"Good afternoon ladies! I'm Yang, I'll be your driver for the evening." I always make sure to greet my passengers as they climb in, especially when they're special passengers like these two. Why are they special? Well, I've never had my cab booked for an entire evening for a date like this before but hey, they're will to pay through the nose for it so I won't complain.
"Hey there Yang, I'm Winter Schnee. We spoke on the scroll earlier." Icy white hair pulled back in a tight bun and a well-tailored suit. Miss Schnee here is some serious business. And judging by the itinerary she just handed me, she's the one in charge on this date. And probably in charge for everything else in her life as well.
"And I'm Pyrrha. Pyrrha Nikos. It's nice to meet you." A red head with a loose pony tail. She's in a suit as well so I'm guessing they both just got off work. This is a nice change of pace, though. People actually being polite to me instead of just impatiently urging me to break traffic laws to get them wherever they're going slightly faster than I'd get them there otherwise.
"Alright ladies, just buckle up and we'll be on our way to your first destination." It's pretty easy to tune out their conversation. Partially because I'm a damn professional and don't eavesdrop but also because it sounds like they're complaining about work and, from the sounds of it, they've both got some boring office jobs. Their first stop is in the shopping district, and at the expensive part of it to boot. It's no wonder they were willing to pay double my normal rate to book me like this, they're probably both pretty well-off if they're shopping around here. I shuttle them around from one expensive brand shop to the next. Purses, clothes, jewelry, all the usual rich girl stuff. And, of course, I help put all the things they buy in the trunk. I've gotta be in maximum courtesy mode with these two. With any luck they'll leave me an extra large tip at the end of the night. It sounds like things are going well for them so far. I still refuse to eavesdrop too much but hearing them flirt with each other while talking about who looks better in which dress is too much fun to not listen in at least a little bit.
Next up is some upscale restaurant that I've never been to. I've certainly heard about it but never stepped foot inside. Driving cabs doesn't exactly earn enough earn enough to make it through the door much less cover a full meal there. There's a pretty good little burger place not too far that I can swing by and get some real food while they take their time with whatever fancy nonsense is on the menu tonight. I finish my delicious, greasy, messy burger with plenty of time to spare and text with my younger sister to pass the time until the lovebirds get back.
"Welcome back ladies, I hope you had a good dinner."
"It was fine." The red head... her name is Pyrrha, I think? From the sound of her voice, I'd say things aren't exactly 'fine' but I won't question it. That'd probably just make things worse. Just a few more stops and then we're done. Next up is some fancy bar. The drive there is excruciatingly quiet. Whatever happened at dinner it seems to have really spoiled their mood. But hey, I get paid either way. They're in the bar for not nearly as long as I was expecting them to be but I start to get an idea as to why when Winter comes back to the cab on her own.
"Skip the rest and just take me home. Mine is the last address on the list." She's just staring out the window, looking away from the bar as hard as she can.
"Oh, okay. What about Pyrrha, is sh-"
"She decided to go home on her own." I catch a glimpse of the red head walking down the street with her scroll in hand, no doubt getting someone else to come pick her up now.
"Yes Miss Schnee." Why did I say anything. Why am I an idiot like this sometimes. Winter's voice is clearly shaky and whenever I check the rear view mirror it looks like she's struggling to hold back tears. I want to say something but I know that, as a cabbie, I probably should keep my damn mouth shut. Which works out for me because I really wouldn't know what to say if I spoke up. My history of talking to women who are upset is pretty abysmal but I want to believe that that's due to them being mad at me specifically and not just because I'm bad with words. But honestly it's probably both.
I pull up to her apartment building and when I turn around to talk to her about the bill she's already holding her card out to pay. I take it, run it, and pass it back to her. I try to say something along the lines of 'sorry your date didn't go better' but she quickly gets out of the cab and hurries to her building. I got a quick glance at her as she was getting out and I could see that she wasn't able to hold back the tears anymore. I wish I could've said something to help her feel better. A beautiful woman like her doesn't deserve to go home crying after a date. I guess the world just sucks shit sometimes, even when you're rich.
