Log Line: Super cute Kaz Miles moves to the bustling city of Edmonton with NOTHING but dreams. No impressive work history, not enough money, no place to stay at… neither… brains for love and relationships! To make her idiosyncrasies even worse, she meets the beautiful, shrewd, principled — and — ‘super straight’ Jane Randall who becomes her roommate, self-proclaimed mentor, love guiding light, and… FANTASY!
Warning: Crude Humor/Language
Everything that you set your mind to can be learned. The senior bartender, Cabral, a muscled, tall Italian guy, who can easily be mistaken for a mafia bouncer, has taught me everything that I must know. As nights go along, I’m getting pretty good at it somehow. I can mix, I can pour, I can serve. And I’m a bartender with no mixology certificate, only bearing the proserve Liquor Staff Training card.
Bartending is, after all, a job. Something that pays my rent, buys things that I need to survive, and ships me into the kind of fun that I used to despise due to my perverse beliefs. It’s been almost two weeks now since I have been working at ‘On Air’, which stands prominently almost 7 blocks down from my street. Serene also works full-time here as a waitress, and we both have the same shifts, except that she still works part-time for Jane on one of her days off, which doesn’t bother me at all.
Okay. It does. It’s been bothering me like crazy. And please, leave Serene out of this drama because… kill me for saying this… but I awfully miss Jane’s vexatious mouth. She’s been acting like a total stranger around me since I fired myself from the bookstore. Serene and I never bring her up into our conversations since that day either. It’s just awkward when the three of us are in the apartment together, and I notice that Serene would desperately try to make sure that neither Jane and I would feel left out. So as much as possible, she doesn’t wanna visit either one of us at home in order to avoid the emotional strain.
As the happy hour roars on, and some regular customers occupy their seats in front of me, Jane makes her surprising entrance. “Good Lord,” I whisper, drooling all over my fantasy. She is… She is… Oh my God. My heart stops beating for a moment. Such pulchritude that my kidney is about to create a major tomfoolery inside.
She sits before me and suppresses a smile. “Ginger Yule, please.”
“I’m so not giving you that,” I say.
“Hey. I’m here as a customer, not as your roommate nor landlady nor whatever the hell I am to you.”
“You’re having a beer, and that’s it.”
“I am not gonna go home, feeling bloated. Just give me what I want.”
“What are you doing here?”
“It’s one of those days. And what do you care anyway?”
“Did you come here to make me feel guilty?”
“I’m square. I don’t make people feel guilty. Especially someone like you.”
“What someone like me? Oh, someone who walked out on your bitchy ass ‘cause she was already fed up with it?”
“I did not come here to argue, Kaz. I need my ginger yule now. Please?”
“I have the right to refuse an order.”
“You only have the right to refuse an order once there are already indications of an amber alert. You think I don’t know your pro-serve shit? I’m sober, I’m having this night, I need a drink. Give it to me.”
“Why did you choose this bar anyway?”
“Look, I came here as a customer, okay? It doesn’t matter why I chose to be here or not. I’m already sick of the other place, so I’ve decided to grace you here instead. Now are you gonna serve me, or do I need to speak to the manager?”
“I don’t give a crap if you speak to the manager, but I am not serving you ginger yule. Not on my watch. Nope.”
“Really. Wow… All right, then. I’ll just sit here and wait.”
“Wait for what?”
“Jane!” It’s a voice of… A cavalier! Shit. There’s my fear. A successful, good-looking… terrifying manhood.
“Hey, Peter,” Jane flirtatiously welcomes him with a kiss. IN FRONT OF MY SUPER CUTE GAY CHICK ASS!!!
“Sorry. Have I kept you waiting?” he says in a gentlemanly tone. GODDAMN HIM!!!
“I just got here, actually,” she replies. “Oh, by the way, this is my roommate, Kaz.”
He sits beside her, and I swear, I have an excruciating feeling that he’s now resting his warm hand on her thigh. “The bar-tender. Nice to meet you, Kaz.” And he flaunts his overly white teeth to her again. “I’ve missed you. Thanks for returning my calls. I thought I wouldn’t hear from you again.”
“Sorry about that,” she says. “It’s been crazy lately. Swamped at the bookstore, you know.”
