I laid sprawled out on my bed, my hair matted and my face buried in my pillow underneath my purple bed sheets. As it became harder for me to breathe, my phone went off, the alarm app on it basically screaming at me. A Caribbean melody belted out as I slapped the touch screen of my phone, the melody dying.
"Ten more minutes," I mumbled to no one in particular. I felt the edge of my bed sink from weight and I turned around to see a soothing face appear next to me.
"Andrew?" I asked.
"Hey, baby," he laughed.
I had forgotten I'd given him a key to my apartment. He must have gotten here five minutes ago. Fully dress, he laid beside me, wrapping his arm around my belly to pull me closer to him. I moved under his arm to face him as he rubbed my back soothingly. I buried my face into his chest, breathing in his spicy scent. I almost fell asleep within his arms.
"Come on, you have to get ready for work," he said, shaking me and pulling me up. I groaned and lightly threw my legs over my bed, stretching and yawning.
"I brought some breakfast from Waffle House," he said.
"Yum," I smiled.
"I'll heat it up as you get ready," he commented.
"Ok," I yawned as I reached over for him to kiss his cheek lightly. He smiled and returned the peck on my lips as I made my way to the bathroom. I washed my hair as I scrubbed my body with a peppermint body-wash. As I got out, my skin was pink and my skin felt renewed. Wrapping a towel around my long hair, I slid into a soft robe and exited the bathroom. I skipped to my wondrous walk-in closet, surrounded by my haven of assorted clothes. Skirts hang precariously on their hangers like my one sleeved shirts and over the shoulders tops. Short shorts were folded neatly on the shelves along with various forms of jeans, from skinny jeans to flares.
I didn't know what to wear. I stood there for a moment, staring at all the clothes. It was a wonder how I could even afford them. I ran my fingers along the clothes and settled on a cozy brown over the shoulder top, a white tank top underneath. I slid my legs into hip-hugging dark washed skinny jeans.
I ran back into the bathroom to fix my hair. I began the laborious task of untangling my matted hair, joked as being a bird's nest sarcastically. It cascaded over my shoulders and stopped six inches above my butt. My hair was wavy towards the top but as it neared the end it twisted into spirals. My curly hair shone a golden dark brown, the ends of my hair a shade lighter. Blue eyes similar to a cloudless sky were reflected back at me, specks of silver within the blue, not as pretty as you would think. To me it looked as if blue had vomited silver near my irises, to others, it looked pretty and just pretty, not gorgeous or beautiful. My skin, no longer pink from my hot shower, had returned to its golden brown tan I obtained from the beach earlier in the month. It was only April, and Spring Break had ended last week.
I quickly did the daily necessities of the morning as I misted myself with a peppermint perfume I bought recently at Bath and Body Works. How I loved that place!
I added some brown hoop earrings and painted gloss over my lips. I outline my top eye lid in brown eyeliner, a thin line tracing the lines of my eye over a shade of light brown eye shadow. I finished it up with a stroke of a wand of mascara and I parted my hair to the side wildly. I smoothed some mousse over my hair so the curls wouldn't frizz. I slipped into pretty, simple white flats and dash to the kitchen of my apartment.
"Hey, beautiful," Andrew said.
"Hey, handsome," I laughed.
Andrew was a head taller than me, his straight brown hair licking his brow as it fell over his eyes. A gorgeous shade of pale brown looked at me through his hair, shining. His tan skin and his light Hispanic accent reminded me of where we came from, of our culture.
Being Hispanic is awesome.
He already had my pancakes ready for me, the syrup seeping into the pancake, drizzled over the butter. My stomach growled lightly as I ate it happily, Andrew eating his waffles. He passed me a slice of bacon and poured me some orange juice as I made him his favorable flavor of coffee.
"How was school yesterday?" he asked. He took the day classes as I took the night classes.
"Boring," I stated. We both went to Juilliard. Andrew had talent in Music, whereas my strengths were more in photography, modeling, fashion, and art. Andrew could play several instruments, including the guitar; he even had a nice voice. He said I had a pretty voice, too, but I doubted it. My singing abilities weren't bad, they just weren't really good. More like in the middle. And I was terrible when Andrew tried to teach me to play the guitar. Epic fail.
