My name is Samantha Martiz but I prefer to just go by Sam. It’s simple and easy to remember, that used to be my life, simple and easy, until recently. It all started when my cousin Mario fired me.
“You’re fired.” He said as if we were talking about the weather or something less no one really invested in.
Who the hell did he think he was Donald Trump, I’m fired? He must be high again. “What?” I asked, moving closer to his desk from my chair.
“I found someone better willing to work for less pay.” He said, having the nerve to shrug.
“This is about money?” I snapped, I needed this damn job. I clinched my hands because I was about to hit him and it wouldn’t have been the first time. We grew up together and some punches were bound to be thrown.
“That’s just the way it is Sam.” He shrugged again and gave a fake ass smile.
“Fine.” I stood from the chair in front of his cheap desk, Mario was known for being cheap. “Just know this I’m telling Tia Inez.” I walked over to the door with a huge smile on my face because of the hell I was about to unleash.
“That’s unfair Sam why you gotta bring my mom into this?” He stood from his seat pleading with me now.
“You fired me! I’m telling Mami too.” I was being childish but I didn’t really care, that little prick fired me, I was good at my job, I took pride in that damn job. Yeah it was selling furniture out of the warehouse and working a cash register but still I was good at it. I had a knack for talking.
“No, no Sam not your mom, she freakin nuts.” He had good reason to fear my mother; she was a woman you did not want to miss with. She was known for being strict and stubborn in the family while everyone else was a little more fun.
“Give me back my job.” I crossed my arms and waited for an answer.
“Fucker.” I left the office and stomped outside. Now I was jobless with a lot of bills, living alone did not come cheap. And to top it off I got a car payment longer than my arm. I wanted to my car, I loved the thing. A Lexus convertible. I was crazy to get something so expense but work was good and I figured I could handle it. Oh Mario was gonna pay for this. Damn no good cousin of mine.
That following morning I met with my older sister Alissa. She owned her own local newspaper; The Miami Wave, and it was a hit especially with the Spanish community as her paper mixed both languages. The whole family was proud of her but it wasn’t enough. She wasn’t married with a few kids. My mom made it seem like a sin. Alissa was about to turn thirty three, she had enough time to settle down. I was on her side because I felt the same way. I was twenty seven and my mom was already starting on me.
I told her about what Mario had done and how I was royally screwed unless I found a job soon. Being the best sister in the world and like a second mother to me even though we were close in age she had a solution.
“What are you going to do now?”
“I don’t know but I know I need another job quick. I got bills and the car payment.” The fact I was screwed was settling in again. I needed money and fast. Feeling like the biggest failure in the world was depressing.
“Told you it was a bad idea.” Her dark brown eyes lay on my car.
“I love that car I can’t get rid of it.” I’d give up eating before I gave up my car and I loved to eat.
“It’s a great car.” Alissa agreed. “I love the green, matches your eyes.” There was always a hint of jealously when she mentioned my eyes. There were a bright green, hers and Erin’s were dark brown. Alissa said it was unfair I got nice eyes and she got plain ones. I loved her eyes which were a deep dark brown. I got my eyes from my grandfather may he rest in peace, he had green eyes.
“Thanks.” I said to her. “What’s been up with you?”
“I have a problem and you might be able to help. You need a job and I need a journalist.” Alissa said. I was part of the school paper and in college, the two years I stayed, I took some classes. I loved journalism but Mario gave me a job that was easier and more pay so I moved on.
I don’t know about working for family again but Alissa was different, she was fair and I’m pretty sure she feared our mom enough not to fire me. “What’s the job?”
She sipped at her cup of coffee before answering. “I need someone to cover the crime beat.” She went on to explain that I’d have to talk to the local cops, gather information and as many facts as I could to keep the public informed. It sounded pretty good but then she started talking about crime scenes, dead bodies and blood. “Can you handle it?” Alissa asked.
To be honest the job sounded good so far and the money was exactly what I needed. “Yeah.” I said, this job would have a lot more to do for less money but it was really interesting me. I liked putting puzzles together and watched Law and Order every night on TV to try and solve the case before the episode was over.
“Ok good.” Alissa seemed happy about the fact we’ll be working together and I think it’s because she had control over me at the office. She was a control freak. “Come with me back to the office, I’ll show you around and assign someone to train you. Then we can head home together.”
It didn’t matter that we both had our own apartments and it wouldn’t matter when we got married and had children, our parents two story house was always considered home. We grew up there and went back every Wednesday for family dinner or else. My mother didn’t take lightly to us skipping without a very good reason.
At the office Alissa introduced me to a few people she wanted me to turn to when she wasn’t around. First was Nikki Forrester, she worked the crime beat too. With all the illegal stuff in Miami there were never too many reporters. She was a tall overweight black woman with a very pretty face, dark eyes and long lashes, but with that pretty came a stern expression that said you’d regret getting on her bad side. She was dressed to the nines, far too good for the office, with red high heels and a dress that screamed club every time the silver material bounded off the light. She seemed like a fun girl deep down and I liked her the most.
After introducing me to the other people on the staff; Amber Santos, who wrote an advice column, Brett McCoy, the top computer whiz and researcher on the team and Olga who covered the general happenings in town, Alissa explained I’d be shadowing Nikki for a week and then after that I’d be on my own.
I was excited like a kid bouncing on the walls with every bit of knowledge I learned. I didn’t think a thing could wrong, oh how wrong I was.