Shayla couldn't remember the last time she had been on a first date.

In part, that was due to the accident and memory loss, but even so, afterward? Her extra curricular activities when it came to the opposite sex couldn't exactly be considered 'date' like material. Sure, they were labeled as dates, but more often than not, they turned out to be last minute plans thrown together. A quick bite to eat, maybe meeting for a drink, some coffee after work. None of them had exactly ranked high on the chart of romantic endeavors. She assumed that it had something to do with the ability to open an app, swipe to the right and suddenly be connected with someone, or something smiliar to that effect. She couldn't knock online dating, though. She was fortunate enough to know a few people who had been lucky to find love, or something smiliarly resembling love on the internet, but it just wasn't for her. She got bored easily. There were only so many 'lols' and wink face emojis that one could send before it began to lose its luster. So, save for a few drunken evenings in which openly ogling and then swiping on faces of some of Boston's most eligible, she deleted the app and decided that it was better just to leave it be.

But there she stood, staring at her reflection in the full length mirror, nervous for a first date. God, she thought to herself as she tucked some hair behind her ear, You're being that girl right now. Stop thinking about it. However, that was more easily said than done. Somewhere, not so deep down inside, she feared that this would all go south quickly and would, in turn, ruin a friendship that came from a less than ideal circumstance, as well as potential for ruined employment. Absolutely nothing to worry about...except there was everything to worry about. She often wondered if her pre-accident self had been this worried about things. From what she picked up from bits and pieces shared by Cyril and the handful of friends that bothered to give a damn after all was said and done, she hadn't done much dating during law school. There had been one guy, but it fizzled out almost as quickly as it began. They were a couple in name only, but barely spent any time together. He hadn't even bothered to show up at the hospital. A small bouquet of soft pink roses had arrived in her room at one point with a simple note that said 'sorry' and she could only assume that it had been from the now unknown suitor. But there was no other attempt made to reach out. Since then? It was a string forgettable interactions with even more forgettable partners.

Until now

Pulling a coat over the ensemble that Lily had been kind enough to pick out for her, she concluded that the only reason why she was nervous was because there was so much to lose, and for the first time in a long while? She actually liked her date. It was more than just purely physical, even if she hadn't readily admitted that to anyone but herself. Eyes back on her reflection once more, feeling suddenly overdressed and unsure of how to proceed foward, something caught her eye in the corner of the mirror. Since the accident, she had taken to writing things down on post-its, cutting out quotes from magazines, or holding onto scraps of paper with any sorts of words of encouragement or something that she found inspiring and posted them around the room, as artfully as possible. Tucked behind a polaroid shot of her and Lily from what she assumed was a girl's night or some sort was a quote she had no doubt found while randomly google searching that she scribbled down and pasted up in an effort to find inspiration. Gently pulling off the now aged post-it from the glass surface, a smile tugged at her lips. "When in doubt? Wear Red."

The Bill Blass quote could apply to anything, really. Red shoes, a red purse. It was a power color for a reason, after all. Turning suddenly on her heel, she scurried over to her large, abandoned bag and dug through it to find the desired object. Her hand closing aroudn the tube, she let out a triumphant sigh while pulling off the top and returning back to her spot in front of th mirror. Her once light pink lips were suddenly brought back to life with the simple touch of the creamy, red substance. Lips rubbing together for a moment, she clutched onto the tube while once again inspecting her reflection. The only indication of the swarm of butterflies storming around in the pit of her stomach was the slight flutter that was felt, however, she suddenly felt better. The matte red both brightened and still offered a classic look. She wasn't sure where the night would lead but she knew that whatever doubts that had been present? Were suddenly hidden beneath the rouge. The doorbell rang and she took in a deep breath, slipping the lipstick into her clutch purse for the evening. If the doubts sufraced again? She'd be ready with a second application.

