"Mehhh, ehhh. Ehhh," I groaned. The sun was up and desperately fighting my curtains to be let in. It bathed my room in an awkwardly dim light that made me sigh. It was just bright enough to prevent me from falling back asleep, and yet, I didn't get up and let the sun in. Instead, I turned over and laid there. The next day had came very slowly. I'd stayed up all night, overthinking the events of the past couple of weeks. I was a mess. A stupid, violent mess, and I had decided some time last night that I hated myself. It was a silly thing, and I knew that of course, but I couldn't shake the feeling.
Today I was moping around, doing nothing. Since I didn't have any plans I was still in my pajamas, my hair tied back in a sloppy bun. When I'd gained the courage, I'd called Donny to chat and make sure he was okay. He insisted that what he had was nothing, that he's had worse. I didn't doubt him, I didn't have the energy to argue with him or get angry with him that he was just brushing this off. Instead I told him that I wanted to see him, but he didn't want me to see him in his condition. I thought back to when I saw him crying, how it'd broken my heart, and then I thought about what that must have done to tough-guy like Donny. To show weakness in front of me, in front of strangers... After a half hour or so we hung up the phone, not knowing what else to talk about.
I mulled over the events by myself for an hour or so, in my own little depressed world, listening to the noise of the street before I was interrupted by a noise. It was a quiet and strange noise, a noise I hadn't heard in a long time.
At first I didn't think I'd really heard it, but then it came again, and again.
"Is someone knocking on my door?" I asked myself. "Hmm." I got up slowly, making sure to take my time. "I'm coming!" I yelled. There was another knock on the door. With a grumble I stomped my way over to the door. "God, Cari, I'm coming! And since whe--"
I stared at the man outside of my apartment. It was an attractive man, with black hair and brown eyes. Hiro Hamada.
I was instantly flustered. “Oh,” I said, “hi.” I adjusted my shirt to be straight, and crossed my arms as a breeze rolled in. I was suddenly aware I wasn't wearing a bra.
He smiled. “Hello.”
I gave him a small smile back. "I, uh, wasn't expecting anyone," I said, glancing down at myself. "But you can see that. Hehe..." I winced when I realized how awful I looked. I really hoped he had bad eyesight.
Hiro wasn't awkward about it, to my luck. "Well I came unexpected, so..." He shrugged. "Plus," he looked at my pants with a smile, "cats are cool."
I shifted, embarrassed. Not that cool, I thought. "So, what brings you here?"
"Oh!" Hiro chuckled awkwardly before he patted himself down. There was a weak smile on his face until he hit something. He made a weird noise and pulled something out of his coat. “I just came here to return this...”
“Oh?” I said. I nodded, and then my head tilted to the side. “Where did you get this?” I took the object from him, and gasped when I realized it was my purse. "Oh! Thank you." I peeked in it. Everything was in here. My spare wallet. My lip gloss. My feminine products. And...the money. I spared a glance at him, which he noticed. I couldn't help the insecurity I felt. What would a smart man like him make of the situation?
Hiro could sense that my mood changed and he shrugged. It was a jerky, unsure motion. “It was lying in the alley. You ran off and left it behind. Just thought I'd return it to you.”
I looked down at the purse, and smiled slightly. I looked back up at Hiro, and nodded. “Well, thanks for returning this. I really appreciate it.” I started to close my door, but Hiro stopped it. A chill went up my spine. What would a smart man make out of this situation? I looked up at him.
Hiro met my gaze and then backed off. "B-before you go," he started, rocking on his feet, "I was just wondering if you would like to, maybe--I don't know--get coffee?" He rubbed the back of his neck, and shifted nervously.
I sniffed. We shared an awkward moment.
"No," I said. Then I shut my door, and went back inside and sat on my bed, stumped. I sat there for awhile, before I fell back on my bed. "No," I repeated, shaking my head. "Nope, I'm not interested." I rolled around my bed. "Men with money are players." I scrunched my nose. "He's probably smarter than me." I snorted and then I started to cry. I stuffed my face in my pillow. "He is smarter than me."
Suddenly my phone rang.
I jumped, and threw the pillow off of my face. I snatched my cell phone and flipped it open. I cleared my throat before I spoke. "Yes?"
"Beth!" my best friend squealed. I frowned. What made her so happy? "Oh, you have to get down here! I just got you a job interview!"
"Cari, I already told you--"
"Not from me! From a friend. She owns a bakery, and I know how much you love food."
I sighed. "I'm not a baker."
"I know! But she needs more staff to wait tables and take orders. And I was a like, I know the perfect girl. And she was all, really? And I was like, of course! I told her you used to work at a bar, and that you had great people skills, and well, she's excited to meet you."
"Cari..." I whined. "I don't know."
"Well, I'm not giving you a say. Beth, tomorrow at seven you are going to march yourself down to that bakery and you're going to get that job and you're going to work really hard to make money and try to pay off those stupid hospital bills, okay?"
I stayed silent, too overwhelmed to respond.
"Okay, okay. Fine."
Cari giggled. "Great! Now get your butt down here so we can celebrate! The kids are here. They want to see you."
"I don't think we should celebrate. It seems a bit soon, doesn't it?"
"No, just get over here."
I sighed, and was going to complain more, but I stopped myself. "Alright, I'll be there in an hour."
With that, I hung up and pulled myself off my bed once again. With an exaggerated sigh, and few mumbled words, I grabbed a towel and went to take a shower. I guess I did have plans for the day.