It was Friday morning in Los Angeles and the residents at 4265 Mapleoak Avenue were eating breakfast while listening to the radio in their sunny kitchen. The blonde Labrador named callie was eating heartily from her pink food bowl. Caitlin was munching on some bagels with cheese and Emily was swirling some fruit and yogurt in a bowl while reading the front page of the financial times. Kiara was buttering some toast while singing along to a popular r&B song on the radio and Lexie had her earphones in and was bobbing her red hair along to the music while eating her cereal. The girls had often argued over what they would listen to over breakfast and Lexie had finally decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of fighting with her house mates over their pathetic music choices in her opinion. The sun streamed into the airy kitchen where all four girls were sitting around the breakfast bar and were absorbed in their own worlds. Caitlin was dreading the day ahead where she had to sit in board meeting after board meeting to get this event all finalised. She was organising one of the biggest summer festivals in Los Angeles county and so many things still had to be approved and checked before they would give the go ahead. With only two weeks to go she was almost in a panicked state over the amount of red tape they were coming up against.
Emily was shaking her head at something she was reading and decided that whatever financial trouble they were having in Wall street meant bad news for her and her company. She was a new financial advisor and Emily knew better than most that it was last in, first one out. She prayed the problem would be over sooner rather than later. She couldn’t afford to lose her job after being in the position for less than six months.
Lexie was bobbing her head happily but she was deeply distracted as she ate her breakfast. One of her main horses had contracted an infection and was having to see a vet that morning. As soon as she had done with her breakfast, she would be off to the local vet where Blackmist, the horse would already be. Picking up her cell phone, she noted that no one had called yet and that could only mean good news, right?
Kiara was in her usual sullen mood as she munched at her toast and listened to the D.Js on the radio talking about some new artists. She smiled and wondered what they would be like. Glancing over at Caitlin and Em, who she knew would probably find out way before her, a pang of jealousy hit her. all of her roommates had jobs and weren’t still studying, awaiting the careers they dreamed of. They were already living those dream jobs and living the lives they chose. Kiara sighed and stood up.
“I’ll see you guys later,” She called, grabbing her book bag and heading out of the door. Callie padded toward her bed and settled down for a morning nap. Caitlin tilted her head as the dog moved.
“Don’t bother getting comfortable, kiddo, we have a busy day ahead,” She stood and placed her bowl in the sink and rinsed it with hot water. Gulping down the last few mouthfuls of her coffee, she swept her hair back as a horn beeped outside.
“That’s my ride,” She said to the others as she picked up the dog’s lead and harness and proceeded to place them on the obedient golden Lab who had come to her without even a request from her mistress.
“Have a good day,” Emily looked up from the newspaper and smiled.
“Bye!” Lexie yelled from beneath her headphones and Caitlin waved as she and Callie left the house for their day at work.
Lexie continued to bob her head and Emily smiled and stood. Picking up her briefcase, she found her keys and waved as she ventured out into the already warming day to her blue mustang. Lexie continued to eat and once she’d finished, she placed her bowl in the sink and washed it before leaving in her pick up truck to work.
Kiara strolled into the air conditioned library having had the worst journey into school of her life. The bus had been unusually crowded and the driver seemingly wanted to kill them all. She was bruised from where someone had continually bumped into her and her legs her from standing the whole way from Glendale to the campus in Los Angeles. She got off of the bus and entered the South side of campus where the Psychology buildings were situated. The sun was beating down on the May morning and she had finals in less than a week. Kiara tossed her long braids behind her and smiled at a group of fraternity boys sitting by a fountain with starbucks cups in their hands. She didn’t know any of them but she suspected that they were freshmen with the carefree look they all had upon their faces. She hardly remembered feeling that way. She knew her friends had. Caitlin and Emily and Lexie all partied hard with many of the fraternities and sororities on campus. Caitlin had been in a sorority and had thrived. Most people would never know Caitlin was visually impaired unless she-told them or they had seen her with her cane. It was different now she had Callie but still the blonde haired girl had dazzled many she had come into contact with throughout her twenty-five years. Kiara admired her as she did the other two girls. They all seemed to have it sussed out already and Kiara envied them. Even while she was driven to study and to drive herself harder than anyone she knew, she still had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. Professor Coleman had suggested teaching the subject she had studied so hard for for six years but Kiara was unconvinced. Although she knew it would fulfil her need to help others, by passing on information she had collected for all that time; she knew it wasn’t what she wanted. Maybe a psychologist? He had suggested one afternoon when she had confided that even though she would be finishing her masters programme this summer, she still had no idea what she wanted to do. She was smart. Probably the smartest out of her group of friends but she had rarely partied, had never had a serious boyfriend and she was going to be twenty-five in less than two months. She knew her friends felt sorry for her and wished she’d socialised with them more. All Kiara kept telling herself was that she had to do this. She had to be successful. But what for? She was out of the “hood” now. She would never have to go back their with her ambition, intelligence and sheer drive. Passing groups of laughing friends, she wandered into the psychology building and headed for her first class. Taking a seat in the front, she pulled out her note pad and pen and got ready for a heavy day of study.
