For previous posts, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.


As soon as Jamie absent-mindedly took a sip of her coffee, she let out a stifled ‘ouch!’ and regretted forgetting where she was. It was so hot, she practically spilled the beverage on her clothes!

I miss F.R.I.E.N.D.S., so here they are in a scene at the famous Central Perk. Of course, copyright goes to the show’s producers…

Darn it. Her stars seemed to be misaligned lately and didn’t know where exactly to stay. She simply kept missing her targets…Well, maybe not so much. After all, she did land a job the other day, just not exactly what she had in mind. Which brought her back to her reverie, what made her all dazed and confused, what caused her to oh-so-stupidly burn her lips and tongue in the first place.

What happened back there in Madeleine Elliot’s office? It was so strange, she’d be willing to bet she was in an episode of the Twilight Zone. That morning just didn’t seem real. Or was it? So she pinched and hurt herself in the process (‘Ow!’).

That actually made it more Twilight Zone-y, to pinch herself and find out she was awake the whole time. She couldn’t even bring herself to rate from one to ten how her job interview went. Did she do well, or did she just sign up for a starring role in some twisted reality show?

So dazed and confused, that was how Jamie found herself on the sofa, on an otherwise beautiful Wednesday morning, in a nice little cafeteria there in Upper Manhattan, taking her early breakfast. Obviously F.R.I.E.N.D.S.-inspired, the place made her feel like one of those yuppie characters in one of their usual quandaries. Sure, it was not quite a cerebral show—her favorite was actually Phoebe with Joey coming in close second—but it was one of her guilty pleasures. Sometimes, she even preferred watching the show’s reruns over National GeographicAnimal Planet or Discovery Channel. She ought to be shot.

“He-he-heeey! It’s our favorite girl!” the now-familiar voice of Donnie announced as he and Zach entered the place and found her on the sofa. “Aren’t you happy to see your favorite boys?”

“I would be. If they were here,” she said without looking up, pretending to wipe away lint off her slacks.

Aw, you kidder you!” Donnie flopped unceremoniously at her right while smiling Zach took the one-seater on her left. A waiter attended to their orders and soon, they had their mugs of coffee to get busy with while Donnie gobbled up a bagel.

Jamie concentrated again on her coffee now that it was not super-hot anymore, smelling the fresh brew. It was called Machiato Mystery, named so for some reason. Could be because of the supposed secret syrup added, or somebody was just up for some name game. Jamie took a sip and, “Mmmmm…,” she cooed, her eyes widening in utter satisfaction and delight. At least, one good thing was happening to her that morning.

Zach paused midway to sipping with a grin. “Is that supposed to be a new word in the dictionary?”

“Yes, look it up,” she kidded back. On the other hand, Donnie had finished his bagel and was eyeing hers on the center table. “Hey. Bagel. Mine. Back off.”

She was rewarded with a disgusted look. “I don’t understand why you’re eating that,” he said.

“Why not when it looks back at me screaming ‘eat me! eat me!’? ‘Sides, didn’t you just have one? Is there any rule anywhere that forbids me to do this mortal sin?”

“Yes! Look, you’re not exactly thin! I mean you’re cute, I give you that, but you don’t need the extra pounds.”

“Says the big guy eyeing my bagel.”

“But I’m buffed!” Donnie raised an arm and showed his biceps to make a point. “And I’m a guy.

Jamie turned to Zach. “What are you doing socializing with Neanderthal Man?”

He laughed. “Uh, he makes me seem more interesting?”

She laughed back, took a bite at her bagel and made sure Donnie was looking. “Mmmm…I can feel the extra pounds already. Bring it on!” Donnie immaturely stuck out a tongue at her, defeated and mumbling something unintelligible.

“Anyhoo, what are you doing here? I take it you’ve joined the employment wagon?”

Jamie gave a hardly audible “Uh-huh,” wishing she could simply drop dead just to escape the conversation. She considered saying a hasty goodbye and make a run for it, but stomped on the stupid idea the minute it got to her head.

