the new, better magazine

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Chapter ten: The new, better magazine

I sat cross legged on my bed, my oversize white cotton shirt brushing the back of my faded blue boy shorts , my hair clipped on top of my head in a messy bun, and my brain throbbing as I sat and stared at the contents of my black folder strewn across my bed. Fine slivers of eraser dusted my toes as I reread pages, scribbling notes as they came to me. I sat struggling to reorganize my thoughts. The image of David, the way he had looked when I had asked him to contact my ex, the way my boss looked at me when I presented my new ideas. All the faces meshed and merged in my head, blurring my sight to the point that the words on the pages started to resemble hieroglyphics. On a separate yellow pad I had written down all the random thoughts floating in my head in an effort to clear my mind. Phillip's paternal patronizing look flashed across my mind and I threw the yellow pad I had been dumping my emotions on across the room. Frustrated I curled myself into a fetal position, pulling my knees up to my chin.

"Hullo! I've got dinner!" Jolene skipped into my room carrying a large tray of strong smelling soup. Her striking red hair was pulled into a loose braid, matching her loose red silk top and pajama pants. She grabbed my bedside table and pulled it near the edge of the bed. Setting the food down carefully on the small round table, she gave the food a once over and plopped her thin frame down with great energy, right on top of my papers. I groaned at the strong onion smell emitting from the soup and rolled over, hiding my face underneath one of my pillows.

"Do you live here now?" I scowled from underneath the pillow.

"Do we have to have this conversation again Charlie? It is quite obvious you cannot fend for yourself my Yank cohort, so here I stay. Smell!" she picked up the soup and dangled it above my covered head. "French onion soup, man if those frogs can't cook!"

"Ugh! Jolene that smells awful!" I cringed at the now nauseous feeling making its way from my lower intestine.

"I cook and clean and this is the thanks I get?" I rolled my eyes underneath the pillow as Jolene's voice got higher. "This smells awful, this is too strong, this is too much. Are you allergic to thank you's Charlotte?" She did her best to mimic me in her strong cockney accent.

"Jeez Jolene, what are we married now? Are you going to ask me why we never go out next?" I snickered into the pillow just as I felt the blow from the pillow punch she had given me. I peeked out from underneath my safe place at a very convincing look of anger in my friends' emerald eyes.

"Well maybe you can stop vomiting long enough to take fend for yourself then bugger? You know you really are an inconsiderate arse! I'll just get my clothes on and leave then." She sat cross legged on the edge of the bed staring at me with wild eyes, expecting the apology I knew she deserved. The truth was the hormones had all but possessed me, and I was braver and more inconsiderate than I normally would be, a fact Jolene was currently the victim of.

"I'm sorry." I mumbled

"s'cuse me Charlotte, I don't think I quite heard you, could you please speak up?" Jolene cupped her hand around her ear and was leaning towards me.

I ripped the pillow off my face and sat up glaring at my friend with mock annoyance. "I said I was sorry okay. I love your cooking, I love your cleaning, I love you, I can't survive without you and all that jazz." I threw the pillow at Jolene, grazing her.

"I will expect more appreciation from now on then. Now eat your soup, you have more things going out than in right now and I'll be darned if I'm going to be responsible for you producing a skinny baby." She picked the soup back up from the side table and waived it in front of me. I reached out and reluctantly took the bowl, carefully placing it in my lap as the smell entered my nose and turned my stomach. "So tell me what happened with the skirt and Phillip today, I've been dying to ask all day." Jolene's eyes lit up as she waited for the gory details of the afternoon meeting. I groaned as I began to tell Jolene of the meeting in Phillips office.

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