"Sure thing Jaune. I'm pretty close by so I'll be there in a few." Poor guy. He's still pretty new to bartending and he's already had to deal with messy drunks enough times that I'm on his speed dial. We've got a nice arrangement, at least. I take the drunk away and he sends them a bill for double their drinks plus the fare plus a bit extra for us to split. He doesn't get them incomprehensibly drunk on purpose, of course. It's way too much work dealing with drunks to ever do it intentionally.
"Hey Yang, thanks again for this. Can you help me get her to the car? She's being kind of a handful." He's already at the curb waiting for me when I pull up. If it weren't for the fact that he's a man and I'm extremely gay, I might find his little vest and bowtie bartending outfit pretty cute. I get out of my car and lo and behold, Jaune's troublemaker of the night is none other than Winter Schnee.
"Yeah, sure thing Jaune." We get on either side of Winter and put her arms across our shoulders and do our best to get her into the backseat of my cab. She sort of moves her feet in a way that is almost helpful but she's had a few too many drinks to actually be much more than dead weight in this whole process.
"Watch your head Miss Schnee." Even though she probably won't remember any of this I think it's important to be polite, just on principal. I put my hand on her head to make sure she ducks down enough the same way I've seen cops do it when they arrest someone and her hair is softer than I expected it to be. Her severe bun is starting to come undone a bit though. The messiness of it is actually kind of cute. She sits down just fine and then drags her feet in. I gently close the door and as soon as I do she flops down across the backseat. I can't blame her, I'd do the same if I had had as much as she seems to have had.
"Here, I think I got her address right. It was kind of hard to tell though, she was slurring her words pretty badly." Jaune hands me a napkin with some scribbles on it. He did get the address pretty close to correct but I didn't need it anyway because when it comes to asinine information that will almost never come up again, my mind is like a steel trap.
"Alright man, thanks. Same split as usual?"
"Yeah, of course. And hey, I should be thanking you. I know this is probably a bigger pain in the ass for you than it was for me. Think of it this way though: at least you don't have to clean up vomit."
"Hah, yeah true. Well, I'll get her out of here before she causes you any more trouble. Have a good night, Jaune." He waves good night to me as I pull away. I check the rearview mirror as often as I can to make sure that Winter is okay back there. She seems about as fine as any other heavily intoxicated passenger I've ever driven around. When we get to a red light I decide to try and see if she's capable of any actual speech beyond the occasional moans she's been producing thus far.
"Everything okay back there?"
"oh no" You never want to hear a drunk passenger mutter 'oh no'. Nothing good ever happens when a drunk mutters 'oh no'.
"Do you need to-" My words get cut off by the violent sounds of Winter's stomach emptying itself all over the floor of my backseat. At least it was on the floor and not the seat itself. That makes it marginally easier to clean up.
"...sorry..." Dammit how can she sound so cute when she's grumbling like this. How is that even possible, much less fair. Whatever. I shouldn't even be thinking like that right now. I shouldn't think about how I want to climb in the back seat with her and hold her and stroke her hair and rub her back until she feels better. She's way too drunk and I have a responsibility to not be a weird dirtbag cabbie that takes advantage of drunk girls.
"...I'm going to bed now..." She's making it really hard to not think about how cute she's being.
"Hey wait no, don't go to sleep yet, we aren't back to your apartment yet." It didn't matter. She was already out like a light. At least that meant the rest of the drive would be vomit-free. Hopefully. At every stop light I reach back to her and check to make sure she has a pulse and is just generally doing okay still. Cleaning up vomit is annoying but having to make a trip to the hospital would be much worse. Luckily, the rest of the trip to her apartment was as uneventful as I was hoping it would be.
"Come on, wake up Sleeping Beauty." I reach back and nudge her a bit. When she doesn't wake up I nudge her harder. Oh for fucks sake, I'm going to have to carry her, aren't I? I'm going to call Jaune and tell him to charge her a bit extra for this.
