The sun was high in the sky when Lexie walked out of the door, slamming it behind her and getting into her truck at seven A.M the next morning. Her red hair gleamed in the sunlight and she smiled as she felt the cool air on her bare arms. That time of day was Lexie’s favourite and she couldn’t help but smile as she got into her truck that hadn’t yet got to boiling point in the California sunshine. Turning the ignition key something clicked and the engine stalled.
“Fuck!” she whispered and tried to restart the car again. It failed. “I don’t fucking believe this!” She slammed her hand on the steering wheel and grabbed her cell phone.
“Why does this have to happen now?” Lexie dialled a number rapidly. “Hey, this is Alexia Daniels, I need roadside assistance. … If I knew what was wrong with it, I’d fix it myself, wouldn’t I? …” She snapped at the person on the other end of the phone. As she hung up, after agreeing to leave the car for them to come and pick it up. leaning forward on the steering wheel and let out a heavy sigh. She picked up her phone again and dialled another number. “Hey Dan, it’s Lexie. … I’m doing good, I just have a slight problem. … My car has decided to break down on me so I won’t be able to get into work today. … O would you/ That’d be great!…” She beamed and hung up the phone, pocketing it and walking back up the path. a feeling in her stomach made her giddy.
Caitlin was dressing as she heard the front door slam for the second time that morning. she hadn’t slept good and yawned widely as she pulled on a shirt and brushed her long long blonde hair, tying it in a blue scrunchie and heading out of her bedroom to grab her breakfast. Callie was snoozing while she waited for Caitlin to get ready.
“Hey, Caitlin,” lexie called to her friend. “My car fucked up on me.” Caitlin smiled, still half asleep.
“Oh, you not going to work then hon?” Caitlin yawned again and petted Callie as she walked by the dog’s bed and opened the fridge and pulled out some cream cheese to put on her bagels.
“Yeah, Dan’s coming to pick me up. Oh, the break down people better get here soon.” She turned the TV on and drank a water while Caitlin busied herself making breakfast. “Where is Em?” lexie didn’t even bother to ask about Kiara and Caitlin didn’t bother to argue the case. It was Monday morning and she had a busy week ahead of her.
“I think Em’s in the shower,” Caitlin informed Lexie as she put the bagels in the toaster. The sun was streaming into the kitchen and Caitlin smiled happily. Those sunny mornings in LA always made Mondays not seem that bad after-all. “Come on Callie, time to poop,” She ushered the golden dog out into a messed area which constituted the dog’s bathroom. She expertly listened for the dog’s paws and smiled as the golden dog sat down and remained still for a few moments. Opening the gate as Callie headed toward her, Caitlin walked into the meshed area with her sneakers on and felt around the area she had heard Callie sitting. Picking the faeces up, Emily’s voice made her jump.
“You still amaze me how you do that,” Emily was sitting by their pool, dressed with her hair groomed and her eyes sharp as she sipped a coffee.
“I didn’t know you were out here,” Caitlin smiled bemusedly at her friend. “You OK?”
“I just needed some quiet time and it is such a beautiful morning!” Caitlin nodded as she listened and took in the scents of the Summer’s morning. she could hear the freeway far in the distance, a dog barked up the street and birds were chirping loudly here and there. The pool’s filter was on and Caitlin sat on the ground by the pools edge and trailed her fingers in the cold water. She smiled as she moved her hand back and forth, feeling the cool ripples of water that she was making with her hand flow around her fingers and palms. The smell of flowers and trees, coffee and bagels filled the air. She lifted her face to the sunshine and sighed gently. California was one of the most beautiful places she had ever known! she loved it here! Her heart bloomed as though it was spring every waking moment in this alive city. Standing again, wiping her hands on her slacks, Caitlin grinned at Emily.
“We need to have a barbecue this weekend.”
“For sure,” Emily grinned back at her friend. “We haven’t had one yet.” Caitlin nodded, it would be their first barbecue in their new home. Calling Callie back into the house as she walked toward the back door, Caitlin felt like the Monday morning blues might not have got to her after all.
