Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Jasmine Banks never did anything half baked or quietly for that matter. Especially not when she was pissed off.
So, as she entered the coffee shop to meet her friend, she did not graciously step over the threshold, did not gently close the green painted door behind her and she certainly did not sit down elegantly.
Jasmine (Jazz for her many friends and Jasminda for her few enemies) stormed into the shop, slammed the door so hard it shook in its hinges and knocked over several chairs (then picked them all up and apologized profusely to her other friend Joan; the owner of Joan’s Coffee and Cake) and finally flopped down in a chair.
Isabelle Parker barely looked up from ‘The war of the Green Lanterns’ and asked:
“What’s with the ‘tude?”
“I’m being kicked out. Evicted. Officially homeless.”
“Oh. So do you want to split a carrot cake? I’m not really eating so this is only my second.”
Jasmine’s dark brown almond shaped eyes turned to slits as she surveyed Isabelle who listened to 'Izzy' and loathed 'Belle'.
“Not even you can be this uncaring.”
“I told you months ago that this would happen didn't I? Did I not tell you that your ‘landlord’ was dodgy?”
“Yeah but still, a little empathy wouldn't kill you.”
Izzy snorted but otherwise ignored her comment.
“Look, you know you can always crash at mine, but you also know we would try to kill each other.
“Jamie is out of town and won’t be back for at least another month. Just stay at his.
He won’t mind and it will save you some cash and it will buy you time.”
Jamie (christened James) was Isabelle’s older brother who was some high flying business man and usually traveled across the globe.
He also owned an amazing apartment in a building with a swimming pool in the basement and a terrace on the roof.
This terrace almost spanned the entirely floor-space of the apartment and since he lived in the penthouse, it was only accessible by him.
Although of course Jasmine did not see Jamie as often as she did Izzy, she knew him well enough and he had always been laid back, funny and engaging.
On top of that he was not bad to look at. Not bad at all.
Opposite of her Isabelle burped.
Sometimes Jasmine thought she was friends with the wrong Parker sibling.
“So, what’s in it for you, what’s your angle?
“What do you mean, I’m simply looking out for my best friend.”
Jasmine stared at Isabelle, eyes wide, mouth agape.
“Ok, here’s my angle.
“Jamie is always winching about his plants. We kinda made a bet I can’t keep them alive while he’s away and most likely he’s right.”
“Anyway, if you move in, you can keep an eye on the plants ensuring my win.”
“God knows I need one badly, wonder-boy is perfect as always.”
“Hang on, so what did you bet over?”
“The Parker Prize. What else.”
Joan, who both girls were convinced had super sonic ears, yelled out from the back of the shop:
“Two adults still making bets over a beaten up faux silver trophy” Jasmine muttered, more to herself than offering Joan an explanation.
“Oh”, came the response.
“You’re damn straight, I want it and I’m feeling lucky. And of course helping you is an added bonus.”
“I can taste victory now and it’s delicious.”
“I’m pretty sure you’re tasting your third slice of carrot cake, Jasmine offered dryly.”
“Whatev’, now tell me are you in?”
Jasmine sighed deeply, covering her right hand with her left and then resting her forehead on top.
She wasn't too keen on moving to Jamie’s – even though it was the best solution for now and it would only be temporarily.
But Izzy’s plan’s, as simple as they seemed, had an odd and very distinct way of turning sour.
Usually they would end in tears and more often than usually, she was the one crying. Like the time Isabelle swore she could cut Jasmine’s hair.
As if on cue, Isabelle said: “and this is not like when I did your hair.”
“Look Jazz, seriously what’s stopping you?”
“Then again you can always move in with that dude on the 2nd floor, you know the one who wears his Havianas with socks.”
“When can I move in?”
Izzy dug in her jeans pocket and fished out a set of keys.
“I gotta go packing, Jasmine pushed herself up and out of the chair and snatched the keys away from Isabelle.
“If you need a hand let me know, otherwise I’ll swing by later tonight and see how my little plants are doing.” She grinned and her pretty face lit up.
Approximately 30 minutes after her arrival,Jasmine exited Joan’s, leaving once again trail of destruction and chaos in her wake.
“What are you playing at Parker?”
For not the first time that day, Joan’s voice filled the tiny bright space of the shop and now it came from somewhere in the basement.
Isabelle, who had forgotten that Joan and her supersonic hearing probably came from the same planet as Superman, jumped in her seat and spilled coffee over her carrot cake.
“Jesus Joan, stop doing that.”
“You just moved your best friend, your romantically challenged best friend, into your only brother’s house.
“So I got ask, What are you playing at?”
“I’m running late honey, I’ll see you next week.”
And the door was slammed shut once again, its little brazen doorbell tinkling in despair and despondency.
It had been a long week. A very long, stressful week which she had wanted to skip altogether.
Nothing out of the ordinary had happened, nothing too sad or too problematic yet non-descriptive isolated things had pilled up and it had been crap all round.
On Sunday she had lost her phone, on Monday she had ripped her favorite pair of jeans, Tuesday had nearly turned into Wednesday without incidents but then she twisted her ankle 2 minutes to midnight while climbing out of the bath tube.
Which meant that on Wednesday she was in pain.
Thursday she left the house, Jamie’s house without an umbrella so by Friday she was and in pain and had a nasty cold.
Today though, it was Saturday and she was ecstatic. She wouldn't leave Jamie’s comfortable, spacious flat. Not for anything.
She would stay indoors, with cups of tea, heaps of chocolate and covered under mountains of blankets.
She’d seen a nature documentary about shrews, living in cozy burrows protected against the harsh elements.
That was how she thought of herself today. A human shrew who was in between burrows and now house sitting an upmarket property.
Saturday came and went and Sunday did the same. Jasmine was blissfully unaware of the outside world, preferring to stay in her ‘burrow’.
She watched re runs of re runs, had long showers and even longer baths. She didn't cook and ate random bits of food which always involved cheese in one way or another. It was heaven.
James Damian Parker wasn't a man to fill his head with unobtainable dreams.
As a boy he had dreamed of winning sports-matches at school.
As a teenager he had dreamed of asking out certain girls.
As a man he had dreamed of setting up a successfully business.
And tonight, as a man who had achieved all of the above, he dreamed of something very simple and very precious.
Tonight James dreamed of sleeping in his own bed. He dreamed of dreaming in his own bed.
And he would. He was close. The key was in his door, he only needed to twist it (why wasn't it locked?) and he would be inside...