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The Proposal

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“You’re fired.” Jake announced as he approached Jade.   

“I’m what?” The raven-haired girl went wide eyed.   

“We’re downsizing.” Jake shrugged.   

“That’s just great!” Jade spoke  exasperatedly .    

“Sorry, Jade.”   

Jade West was a hard worker, but also an overworked one. This was just one of three jobs she had. Life after college wasn’t all sunshine and roses for the girl. She had majored in Film with a minor in Music. Her dream was to be a successful film writer, but that was easier said than done. She made ends meet as a waitress, clerk at a sex shop, and weekend lounge singer. It didn’t help matters that she had a five-year-old at home.   

“When’s my last day? I have a kid, by the way.” She sighed heavily.   

“Today. Sorry.” Jake was less-than  sympathetic .    

“Fantastic, really.”   

With a huff, she gathered her things and clocked out. No use putting in the overtime she’d planned on doing. As she walked towards her car, her  PearPhone  vibrated in her pocket. It was Cat sending a picture of her infant daughter - for the fourth time today.   

Jade chuckled,  “She looks tired. Are you keeping her awake?”  

A reply came quickly,  “No, she won’t sleep! I’ve been trying for 45 minutes!”   

Unlocking her door and then siding in,  “Lay her down with soft music playing. That always works when I’m watching her.”   

“KK! I’ll try that now!”  Cat giddily replied.   

Jade bit her lip,  “Can I come over? I have some time to kill before my next shift.”  

“You got fired again?”   

“Yep.”  

“Come on over. I’ve got  cheesecake  :)”   

———  

“So, I have something to talk to you about,” Cat spoke apprehensively as she cut into the cheesecake.   

“You’re pregnant again, aren’t you?” Jade asked flatly as she stirred her coffee.   

“No!” Cat responded quickly. “It’s about someone we know.”   

With a kinked brow, “Okay, who?” Jade tilted her head to the side.   

“Tori. She wants to get in contact with you,” Cat placed a piece of cheesecake on Jade’s plate.   

“What does little miss pop star want?” Jade asked with an annoyed tone.   

Cat cut herself a slice of cheesecake, “I don’t know. She asked me for your number, but I wanted to talk to you about it first.”   

It's not  like  the girls had bad blood. They just hadn’t spoken to each other in a very long time.   

Jade thought for a moment, “I suppose I could talk to her. You can give her my number.”  

“Promise you won’t be mean to her?”  

“I can’t make that promise.”  

“Ugh, Jade!”  

“Ugh, Cat!”  

“Promise me.”  

“Fiiiiinnneee. I promise.”   

——————-  

Upon graduating from Hollywood Arts, Tori and Andre teamed up together. They independently produced three albums for Tori and it brought her a modest amount of fame. She was following her dreams and so was Andre. Over time, Tori lost touch with the rest of gang. It had been almost five years since Tori and Jade had last spoke. So, this wanting to have a chat all of the sudden made Jade wonder.   

“Hey Jade, it’s Tori.”  That text came through as Jade was getting ready to  clock  in at Job #2.   

“Hey Vega. I’m getting ready to clock in. I’ll be off around 11. Can we talk then?”  

“Of course. I look forward to it :)”   

Jade’s shift passed by quickly and she was thankful. No rude customers or weirdos, so it was a good night. She texted Tori to let her know that she was off work. Upon unlocking her car, Tori responded.   

“I’m sorry for being such a bad friend.”  Jade was taken aback by the apology.   

“Hey, you were busy living your dreams. It’s fine, Vega.”   

“But that still doesn’t excuse how I acted. I’m truly sorry, Jade.”   

“Well, I forgive you.”  

“Thank you. :) Can you meet tomorrow for lunch?”   

Jade furrowed her brow in confusion,  “Are you planning on murdering me? Payback for all of my attempts?”  

“Maybe. Meet me at  Nozu  around noon to find out.”   

She laughed at Tori’s sass.  “I’ll see you then.”   

—————