Bad Together: Chapter 17

While she liked the attention, Farina did not want to interact with anybody at all at this point. Taking another swig from the whiskey bottle, she could feel a sour aftertaste bubbling in the back of her throat, following the burn warming her up from the inside. Getting up from the first time in a while from her couch, Farina ran over to the toilet and crouch over the bowl. Coughing after she wiped her face, the girl looked outside. It was dark. “What time is it?” She groaned, looking around dizzily for a clock. Staggering a little, she finally saw the light blue LED numbers from her microwave looking back at her. 02:00. Groaning, she made her way back to her bed. She was still feeling horrible. She let herself be used by a man yet again. Four years later, and still making the same exact mistakes as a dumb teenager. How could she be so stupid? How did she manage to fall into old habits like that again? It was embarrassing. Face planting in her mattress, she lazily rolled herself into her sheets. What was she doing with her life? She felt like she was in a giant cycle that she could not break. Being mistreated by men, feeling objectified, unfulfilled, unaccomplished, all of her insecurities were coming back out from when she was with Joseph. Just thinking about his name just made her sick to her stomach. She used acting to get past him, but where was she now as an actress? Nowhere. She was about to finish her time in college with a degree in theatre arts, but she’s accomplished nothing in that field. She spent more time just being a student, and modeling, something she wanted to prove that she was more than capable of doing. Quietly sobbing to herself, she could not get over her brimming sense of defeat and regret.

“Hey, open up!” There was a loud banging on her door. It was Olivia’s voice on the other side. Stirring and groaning, Farina looked up. Was it the next day? Or the next week? Farina had not left her apartment in a while. The last time was to restock on alcohol. “Farina, it’s been weeks since you’ve been to class.” She called, a fraying patience in her tone. “We all know a break up is tough, but you need to get it together. You’re better than this!” She stressed, but to no avail. Farina was not ready to listen to anyone. She was still shellshocked about her repeating her mistakes. It made her feel like four years was wasted all on another relationship. How could she so stupid? Farina was just thinking about all of the things that things that Jamie told her during their relationship. How she was so beautiful, how he was grateful to be dating somebody like her. What did he even mean by that? The more she thought about it, it sounded like he was only interested in her for her looks. He rarely ever complimented her on her intelligence, or her aspirations or dreams. In fact, did he even ask her about that? Hardly, from what she recalled. The more she reflected on Jamie and what she liked about him, she started to really question if that level of appreciation and attraction was reciprocated, or was it just skin deep? She liked him for being different from Joseph, being a confident, self-made, successful man, but humble about the fact that he did everything on his own. But what about her appealed to him again? The fact that she was quiet, not-rowdy, and pretty? The fact that she was well-off enough that she did not need to be a gold-digger? The more she dug into it, the less happy she was with herself for falling for this man. He clearly did not care about her. The way he lashed out, and objectified her, it was becoming increasingly more apparent. And it was upsetting her deeply. She did not want to be a model just to be somebody’s accessory. She wanted to be an actress so that she can leave a genuine impression on others with her work.

Looking at herself in the mirror, Farina scoffed at her own appearance. “You’re such an ugly, dumb bitch.” She glared at herself angrily. Looking at the scale, she saw no reason to get on it. She knew her weight like the back of her hand. She weighed a respectable 45 kilos, which, given her height, that was perfectly normal. Looking back at her reflection, she was unhappy. Her skin was an off-yellow color, her eyes were bloodshot, her hair was a frazzled mess. But that was not what she was upset about. She hated looking at her face. It looked so pitiful, but at the same time, she did not deserve to be pitied. She brought every ounce of suffering and humiliation upon herself. There was no reason for anyone to ever feel bad or sorry for her in this situation. She dated Jamie, and got into a relationship, despite not seeing any deep or meaningful depth to his attraction to her. She just wanted the attention and affection, because it had been years since she had received that from anyone, while fostering a mutual interest in that person. She was hoping he would be different than the other boys because of the fact that he looked different and came from such a unique background compared to the spoiled and entitled trust fund babies that were always hitting on her. Sighing to herself, she was just annoyed. No matter how many times she played their relationship through her head, she could not seem to understand why she said yes to him. Why did she think he would be any different? All men seemed to treat her the same way. Even her own father would tell her that no man likes a fat girl, which was why she was always watching her weight. Where did that get her? Dating two misogynistic assholes who felt like she was only just a body to hug and kiss. Mustering up what bizarre distorted form of courage she had, she got on top of the scale. And frowned immediately. She weighed 35 kilos. Just how long did she go with no nourishment? That was an entire 15 kilos less than she was the last time she weighed herself.

Looking at her door, Farina noticed that the bottom of it was stuffed with papers and letters. And amongst them was one with the school’s emblem and a giant red stamp with the words “Please open at once”. Following the letter’s request, she groaned. It was a warning for missing a week of class. “Missing more than four weeks of class will put you on academic probation.” It read. And it was dated on the 12th. Looking at her phone, she dropped it, panicking. It was the 13th. Of the following month. That was more than four weeks. Rummaging through the other letters and papers wedged into her door, which included notes taken by Olivia and Patricia from their classes, as well as several other letters with the same red stamps. “No, no, no!” She gasped, ripping each one open, reading through them and comparing the dates. She finally saw one letter that confirmed her fears. She was indeed put on academic probation. What even does that mean? Besides knowing that it was bad, she really did not have a clue. But she knew that her parents would not be happy. And rightfully so. This was bad no matter how you looked at it. The letter stated that it was two and a half months into the semester, and Farina had not attended in almost eight weeks, so they had no option but to probate her. A sense of panic creeped over her as she had no idea what to do. All she could think of right now was that she might actually have nothing left to her name. She worked hard to pursue a career in acting, and her chances at becoming a famous actress might go up in flames after all. She had no idea if being on probation meant that she could even attend school again. All that she did know was that she would be fighting one hell of an uphill battle against all of this.

