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Apple Picking

By Stellaasuna

Adventure / Romance

Chapter 1

Running Late

“Kagome! You’re going to be late!” Rin called up the stairs. Kagome appeared at the top of the landing in her pajamas, and squawked something around her foaming toothbrush before diving back in. She tumbled down the stairs while trying to fasten a skirt around her pajama bottoms. Rin helped her out of her grubby T-shirt and into a crisp white shirt from the clean-laundry pile in the den that never seemed to make it upstairs to the dresser.

“Thanks! Sorry!” Kagome said breathlessly, searching in the couch cushions for her shoes. When Rin saw what she was doing she tsked and fetched a pair of pumps from the hall closet.

“Wear these, Kagome,” she said with a touch of asperity.

“What? What’s wrong with my shoes?” Kagome asked, displaying herself a little indecently as she struggled into a too-tight pair of combat boots.

“You can’t wear combat boots with a pencil skirt to your first day of work,” Rin explained.

“I like my shoes. They’re cute.” Kagome pouted a little bit, but Rin held firm with her roommate, who couldn’t always be trusted when it came to wardrobe decisions.

“Wear mine today. Your kids are only ten; you don’t want to scare them.”

“Awww, they’ll be fine…” Kagome said, but she pulled the boots off and reached for the pumps anyway.

“And button one more button of that shirt.” Rin added, not being able to help herself.

“Oh come on!” Kagome exclaimed. “This is way more tame than most of my outfits!”

“Kagome, you’re not an artist anymore!” Rin declared, but then hastily went on at the hurt look on her roommate’s face, “Ok, you’re not ONLY an artist anymore. Just listen to me, okay?”

“Fine. Okay.” Kagome looked down to button her shirt, “Whoa, you’re right!” She quickly fastened two additional buttons.

“Good luck!” Rin chimed as she ushered Kagome out the door of the tiny rented house. She watched fondly as her best friend teetered down the porch steps and onto the gravel front path, unsure of herself in heels. She tossed her college backpack unceremoniously into the passenger seat of her car and hit her head as she got in, swearing loudly.

Rin stood on the porch as Kagome drove away. She’d known her roommate since they were children and played together in the creek down the road from their homes. Kagome had a wandering heart; she’d always lurched from one interest to another. While Rin had patiently studied horticulture in college and kept a small online-based business afloat on her own, Kagome had flitted between three or four different majors before eventually dropping out. She worked at a bookstore, at a bar, and at a paint-it-yourself ceramic shop before starting her own internet business selling her ink drawings in the form of prints, post-cards, and stationery. Rin had hoped the venture would succeed, but Kagome couldn’t make enough money to live off of. She ended up going back to school to finish her original major, education. Now she finally had a real job and Rin desperately hoped for her friend that it would go out.

Rin shook her head slowly and turned to go back inside. Kagome was on her own now. She had flowers to deliver.

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