We wolfed down the rest of our food and began to leave out of my apartment. I grabbed my duffle bag and began to head out, Andrew following. We didn't live together, yet, but we had access to each other's home.
As we headed outside of the apartment, Andrew grasped my wrist.
"Saturday? Dinner? Eight?" he asked.
I nodded with a smile, eager.
He sighed in relief. It was only Tuesday; Saturday wasn't until four more days.
We gave a swift kiss as a good-bye and headed our different directions. Andrew to his car and me walking. Where I worked wasn't far, it was actually quite close. I worked at a nearby Barnes & Noble. I loved to read.
I walked along the sidewalk and arrived at Barnes & Noble in less than twenty minutes, a few minutes early. I clocked in and went to the little cafe inside the book store. Starbucks was already open and I asked for Mocha Coconut Frappichino. I took it and went to my register as the old biddies who also worked here came in. Already they were gossiping. Most of them looked worried.
"Good morning, Lynette!" I chimed as a healthy white haired lady with brown eyes and small hands took her register beside me.
"Good morning to you, too, Angel!" she sang.
The rest of the ladies got to work as the customers streamed in. After a few hours, the manager approached me and Lynette.
"Angel. Lynette," he greeted. His acne scarred face deemed him young. He was only the manager here because his father owned Barnes & Nobel. He was only my age, attending the state college of New York. He was a nerd, and a mean one at that.
"Tyson," I replied, cold-heartily.
"Here's the deal," he stated, getting right to the point. "We're going to lay-off a few people."
I choked on my Mocha Coconut Frap as Lynette wringed her hands.
"You better not be firing me! I've been here for four years! Since I was sixteen! Before you were manager!" I blurted. Lynette elbowed me to stop my ranting. A few people stopped to see what my yelling was about.
"We're not planning to fire you, we're planning to lay-off Lynette and Josie," he said. Lynette choked out a cry. I immediately wrapped my arms around her small, old frame.
"You can't fire her! She's been here for ten years!" I cried out. He shrugged.
"Not my problem."
"You can't fire Josie either! She just started! She has two kids to take care of! Her husband left her you know! She needs the money!" I yelled, hoping for an ounce of sympathy. His acne face twitched, not caring.
"There must be something you can do!" I begged as Lynette sobbed in my arms.
"Well, there is something you can do if you want to save their jobs..." he began. Oh no. Not again.
"How about we go to the movies this weekend? You'll be my girlfriend?" he asked with a leer.
"I DON'T DATE FUCKING BASTARDS!" I screeched. He was taken aback.
"Then I guess they lose their jobs," he laughed.
"Give me your daddy's fucking work number," I growled.
"What?" he asked confused.
"Punch the numbers in you retard! How did you even get into college?" I asked in fake astonishment. He punched the numbers in cautiously into the work phone. I held the ear part to my ear and pulled out a sticky note and a pen. The phone rang for a long time before someone blew out a bored, "Gregory Young."
"Hello, my name is Angel Zimmerman and I work at the Barnes & Noble were your beloved son works. I have a few questions for you," I began. Tyson paled as I contacted his daddy. They were both assholes.
"Oh, really? Shoot then," he replied.
"I received information about the company firing a few people. How is this helping your company?" I asked. I turned the work phone on speaker so Tyson could here, and our crowd of customers. They inched closer to the phone. I saw Josie creep up toward Lynette.
"The lay-offs are a benefit to the company. More money will be invested. It's for the good of the company," he stated coldly. I returned his tone.
"So you're willing to fire people just so you could become richer?" I asked as I drew up a conclusion. A few costumers look at the phone in shock.
"Workers will also have their salary raised-,"
"Alright Mr. Barnes & Noble. You and your son are a load of bull crap. Friday will be my last day here and since I will be quitting I expect Lynette's and Josie's jobs to be saved. Meaning safe from being laid-off. Got it?" I growled. There was a pause.
"Good," I finished, hanging up. A lot of people stared at Tyson as if he was a beast. They stared at me too.
