Unexpected Fate(10)

By: Harper Sloan

Sluggishly, I pull myself from bed and make quick work of showering and getting ready for the day. I’ve missed way too much work, and even though I have the coolest boss in the world, I can’t afford to miss much more. Especially now that, after all of this, I’m even more convinced that I have to get the hell out of my parents’ house.

Grabbing my phone, I press the screen and wait for Lyn to pick up. One half of my best-friend duo since birth, Lyndsie Cage has been my go-to for everything—and I mean everything. She loves the fact that I have a ridiculous crush on her unattainable brother. She encourages my love for him. God, I love the little head-in-the-clouds dreamer.

“Yo, bitch!” she laughs, and I smile.

“What’s up, hooker?” I throw back.

“Nothing much. Lila just left to head off to school. I swear she is never going to graduate,” she jokes.

“Yeah, well, that’s what happens when you’re going after your doctorate, Lyn. I think she has to sign her soul away for the next twenty years or something,” I snicker.

I couldn’t be prouder of Lila though. She has always told us that she is going to be a doctor; I guess we all just assumed she meant the medical kind. It wasn’t until the summer of our junior year in high school, when we were all working at a local day care, that she decided she had found her calling. She didn’t just want to work with kids. Nope. Not our Lila. She wanted to own, operate, and specialize in a day care for handicapped and special-needs children. Ever since then, she’s had one goal in mind. Her dual degree in special education and business management have had her eating, sleeping, and breathing school since graduation.

“You aren’t far off, I’m sure. Anyway, what’s up?”

I hear her fiddling with stuff in the background and visualize her puttering around her bathroom, getting ready for work as well. She probably has her thick, black hair up rolled in a bun on the top of her head while she makes sure her makeup is two hundred percent perfect.

“Nothing much. Just getting ready for work. I feel like I’ve been off forever. Has the place gone up in flames since last week?” I ask, only half joking.

“Not really,” she giggles.

Oh shit.

“Lyn,” I warn. “What did he do now?” I probe, dreading her answer. The last time I took a week-long vacation, I came back to work to a nut house.

“Well, where do you want me to start? You should know by now that, just because he has calmed down some over the years, when he gets some wild hair, there is no stopping him.”

“Start from the beginning,” I spit out through my teeth.

Using my shoulder to hold the phone, I pull my black pants over my hips, step into my favorite four-inch, black-suede heels with the gold-studded bowtie adorning the top. They’re freaking fabulous, and with the “must wear at least one item that is gold” requirement at work, they work perfectly. Of course, my feet will be screaming before the day is over, but at least they’re going to be screaming while looking badass.

I’ve worked for Dilbert Harrison for the last two years. Dilbert Harrison also lovingly known as Uncle Sway. He’s the most over-the-top, not-a-care-in-the-world, fun-loving, and flamboyant man I know. I’ve heard stories about how, when we were younger, before he and his partner adopted their daughter Stella, he would prance around with a long, blond wig and heels taller than any of our mothers would brave wearing. Even Aunt Dee, who always has the coolest heels, wouldn’t even touch them.

But his fun-loving, not-a-care-in-the-world personality can also be a little larger than life at times. I mean, hello. Because of him, the whole sidewalk outside the salon and a few other local businesses, including Corps Security, is painted gold with flecks of glitter.

“Well, first he decided that we needed to touch up the flooring. Since we had to close down because the paint fumes were a little much for the clientele trying to relax the last time he touched it up, he was doing it in sections with a huge box fan bungee-corded to the rolling front desk chair. Then Samantha almost broke her neck when she tripped over the extension cord, so I talked him into waiting until we closed and stayed until four in the morning helping him touch up the damn floor. I told him he needed to consider having a laminate company custom make him some gold glittered flooring and maybe it wouldn’t need touching up. I believe he might be considering it.” She stops, and I hear her moving around her house.