I dig the itinerary from the other day out of my glove box to check if it has her apartment number on it and thank god it does. The last thing I want to do is to carry her to the front desk and try to explain all this to some stranger. I'm sure the rest of this will be nice and smooth: pick her up, take her up to her place, set her down somewhere, and then get out of here. What could possibly go wrong.
A lot, as it turns out. I work out a lot more than the average person does but that doesn't mean it's easy to carry someone while they're out cold like this. On top of that, her place is on the eighth floor and apparently the elevator is out of service. At least there was only one awkward encounter with a neighbor on the way up. They gave me a weird look but didn't ask any questions and, with any luck, they won't mention anything to whatever security this place has because I really don't want to deal with that right now. After the most exhausting eight flights of stairs of my entire life, I find her door and realize yet another issue: the door is locked. Of course it's locked, why wouldn't it be. I gently set her down and pray that no one else walks by while I dig through her purse for her keys.
Wallet, business cards, hand lotion, tissues, lipstick, compact, her scroll, a small notebook. Ah hah, there they are. She's got them on a key chain that's a picture of her with another woman. The other woman looks like a younger version of her so I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it's her younger sister. There's only three keys so the trial and error process of unlocking the door is over quickly enough that I can avoid any more weird looks from strangers. I push the door open, turn on the first light switch I find and pick Winter back up and carry her inside.
It shouldn't be surprising to me but her place is really nice. It looks like the kind of fancy apartment you'd see in an interior decorating magazine. As nice as this place looks I can't help but think that it seems kind of... lonely. It feels really sparse and hardly lived-in. I assume she probably doesn't spend much time here outside of eating and sleeping.
I opt to lay her down on her couch and stick a pillow under her head. May as well pull off her shoes while I'm at it. I know I wouldn't want to fall asleep wearing heels that look as uncomfortable as those do. Y'know, while that couch does look fancy it doesn't look particularly comfortable to sleep on. It wouldn't be right to leave her like this, so I pick her back up and head through what I assume to be her bedroom door. Once again, my body moves faster than my brain and I walk into a dark room. The light coming in from the other room is enough to see that yes, this is in fact the bedroom.
I gently lower her down to her bed and she already looks significantly more comfy. At this point, her bun has come almost completely undone and damn she looks good with her hair down. She probably keeps it up for the sake of her whole 'serious businesswoman' vibe but she should really consider wearing it down from time to time. I pull a blanket up over her to ensure she's at maximum comfiness when she wakes up. I almost brushed some hair out of her face and back over her ear but I stop myself because I should really get going. If she woke up now then this whole situation would probably seem extremely creepy.
I've got one last thing to do before I leave: whenever Jaune and I have to enact this little plan of ours, he insists that I leave a note to explain what happened. I grab the notebook out of her purse, flip it open to a blank page and start writing. Too much to drink, bartender called a cab, cabbie brought you home, bill in the mail soon. Easy. But my hands keeps on writing. 'I hope your hangover isn't too bad. Remember to drink some water. Hopefully next time we run into each other you won't have quite so many drinks in you and you won't leave them on my backseat.' Oh god why did I write that, I'm such a dumbass. My dumbassery continues when I sign my damn name on the thing. I consider tearing the page out and writing the note again without my extra garbage but whatever, I doubt I'll ever actually see her again.
I check in on her one last time before I leave. She's rolled over onto her side and is clutching a pillow now. Damn, that pillow is lucky, getting to cuddle up with her like that. She looks so cute and just... peaceful. Alright, enough is enough, I need to get going now before this gets any weirder.
It was another uneventful week of the cab life before I saw Winter again. Because of how our fare system works, I didn't even know it was going to be her until she got in my cab. I just get a message on my scroll telling me how many to pickup and where to pick them up at so imagine my surprise when I pull up and the snow-haired beauty climbs in the back seat.
