Chapter Twenty-One: A Job for Josh (Austin's POV)

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Hanging up the phone, I breathe a sigh of relief. So she’s not insanely pissed. Just slightly pissed.

            I think about to her words about not jumping to conclusions. Which I just did.

            Good going, dipshit. That’s how you lose her. By thinking you lose her.

            Josh emerges, looking like hell. His hair’s tangled, his eyes are bloodshot, and his t-shirt is stained with numerous suspicious looking stains. Basically, his normal morning look.

            I smirk. “Put you through the wringer, didn’t she?” I ask.

            “And then some.” Josh smirks. “But I enjoyed every moment of it.”

            “I know. I experienced it.”

            Josh stares at me. I half-expect his mouth to fall to the floor, like in cartoons. But instead he just says, “No shit?”

            “No shit.”

            “Well, then. Hope I didn’t catch some disease.”

            “You should go pee on a stick. Maybe you’re preggers,” I reply sarcastically.

            “You know what? Fuck off!” Josh yells.

            Maybe moodiness is a side-effect of coke.

            I throw up my hands. “What’d I do?”

            “Fucking mocked me! You, with your perfect girlfriend and perfect looks and fucking brooding, skater-boy thing  !”

            “What the hell? First of all, I’m far from perfect. Second, ‘brooding skater-boy thing?’ I try not to.”

            He runs a hand through his hair. “Well, maybe you’re not perfect. But you sure as hell have got everything you need.”

            “I work to pay for college. I broke my arm. I can barely pay rent and eat. How do I have everything I need?” Now I’m getting pissed. Just because he’s a drug dealer doesn’t mean he has to get pissy at everybody else.

            “And I have to sell shit just to get by. We all have problems.”

            “Is that what this is about? Because I can help you out.”

            “What the hell can you do?”

            “If you stop being such a douche, maybe I’ll tell you. You could fill in for me while I’m out with my arm.”

            “That would be awesome.”

            “I’ll call my boss. But first, I need to hear the magic word…” I say in a sing-song, coaxing voice, as if speaking to a child.

            “Sorry.” He holds up his hands, surrendering.

            “Good. I gotta go shower, but I’ll call my boss as soon as possible.”

            I get into the shower, forgetting to put the water on hot. Suddenly, it occurs to me.

            The freaking cast. How the hell do I shower?

            I get out of the shower, and wrap a towel around myself. Then I remember when my brother broke his arm when he was six. He showered with a garbage bag.

            “Hey,” I yell. “Can you get me a garbage bag?”

            “What do you need it for?” Josh yells back.

            “Doesn’t matter. I’m getting you a job, remember?” Now, I’m really proud of myself. I can use this as a bargaining chip for years to come.

            Josh rushes in with a bag, covering his eyes. “I really don’t want to see your junk.”

            “Why? Afraid of feeling inferior?”

            “Shuddup.”

            I shower, then call my boss.

            “Hey, Dakota,” I say.

            “Oh, hi, Austin. You know you’re on for tonight?” she says.

            “Yeah, but listen, I slipped and broke my arm last night.”

            I hear her mutter a curse.

            “But I’ve got someone to replace me. I’ll be out for a month, and my friend Josh really needs a job. So I figure this could be like a trial period, and then you could see if you want to hire him.”

            She sighs.  “I swear, Austin, sometimes you make my decisions for me. Sure. Tell him the place and time, and for tonight, he could borrow your uniform. We could always need an extra pair of hands.”

            “Okay. Thanks.”

            I get off the phone, and come into the kitchen.

            “You got it. Tonight at six at some ballroom. I’ll give you the address and lend you my uniform.”

            “Thanks.”

            Later, he embarks to the hall.

            “Good luck,” I yell.

            “Thanks.”

            I fall asleep on the couch, so I don’t see him until the next morning.

            “How was it?” I ask.

            “Great. I think your boss is into me,” he replies.

            I raise an eyebrow. “Professionally?”

            “No.” He waggles his eyebrows.

            “Sorta violates basic code, but go for it,” I reply.

            I need to investigate.    

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