I should too.”
“Anna please,” Howie called after her as she opened the door. Howie followed her to her car. “I don't care about this,” he lifted his wrist again. “It can be removed. I have felt lost without you the last few months.”
His words fell on no ears as Anna sped down the driveway and down the street. “Shit!” He yelled running his hands through his hair and turning back to the house.