As she wandered into the first meeting, Caitlin felt her eyes strain with pain. She hated spending her days in meetings but knew it was essential to what she was going to be doing in two weekends time. The men and women she had to see that day bored her more than waiting for the kettle to boil. She had long since lost her British accent but some of her traits were very English. She loved a cup of tea and each month imported chocolate from the UK. She loved California. It was her home and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her father was a working man and that would never change. He lived in a modest house in Carson and she sometimes visited when work and life permitted her a free day. The coolness of the room seemed to please Callie as she took a spot under the table in front of Caitlin’s legs. The girl was dressed in trousers and a nice, smart shirt. It wasn’t what she would usually wear but by no means did she look business like. She was young, cool, fashionable and that was one of the many reasons her boss, Mr Jacoson had hired her. He thought she’d bring much more to just organising an event. And he had been right. She put in one hundred and ten percent each time and each event she had organised had been more than a success. They were busier now as a company than they had been for ten years. He had feared at one point that they may go under but with Caitlin on board with her smiles and charming ways, he knew he’d have the business running well for many years to come. She was fun to be around and ultimately had an infectious personality. She wanted what was best for the event and she’d do her damnedest to make sure it happened. LA Events was one of the notorious events companies in the great Los Angeles area and she was one of the reasons why.
“Good morning, Miss Dawson,” An elderly gentleman who owned the park where the event was going to be held. “Have we managed to figure out all the small glitches we seemed to come across in our last meeting?” She turned her head to him as he spoke to her and smiled warmly.
“Of course, Mr Nielson. What do you think?” A laugh rose around the old oak table in the board room at the four seasons Hotel in downtown Los Angeles and she pulled some papers toward her as Maggie, her personal assistant handed her the sheets she needed in turn. Clearly demonstrating that all of their problems had been solved, the meeting was over within an hour.
“Well done, Caitlin,” Mr Jacobson congratulated her around eleven thirty in his sunset boulevard office. “You did well and the checks can get underway and the Balla Baby festival can go ahead.” She giggled as his bad impression of the way the rappers said the event. She had just emailed several of the local hip hop radio stations to ensure they plugged the event as much as possible. Some of the d.j.s from power 106, one of the major radio stations in Los Angeles were going to be doing sets and so it was in their best interest to plug the event. It was an annual event in Los Angeles, usually coinciding with the end of the college semester. She had attended it every year since she had lived in Los Angeles and even during high school, she and her friends had come from Carson to attend the event. It was a major start the festival summer season and Caitlin felt privileged to be a part of it now, to be behind the scenes. this was her first major festival and she prayed it went well. Mr Jacobson seemed to hold all his faith in her and most of the time she was confident enough to know she could do this but occasionally, she think back to the scared, timid girl who had wanted so badly to be something and make something of her life and she’d begin to question her abilities. Grinning and patting Callie, she waved goodbye to Mr Jacobson and headed to her risk assessment meeting. She would be glad when it was six o’clock and she could go out with her friends. The weekend was her own this week and she intended on making the most of it.
Lexie was waiting in the hot stable with Blackmist as the vet had gone to check on some blood results he had taken from the horse earlier that morning. She patted the doleful horse as he seemed sad.
“It’ll be OK, boy,” She had a good nature, especially when it came to animals. If anyone asked lexie, she’d happily tell them that her favourite roommate was Callie the dog. The other girls laughed but they knew it to be true. The horse’s head was drooping and she desperately hoped they could do something for him.
“Miss Daniel’s?” The man smiled as he emerged from his office. “He’ll be fine. Just a cold I suspect. Keep him isolated and with plenty of fluids and oats and bring him to me on Monday for a check up.” She smiled at the silver haired man and patted the horse lovingly. Her boss would not be happy. Blackmist was due to race in two weeks time and she was certain that he wouldn’t be fit enough to do so. Unlocking the door she took the horses reigns and headed him back to the trailer. The heat was intense by then and she wiped her face with a hand. The smell of sweet hay filled the air and the definite noises of animals travelled on the light desert breeze.