Zach studied her. She knew it even if she wasn’t looking, avoiding his eyes. “You don’t exactly sound enthusiastic,” he said. “What happened? Go on, spill the details.”

“What happened? I happened.”

“And…? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

Jamie grimaced a bit. “It…depends on how you see it. I’m not even sure how I should see it.” Sigh. “I met Madeleine Elliot  and — ”

“Madeleine…Oooohh…You don’t wanna meet her,” Donnie interrupted with a warning.

“Well, too late for that.” Jamie rolled her eyes. “She’s the Editor-in-Chief. There’s no going around it. What I want to know is if you know something I oughta know.”

“Sure! Madeleine Elliot? That woman is, like, the Mistress of Winter. Get my drift?” Donnie asked in a rather conspiratorial manner.


Zach butted in, thankfully. “That’s just a nick people came up with to refer to her when her back is turned. But, that’s just what we hear from up there, you know. Quite a reputation she’s got. Or they could just all be rumors. We know how those spread. I have not met her personally, anyway. Seen her, but not exactly met her.”

“Well, I did!” Donnie interjected again. “Believe me, Jamie, that one? Ice Queen. Proven by your man, Donnie.”

Zach stood up to reach for his friend. “Yeah. And you had the mark of her hand right on your face for several hours to prove it. Yep. Riiiiight about heeeerrreee…” He playfully tapped on Donnie’s right cheek and the latter irritably pushed his hand away. “Ha, ha! I wish I had your camera then! You should have seen the look on your face!” he said, taking his seat again.

Jamie made a little laugh. “My God. Really?” Donnie, more irritated, said she sounded happy. She was not at all repentant. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know I was supposed to sympathize with the likes of you. It seems like you deserved it after all.”

“He did. Tried to flirt with her once when they first met—he was new then—and you know Mr. Unsubtle. So, he found out that ice stings the hard way—on his face. Of course, she’s Ice Queen. Anyone who rejects Valentino Donnie’s advances is Ice Queen to him.”

“Hmnn. Guess that makes me Ice Princess then, eh?”

“Oh yeah, you betcha you’re more than half-way there,” Donnie muttered. He made sure she heard him, though. She was rather amused that his ego was bothered and bruised. “Could we please just go back to the original topic? Ice Queen Madeleine meets Ice Princess here?”

“I just wish you warned me about her, Zach, you know, clued me in a little bit,” Jamie complained with a little pout that she wasn’t aware of.

“And what, made you more nervous by telling you something based solely on hearsay?” Zach explained. (‘Hah!’ from Donnie.) “Besides, that would have been quite unfair to her, don’t you think?”

“Well…yeah, I guess…but I would have spared myself from humiliation, at least.”

“Uh-oh. That didn’t sound good. What did you do?”

“For starters, I s-s-sort of got on her bad side the minute I walked into their office.”


Donnie’s eyes widened. “Yes, how? Why? What happened? C’mon, gimme the juicy details!”

Jamie stared at him a bit, then announced, “I cannot comprehend the fact that I am now sitting here, taking my coffee, beside the exact living proof that should give evidentiary support to the theory that gossiping isn’t really entirely a social activity reserved for women alone.” She was rewarded with a blank look. “Nevermind.”

She then proceeded to give them a full account of her Madeleine encounter. She was way past caring about keeping it a secret, and she did feel like telling someone. She was not rumor-mongering anyway. She would bet that at least the whole office knew what Madeleine felt for her brother.

When she finished, Zach had a slightly open-mouthed, amused look on his face while Donnie’s eyes were as wide as ever as he whistled in a kind of awed way. “I don’t get it. Why did she take you?” the latter said. Jamie realized she could not fault him that one. She didn’t get it either.

But as usual, Zach was a voice of logic. “Well, whatever that was, that most probably meant she liked you.” Jamie’s face lit up a bit. Come to think of it, he could be right. Why was she worried about something that was in her favor?

Or,” Donnie interjected yet once again, “you really pissed her off, she’s out to make your life a living hell.”

