Feisty Francesca

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#53 A whole new Franny conquers the world

I feel like a different person when my uber pulls up in front of my apartment building. It was only one week, but Mom made it feel like a month – in a good way. We did the one thing that she insists you always need to do when you want to feel like a better version of yourself: we got make-overs.

My hair is now bright pink, not a blonde strand in sight. We also finally got the matching tattoos we’ve been talking about since I was 15. It’s a music note with a little heart at the end, symbolizing my father, of course. It’s just a tiny tattoo, and although it’s still healing, it already looks beautiful, the black lines a sharp contrast against the pale white skin of my inner wrist.

I also got a new piercing, which means I now have six. Two in each earlobe, two helix piercings in my left ear, my nose piercing, and my brand new eyebrow piercing. It’s a simple silver barbell just past the ach of my right eyebrow.

I look amazing.

I feel even better.

When I reach my front door, I can hear a voice inside, and freeze for a moment, but then I remember that both Thomas and Joshua have my key. Thomas has had his for ages, and I gave Joshua one so he could take care of the General while I was gone. I open the door as quietly as I can and close it behind me with the utmost care, hoping to scare the shit out of whoever is on my couch.

I hang my coat and pull off my shoes, trying to decipher whose voice I’m hearing.

“Did she really do that?” I hear Joshua ask, his tone amused. “I thought Fran could drive pretty well.”

“Oh, you’ve never seen her parallel park in the dark, my friend,” Thomas’ voice replies much to my surprise. “Franny thinks she’s a great driver, but she hit that lamppost so hard that I swear we both thought poor Pinky never would recover. She had to spend half her savings on getting that piece of crap she calls a car back on the road.”

Why the fuck are Joshua and Thomas hanging out in my apartment like they’ve been friends for ages, talking about stupid shit I’ve done over the years? This is weird. Really, really weird.

No longer in the mood to jump out and try to scare either of them, I simply push open the door to the living room and smile when they look up at me from the couch, their mouths dropping open. Yeah, that’s the effect I was going for.

Joshua is sitting with his feet propped up on the coffee table and the General has his head in Joshua’s lap, enjoying getting scratched between his ears. Josh is in sweats and an old T-shirt, looking adorable and sexy at the same time, even though that should be impossible. Thomas is in torn jeans and a white shirt with a deep V-neck, showing off his tats. His long blonde hair is in a messy man-bun on top of his head, and he’s stretched out on the couch like he owns the place, his feet right under the General’s big fluffy butt, the way they sit all the time when Thomas and I are hanging out.

It’s like the guys moved in here during my break, and I find it oddly charming. The General surely hasn’t been lonely.

“Wow,” Joshua breathes, his eyes moving over my body. “You look… wow.”

“Fucking hot,” Thomas agrees, eyes wide. “Love the hair, Fran. Pink suits you. Now you match your car.”

“Did you get a tattoo?” Joshua asks when I sink down on the chair next to the couch. He takes my arm in his hand and turns it over, smiling at the music note with the little heart. “That’s beautiful. Perfect. It’s… you.

“The eyebrow piercing is sexy as hell,” Thomas says, sitting up straight, causing the General to hiss and jump off the couch. “You look like an entirely different person, but also exactly the same. Yeah, okay, that sounds stupid, never mind.”

“I get what you mean.” It’s how I feel as well. I’m the same Franny, but a stronger version. And it’s not like I didn’t already have piercings, tattoos and bright hair. It’s just an update, not a complete transformation.

“Did your mom get the tattoo as well?” Thomas asks. “That’s the one you guys have been talking about getting for ages, right?”

“Yeah, it took us eleven years, but we finally did it.” I smile at the memory of us in the tattoo shop, where the owner was totally flirting with my mom, telling her we looked more like sisters than mother and daughter. She loved that. I’m pretty sure she slipped him her number.

