I stared at the herculean amount of stacked bills and letters and other papers telling me I needed more money than I had. I ran my fingers through my hair, feeling a killer headache coming. How was I supposed to pay these amounts when I struggled enough already with rent, electricity and water bills, two kids to feed and dress college debt, and day to day expenses? I sighed, the imaginary weight on my shoulder getting even heavier. Taking notes on what needed to be paid by the end of the month, I felt distressed. Andy needed new shoes and had caught a cold so I had to use money from the emergency box, Ax’ had grown out of his winter coat and needed a new one for the upcoming winter, the rent (which I was already late on from last month), groceries, electricity and water, cat food and my college debt. I have an eighty percent scholarship at Harvard but I still needed to pay the twenty percent left. Looking through the numbers, I was five hundred dollars above my budget. I needed another job and as soon as possible or else we’ll be evicted.
The three of us lived in a small two-bedroom apartment in the outskirts of New York. It wasn’t much but really, it was better than nothing. It was only me, my sixteen years old sister Andromeda or ‘Andy’ if you prefer, and her twin Axel or Ax’. It always only was the three of us. We spent most of our lives in the foster system, going houses to houses, families to families, but we never fit in. Don’t get me wrong, they were all nice, we had wonderful families taking care of us, they just weren’t our parents. As soon as I turned eighteen, I filed the necessary papers and became their legal guardian. We are everything we need. Andy is a bright little lady, very implicated academically and she even tutors kids at school, while Axel is a little more... Axel. He’s a social butterfly, always laughing, always smiling. Kind of the energizer bunny of the house. They both are inseparable. He takes his role as ‘man of the house’ very seriously. I love them with all I have, we always get through the worst together. We’re a family and that’s what matters, and I’m sure with Andy’s tutoring and Axel’s part-time job at the garage down the street, we’ll be able to get through this.
I looked at the clock: 20:30. Ax’ will be coming back from the garage soon and he’ll be starving, I’m sure. Andy was in her room, doing homework, so I decided not to bother her. I got up from the kitchen chair and opened the fridge. As I rummaged through the vegetable drawer, the front door slammed signaling Axel was home. I heard him throw his bag on the little couch covered in plaids and two seconds later, he was ruffling my hair.
“Sup Vice! What are we eating tonight? He said while his arm rested around my shoulders in a hug. Axel was only fifteen yet he was already 6′2 and was towering over my relatively minuscule 5′12. Hence the new winter coat he needed. He kissed my cheek and I turned around.
- Oh so no “How are you, my awesome sister? How was your day?“? I said jokingly.
- C’mon Vice I said what’s up. Plus you know your my awesome sister, telling you this every day might make your head grow even bigger and we don’t want that, don’t we? - Yeah, yeah, sure. To answer your question, we’re making pesto pasta for dinner, you ok with that? Andy has been talking about it for days now, I have to. And I kind of have been craving it. How was your shift at Dave’s?
- Same old, I worked on the Chevy today. He constantly talks about you, you know? David likes you too much, it’s almost embarrassing, what did you do to him? He asked shaking me lightly with his arm still on my shoulder. I pushed it off and shook my head. David Martinez Jr was Axel’s boss. Well, to be exact, he’s the son’s boss and works with his dad at the family garage. We had a fling and I guess he didn’t get over it as fast as I did. I don’t have time for relationships and he wanted us to work. It didn’t. I sighed.
- That bad? We stopped hanging out six months ago and he’s still is rambling about me? God, I can’t believe he speaks to my little brother about me, that’s so... weird.
- Hey! I’m the man in this house, of course, he’d want to speak to me, I’m an alpha male duh? He declared while washing his hands in the tiny sink. It was almost comical to see his broad self in such a small kitchen. He puts on the pink apron hung behind the door and turns back to me his hands on his hips.
- Alpha Male? Oh sweetie, you can’t wear a pink frilly apron with “Boss Babe” written on it and expect to be taken seriously. Now get to cutting the basil “Boss Babe”, we don’t have all night.” He smiled at me just as Andy walked into the kitchen.
“No way! Is it what I think it is we’re eating tonight? She yelled with her eyes wide opened, the shade of blue lighting up. -
Yeah lady Andy asked for pesto pasta, she gets pesto pasta. Your wishes are orders Milady, Axel growled. I wanted pizza from Gio but who cares about the Alpha Male huh?
