JAMIE PART 3: CAUGHT IN NEW YORK CITY

(*Important Note: I’ve written this a long time ago, but I realized I hadn’t posted it here. Jamie Gabrielle Vinci went AWOL! Anyway, here it is, the third installment. I really was going to post more than an hour ago, but The Walking Dead was interrupting me, he he…Anyway, this piece is now all mine. There are some French words. I had someone from Canada to edit it. But if any of you speaks French and finds anything wrong here, please let me know. Thanks!…Again, just to remind you guys, this is  just light writing meant for light reading. Hope you still like it, though.)

For previous posts, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

CAUGHT IN NEW YORK CITY

New York City. Man, she would definitely love this city…Broadway paradise!!!

Given the tragedy that happened to New York years ago, Broadway was still a thriving community of its own, thanks to people who believed in it no matter what, and Jamie was a firm believer. Oh, but Broadway was not what she really came here for although that, indeed, was part of the itinerary.

Jamie drove her red Corvette convertible – top up – that morning along a busy street, neither in turtle-slow nor Evel Knievel fashion. That didn’t stop impatient drivers following her to keep their horns loudly busy as well. Amazing how many expletives people came up with in a single traffic time alone. All Jamie could mutter was “Right back at ya!” as she smiled. Nope, she would not be bullied, no one was going to ruin her day for her. Not today, not on her day of interview. So she turned on her player and sang along with Joseph as he fussed about his ultra-hip, rainbow-inspired dreamcoat.

Some more traffic, left-turns, right-turns, and more traffic later, Jamie finally found the street she was looking for and eventually parked her car at the building’s parking lot. She killed the engine, killed Joseph, got her bag and got out. Some people had alighted from their cars just as well. No sooner had Jamie walked away from hers when her mobile phone rang to the familiar tune of Für Elise. Jamie got the phone out of her bag and answered the call.

Bonjour, Maman.

Her mother’s lovely French-American accent reached her ears. “Ma cherie! How did you know it was me?”

“Daughter’s intuition.” And caller ID . “Mom, you’ve only called me three times already. Are you more anxious about this job interview than I am?”

Mrs. Vinci laughed. “Je suis désolée. It is only the mother in me.”

“I know. That’s why I love you. But, Mom, I just got here. You can’t go calling me every hour. Don’t worry, I’ll call you when I get home and then we can talk on the phone, alright?”

A hesitant pause. Then, “Okay. Fais attention.a toi…

“I will, I will, don’t worry, I’ll be careful. But I really gotta go now, Mom. Interview’s at ten and I wanna be ready. Byee!!!”

“Good luck!”

“Thanks! Je t’appelle plus tard. Love you!” With that, Jamie hung up and put the phone back in her bag, smiling.

She loved it when her mother called her ‘ma cherie’ But then, she had always loved being surrounded by people who doted on her. Who wouldn’t? The thought suddenly made her miss her dad, though. ‘Mio prezioso’ That was what he had often called her. ‘My precious.’

Surprisingly, she let out a guffaw that made a few people near her jump. Goodness, she felt like the one ring to rule them all! Jamie Gabrielle Vinci, you are one crazy lady. A guy who was eyeing her with interest a while ago probably thought so, too. He seemed pretty quick to turn away and walk as far away from her as possible.

Jamie headed to the elevator like the others with her head up high. Oh, yeah, this was going to be her day.

“Hey, man, look at that red convertible! Nice, eh?”

“Dude, it gets better! Check out the broad that came with it! Yeeahh, baby! Want my number?”

Or maybe not.

Maybe this was going to be one of those days. After all, that sounded familiar. Not exactly flattering when people reduced you to a piece of meat. Delectable, yet still meat. Ugh! Lord, if you’ll ever give me somebody, puh-LEASE make him a vegetarian?

“Uh, excuse me, Miss,” someone said as he stood beside her waiting for the elevator to reach them. “I can’t help but notice you’re alone, which is just fine, by the way, since, if you must know, ‘Company’ is my middle name.”

Hooray. S.O.B. Number 1, Jamie thought sarcastically, referring to one of the guys she overheard talking. “And mine’s not exactly ‘Misery’. Shoo. Scram.” She did not even waste a glance on him and simply fixed her eyes on the line of ants passing across her path. She had more important things to think about. Like not stepping on those ants, for instance.

The guy chuckled a bit. “Hmnn…That’s a pity. They always said misery loves company.” Shoot. Not the response she quite hoped for. “But anyway, I happen to know that Ms. Jamie Gabrielle Notexactlymiseryshooscram Vinci loves coffee…”

What the – ?

“And that her special favorite is Classic Macchiato, with all the criss-crossed caramel she can spoon up.”

Jamie now suddenly raised her head. The first thing that caught her eye was the magazine tucked under his arm. In A Nutshell.

“Isaac Matlin!…Zach!” she managed to say before she could even see his face and shake his hand a bit vigorously. She could have hugged him, but it surely would have been awkward as they were not actual friends. At least, he was not one of those two S.O.B.’s after all.