“Come on, boy,” She opened the trailer and managed to get Blackmist inside. He was a black stallion with beautiful features and strong muscular legs. At four, he was still a young racing horse and would make a lot of money yet providing he got over this cold.
Slamming the door, she wandered around to the truck and got in. Riding back through the rocky roads, in the lower mountain area of Los Angeles, she smiled to herself. She knew what she would be doing all weekend and it wasn’t going out to punk clubs. She would have to keep an eye on the horse. Turning into a farmyard, she saw her boss’s car and groaned. he was not a man you wanted to give bad news too. He was a fat, red faced man with a toupee and a greying moustache. He had two sons that would someday take over his business and while Dan, the younger one was cool and nice, Charlie, the older one was an absolute nightmare like his father. The old man ran the horse stables like a captain runs a ship. Tight as anything. Lexie hated him but she loved her job so much so she put up with his nasty ways. He had very little time for people unless they were making him money and yet the horses never did anything wrong in his eyes. It was always human error in his book. She parked the truck in its usual bay and saw him heading toward her with a glass of iced tea.
“How he doing?” He barked at her.
“He has a cold,” She stepped out of the dusty truck on to the gravel track and shut the door. Heading around to the trailer she explained what the vet had done and while unloading the horse, she shouted that the vets notes were on the passenger seat. The horse drooped his head and she took him around to a stable block where the sick horses usually slept. It was away from all of the others so he wouldn’t get distressed. Placing fresh hay and fresh water in the trough, she closed the door and went to fetch Blackmist a fresh load of food.
“How long will he be out for?” The old man barked at her.
“I have to take him back to Mr Fathloeron on Monday,” she informed him loading up another trough with oats and chick peas. He glared hating seeing his horses have food that he knew put weight on them but after reading the vets notes, he knew he had no choice. Lexie walked back to the stable and put the food down. Blackmist was sweating and shaking and so she put a blanket over him and he nuzzled her cheek.
“It’ll be all right boy,” she patted him and let him rest while she exercised the other horses. Her weekend would begin and end at work, that she knew.
The morning had been quiet and so Emily had taken to chatting online with whoever was around. Lexie never was because she had an outdoor job while Caitlin was either looking at events or in meetings all day so she rarely was on either. And Kiara didn’t even have a messenger as far as Emily knew so she was never online. Emily sighed as another person went off-line and she was left to be bored in her work.
“Why don’t they let us have half days on Fridays?” Cory, a tall white guy asked as he looked over to se if she was busy.
“I wish!” Emily yawned with boredom. “Any plans for this weekend, Cory?”
“Gotta go and visit the parentals,” He swung back on his chair and looked toward the office door. “Not much. What about you?”
“Probably be out with Caitlin if she gets her way,” She laughed and so did Cory. He knew Caitlin from college as he did Emily and it was safe to say that Caitlin was the crazier of the two. He liked Emily but his shyness had always prevented anything happening with her. She was everything a girl he would like should be like. quiet, funny, smart, enjoyed a variety of things, sensitive and kind. Her dark hair was bob length and it framed her face perfectly. They both glanced at the clock absent mindedly and saw it was almost lunchtime.
“Let’s go early,” He urged and shutting off the computer, Em followed her friend to the cafeteria that their office shared with several others in West Hollywood. The cafeteria was bright and noisy as most of the office workers were grabbing their lunches. Em and Cory took a seat at a table by the window. The office building was on a busy part of the street and they could see many people walking by during their lunch breaks. La Cinega boulevard was one of the busiest at this time of the day with the office workers. It ran all the way through West Hollywood and many offices were situated upon or around it. They weren’t far from the restaurant quarter and a few blocks down from sunset Boulevard. Em smiled as she looked out onto the street she loved. This part of LA was everything she had loved since a child. Sunset, Hollywood and La Cinega Boulevards were her three favourite streets, always giving her hope that the dream always lived.
“You OK?” Cory asked she stared out onto the sun drenched street for a moment. The shadows were small and this was the time of day California gleamed in its full glory. She turned and smiled to him.
“Yeah, I’m good. it’s Friday!” And she hoped Caitlin had planned a busy night ahead for them both.