Saturday, March 24, 2012
“Put down the frame,” Jasmine said cautiously.
She slowly pulled the Dogs Playing Poker picture out of Nicole’s grasp.
“But, don’t you think it’d look good in the basement? In Eric’s man cave?” she proposed.
Jasmine grabbed her friend by the wrist and dragged her through the flea market, “As long as I’m the decorator, that thing isn't come anywhere near your house,”
They had spent the better half of the Saturday morning wandering through flea markets downtown for Nicole’s house, a groove they had gotten into on the weekends. It was crowded with bargain shoppers, more than usual for the weather was beautiful.
It was May, and Jasmine had been in Brampton for a month now. The designs for Nicole’s house had been marked up fairly quickly. She was grateful that she loved the--working for someone she knew always made Jasmine a bit nervous and particular about her designs even more so.
Since they didn’t bring much to Ontario, Jasmine wanted to make sure to begin with getting their largest, most important pieces. By one o’clock they had found a set of end tables and a cushioned bench for the bedroom.
Nicole was tired and ready to call it a day, so they headed towards a main street lined with restaurants. Tables were lined up on the sidewalks outside of restaurants, overflowing with customers. They settled on a quaint salad bar and grabbed a table outside, sure to find one with an umbrella. Jasmine was fair skinned—her and the sun didn’t get along.
“You should come over for dinner Friday,” Nicole suggested. When Jasmine looked up at her from her salad, she avoided eye contact as she pushed around lettuce.
She laughed, “Nice try. But I know that face,”
“What?” Nicole asked, trying to look innocent.
“I’m not going to let you set me up. No ma’am,”
Nicole dropped her silverware and leaned forward placing her hand on Jasmine’s arm. “C’mon Jazz, at least give it a try. You need to meet people here! Why not meet a guy as well?”
“Coming from,” she grumbled.
Jasmine snapped her head up as Nicole's hand retreated, “Nicole, I’m sorry I didn’t mean that,”
“No, no. You’re right,” she sighed. “I was just hoping that you’d meet someone from Eric’s work and we can all hang out, meet people together,” she trailed off.
I can’t believe this girl. She makes me do the craziest things!
“Ok,” she gave. “I’ll come to dinner on Friday.”
Eric and Nicole worked during the week, and it was up to Jasmine to continue picking out pieces for their home.
Sometimes it amazed her how clients, usually complete strangers, would be willing at times to put all their trust in her to decorate their home. There were some who had very little to do with the process, leaving everything up to Jasmine. She would be lying if she hadn’t thought about doing something completely crazy with the design. If she bullshitted it enough they’d think it was stunning and unique.
Jasmine traveled in and out of stores, taking pictures of items to show Nicole later. She was leaving a furniture store when she rounded the corner and ran right into someone. Balance was something she never really had and she fell backwards, her clutch landing on the sidewalk beside her.
“Oh, damn. My bad,” the man apologized.
Jasmine held her hand over her eyes, the sun was directly behind him, blacking him out. He offered his hand to help her up, she took it and wiped her hands on her shorts. Past him were a couple of his friends standing and laughing at his accident. Classy
The stranger leaned down to pick up her clutch and held it out, “Here you go.” Jasmine managed to mumble a ‘thank you’.
“You, uh, okay?” he eyed her, but she didn’t take a moment to meet his stare.
Jasmine nodded before slipping past him and through his group of friends, carrying on down the street.
She didn’t get ten feet before she heard foot steps quickly coming after her.
“Hey, wait up!”
Jasmine glanced over her shoulder to see the same man jogging after her. She stopped and stepped to the side to get out of everyone’s way.
The stranger came to a halt right in front of her, tipping his head to the side in wonder as he pointed at her.
“Don’t I know you?”
Friday, March 23, 2012
“The house is ready but now we have to decorate it and you know I have no style. Eric is busy at work trying to get into the swing of things, and he’s picked up golfing so he’s gone every other weekend. The people up here, sure they’re nice, but they’re like too nice you know? Like hello—I’m a stranger, why are you inviting me to your kids’ birthday party? I could be a serial killer that you’re letting me in your home!”
“No. It’s been almost two months in this god forsaken country and I’ve had enough. I don’t want to be here anymore Jasmine. Come get me, now!”