My phone rings, and I think it must be my mother to see if I got home safely, but I frown when I see it’s the hospital. Joshua mutes the TV when I pick up, and both guys stay perfectly silent.

“Hi, am I speaking to Francesca Berger?” a vaguely familiar male voice asks.

“Yeah, this is her,” I confirm. “Who is this?”

“Dr. Davids,” he says, and I have absolutely no idea who that is. “I’m calling to schedule an interview with you, since you applied to become a nurse in the pediatric unit.”

“What?” I ask, getting excited. “I’m getting an interview? Really? Is Dr. Massenheimer no longer trying to keep me off his floor?”

“Oh, didn’t you hear?” Dr. Davids asks, sounding a little unsure now.

“Hear what?” I ask. “I’ve had a week off. Did anything happen?”

“Dr. Massenheimer passed away six days ago.”

“Oh wow,” I breathe. “That’s… horrible.” Sure, I hated the guy and the feeling was mutual, but I didn’t want him to die!

“I’m the new head of the pediatric wing,” Dr. Davids explains. “So… are you still interested to make the move from ER to my department?”

“Definitely! I’d love an interview.”

We schedule a time a week from now, right before my shift, and I hang up, feeling like I’m dreaming.

“Did you just get an interview in the peds wing?” Thomas asks the second I hand up, looking just as happy as I’m feeling. “How the fuck did you get Dr. Massen-asshole to agree to that?”

“I didn’t. He died.”

“Oh shit,” Joshua says, shaking his head.

“Serves him well, grade-A asshole,” Thomas mumbles.

“Hey!” I throw a pillow at him. “Don’t say that.”

“This is amazing,” Joshua says, beaming at me.

“I’m so pumped right now!” I get up, needing to move. I pace up and down the room and then I do a weird little victory dance that makes the guys laugh at me. “I’m going to slay this interview! Dr. Davids, whoever he may be, is going to be so impressed by me!”

“Of course he is!” they agree in unison, making me smile.

I’m going to be a peds nurse, I can just taste the victory already. I’m a brand-new Franny and I’m finally going to get my dream. Fuck me, I’m happy.

“Oh shit,” I suddenly realize, sinking down on the couch between Thomas and Joshua. “Oh no, I got a tattoo, yet another piercing and my hair is now pink! Oh God, what if this Dr. Davids is some old-fashioned old guy who thinks I’m too immature and unprofessional to work in his unit?”

“Then he’s stupid and he doesn’t deserve you,” Thomas replies immediately.

“He’ll see you for who you are,” Joshua add, taking my hand in his. “Trust me. After five minutes with you, he’ll know all he needs to know. You’re going to get this, Franny. I just know it. You deserve this.”

When Thomas sees me and Joshua holding hands, he draped his arm around me, pulling me into his side and rubbing my arm. “The universe is smiling down on you, babe,” he says softly.

I’m getting uncomfortable with both of them trying to be the one to comfort me, so I jump up again and get a beer from the fridge, calling my mother while I keep pacing to tell her about what just happens. She shrieks in my ear and tells me to let me know how things went the moment the interview is over. I promise to do that, and do another little dance, spilling half my beer down my light grey shirt. I curse and look down at myself, realizing that my shirt is now clinging to my lacy bra, showing off more than I’d like.

And… yeah, of course. The guys noticed right away. Joshua blushes and looks away, but Thomas just grins and throws me a wink, making it perfectly obvious that he doesn’t mind that I can see him starting. I roll my eyes and walk into the bedroom to pull on a clean shirt before joining the guys again. I don’t sit down in between them, but take my small loveseat instead, making myself comfortable while the guys get back into their positions on the couch, eating popcorn from the bowl in between them. The General pads over to me and snuggles against me in the hair, his head on my leg. I stroke him absent-mindely, my thought drifting to my interview next week.

This could be it. My dream.

In a few weeks, I could be a pediatric nurse.

Fuck me, I need to slay this.

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