“Okay, so, I know you’re new here and everything, but your shift started two minutes ago.” Sharon lifted her eyebrows and lowered her chin as if I’m supposed to read her mind.
I furrowed my brows. “You’re annoyed about two minutes?”
Sharon sighed. “I actually kind of don’t like that tone.”
“Where it sounds like I’m overreacting when I’m not.”
“Okay, Sharon, I’m not new. I’ve worked here before. And I’ve come back after I moved from New York and Martin’s been kind enough to have me back. I know you’re his second in charge but I’m not doing anything wrong and you’ve been on my back since day one.”
She scoffed and chuckled. “I’m just trying to correct your mistakes.”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh my God, Sharon,” I muttered as I propped the glass down and tore through the back room.
I’m about to rip my eyes out over this girl. After settling in L.A. I met up with Martin almost immediately. I explained to him my situation, not all of it considering, but mostly the fact that I wanted something temporary until I found a job. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to rush my life again. I want it to be smooth sailing. I had saved up enough money that would allow me to take it slow and for now, I was working every Friday night at Martin’s until 7PM, and then clocked in at Randy’s at 9PM until 1AM. Any other day, I was on call, which barely happened.
Everything was going fine until I met Miss-Uppity-Sharon. She thinks she’s high and mighty that everything I do annoys her. I mean, two minutes? TWO minutes!? Who cracks it over two minutes? Now she’s teaching me how to fill up glasses and pop caps off of bottles like she starred in a Diddy music video and I’m the new extra. No honey, I’ve always been here. Ugh, you know what irks me the most about her? One time she made a comment about how I failed if I’ve come from New York City and back here. Last thing I need is a complete stranger judging me in that sort of way; it’s half my fault for letting her words get to me but man she’s such a bitch. Is there anything more annoying than a frigid 20 year old on a power trip?
“I see you and Sharon are getting along,” Martin said, pulling up a file from his filing cabinet.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, we’re becoming total buddies.”
“No one can stand her, so don’t take anything personally.”
“If no one can stand her why do you keep her?”
Martin peered up from his papers and smiled. “Are you suggesting I fire her?”
YES! “No,” I mumbled.
“Look, she’s a bitch, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s bad. She gets the job done.”
“Yeah in the meantime people are quitting because they can’t stand her.”
“People like who? You?” Martin laughed. “Why do you care anyway, you’re going to leave soon, aren’t you?”
“I’m not so sure about that,” I looked down at my shirt and brushed some unknown white powder off. Great, I’ve given more chances for Sharon to attack me. Now she’ll say I do crack!
Martin sighed. “Look, I know it’s been hard for you, but you have to know that leaving a life in New York doesn’t mean you left it there. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost the bet. Just means you’ve let the chips fall where they may and now you’re picking up the game new again.”
I smiled. “So philosophical.”
“Call me Socrates. Actually don’t, I’ll just imagine and old, fat, white dude.”
“Well…” I appraised him up and down, lifting a brow.
“Oh, fuck you,” he laughed. “You’re fired, get out of here.”
My laugh with him faded. “Hey, I never got the chance to thank you. You know, for everything. It’s going to take a while before I stop feeling like a failure but you’re helping me a lot.”
“You’re not a failure. And anyone who thinks so also probably think that being a janitor is a pathetic profession. They ain’t even worth the clean-up.” I smiled. He rolled his eyes. “Alright, get the fuck out of here, I got work to do.”
I shook my head and laughed. Martin was never one to be sentimental, it always seemed either too saccharine sweet or fake to him, but I was glad he knocked down that wall just for me. I needed a little pick me up.
I’m pleased to formerly announce that as I search for an apartment of my own, I’m currently living with one of my best friends, Chloe. Who, by the way, cut her long wavy brown hair down to a lob. She looks mad as hell but damn it’s a huge change.
So she’s living on her own (thank Jeebus) and working full time as a consultant in a communications firm. She’s so high up there it’s unbelievable, but I love it. I don’t know if it’s just me or the fact that I have amazing friends, but I love seeing them all be so successful in whatever they’re doing, whether it be professional, personal, or spiritual, whatever, I love seeing them happy. Janet and Stanley are, of course, still living together. Sidenote: Stanley constantly kept asking me about Daniel and how he was as soon as I got here. But then he stopped and sometimes I feel like he talks to me in a way that Daniel is asking about me through him. Is that paranoia? I mean, I haven’t heard from Daniel since he wished me off and asked if my trip was fine when I landed. Besides that we kind of just finished on me replying, ‘fine thanks’ and him ending with, ‘good, good’. Not that I’m complaining, I’m just saying, sometimes it feels like Stanley is dissecting me and it gets awkward for me.
Jodie keeps bouncing in and out of New York like she’s some ping-pong ball. Now she’s in and we won’t be seeing her until next week (?). I forget when, but apparently soon.
“Honey, I’m home!” I called out as soon as I entered Chloe’s pad.