There was a long pause over the phone. “Are you done?”
Nicole sighed heavily into the phone, a nonverbal surrender.
“Nicky… I know leaving Boston was a big step for you—the longest you’ve ever been gone is a week for senior beach week after we graduated college. You called home two times a day and packed up to leave three days in before we stopped you. I know it’s a whole new start—but that’s just how you have to look at it,” Jasmine tried to calm her down. “New jobs, new home, new town, it’s like a fresh start.”
“But I liked everything how it was,” Nicole whined.
Jasmine nodded her head even though Nicole couldn’t see, “I know. But can you imagine how Eric is feeling? He’s in the same boat as you, at home and work. Talk to him about it. You just need to pick up a hobby, keep busy, something,”
“OHH. MMM. GEE,” Nicole squealed so loud Jasmine had to pull her phone from her ear. “You know what would help? You could come visit me for a couple weeks!”
Oh no, Jasmine thought.
“Oh we could go shopping and go out to the lake. You could stay in our old apartment—we haven’t sold it yet—”
“You’ll get to see the house—OH MY GOD THE HOUSE—you could help me decorate it! Didn’t you say business was slow anyway? Ahhh! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before, I mean my best friend is an interior designer!”
Jasmine hung her head as she blabbered on and on about all the fun that they were going to have, as if she had already told her yes.
“You don’t know how much this means to me Jazz!”
“Nicole I don’t know if that’s a good idea, if I can even do it,” she tried arguing, but Nicole didn’t hear a thing.
“I can’t wait! Text me your flight details, I'm going to go tell Eric!”
And the line went dead.
What the hell just happened?!
“I can’t believe she talked you into this,” Eric grinned as Jasmine walked up to him at the airport and gave him a hug.
She rolled her eyes, “Trust me, I can’t either,” Jasmine looked Eric around for such friend who guilt tripped her into flying to Ontario.
When she came looked back at Eric, she just laughed. “And she didn't even have the decency to pick me up,”
Eric reached for her luggage and Jasmine followed him out to the parking lot. When he put her suitcase in the back of a truck she couldn’t help but laugh.
“A pickup? Canada really does change people,” she winked.
The two played catch up as they drove into town with the windows down. Jasmine hadn’t realized how much she had missed him, only knowing that seeing Nicole would be even better.
When they got into town, Eric pulled up in front of an old firehouse. He put the truck in park and hopped out to get her luggage out of the bed.
Jasmine slowly climbed out of the truck. “You’re shitting me?”
Erin just smiled, as he led her through the door. She gasped walking through the threshold.
Where fire engines were once parked idly ready to help save lives, it was converted into a spacious family room that opened to a contemporary kitchen. The mix-matched furniture gave it a hobo feel that Jasmine adored. The red spiral staircase in the far back corner led to the bedroom loft that looked out over the floor below.
She noticed a petite blonde come running to the railing up above. “Jazz!” Nicole screamed.
Jasmine ran past Eric and met her at the bottom of the stairs.
“I missed you!”
“How was the flight?”
“This place is amazing!”
The girls giggled before falling onto the nearby couch. Eric was smart—he just carried Jasmine’s things upstairs and disappeared, leaving them to catch up on the past two months.
The sun was setting and the converted firehouse glowed inside.
“I suppose I should let you get some sleep,” Nicole finally said. “Things are about to get busy around here,” she grinned before calling out to Eric, wherever he was.
Jasmine laughed, “I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, do I?”
“Nope!” Nicole sang before her and Eric closed the front door behind them.
Instantly, silence filled Jasmine’s new home. She headed upstairs to unpack and make the place feel like home, though she didn’t have to do much though—Nicole knew her well.
Changing out of her jeans and tee and into PJ’s, Jasmine turned out the lights before she slipped under the covers of the queen size bed.
I have a good feeling about this, she thought. Brampton, Ontario—it can’t be too bad.
Two minutes after head hit the pillow she was out cold for the night.
Two minutes after head hit the pillow she was out cold for the night.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The lights were blinding, the music was deafening, and it was way too crowded. Though for some reason, people flocked to the popular nightclub like moths to a flame. Jasmine had to admit though, there was something so alluring about the atmosphere.
Everyone always told her she needed to learn to let loose. It was safe to say that this was definitely the place to do it.