Advertisements

Bad Together: Chapter 16

“Hey, you okay?” Olivia peered inside of the bathroom. “Go away. I’m fine!” Farina groaned, her face flushed in a deep red. In her hands was a bottle of whiskey. Her breath stank of alcohol, while her hair was a foggy mess resting upon her head. She was curled up against the toilet in Olivia’s apartment, vomiting profusely. They had just gotten back from a party, with Olivia taking out her friend in hopes of cheering her up. Farina had never been much of a drinker herself. Being a lightweight, she only needed one or two shots of anything to feel the buzz. At this point, she had consumed two bottles of whiskey at the party, and was on her first half bottle of tequila, which she had taken back to Olivia’s apartment as a souvenir. Regretting her choice to enable Farina like this, Olivia just patted her friend on the back gently, helping her expel her nausea is as contained a manner as possible. In Farina’s head, all that was running through it was why Jamie could be such an asshole. He attacked her. She honestly thought that he would be different from all of the other douchebags who hit on her regularly. She thought that the Italian-mobster vibe he gave off was just a facade he would use to survive in Wall Street, not his true self. But he was just an ass, mobster or not. He did nothing short of destroy every ounce of her self-esteem that she spent so many years building up. After Joseph publicly humiliated her, it took cutting ties from her past to move forward. Only to end up in the same place again. Feeling violated, betrayed, and just by somebody she genuinely loved. She swore to herself that she would not repeat that same mistake, and feeling embarrassed, alcohol felt like the right solution to run away from her shame.

“Hey there, Farina.” A tall, muscular Asian teen eyed a 12 year-old Farina who was just walking to her next class. “Oh, hey, Joseph.” She smiled shyly at him. She could not lie about having a crush on him, but she would definitely deny it to his face. Joseph was a really attractive guy, well liked because he was nice, smart, and just well-rounded. He was only an eighth grader, but he had already been promised a varsity position in their high school’s varsity football team. Every girl in the school fawned over the possibility of dating him. Which was the main reason why Farina did not want to admit to him she liked him. She did not want to be just like any other girl. So she kept walking. She did not care if it meant passing up somebody who was that attractive. She knew that if they were meant to be, they would become something more without her needing to try. Of course, this was just adolescent logic in the works, where the much younger Farina just assumed that anything and everything that needs to be done would just be handed to her with little to no effort. “Love should be effortless. That’s what true love is.” She reminded herself as she made her way into Algebra. Truth be told, she was not a huge fan of any of her classes. They were all just boring. English, it’s just proving that you could read and regurgitate what other people think and say. Math, it’s just making sure that everything equals other things. Science, you could sometimes blow things up, but when you do, it could get all over your clothes, and you’ll get yelled at, so it was just dangerous. History, please refer to her opinion of English. She knew that she had to think about her future, but she definitely doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. Well, at least at that moment. She did model outside of school, but that was not something she wanted to do forever. It was great to get money for just smiling, but that felt boring and unfulfilling. 

“Look, I actually really like you.” Joseph looked at a slightly older Farina straight in the eyes. The two freshmen were in their high school cafeteria, during sustained silent reading sitting side by side at one of the tables. “Huh?” Farina raised her eyebrow skeptically. She had no idea why somebody like Joseph Lam, the varsity quarterback, the honors student, the guy literally every girl had a crush on and every guy wanted to be, would be confessing to her. She was this ordinary person at this point; puberty was not too forgiving with her skin, so she was not modeling like she used to in elementary school. She was this shy, awkward, quiet, almost forgettable person next to him. Truth be told, she felt like she had already peaked. Being a child model, featured on various advertisements, magazines, and billboards, But that was already four years ago. She was just an awkward teen, trying to figure out her life. She did not know what she wanted to do. With all of her acne, she felt uncomfortable pursuing a career in modeling at the moment, so she has to figure out alternatives. And knowing all of this, she decided to go against her already confused, conflicted self, and accept his feelings. “I like you too.” She stated, and as those words went through her teeth, she could feel a veil of deceit falling over her. She did not care if she was lying to herself, saying that she liked Joseph, simply because he had qualities that others wanted. She just wanted to know that somebody who was this likable, and popular could like a nobody and has-been like herself. Besides, dating him was more interesting than the classes she was taking anyways. It would be a wonderful distraction from the fact that she had no idea what career she wanted to pursue. But at least everyone in school would know who she is now. She was the girl who Joseph Lam was dating. It was enough recognition for her, anyways.

She was wrong. Farina stormed out of the stadium, furiously. It was the end of the first week of their senior year, and she wished that she did not go to surprise Joseph. She saw him there, off behind the bleachers, making out with Stella. The whore head cheerleader who showed off how skillfully she could spread her legs, both while doing the splits, and towards other men. Farina already felt uneasy knowing that the head cheerleader had those tendencies, and her worst fears were confirmed: Joseph was cheating on her with that slut. She had spent two years with this guy, giving up internship opportunities and extracurriculars to be with him. Literally half of her high school career was spent dating this guy, and he decided that he wanted somebody hotter than her. It was a major wake up call. Washing her face off in the bathroom, she looked up at herself. Still the same pimply, puberty-ridden Farina. That needed to change. Skin treatments, getting her hair done, using make-up, she decided that she needed to be a new her. The rest of high school was a blur. Farina had been taking theatre arts throughout, and in the spring, it was the first time she was offered a lead role as Anna in their production of the King and I. Months of self-beautifying had paid off, with her feeling more confident about herself, inside and out. Even though Joseph, who she had dumped, was sitting in the front of the audience, hoping that she would fail, she did not. She sang, she danced, she played her role without a hitch. Not even she he booed her for coming on stage was Farina fazed. And that was when she realized what she wanted to do. She could not deny liking the attention of being a performer, when she was on the stage. Off the stage, she preferred the quiet, and she knew that she could get that if she wanted to.  But there was something about that spotlight and the attention, it was something she was comfortable with. And that was why she applied to be a theater student.

Bad Together: Chapter 15

“This is bad. This is really bad.” Andy groaned to himself, looking at Raise’s financial statements. He was in his own office, questioning all of these strange purchases that his boss and friend had been making. Jamie had been spending about 7,200 pounds a week on something he has listed as “other expenses”. Between the fact that Jamie had not been coming out of his office and these expenses have already amounted to 57,600 pounds across the past two months. They have had to take these costs out from other aspects of the club to fund them, whatever they may be. His phone ringing, the African American quickly picked it up. “Hey, I have your liquor out in the back.” One of their vendors. They have had to switch to cheaper suppliers to cut costs in food and liquor. After putting all of their purchases away with the help of one of the bouncers, Andy continued to look through his statements. And then his phone rang yet again. “Hey, I know that this is unprofessional, but I can’t keep playing at your club. You guys keep cutting my rates, and I just got an offer from another place that is going to be paying double of what you guys originally paid me. Thanks again.” It was their DJ. Or rather, former DJ now. They had to cut his pay by a fourth just to make up costs, and Andy himself had to insist that this was only temporary. And then, of course, a bright yellow slip made its way into their mail. It was an open invoice statement. “You have not yet payed your invoices for the past two months. If you continue to leave these unpaid, we will have to terminate your electricity services.” Crumpling up the paper, Andy groaned to himself. It was pretty self-explanatory. There needed to be changes. Raise needed Jamie.

