Chapter 3 | Friendly Comfort
Elizabeth sat crouched against the wall of the sidewalk. The streets were empty in this part of the city. The moment she left the restaurant, she could feel her anger dissipating by the night’s breeze. The icy wind that she so hated before, that froze her senses, now served her. Numbing her mind, forgetting what had just happened. She wouldn’t care less about walking out there without falling in love, the pay check really killed her. And not only the horrible pay check but also the week she had experienced.
She felt relaxed, so she took a walk. It lasted from dodging people from the bustling streets of uptown New York until she turned a corner into a wide alleyway. With a single lamp post lighting the wide empty street, she felt at ease. Elizabeth leaned against a cold brick wall and crouched down, staring at the shining stars of the night sky. Placing the plastic bags down on the floor, she allowed herself to breathe for a moment.
Elizabeth sighed as she took out her cell phone from her small sling bag. She turned it on with one simple flick and there, in the darkness that engulfed her, a bright light that shone through the device pierced her eyes. It took a second for her eyes to adjust to the sudden brightness. Elizabeth scrolled through the limited names on her contact list, scrolling and scrolling to see who she could bother. After a while, Elizabeth smiled at the name she turned up on and there she texted her good friend, Megan, to see what she was up to on this unlucky night of hers.
Megan Wells was the person who would pick up or text back no matter what situation she was in. She always kept her eyes on her phone. Being the owner of a large fashion label, popular within the entire nation, being on the forefront of trends and training her mind to infer and innovate for the future market was a must.
Elizabeth had always known that Megan had the talent, but she always seemed worried in the past if she would become one to use it well. Megan was one of the people who are naturally extroverted, enthusiastic, and a very happy-go lucky, ‘go with the flow’ kind of person. Many people might frown on this slightly dangerous personality because of how irrational they may seem, but Elizabeth always admired Megan.
She tried everything from opium to horse riding. This was because she never turned down any opportunity. Elizabeth was constantly worried about her best friend because of this, always finding her in weird and dangerous situations. Even so, she wanted to be like her in this way.
She actually never really needed to worry about Megan. After accepting a drink with a designer, whom she saw as a stranger, and spontaneously showing her designs, it immediately set her for success. Elizabeth was proud of her. It got herself to get to the top.
Elizabeth felt slightly guilty for hovering over her name. The night was still early and she might have work to be done. Elizabeth proceeded with her plan. She needed the company, and she was seriously hungry. The thought of eating alone felt lonely tonight. She let go of the thought and be selfish just this once.
Elizabeth’s fingers seemed to naturally type on her keyboard, to say,
/ “What are you up to? “/
/” In a meeting, what’s up girl? xx “./
/“I shouldn’t have distracted you then.“/
/“I was distracted anyway, it’s fine.” /
/“Have you eaten? “/
/” Nope. “/
/” I’ll come over to your office, I’ve got food”/
/” Yaysies meeting will be finished in 15 mins. Expecting alcohol ;)” /
Elizabeth turned off the phone, smiling slightly, seeing her best friend would be free. She stood up and grabbed the plastic bags from the ground. She dusted herself off before continuing to go on her way. She turned around the corner and succeeded to hail a taxi.
Megan’s office was about twenty minutes away to where she is right now. It was fairly near her home though, Elizabeth seemed to visit her building regularly that she almost knew all the people. The only thing left to do was work there for good, Megan constantly mentioned that she would happily take her in and give her the regular pay right away. She was happy having such a good backup, but that future never crossed her mind. Writing was her passion, so no matter what it took, she would strive for it.
The taxi arrived right in front of the hip building known as Megan’s studio. It was covered in large colorful contemporary murals by famous artists in their city. The plants that surrounded the building were well maintained and thought the architecture of the whole thing itself to be very futuristic.
The Wells, Megan’s label, was a brand that mostly focused on trendy yet elegant clothing items that make use of futuristic designs to bring back retro. Megan mentioned that it was called ‘Newtro’ but even now Elizabeth couldn’t understand the whole motif.
Elizabeth walked towards the huge glass entrance of the building. The door was opened by one of the security guards whom smiled at her.
“Thank you, Sir Helm. Good evening to you too Sir Vince.”
“Welcome back young master” the three laughed at the remark by Sir Vince “Boss is expecting you” .
“I know, now let the young master pass.” Both of them continued to laugh as Elizabeth’s did her best to put on a snob-like face which got her laughing afterwards.
The employees of the building tease her by calling her the ‘young master’. Though she was a girl, they say Megan always treats Elizabeth like her son. Always making time and telling her about all the projects and asking for her opinions, hence the odd nickname.
Elizabeth rode the elevator to the top floor where Megan’s office would be. She greeted the secretaries and the executives before making her way to the familiar lounge where she always sat. It was a beautiful room at just the right size complete with and artistic yet minimalist mural of patterns that covered the walls that Megan always called her ‘employees’ stress balls’ because looking at the beautiful wall would make you feel good and revitalized, as so Megan would say.
