It was already 11 o’clock in the morning, and Cordelia was still exhausted. Of course, Cordelia was always exhausted, due to balancing college and a job, but it seemed like this morning was taking extra out of her. She slowly opened her eyes, rubbing the sleep away, and reluctantly pulled her heavy limbs out of bed.
Cordelia yawned, walking slowly into the kitchen where her roommate was already up and going, making a pot of coffee. Lucie swished around the counters, sliding on the floor in her fuzzy socks.
“What’s the design today?” Cordelia asked, too tired to glance at Lucie’s socks that had a different pattern each morning. Plus Lucie always liked to announce things dramatically. This day was not different. Lucie set a cup of hot coffee in front of Cordelia and twirled.
“The design is,” she paused dramatically, still spinning, “PANDAS.” She lifted her foot and in one swift motion slammed it down on the counter. Droplets of coffee sprayed everywhere. Cordelia sighed and sat down on a stool, carefully avoiding potential brown stains on her pajamas. She took a sip of coffee, grateful for her roommate’s morning attitude. Actually, grateful for a lot of things. She had met Lucie only 3 years ago, as a freshman. But they had gone through so much together, it felt like they were sisters. Lucie had an actual brother, but Cordelia has never met him. She’s seen the pictures, though. She’s seen his face. The type of face that could make you make you instantly fall in love.
Her roommate hummed happily, spreading cream cheese on a bagel. “So?” she asked, “what’s the plan for today?”
Cordelia sighed. “Well I have a class at two, and then I have to go over the building arrangements for the Covingskys.” The Covingskys were an old wealthy couple that had come back to one another after many years of being separated by their families. Cordelia found the story romantic, while Lucie was somehow disturbed by it.
“They’re old! It’s weird when old people are in love!”
“Well don’t let them hear that.” Cordelia gave up long ago on trying to convince her that old people were anything but grumpy.
Cordelia stole a bite from Lucie’s bagel. “Also, can you pick up some lasagna? My brother is coming to dinner. His book tour is in town.”
“Is Thomas coming too?”
“Yeah, he is.”
Lucie groaned. “The newlyweds.”
“They’re not that bad!” Cordelia laughed. They were, in fact, that bad. They were so sugary sweet around everyone, it made her want to barf. Lucie hated it more than she did. She claimed she had to brush her teeth 5 times after the wedding.
“You’ll be happy to see Thomas, at least,” Cordelia took a sip from her coffee, and smiled behind the mug. “He can read the latest chapter.”
“That’s true, he is a good editor,” Lucie mused. She picked at her bagel for a while before hitting the countertop with her palm, making the coffee spill again.
“I’m off! Straight to work!” she sighed, “A cushy job at a publishing firm seems like a great job, but honestly it’s hell.”
“You could always work for me,” Cordelia suggested. Lucie gave her a sad smile.
“Not really my thing, Cordy, but thanks for offering again.” Lucie kissed her on the cheek, grabbed her bag, and went out the door. The silence that came with her roommate’s absence was comforting. Cordelia calmly drank the rest of her coffee and got up to go get dressed. She had some work to do before her class, and she wanted to get it all done.
It was going to be a long morning.
After class, Cordelia rushed out the doors, trying to keep her computer from falling out of her hands. She hadn’t realized that her appointment was right after, and so she was rushing to get there on time. Cordelia ran out of the building yelling apologies to those she crashed into. It was only when she got out of the building and safely onto a city bus that she relaxed. There was a man sitting next to her, in a crisp suit. Cordelia couldn’t help but subtly stare at him for a while. He had grey hair, but not in an awful way, like her father's hair, an attractive way.
Eventually he caught her gaze and smiled dazzlingly at her. She blushed and cast her eyes down to her notebook specifically for wedding planning. The old couple were simple people, they just wanted an arch, nothing else. She sighed. Sometimes her clients didn't have the best taste when it came to weddings. She’d have to push them in the direction of flowers, maybe some balloons. Her mind swirled through different possibilities. Do old people like paper mache?
The bus slowed to a stop. The store was right across the street, and Cordelia was sure they were already there, but she let the handsome man go first. But as soon as she was able, she ran to the shop, ignoring honking cars. Panting, she thrust the door open.
“I’m here!” she shouted at a full room. They all stared at her with a mixture of shock and amusement. She shrank back, and waited until people were talking again to walk to the back of the store. That was where the owner, Christopher, was handling personal orders. Upon opening the door, she found Christopher talking to a slightly uncomfortable Mr. and soon-to-be Mrs. Covingsky.
“Sorry I’m late!” she said, giving an apologetic glance to the three people. “Class went a bit long.”
“No worries, dear. I know what it’s like to be a working girl in school,” The old woman laughed. “We were just talking to Christopher about the type of wood we would like in our arch.”
“Are you sure you just want wood,” Cordelia prompted. “No embellishments of any kind?”
“Just wood,” Mr. Covingsky replied, a stubborn man. And then he and his fiance resumed the conversation with Christopher. Kit seemed to be at ease, more at ease then Cordelia would have hoped. When Christoher gets more comfortable with people the more likely he is to say something accidentally offensive.
“How old, exactly, are they?” Christopher had asked when he first heard about the job. Cordelia raised an eyebrow.
“Why?” she asked.
“Well I wanted to know if it would be practical to create their coffins as well.” Cordelia let her head thump against the table. “I could ask them if that is something they would like.”
“Do NOT ask them that.”
Christopher seemed to be doing fine, however. Cordelia backed away into the wall. She really didn’t need to be here, but it was important to oversee these things. She felt a buzz from her purse, and looked down.
It was Lucie. She was calling her.