"Ah oh- hello again Yang." She seems just as surprised as I am and even sounds a bit embarrassed and fuck shit dammit, she's cute when she's embarrassed and doubly so when she's doing her best to hide it. "I just need to go home. It's at-"
"Ah, it's okay Miss Schnee, I remember it." Wait no don't sound weird. "I mean, I've still got the itinerary from the other night here. I didn't memorize it like some creeper." There goes my stupid mouth again. Just shut the fuck up and drive, Yang.
And that's exactly what I did. Thankfully, she seems to be busy with something on her scroll so the silence isn't really awkward. Well, maybe not thankfully. I'd like to talk to her but I apparently can't trust my stupid mouth around her. Damn.
"Sorry about the other night. I guess I... puked in your car? I'm... really sorry about that." She eventually put away her scroll and broke the silence.
"Hey, don't worry about it. I work late nights a lot so I've cleaned up a lot of puke. Yours wasn't even that bad, really." Yeah, compliment her vomit. That'll go over great. Why am I like this.
"Did you really carry me all the way up to my apartment? Eight floors up?" Thank you for not even acknowledging my comment.
"Yeah, you're pretty light so it wasn't so bad."
"Did... you didn't... princess carry me... did you?" I sneak a peak at her in the rear view mirror and just as her stuttered speaking suggests, she is indeed blushing at the idea.
"I would've done like a fireman carry but you were wearing a pretty short skirt and I uh.. didn't want to give any neighbors a free show." She seems too flustered to say anything so I should probably just keep talking. That always makes everything better. "And anyway you kinda come across like royalty so it seemed fitting." She blushes even more so I'm just going to assume that that's a sign that I said a good thing for once and maybe didn't make a complete fool of myself.
It isn't much longer until we're at her apartment and she passes her card up to me to pay again. But this time when I pass it back, she's got an envelope for me.
"This is for last time. Thanks and... sorry again." The envelope has some cash in it. Not an obscene amount or anything, but more than enough to cover the fare from driving her home the other night, especially considering she already paid the bill that Jaune sent her way. When I look up from the envelope, she's already thrown the car door open and darted out towards her building.
I've been driving people around for a while now and I've seen all kinds of wild shit but I'll be honest, this situation had me a bit stunned. The only other time someone has handed me an envelope of cash it was because they mistook me for a different cabbie who was running a side gig dealing drugs. I try to think about what to do next but my body decides for me and I start walking up to her building. The elevator is still out so I head up all eight flights of stairs again. I take the stairs two steps at a time to try and catch up but I guess I was sitting in the cab longer than I thought I was because there's no sign of her on the way up.
I take a deep breath before I knock on her apartment door. There's a long pause but then I hear here footsteps as she walks over to her door. But then there's another long pause. Come on Winter, I'd really appreciate it if you'd open the door so I can make a fool of myself one last time and be on my way.
I guess she can read minds because the door swings open right as I finish my thought. I thrust the envelope towards her.
"How about instead you use the money and take me out. On a date." I figure it's best to be as specific as possible here. She tries to say something but her jaw just hangs open.
"If you want." I add, because I am very clever. Or maybe I'm not clever because I can feel my cheeks starting to turn red due to cheesiness. She takes the envelope back, looks at it, then looks back at me.
"I... I'll meet you downstairs. I just need to change first, okay?"
"Yeah, alright." It would be impossible to hide the massive grin on my face but it's okay, I want her to see it. "I'll meet you at my car."
On the way back downstairs do my best to not think about the possibility that she regretted giving me money and is just messing with me. Luckily, she proves that she's legit because a few minutes later she keeps her word and meets me at the cab. She's changed from her work cloths (a pencil skirt, a button-up shirt, and a dress jacket) into something a bit more a casual and significantly more sexy (a little black dress and a cute sweater).
"Sorry that took so long." she said with a smile. Damn, what a good smile. I've only just realized how little I've seen her smile so far and now it's got me hoping that I get to see it a whole lot more in the future.