"Yeah but you could get around that. My dad could give you a recommendation."
"That's beside the point. CDB is one of the top firms in the city and it's on record that my internship is with them. I don't want to mar that opportunity."
"Okay, so that's one reason. But your internship is over in what - six weeks?"
"Yeah, maybe seven."
"Okay. So lay low and don't see each other until then."
"Yeah, but what’s the point? Yes we had fun - but there are plenty of guys out there that I can have fun with. I don't see the point in wasting my time with someone when "the one" could be out there waiting."
"Oh my god. You and your freaking "the one" theory. Was Dickhead 1 or Luke "the one"?
"Dickhead 1 has a name."
"Yeah well he didn't stick around long enough for me to find it out."
"You were in Paris."
"Are you really defending him?! Anyway, moving on - you wasted time with both of them to figure out if they were "the one" - why not do the same thing with Brad?"
"To start with, they were both interested in dating me. Brad isn't. I don't think he does girlfriends - or if he does, they have some type of agreement worked out where they are okay with him sleeping with other people. I don't need to tell you that that isn't something I am interested in."
"So you would have an issue with him f**king other people."
My mind alighted on his unaccounted for time with that stripper at the Club. "If we were dating…yes. Obviously I would not be okay with him cheating on me."
"It's not really cheating if everyone is okay with it happening."
I blew out a frustrated burst of air. "Then obviously YOU are the type of women he's been dating - women who are okay with him sticking his dick everywhere he wants to. Again, I am NOT. So no point in discussing THAT any further."
"Geez Jules - you don't have to get all bitchy on me. I'm just playing devil's advocate."
I took a big, bitchy bite out of the cookie and let my emotions simmer. Becca's big, mascaraed eyes looked away and she scratched her neck.
"And nothing is wrong with my f**king belt! Leopard and cork go fine together! The straps on these shoes are dark brown!” I glared at her through a mouthful of cookie.
She started giggling uncontrollable and clamped a hand over her mouth to try and cover the sound. Coke spurted from her nose and she waved a hand rapidly in front of her, trying to calm her giggles and find a napkin. I handed her one, my face softening, and then I was laughing too, seeing the coke dripping down her beautifully made-up bright red face.
That night, after the movie and popcorn and a quick bite at Zaxbys, I lay in my bed and stared at the ceiling. Through the thin wall I could hear Metallica or Death Grip or some other heavy metal band playing on Zach's stereo. The room was hot, and I flung off my comforter and I kicked my legs a bit to free the sheet. I tossed and turned but couldn't get to sleep. Finally, I plugged my iPhone into the stereo beside my bed. Turning up the volume just enough to drown out Death Cab, I put it on Katy Perry and set the sleep timer for 15 minutes. I selected "I Kissed a Girl" and laid back down, staring at the ceiling. As the words floated through the air, I remembered lobster claws, sequined bras, champagne, and the flow of desert wind through my hair. Finally, I fell asleep.
The next week and a half flew by. We had a business acquisition close, and preparing for it meant extra late nights and jam-packed days. The closing finally occurred on Wednesday at 2pm, and Broward gave our whole wing permission to leave at 5. I'd never been so excited about an eight-hour workday in my life. I was merrily stapling briefs together when Todd Appleton stuck his head in the door. "Can I come in?"
Feeling extra generous, I waved him in with a smile. "Of course! Todd. How's everything going?"
"Great. Really great. We heard in the East Wing that you guys were getting an early night off. Want to come out with us?"
"Where you guys going?"
"Cantina del Mer. Drinks are half off till six."
"Hey, don't act highbrow - you may be putting in the long hours, but you're getting paid the same as me - nothing." He grinned at me.
"Yeah, don't I know it." My phone rang, interrupting us.
"Julia Campbell," I answered.
"What are you doing?" It was Brad.
"Just sitting here."
"I assume you know, or you wouldn't be calling."
"I'm talking to Todd." I said sweetly, through my teeth.
"Let me talk to him."
"Because I need to, and he left his cell phone here."
"Just tell me the message, and I'll pass it on."
"Stop being difficult."
"I just feel like we are back in the Bob scenario - the only thing missing is your intimidating self."
"Just tell him to get his ass back here." He ended the call.
I raised my eyebrows at the phone and hung it up. Todd was trying to look like he hadn't been eavesdropping on my half of the conversation. "So… will you come?"
I grinned at him. "Wouldn't miss it. I'll see you guys there around 5:30."
"Awesome!" he smacked his hand on the desk and stood, bouncing on his toes a bit and looking around, searching for something to say.
I turned back to my briefs, stapling and sorting them, and he took the cue and started to leave. I waited until he had just past through my door.
"Oh, and Todd?"
"Yeah?" He was back in an instant, standing in my doorway.
"De Luca wants you. Right away."
At 5pm I swung by the bathroom and used my emergency makeup stash to amp my look up a bit. I had worn a black suit that day with a light blue lace cami underneath, so I removed the jacket and put my hair down. I had a pair of dangly earrings in the car from some event weeks ago, and swapped my pearl studs for them. I looked good - not sexy, but a big step up from the frumpy intern that had strode into work nine hours earlier. Trying to find a spot downtown is typically hell, but at five thirty a lot of spots had opened, and I was able to snag one just a block and a half away from the restaurant.
I saw Jennifer, Renfield's intern, parking her Jeep on a side street, and I waved at her and waited. She jogged up, giving me a bright smile and a quick hug. "Girl, haven't seen you since orientation!" she said. "What do they do - lock you guys up in the West Wing?"