Rachel sat across a small round table from her best friend Camille, as they both sipped from two abundantly filled glasses of riesling. Camille raised an eyebrow and gave her a smirk.
“You make it sound like a bad thing.”
Rachel pursed her lips and fought a smile. “Cami, I’m serious! I’m only making a dollar more an hour than I was at StarChefs.”
“I thought we were here to celebrate,” Camille teased, “You’re in the company you’ve wanted to work for since freshman year. So you’ve got to start back at the beginning. Suck it up and wow them, now! And if that doesn’t work, just sleep your way to the top.”
Rachel snickered and tilted her head to one side. “Cami, please.”
Camille gave Rachel a wink and turned to hail their waiter. “Don’t you worry Rach, we’ll make this week disappear and you can start fresh on Monday.”
Rachel smiled at her best friend. Camille had just turned thirty, and somehow seemed more worldly than most women ten years her senior. The fact that she was a fashion photographer might have had something to do with it. She’d been to a number of different countries, and had met some of the world’s most interesting people. The way Cami told it, the most interesting were usually found in back alley bars, local watering holes, and hole-in-the-wall pubs. She’d seen it all, done it all, and captured it all. Buying Cami a glass of wine would get you hours of some of the best stories ever told — and Rachel got to hear them all for free.
A waiter approached and filled their glasses once more. Camille held her glass up to toast Rachel.
“To the finest junior editor the publishing world has ever seen,” she announced with a smile, tossing her thick ash blond locks behind her shoulder.
Rachel blushed. “The finest almost junior editor.”
“Semantics,” Camille replied with a sly smile, “Your future is set, and I say that it’s so. Now clink my glass and drink already!”
Rachel laughed and saluted her buddy, taking a long, satisfying sip. Camille studied her closely, and allowed herself a serious moment.
“Honey, listen,” she said, placing a comforting hand on Rachel’s forearm, “This may be a setback, but it’s a minor one. I know how talented you are, and I know how much you love books and the business. You will get the position you were hired for; I know it. You’re already a star, now you’ve just got to prove it.”
Rachel smiled. “Thanks, Cam. And thanks for dinner! I’m not going to need to eat until Monday! Then again, I can’t really afford to.”
“Now, now, enough of the pity party,” Camille chided, “You know if you need money I can lend it to you. It comes with an open-ended payback policy, and zero interest.”
“Thanks, but I think I’m just going to have to find another job again.”
Rachel breathed a heavy sigh at the mention of a second job; she was so tired of it! Losing sleep to barely get by wasn’t her idea of living life. She’d expected to have that under control by now. But, it was the price one often paid to live their dream.
“It’s only six months,” Camille insisted, “You can make it. You’ll be fine by the end of the year.”
Rachel leaned back, stretching her arms. “God, I hope so. I’m pretty much over the four hours of sleep routine.”
Cami took a long sip from her wine glass. “You can get through it. What you can’t do, however, is be late again.”
Rachel nodded, giving a yawn. “Let’s call it a night. Or at least let’s get a bottle to go and watch some movies at my place.”
“Is the roommate home?”
“Nope, she just left on an improv tour.”
Camille stood. “Throw in a couple of Diane Keaton movies and I’m there.”
Rachel grinned. “Annie Hall?”
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