Sugar & Spice

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Chapter 3

The next morning, I wake to the smell of something cooking. Desperately, I want to go back to sleep, but the food is calling my name. When I got in last night, I threw myself in the shower, almost falling asleep as the water poured down on me. I wouldn’t too if Blaire hadn’t come in the bathroom to pee and check on me. She stayed in the bathroom and chatted with me until I was done. She provided me with some herbal tea before sending me to bed and returning to hers.

She really is the best.

Throwing the covers off of me, the sun beams through the spaces in the curtains and shines right in my eyes. I can imagine if a group of children could see the face I make, they’d run screaming for I surely look like a troll.

As if I’m the bride of Frankenstein, I sit up with my hair all over the place. I could really use a haircut, but I never do it. Half blind and half sleep, my hand slides over the nightstand until it locates a hair tie. With my eyes closed, I gather it all up and secure it into a bun before getting out of, doing my best not to trip over the clothes I threw off last night.

However, when I open my eyes, nothing is on my floor.

Blaire. She also does my laundry for me. God, I love that girl.

I never asked Blaire to do any of these things, but she feels like she owes me something for helping her out of her last relationship. We first met at a rundown laundry mat and we got to talking. After that, we started planning to meet and do laundry at the same time. The more we got talking, the more she told me about herself. After a while, it finally came out that her boyfriend had quite the temper. Honestly, she didn’t even have to tell me, the badly hidden bruises told the story. When she did tell me though, I gave her my number to call or text when she needed anything.

One night she texted that she wanted to leave, but the jerk wouldn’t let her out of the apartment. Now, my mama didn’t teach me much about relationships, but the one thing she did tell me was never let anyone beat me. She used to give me her version of self-defense classes in the kitchen when various household items. I swung pots, pans, and bats. It just so happens that I had an autographed bat in the corner of my room that was collecting dust. Blaire sent me her address and when her boyfriend answered the door, I started swinging.

One hit to the leg and he went down. Crying, frantic, and beaten, Blaire came running out with one bag of her belongings. The douche bag tried to get in contact with her a few times, but I always answered letting him know that I would beat his head to a pulp if he came near her. He eventually stopped calling. Now the one thing neither of them new was when I went to swinging that bat, I was scared out of my mind, but I had to do the right thing.

Now, Blaire acts like a mother goose. I guess she feels like she needs to take care of me since I took care of her. Every now and then I’ll wash dishes or do laundry if she has to work later than me. We have a good relationship even though it’s like mother and daughter and not friends.

When I get to the kitchen, I eye the mounted baseball ball over the kitchen sink with the words “Swing first, ask questions later.” in medium stick on letters over it. It was Blaire’s idea.

She doesn’t notice me come in until she turns around with two plates along with her phone pinched between her shoulder and face.

“Oh, hey girly. Sleep well?”

“Yep. It was much needed.”

I watch her talk to someone on the other end before ending the call.

“Busy last night?” She says, sitting the phone on the counter.

“God, yes. It was crazy in there. What about you?”

“Eh, it was okay. Most people were at bars watching football.” She gives me a smile and I roll my eyes.

“Whatever, butthead.”

I take a piece of bacon off my plate, munching down on the greasy goodness.

“How were the tips? Better?”

“$367.” I try to say while chewing.

Blaire nods.

“Awesome. $220 for me.” She scrunches up her nose while cutting her pancakes.

“Not bad.”

“True, but these assholes came in and 5 steak dinners for their group and then tipped me shit change. George says that he’ll consider me for a raise since he knows I never miss a shift and I always come in when he calls last minute.”

“Hm, that’s nice of George.”

“Mmhmm.” She hums, not making eye contact.”

It’s a given fact that Blaire is madly in love with her boss George. She has been wanting him since she laid eyes on him. When they met, she said he had a nerdy appeal that she was attracted to. The only problem she won’t say anything. I want her to be happy with someone again. Hopefully, it’s nerdy George.

“Stop looking at me like that.” She finally says.

“I not looking at you.” I snort, picking up my orange juice.

I see her cheeks blush and it makes me shake my head.

After breakfast, I let everything digest before throwing on my yoga clothes. I’m about to set up in the living room when Blaire comes out.

“Wait, let’s go on the roof. It’s so nice outside.”

I nod, gathering my things before following her out the door. We climb two stories up to the fire escape and when Blaire opens the door, a nice breeze hits me. It is nice out.

In the middle of the roof, under the morning sun, we lay out our yoga mats and I find a yoga video on YouTube. For 45 minutes, we stretch, breathe, bend, breathe, reach, breathe, and stretch some more through various poses. Every part of my body is sweating for the most part, but I feel amazing.

Once we’re done, we just lay out for a bit while the weather is still nice and not too hot. We don’t say anything to each other, we just lay there in silence. I assume we’re supposed to be meditating which is much needed since work is so noisy. It’s nice to just be quiet for a little while. As I’m lying there trying to be one with myself, I look over at Blaire and she looks like she’s asleep.

When I see the corner of her mouth switch, I divert my eyes.

“What are you looking at me for?”

“I thought I saw bird crap on your face.”

Blaire bursts out laughing so hard that her whole body shakes.

“Asshole.”

“You asked.” I force a laugh.

After laying out for a bit, the run begins rising over the building as it gets closer to noon. We grab our things and head back in and before Lina can sit her things down, I toss everything on the sofa and sprint to the shower.

“I call dibs on the first hot water.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” She yells.

In the bathroom, I strip out of the clothes and throw them in the hamper with my name on it. Under the hot water, I feel my muscles relax even more as I begin washing my hair. With suds running down my face, I hear Blaire come in.

“Can I borrow your halter top for work?”

“And what if I say no?” I ask, hearing her rumble around the sink.

“You can say no, but it won’t stop me from taking it. What are you wearing to work?”

I think about it for a minute while the shampoo rinses from my hair.

“Um, jeans, shirt, shoes?”

Blaire groans as she starts doing whatever she’s doing.

“I’ll pick out your outfit.”

“Sure.” I know not to even argue with her about it.

Like I said, she acts like my keeper. I complain about it sometimes, but the truth is, it just makes me more grateful for her every day.

When I get out of the shower, Blaire is still in the bathroom with green goop on her face. I wrap the towel around myself and reach for my toothbrush. As I’m brushing my teeth, Blaire undresses and hops in the shower.

A little before 1, my hair is dry and I’m dressed in tight distressed jeans with a strapless blouse. I had to borrow a strapless bra from Blaire just to wear it. My hair is in two French braids and there’s minimal makeup on my face. I could’ve worn a shirt and shorts, but better appearance, better tips.

Blaire is in the kitchen fixing lunch before leaving for work. I still have till 2 before I have to head into work. In my room, I text the other bartender I work with and he says that he won’t be at work due to his wife being put on bedrest during her pregnancy.

Fudge.

Groaning, I throw the phone on the bed and head to the kitchen.

“What’s for lunch?”

“Grilled chicken wraps with some peach tea.”

I nod.

“So, I’m working alone tonight. I’ll be home late.”

“Again? Damn, does that guy ever work?”

“You’d think with a baby on the way, but nope. He texted me and told me.”

“Whatever, more money for you.”

She has a point.

Blaire doesn’t talk long. When she’s done with our lunch, she packs her up, kisses the top of my head, and heads out. By myself, I head to the living room to eat and catch up on tv. I flip through a few channels before landing on some reality show. It’s the middle of a Tuesday so it’s pretty much the only thing that’s on.

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