Farryn woke up with a start, waking me up. "What happened last night?" she asked.
I hesitated for a moment. She was still here. Can you say awkward?
"You got wasted and were dancing on a table. Some perv was creeping on you so I brought you to my gallery," I admitted.
"Oh thank God!" she said with a sigh of relief. "So we didn't hook up?"
I shook my head. "Farryn, I wouldn't do that...to a drunk girl. Besides, you were wasted last night!"
Instead of replying, she walked over to the love seat and sat down, thinking. I joined her, unsure of what to say. I didn't know if I should offer to take her home or not.
"You're one to talk," she laughed bitterly. "You get trashed every night and do worse than dance on tables."
Ouch. Instead of trying to defend myself, I decided to let that one go. "Is that what you do on your nights off?"
She looked at me sadly. "I'm being evicted. They just gave me the paperwork yesterday. I've got a month to get out."
"What about your job?"
"Bartending isn't bringing in enough money to pay my rent. When I was fifteen, I dropped out of school and I can't get a job without a high school diploma."
Remember how I said that it was easy to talk to this girl? Well, looking at her, stunningly beautiful yet so sad and helpless, it only took a moment for me to make the decision. I didn't know if it was the right choice or not, but I just wanted to help her, to make her smile, to make sure last night didn't happen again.
"Well, right now, I have a position open for an art curator. The pay is depending on how successful I am but it will be free room and board."
"Really?" she asked tentatively, as if afraid it was all a joke.
"Really," I assured her. "You can have a job and a place to live. If nothing else, you don't have to work at the bar anymore and you'll have some time to figure out what you want to do."
"Thank you so much, Go, I can't ever repay you," cried Farryn.
I blushed. "It's okay. You don't have to."
But she continued, insisting, "this is the nicest thing anyone's done for me ever."
We both stood up to face one another. I leaned in for a hug and instead got...
* * * * * * *
The next week was Farryn's first duty as curator. It was my Grand Opening and the importance of the occasion was lost on neither one of us. Farryn had spent the entire week mailing out invitations, hiring a bartender, advertising and accepting RSVP's.
I paced back and forth like a caged animal. Several well-to-do potential customers had been invited and the possibility of failure had me completely on edge. Even if they showed up, there was a good chance that they would want to talk to me and that made me sweat profusely.
A couple of quick drinks helped calm my nerves. The Electric Gatorade made my head feel fuzzy and my muscles relax. I could feel my inhibitions melting away by the minute.
I was almost loosened up and ready to socialize. Until I saw Farryn. Suddenly, my mouth went dry and all intelligible speech went out the window. She was looking prettier than I had ever seen her before. The memory of her kiss still burned on my lips.
* * * * * * *
Farryn glanced around, suddenly self-conscious in her new dress. The saleslady had assured her that it was elegant and appropriate for tonight, but that didn't make her feel any better. Even though she looked the part of a sophisticated curator, she was positive she was incompetent and the pretentious, blue-blooded guests who would be arriving any minute would surely see through her facade.
The past week, she had felt a small sense of accomplishment in the simple duties her new employer had asked her to do. Because the gallery did not have a kitchen in it, Go had brought it upon himself to order pizza or sushi, bringing her home-cooked meals and taking her out to eat. They had spent many evenings working late in the office side by side. His shoulder would every so often graze hers as he would lean forward to point out something. Farryn could feel the attraction between them. Even without the kiss they had shared, she had felt it the first night they had met. Every night, when he had left with yet another conquest, she had wondered why he had never tried to hit on her.
Their guests arrived, all dressed immaculately, and Farryn resolved to make Go proud, to show him that hiring her was not a mistake. Her past was behind her and tonight was the start of something better, a more satisfying existence than she had ever hoped for.
Yes, she would show these stuck-up silver spoons what she was made of. Although it was an exhibition for Go's artwork, it was also her time in the sun, her chance to shine. She could no longer be content with the person that she once was. They both moved around the crowd as though they were naturals. He was slightly buzzed and she was determined. Paintings were bought and connections were established. Farryn mingled, made small talk and joked among the wealthiest of Hidden Springs. Tonight, she wanted to be seen.
And after the last guest had left, Farryn decided to make sure Go saw her, too.