“One day you’re going to remember me and how much I loved you… then you’re gonna hate yourself for letting me go.“
~Aubrey Drake Graham
Kat was on the verge of tears, as she stepped out of Adena’s Chelsea apartment and into the street. She had just finished telling Adena she needed to find herself and didn’t want a relationship with her. If that wasn’t bad enough, the night’s thick muggy air felt like it was squeezing all the oxygen out of her lungs. Kat could barely breath and ran into a bodega across the street to buy a cold bottle of water. It was late and the only other customer inside was a heavyset older woman with a mini-folding shopping cart, looking in the refrigerated display case in back, next to the cold waters.
“Oh my, I hope these eggs are fresh. They expired yesterday. What do you think, Miss?”
Kat looked up holding a bottled water and just started bawling in her free hand.
“Oh no, baby girl! Did some cruel man break your heart? Come, come give your auntie Melva a hug,” the woman offered.
“It’s okay, I’m....I’m okay,” Kat said wiping her tears on the back of her blazer sleeve. “I actually broke my own heart this time. But thank you. The eggs should be fine for another month.... Have a goodnight.”
Kat swiveled to her left and trudged to the cashier to pay for the water and a large bag of Kit Kats she grabbed on the way there. She knew she had lots of wine at her place to wash the chocolate wafers down, so she hit the sidewalk again and flagged down a cab, heading home. She was in a rush to get as far from Adena’s apartment as possible.
- - - - -
The alarm sound blared from Kat’s phone and she reached out and blindly tapped snooze, grabbing the bedsheets and pulling them completely over her head. But nine minutes later the annoying foghorn noise was blasting again, signaling that the Social Media Director had to get up for work. She held her throbbing head and yelled out into the empty loft, “Fuck!” Kat sat up in bed and this time stopped the irritating sound for good. “Ohhh, why is my life always so fucking complicated?”
It was Thursday morning and she had an early pitch meeting with Angie, Patrick, and Jacqueline. So she ambled over to her kitchen and clicked the coffee pot on, then went to take a shower. The water was set on as hot as she could physically take, hoping the steam would clear her sinuses and relieve some of her headache.
She dried and got semi-dressed, gulping down two cups of coffee and eating a bowl of cereal. Kat then popped two aspirins and picked up her phone to text her friends.
Sooo last night I broke it off with Tia and Adena
Just call me single-pringle
Kat wanted her friends to know what had happened but wanted to keep it all light, and not a big deal.
. . .
What?! OMG Kat, that’s a BIG deal!
Nooo! It’s ok, Jane.
I need this right now....freedom
I just need to be alone and find myself
Babe, what’s there to find???
You just lost an election, but the rest of your life’s great!
Look, let’s talk about it at work
I’m gonna go finish getting ready
Just wanted you guys to know the sitch
. . .
WHAT THE F, KAT!!!!!!!
Sorry, I was in the shower
So you just got to have bomb sex with Adena and you’re dumping her already??
Shit! I’m not dumping her!
We weren’t dating!
I’m off to dress!
Oh-k, talk soon at work instead
See you soon!
- - - - -
The three friends met up in the Safford Building’s lobby and spent a few spare minutes talking to Kat about Tia and Adena. Kat caught them up on her relationship drama a bit until they had to leave, taking the elevator up and walking into Scarlet’s 38th floor.
.... “Andrew what’s going on, where’s Jacqueline?!” Jane demanded information.
The three friends couldn’t believe their eyes. The whole office floor was being evacuated. There were boxes everywhere and all the desks were being taken apart and carried out.
“Okay, okay. Attention everyone, gather around the bullpen!” Lauren Park had come down from the Executive Department of Advertising to talk to the employees. “Jacqueline asked me to address you all this morning, as she had a family emergency and had to fly out to Chicago for a few days. As you can see, your workspace is being removed. During a routine maintenance check, our building engineers found asbestos in the office ceiling pipe insulation. Being exposed to asbestos is very detrimental to our health, so the entire 38th floor of Scarlet will be evacuated and relocated until the nasty stuff is removed. Please head over to the 34th floor for relocation assignments. I WILL NOT have time for any questions, thank you.”
“Wow, crazy morning!” Jane proclaimed as she looked over to Kat and Sutton who we’re still shocked by the ordeal.
- - - - -
It was one week after the asbestos relocation and everyone was settled into their temporary new workspaces. Kat was housed on the 34th floor with Patrick, Angie, Jacqueline and crew, and had come up to the 40th floor to see Jane and Sutton. She was sitting on Jane’s desk drinking a mango-chia smoothie. “I hate the fact that we are located on different floors. I miss seeing you and Sutton from across the room.”
“Yeah, me too. And I miss our fashion closet meetings even more,” Jane replied.
“That open space they moved Sutton and Oliver to just doesn’t cut it for a fashion closet. Can’t wait ‘til they fix the 38th floor. Stupid asbestos!”
Jane was sitting in her office chair, wiping down her computer keyboard and looked up at Kat and said, “Hey, earlier I walked in on Theresa from H.R. telling Jacqueline that Adena starts next Monday morning.”
“Oh-kay.... I figured she’d start soon,” Kat replied with a nonchalant shrug, sucking on her straw.
Jane tilted her head. “How do you feel about that?”
“It’s a free country....she’s entitled.”
Jane stopped what she was doing and swiveled her body completely towards Kat with her mouth quirked up and a questioning look.
“What? I really don’t want to talk about it. Our situation is awkward and in a state of limbo right now. I just want to let everything be....normal, as best possible.”
“So....you talking about just being friends? Or, you talking about acquaintances...enemies...strangers....Uhmmm?” Jane asked with slow, short nods of her head.
Kat took a deep breath and set down her drink, scratching at the back of her head. “I’m shooting for just good friends...coworkers who occasionally grab a coffee downstairs.”
Jane looked at her friend with a small grin and Sutton walked over to Jane’s desk.
“Howdy y’all!....Hey, Kat is visiting us.... Hooray!”
“Hi Sutton,” Kat greeted.
“Have I mentioned how much I love this Vera Wang blouse I’m wearing? Got it at the ‘Rag Outlet’ last weekend. Drool beaches, drool!”
“Yes you have.” Jane and Kat answered in unison, slapping their flat palms together in a high-five.
“Ha, ha! You guys are sooo cool.” Sutton mocked and stuck her tongue out at the two.
Kat stood up and tossed her empty cup in Jane’s trash bin. “Welp, I best go back to my desk. Patrick’s got me doing some bullshit post on how face cream actually causes wrinkles.” Jane chuckled and rolled her eyes.
Before Kat could walk off, Sutton held her arm saying, “Kat, Richard mentioned Adena’s starting next week. He was asked to sign off on her employment contract by HR last night. Thought you’d want to know such juicy news.”
Kat looked down towards Jane and then back up at the blonde, sighing....”On that note, I’m outta here,” and left.
Jane looked at Sutton and repeated what Kat had said earlier to her, “Kat’s shooting to be just good friends with Adena.”
“Yeah, we’ll see what happens, Kat Edison,” Sutton said under her breath so only Jane could hear.