Emily smiled as she watched her friend return to the house with the blonde dog trotting behind her. she was glad it was Monday and she’d be getting away from her roommates for a few hours. she loved them but sometimes Emily wished she lived by herself. Draining her coffee cup, she stood, collecting up the plate and cup and walking back toward the house. Pushing open the kitchen door, she smiled at Lexie who was washing out a glass. Caitlin had disappeared somewhere in her pursuit of getting ready for work while Callie drank from a silver bowl on the floor by the back door.
“Thought you left, Lex,” Emily replaced Lexie at the sink and washed up her breakfast things.
“My truck won’t start,” Lexie told her, and grinned girlishly as she heard a beep from outside. Peering out of the window, she announced her ride was here. Emily watched her as she virtually skipped to the front door, checking her reflection quickly in the mirror by the coats hung by the door and waved bye. Emily wondered who was picking Lexie up. They had certainly put Lexie in a good mood whoever it was. Emily had expected her to be cursing her truck out due to its lack of consideration of breaking down on a Monday morning but she was in the complete opposite kind of mood. she was virtually dancing across the house to get to the front door. Turning her head back to the sink, she heard Caitlin’s singing as she returned with her shoes on and her bag at the ready.
Who’s picking Lex up for work?” Emily inquired nosily. “dan, whoever Dan is,” Caitlin told her, harnessing Callie up. “Why?”
“Who’s Dan?” Emily frowned in concentration now. She had never heard Lexie talk of anyone called Dan, especially from work.
“well, she almost skipped out of here and normally I would have said Lexie would have been in the worse mood possible if her truck had broken down and she was about to head out,” Emily explained, walking over to her desk in the corner of the living room and packing up some files she had worked on over the weekend.
“I’m not sure who it is,” Caitlin offered, standing up straight and patting Callie’s head. “But you’re right, she normally would have been throwing a fit”> Both girls were lost in their own conclusions as Kiara ran out of her room, back pack hoisted onto her back and her sweatshirt the wrong way around, her hair straggly and not brushed and her eyes wide with fear.
“What’s the matter?” Emily called as Kiara ran out of the house at full speed. The door slammed behind her and both girls stared.
“Erm, well, good morning Kiara,” Caitlin said sarcastically as Emily burst into fits of laughter. A car horn beeped and Caitlin walked to the door, picking up her keys.
“I’ll see you later,” Caitlin called to Emily over her shoulder as she picked up Callie’s lead.
“Wanna grab dinner?” Emily called as she got her own stuff together.
“I can’t,” Caitlin called, halfway down the path as Emily was locking up the front door. “I have a dinner date.” She opened the passenger door of Nikki’s car, her personal assistant. “Morning Nikki,” She spoke to the middle aged woman who drove Caitlin places and was generally her eyes when Caitlin couldn’t do without them.
“Hey, Caitlin,” Nikki smiled gently.
“With who?” Emily had caught up to them as Caitlin closed the door, having got Callie into the car safely with her. Emily stood at the side of Nikki’s car as Caitlin rolled down the window and looked at her best friend.
“JC,” she smiled broadly and Emily grinned at her friend. “I’ll see you later.” And both girls waved goodbye as Nikki’s car drove down the street and headed toward the offices where Caitlin worked.
As Kiara walked quickly across campus, with minutes to spare, she knew she was on the path to ruin. She had not been able to sleep the night before with thoughts of failing, problems with her roommates and her chaotic personal life that seemed non existent. The campus was filling with nervous students ready to take their finals and Kiara was a nervous wreck. Her stomach knotted in every direction and she felt sick. If she failed, what would she do? Pushing open the door to the social science building, where her exam was meant to be taking place, her heart quickened. What if they’d moved the exam at last minute? what was she going to do. Frantically checking her watch, Kiara began to speed up as she approached the stairs. She ran the whole way and turned into the exam room which was filled with her classmates. Sighing a sigh of relief, she quickly took her seat and pulled out her pens and notepad. She then returned to the front of the class where she deposited her bag and returning to her seat, she sat down and waited a moment until her professor handed the papers out. She had made it and as she took a huge sigh of relief, she waited for his say so to turn the paper over. Wen she did, her relief was short lived as the case study she had hoped beyond hope would not come up on the paper, sat there in black and white. She felt like crying. Her future depended on the outcome of this paper and she was facing her worst nightmare. That day could only get better she thought as she racked her brains for the answers to the questions. They came, slowly but surely. After twenty minutes, she moved onto the next question and she breezed through the rest of the paper.