I took a breath, and said to them, "GO TO BOOKS-A-MILLION! The assholes there are probably nicer than the assholes here!" A few men and women laughed, but the others left or returned to what they were doing. Lynette and Josie squeezed me in tight hugs, giving limitless thanks for saving their jobs. On Friday afternoon, I'll be jobless. I bit my lip. What have I done? I'm such a stupid twenty-year old. I smack my forehead five times. The smacks punctuated by a voice in my head chanting: stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.
I blew a curl out of my vision as I rung a few books.
"Ma'am?" a voice curtly asked.
"Hmm?" I asked, without looking up.
"I need some assistance in finding a book."
"Ok, hold on," I said as I finished ringing out an order. I looked up to see the most handsome man I've ever seen. His light brown hair reminded me of milk chocolate as it kissed his cheeks. His soft eyes were a pale green. His skin was tanned evenly and his bright smile flashed pleasantly. I ignored his beauty as I thought of Andrew.
"What's the title?" I asked.
"I'm actually looking for a recommendation," he blushed.
"Who's it for?" I asked.
"Is it your mother, sister, aunt...?" I began.
"Girlfriend," he blushed.
"AWW! That's so sweet! Ok, what is she into?" I asked as I left my register to weave around the bookshelves with the guy trailing beside me.
"I just met her actually. All I know is that she loves to read..."
I bit my bottom lip; this was a tough-y.
"Well, if she's a little nerdy, I think you should get her a book about astronomy or math equations...if she's gothic, you should get her book about vampires or something of the sort. If she is a preppy cheerleader or incredibly rich or a random blonde you should probably get her a book about 'safety' or something," I began. The guy had a look of horror on his face as I mentioned 'safety'. Course he knew what I meant by that word. "I'm just joking!" I laughed. Horror eased of his face as he swallowed.
"Continue," he said slowly, probably scared of what I might say next, but intrigued.
"Or if she's like me, you know, like calm or relaxed-slash-crazy-slash-funny-slash-stupidly smart girl, I would recommend a simple romance novel."
"Can you help me find a romance novel?" He asked. I smiled, feeling like I've accomplished something.
"Sure, let's see..." I drawled as I looked through various titles. I pulled out five books. I pointed out that ones I've read and the ones that I heard had really good reviews.
"I'm going to choose these two," he said, taking them from my arms.
"Good choice," I praised.
The guy seemed familiar, but I didn't know where I've seen him. He looked about twenty-one or twenty-two. I rang them up as the door burst open, a seventeen year old boy with black hair licking his shoulder and eyes similar to mine. He looked around frantically, searching. His eyes settled on me and he ran to me. I sighed in an annoyed mannered as the guy infront of me looked scared of the wild seventeen year old.
"ANGEL!" the boy yelled, appearing beside the man.
"What, Leo?" I groaned as I put the man's items in a bag. He seemed fixed on his spot, staring at the boy and me.
"Look at this!" he yelled as he slapped down a piece of paper. I removed his hand as I took it, staring at the clock. High schoolers were released about thirty minutes ago. I looked at the red ink. I gasped in surprise as I saw a 93 scrawled on the paper.
"My first A in math!" he yelled happily, punching the air. The man looked at us in amusement.
"Is he your boyfriend?"
I must have had a horrid look on my face because the man laughed.
"EW, man! This is my sister!" Leo cried out. He shivered. The man laughed.
"Good-bye, Angel," he said loudly as he left. Leo stared at him as he left. He turned to me and said, "Good-bye, Angel." He pitched his voice higher and mocked the man's words. I slapped the back of his head with his test papers.
"Why don't you go sit in the little kid section and fix your swoopy Emo hair?" I teased.
"I'm not Emo!"
"When are you going to dump Andrew?" Leo asked. I gasped.
"Never! He's sweet to me and you and everybody else," I snapped.
"Shut up, Leo," I scolded.
"How was school today?" I asked him as he settled in by the cash register.
"Boring as heck. How was work today?" he asked. I bit my lip and looked away.
"What happened, Angel?" Leo asked, worried.
"I have to quit on Friday," I whispered.
"Shhhhh!" I begged.
"Why?" he asked.
"Tyson was going to fire Lynette and Josie. Lynette won't get hired for any more jobs because she's old. She needs this job. And Josie won't get hired anywhere else either. She has two kids to take care of and her ex won't pay for child support. The way for them to keep their jobs is if I quit. So Friday will be my last day," I growled. Leo's mouth was agape.
