Other Books by J.D. Hollyfield
Love Not Included Series
Life in a Rut, Love Not Included, Book 1
Life Next Door, Book 2
My So Called Life, Book 3
FAKE IT TILL YOU make it.
That’s the motto I live by. Because when you’re a tiny diva-in-training, the one thing you can do is paint pretty little visions of a magical future for yourself. You prance through life, hearing everyone’s aspirations on what they plan on being when they grow up, yet all the while, you just know you will become someone so much better than that.
I worked it right from the starting line and I grew up to be exactly what I always knew I would be. And that is completely fucking awesome. Sure, we all define awesome differently. My nail lady just told me that her husband bought her a bucket full of perennials to plant on her day off. She told me that was awesome. I thought that sounded horrible. I mean, hello? Who actually wants to participate in hard labor? Not fucking me. Sure, I don’t voice that, mainly because I don’t want her to get mad and mess up my pedicure. I have a very important date tonight, and I don’t need to make my favorite little nail lady angry.
I’ve been coming to Linh for the last two years. She’s a tiny little Vietnamese woman who came to America to give her family a better life. Too bad she spends more hours in the nail salon hovering over hands and feet than actually seeing her family.
“Wow that’s sooo great Linh, I’m uber jealous. Totally wish I could do some gardening,” I lie. Because I would rather wear generic lip-gloss for a whole hour than play with dirt.
“Lexi, you come to my house. You help me,” Linh insists, completely misreading my faux excitement. Clearly I don’t come here every other week and have her perform wonders on my hands and feet so that I could turn around and botch them up with anything close to hard labor. Shit, if I could have someone dress me, I would. Now that I think about it—
“You come. I make you food. Introduce you to my son. He good boy.” Linh goes on plucking away at my cuticles.
“Oh, so wish I could Linh, but you know, I have a date tonight. Maybe next time,” I boast.
Linh looks up for a nano-second and pins me with her “You no make Linh happy” glare. “You always have date. Never make husband. You come meet my son.” Dang Linh! Nothing like having your nail lady rub the fact that you are single in your face. And in her eyes, apparently, a hussy. It’s no sweat off my back though. I love being single. I get to do whatever I want. I don’t have to check in with anyone. I get to taste a variety of life. (Take that innuendo as you will.) I mean who wants to be tied down to a guy, kids, and the whole mundane white picket fence nonsense for the rest of their lives? Pffft. Not me! I’m living the grand life. If I wanted to experience any of that nonsense I would go visit my best friend, Chrissy, who traded in her Players card for the family movie night. Which I’m not jealous about or anything.
Okay, so maybe I’m totally lying about that. The whole single and ready to mingle persona? Yeah, fake. Sham, Impersonator! I secretly cut out pictures of pretty little houses, dinner recipes and family photos where everyone flipping matches and I hide them under my bed. At night when no one is watching, I stare at the images of the things I really wish I had. I know. Pathetic, right?
Blah! Okay, enough confession time.
I shake off the scary truth, plaster a fake smile on my face and return to the matter at hand. “Sorry Linh, no can do, chica. Real date this time, pinky promise.” Thankfully my phone rings saving me from anymore of her son talk. Do I even bring up the fact that I’m going on twenty-seven and I think her son is still in junior high? I glance at my caller ID and see a picture of Chrissy, and her niece Pippa which I took the last time I visited, and a genuine smile spreads across my face. “Yo yo Betty Homemaker, how’s my favorite domesticated bestie doin’?” I answer in my chirpy voice.
“Ha ha. She’s doing just fine. A little sore but fine.”
“Ew, I don’t want to know. But wait, I do. What did that hunk of a man do to you now? Any chance you took photos?” I joke. I met Chrissy six years ago, totally by mistake. I was trying to find the room of a drunken guy who slipped me his number at the bar. Too bad the guy was so intoxicated he didn’t even write the correct room number down. Either way, I met Chrissy that night and she’s been my sister-from-another-mister ever since.
I hear her sighing on the other line. “Stop or I’m hanging up,” she warns my pervy little mouth. “The only comment I will add, though, is that the body can bend in some interesting ways,” she finishes which prompts me to choke on my gum.
“Holy shit Chrissy, you can’t just say that and not have any sort of pics,” I bellow out. Chrissy went home last year due to the death of her sister. The tragic visit turned into a second-chance love story for her and her high school boyfriend, now fiancé, Ian. While she was out there, they rekindled their relationship and fell back in—or never stopped—love with each other. It’s such a cute love story, even if it makes me want to puke. Nope not jealous. As my ex sidekick, Chrissy now resides in her hometown in Oregon, with her sister’s daughter and her hunk of a fiancé.
“Sorry sista, no photos, you will have to use your imagination.”
“Shit! Trust me, I already am,” I respond. Is it wrong to fantasize about your best friend’s man? Probably. But if you saw that guy, you would rub one off just on principal.
“Okay, so enough of that. I called for a reason. I found a potential artist for you. I think he would be great for the gallery. I sent it to Cornelius and he’s down, but it would require you to travel to Los Angeles and do a little bit of convincing to get his work at St. Markey.”
If I haven’t mentioned it yet, I am currently the Executive Art Director at St. Markey, the hottest gallery in San Francisco. Not that it’s something to brag about since I was perfectly fine with the minimal responsibilities before I had “executive” added to my title.
“Okay you’ve pegged my curiosity. Define do?”
That gets a good snort out of my bestie. “Not that kind of do. For starters his name is Hunter James. He was living in France but currently resides in Los Angeles. His work is the up and coming, and his paintings are selling like hot cakes all over the West Coast.”