Kale, Caesar!

Shifting in her seat for the tenth time, Maggie grabs her phone, presses in the password and slowly exhales. It’s been fifteen minutes without a text, call or email from her best friend. This is just like Lucy, Maggie thinks. Just because I don’t have a job doesn’t mean my time isn’t valuable too. But she hoped today would be different. Today is the day they were supposed to discuss The Plan.

Feeling the dissipating hope and rising anger, Maggie promises herself if Lucy doesn’t show in the next two minutes, she will…tap, tap, tap, tap. Her thoughts are interrupted by a pair of leather-soled high heels making their way across the white ceramic tile, towards her. The weight of those shoes sound heavy.

Maggie lifts her head to watch Lucy approach the table, grip the chair across from her, pull it back, sit down and say with a strained smile, “Hey! Sorry I’m late. I had to finish a few things before I could leave. You know how it is…oh, wait…” Her face drops, along with her Ferragamo purse, and she slides into position. Her power position—all serious, with phone in hand. Her time is limited.

Maggie smiles in return, letting the comment slide, and salvaging the remaining optimism she holds for the meeting. “Hey. I know you are busy with work. I just wanted to catch up and talk about the apartment.” Maggie leans to the side, reaches into her open canvas backpack and pulls out a few pages, neatly folded in half; the ones she printed earlier from the library after researching for hours on possible locations that would be affordable, hip and an easy commute for both girls. She unfolds them, turns them to face Lucy and pushes them in her direction.

Lucy doesn’t even notice what’s happening, because, like always, she is glued to her phone. As if on cue, it’s beeping and buzzing away with new messages. Lucy sighs, “Karen, again.” Maggie scrunches her lips together, and tilts her head slightly to the left and then says, “The one with the bad breath, right?” Lucy gives her a surprised look and shakes her head up and down.

Lucy flags down the waitress, puts her phone on top of the printed sheets and announces with wide eyes and spirit fingers, “I saw this great place in Chelsea. Total dream spot. You know I have to be at work by seven every morning. It has to be in Manhattan.” Maggie feels her body jerk, her back hitting the wooden slat of the chair. She winces and tries to compose herself without letting on how disappointed, and hurt, she is. “Whatever. It’s cool. I get it.”

The waitress arrives and Lucy orders the kale Caesar while Maggie asks for a bacon cheeseburger, and a side of onion rings.

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