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Rose propped her sock-covered feet on the arm of the brown and teal striped couch. She leaned back against the cushions and spooned chunky monkey ice cream into her mouth. Her sandy blonde hair rested in two braids on either side of her face, courtesy of a very bored Kate. The Friends theme song played softly in the background, the television turned low since Kate was in the other room on her phone.
They were in the living room of Kate’s apartment having a celebratory ‘Rose is moving in’ party, just the two of them to usher in their new era as roommates--something Rose didn’t really understand, since she crashed on Kate’s couch so often anyway that it was almost like they were already living together. But whatever, she was having fun.
She licked creamy chocolate and nuts from her spoon, watching Monica and Rachel argue on the screen. Kate came back into the room and pushed Rose’s feet off the couch so she had room to sit. Kate’s living room consisted of the couch, which had a mahogany coffee table in front of it, an old TV on a little table that was almost too small for it, and two cushy tan chairs on either side of the coffee table. The walls were a boring shade of off-white because the landlord wouldn’t let Kate paint them.
Rose thought that was probably a small mercy for any visitor’s eyes, since Kate loved color and would have painted every inch of the apartment in everything from teal, purple, bright sunny yellow to orange. Probably all at once.
The apartment had two-bedrooms, and the second had previously been Kate’s office. But all that had been inside it was a single desk, one wheelie chair, an old Windows computer, and two pair of outlandish dark purple curtains with large silver spots.
All this had been moved to Kate’s room (which happened to be a toxic wasteland of color and objects) and Rose’s belongings had been brought in earlier that night, before the start of their two-person party. Rose had more conservative taste in clothing and furniture. Her idea of exciting color was yellow or blue. Rose returned her attention to the TV where the six friends were drinking coffee in Central Perk.
“Who was on the phone?” she asked Kate, disinterestedly playing with her spoon.
Kate rested her feet on the coffee table and said, “Mac.”
“Mac?” Rose asked, confused.
“Yeah, you know. The temp from the newspaper I told you about. The one with the magenta-colored hair.” Kate reached over and pulled the spoon out of Rose’s limp fingers, helping herself to the ice cream still clinging to the end.
“Uh-huh. What did he want?”
“He told me Kim just got fired,” Kate said, smiling.
“You seem weirdly happy about that.” Rose stole her spoon back, making an annoyed face at Kate for the theft.
“She was the one I was telling you about,” Kate reminded her.
Rose continued to feel unenlightened and gestured at Kate to, “Go on.”
“You know. She’s the woman whose job I said I could get you when they fired her.” Kate leaned back against the cushions and propped her feet on the coffee table, her striped rainbow paints contrasting oddly with the couch.
“So the rumors were true, then?” Rose asked, interested despite herself. She stirred the slowly melting ice cream that rested in her lap and picked at her yellow tank top.
“Sure. I said they were, didn’t I?” Kate asked, taking her feet down and watching Rose stir.
Rose rolled her eyes. “So, do you think you can get me the job?”
“Sure,” Kate said, as she tried to re-steal the ice cream. They struggled and fell off the couch, sprawling into a somewhat undignified tangle of limbs on the floor.
Rose sighed and shoved Kate off of her.
“I don’t want to be a secretary, Kate.” Rose said. “That’s the reason I moved in with you, so I didn’t have to settle for crappy jobs.”
“Hey, assistant at a newspaper isn’t that bad,” Kate protested.
“I might as well go back to that Laundromat to work.” Rose pushed herself back up onto the couch and stared moodily at the TV. The credits were rolling.
“Oh, come on.” Kate said, not getting off the floor, sitting with her back pressed against the cushions. “It’s not forever. And you’d get to see me every day.”
“I do see you every day. We live together,” Rose said, looking at Kate oddly.
“Then you’ll see me even more. Who wouldn’t want that?” Kate poked Rose’s leg. “And I know I can get you in. Davidson, that’s the guy who Kim worked for, is picky about who he hires. He doesn’t like unemployment agencies or putting ads in the paper. The job is strictly word of mouth.”
“Sure,” Rose said, giving in. “Whatever.”
“Sure, why not. I guess it’ll be better than lying around here all day, watching infomercials, and opening bills I can’t pay,” Rose said, as another episode of Friends came on.
“I’ll call Mac and ask him not to tell anyone else until Monday. I’ll talk to Davidson, and tell him I know somebody who’d be great at the job.” Kate pulled her cell out of her pocket.
Kate’s long black hair fanned over the seat cushions and Rose yanked on a strand. “You are so full of yourself,” she said, around a fond smile.
“Of course,” Kate said, as if anything else would be crazy.
Kate stood and walked into the kitchen to dial her phone. Rose re-sprawled on the couch and watched as Monica roller-bladed around a deli in a blonde wig. At least her job at the newspaper would be better than that, she hoped. It had to be. Newspapers were fast-moving places, after all, so there would be a lot to do, more than just fetching coffee and making copies.
Rose could hear Kate’s muffled voice from the other room and thought that it wouldn’t be too bad to get to see her every day at work. They could even carpool. Kate would like that; she’d sing along to outdated pop music at the top of her lungs the whole ride to work. Rose was actually sort of looking forward to it now.
Kate walked back into the room and sat on the floor next to Rose’s leg. She grabbed for the remote and turned the volume of the TV higher. Smiling at Rose, she raised an extra spoon she must have grabbed from the kitchen. They attacked the remaining ice cream together. Yeah, it wouldn’t be so bad.