Christina slowly walked into her dimly lit apartment. Placing the box with all of her possessions from work on the table in front of the small kitchen. She plopped down into the nearest chair and stared at the box. She was fired.
The apartment was quiet. She could hear a rustling in the nearest bedroom alerting her that Ruby was up and working. Ruby was a computer wiz who could work from anywhere in the world. She chose to work from her and Christina’s apartment. This usually meant that she was around most days, lived off Mountain Dew and Twizzlers and wore a revolving wardrobe of geek related tees, leggings or yoga pants. After the day she had, that last thing she needed was the inquisition from the wiz kid who couldn’t get fired from her job if she tried.
“Hey Chris! What are you doing home?” Ruby came out of her room holding her laptop. Today she wore leggings with flip flops on them and a t-shirt that said I keep pushing esc but I’m still here.
“I lost my job.” Christina said softly to the box in front of her.
“What did you say?” Ruby walked over to the table and placed her laptop next to the box. Peering inside she gasped. “What the hell happened?”
“I lost my job.” Christina repeated.
“Well, I can see that from the contents in the box. Why did they fire one of the best associates they had?” Ruby stood with her hands on her hips and glared down at her. Her brown eyes, behind dark framed glasses, had a fire that Christina knew meant she was ready to kick some serious ass. Unfortunately, the rest of her wasn’t as intimidating. She was just over five feet tall, thin with long curly brown hair that was perpetually pulled into a messy bun on her head. She could have easily been a high-powered executive wearing stilettos and suits every day. She’s gorgeous no matter what she wears.
“Its been a really long and horrible day, Ruby. Can we save the inquisition for another time?”
Ruby nodded. “Ben and Jerry’s with a Tarentino marathon it is.”
Christina blinked at her best friend and roommate. “That’s it? No twenty questions or strong-arm tactics?”
Shaking her head, “You get a break today. But, tomorrow we will talk and get to the bottom of this nonsense.”
The rest of the day blended into night as Kill Bill vol. 2 played on the screen. Ruby was slumped over in the oversized recliner with an empty bowl and spoon on her lap. There was a smudge of chocolate across her cheek and she softly snored. Christina laid down on the couch covered in an old Notre Dame blanket and watched the images on the screen as Uma Thurman battled Darryl Hannah. It felt like her life was over. Everything she had worked for was thrown out the window.
Christina woke to a ringing next to her bed. Her cell phone was lighting up, flashing and playing the Brady Bunch theme song. She knew exactly who it was and why they were calling. She’d been avoiding this call for the last week. Christina couldn’t avoid it any longer. Sighing she sat up on her bed and picked up her phone.
“Hi Poppin. How are you doing? I feel like it’s been an age since I got to talk to my little girl.” The British lilt to his voice was like a balm to her soul. Whenever she heard it she could instantly relax. She’d missed talking to her dad, but she couldn’t lie to him and she was definitely not ready to go into more detail about her firing.
“Sorry, Dad. It has been a really rough week. I’ve been putting resumes out and reaching out to all my connections.” It was all true. What she didn’t tell her Dad was that almost everyone either laughed at or shamed her. Word had gotten around about her firing and why she was fired. She was official black balled from the industry. The only career she’s ever wanted had been stolen from her. It was true that no good deed went unpunished.
“Something will come up, Sweeting. If not, you can always come work with me. I’d love to have you around. You could move home and live in your old room. It could be great.” A cold rush ran over Christina. Moving home would not be an option. She had come too far to go back there. She loved her parents, but she loved her freedom even more. Working for her father wasn’t an option either. Selling medical supplies to doctor’s offices was not what she wanted out of her life. Her father had made an incredibly successful career at it and he loved what he did. Christina would probably jump off the nearest bridge after a week.
“Thanks, Dad. I’m going to keep looking around here though. I need to try to find a job, so I can pay my part of rent. I am not going to leave Ruby out in the cold.”
“Ruby could come live here too. You know your mother and I would love to have you girls home.” Christina could practically see the smile on her father’s face.
Ruby’s voice came from the doorway of my bedroom, “Thanks, Mr. Scott but I haven’t lived at home for ten years and I’m not going to start again. Love you though.” Ruby mouthed, Hell No, before walking out the door.
Her father’s chuckled. A rustling crackled through the phone. “What are you up to Dad?”
There was a beat of silence. “Well, honey, I called for a more specific reason. Do you remember your Uncle James?”
“Of course, I do. Is everything ok?”
“Unfortunately, he is ill. He called the other day to tell me and we got to talking.”
“Well, your Aunt Valentina is having a hard time taking care of him. He asked if I or your mother would be able to go over and visit for a while to lend a hand. But, you know it’s getting to be my busy season and your mother has her classes at the college.”
“What are you getting at Dad?”
“I kind of brought up that you were currently out of work and may be able to go over and lend a hand.” Christina’s father rushed out.
“Dad! How could you? I can’t just leave right now. I have to really concentrate on getting a job and helping Ruby pay rent and utilities.” Christina sighed and thought about her lovable Uncle James. He was always her favorite.
“I know, Poppin. I just figured you might be up for a little adventure before really focusing on getting a new job.”
“You know I’d love to do this for them. If I could, I would, but I just don’t see how I can right now.”
“I could pay for your flight over there and you could stay with James and Valentina. You wouldn’t need to worry about anything. It would be just for a month. I could help Ruby out with rent for that month. Please, Poppin?”
Christina sighed. It could be just what she needed. “I will think about it Dad.”
“Ok. I’ll call your aunt and uncle to tell them you are coming. Love you.”
Christina looked at the phone in her hand and laid back down on her bed. It seemed her father had a plan and he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. Looking over at the clock on her bedside table. It was 9am. She should be at work right now. Working with a professional athlete on his or her newest shoe deal. That was no longer her life. It had been taken away from her. Christina rolled out of bed with a sigh. There was a lot to do before her unplanned trip to London.