iambeagle served as cheerleader & proofreader. thank you!
I don't own Twilight. No copyright infringement intended.
1. December 31, 2011 at 8:30 PM
In a small cubicle at the Volturi Literary Agency LLC in New York City ...
"When are you getting out of the office? It's past eight already!" Rose whines to me on the phone. It's also a Saturday, not to mention New Year's Eve. Needless to say I'm not here by choice.
"I don't know. Heidi wants me to finish something up." I glance in the direction of Heidi's open office door. She's on the phone, chatting loudly about the renovation of her apartment. In other words: I doubt it's business. "Trust me, I wanna get out of here pretty badly."
"Doesn't the bitch have anywhere to be?"
"Apparently not, and P.S. she's here," I whisper. Heidi does have the nasty habit of listening in on my conversations. I've heard her picking up my line occasionally and I've told Rose about it.
"Why are you whispering? I'm sure she can't hear me," Rose informs me loudly.
Unfortunately, Rose does have the memory of a goldfish.
"Listen, I can't talk right now. I'll call you back when I'm done."
"I don't understand. I'm sure her agency will not collapse if her lowly assistant leaves at nine o'clock on New Year's Eve." I'm pretty sure she's right. As things stand however, being right is not what matters here.
Instead, I reply, "Shut up. I can't afford to get fired. I'm broke-"
"Not again. I'm not listening anymore. I skipped lunch, ate Alice's left over Chinese take-out from three nights ago and have exactly ten dollars left until the next paycheck. So really, B? You think you have it bad?"
"Okay, you win, Rose."
I've a grand total of fifty dollars left for the next four days. It's a record for me. The first month in a while during which I didn't have to call my dad for extra money.
"Call me as soon as you have a clue when you can leave. I got us on the guest list to Jane's party. We can meet near the..."
Jane interns together with Rose for Riley Biers, the new up-and-coming designer du jour. I've only met Jane once when I picked up Rose from work. She has perfect hair, perfect posture and a perfect Chanel bag—enough reasons for me to hate her.
"Why on earth are we going to that party? I thought we'd agreed to go to Sam's bar? And you hate Jane!"
Jane is what you'd call a patronage-intern. Jane's mom is a buyer for Barneys. Nearly every designer aims to please her. While Rose, with a degree in fashion design, makes coffee and runs errands, Jane, who majored in art history, gets to attend fashion shows and photo shoots with him. Needless to explain why Rose hates her.
"Yeah, I do … but … ugh, please? Free booze because you're hooking up with bartender is nice and all … but, really? We hang out at that place every week. It's a dive and that bartender is one of your more dubious choices as far as men go."
"His name is Jake and I like him!" I start defending him. "And at least I'm not dating someone who lives with his parents on Long Island."
"You're dating him?" I can practically see Rose raising her eyebrows, the look of disgust on her face.
"Well …" I shouldn't have put that label on it. "Maybe?" I hedge.
"Why? The smell of stale beer alone makes my stomach turn sour. Eeew."
"Shut up. He usually showers after his shift."
"He's a fucking bartender. Need I say more? Aim higher, B."
"This coming from the person whose last boyfriend was unemployed."
"I admit, Roysten was a loser. Never mind that. I don't wanna spend New Years Eve single and without prospects at a dingy bar. Jane's party is at The Standard. Food, top shelf booze, and we won't have to pay for anything."
"Fine," I agree the minute she mentions food.
"Great! I'll get ready and meet you in front. Which reminds me, can I borrow your Marc Jacobs pumps?" I hate when Rose traps me into sartorial borrowing on the phone. I'm too far away to claim that I can't find them. As we speak, she's probably wearing them already. It's the only decent pair of shoes I own.
"They are suede and it might rain tonight." I make a pathetic attempt to dissuade her. Outright saying "no" would be awkward. Plus, she'll never loan me anything from her closet again.
"No, it's not. Besides, they are four seasons old. Get over it. It's only one block to the subway anyway." I have nothing left to argue. "We should get there by at least ten thirty. You have something to change into at the office?"
"Yeah." I eye the black dress that's hanging on the corner of my cubical wall.
"Bella. I need you in here!" I hear Heidi yell.
"I'll call you later," I tell Rose and hang up.
"Now please!" Heidi adds and I rush to her office door, a mere four feet away.
"Yes, Heidi. How can I help you?" Heidi is dressed in a nice, gray, sequined evening dress that fits her unfortunately a bit too snugly, pinching the rolls around her muffin top. She's putting on her heels as I stand in the door.
"I need you to revise this press release and then you can go," she says pushing a stack of papers on her desk in my direction.
I can't remember how or when it happened during my three year tenure with Heidi, but somehow I got stuck writing a first draft of all our press releases and she "refines" them by marking up a printed out version in her chickenscrawl.
"Remember to turn the lights off before you leave," Heidi says, stepping out of the front door and leaving me behind in the dark abyss of her two-room office.
Two hours and exactly twelve minutes—that's how long this business of revising the press release takes me. I duly note that the release isn't due until the fifth of January when I e-mail her the corrected version.
Exactly one minute later, I'm changing into the black mini-dress. Shamefully, I have a hard time closing the side-zipper and the dress rides up, making it practically a micro-mini dress.
No wonder. My lunches since Thanksgiving have consisted of cookies, chocolate and cakes that arrived for Heidi as holiday gifts from various people. She never ate them herself and looked kind of pleased when I did. Now I know why.
"God damn it!" Pull the zipper up with force and rip the tab off in the process. I'm dressed all right, but how the hell will I undress?
On closer inspection in the mirror, I look almost as squeezed in as Heidi. Tightly packaged like a sausage in its casing.
Screw it. There's no time to waste and no other clothing options to chose from, so I sprint out of the office.
New Year's Eve Party here I come.
Thank you for reading.
Happy New Year!