“Pens down,” The professor called. As she did so, she felt a slight sense of relief and then felt a tap on her shoulder as she handed the paper in to her professor. Turning around, she saw Jasmine.
“Come on, you need a break,” Jasmine grinned at her and took her arm. “I ain’t taking no for an answer Kiara, you need a break. Come on, coffee, my treat!”
“OK,” Kiara agreed and the two girls walked together toward the Star bucks on La Cienega. Kiara was happy to see Jasmine, she seemed the only one who got her at the moment.
Taking their seats and sipping the cold frapochinos, both girls smiled a warm smile at each other.
“How you find it?” Jasmine asked, pushing a piece of hair from her chocolate coloured skin.
“It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” Kiara answered, watching at passers by as she sipped her coffee. “The first one stumped me a little.”
“I hoped that wouldn’t come up,” Jasmine groaned with a lack of enthusiasm. Both girls laughed and Jasmine touched Kiara’s arm gently.
“Is everything figured out with you and your roommates now?” She had been very worried about Kiara after her roommate had caught them making out. Jasmine liked Kiara and she felt like her friend had been too hard on Kiara.
“I don’t know, haven’t talked to them all weekend,” Kiara smiled gently. “It’s easier that way.” Jasmine smiled sympathetically as they continued to drink their coffees.
“You not going to talk to them about how you’re feeling?” Jasmine inquired again, unable to work out why Kiara was living with those girls. She didn’t know them but they didn’t seem very nice at all.
“We’re not, exactly close,” Kiara told Jasmine with a slight nervousness about her tone.
“I guess I kind of already knew that,” Jasmine sighed feeling bad for the girl before her. “Well, if you ever need a friend, I’m always here.” Jasmine meant it so much.
“I know,” Kiara sighed almost dismissively. “But you’ll be back East for the summer, right?”
“Wrong, I’m doing an internship at the LA county hospital,” Jasmine grinned at her. her brown eyes dazzled Kiara and both girl’s shared a nervous smile. Something was beginning to stir within Kiara and it both scared and excited her. Jasmine touched her hand.
“How many more finals do you have?”
“two, one tomorrow and one on Thursday,” And a thought occurred to Kiara then. “Are you busy Friday night? i mean, i was just thinking maybe we could go and grab something to eat. I mean,” She was nervous. Her hands were clammy and her face burned with embarrassment. She gulped the lump of nerves from her throat, licked her suddenly dry lips and continued. “I mean, you don’t have to but…” she didn’t have chance to finish her spiralling babble, jasmine put a manicured finger to Kiara’s lips and said.
“I’d love to,” And both girls smiled broadly.
Caitlin’s afternoon was filled with meetings. By four o’clock, her eyes were throbbing and her throat was dryer than the Sahara. She took a seat in her office and lay her head on her folded arms upon her desk. Callie was lapping gratefully from a bowl in the corner. She sighed deeply. Although she loved her job, Caitlin hated the stresses that went along with it. A beep came from her black leather purse on her table and she opened the clasp and pulled out her phone. Pressing the select key, she read
‘hey sexy, how’s ur day goin?’
a smile crept onto her face and she felt butterflies surge within her stomach.
He had texted her and she felt great. The headache subsided as she thought about the date that night. What was she going to wear that would wow him? Caitlin knew a lot about this guy and despite those facts, she still liked him a great deal and wanted to get to know him more. Opening her macbook air, she began typing a few notes and updating her calendar. Before she knew it it was five thirty and she was pulling on Callie’s harness and heading for Nikki’s car.
“Thanks for today,” Caitlin smiled as she sat in the passenger seat of Nikki’s car as they drove home in LA rush hour traffic.
“No problem,” Nikki smiled, finally turning into Caitlin’s street. “I’ll see you in the morning.” And Caitlin and callie got out of the car and headed down the path to their front door.
