Heaven Sent

By: Avelyn Paige

Tonight’s her night off and, as usual, she’s back on my case about applying for a waitress position at the bar with her. She started on this topic the second day I was living here. It’s not that I don’t want to work with her, but it’s the exposure I’ll get working in a bar. I really don’t want to work in a public place but after six days of California living, I’m down to $200 after going ahead and paying next month’s rent. The bar is the only job that I’ve been close to finding that will pay me under the table, other than topless house cleaning, and that’s a fuck no in my book.

“Come on, Dani,” Ricca pleas. “Just come with me! I promise it will be fun! We can even ask my boss if he has a job for you. He won’t be able to say no once he sees your sexy ass. I bet he'll drop to his knees and beg you to come work at the bar.” Rolling my eyes at her, she crosses her arms and tries to give me the sad puppy eyes. Like that will work.

“I said no, Ricca. Bars aren’t my scene. Why the fuck would a bar called Red Rockets be the kind of place I would want to work? It sounds like a fucking strip club,” I yell from the kitchen. No way in holy hell am I going to work there, let alone drink there. I’ve noticed she isn’t one for giving up her arguments and frankly, running this low on cash is starting to cloud my decision-making process. There’s no mistaking that I am strapped for cash and nearing the point of desperation, but I’m not that desperate to work in a shitty bar.

“Dani, you need a job and Red’s offering to give you a shot plus pay you under the table. What's the harm in coming in with me on my day off and just checking the place out?” Ricca stands her ground as I try to bypass her in the kitchen door.

“Let me by, Ricca. I’m not going!” She doesn’t budge. God dammit! “Move, Ricca, or I’ll move you.” Her eyes narrow and she plants her feet against each side of the door frame.

“Admit it, you’re curious, Dani. It’s just one night out. Stop being such a fucking baby and just come with me. I’ll get you all dolled up to make Red and all the boys in the bar purr and we’ll have fun! You do know what fun is, right?” I forcibly shove against her blockading body again. She’s keeping me from the couch and the DVD I picked from her collection—I’ve seen Hunger Games before, but it’s the only good movie she has that isn’t porn or a cheesy B-grade slasher movie. Yet, Ricca isn’t moving. I really don’t want to give up trying to get out of this, but she’s bound and determined my mac n’ cheese date with Peeta and Gale is going to be cancelled.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Ricca. If it lets me out of this kitchen, fine! I’ll go.” She jumps up and down screaming before bolting down the hall into her room, no doubt picking out the skankiest clothes she owns. “But, I will not go looking like a hooker!” I scream down the hall at her. What the hell did I just agree to? I guess the worst that could happen is that I find a shitty job and get felt up by low-life drunks. Oh, that’s not bad at all, I think sarcastically. Just as I sit down to take a bite of the gooey delicious mac n’ cheese I made during Ricca’s staged protest, she walks in the room and jerks the spoon out of my hand.

“No time to eat! It’s time to get you looking bootylicious!” she shrieks. Fuck my life.

Three hours later, I emerge from Ricca’s room painted and stuffed into a flimsy silver and black mini dress that barely covers my ass. I feel so uncomfortable in this outfit, but she got pissed at me earlier for saying I should just go naked because what she forced me into couldn’t be classified as clothes by their lack of coverage so I have to deal with the outfit she gave me. My hair was another battle with her since I wanted to leave it down, but the fashion police vetoed that idea. Instead, she braided my long, unruly hair into a side braid that ends over my left shoulder. After declaring me fit for public display, Ricca shoves me in front of the full-length mirror in our shared bathroom and I barely recognize myself. The makeup on my face highlights the olive undertones of my skin and accentuates my deep brown eyes. Since Ricca and I are so different complexion wise, she could only plaster my skin with a Cher amount of silvery glitter eye shadow and lipstick. I look like a cross between a stage-ready drag queen and a clown, but I can’t tell Ricca that without hurting her feelings. At least she was right about the dress; it does hug my curves tightly while accentuating my chest. My boobs are pushed up so high I feel like Wilson peering over the fence on the Home Improvement reruns I used to watch with my mom growing up.

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