Episode Five: Exes: Scene 1

Photo shoots are, by the way boring. And exhausting. And hot. Nobody had really warned me just how hot they were. The only thing I wanted afterwards was ice cream, and it wasn’t even really summer any more.

The other girls…and boys…involved struck me as people I wouldn’t want to know in any other context. They were very focused on the work, but afterwards they seemed very unfocused.

Or maybe they were just as tired and hot as I was. I hadn’t even got paid yet. In the interim I didn’t have money for the ice cream I was so badly craving. I’d have to look into getting a bank account too. Or maybe getting Thea to help me, because I sure as heck didn’t want a social worker co-signing it.

I didn’t want to admit to the others that I was broke, so I just headed out, the lightweight jacket I’d needed that morning tucked over my arm. I told myself at length that I would get used to it, knowing it was true.

I’d build stamina, just as I had for fighting. But it didn’t need the same kind of stamina. Maybe I should ask Thea for tips when she came back. If she came back. I hadn’t seen her in, now, several weeks.

It was close to Halloween, which I knew some people believed meant the veils between worlds thinned. If they got any thinner for me, I thought, I’d accidentally step through. I checked my cash. Nope. Not enough for ice cream, not enough for dinner unless I cooked it myself, which I really didn’t feel like doing.

No choice. Once I had the money I’d set some aside for exactly this. Shouldn’t be hard. I was used to not having any, so I could handle not spending what I had until I needed to. Right?

Yeah. I was honestly worried. I knew people who got windfalls and just spent the lot of it quickly and until I was getting regular work, I couldn’t do that. I headed straight home to get some food.

And checked the freezer. Ice cream with Kanesha’s name on it. “Kanesha?” I called up to her room.

“What?” came a muffled response.

“Can I please, please, please have a scoop of your ice cream?”

“Go ahead. Just remember you owe me.”

I served myself a scoop, enough to cool me down, not enough to interfere with my appetite, and searched through common stores. Salad.
Salad would work. I wasn’t that hungry anyway, so I put myself together a bowl, found some croutons, and then Kanesha was coming downstairs.

“How did it go?”

“Nobody tried to kill me.”

It was bad when that was the standard applied to a good day.

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