This is just something to get my creative juices flowing again. Still don't own anything.

American Dream

The clatter of spoons against bowls and constant chatter filled the Candy Bar. She raised her index finger to rub her temple.

"Miss Vortex! What are you doing? Get back to work!" Sam barked. Cindy sighed as she opened her eyes. She had only just rested for a few seconds. Sam could really be a bear especially during peak hours. She shrugged and picked up a pen and pad as she walked to a booth. An older couple smiled up at her.

This isn't what she had dreamed life after College would be like. She was supposed to be in New York working as a journalist. Instead she was living in her old bedroom and working at the Candy Bar trying in vain to save money. Her mother often reminded her that if she had just studied Law like she had originally planned she wouldn't be in this situation. But Cindy wasn't so sure. It was hard to get jobs anywhere these days. Not that she hadn't tried to get a job, but either she was under qualified or overqualified. After a year of applying and being rejected she quickly discovered that in order to get a real job with a good paying wage she would have to get a Masters. She had applied for the coming fall and had been accepted. But she couldn't afford rent without a job. Which was why she was currently Retroville living with her mother praying that the neighbors would ignore their fights.

She scooped two cones full of Pecan Ripple. It used to be her favorite ice cream now even the smell of it repulsed her. It was her failure staring her in the face. Her stomach churned. All her friends were doing what they always dreamed of Libby was in the music industry and was pregnant with her first child. Kicking butt while being pregnant was something only Libby could do. Sheen was a model and Jimmy….

Jimmy was winning Nobel Peace Prizes left and right. No one had heard from him since Sheen and Libby's wedding. She was accosted by the memory of his warm lips pressed softly against her collarbone, the feel of the chiffon dress she'd been wearing slipping onto the floor. The whispers sweet like perfume. Acknowledgment of the things they had been skirting around for so long. For a moment she got lost in the warmth building in the pit of her stomach. Wait, she wasn't supposed to think about that. They had agreed.

She cleared a table and caught sight of herself in the window. She looked tired and a bit frazzled. Her reflection of course didn't lie but if she wanted to keep this job she had to pretend that there wasn't a tired ache in her bones. That it wasn't slowly seeping into her core like a poison.

Some idiot was staring at her from the booth next to her. She glared at him and he instantly directed his eyes back to his ice cream. She couldn't help but smile. Neutron would be glad to hear that she still was as prickly as ever. She pictured his crooked smile, the intelligence shining behind his blue eyes. She imagined what he would say.

"You are as cold as ice, Vortex."

She would insult him and they would argue. That was who they were. Nothing else and nothing more and that was enough for them. At least it had been enough. Until that night when a mixture of alcohol and years of sexual tension finally burned a hole in their resolutions and brought two stubborn people to their knees.

That was the second time today. She growled in frustration as she scrubbed at a bit of gum stuck to the end of the table.

"Vortex!" Sam called from the bar.

"What?" She snapped.

He gestured to a table not far from her. A young couple was waiting patiently to be helped. She had to admit that she hadn't even noticed them. She smiled at Sam and he scowled at her. They had an interesting relationship. A little bit bitter and a little cold and they were always at odds. He knew that she was a good worker and she knew that she needed that job so she never pushed it too far.

The young couple ordered a milkshake with one straw and hardly left a tip at all. She found herself cursing them in her mind.

This was her life. Scrubbing gum from tables and hoping desperately for tips from people half her age. Oh yeah, this was glamor.

This was the american dream.