She stepped up onto a stool and signaled for the bartender. He nodded at her, “Another rum and coke?”
Jasmine flashed him her signature smile, “And I was afraid you wouldn’t remember me,” she teased.
“A pretty girl like you? Never,” the bartender winked, sliding over her fourth drink of the night. She was about to turn around and head back towards the party when she felt someone step up behind her.
“I wanted to get your next drink,” he said in a deep voice, his breathe tickling her ear. “I’m hurt,” the man pouted.
Jasmine slowly turned around, giving him a once over before she patted his upper arm, ignoring the fact that it was rock solid underneath her fingertips. “It’s ok, I’m sure you’re used to rejection,” she mocked.
His pouty lips were gone and were replaced by a wicked smile that reached the corners of his deep brown eyes. “Baby, rejection isn’t a part of my vocabulary,” he grinned.
“It is now,” she quipped. Jasmine was sure to press her ass against him when she slid through the tight squeeze between him and the other strangers at the bar trying to get drinks.
You’re such a tease, she laughed to herself.
After a handful more of drinks, everyone was having the time of their lives. Some more than others.
Sean was practically humping a girl on the dance floor, which completely bothered Jasmine. Not because he was supposed to be her wing man, but because she was determined to prove that he was in fact gay.
The man had better fashion sense than any designer, and was more aware of his looks than any good-looking man should be. ‘Metrosexual’ is what he liked to call it. Jasmine only knew of a few girls he’d been with, he was really picky. Though she’d catch him a time or two checking out a guy.
One day, one day.
Nicole interrupted her thoughts when she came swaying up to the high table Jasmine was perched at.
“I am so sad,” she said blatantly.
Jasmine laughed, “You are so drunk.” She brushed the wet hairs out of her friend’s sweaty face.
“I’m going to miss you guys so much. I don’t know anyone in Canada. They talk funny in Canada!” Nicole pouted.
“Hun, you’ll be fine. Eric will be there with you—you know, your husband?” she joked.
“Oh, I know Eric! I know him! I love Eric so mu—ah! I love this song!”
And just like that, the idea of moving was the last thing on Nicole’s mind. She shimmied her way to the dance floor as Usher’s ‘DJ Got Us Falling In Love’ blasted through the speakers.
Jasmine finished the rest of her drink before joining her three best friends on the dance floor. Nicole was dancing with Tryna while Tara found a dancer partner in a khaki shorts and pink polo wearing guy.
Ugh, frat boys.
Jasmine was left to dance by herself, and she didn’t mind. Her body moved the beat and the music was loud enough that no one could hear as she sang off key with Usher.
She didn’t even turn around when she felt a guy press up against her from behind. Instead she just kept dancing. The stranger’s hands found their way to her hips, pulling her close against his hard body. Jasmine slowed her rhythm down and then quickened the pace to throw him off—to show him who was in control.
But he kept up with her. This guy can move.
Usher’s voice faded out behind the next song, and Jasmine just about died.
I’m just a bachelor looking for a partner. Someone who knows how to ride, without even falling off…
Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ slowed the dance floor down, as sweaty bodies got closer than ever before. Jasmine bit her bottom lip to hide her smile as her mysterious dance partner slid his thick thigh between her legs from behind. He rolled his hips into hers, her ass pressing hard against his crotch and his growing need.
Jasmine’s head lazily fell back against his chest, and he bent down to nip at her neck. She twirled herself around ready to meet those playful lips, but wasn’t expecting the face they belonged to.
“You really don’t know how to deal with rejection, do you?” her eyes went from lustful to annoyed, and her hands dropped from his chest and landed on her hips.
Her pursuer stood close to her with a cocky grin, “I didn’t hear you complaining.” He hand reached out to her hip again and he pulled her close. “Now where were we,” he whispered heavily into her ear.
She could smell the whiskey on his breath, it was so strong it made her cough. She pushed against his chest. “Look, I’m not interested,”
“How do you know? You don’t even know me,”
“That’s where you’re wrong Mr. Seguin. I do know you,” she shot back.
Tyler Seguin’s eyebrows rose in shock, but his grin didn’t falter one bit. “Well then, I think it’s only fair you tell me your name,”
“Flattered,” Jasmine said sarcastically. “But I don’t think so,”
She turned on her heal and headed towards the table, she could feel him following close behind. When the mass of bodies opened up, she grabbed her clutch from the table and turned right into his chest.