First, it was just Jamie saying that he didn’t want to come out of his office. Andy understood how it must have felt, because this was the club owner’s first real relationship, and he genuinely loved Farina. But then he started fooling around with Farina’s friend, Jessica, and that’s where Andy started to feel uneasy. Being sleazy was not like Jamie. He had standards and morals that he lived by, which was why he was not like all of those other investment bankers on Wall Street or club owners in big cities in general. His goal was never to exploit people for their money and resources and to play harder than he actually worked. He simply wanted to create a fun environment where people can enjoy themselves. A place where you can let loose and kick back after a long day of work. That’s the vision for Raise than Andy believed in. That, along with Jamie’s charisma, was what convinced him that moving to London, leaving behind his family in Harlem, it would all be worth it. So for the sake of that vision, Andy chose to look the other way with Jamie’s behavior. The Italian American was in a slump, and he just needed time to heal. At least that’s what the club manager thought. How wrong he would turn out to be. Days became weeks, and weeks slowly amounted to a month, and Jamie was nowhere to be found. Their usual meetings that they would need to run every two weeks, going over costs and labor, Andy found himself having to handle it all because Jamie was nowhere to be found. It made him uneasy, not because he could not do it, but rather, he did not want to go against what Jamie envisioned with the club, or try anything that could put Raise at financial risk. He tried his best to keep the revenue where it needed to be, but that was getting harder with each and every week, with all of these unusually high costs coming in and cutting into their profit. It was a domino effect. First, the costs cut the revenue. And from there, it was starting to effect all of the other parts of the club.

Rise was a club that prided itself on its innovation, hiring up and coming talent in DJ’s, and serving great drinks. But now, the reviews were coming in and they reflected all of the budget cuts that Andy was being forced to make. “Bad music. Crap DJ. Would not come back.” “They use shit-quality vodka. This place is a huge rip-off.” “It’ used to be a fun place to go, where playing 20 pounds was worth it. Now I wouldn’t even go there if you were to pay me 5 pounds. The DJs have sucked every week I went. Just don’t go.” That last one, it really hurt Andy. That was the last thing he would have wanted to hear about his own business. It was getting increasingly tougher to hold down the fort, and feign a smile when people walk up to you to complain, and when your staff are losing motivation. To say that morale was low in Raise was an understatement. Bouncers were not showing up to their shifts, bartenders were not proud of the product that they were serving, and the DJs were more like university dropouts who want to make it big, but lack the know-how and talent to actually make a full-time career out of this. Raise was increasingly becoming an embarrassment, and in just the past two months of Jamie’s absence, Andy could only do so much to prevent this. And it all stemmed from all of these unexplained expenses. What were they? Jamie was not communicating, nor was he showing any investment in the club, and it was getting to the point where he was burying his own dream in the ground. Rummaging through the credit card statements, Andy still could not find anything besides payments on PayPal, but the user Jamie had been sending money to, he could not find that information. Jamie had made a separate account, using their corporate card. 

Inside of his office, Jamie frowned. He was finally looking through his phone for the first time in weeks. He had only been using it to hit up Alex or Jessica, and he was blatantly ignoring the emails and messages from Andy. Andy meant business, and he could not deal with any of that anymore. Whatever happens to Raise, it did not matter to him anymore. He was able to work his way up from nothing to create this club, so he knew that even if Raise were to go bankrupt, it did not matter. He could just do the same things he did in Wall Street, replicate that success, and start another club. Whatever. So long as he got to continue getting his fix. He could not live without knowing that he could just take in deep breaths, and feel alive. Nobody else mattered to him, unless they accepted him for what he was doing. Andy clearly didn’t. He would say things to the effect of disapproving of his habits. And it sucked. All he cared about was everyone being supportive of his hobbies and interests. Why should this be seen any differently than taking bets at a sports bar or doing stocks? It was an investment for pleasure and enjoyment. The fact that Andy could not see it this way was proof that he did not care about his wellbeing, nor was he anything more than a gold-digger. All he cared about was the money. And it was because he knew, deep down, that without Jamie’s brilliance and experience from Wall Street, he would be nothing. He would just be that same thug off the streets of Harlem, threatening people for their money. He did not care about who helped get him out of that place, he just wanted to stay out of there, which was his driving motivation. It was so obvious. And it was all thanks to Jessica that Jamie was able to finally hear the music and make this realization. He was being used and could trust nobody. Not Andy, not Alex, not Jessica, not even Farina. He could not bring himself to delete the Taiwanese girl’s number, but he badly wanted to do it.

Bad Together: Chapter 14

It was a gloomy Monday afternoon. But to Jamie, it might as well have been a sunny Saturday morning. Time did not flow normally for him anymore. But to everyone else around him, it had been about two months since he had started sharing Jessica’s practices. He just stopped caring about anything except for that escape from reality. He lived for it. He would only allow himself to stay sober for one minute at the most, before jumping back into his highs, just so that he could truly appreciate not being in the real, boring, mundane world. Jessica introduced him to something special, that made his life change for the better. Looking around, everything felt like light and fun. Colorful and vivid. It was not just his office space. It was his haven from all of the things that nagged away at him. Speaking of which, there was a knock on the door. It was Andy. “Hey, are you okay?” He sounded concerned. “You’ve been hulled up in there for like two weeks. I have not once seen you come out, and you’ve been in here from before I get here until even after I leave. Have you even been going home?” Ignoring his questions, Jamie decided he needed a little bit more of a boost to get away from all of these words. Lining up some more powder on his table, he snorted it in. He got it from Jessica’s dealer. A nice man, named Alex, from his apartment in Islington. It was worth the trip, in every sense of that phrase. Taking in a deep breath, and letting the air penetrate every orifice in his lungs, Jamie continued to sit there, admiring the lively world that was the wall in his office. There were little creatures, like a walrus with rabbit ears or a bat that breathed fire, dancing around and singing songs in a magical land with a giant volcano. Money rained down from the sky, more specifically 50 pence coins. It was a wonderful place to be. Much better than being sober and having to think about feelings. The club owner shuddered. He was starting to feel cold sweats and withdrawals again. Picking up his phone, it was time to make another call and payment to Alex. “Hey, can you deliver it to the club again? Just bring it up to the office again. I’ll PayPal you. Thanks.”