Once inside, Caitlin rushed to the shower and changed. She fed Callie quickly around six and dried her long hair. No one seemed to be home so she hoped she’d look OK and JC would be honest about her hair and make up. As she touched up the final touches, the doorbell rang. callie hurtled toward it with her pink bear clutched in her mouth, giving muffled barks as she went. Caitlin beamed at her and opened the door.
“Wow!” He smiled at her. “you look amazing!” She smiled warmly and invited him inside. As he closed the door and walked toward her, he embraced her. “I’ve been looking forward to seeing you!” He confessed, his heart racing inside his chest. He wore black jeans that were baggy on the waist, a white t-shirt and black hoodie with black chuck taylors. “Where do you want to eat?” His smile was sweet and almost boy like. If he had no tattoos adorning his young, handsome face, you would never think he was older than twenty-one. He had a baby face and his light brown eyes shone with happiness. Caitlin was speechless. A rare occasion for her but as she stood, her arms around his waist, she took in everything about him. His six foot four frame, that was broad, muscular and extremely trimmed; his smell of ax body spray and armani cologne: his neatly dressed figure and the aurar surrounding him that seemed warm and inviting to her. His mannerisms made her smile and she wondered briefly what life would be like with him in it?
“I don’t mind,” She couldn’t help but beam from ear to ear. He was just indescribable. “We could go to dennys?” She suggested, not wanting to offend him and suggest somewhere expensive.
“I was thinking more like Rosko’s?” He suggested with a grin playing across his lips.
“I love Rosko’s!” she exclaimed, harnessing Callie up. “That works great for me, Jay!” He pulled her into a hug again and she turned her face up toward him and they shared in a delicate kiss.
Kiara and Jasmine were eating at a pizza place on sunset boulevard around seven thirty. they had shopped, talked, eaten lunch together, talked about their next finals and were now eating pasta at their favourite restaurant.
“You can’t be serious? she had a go at you for not telling them all about your life?” Jasmine’s chocolate chip coloured eyes grew wide as Kiara recounted the weekend’s events. She shook her head as her braids bounced and ate another forkful of pasta. “O man!” Jasmine sighed in horror. “Why do you live with them, Kiara? They don’t sound like very nice girls. Going out until all hours of the night, bringing guys home they don’t even know, and slagging each other off until the cows come home. What a horrible place to live!” Jasmine had grown up in the highest social circles of New York and she despised girls who acted the way Kiara described her roommates of acting. “And the anger from Alexia, that’s like living with a ticking time bomb!” Jasmine continued, idly poking her pasta with her fork.
“Caitlin and Emily are OK, just a little reckless sometimes,” Kiara told Jasmine, chewing happily on her pasta. this was what it was like to have a friend then? She was liking it very much and she liked Jasmine in ways she’d never liked another person before. They chatted about things that mattered to Kiara and she enjoyed it very much.
“I’d imagine Emily, Caitlin and Lexie are out, do you want to come by for a little while?” Kiara asked hopefully.
“Yeah, we can go over some final notes, if you like?” Jasmine offered, standing to pay. “This is on me, Kiara.” And Kiara accepted grudgingly, wanting the chance to treat Jasmine for her kindness.
Emily got home around seven with a huge headache. Cory hadn’t been in work that day, something about a touch of flu Emily decided to text him to wish him good health. As she opened the door, and put her purse down and dumped the briefcase by the desk, she yawned deeply. Caitlin had already left and the house seemed hot so Lexie wasn’t home yet either. who knew if Kiara was home or not? No one ever did. She put a microwavable meal in the microwave and opened her mail. nothing important there except her phone bill and that wasn’t important at all. She booted up her mac and poured a drink of lemonade. The house sure was quiet without her roommates. She missed Callie and her bear running around the living room, Caitlin yelling at someone online, on the TV or radio or just anyone in general. she missed Lexie yelling at everyone and yet sadly, she didn’t seem to miss Kiara. sitting down on the couch with her dinner, she turned on the news and ate quietly, wondering how bored she’d get that night. As the thought crossed her mind, a text alert rang from within her purse. Placing the tray on the table, she hurried over, unzipping the purse and pulling out her cell phone.