“One drink,” he practically demanded, more serious than before.
“You’re not even 21!”
Tyler leaned an arm against the table, and Jasmine fought to ignore the muscles moving underneath the sleeve of his shirt—on purpose or not, she wasn’t sure.
“Minor detail,” he winked.
Jasmine eyed him and then bit her lip. Then she stepped in close to him, slowly running a finger along his damp shirt. She could only imagine the ripped body he had underneath. Oh wait, she, along with every woman in Boston, saw it last summer.
Hold your ground, she commanded.
“How about this, I’ll let you buy me a drink,” she said seductively, looking up as Tyler licked his lips in anticipation. “When you are legal to drink,”
Before Tyler could respond, Jasmine left him standing there. She weaved her way out of the club without looking back. She called a taxi and spewed her address to the driver. She sent a text to her girlfriends letting them know that that she called it night.
She was glad she had went out, she knew Nicole was happy she joined, and the night had been better than anticipated. Except for being stalked, obviously.
Although, having Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins follow you around wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. She sighed and a smile crept upon her lips. Jasmine stared out the window as the darkened streets of Boston whirled by.
“You’re the one who promised her you’d go. And you’re the one who always talks about the importance of keeping promises,”
Jasmine let her head drop back as her friend Tara guilt tripped her.
“She’s going to Canada,” she annunciated slowly. “That’s far away,”
“It’s like a two hour plane ride, if that,” Tryna corrected. “Just think of all the free booze we get to drink and hot guys we get to tease.” Jasmine lifted her head and saw her wiggle her eyebrows playfully.
“Fine!” her two best friends high fived. "I’ll go—for a little bit,” Jasmine just glared.
Her phone buzzed loudly against the metal desk. Jasmine blindly reached for it and answered.
“Oh my god. I just saw a girl wearing a white skintight Michael Kors dress with a terrible looking flower just sitting on the shoulder that was larger than her ass… um hello, who do you think you are? Carrie Bradshaw? I swear, women these days.”
“Hello Sean,” she laughed.
“Hey there gorgeous. What are you up to?”
“I’m about to leave work. I have to head home and change for Nicoles par—” Jasmine paused midsentence, a brilliant idea had come to mind.
“Sean. Oh my sweet Sean,” she cooed.
She heard him scoff, “What do you want?”
“Who said I wanted anything?” she pouted.
Sean laughed on the other end, “You’re only affectionate when you want something. Spill,”
“Well actually… I desperately need you to come to Nicole’s going away party with me tonight. I don’t want to go but I said I’d go and the only way I’d have fun is if you were there with me…” Jasmine spat out.
“Please! Purttty please! I need my wingman with me!”
“Jazz, you haven’t needed a wingman or even tried to pick up guys since freshman year of college,”
“Exactly!” she exclaimed. “I need you to help me avoid guys,”
Jasmine could hear him mumbled to himself, unpleasant things she was sure.
He sighed into the phone, “Pick me up at 9,”
“Wouldn’t it make more sense if we met—”
“9 o’clock, see you then,”
After they hung up Jasmine crossed off a few more things on her to-do list before she locked up her office and headed home.
As the ‘Beyoncé’ playlist on her iPod came through the speakers on her laptop, Jasmine rummaged through her closet for an outfit to wear.
Too conservative. Too revealing. Way too small. Isn't this Tara's? Oops!
She had no plans to be seeking any attention at the club. She was there to celebrate a friend and have fun. She couldn’t dress too hoochy, she didn’t want to look like she was asking for it—she wasn’t.
She settled on a pair of black leather shorts and a solid cream short sleeve top. With a long necklace hanging from her neck, she paired it off with a pair of black stilettoes and a red clutch. Jasmine pulled her long copper hair into a messy ponytail and her eyes popped with heavy, black makeup. Her lips were coated with bright red lipstick that contrasted with her fair skin.
Jasmine pulled up outside of Sean’s apartment at exactly 9 o’clock. He came down the steps just as she got out of the taxi. He gave her a once over before pushing her back into the cab, cheering.
“Let’s go break some hearts!”