- Alpha Male wearing a pink apron? Andy observed. Nah NEXT! She giggled. Axel frowned.
- Oh so when it’s Mister Harry fucking Styles with a dress, everyone says “yes oh my god long live the alpha male, unproblematic king!“, yet I do it and suddenly it’s no? I see where you stand, traitor. I expected better from my TWIN but alright I guess! He ranted, agitated.
- Ax’, you said it yourself: it’s Mister Harry fucking Styles, of course, it works for him. Now get to cooking darling, I’m hungry.”
He rolled his eyes and returned to chopping the basil. We continued chatting, Andy talking about this new rich kid from the Upper East Side she’s tutoring, while Axel and I made the dinner. We were about to sit down at the table to finally eat when my cellphone rang. Deanna, one of my only friends was calling me. She lives right down the street from us and is the sweetest woman ever.
“Hey D, what’s up? I answered.
- Hello Gorgeouuuuus! Now I know you might be eating dinner but I have good news for you! She chirped happily through the phone. Remember that nightclub I work at?
- Yeah, Suede, right? - Yep. Well, they need a bartender/waitress and I might’ve given your name since I happen to be an amazing friend and I know you need the money. They said you need to try out first, but I’m sure you’ll do just fine, miss NYU. Now, what do you say?
- What do I say? Of course, I say yes, D! When do I start?
- Tomorrow night and it’s from nine to four, you ok with that?
- Yeah! For sure! D, I swear you’re my savior, I owe you now.- Pfff, it’s nothing, you know you’re my sister! Now the dress code is black and heels are mandatory. Since I know you don’t have that, I will lend you one of mine. I’ll pick you up tomorrow at eight-thirty and we’ll go together, okay?
- Okay. Thank you so much D, I don’t know what I would do without you. - Oh baby I know I’m good, but I can’t be that good. I’ll see you tomorrow, Jason’s waiting for me, love you!”
I enjoyed the rest of the dinner with Andy and Ax’, the noises of the cutlery filling the blank as we chatted. They both seemed excited about my job, Axel was a little bit reluctant on Suede. Suede is a chic and famous nightclub in DownTown New York. Frequently filled with New York’s socialite scene, high rollers, Wall Street traders, and the finest women a man can dream of. I had never set a foot in a club like this one, simply because I would get rejected without the bouncer even sparing me a glance. To be honest, I wouldn’t even try to compete with the women in that place. I am plain, I raise two teens on my own, and to add up, I struggle with money? Please. I wasn’t the ugliest, nor was I the prettiest, I was just typical. I was rather small for a twenty-two-year-old, I had the greek genes to thank for my hazel eyes, dark brown hair and olive skin. My nose was straight and small, freckles littered all over my cheeks and the bridge of my nose. My eyebrows were almost too bushy for my liking and I sported a heavy pout. I loved my cheekbones, that I’ll say. I wasn’t skinny but I wasn’t curvy either, my breasts were too small in my opinion and my stomach wasn’t as flat and toned as I would want it to be. My hips were a little wide for my body and I had some kind of a booty, even if, Lord it was nothing compared to Deanna’s work of art. I wasn’t very outgoing, nor was I the party type or the girl every guy ran after. I didn’t wear much flattering clothing, and I almost never had time for myself. I looked nothing like my sibling either : Andy and Ax’ were brunettes and had green eyes. They both had freckles scattered on their cheeks, and were tall and athletic. Oh, how I wish I had received the good genes.
Andy cleared the table and I went to my room. I looked through my small closet : jeans, plains tees, sweatshirts. Nothing worth wearing to a club like Suede. I pulled my black pants and threw them on my bed, got a black tee from the drawer and sighed. That will have to do anyways. I got in my pyjamas and brushed my teeth. As I went to kiss the twins goodnight and lock the door, the light from the street lamps illuminated the small living space. Herbert, our cat was sleeping on the armrest, as usual. I looked at the clock : 23:57. Everything was the same. Herbert, the couch, the plaids, the street lamps and me.
“Good night, Herbert”, I whispered to the already snoring kitty.
Tomorrow’s a big day.