“Back so soon? What happened, huh?” Vie says, turning in the passenger seat towards me, her body again in denim jeans and jacket today, as I again drive us to work. “Can you really afford to stay here, just drop everything in New York without getting kicked out or something?”
For the moment I had fortunately forgotten her presence. But I don’t owe Vie any explanations for what I do. What does she do all day? And after Friday’s humiliation she should be happy I’m talking with her at all.
I must have a soft spot for strays, thinking of Emanon more so than Vie. I haven’t seen her since I got back. I hope she’s okay.
“Vie, do you mind?” referring to her damp boots on the upholstery.
The red convertible with black top is a beauty . . . with tan interiors. What’s the matter with Vie?
“What? . . . It’s a rental.”
What’s wrong with returning the rental car like I found it?--clean and in good condition. And she knows the feet action bugs me. But she also knows I can’t fight with her and concentrate on getting to inside the agency before it starts to rain again.
And actually I’m just glad for some company today, even Vie.
“Hey. So how long you staying this time?”
For the hundredth time, “Vie, I don’t know how long I’m staying—no, for the thousandth time. Really. I don’t know.”
“If you ask me, you might as well pack up your stuff in New York and make mommy happy. I mean, weren’t you just outta here Friday and you already came running back.”
Did I ask for her opinion?
“Vie, you wouldn’t like me to move here too?” I ask all innocent, glancing at her quickly, yet concentrating on the fast moving traffic.
“You know what I want.”
Yes I do; for me to go back to New York and take you with me. At least I admire her honesty.
“Diamond. Is your mother the only reason you’re staying?” She looks at me straight on. “What about the famous Mr. Riley? He’s hot and he could be your type. Old and serious.”
I almost choke at the wheel.
“What? . . . How can you say that? . . . And why do you think you know my type?”
The name Sky Blue springs to my mind. I wonder, what would she think about him?
Though Cowen is wonderful. He definitely was a good sport about Friday. And his vibrancy was contagious; you were just swept along with it. The agency needs him.
I ignore her question with my own, “What do you think, Vie? Would you like working at the agency? I could train you for my position.” I do feel it’s becoming a little too dangerous to stay on.
“Naw. I’ve got to keep my options open. If I change my mind, I’ll let you know. So. How was New York?” Vie asks, as we get closer to the agency.
Too short, is what I want to shout, but I say, “Oh, it was good; but with Mom’s accident. . .” I leave the sentence dangling, knowing that Vie really didn’t care.
“Yeah, I know. . . Diamond. . . About New York. Why did you really go back? There’s nobody there that you like? No investments?”
I laugh, “Investments? Like what? A boyfriend?”
“Yeah . . . someone special. Someone you look forward to seeing.”
As if I’d tell you.
“Look at you,” she continues. “I don’t want to give it to you, but the guys like you. Don’t tell me that someone hasn’t tapped that,” she finishes cocking the ringed eyebrow at my lap.
“Shut up Vie!” I say disgusted, cringing, wishing to cover myself. “Have some class. Gawd,” I say rolling my eyes. “Anyway . . . I’ve got friends. That’s all I need right now; I’ve got things to do. I’m too young to get tied down.”
Sky again comes to mind, but would I discuss him with her? I think not. Plus, I don’t really know him, though the discovery might be stimulating.
In any event with Mom’s arm in a cast, she can’t really begin; so, I’m not going anywhere for a little while. And she has me over an emotional barrel; so a love life right now is out of the question. But I decide to bait Vie a bit.
“Vie, I don’t think I’ll be at the agency much longer and I don’t want Mr. Riley to become dependent on me. . . Do you think Mom would like working here?”
Smiling she looks at me and says, “I think she’ll love it,” as we pull into the parking lot.
Maybe she will, I think, facing the agency’s brick exterior.
I try to match it—the brick front—with a determined; “Here we go,” only looking forward to the idea of decorating discussions in Cowen’s office, exiting the car.
“Yes, here we go,” says Vie, already at the door. “Let our workday begin.”