Elizabeth placed the two plastic bags down on the coffee table and removed her coat. She placed it beside her along with her other things and finally laid her head against the soft sofa’s head rest. Elizabeth couldn’t help but close her eyes, and so she decided she would take a nap while waiting for Megan. Before she did, she couldn’t help but think how easily she forgot her problems when Megan invited her.
Megan Wells adjourned the meeting, happy at the progress made. Her employees one by one left the small room, “Boss, want to go eat dinner with us?” one of her employee asked casually.
“No, I have someone to see tonight. You can all go off eat without me.”
“Goodbye then boss, have a good dinner”
She resumed to piling the scattered pieces of paper on the table. She slowly clipped each page on her pink folder, looking at it as she goes. It contained the looks they would use for this seasons’ show. She was happy at the selection. She truly believed it was one of her best designs so far, with the use of intricate patterns of embroidered lace and the weird expansion to use tulle in some of the chosen pieces.
When she finished, she clutched the folder on her side and swirled the pen in her fingers. She turned off the lights, then exited the dark room. She headed towards her office just at the top floor of her studio. As soon as she exited the elevator, she saw Elizabeth’s sleeping figure on her white couch. She giggled at the sight, but first headed to her office to set down the folder before waking her up.
Megan slowly approached Elizabeth, walking lightly to mute the clicking sound of her shoes. She stooped down to the level of the sofa and laughed while placing her fingers on Elizabeth’s side. She started to slightly graze that part with her fingers, making Elizabeth change her position. Megan was on the verge of laughing and started the torture. Tickling Elizabeth, who soon was finally wide awake, but Megan didn’t stop at anything.
“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....MEGGGG..STOPPP IT HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....′ she screeched with laughter, moving all around.
Megan never listened to Elizabeth’s plead but then Elizabeth whacks away Megan’s hands and the force left her to lose her balance and fall short on the carpeted floor under her. Elizabeth does her best to sit straight to avoid anymore tickling but when she saw Megan’s figure she bursted out laughing. Her laughter triggered Megan. Soon, the two women just sat at their positions laughing their lungs off.
The sound of the plastic bags opening up filled the room as Elizabeth did her best to get the steak out. Eventually, she resorted to let Megan do the opening up for her because she couldn’t undo the knots with her short nails compared to Megan’s long ones. Elizabeth then took out the two plastic containers from the inside and opened them both up. The familiar scent of the garlic flows all throughout the room which made her salivate. She ate her portion from before and gave the clean one to Megan as she served up the wine in her beautiful slim glasses that were always ready on the minibar’s counter in her office.
“So why do you suddenly bring me good steak and wine, what’s up?”
Elizabeth laughed at the sarcasm, “I had a long day and the food... It’s a long story.”
“Well, I have plenty of time since I finished work early.” Megan says casually, taking a huge sip from the glass.
“Well, today was the blind date I told you about.”
“Oh, was it today? How was it? Did you finally find the love of your life and you’re celebrating with your bestie with steak and wine she hasn’t had in a month?”
“No, you know it’s never like that, quite the opposite actually.”
“So, what happened?”
Elizabeth slowly recalled the events of that night with detail to Megan, who listened to the whole thing seriously, sharing her opinions and feelings along the way. As she finished explaining what she had experiences, Megan suddenly cried out facing the ceiling.
“What a bastard!” She grabbed Elizabeth’s hands and followed by asking, “Where’s his restaurant, I’ll go beat him up.”
Elizabeth laughed while giving Megan a thumbs up. “Sure, that would be lovely.” Megan seriously helped cheer her up after the hard time she had lately.
“Girl, you gotta forget tonight and the money you’ve spent. Let’s go to a club next week, Sunday, on me.”
Elizabeth hesitated on accepting the offer and this was very visible to her friend who they followed up the suggestion with, “You’re never busy and trust me with the clothes, you don’t have to worry about anything. We’ve got prototype pieces from this season’s ideas. They did not make the cut but they’re still so very cute so I’ll give an outfit to you.”
On second thought, going to a club might not be a bad idea. Though she disliked dancing, the drinks and the loud music would comfort her well. She then nodded in defeat to her thoughts and to Megan’s coercion.
Megan smiled at her friend. She grabbed a hold of Elizabeth’s shoulders and shook them in celebration while saying, ” Yay! Another girl’s night out, we’ll have fun El. Don’t worry.”
“Thank you, Megan really. Now, how is it going with your new collection?” Elizabeth asked, changing the topic to something equally enjoyable for Megan.
Megan exclaimed excitement as she briskly walked to her office and grabbed the same pink folder from before. There they spent the rest of the night browsing through the new designs, sharing opinions and ideas for Megan’s next show.