“I hear it’s one of the coolest places on Whyte,” he says. “And congratulations. Your literacy program has been gaining so much attention these days.”
“Thank you,” she says.
And I have been standing here, looking like a complete idiot.
“Kaz, ginger yule, please,” she reminds me.
“And love potion for me,” he orders.
“Love potion for the lady,” I say, “and ginger yule for the gentleman.”
They pass each other a look of gauze.
“Kaz, it’s the other way around,” she prompts me.
“I know,” I say. “But my guts have told me to do it the other way around of your ‘other way around’ instead.”
“Do you want us to leave?” she busts at me.
“Fine. Go. Leave. And I’m gonna sing ‘Hallelujah’ in my head once you two disappear.” I am proud to be mean.
“I’m calling the manager,” she says.
“Anthony!” I call out. “He’s in the back, probably squirting tequila around the kitchen staff.”
“All right, Kaz,” she says, “you are getting out of line here.”
“You wanted to speak to the manager, right? So I called him over for you.” And I grin at the… cavalier.
“What’s going on between you two?” Peter queries.
“Oh, we just hate each other, that’s all,” I say.
Serene interferes. “I can’t help but watch the commotion from a close distance, so…”… She turns to me… “You…”… And she smiles at Jane… “And you… Both of you should go home now. I’m taking over the bar tonight.”
“What?” I yelp.
“Serene, what the hell.” Jane reacts.
“Just go home, all right?” Serene says. “Talk it over. It’s about time. Because frankly, I don’t even know which one I’m visiting every single time I turn up unannounced at your apartment. It’s bullshit.” She’s now ready to power up behind the bar and serve the disoriented regulars who have been witnessing another embarrassing moment of my life. “So what do you want?” she asks Peter.
“I… I don’t know… what I want anymore…” he stutters, discombobulated.
“Great.” Serene commands me and Jane again, “Go home, you guys!”
I flee out of the bar and Jane scoots after me.
“You did it on purpose, didn’t you?” I say.
“Okay, you got me,” she says.
“Because I hate the fact that you’re working at a place that you don’t even like! I can’t stand it anymore!”
“Who are you to tell me which one to like and which one to hate?”
“I am the bitch, okay? Your bitch! So I know!”
“And that already qualifies you to dictate what I should do with my life?”
“That qualifies me to bitch at you about things that would do you good!”
“Then what’s with the cavalier prop?”
“The cavalier prop? What the hell are you talking about?”
“I went to dinner with him one night, and I didn’t feel like seeing him again ‘cause he was an arrogant asshole, and so he had been calling me. So then today, I told him to meet me at On Air just to present him with a closure speech and to answer all his ‘why questions’, and I was hoping that you’d be proud of me if I would do that in front of you.”
“What made you think that?”
“Because all this time, you’ve always thought of me as a slut.”
“You’re a P-addict.”
“I’m slicing off your nose if you call me that shit again!”
“You’re still a P-addict.”
“Yeah! Obviously, right? And where the hell am I now? Right here! Arguing with you, hoping to rescue your ass!”
And her enigmatic look plagues all of me. What’s wrong with her? Well, whatever it is, being presumptuous would only disgrace what we have anyway. Better off for me to just stick to my ground, and allow her to trod along instead. No matter what.
Oh God. What do I know? I can never catch truths. Regardless. Unless… Whatever.
“I missed your mouth terrorizing me,” I say.
“Me too,” she giggles. “God. I can’t believe this is happening… It’s… Yeah… Anyways, how’s it going with you and Serene now?”
“Oh. Okay, I guess.”
“You sound like you’ve just tasted mustard.”
“We haven’t gone to the next level yet.”
“Intimacy? And why not?”
“I don’t feel connected yet.”
“You’re not in love.”
“Nope. But I’m working on it though.”
“You don’t work on it, Kaz. Falling in love simply sparks through you even without your heart’s consent.”
“I know. But sometimes my heart cooperates when she’s around. Most of the time, though, it doesn’t.”
“Like when she cooks for me. I keep telling myself that she’s the kind of girl that I wanna be with. But when she comes on to me, I feel like running away.”
“You don’t need a partner then. You need a housemaid. Or a caregiver. Or… something.”
“That is so mean!” I say.