“Yup,” he said, his smile teasing. “And you are Gabrielle Vinci. Jamie…Wow, still feisty, huh? Smart retort, though. ‘Misery’! I’ll take note of that.”

“Well, you had me there,” she admitted with a laugh. “Hey, it’s nice to see you again, Zach. You don’t know how relieved I am.” Jamie meant it. He was, so far, the first person she met in New York whom she actually knew. Sort of. She did like the long conversation they had the first time they met. Of course, that was after she mistakenly blew him off. Zach’s being there now did beat not knowing anyone at all. Plus, this guy had really nice, kind eyes.

“So, what are you doing here?” Nice, kind eyes widened. “No, don’t tell me. You’re working in the Nutshell now, right? Congratulations!”

“Okay, I won’t tell you, ‘cause I’m not. Not yet. Actually, I hope so. Today’s my interview. However, of course, there’s no guarantee. I mean…”

“Hey, hey…Jamie,” he said rather sympathetically. “I somehow sense a bit of apprehension here. Look, if you really want this job, I say go for it!” He emphasized this by punching his closed fist in the air, the magazine almost slipping from him. Good thing he was fast enough to catch it.

Somebody snickered from behind. Probably one of those idiots. Jamie fought the urge to turn around and give them a piece of her mind. She had to remind herself that no one was going – or supposed – to ruin her day. It was already not exactly going as planned, but damages were repairable so far.

Jamie shook her head at Zach. Easy for him to say ‘go for it’. He had a job whereas she, this could only be her first professional job, with emphasis on the ‘could’, and she was scared to death just thinking about it. She told him exactly so.

“Aw, c’mon. Think positive! Negativity never gets anyone anywhere. For sure you know that. If you’re really good, then they’ll get you.”

Her smile was as unsure as what she was feeling. The butterflies in her stomach were not only fluttering, they were screaming in a roller-coaster ride! “Well, I think I’m good enough, so you know, I do hope I qualify. Let’s just hope I’m the one they’re looking for.”

“Yes, let’s. You know, whether they take you or not, I’m sure you’ll do great. The important thing is for you to give your best.”

Moral support. That was what she exactly needed. Thank God for Zach. I wonder if he’s vegetarian. “Hey, thanks for helping me, by the way. If it weren’t because of you, I probably would not have known about this opportunity. I am so glad we met!”

“And I’m glad you still remember my name!” he exclaimed with a bit of exaggeration, hand on his chest.

Jamie had to laugh and thought she’d get even. “Of course, I do! Why wouldn’t I? It’s only been, what, just a week-and-a-half ago? Besides, I think I would remember anyone who called me rude and deflated my ego by telling me to get off my high horse, and deflated it more by saying I was not even his type.”

Zach only made a face and did not even blush. “If you’re trying to make me feel guilty, let me just tell you, I don’t feel any guilt at all. Not. At. All.” Darn, he wasn’t about to grant her sweet revenge. “I like blonde girls with blue eyes and fair skin.”

“Really, now. Good luck then, ‘cause, hmnn… looking at you now…you’re gonna need a lot of that,” Jamie countered, also in jest. “Besides, I like blonde guys with blue eyes and…well, you have fair skin, I can at least give you that.”

“Stupid idiot,” a guy from behind gave an audible unsolicited comment before Zach could come up with a smart retort. It was followed by “You don’t even know an opportunity when you see one, Matlin.” Judging from the voice and accent, it was S.O.B. Number 2 who was checking her out earlier.

This time, Jamie turned to look and raise a brow at him and his friend. S.O.B. Number 2 was good-looking, muscular, and smirking at her. S.O.B. Number 1 was nowhere near, however.

“Thank you for jumping in our conversation,” she said, sarcasm dripping from every word. “Zach, you know this joker?”

Zach turned to look, too, so that they were all facing one another now. “Unfortunately, yes…Uuhh, Jamie, this is Donnie Imperato. Donnie, this is Jamie Gabrielle Vinci…Donnie works where I work.”

Donnie kept smirking. “Don’t sound so disappointed, Matlin,” he warned, extending an eager hand to Jamie. The girl was not as eager and ignored the hand entirely. “So Jamie, what are ya, Italian? Vinci, as in Michael da Vinci?”

Leonardo da Vinci, Donnie.”

“Whatever, Matlin…So Jamie, what a coincidence! I’m Italian also! In fact, would you believe my real name’s Donatello? You know, as in Donatello…uh, Donatello…,” dumb look, fingers snapping, mouth open…“Well, you know what I mean.”

“Yah, but do you?” she replied, quite disgusted now. Goodness. Good looks but not much of a brain. Pity. I suppose S.O.B. Number 1’s not so different. “And where’s that buddy of yours, by the way? Maybe he’ll know. The one you were just with, Guy One?” An attempt to clean up language a bit so ‘S.O.B.’ was deliberately forgotten.

Donnie opened his mouth to speak, but Zach beat him to it. “Uh,…Guy One,” he confessed, reluctantly raising his hand, the magazine almost fell on the floor.