It had been two months, and in those two months, the club owner had not eaten at all. He did not care if his cheeks were sunken in or that his eyes were bright red, or that his hair was thinning out. He was having the time of his life. Money did not matter to him anyways. He could just make it back. He was from Wall Street after all. Any cent that was spent, or in this case, pence, he could turn that over in a second. Plus, he was the owner of one of the hottest new clubs in the city. How could he not be making back money from that? He was fine. Everything was perfectly fine. It was alright. Nothing could possibly be going wrong. Or so he thought. A part of him was starting to remember how he felt in Wall Street, and why he left. The dirty money. The people doing drugs. He was doing drugs too. The very thing he detested. Banging his head against the wooden coffee table in his office, Jamie tried his best to calm himself down. He was shaking and sweating. How would his mom feel knowing that her son was doing drugs? How could he ever face Farina again? Farina? He paused to himself. She was the reason he was like this. She ought to see him this way so that she can realize what a slag she actually was. Deciding that he needed to be even more screwed up than he already was, Jamie lined up another row of the white powder, and this time, also placed a patch on his tongue. “Double trouble.” He snorted to himself and in the substance. He wanted to take it all in and enjoy the trip he was about to embark on. Feeling his eyes crossing as everything started moving around in circles, Jamie knew that this was the right thing to do in this situation. He needed this, for himself.

Jamie had created a life for himself in his office. Since he did not eat, he did drink water, since he stored a ton of it in his office to begin with. He would pay Alex to come to his office to drop off more drugs for him to use. Since there was a bathroom in there as well, he never needed to leave the room either. He didn’t need food because he had cocaine and acid to live off of. Who needed food anyways? It took too much energy to chew it and swallow it then digest it. That was a waste of time. Andy would try to pound on the door right before or after work hours, which was why Jamie would only have Alex come in either when everyone was busy handling the operations or during the day, when nobody was there. So long as he pretended not to be in the office, Andy would not know any better, right? Why would he care anyways? He only ever wanted to be involved with Jamie for the money, and that was what he was getting. The money was all he was ever in it for. He still remembered the first time the larger man interviewed with him to be his bodyguard. The moment he saw his pay rate, his eyes lit up like a child during Christmas being told that they were going to receive triple the presents. But Jamie was used to being used by the people he cared about. Which was why he needed these drugs instead of their attention or company. At least with drugs, Jamie was the one using them, not them using him. He was the one in control, and he could make the decisions about how high he wanted to be. The only person who he could trust, besides Alex, was Jessica. She was the one who blessed him with this gift that helped him embark on such a journey to begin with.

“Hey there, sweetie.” Jessica giggled as she made her way into club dick’s office. She was low on coke, having used it all the weekend prior, and wanted to restock. Kissing him and feigning interest in his retellings of his hallucinations, the blonde just casually placed a small sachet of the white powder inside of her bag. That would be enough to get her through the rest of the weekend. Well, that and whatever she was going to take during their encounter together. Looking at Jamie, she had to pretend that he was still somewhat attractive. He definitely looked like he aged forward fifteen years. He had these ugly sags under his eyes, he also looked like he was balding. It was not an attractive look. There was nothing about him that appealed to her, besides the fact that he was providing her with the free coke. “Haha, you’re so funny!” She spouted, not even paying attention to what he had to say. She did not give a shit about him anyways. He was just another dick to her. And a rather inept one at that. She’s had better. Easily. She could see why Farina broke up with him now. Oh wait. that was her. Jessica feigned a smile of interest, when in reality, it was a look of triumph, knowing that she had this much control over two other peoples lives. She managed to drive the young club owner into a corner where his only way out was through his highs, while Farina, she was another mess in it of itself. The blonde sniggered before engaging with the male in what he viewed to be an intimate moment of passion, but to her, was like another walk in the park or a notch on her belt. She did not care at all, but since he was so wholesome in comparison to her, he did not know better. And she loved that she could exploit that about him and so many other men. In a society where women are so used to being thrown to the side, it was fun for her to be able to do that with not only just other women, but men as well. She had Jamie wrapped around her finger, and he could not do anything but squirm and snort more cocaine, pulling himself deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole.

Bad Together: Chapter 13

Jamie was sitting in the waiting room of his office, while Jessica entered. Andy was taking paid time off to visit his family back in Harlem. “Hey, how are you holding up?” She looked at him for a brief moment, before going back to looking at her phone. “I’m alright.. no, I’m not. Farina meant everything to me, and I lost her. It fucking sucks.” He growled. “You know, I’m starting to think that you’re the reason we broke up.” He barked at her. “You told me that she thought I was immature and a manchild, but did she really say those things about me?” “Yes. And I quote, she said you had a microdick.” The drug addict lied through her teeth. Flustered, Jamie went silent. “Yeah, it was not quite the Italian mortadella she wanted. Just not her cup of tea, with an emphasis on the size of the cup.” She snorted, amused at her own crude remarks. “I think that you need to shut the fuck up, you crack whore.” He shook his head, still thinking that Jessica was the cause of their break-up. He was not wrong tot think that either, in that he was absolutely correct. The fibres student manipulated both of them for her own gain. And she was just about to continue doing that, especially if it meant that she could milk VIP benefits from the founder of Raise. “Jamie, you’re just mad about Farina. I am not at fault, and I never was. Farina, she was tricking you. She convinced you that you weren’t good enough. She’s no good for you.” Jessica shook her head at him. “And look, I will forgive you for your misplaced anger. Because I want your well-placed trust instead.” “Why the fuck would I give you that.” He rolled his eyes at her. She was definitely insane. “Tell me, why do you miss Farina? Would you say that you can’t stop thinking about her?” Jamie paused before nodding his head slowly in shame. He hated to admit it, but he would give anything at this very moment to be with her again. “Well, you know, I have something that can get your mind off of Farina.” She suggested. “What?” Jamie was desperate. He was angry at Jessica, but every single thought he had was about winning Farina back somehow. He missed her. Her voice, her laugh, how she would make him feel like the luckiest man alive to be with her.