“Hey Anna-banana!” she shouted, her voice muffled behind the walls of her bedroom. By the way, guys, ‘Anna-banana?’ I cringe every time I hear that. Luckily, no one says it often to me. New people mostly do. Sometimes I just want to punch a motherfucker in the throat but that’s on a worse day, on a good day, my butt just clenches into a Fort Knox prison level of tightness. Sidenote: did you know that Fort Knox, the command base, has reviews on google? I’m pulling that WTF face right now.
“Guess what?” Chloe hopped out of her bedroom.
I set down my bag and keys at the door and headed for the fridge after I kicked off my shoes. I would’ve completely stripped down to my underwear and lounged around if it weren’t for Chloe being a few feet away from me. I really need to get an apartment. “What?”
“You. Me—” she pointed respectively— “we’re going out tonight.”
I threw my head back and pouted as I dropped my brows dramatically. “Nooooooo,” I whined. “I want to chill.”
“Screw chilling. We are going on a double date,” she beamed, clapping her hands.
I lifted my head and stare straight at her. “Umm….”
“No, no, no, totally not what I mean,” she shook her head abruptly. “I have a couple of guy friends and we made plans to go to some old Jamaican place, or Brazilian, I don’t know, some restaurant that doesn’t have white people food, you know, packs a punch and all. Anyway, we were going to go there and then rock climbing afterwards, and you so totally have to come with us!”
“You can’t have cleared with them on time. They’ll be pissed and it’ll ruin the whole evening.”
Chloe lifted up her finger and shifted most of her weight to one leg. “This bitch doesn’t need clearance—” she said the word like it was the most ridiculous notion she’d ever heard— “If they don’t want my best friend there, then they can suck it. Anyway, I already told them you were coming and they’re totally fine with it.”
“Shut up. We’re going.”
“I’m so not in the mood, I had a bad day at work, I’m feeling shit—”
“I’m paying. As if you’d pass that up.”
I shrugged. “A good person would.” Then, I managed a playful grin.
Chloe gazed at me darkly. “I’m helping you with accommodation. Free of charge. So you have to come.”
I laughed. “You so cannot use that against me!”
She strained to keep her composure, but a smile threatened to strike her lips. “We are going. And we’re going to have an amazing time. Now get ready.”
My eyes widened in realisation. “Oh, I can’t. I’ve got to get to work at Randy’s.”
“No you’re not; you’re starting next week!”
“Damn,” I hissed. I thought she’d forgotten.
Chloe is so fancy she can afford an apartment with a guest bedroom. She was going to turn it into a study before I came. I was in there with my luggage on the floor and my bags still filled with clothes and other items. I feel like a nomad. Besides my friends, I haven’t really caught up with anyone else. Including my mother. I know, I know. I should see her. I don’t think she even knows I’m here, which is double-bad. Daniel would want me to speak to her. Especially after his mother’s death becoming a weight on his shoulders and one of the causes to his depression, I’d understand why. But I can’t see her for the sake of pleasing him. I need to do it on my own. But I wouldn’t know what to say. I literally have no clue.
And besides my mother, everyone knows that I’m back in L.A. from my Facebook post. I’ve gotten sooooo many notifications of inboxes and replies to my post. Adam liked my post and inboxed me. I didn’t get a chance to read what he wrote. Frankie (ex-boyfriend) also inboxed me; said he was in L.A. too. Like I care. I’m mostly intrigued about what Adam has to say. I know we have a long history of going back and forth as friends, but I’ve only been back because of Daniel, and now Daniel and I aren’t together anymore…well, maybe that’s why he inboxed me too. Maybe we can be friends again. Although I don’t know what I’d do with him as a friend if he’s living in New York with his—oh shit, the invitation! I don’t even remember grabbing it on my way out. Gahhh!! Can these last few weeks get any worse?
“So this is Greg, and this is Joey; Greg, Joey, this is Anna,” Chloe introduced us, gesturing with her hands.
We all nodded in greeting and smiled. Joey and Greg both had good genes or an angel was smiling down on them, because they were both hot. I forgot how smokin’ hot men are in L.A. Joey had brown gelled hair with a full beard. He was bigger than Greg, but Greg was sill medium build. Enough that he can still turn his neck, not like Batman. Greg had dark hair and the most beautiful hazel green eyes I’d ever seen. Turns out he’s half Turkish, thus the green eyes and the name I’m assuming. I’ve never met any Turkish man named Greg before.
“So I hear you’ve been in New York and decided to leave,” Joey said as we all sat down. “What made you go?” he stroked his beard. Want a way to be easily grossed out? Just imagine that he pulled all the loose strands of pubes and sprinkled it on the table. Why do I do that to myself?
“I miss L.A. I guess,” I shrugged.
“She missed me,” Chloe said, pulling me into a side bear hug that I was not prepared for and ended up with a squished face. Sexay!
“Of course,” I turned red.
