L.A. Woman

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Authors: Cathy Yardley
“She looks like a scrapper.”
    Sarah sighed. “I’m going to go scrounge up some Tylenol before she gets finished with that call. And believe it or not, I’m going to make it.”
    Sarah was walking away as she heard Ernest down the hall call out, “Put me down for two months.”
    By the end of the fifth week, Sarah was bleary-eyed. She left the office at eight, Friday night, surprised that it was suddenly April. Thank God she did her taxes early this year…she didn’t even know it was coming.
    “Good night,” she said to Schuyler, the portly security guard. He no longer asked her to show her badge. She’d been there the past five weekends and late every single night. He knew her on sight, and regularly asked her “how it was going.”
    “You get some rest, Miss Walker,” he called after her.
    She drove home, exhausted. It was only about twenty minutes back to West Hollywood from the Mid-Wilshire district, if that, but tonight traffic seemed particularly bad. She’d be back in at ten tomorrow morning—Becky was letting them have a little sleep-in before cracking down on yet another pointless presentation, complete with requisite numbers and velo-bound reports. God, she hated velo-binding.
    She parked her car, noted that Martika’s car was not there and sent up a little prayer. Probably out with Taylor, searching for this weekend’s Random Fuck, as she so colorfully put it. She and Martika were not working out as well as she had hoped. Martika had tried to invite her out again, but after having her job threatened, Sarah made it a point of not joining Martika on her excursions. Martika was sort of hurt by this, and consequently cold, but there wasn’t anything that could be done. Benjamin had been right—she was naive.
    Now, Sarah would stumble in just as Martika was striding out, or sometimes at the same time as Martika stumbled in, with or without a companion. They only spoke about things like the utilities. Sarah had hoped to have a bit more friendly relationship with her roommate. Now, she just prayed that Martika would pipe down and maybe put some WD-40 on her box springs.
    She closed the door of her Saturn, hearing the alarm beep on. She made her way to the elevator from the parking garage andhit three, then leaned her head against the door as it slowly creaked its way upstairs. A bath. No, food. No, a bath, and then food. If she had food then the bath, she’d drown.
    She stepped out of the elevator, then stopped abruptly. A figure, a male figure, was hovering by her doorstep. He had a dark coat, and his blond hair was…
    He turned, and his face was like a storm cloud. “I’ve been here for hours,” he said, without preamble.
    “I’m so sorry!” The response was automatic, like saying ouch when you stubbed your toe. “I didn’t know. Why didn’t you tell me you were going to come down?”
    “I didn’t really know myself. Screw up at the L.A. office…and they brought me in to ‘consult’ on some possible solutions to getting their numbers up. It’s going to be soon, I’m telling you. The flights were delayed, so I figured I’d stay over a night and see you.”
    She wanted to feel more elated by the whole process, but felt weary as she fumbled for her keys. She let him in the apartment. “I’m so glad you made it,” she said, wondering even as they spoke what kind of food she had around. They could do a restaurant. Of course, it was Friday night in WeHo. They were going to have a hell of a time getting a table. Maybe she could order a pizza.
    “So this is the apartment. Huh. I haven’t seen it since I signed the lease.”
    She paused, before hanging her key on the set of hooks under the pretty white wooden cabinet-looking thing that she used to separate mail for herself and Martika. Her mailbox had a cheerful yellow daisy on it…Martika’s, a sticker of one of the Powerpuff girls. “Home sweet home,” she said, wondering what his tone was all about.

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