Sitting down on the sofa next to him, she pulled out a bag full of small papers. “What is that?” “It’s LSD. Acid.” She opened the bag up. “What?!” Jamie was shocked. He had never done drugs before. “What? You mean Wall Street never taught you how to use drugs?” Jessica scoffed, placing the paper underneath her tongue. His mother would kill him before he would be able to. But then again, this was not New York. “No. And I don’t think that drugs are the way to go-” “Come on, Jamie. Don’t be a pussssssy.” She slurred as the LSD was starting to kick in. Her body almost went limp and she mouth opened, completely agape. Groaning and moaning, Jessica was already in a different place. She was not lying; doing acid was a form of escape. And seeing her like that, it was tempting to join in as well. He did not want to think or feel at this moment, knowing full well that he would be reminded of Farina. “Fuck it.” He sighed. He felt like he needed this escape. He did not want to keep thinking about Farina. Putting the patch of paper underneath his own tongue, he tried his best to relax. It felt very sudden. Blurred images, fading and flashing lights, distorted noises and sounds. His senses were overwhelmed and he could not figure out what was going on. He tried to move and walk around, but he could not tell where his legs were or which direction he was going. It felt like he was almost floating upside down, at one point, as if his stomach was going up into his chest and gravity did not exist. The walls of the room started to float away, revealing that they were in space, as the sofa melted into the floor, which was somehow still there. Jessica’s body was floating in the air too, before she vanished, being no more than a speck in the cosmos after being whisked away by the lack of gravity. “Jessica!” He screamed, reaching out to her but with no avail. “It’s okay! She’s in a happy land!” A voice called back. Feeling okay with the response he received, Jamie started to float his way down to the floor again, as the wooden boards melted away to reveal that he was on what looked to be the surface of the moon.

The ground started shaking as what appeared to be disco lights flashed. Suddenly, almost alien-like creatures and distorted human heads started to Raise up from the ground, like zombies, and Jamie began hopping around in a circle with them. Loud music starting blaring in the background, and he was having a blast of a time. The heads all suddenly came together, and form into a giant eye that stared at him. “Look into my eyes. Eyes are the window to the soul.” A voice echoed in the distance as he started at the giant dark green iris with the alien creatures. “All hail the eye god!” They started bowing as Jamie joined them. “Hail the eye god!” The eye chimed in before combusting into flames. “My sight is on fire! My eye is burning!” It screamed before it exploded into a flood of fireworks, each spark sporadically moving to create a letter in the English alphabet. “Weclom to hapyp twno!” It read in that exact order. “Yay! Hapyp twno!” Jamie and the aliens chanted eagerly, before returning to hoping in circles together. “Yay!” They all chanted before a large, snake light creature with long blonde hair swooped in and ate the aliens. “You bastard!” Jamie growled before it turned around to reveal that it was a dragon with Jessica’s head attached to it. “Jessica?!” Hi, Jamie!” It said in a loud, deep, distorted version of her voice. “There’s a party in my belly and you’re invited!” The dragon opened its mouth and swallowed him whole as he screamed. It was definitely not what he expected to do with his time. But there was one thing for certain: his mind was not on Farina at this point. He had been so focused on the visions and colors that he was experiencing that nothing else really seemed to matter at this point. Suddenly, the images started to fade away, and he realized he had never even left the cough he was on with Jessica. Looking over, he noticed that she was still hallucinating. Shaking off the high, he still felt like he needed to go back to that strange place. It was the escape he needed from her. Putting another patch underneath his tongue, he sank back into the comfort of the sofa, as these images started to flood his vision again. 

In total, the two had spent an entire afternoon dating acid together. Jessica’s entire stash had run out, and it was only then that they stopped. “Hey, you totally did too much.” Jessica growled at him, angry that all of her acid was consumed. “Hey, you offered. And you didn’t stop me!” He barked back. The tension between the two was flaring as their faces were just centimeters apart. Neither of them could control themselves, as evidenced by their lack of restraint with using acid, as they pressed their lips together, pressed into an intense lip lock. Jamie just missed Farina’s touch so much that he was willing to settle on Jessica to fill that hole in his life. He did not care who he was with at this point anymore. Jessica might be a degenerate, scum-ridden dumpster fire of a human being, but she was a human being nonetheless. “I’ll make it up to you.” “Oh, you are right now.” Jessica smirked as she turned off the lights in the room. There was no way that she would be able to do what she was about to do without a little help from her imagination. She was in no way actually attracted to Jamie. To her, he was just ‘club dick’.

Bad Together: Chapter 12

Farina and Jamie made their way out of the cafe angrily. Jamie was just seeing red at this point. Nothing was registering in his head besides the fact that he was dating a backstabber. Farina, on the other hand, was angry and hurt. Her own boyfriend just called her two-faced and manipulative bitch. “Look, I can’t spend my life with somebody who has this many trust issues. You’re not even willing to hear my side of the story, and you just cut straight to calling me names and demeaning me. It’s hurtful, it’s rude, and quite honestly, that’s where I draw the line. I’m dumping you. Please don’t ever talk to me again.” The Taiwanese girl turned away and walked off. Jamie’s heart just sank to his stomach. He was feeling remorse. He pushed her buttons and did not even give her a chance to justify or explain herself to him. “I’m sorry…” He started but the damage was done and it was too late. She was gone. What had he just done? She was such a kindhearted, patient, and gentle person. On one hand, she hurt him, saying those things that she did about him, but on another, she meant them in a playful manner, and did not actually hold his quirks against him. But there was nothing else that he could do at this moment. Both of them were hurt, angry, and confused. There’s no way that they could ever reconcile. Kicking a nearby trashcan, the club owner stormed off, still trying to sort out his own feelings. This was supposed to be a peaceful confrontation, but instead, it blew up and both of them just wound up hurting each other. All he knew was that he messed up. Farina was somebody really special, and he just lost her. He drove her away with his distrust and paranoia. He just could not believe that somebody that well-rounded and genuinely kindhearted could be a real person. 

