Monday, February 2, 2015

Red Bottoms Espresso - Prolog


Hannah was snuggled in her sleeping bag on the couch.  She had raised her legs to make a cradle for her laptop, which she was using to browse online listings for a job.  It was actually her father’s sleeping bag, which was the only thing she had to remember him by.  It was warm and thick, and kept the chill of her friend’s apartment from her no matter how cold it got.  Which, at the moment, was pretty cold: Western Washington was having a cold snap like no other.

As she scrolled down a page, a listing in all caps caught her eye.  It was simple, direct, and made her very curious.

HIRING IMMEDIATELY - WOMEN BETWEEN 18 AND 25 - PART TIME ONLY

What could that be?  Except wrong?  She snorted in derision, but found herself matching her attributes to the ad in spite of her initial reaction.  18 - 25?  Check.  She had been 18 years old for a whole month now, and her birthday present to herself had been to stop going to high school.  Part-time only?  Sure!  She didn’t want a full time job anyway, but she NEEDED money to pay for her share of the rent last month, and this month was already due.

But why women?  She frowned as she mulled it over.  It was probably a seasonal job at the mall, like being one of Santa’s female elves, or helping women with lotion samples at one of those perfumey body shops.  Her pulse quickened as she realized she was going to respond to the ad.  She closed her laptop and put it on the coffee table next to the couch, and then flipped onto her side and burrowed into the thick bag.  One phrase from that ad kept pulsing in her mind:  HIRING IMMEDIATELY.  How bad could it be?  It was probably a minimum-wage job, but at 30 hours a week she could finally pay Renee back for her hospitality here.

Hannah closed her eyes, and listened to her own blood rush through her ears.  She held her breath until her lungs screamed for air inside the already stuffy cocoon and then suddenly, she sat bolt upright, retrieved her computer, and clicked the Reply button on the page that was still displayed in her browser.

Hi I am 18 and a woman I would like to apply for your job.

Thanks - Hannah

She bit her lip at her hurried response, but pushed Send before she could second-guess herself.  No one would respond anyway.  And even if she did get an interview somehow, she probably wouldn’t get the job.  She felt the familiar sting of exclusion and defeat.  People were always looking for someone pretty.  Or with boobs.  At 18, Hannah’s figure was still more girl than adult female.  She stood 5 feet 4 inches tall, and weighed 100 pounds fully dressed.  Her email inbox was visible in her browser, mocking her.  She pushed the page reload button in frustration, once, twice, three times…

A message popped into her inbox.  It was a response to hers. 

Hi, thanks for your reply.  When can you come for an interview?

Hannah bit her lip again, which was starting to hurt from all the biting.  She realized she had to pee, which heightened the tension she was already feeling.  If it WAS a part time job, she could probably start today. She pushed Reply, and then realized that the email she had just received also included a street address.

How about today?

The response came back immediately.

Today is good, please be here at 2 PM with your ID.

That was it, then.  She was going for an interview today.   Maybe she would actually get hired, she thought.  Her luck had to change at some point, didn’t it?  She put her laptop down again, and lay back on the couch as she thought it about it one last time.  Then, she pulled herself out of the warm sleeping bag, shivering in the cold air of her friend’s apartment as she did.  Time to get up.  She turned the laptop around so it faced her on the table and responded:

OK, see you at 2.

Three hours to get ready, Hannah thought.  Or, plenty of time to back out.  She re-read the email, trying to imagine the man behind the words.  Of course it was a man, she thought.  But then she couldn’t be sure.  Why couldn’t it be a woman?  And why did it matter?  She needed a job, and this was the closest she could find.  Impulsively, she closed her laptop with a snap, and stood up.


“Today,” Hannah said.  “I am getting a job today.”

2 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed this DH. Looking forward to reading more! :) I think Hannah is in for a few surprises lol

    Hugs
    Roz

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Roz! Yep, planning on posting Chapter 1 next Monday :)

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