“Gee, thanks,” she said not-so-thankfully. Zach was quick to add that Madeleine would not have the time to hire someone and pay that someone just to get even. Jamie again agreed that he was right.

The curiosity was still there, but Jamie decided that she was not going to waste her time worrying about something she did not know what or if it even existed. That interview was weird, true, but it got her the job. What more could she wish for?

Dear Jamie, though? Really?” This snide remark from the malicious big guy, of course.

Jamie threw him an evil look. “You really ought to work on your people skills, you know that?”

“Well, duh. It wasn’t me who thought she could just mouth off anything to Madeleine Elliot, especially about her brother!” Donnie’s eyes then darted to the door. “Speaking of who—”

“—whom,” she corrected.

“Whatever. But look who’s here! If it ain’t Madeleine’s beloved little bro!”

Curious enough, Jamie took a look and her jaw dropped. Oh no. No. Friggin’ N-O.

Her expression did not escape Zach who asked, “You know him?”

Know him? The eyes, the hair…No wonder Madeleine looked familiar! There at the door, looking as handsome and smug as he always did, was the last person she ever wanted to see. The last person she would ever want to be Madeleine’s brother.

Luke. Anthony. Carlton. The Third.

Shoot. Things could not get any worse, could they?


Copyright © J.Gi Federizo


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


For previous posts, visit THE JAMIE TALES page.


I’m toast.

Jamie stood outside Madeleine Elliot’s door. Of course, she had tried to step inside, but her feet failed her quite miserably. And with good reason. She had just insulted the very person who just might decide her future.

“When you get over it, Miss Vinci, you may step into my office,” Madeleine said as she sat behind her desk, which state was not unlike the one outside. Jamie could not tell if she was still amused or already irritated. “Only, could you please do that sometime this instant?” Maybe irritated.

We all know this image is from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

Jamie’s feet surprisingly came to life. No use delaying it. She walked into the office and stood in front of Madeleine, Judge and Jury.

Oh, God, I have to say something… “I’m – uh – really sorry about – ”

“Save it.”

“But I – ”

“Save it and sit down.”

Nice going. It seemed that she was forgiven for the time-being. But would the incident be easily forgotten?

Jamie handed over her portfolio and a copy of her resumé then did as she was told. She was not used to being ordered around, not even by her college professors. This time, though , she could adjust and make the exception. After all, this was what the real world was. So she dared not speak not unless spoken to. Meanwhile, Madeleine went through her papers poker-faced.

Jamie took the opportunity to survey the office, to see a glimpse of Madeleine’s persona, to know who she was dealing with. Maybe she could say a praise or something. That could help…Nah. She dismissed the idea long before it could settle in her head. She was not into such practice. Supposed that she got in? She did not want to be stuck on the idea that maybe she got in because of sucking up. Her father would turn in his grave. If he wasn’t cremated, that was. No, she would just sit still, take a look around, and keep her mouth shut.

Well, Madeleine Elliot was one messy lady, that was for sure. Her desk had more things than spaces that Jamie could actually see. It was a wonder that Madeleine knew which to do first, if ever she did. There were some magazines (possibly the rivals, just to see how theirs fared), pictures (possibly being considered for the next issue), and articles soiled with quite a lot of red marks (most possibly bloodied by the ‘sword’ wielded by Madeleine). She had a computer screen on the table, but she was probably one of those who liked to work the old-fashioned way.

On the other hand, to call her messy would probably be an injustice after all. Messy desk aside, everything was almost spic and span. The books on the shelves on her left were in order and alphabetically arranged. The few paintings hung straight and well, so were the framed front covers of some Nutshell issues. To Madeleine’s right, a section is reserved for a television, neatly arranged CD’s and tapes, and more publications. Surprisingly, there is a bottle of expensive wine and two glasses beside it. And the floor! It seemed like it had yet to see the day that somebody would step on it.

Maybe Madeleine Elliot is all about control and keeping it. Or maybe she was just plain neat. Practically.