‘1 new msg from Cory’ It read on her screen and she smiled happily. Opening the message she read it.
‘Hey, ty 4 ur concern, im fine, just a lil sick. b bk tomorrow! x!”
Her smile widened and a sense of excitement coursed through her veins.
Taking her seat again, Emily resigned herself to the fact that she was alone and Monday morning blues had stayed with her all day long.
Lexie’s day had been filled with cleaning stables, chatting with Dan, feeding horses and exercising them and as she pulled off the last horse’s saddle, Dan stood and grinned at her.
“I’ve had the best fun I’ve had in ages,” He smirked boyishly at her. “I’m so glad you’re in tomorrow!”
Lexie grinned back, feeling as giddy as a school girl. She thought Dan was hot and he was completely flirting with her now and Lexie wasn’t going to complain.
“Hey, so can you give me a ride home, please Dan?” She asked, fluttering her long dark eyelashes at him.
“Not a problem, Lex,” He walked over to his Bendz and opened the passenger door for her.
“I can’t believe you drive this up here, I mean what if you got it scratched up?” she laughed as she took a seat in his car. “You should get a truck.” he beamed at her. lexie wasn’t backward about coming forward by any stretch of the imagination. He liked that about her. He was beginning to like a lot more things about her recently, especially since his wife spent most of her life avoiding him. Climbing into the driver’s side, dan started the car and they drove back toward Lexie’s house as the sun fell low over the Californian landscape. The mountains turned golden as the horizon became red and they both laughed and joked around in the car. The electricity that streamed between them was a current of pure desire. Even if they both knew what they were feeling was wrong, that didn’t matter to either of them. Lexie pushed open the front door, ushering Dan inside as they kissed passionately. She didn’t even notice Emily sitting on the couch as she tore off her work boots and Dan picked her up, planting her lips and neck with frantic kisses as they moved down the hall way to Lexie’s bedroom.
Emily stared in Once inside, Dan proceeded to remove her shirt and bra and planted numerous kisses on her body. she in turn was removing her clothes. The excitement was overwhelming for Lexie and she felt wanted again.
Emily was watching TV very loudly when Kiara and Jasmine entered laughing ten minutes later.
“Why is the TV on so loud?” Kiara asked abruptly and Emily groaned, turning the volume down so they could both hear. All three girls shared looks of disgust.
“What is going on?” Jasmine asked, her husky voice in sheer disapproval. Emily turned the volume back up.
“Caitlin with that guy i told you about,” Kiara assumed incorrectly as she removed her sandals and realised her keys had been on the sideboard all day. “I forgot my keys.” she commented easily as she poured she and Jasmine a drink.
“It isn’t Caitlin,” Emily informed the pair. “She’s out on a date. It’s Lexie and some guy I’ve never seen before. They walked in, and were basically making out in full force all the way to the bedroom.” Emily felt depressed. She wanted a guy in her life. Kiara stared at Jasmine and both shared looks of disgust.
“A guy you’ve never seen before?” Jasmine clicked her tongue disapprovingly. “Well, i wouldn’t like to live here.” Emily glowered at the girl she had never met, only heard of. How dare she come in here and look down her nose at them all? Emily stood abruptly.
“On that note, I’m going for a walk. The company’s probably nicer,” and she picked up her purse, slipped some shoes on and headed out of the door, slamming it hard behind her.
“What’s her problem?” Jasmine asked Kiara who merely smiled at her friend.
“I guess she doesn’t like what you said,” Kiara handed Jasmine a cup of water and pulled her notes toward her. “Lets go and sit outside, then we don’t have to listen to that.” She clicked off the television and they headed outside where the noises of evening surrounded them.
“Your roommates have a problem with the truth, huh?” Jasmine commented as she took a seat on a sun lounger. “I mean, she can’t have been too impressed with Lexie bringing home some random guy and I guess some people can admit to the truth in their own minds but to hear it out loud is an ultimate confirmation for them.”
“You’re probably right,” Kiara doodled absent mindedly on a piece of paper as they chatted. The night was warm and she was enjoying Jasmine’s company deeply. The summer ahead didn’t look so bleak after-all and Kiara began to realise that if she did fail, there was always summer school.