“AMY... You have to get to work and I have a date with Monica or whatever her name is...hurry up! You’ll have to take the train home I may not finish in time,” he shouted as he stretched for his morning workout.
“C-Coming Mark. Can I have some money for a cab?” she asked out of breath, standing in front of him keeping her eyes trained on her ballerina shoes.
“I think you can take the subway... shouldn’t be a far walk after that. You have five more minutes then you have to leave or you will be late” he replied calmly, as he continued doing push-ups in the living room of their apartment.
Amy Porter and Mark Johnson are best friends since middle school. Amy, who is a simple girl, doesn’t live beyond her means. People often forgot she could talk and some hadn’t even heard her voice. She often deprived herself to satisfy her loved ones and did anything to make them happy.
Amy is five feet five inches, medium build and of middle-eastern descent. She likes reading, writing stories and listening to music. She often bakes cakes, cookies and pies as a past-time when she wasn’t working. She is the classic introvert.
Whereas Mark is into sports and is a star for the college football team. Six feet tall with a squared jawline, straight nose, full lips with black curly hair and tanned skin. Centre of attention, and accustomed to getting what he wanted. Changes girlfriends faster than he changed underwear and in his entourage, Amy is usually on the outskirts. He would often remind her, “You’re my good luck charm Ames... you know you’re the only one that I trust.” His opinions are automatically her opinions. He orders for her at restaurants and even picked her outfits. She barely speaks when they were together and that’s how it remained.
Amy didn’t have much family, in fact, the only family she had was her mother Jessica Porter. Amy’s parents’ relationship was on the rocks when Jessica got pregnant. They were both 24 and 25 respectively, in young careers and leading different lives. So, without a word Jessica left and settled in Los Angeles to build a good life for herself and Amy.
Flashback (Two Months Ago)
She sat on the sofa in her apartment with Mark scrolling through recipes deciding what to prepare for dinner when she got an email. It was one of those promotional emails from an English university for the fall semester. They were offering scholarships to students interested in their culinary programme. Her eyebrows flew up in surprise as an idea crept into the back of her mind. ”Can I actually pursue my dream and open my own restaurant? Will he allow me to go?” she thought to herself silently.
“M-Mark...do you think it makes sense to sign up for a culinary course?” she asked in anticipation as she watched his face contort.
“No, I don’t think so Ames. Do you know how many creeps are out there? It’s not safe and plus you won’t be able to manage that and working at all...” he replied without raising his eyes from his phone to meet her’s.
“Well...What if I save and then sign up for a scholarship. That way we cover expenses and I can focus fully on that?” she suggested, adamant to convince him to support her dream. She began searching through the university’s website to find information to back up her claims when she felt herself being tugged to her feet. His muscular biceps flexed as he held her just off the ground.
“Why do you want to do this so bad? Do you want a man to rough you up...or do worse things to you? That could be arranged Amy.. have no fear. Otherwise, No is no and by the way... when I am talking to you I want you to look at me,” he said, almost like a whisper.
She was nervous as beads of sweat dripped down her back and her feet were scrambling to find the safety of the ground, “O-...O-Okay Mark, I understand. I won’t do that again and I won’t ask.”
Amy then bookmarked the page and closed the tab. Later that day, however, after he went out she began working on her application. ”It won’t hurt to try right?" she convinced herself.
As she walked to the subway, deep in thought, she got a call from a strange number. She didn’t answer but kept walking to the metro. The number called again and sighing defeated she answered, “Hello Good Afternoon... This is Amy...”
“Hello Amy, I’m calling about the scholarship application you submitted two months ago to our culinary programme...Do you have time to speak?”
“Ummm... okay? But I don’t even think that I will go through with that you know..” she replied nonchalantly.
“Ms Porter, the entrance exam for this programme is at a local restaurant where you have to prepare an appetizer, main course or dessert under a specific theme. This takes place in one weeks time where the theme will be given via email the day before... I personally read your application essay Ms Porter and decided to offer you this once in a lifetime chance... All I will say is this, in order to love who you are you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you- Andrea Dykstra. Take this opportunity as a way out of what you wrote about in your essay. The offer still stands unless you don’t show up on the day of the exam... Good afternoon Ms Porter-” Beep...Beep...Beep. With that, the phone went dead and the recruiter hung up.