Sitting in the middle of her bedroom floor, Shayla dumped the contents of her purse out onto the carpet and began sifting through. It had been over a month since she had done this sort of thing. A ritual cleansing of the bag was necessary. It was beginning to fill up with unecessary slips of paper, reciepts for coffees bought and hair ties that she thought had been lost forever. Today's quest? to find the missing pair of earbuds she had thrown in there a little over a week ago and still couldn't locate. Eyes scanning over the spilled contents, a frown tugged at her lips when they didn't readily appear. Bag in her hand once more, she opened it up once again and peered inside. That's when the bright pink piece of paper caught her eye. Eyebrows raised in question, she reached in to pull at it. Slight hesitancy coming from the piece of tape that lined the top, she managed to hold the post-it between her thumb and index finger to read the writing.

find Carter

When had she written this? It had to have been her, how else would it have ended up in her purse? Maybe she had picked it up at some point during a shift at the tavern and put it in her purse to figure it out later? But no, it wasn't someone else's. It was her small, loopy, handwriting. It seemed a little darker than her usual writing, like there was pressure being put down on the pen because it was being rushed. But there was absolutely no recollection of when she would have written it. Glancing up to look at the room, her eyes stopped at the small desk tucked away in the corner. Climbing to her feet, she walked over and began pushing around the papers there, all the while the note still in her other hand. The stack of post-its on the corner of the desk caught her attention. The colorful jewel tones sets were her favorite. It was a small consolation to be had when they were used to label everything. After the accident, it had been her way to recall things and while it wasn't nearly as a commonplace to do as it once had been, she still had the occasional post-it pasted onto or against something, a detailed description of why written in her usually neat cursive.

The current stack was still on the bright pink, which meant it had to have been written within the past six weeks or so. Dropping down onto the desk chair, she stared at the post-it in her hand, the two words nearly jumping off the slip of paper and yelling at her to remember why it had been written. Grabbing the dayplanner off to her left, she flipped back a month, scanning through her notes and scribbles to see if there was any other indication of what it could mean. No mention of a Carter on any of the notes, no appointments made with that name attached. She stopped at the last week of February, beginning of March and her eyes narrowed. There it was, an entire week completely void of any notes. The week that she couldn't remember much of anything from. It had to be where the post-it was from. Finding no help from the lack of information written down, she shut the planner and pushed it off to the side, rising from her chair and crossing the room once more, sinking down onto the bed. She wasn't sure why she felt the note was significant, but there was something about it. Fingertips ghosting over the surface of the paper, she could still feel the indentation the hard pressing of the pen had made. It felt urgent. Find Carter. Like it was the final piece to those handful of missing days. Find Carter. But how would she find Carter? Where would she even start to look? Was Carter a person, or a place? Find Carter. And more importnatly, whoever or whatever Carter was, did they/it want to be found?

Find Carter.

"Where the hell are you, Carter?" she whispered to no one in particular.

S.Ward - Personal
Morning, Shayla. Any updates on my flight information?
Morning, boss. As far as I know, you're still leaving from Logan on time. I rerouted the all flight updates to your work phone in order to keep the traffic down on your personal.
You are an angel. A godsend. Have I told you that lately?
Not lately, but I'll take it. Have to say, I've been given a few job offers the past few weeks that are extremely convincing to take.
I'm calling bullshit. I'll double your pay and cover all alternative therapies you want to try.
Look who came to play.
Protecting my assests. Those are the perks when it's your name in front of the "and Associates" portion of the logo.
It's good to be boss.
Indeed it is. Alright, I've got a few hours before my flight. I should probably start packing.
Probably. It's the only thing you don't pay me to do.
That's true. Oh! The file updates?
Already scanned in and uploaded to our main server, the icloud, and sent to your email.
Again. Angelic, a godsend. Etc. etc.
Just doing my job.
Tell whoever offered you alternative employment that they can pull their offers off the table. You're not going anywhere. I'll take 'em to court and I'll win. It's kind of my job and what not.
hah! no worries. I'm staying put.
Good, because I'm pretty sure I couldn't function without you.
Aw, was that sentiment I spy?
Shh, don't ruin the moment. It's fleeting. Embrace it. I'll see you in a week.