A New York Bartender (Definitely Doesn’t Wear Prada)
Andy was making another martini, for some big name, yet again. They all blurred together, he was from ‘Rolling Stone’, she was from ‘Vogue’, they were all from somewhere. Andy was some no name that’d freelanced for both magazines on a few occasions. Sometimes, when she made the drink just right, and the night winded down, she’d give out her card.
It worked rather well. But not well enough. She was still on the other side of the bar, after all. But she’d been doing this for two years now. Her degree was over with, she was officially getting published, despite it paying only a third of what she could actually live off.
Still, small steps. Better than when she’d started. Where she’d lived off her boyfriends...ex-boyfriend...meagre earnings. He’d got a better job, she was a ‘dreamer’, it had fallen apart when he’d decided to move to Brooklyn.
Andy was reminiscing, barely focusing on the cocktail she’d just ‘whipped out’, when Christian Thompson approached. His smile was all teeth, and his eyes shined. He was handsome as all get out, and a dear friend.
He leaned over, “I’d like a beer.”
Andy rolled her eyes. “Again? When will you be more adventurous?”
He pressed himself against the counter, so that he basically lying on the thing, just so his lips met her ear. “When you take me with a strap-on.”
Andy flicked his ear. “Maybe next time, but you’re buying it.”
“You’re cruel, you know that.” He mumbled, rubbing the offended ear with the palm of his hand. The smile still shining. “I already have, and if you’re free later?”
“Can’t,” Andy sighed, disappointed. “I got to work the scene, I haven’t published anything in two weeks.”
He paused. “I know someone that needs a book review. They’re a smaller magazine, but the pay is good, and the editor owes me one.”
Andy reached for his hand. Squeezing. “I, that’d be great, do you have their email?”
“Better than that, here’s their card, they’ll hook you up.” His eyes were warm, in a way that you only looked at a friend...or close fuck buddy...accomplice...partner in crime?
He’d gotten her that first break, replied to her card, after she’d spent months hoping. And Nate, the ex, had been jealous. It didn’t mean anything, until it did, but never like that. Still not like that. Not that she didn’t love him, in that morning after with eggs sort of way.
“I owe you.” She meant it.
He shrugged, “No you don’t. We just do each other favours, it’s business.”
“No,” Andy corrected, “it’s you being awesome.”
He held up his hands in surrender. “Whatever you say, just don’t forget me when you’re rich and famous.”
Andy couldn’t help the giggle. Shit. “Never...but what was your name again?”
“Ow, now that really hurt.” His hand was over his heart, as he bend backwards just a bit, as if shot.
Andy bit lip, stifling her laughter. Christian went off to talking to more ‘important’ people, but not before sending her the image of the strap-on, she stared at it on her phone. It was big and red, well, if that didn’t just fit his ego perfectly. She shook her head, and pulled out her card, it was ‘networking’ time.
It didn’t take long for the night to settle down, and people to start making their way to the ‘after-after’ party. Whatever that meant. It was three in the morning, and Andy had work in the morning. She was also a barista. Truly moving up in the world.
It was on her way to the bathroom that she heard sniffling, when she rounded the corner...she found Miranda Priestly leaning over a sink...in an outfit that could’ve paid for half of her years rent. A black form fitting dress, a plumb fur coat, and heels from some expensive Italian brand.
It was then Miranda looked up, her face tear stained, glasses tucked neatly in one hand, that she saw Andy with her mouth to the floor, stuck in the doorway.
“What, may I ask, gives me the pleasure of bumping into you? Did you forget how to speak when you decided to stumble in unannounced?”
If it had been a few years ago, Andy would’ve hightailed it out of there. But this would most likely never happen again, so she smiled.
“No, I mean I did. But, I...I’d like to give you my card. I’ve written for Runaway before, my name is Andrea Sachs. I’ve done work for all sorts of magazines and newspapers in the past few years, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and well. If you’d just look at my work, I think you’d like what you see.”
That was it, her great pitch, well, she didn’t exactly plan on it being so rough. Or said this close to a toilet. But here she was.
Miranda undid her glasses, and unceremoniously put them on. She glanced Andy up and down. Before snorting. “You’ve written for Runaway? Is that a joke.”
Andrea felt her ears go red. So she was wearing Target black jeans, a white shirt from H&M and a leather jacket from Zara she’d gotten on sale...but she looked nice, presentable even. Far better than when she had gone for her interview at Runaway. A job she’d wanted...well, that regret was forgotten.
“I’m friends with Elaine Clarke, one of your editors, she calls me whenever your magazine needs something last minute. I’ve interviewed designers, and done long-form biographies for you. If you want to see my work, she should be able to provide it for you.”
With that, Andy turned and left. Opportunity be damned, it wasn’t worth the humiliation.
Miranda watched her go, and felt her lip twitch. She reached for her phone, dialling a number. “Emily, call Elaine for me in the morning, tell her I want her to gather everything she has on Andrea Sachs; and everything she’s ever written for Runaway on my desk by eight.” With that, she hung up, and walked to the nearest elevator.
Andrea texted Christian when she got to her apartment.
A: Miranda Priestly is a fucking bitch.
C: You didn’t know?
Andy threw off her slacks, and the rest of her clothes before starting the shower. Tomorrow was going to be murder. She glanced at her phone quickly, smiling.
A: I did, but I thought it was all a rumour, I mean, don’t you know what they say about you?
C: Yes, that I’m charming, and handsome. I’m great in bed.
When she left the shower, drying herself off, she looked at the phone again. Groaning in amusement.
A: That you’ll sleep with anything with a pulse.
C: That’s not true. I just like pretty women, and beautiful men. So sue me.
Andy laughed, getting ready for bed.
A: I don’t understand how half our conversations are about sex.
C: But you love it.
A: I know, gotta sleep now. Love you, sort of.
C: Haha. Sort of love you too.
Miranda read Andrea’s work, and it was adequate. Her own personal style might have been a struggle, but she was a decent interviewer. The biographies weren’t terrible, and the girl had been writing for Runway for at least the past year. She was surprised she hadn’t met her before yesterday.
Elaine was dressed head to toe in designer labels. A fiery red dress, and classic black heels. She passed through the glass door, for this sudden meeting. The blonde sauntered in, looking over her thin rimmed glasses, before seating herself before the great Priestly.
Miranda glanced up. “Tell me, who is Andrea Sachs?”
Elaine stared at her, gaping for a split second, before shutting her mouth. “One of our freelancers. She’s good at what she does, reliable, always meets a deadline. Easy to edit. A model writer.”
Miranda took out one of the articles. “This one is to be published next issue.”
Elaine frowned. “That was going to be cut, to make way for...”
“It will be in the next issue.” Miranda put it back down, before turning to her computer screen. “Who introduced her to you?”
“Christian Thompson--” Elaine began, before Miranda held up her hand.
“That is all.”
Elaine smiled, tightly. “Of course.” Before standing and leaving. When she got to the safety of her own desk, she pulled out her phone.
E: Don’t know what you did Andy, but you’re in the next issue.
A: I thought I was being taken out?
E: Not according to Priestly.