“Hey, I’m your truth bitch,” she says, “so there you go.”
“Kaz!” Serene calls out from the bar entrance and dashes towards me. “I love you!” And she delivers me with an irresistible kiss that has… all of a sudden… budged my heart.
This. RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FANTASY! Yes, my life is nothing but full of jam. Is it for real? No. What about Jane? Should I give up on her from here on now? Heart, please, cooperate with me. You can’t cut yourself in half. Not this way. You must choose and tell me the truth. Then we can move along with only one pickle to chew on.
Jane deliberately clears her throat, then Serene and I break away from the dreamy kiss.
“I’m glad you did that,” I acknowledge Serene’s romantic gesture. “I love you, too.”
“What?” Jane panics.
Serene gawks at her. “What’s up with you?”
I must prevent Jane’s mind and mouth from honking. “We need to go home now,” I say.
“No, not yet,” Serene stubbornly counters. “I wanna know why my boss a.k.a. my best friend reacted that way.” And she shoots Jane with an inimical look. “Why were you appalled when Kaz told me she loved me back?”
“Why don’t you ask her instead?” Jane replies.
“No, I’m asking you,” Serene insists.
“I just thought that she wasn’t ready for a relationship yet,” Jane says. “She needs to save up a lot of money for the big move, which she anticipates to happen some time in the near future. Has she ever told you about New York city?” She simpers at me. “You haven’t told her about New York, have you?”
“Well, maybe I would also like to move to New York with her,” Serene says. “How’s that?” She gives me a smack on the lips. “I’ll see you later.” And she strides back into the bar.
Jane treads her way towards the car as I tail along. “Don’t you dare defend your poof!”
“The kiss!” I say. “That romantic gesture! My heart finally cooperated! What was I supposed to do?”
“Right away? May I remind you that two seconds before the smooch sting, you were so distressed over the fact that you could not reciprocate her feelings?”
“Didn’t you say that falling in love would simply spark through even without the heart’s consent?”
“Yes! But not like that! That! Your poof! That was unacceptable! Because no sane person does that!”
“So all of a sudden, this pretty girl that I have been dating has done a romantic gesture that has won my heart over, and that’s unacceptable. That’s a poof. Can you over power my heart? Can anyone have that much magic to rule over my feelings? Huh! You can’t! Nobody can! Because only my heart can do that!”
“You have a very ambivalent heart, and no one deserves to be in it!”
And we both get inside the car. “I know exactly how to commit, all right?” I say. “My heart knows that for sure!” What? I have to stand up for my truth.
“Stop saying that!” she objects. “You don’t even know what you want out of this world, so how would you know how to keep a commitment, you dumb ass!”
“I know what I want, Jane! I’m saving up ten grand to move to New York city and become a successful writer! That’s what I want out of this world!”
“That’s not exactly what you want, Kaz, and you very well know it!” She starts off the car engines.
“Well, then, wizard, tell me,” I say, “what do I really want?”
“That’s for you to find out!” she says.
And we drive home. She turns the stereo on… in FULL VOLUME! I shut it off right away. “No, tell me,” I say. “Since you have been the expert here, I need to know these things.”
“You’ll find out in time. Your brains aren’t ripe enough yet. Let alone your heart. Jesus.”
“Just because I’m 23 years old and pretty girls make me feel vulnerable.”
“Just because you’re 23 years old and pretty girls make you feel vulnerable while you’re working on your way to New York city does not mean you have already established maturity in yourself to run a good life filled with contentment and a sense of accomplishment. Look at you, for crying out loud. Have you ever written anything lately?”
“I’m working on it.”
“Right. You’re working on it. Some excuse. I get it. And you’re telling me you know exactly how to commit. Well, good luck with that.”
“Are you making fun of my relationship?”
“You mean, the one that your heart couldn’t figure out as to why it wouldn’t cooperate until the poof boomed in? That’s just a fling, honey. I wouldn’t count that as a relationship.”
“Why are you so against what my heart feels anyway?”
“Kaz, come on, your heart is just bored, okay? You’re falling in love with the idea of having someone who is in love with you. And it’s not about your heart at all. It’s about having company. It’s about having someone that you can call a girlfriend, not a partner to settle down with.”
And once again, I have lost the case.