Holy – ! What? Great. Just what I need. Why don’t you just shoot me? “Are you telling me you’re Guy One?”

Donnie: “He just did. Why do I get to be Guy Two, anyway? I could be Guy One. Why can’t I be Guy One instead? ”

Why do you even have to stay in this conversation?”

“Yeah, why? I don’t – What’s taking that elevator – oh, here it is!” Zach exclaimed in obvious attempt to change the topic. But if he thought he could get away with that, Jamie was not going to let him.

She jostled her way inside the elevator, making sure she stood near Zach who stood behind her. Donnie was beside her, smirking again, that she had to tell him to keep his hands to himself or she could box the living daylights out of him.

She could have waited till they got out. Jamie could have spared some minutes and exited the elevator with them, just one floor shy of her supposedly future employer’s. Problem was, she couldn’t.

And so, as the elevator went up, she turned around to face him only to ask, “Guy One?” through gritted teeth.

Zach sighed in surrender. “Alright, I’m sorry. Yes, like I said, I was Guy One. But for the record, I only said ‘nice car’. It was Guy Two here who wanted to ‘check out the broad that came with it’. You didn’t hear me say anything else, did you? You know I was kidding about the misery-loves-company thing. So, technically, I’m innocent.”

“Yes, but…” Shoot. He could be right.

Donnie again: “The guy can be a real pain sometimes, but he’s right, though. I’m the only bloke who loves to scope up babes. And may I say, you have very nice – ”

“Donnie!” Jamie and Zach both shouted the threat.

“Whaaat? I was going to say ‘wheels’!”

Zach shook his head and gave Jamie an apologetic look. “For what it’s worth, I’m really, really, really sorry.”

Jamie studied him and then sighed after a while. Well, Zach did seem like a nice guy. He was also right about commenting only on her car. Well, that was as far as she knew anyway. Besides, Donnie supported his explanation and it made sense.

“So, peace?”

Another sigh. “Alright, I guess.’

“Good. Just in time ‘cause here comes our floor.”

Oh, no! “You’re leaving? What about me? How could this elevator take time going down, but not take time going up?!! ”

The elevator stopped. “The answer is yes, I’m leaving. The other answer is there’s nothing to worry about you, so don’t worry about You. And the last answer is it’s  coincidence, perhaps, that the elevator’s that fast going up.” Doors opened. “Just think positive. Good luck! Lemme know what happens!” He gave a small wave as he squeezed through her and Donnie.

Donnie was still smirking when they got out the elevator with some people. “It was a pleasure to meet you,” he said aloud.

“The pleasure was all yours!” she replied just as loudly. The second they were out, she started to shiver. Ugh. She was having the jitters.

“Are you alright, Miss?” somebody inquired. “You look pale.”

“Uh, yes, I’m alright, thank you.” Liar, she thought in private as the elevator brought them a floor higher and it was time to get out. When she did, her knees trembled. Especially when she saw the line of applicants on and around the sofa set. Many were young, a number were good-looking enough, a few looked quite intelligent.

“Hey, sweetheart,” a woman who looked more than thirty approached her with eyebrows almost meeting, “are you an intern? It’s that way.” She looked at Jamie sharply and didn’t look friendly at all.

“Uh, no. I’m a wri-”

“Model then. You’re one floor higher.”

“I’m not. I’m – ”

“Then what are you then? I am sorry, but if you don’t have any business here,…” her sentenced trailed off but the message was loudly clear. GET OUT.

The jitters suddenly disappeared. Who did this woman think she was?

Jamie inhaled and stood straight. No, the day was far from over so this woman was just one of those repairable damages. “I do have business here,” she said bravely, “and if you’ll only care to listen, I would’ve told you already. So now, I will tell you who I am. I am Jamie Gabrielle Vinci, applicant for a writing position. Yes, I am a writer so just save your sarcastic question. And if you don’t believe me, I’m sure my resumé is somewhere there on your messy desk.”

The woman raised a brow at the mention of the desk. But she did not speak. Instead, she walked to the desk and rummaged through the mess. She soon produced a set of stapled papers and read, “Jamie Gabrielle Vinci.”

Jamie felt triumphant and felt all a-glow. That would show that rude woman. “So now you know.”

Still, the woman looked at her with a kind of attitude. She thought she detected amusement. It was not going to worry Jamie, though. The woman could amuse herself to death, for all Jamie cared. The interview was minutes away. That was what was important at the moment.

Jamie only realized just how important it really was and what an idiot she had been when the woman checked her watch and announced to all, “Well, it’s practically ten! No use wasting time. Time for interview! By the way, my name’s Madeleine Elliot, Editor-in-Chief. Good luck in the interview, people!”

Madeleine Elliot headed for the door that led to her office. On it were written in big, bold, capital letters:

MADELEINE ELLIOT
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Jamie’s jaw dropped. No, it couldn’t be! It just couldn’t be!

“By the way, Vinci, you’re first!”

It was. And already, Jamie’s day was over.

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

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For more of Jamie’s ongoing story, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.

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