Farina was just seething. How could she have misjudged Jamie by that much? She was expecting their lunch to be a peaceful catching up, but he made it into an attack on her and her integrity and character. That was frustrating and demeaning. It reminded her of high school, where guys refused to date her because they felt like she attracted too much attention from other guys. And then there were to nicknames and labels that would float around. Floozy. Slag. Whore. Harlot. She was never once disloyal to guys she dated, but they felt so insecure about being with her, as if she would judge them or think that they were not good looking or accomplished enough for her. That was never the case. But they could never seem to get that through their bruised egos. All she knew was that she needed to get a drink. It did not matter that it was a Monday afternoon. Alcohol could make all of these bad feelings go away. Walking into the liquor store, she began to buy everything she felt she needed to forget about today. Vodka, tequila, gin, whiskey, and just because she wanted to, some merlot, just so that she would not be ingesting only hard liquor. Ignoring the judgmental eyes of the clerk checking out her hefty purchase, Farina continued to make her way back to her apartment. She was determined to not even leave an iota of liquid in any of these bottles by the end of the night. Fucking asshole. She thought to herself. He was being nothing short of inconsiderate of how he was making her feel. She was worried about him, and all he cared about what himself and his own feelings. He did not even tell her that he thought he saw her kissing somebody. And just the fact that he lied to her about being sick in the first place! He has issues, and he took them out on her, just because she was his girlfriend. Girlfriend, boyfriend, regardless of the title, that does not excuse you from treating them like a human being, not an emotional punching bag. 

“FUCKING HELL!” Farina screamed, taking another swig of vodka. The alcohol filled and warmed up her lungs and she continued to inhale its influence. She was sitting alone in her apartment, trying to make her way through her purchases. She needed a distraction for what just happened. That little asshole. Asking her out to lunch just to publicly shame her? And to accuse her of being a slut? How fucking dare he? She growled, gritting her teeth and finishing the bottle of vodka. She didn’t care if she got a hangover the next morning. A hangover would feel better than how Jamie just made her feel moments ago. She still could not believe how wrong she was about him. He seemed so caring and genuine, but in reality, all he was interested in was the titles of being in a relationship, and the moment he doubted that he was good enough for her, he turned against her in a heartbeat. And his insecurities. They led to him saying such hurtful things. Why would he question her loyalty in the first place? She was never in the wrong. She only ever liked him for being him, or at least, her first impression of him. This confident, charismatic, and energetic young club owner, somebody who harbored interests in her career and life. But he was only just interested in using her to make himself feel good. To make him look good too. But she was not just some accessory you could put on to hide your imperfections. Those exist, regardless of what lies on the surface. That was something she learned as a model. No matter what outfit you’re wearing or what make-up you have on, if you are a bad person on the inside, it will still show through to others. Those horrible imperfections, genuine character flaws, will surface eventually, and take you down. 

Hiding in his office, Jamie sat behind his desk, his face basically plastered with tissues.Angry, sad, confused, and frustrated, he was feeling overwhelmed trying to process what just happened. He could not believe that he just said that to Farina. Somebody he cared so much about, and loved so dearly, he made hurt her to the point where she never wanted to see him again. He could not believe that he just snapped at her. Anybody knows that calling somebody a two-faced bitch, let alone your now ex-girlfriend, would only ever make tensions escalate beyond the point of no return. There was almost no way that the two of them could ever talk again at this point. Words hurt. That was the lesson to be learned here. To say he felt remorseful was an understatement. Her company brought a lightness and joy to his life, and the thought of not being able to hear her laugh or see her smile, knowing full well that his presence would cause the exact opposite to happen. She must despise him and justifiably so. He took her trust, her feelings, and most importantly, her heart, and smashed them into pieces. Reaching for his phone, the club owner thought about texting her. But then he stopped himself. There was no way that she’d want to see him. Feeling sad, Jamie sat there, still pondering. He missed her. But there was no way that Farina would want to see him right now. Maybe he could connect to her again, but through a friend or a messenger? “Hey, do you have a second? I was wondering if you could talk.” “Yeah, sure. Where?” “My office in Raise.” “Okay. I’ll be there in a sec.” Read the text. The sender was none other than Jessica Untry. She was his only hope to rectify the situation. She was Farina’s only friend that he knew of, and his last lifeline with making sure that he could see the Taiwanese girl’s smile again. 

Bad Together: Chapter 11

It was finally Monday afternoon. Farina was waiting in the cafe for Jamie to arrive, but she was not thinking about eating. She was worried about why he was acting the way that he was. She was not used to having to be so concerned about the state of another human being. She never dated before Jamie, mostly because other guys were intimidated by her, so she was not used to being this close to anybody, even her friends. “Hey.” Jamie finally arrived at the cafe. “Hey.” She was carefully examining his face for any hints as to what was going through his head. The ambience was awkward, to say the least. There was this sense of distance from him, as if he was already dismissed her from his life. Farina just tried to smile through the tense silence, hoping that this would feel less uncomfortable if she put on a facade of positivity. “So how are you?” He started. His tone was cold. “I’m doing alright. I just finished exams. How are you? Feeling better?” She could not tell if he lied about being sick or not, but she was hoping that he would at least give her a proper explanation for his odd behavior. “I am.” He stated before going back to looking at the menu. “Good afternoon. May I take your orders?” The waitress, a high school-aged girl, approached them, pen and paper in hand. “Earl gray and the lemon tart for me.” Farina stated. “Tiramisu and just hot water.” Jamie handed the waitress their menus as she put in their orders. “Hot water? Are you sure you’re okay?” Farina looked back at him. It seemed so unlike him. She was expecting the club owner to get a soda or an ice beverage. “Yeah.” He scowled. “Okay, look, let’s just cut the bullshit and get to the point here. Why have you been acting like this?” She frowned. She could not tolerate this evasive behavior much longer. 

The Italian was taken aback. He was not expecting Farina, this delicate, gentle looking girl, to be so direct. “Okay, well, if we’re just going to put everything out there, why were you going around calling me a manchild to your friends?” He glared at her. “Okay, look, I don’t know why that’s such a huge problem-” She started, trying not to stutter. She was afraid. How did he know that she called him that? “So you did call me a manchild? Because you know that I was made fun of a lot for my height and my appearance, so that’s just being insensitive and rude.” He cut her off, still fuming. She did not deny saying those words. “It was banter. It didn’t mean anything. I don’t think any less of you! You’re afraid of heights and roller coasters, that’s why I called you a manchild. But I get it. We all have fears.” She could feel her voice loudening in an attempt to be heard. Unfortunately, her protests fell of deaf ears. “Wow, so what else have you been keeping from me? I saw you, with that guy at the club. My club. How insensitive and two-faced can you be? You’re going around, using my money, my resources, to impress and sleep around with other men?” He shot at her. “What are you talking about?!” She barked back, nearby diners staring at them uncomfortably. “Who did I cheat on you with? Who did you see me with at your club?” That accusation was just uncalled for. She never was once disloyal to him. They are in a relationship, and she respected their monogamy. “That tall fellow that you were snogging right by the bar.” He glared. “Wait, so you weren’t sick?!” She shrieked, furious. “I was so worried that you weren’t feeling well, and I kept trying to reach out to you, and you were lying this whole time to me!” “So were you! You lied about being loyal, you took advantage of my kindness, and you were just being a fake, two-faced, manipulative bitch!” “Um, I don’t know how to say this, but you two need to leave.” Their waitress gestured towards the door. “That’s fine. We were just on our way out.” Jamie glared at her as the two stormed off outside. 

