The rag wiped over the table, leaving streaks of moisture in its wake. In the background, soft pop music sang. The message of the current one was something about a bluebird. At the moment, I wasn't really focusing. Instead, the finished wooden tables underneath me were receiving some serious scrubbings.
Brick walls hung pictures of racing horses like Secratariat and whoever else the owners fancied. Leather covered seats were cracked and worn, with stuffing peaking through. Glass windows showed a busy street with racing cars. No one saw the little café in which I worked.
Jazzy, the owner, stepped out from behind the counter. "You okay with closing, Edith?" she asked me. I gave a nod, a forced smile turned grimace apparent upon my face. The elderly woman's face brightened in graciousness.
"Thank you, so much. Remind me tomorrow at work, and I'll add the overtime to your paycheck." Once more my head bobbed. My hands still wiping down table after table.
Jazzy left and I was alone again, the worst situation for me to be in with previous encounters. After everything with Drake, I was just waiting for something else to go wrong.
Brown leather, a shade darker than the seats, was draped over my shoulders. The once warm and comfortable jacket was now worn and bare. After two years of constant wear, it was beginning to obviously show.
The music in the background changed to some rap song, and with a sigh, I walked over to the computer we used to pump the music out to change said song. Once I clicked the 'skip' button, my feet led me back to the final table. With one more swish, I finished the table part of cleaning. Quickly, the rag was set in a bucket of warm water under the counter. Next, the simple household broom was grabbed.
Just like everything else in Jazzy's Café, the broom was old, broken, and worse for wear. And just like everything else, it showed. Hand grips had been pushed into the wooden part, and the bottom was missing strands of straw. The rest were knotted or broken off, it seemed.
I began to sweep, almost daring someone to interrupt my solitude. It wasn't often that I was completely left alone with my thoughts, so I savored every moment that I was.
The tinkling of a silver bell above the door challenged me, as well as annoying. The first thing I saw was dark hair in some ridiculous braid. Second, there was the insanely high heels, tight shirt, and short skirt. It was definite who she was. Someone I would most definitely despise.
A heaviness caught in my throat as the memories came cannon balling back at me. I choked it back, finally looking up at girl. The snapping of her gum could be heard across the small café. I visibly flinched and I knew it.
The tapping of a foot brought me out of my annoyance, hurtling me back into reality, a meteor crashing through the atmosphere. Just like the meteor, I only seemed to bring destruction and desolation in my path.
My head shook, and I leaned the broom against the wall as I hopped over the counter and behind it, earning a very disgusted look. It wasn't my fault I had gotten hooked on the parkourlike moves. That was all Drake's fault.
An apron was picked up and loosely tied on as I walked to the cash register.
"Ready when you are," I hinted rudely, still not looking at her face. I had no interest in seeing the garish clown make up she was bound to wear.
"Excuhusuh me?" the brunette snapped. I knew I smirked. Again, something I had picked up from three years of something that was little more than friendship with Drake.
"You're excused. Now are you going to order or can I go back to sweeping?" I asked, my voice sweetly sarcastic. Her hand flew to her hip right as I looked up. The garish make up was definitely there, but so was a painfully familiar face. Mattie Lou Carmichael. AKA my biggest pet peeve. It was just my luck that she would be the one to come here...
"Fine. I'll take a tall, skinny caramel macchiato with extra caramel and extra cream," she recited. I punched in a few buttons, holding my hand out of her form of payment.
"Four dollars even," I replied boredly. Her fancy credit card was dropped in my hand. I rolled my eyes, could she not pay attention?
"We don't take credit," I told her, drawing her eyes away from her phone and into my face. My face became amused at her evident shock.
"Eddie? OMG! I was so glad I never had to see your ugly face again! Anyways, have you seen Drake recently? Hard to keep tabs on him."
I flinched several times throughout her brief spiel.
"Horrible to see you too, Carmichael. And no, haven't seen Drake in years," I told her honestly. At least not in person. Everybody else had seen him everywhere, even me. Photos on the Internet of New York City's Most Eligible Bachelor. Partying, drunk, red carpet, supermodels on both arms, everything. My own personal vampire prince hadn't changed at all, not that he was really a vampire or anything.
