“Roxie, you have to go with me to this new singles event!” her roommate Evelyn announced. She bounced into her bedroom. Roxie set down her paintbrush and sighed. Ever since her divorce became official, nine months ago, Evelyn had been pushing her to join in on the singles events she frequented. Evelyn had rich brown hair, hazel eyes, and a sun-kissed tan. Roxie envied Evelyn’s skin tone. She, on the other hand, was pale, thanks to her European heritage.
“No, I tried marriage once. I’m not interested in a new one.” Roxie shook her head and went back to work on her landscape. On a whim, two weeks ago, she went on a trip to the Grand Canyon, wanting to get away from everyone and everything. Her mother was forever asking her to quit painting and focus on her job as an executive assistant at her father’s tax firm. The very thought made her sick. She loved her parents, but they were very traditional in their thinking. She always wore elbow-length sleeves to hide her intricate tattoos. She’d gotten one after her divorce to rebel against Mitchell’s ideals. The one blossomed into an almost half sleeve in the year and nine months since they separated and divorced.
“It differs from the other events, Roxie. They seek us, curvy women, at these. The company is called Mate Me, it is social gatherings hosted to bring together shifter forever mates. Just imagine a large, out of this world, shifter devoted to you for life,” Evelyn sighed. She gave a dreamy smile, and Roxie rolled her eyes. She and Evelyn were what the world deemed plus-sized. They had extra all over, and in her experience, men moved on from her to a younger, thinner model.
“I’m twenty-seven, Evvy and divorced,” Roxie argued.
“Young and single! Come with me on Friday. Use this as an opportunity to meet new people,” Evelyn begged. She held out the flyer for Roxie to look over.
“Where is the event being held?” Roxie asked. She knew Evelyn wouldn’t drop the issue until she caved.
“Club Cerulean, they have rented the place out. We pay a thirty-dollar cover, plus any food or drink we purchase,” Evelyn explained.
“How long do I have to stay?”
“Two hours, I want you to at least try to meet people. No one is asking you to date, just find a friend you can talk art with, while I look for my mate.” Evelyn’s brown eyes danced with excitement as she spoke.
“I’ll go for two hours. I can’t promise to be much company,” Roxie replied.
“All I ask is you talk to anyone who speaks to you,” Evelyn laughed.
“Fine, now let me get back to my painting.” Roxie tried to ignore her friend.
“When are you going to show your portfolio to Dragon Lore Art Gallery?” Evelyn demanded. She worked as a tour guide for the local art museum and continued to urge Roxie to show her work.
“Never, Mitchell told me I was decent with my art.” Roxie swallowed back the tears pricking her eyes. One reason she had fallen in love with him, to begin with, was his background in art. His parents were art dealers and ran their own gallery in New York. Mitchell was the current director. His job was to look for the newest artists and make them famous. He never thought much of Roxie’s work and would tell her any chance he got.
“Screw him. He never wanted you to be successful and leave his ass first. Your paintings are amazing and could rival some at the museum,” Evelyn argued, wrapping her arms around Roxie’s shoulders, taking in the painting on her easel.
“Thanks, sweetie, but I’m not ready for more rejection just yet.” Roxie put her earbuds in and added to the pink sunset over the Grand Canyon. She felt Evelyn pat her shoulder and leave her in peace. Roxie worked through the night skipping dinner once she got in the zone with her art nothing else mattered.
First chapter, let me know your thoughts!