“You little bitch! Come back here!” Harold, a gruff man wearing a gray hoodie was chasing after a slightly younger Jessica. “No! You’ll never get me alive, asshole! Your kush was shit quality!” She squealed, running into her dormitory. There was no way that he would bother chasing her inside of a school building. Or so she mistakenly thought. The doors barged open behind her, as the university sophomore was frantically looking around for a place to hide. “You’re going to pay! You owe me at least 100 pounds for that, you little shit!” The dealer growled, looking around for her. The blonde could not quite make it to her room, but instead, she retreated into a stall in the woman’s room. There was no way that he would look for her in there. She needed to distract him. Jessica did not expect him to tail her all the way back to her building. Then again, anybody who just lost 100 pounds worth of weed should be pissed. Even if it was shitty weed. Keeping quiet, the blonde noticed a pair of feet, making their way out. That was her chance. Hearing a quiet shriek from whoever just unknowingly walked out to an angry, knife-wielding drug dealer, she used that opportunity to run out as well. Without any hesitation, she tackled Harold, knowing that he’d be too shocked from being seen by an unexpected witness. “Call 999! Don’t just stand there, you fucking twat!” She looked at the paralyzed Asian girl standing before them. “This psycho, he’s trying to murder you!” The blonde lied through her teeth. If she could disassociate herself from Harold, and try to make it look like he was coming after the other girl, then she could make herself appear uninvolved, if not even heroic, in this entire situation. 

The girl frantically pulled out her phone and punched in the numbers as Jessica took the knife and threw it at a faraway wall, where the blade planted itself firmly into the surface. Kicking Harold in the testicles repeatedly, Jessica was able to quickly overpower the grown man, and using her bra, she tied up his arms. Thank goodness she learned how to remove her bra from beneath her shirt. It was a great party trick, and in this case, provided her with a means to immobilize her attacker. “You’re not going to get away with this!” He glared at her. “Oh, can it, you fucking psychopath. You’re not going to hurt this poor, innocent girl!” The blonde stuffed his mouth with her socks. Moments later, the officers arrived to take Harold away. Seeing him in such a compromising position, arms wrapped with her bra, mouth stuffed with her socks, and being escorted out of the building, made the her laugh inside. She not only stole his product, but she was about to have him arrested. Knowing that she just ruined his life, it didn’t affect her that much. He was no longer of any use to her, anyways. There were better dealers who sold for less, and in this case, she got away with stealing what was left of his inventory before he was going to be carted off to prison for bringing a knife into a student dorm. He deserved everything that was about to happen to him. Oh, how she hoped that he was going to be prison-raped. “You totally saved me back there. Thank you. What’s your name?” The Asian girl approached her. “Jessica. Jessica Untry.” “I’m Farina Liu-” There was something about this girl that gave her a headache. She was too annoying. “Look, I never asked for your name or your life story.” Jessica began. But then she realized something. This girl could be of some use to her. She seemed too innocent, and easy to manipulate. “But you owe me. I just saved your life. Just keep that in mind. Anything I say I want, you’ll help me get if I ask. Understood?” “Okay…” Farina whimpered. 

Bad Together: Chapter 10

It was Sunday morning. Getting ready for brunch, Farina was getting changed in her apartment. Deciding on a white sun dress, which she felt was Sunday morning appropriate, she quickly made her way out the room and into her Uber. She was getting brunch with Liv, Patty, and Jessica at a nearby restaurant, Granary Square Brasserie. Walking into the interior, Farina could not help but feel like she was being transported to Paris; the interior boasted golden-yellow and amber colored seats, black walls with mirrored panels, ornate chandeliers draping along the ceiling, and a beautifully lit bar area. It was, befitting of its name, reminiscent of a bistro in France. Grabbing a booth in the back, Farina continued to dwell on Jamie. She desperately wanted to know what he was thinking about. “Good morning.” Patricia and Olivia arrived at the table. “Hi!” The Taiwanese girl beamed at them as they sat down and began to look over the menu. “Ooh, eggs benedict!” Patricia pointed out. “I love crab with bread, so I might be leaning towards the smoked salmon and crab open sandwich.” Olivia smiled. “What about you, Farina?” The two girls looked at her. But she was not really paying attention to the menu at all. Farina was so used to having attention given to her that for somebody she really liked to not even reciprocate her level of emotional investment, it was unnerving. “Farina?” Patty repeated. “Oh. Well the mozzarella di bufala looks really good too-” Of course it had to be the Italian dish. Exchanging eye rolls, Patricia and Olivia already knew what was going on. “What happened between you two?” Liv started. “Well, he’s just been ghosting me. It’s been really awkward-” “Sorry I’m late!” Pushing aside a nearby waiter, Jessica shouted in a completely unapologetic manner as she pulled up her chair and sat down in front of Olivia. “Uh….” The girls went silent. “I heard that somebody was ghosting you?” The blonde almost feigned a look of concern. In reality, it was actually a look of interest; she wanted to make sure that her plan was working.