"Well I definitely need to see him. I, like, totally just dumped his brother and I totally need another guy. And who better? Haven't been with him in like two years. I think it was like in April or something. Anyways, tell me when you see him!" she rambled. I flinched even more, tears coming to my eyes when she talked about supposedly hooking up with him. The last time we had officially been 'together' had been in June of 2011. That meant he had cheated on me, definitely multiple times if it was even once.
Thankfully, Mattie Lou left and I was thrown into silence once more. It was worse than ever before. The music sang about wanting to end their life, and that definitely didn't help me at all. So maybe I had never attempted, but after everything gone wrong, the thought had crossed my mind at least once.
Considering how the artificially tall girl didn't bother even paying, I canceled her order. I could finish sweeping, go home, and curl up on the dingy old couch I called a bed. After that I would catch the subway to my other job, a waitress at another small cafe, grab lunch, and come here for the night shift. Then I'd repeat the whole cycle all over again.
Yeah, I do realize how pathetic my life is. Barely making rent for a couch in the basement of an apartment building while working two jobs and not even getting enough food. Oh, and all the while I'm mentally pining over some idiot that absolutely broke my heart two years ago that's now all rich and famous, and I'm just a part of his high school years that he keeps constantly dissing.
Because of me.
The menial work was done soon enough, the broom put away and the key in the lock. The click of the lock was gone and pass, the key in my pocket, the door shut, my jacket pulled tighter, my head down, and I was gone. Time to catch a few hours of sleep before the next day.
A gust of wind blew me to the side, sweeping me off the sidewalk, and onto the grass of the lot. I stepped back quickly, pulling my jacket tighter and wishing I had least had a hood or a hat. Maybe even a scarf. But no, everything changed when Mom and Dad divorced.
Just like they changed when Drake dumped me.
Home was about another ten blocks away, and it was getting dark. If Jazzy knew I was walking fifteen blocks in the dark every night in the middle of Brooklyn, she'd force me to find somewhere else to stay. Or she'd make me take the suvway like I did in the morning, but I only took it then because a friend, as that was the closest term for Dean. He payed for my subway fares in the morning, when we took the same train at first, and I played the part of 'girlfriend' when Mother Dearest visited. Or for any important thing where a plus one was encouraged.
It got my name in the public. Edith Lynn Roberts. Dating the successful young multibillionaire Dean Spacey. Drake would think I was happy, over him, successful, laughing. Everybody thought I was majoring in dance at London Arts (I could fake a pretty epic British accent). I had the body due to my malnutrition. One meal a day wasn't healthy.
Five blocks until I was home. That song about the bluebird from earlier kept running through my head.
How the heck does a broken heart get back together when it's torn apart?
One more block. The couch was sounding nice. My feet were killing me in my owrn out white leather Keds. The blankets were sounding nice, proving a little more warmth, and maybe keep me from dying of the cold.
Everything was so diferent compared to when I had started high school. Back then, I had been rich. Dad own a huge company that did something or other. Mom was a mediator. Jonah was the perfect son, and I the weird and quirkly adorable little daughter that everybody loved. Back then it didn't matter that I believed in ghosts and vampire and zombies. It didn't matter that I hung out in an old, abandoned graveyard.
Junior year hit. I met Drake. I was still an idiot who believed in all those silly creatures. He became my vampire prince. My parents divorced. Jonah was caught doing drugs and got kicked out of college. Dad got drunk one night and lost everything he had ended up with in a game of poker. Mom disowned us.
And that all led me here. Barely staying off the streets. Working two jobs on a few hours sleep and an empty stomach. Playing the part of girlfriend to a genius whenver he needed me. It was pathetic.
Home. Or what I called it. The couch was welcoming, despite the fact that I could feel every spring. The blankets more comfortable than usual. And I broke down under my blankets. Curling into a fetal position as the tears flew as silently as I could bear. Home wasn't what I would call sweet, but at least it kept me off of the streets.