She was still scanning the portfolio so Jamie had to content herself with studying the place some more. Then her eyes fell upon the lone picture displayed on the wall…There were two children – a girl in her early teens and a much younger boy with similar blond hair and blue eyes. The girl seemed to be doting on the little boy.

Judging by looks alone, it was Madeleine and possibly her little brother.

Jamie squinted her eyes to see the picture better. Where had she seen that boy before? And that charming smile! Charming, though it bothered her a bit, for some reason. Come to think of it, the Adult Madeleine even looked familiar to her. Jamie fought the urge to stand and take a closer look.

“Uh-hurm!” Madeleine harrumphed and Jamie almost jumped to her feet. She did not know that Madeleine had finished going through the portfolio that was now laid on the table. “That girl was me, hi. And that’s my little brother Anthony.”

“Oh. He’s – uh…”

“…a charming little devil, wasn’t he? Used to dote on him when we were kids. I don’t anymore, though. Heck, I don’t even like that kid now.”

“Oh…” Should Jamie even ask – ?

“What happened?” Madeleine asked for her. “He grew up. Unfortunately, grew up just like his father.”


“Well what?

“Well, you do still hang that picture on the wall so maybe, you still like him? That must tell you something…”

Madeleine stared for a while, blinked once, then agreed. “Yes, that does tell me something…That I’m an idiot.” She stood up, took the picture off the wall, and stashed it in the wastebasket, to Jamie’s utter surprise. She then sat on the edge of the table and fixed her eyes on the interviewee.

Jamie tried not to squirm. Nice going, she scolded herself for the second time. It was clear that Madeleine had some kind of family issue. All Jamie had to do was to shut up and listen. But oh, no, she just had to open her big mouth!

“So, Miss Vinci, let’s hear something about you. Aside from you having a sarcastic and rather nosy personality, that is.”

The sudden shift of focus back to her caught Jamie off-guard. She had been too engrossed with worrying about her big mouth that she practically forgot what she was there for in the first place.

She sat up straight and cleared her throat. “Okay…I just graduated from Harvard – ”

Madeleine snorted. “Harvard, Yale, Boston, yeah, yeah, yeah. Like it really matters to me.”

There was silence for a while. When Madeleine did not say anything anymore and looked at her expectantly, Jamie realized she was to continue. “I finished Creative Writing – ”

“Four years! Four-freakin’-years studying Creative Writing! My cousin Rupert finished Law and now, he’s a well-known novelist. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it, I say. Simple as that. Now, have you got it, Miss Vinci?”

For a second, Jamie was taken aback before she realized what it was about. So! Madeleine Elliot was into big time intimidation, eh? Unfortunately for her, Jamie was on her game. Jamie decided she was not about to allow herself to be intimidated. At least, she hoped not to be.

“Yes, I think so.”

“Think so or know so? ‘Think’ and ‘know’ are two different things, my dear.”

“I know so.”

“Let’s proceed with the getting-to-know-you stage then. Tell me more about yourself.”

She proceeded. “I have been writing ever since grade school.” Madeleine yawned. “In fact, I was editor both in grade school and high school. I also wrote in college, and I also had some stuff submitted and published in – ”

“Alright, stop right there!” Madeleine interrupted her in mid-sentence. “Look, when I said, ‘Let’s hear something about you,’ I didn’t say, ‘Let’s hear you recite what’s on your resumé.’ I told you to tell me something about yourself. Tell me something I don’t know yet! Can you do that? Now don’t give me that how-am-I-supposed-to-know-what-you’d-like-to-hear look. Just talk. If you want to bore me with your childhood, so be it.”

By this time, it would be interesting to note that Jamie was starting to get really annoyed. Indeed, Madeleine had the right to get mad at what happened earlier, and although it was actually Madeleine’s fault, anyway, Jamie did still try to say sorry. If this was some kind of revenge…Jamie calmed herself down. She promised herself not to be intimidated, didn’t she?