"How are you going to pay rent and your car and other necessities?"He asked. I shrugged and choked out an 'I don't know.'
"I can help you look for job applications..." he offered sadly. I nodded slowly. I pick up a stack of books to put on their bookshelves. Leo followed. I slid books into their slots on the shelves as Leo said, "Any places in mind where you want to work?"
"How about McDonalds?"
I gave him a look of horror. He laughed.
"This isn't funny, Leo!" I cried out, collapsing on the floor as the books toppled down with me. I let my fat tears roll off my cheeks as I threw my head back, slumping against the teen novels. Leo's smile faltered and turned to sympathy as he knelt beside me, wrapping his strong arms around my shoulders. My little brother comforted me as I cried on his shoulder. We've grown used to comforting each other.
"Angel, don't cry, we'll find you a job soon, I promise," he soothed. I hiccupped and nodded only half-heartily. Leo looked at his phone to see what time it was.
"Come on, Angel, your job is done for today." He pulled me up and the two of us gathered our stuff as I clocked out. Leo and I walked back to my apartment, silent.
Our mom was supposed to pick up Leo later.
"Leo, do your homework. I'll be back at eight," I said as I got ready for school. I refreshed up my make-up and walked out. I approached my small, silver volts wagon. I wasn't going to walk all the way to Juilliard.
My classes relieved my stress, my fun classmates brightening up my day.
"What's the matter, sweetie?" My platonic, gay friend, David, asked.
"Did Andrew dump you?" my friend, Jessica, gasped. I shook my head.
"No, Friday's my last day at Barnes & Noble," I whispered.
"Oh, sweetie! I'm so sorry!" David exclaimed. Jessica's freckled face turned into a scowl.
"I'm going to punch the lights out of that Tyson one day."
"Don't," I sighed.
"Does Andrew know?" David questioned.
"No, I'm planning to tell him today though when I get back home," I groaned.
"Are you guys living together yet?" Jessica asked.
"No!" I snapped.
"Why not? You've guys have been together for a year, time to move in together," she laughed.
"What, David? I'm just saying. I'm mean, they should live together! They lost their virginity to one another, right? They should live together!"
My face turned redder than Jessica's hair.
"JESSICA!" David screeched.
Jessica laughed, clutching her belly.
Our classes began, thoughts distracted.
I came home, tired and frazzled.
I opened my door, spotting Leo in my living room, watching TV. I collapsed beside him and kicked off my shoes.
"How was school?" he asked.
"Tiring," I groaned.
"Andrew called earlier on your home phone," Leo began.
"What happened?" I asked, flipping to the Animal Planet.
"I told him what happened..."
"Shit," I cursed.
"He's coming over, said he was about five minutes away."
Right on cue, there was a knocking on my door.
I groaned and got up to answer the door.
I opened it and saw Andrew looking worried. He stepped in and grasped me in his arms.
"Hey, you ok?" he asked.
"Yeah, sucks though that I'm getting laid-off-slash-quitting on Friday," I mused.
"Hey, its ok, things will get better. Have you started searching for job applications?"
Leo chimed in.
"I was on her computer earlier and I found a few applications for various jobs," he said from the living room. I led Andrew to a couch in the living room. We sat down together as I put my head on his shoulder. He took my hand and massaged it.
"What applications have you found?" I asked him.
"McDonalds..." he began. I whimpered and Leo laughed.
My eyes began to tear up.
I exploded in tears.
Andrew hugged me and rocked me, trying to get me to stop crying. I hated being so emotional and sensitive.
"I'm sorry, Angel. I'll keep looking, I promise," Leo said, a tone that was begging me to stop crying. I sniffled and wiped my tears off with the edge of my shirt.
I needed a job soon, or I'd start having problems with paying the bills.
I needed a job that would pay well, and could still give me enough time to hang with Leo and Andrew.
What have I gotten myself into?
A/N: I totally heart Style Savvy. It's the best. Too bad I let my friend borrow it and she lost it. Good thing she said she found it. Now I only need to remind her to bring it back! Ok, listen, Angel will soon be with Dominic (the guy looking for books for his girlfriend in Barnes & Noble) I promise. Please Review!