Continued from Serial Saturday: Part Four
Leaving the office, Rachel was a little disappointed with the way the interview had gone. Could she even call it an interview? She had enjoyed a coffee and a flirtatious conversation with Jason, she had enjoyed a beautiful view of Cleveland’s lakefront, and she had gotten a quick tour from a girl who seemed put off that she had to show her around. Hadn’t Jason said she was going to sit in on the interview anyway? Why would she be so aloof?
Rachel could not help but think she knew Mel from somewhere. “Did you go to Purdue?” Mel had asked. “I cannot help but think we have met before,” she said to her while they were walking through the office.
“No. This room is sort of like the office for the out-of-town clients. They are welcome to set up shop in here and conduct their own affairs while we tend to their advertising and marketing needs.”
Mel did not want to engage in any personal conversation, it was obvious, so Rachel did not ask anymore non-business questions. The tour and conversation with Mel had only lasted about twenty minutes. Mel shook her hand, made sure she had her portfolio, and sent her out the door. She said the Jason would be in touch, but the way the day had continued, she doubted she would get a call back from Davenport Industries.
She got home and realized she had three voicemails on her phone. She had forgotten that she had put her phone on silent so that she could give her undivided attention to the interview.
The first message was from Sarah, her best friend from high school. “Hey Rach, it’s me. I know this is short notice, but my boss just gave me two seats behind home plate for tonight’s Indians game. Pleeeeaaaaaaasssssse. I know you probably have to work, but can you finagle your schedule and go to the game with me. Call me back. Bye.”
Ugh. Sarah knew how much she loved baseball, and right behind home plate! She could yell and the players could hear her. A few years back, she had sat near home plate, and she had yelled so loud at Victor Martinez that he had to put up his hand, step out of his batting stance, and regroup. He turned around to see who was so loud, and the friend she was with pointed to her. He smiled, got back up to bat, and hit a double. Rachel was thrilled. She was behind her player, and he hit a double. To this day, she swears that when he reached second base, he pointed at her, as if to say, that one was for you.
The second message was from her mother. “Hi Honey. I just wanted to wish you luck on your interview. Hope you’re not still sleeping.”
The message was time stamped 10:30. Why would she still be sleeping? Rachel knew she told her mom the interview was at ten. Did her mother think her that much of a flake that she would not go to the interview? Her mother had zero faith in her abilities. Rachel felt that she was just waiting for her to fail so that she could say, “Told you that fancy degree would get you nowhere.”
The third message was from CJ, a girl from work. “Hey Sweetie, I’m just trying to pick up some shifts this week because I’m trying to get enough money together to go visit Gary at Camp Pendleton. There’s a dance and he wants me to come out and be his escort. He’s so cute. I want to marry this one. Oh gosh, I’ll tell you about it later. I’m going to keep calling around, but if you want to give up a shift, call me.”
CJ had called a little over fifteen minutes earlier. Hopefully, she had not gotten ahold of anyone who would want to give up their shift tonight.
She redialed CJ’s number. “Hello?”
“Hey, CJ, it’s Rachel. I got your message. Did you get a hold of anyone?”
“Just Jenna, but you know how she is. She can’t afford to give up any shifts because of school. That girl is too rigid.”
CJ was referring to Jenna Michael, a 21-year-old senior at Cleveland State. She was working her way through undergraduate, and she saved every penny she made for tuition. She was overly serious and hard to get to know. It seemed that all she ever did was go to school, study, and work.
“I agree, she needs to relax.”
“What she needs is to get laid,” CJ said laughing. “She needs to release some of those pent-up emotions.”
“CJ, you know she’s a Christian girl. That is not going to happen.” Rachel laughed, too. “Anyway, are you on the schedule tonight?”
“No. You want to give up your shift?” CJ’s voice sounded excited. “I could really use the money.”
“Yeah, actually, I do.” Rachel needed the money as much as everyone did, but she also needed a night of fun and relaxation. It wouldn’t be too expensive of an evening anyway, the ticket was free.
“Oh Sweetie, thank you. You don’t know what this means to me and Gary. The dance is in three weeks, but the flight is like $400.00 and I need to buy a killer dress and shoes. Hey, will you go shopping with me for the dress?”
“Sure I will. Whenever you want.” Rachel liked CJ. She was 22, a southern belle relocated to the north her senior year of high school. Her father was a butcher, and he had lost his job, but found corporate work with the Acme Supermarket chain. CJ, short for Carol Jane, came into North Royalton like a deer in headlights. She was dressed up, had on a ton of make-up, and wore high heels, a far cry from the jeans and flip-flop crowd in late August in Ohio. CJ walked into home room, and Rachel knew by the sight of her that she needed someone to show her the ropes. Rachel walked right up to her and introduced herself, and they had been friends from that moment on.
She hung up with CJ and immediately called Sarah. It went right to voicemail. “Hey Sar. I got out of work. I can go! What time do you want to meet up and where? Call me back and we will make a plan.”
This day could not be anymore bizarre, Rachel thought. It was a virtual roller coaster of emotion. She looked forward to telling Sarah about the interview and getting her perspective on the whole thing. It was barely twelve. Rachel decided to go to the gym and swim laps to clear her brain.