So calmly, she said, “On the contrary, if I talked about my childhood, you would be immensely entertained. However, even if I started this instant, I am pretty sure we would be finished by tomorrow…Miss Elliot, all I can say is I am a writer. That’s what I do. That’s what I am. If you will accept me here, I will be an asset. That is not a promise–that is going to be the fact. If you want, I can even do a Dear Jamie kind of thing, if that’s what it will take for you to believe in me.” Madeleine raised a brow. “The point is, your magazine can use someone like me in your team. I’m hard-working, I’m creative, and most of all, I am eager. Isn’t that what this publication needs?”

There. She said it. Jamie had just unabashedly promoted herself. She wasn’t about to hit around the bush anymore. She would surely be interrupted, anyway. Madeleine was a direct kind of person. Why torture themselves with little unimportant facts about Jamie’s childhood? If Madeleine could get pass the scare-the-newbie-process, she would take Jamie. If not, tough luck, maybe more for Madeleine.

The editor’s brow was still raised. “So that’s it, huh? I should take you in just like that? Take it or leave it, huh?” What followed was totally unexpected. Madeleine laughed! With genuine laughter, to Jamie’s disbelief. Madeleine laughed and almost choked. After a while… “You’re pretty funny, you know that?”

“Uh…thank you?”

“It is so hard to place you, you’re almost interesting!”

Almost? “Well, you are, too. Almost interesting…”

Madeleine raised her hands. “Hey, hey! I just laughed so don’t go b****in’ on me alright? That’s a good thing.”

In what way exactly?

“That means you’re in.”

What? “What?” Jamie asked, bewildered and wide-eyed.

“You’re in! From now on, consider yourself employed.”

Really?” Jamie’s eyes, if it could be even wider, would have eaten her face. Did she just hear right? “You mean I got the job?You did not even read samples from my portfolio!

“You need to clean your ears, though.”

“Oh, my God!” Jamie exclaimed in total excitement. “I’m in! I actually got a job! I – ”

“ – will be handling the Dear Jamie column.”

“ – will be handling the Dear Jamie column…?” Jamie’s smile faded. And will be throwing myself from this building! Surely Madeleine wasn’t serious? Maybe she did need to clean her ears more. “Uh, Miss Elliot?”

Madeleine got back to her chair, smirking from ear to ear. “Call me Madeleine.”

“Madeleine…I’m not…really handling the…uh…Dear Jamie column,…am I?”

The editor had her amused expression again. Jamie thought that perhaps, it would have been better if she was frowning. Madeleine crossed her arms across her chest. “Well, if my memory serves me right – and it always does, plus the fact that it just happened a while ago – someone in this room just said, and I quote, ‘If you want, I can even do a Dear Jamie kind of thing, if that’s what it will take for you to believe in me.’ End quote. Was that you, or was I talking to myself?”

Jamie’s heart sank. This was not what she wanted. She wanted to make a big splash as a writer. Instead, it was going to be a one huge belly-flop! “But Miss Elliot…Madeleine…!”

“Buuuut what, Miss Vinci?” Madeleine seemed to be getting rather annoyed with her again.

“Madeleine,” breathe, breathe, “I’m a creative writer, and – ”

“Yes. And that’s why I want you to create the solutions to our readers’ problems. Cre-a-tively.” This time, Madeleine was doubly serious.


The older woman sat up straight and looked Jamie in the eye. Obviously, she had enough of the conversation. “Look, kid. I thought you needed the job. Well, here it is. All you need to do is grab it. Now, if you don’t want it, just tell me, and I will appreciate it if you leave now. There’s plenty of other people outside of this room waiting for a chance like this…So, what will it be?”

Jamie tried to think it over. However, she did not exactly have a choice, did she? …She smiled. What had she got to lose anyway?

Madeleine took this as a yes. “Attagirl! Now, scoot!” she said as they shook hands. “When you get out, tell my secretary, if he’s there, to show you around and let you pick a table. Go, go, and leave me in peace! And, oh! Grab a resumé from his table and announce the next victim, whydoncha?”

Jamie consoled herself. It was a job, after all. All she had to do was tell the readers to jump from their buildings.

Problem solved.


Copyright © J.Gi Federizo


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


(*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.


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:


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


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