“So what do you do?” Greg asked while Joey and Chloe got into a conversation of their own.
“Oh, well, I was an assistant to an editor. But right now I’m sort of looking.”
He was clearly unimpressed.
I cleared my throat. “So-o what do you do?”
“Personal trainer,” he nodded, then looked down at his arm as if it should’ve been obvious.
I had to stop myself from bursting out laughing. A strained smile rested on my lips instead. “I wouldn’t have guessed.”
“Pfft,” he smiled, lifting a brow. “As if.”
I sighed. As if, indeed. As if this is who I’m talking to right now. I’d prefer Table Pubes instead.
I was so eager when the food came that I was chowing down on the chicken faster than a vacuum. Everyone else ordered a salad, but I think Greg had a fish with a side of vegetables with no dressing. I think my plate was the only plate drenched in spicy sauce. It was so fucking good. I finished my plate before anyone else, which is unheard of with me. I’m never one to finished before anyone else let alone first.
“So, are we ready to go rock climbing?” Greg slapped his hands together and rubbed them.
“Got to get them muscles moving, girl,” Joey winked at me.
I don’t remember L.A. being this pretentious when I left. Maybe because I was rolling in better circles than with Greg and Joey.
So we called an Uber, in fact Joey and Greg called one and Chloe called another for ourselves.
“I’m going home,” I said as soon as we closed the doors.
“No! Don’t go! They’re not usually like this. They’re much, much cooler.”
“Oh, I think they think they’re cool as fuck. There’s no doubt about it.”
“The night is almost over. Relax.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fine.” I pulled on the seatbelt away from me and stretched my back.
“Ugh, my stomach. Are you sure it’s okay for us to go rock climbing right after we ate.”
“It’s not right after we ate. And secondly, it’s not like swimming. I don’t think.”
“So how’d you meet them?”
Chloe smiled in reminisce. “Greg is my personal trainer.”
“His friend. Also from the gym. We all got along so well. It wasn’t just us. Janet was there and so was Jodie.”
“They of course went after Jodie first,” I assumed.
“You know it! She’s got that look.”
“She’s got magic, that’s what she’s got.”
“Okay, if I’m going to spend more time with Pinkie and The Half-Brain—” we both laughed— “then I’m going to need to get some drinks in me.”
Chloe grinned. “Let’s do it!”
We made a 2.5-second stop at a local bar and downed some shots. I quickly paid the bill since Chloe shouted me for dinner and then we headed off quickly to meet up with Greg and Joey.
Joey was already up climbing and Greg was belaying for him. In my (very) loosely drunken stupor Greg seemed to have the biggest bulging biceps I’d ever seen. Our previous conversation was hazy, and I’m not even mad.
“What took you girls so long?” Greg huffed.
“Hey, you finally made it,” Joey called from above.
“We took a detour,” Chloe giggled.
“Well then get on it.” Greg looked at me. “You’re up after Joey. Think you can do it?”
“Oh, please,” I threw off my denim jacket from Sass and Bide all dramatically and it somehow flew into Chloe’s face. From the corner of my eye I watched her stagger back. “Watch a pro work.”
“Ohhhh, you ‘bout to get schooled,” Chloe cheered from behind me.
Greg laughed. “Hey, get down here! This is going to be interesting.”
A random came and started adjusting straps and harnesses all around me. I felt like I was ready for battle by all the clinking sounds. While he was working the strap around my stomach it started to groan. I was trying to steer my head away from the guy most of the time to stop him from thinking I was drunk. I wasn’t totally drunk.
“You ready?” Greg asked. I nodded. Eyes bulging. I couldn’t speak though. I was terrified. And I think I was beginning to sober up as a result of that fear. “Go on then.”
I turned around and placed one foot on the wall. Then reached out my hand. Then another foot. Pushing myself up the wall as I went along. I was almost halfway up when I started to feel confident. I paused my climb and looked back over my shoulder to lift a confident brow and beam a cocky smile at the guys when my stomach started rumbling.
Oh my God.
Suddenly, I was feeling hot. Burning up at a high speed. Sweat began to moisten my skin. Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, what is happening!?
I shouldn’t have drunken before I came here. I’m about to projectile vomit ten feet in the air. Oh my God! Oh SHIT! I’m not going to throw up. I’m going to—
“Get me down! Get me DOWN!” I shrieked, pushing off the wall and kicking my legs sporadically.
“Relax! You’re almost up there. You can do it!” Greg encouraged.
Try as I might, I couldn’t help but let a little gas leave my body. You best believe that Fort Knox is on emergency lock down though, but the inmates are ready to pour out! Fuck! I’m going to shit ten feet in the air!!
He dropped my when I shouted louder and everyone was looking. Chloe and Joey were watching me wide-eyed as I hit the floor and rushed out of the area with an unfathomable level of concentration on my butt muscles.
Welcome back, Anna!
***Welcome back everyone! Hope you enjoyed this post! See you soon!***