A few mimosas in, the girls, namely Jessica, were getting a little rowdy. “Yeah, you should dump the asshole.” Jessica started. “You know, as much as I don’t really agree with you, I think you’re right.” Olivia joined in. “He’s not good for you.” “Hey, that’s not any of your business! If I am attracted to or care about him, I can’t help it. I really do love him.” Farina started. “And he clearly does not love you back enough.” Patricia groaned. “You know, when I was at the club on Friday night, I just remembered something. I was talking to Andy, and he mentioned to me that Jamie said that you were the best one on his list so far. I don’t know what that means, but I’m just putting it out there.” The blonde continued to fib. Olivia and Patricia gasped in disbelief, while Farina sat there, very offended and on the verge of tears. It was starting to make sense, even though she did not want it to be the case. “Wait, what kind of list?” She began, already dreading the answer she would hear. “I’m pretty sure that Jamie does this all the time. He likes to date pretty girls to make himself feel more masculine, then he spoils them, and then dumps them once they’re completely swooning over him. He’s a manchild, like you mentioned, so he uses other women to fend off his insecurities.” Farina sat there, stunned and hurt. So this whole time, he was exploiting her for her looks. He saw her as some attractive, put-together person who he can toy around with to make himself feel better about being short, immature, and whatever other inadequacies he was clearly feeling? “So I am just any other girl to him?” She tried her best to fight back the tears at this point. Having modeled, Farina has an issue with being objectified.

“Hey, has anyone ever told you that you are really pretty?” A 16 year old Farina was walking down the streets of Taipei, only to be stopped by an old man wearing a large trench coat who was eyeing her body. At this point, she had only begun her modeling career, but even then, these kinds of comments still unnerved her on a regular basis. Even then, the model knew that she was more than just a pretty face. Getting back into her apartment, the high schooler still felt on edge. Being at home was almost as bad as being outside. “Have you done your homework yet?” Her mother, a small, angry-looking Taiwanese woman glared at her. “No, mum.” She started. “Cheer practice ran late. And after that, I was busy with student council and I just got back from the photo shoot. I’ll get to it now, though.” This was a typical day for her in high school. She was in student council, honor roll, varsity cheer and dance, and began to add modeling to her schedule as well. “You better not fall behind. We want you to go to a good university.” Mrs. Liu retreated to the kitchen to heat up Farina’s dinner. “Hi, Farina.” Her father walked into the living room to greet her. “I just got back your grades from your teacher. You came dangerously close to getting a B in your AP World History exam. You need to be more careful. B’s won’t get you anywhere in life. Second place, it’s-” “First loser. Yes, I know, dad.” She rolled her eyes. At least she still got an A, despite how low of an A it was. But that did not matter to him. All he cared about was that she dominated in everything she attempted. If she was to get an A, it needed to be at least a solid 95% or higher for them not to be frustrated or disappointed. Sitting at her desk, eating her steamed vegetables and fish, she finally got to start on her Pre-Calculus Honors homework. It was a long night ahead of her, but sleep was a luxury for those who want to fall behind and go to a subpar college.

Farina was ingrained from a young age to always strive for more. There was a purpose for each and every thing she chose to do. The main reason why she chose to do both cheer and dance was for staying in shape when she was not studying, which would in turn help her appear more photogenic as a model. She chose to eat light proteins and vegetables, not only because they were healthier, but because they could be eaten faster, giving her less time wasted on eating, and more time to focus on academics. She could pig out and splurge all she wants in college, but she needed to first make sure that she went to a phenomenal school. Her parents have repeatedly stressed the need for their daughter to not only be smart and successful in academics, but to also stay beautiful. They did not really care if she attracted a husband or not. Whether or not she gets married, they just wanted to flaunt off their gorgeous and perfect daughter, and their only child. She would be so well-accomplished that she would not need to rely on a man’s income to live a lofty lifestyle. Mr. and Mrs. Liu knew that any sibling rivalry would only bring out the worst in their children, with the competition being almost unhealthy at the lengths they were going to raise Farina. Rather than have two children, they decided to raise one child, and push her to being impeccable at everything she did. By being multifaceted, their daughter could have limitless possibilities with her future. That was why even though Farina chose to study theatre in college, they still supported her, because they knew that she could fall back on other things should her acting career not work out, namely modeling, and if not that, she could also go back for graduate school to pursue another field or industry entirely. For Farina, she only worked hard so that when she grew up, she would not have to struggle nearly as much. Yet, the pain Jamie caused her, reduced her to less than the girl who suffered to enroll in Central Saint Martins.

Bad Together: Chapter 9

Pacing back and forth in his bedroom, Jamie was restless. He could not believe what he saw. She was using him. After everything that he did for her too. He thought that Farina was different. That she was not one of those shallow, materialistic, manipulative girls that was just trying to use him for his connections and money. He was wrong to think that. Those girls existed in Wall Street, and they can also be in London as well. There was no escaping it. The existence of crappy people is a global phenomenon. All of these two-faced, manipulative scumbags who are just trying to exploit others for their resources. The more these thoughts simmered in his mind, the more angry Jamie became. Scrolling through his photos on his phone, looking at their photos together, the club owner was still trying to convince himself that she was not a bad person. But it does not explain why she was with that guy the night before. Nothing really made sense to him anymore. “You really can’t trust anyone, huh?” He sighed to himself as Andy walked in. “What do you mean?” The taller man frowned at that statement. For him, Jamie would always be the one person he could trust and rely on. He’s the reason that his family is off the streets of Harlem. “You can trust people. You just have to be careful with who you bring into your heart. And I wouldn’t write her off as a cheater just yet. You don’t know her side of the story. You should at least talk to her, rather than continue to avoid her. “ Jamie was taken aback. Normally, Andy was a very passive person, so seeing him speak to Farina’s defense was a surprise “She was looking for you all night, but you just left without telling het. Yeah, she owes you an explanation for what she was doing with that guy, but you owe her an explanation of how it made you feel.” He was right. Grabbing his phone, Jamie began to text his still-girlfriend. 

Laying in bed, Farina was still recovering from her disappointment from the night before. According to Andy, who she bumped into upon arriving at the club, Jamie was not feeling well. It was strange. She even texted him, asking where he was or if she should get him medicine, but no response. “Are you okay?” “Just tell me if something is wrong.” “I’m really worried. Just please be okay.” “Please text me when you’re feeling better.” “I’m so sorry for acting so clingy. I just miss you.” That’s where the messages stopped for Farina. Feeling both concerned and confused, she sighed to herself as she put her phone away. If she was not going to see Jamie, there was really no point in staying at the club. Finding Jessica and Robert and saying goodbye to both of them, she retired to her apartment and called it a night. “I just hope that you’re okay.” She prayed quietly, still hoping that he would eventually message her back. Suddenly, her phone buzzed. “Hey. Sorry I didn’t get to see you at the club.” It read. He finally texted back. “It’s okay. Are you feeling okay?” “Yeah. Can we talk though? In person?” “Yeah. When would be a good time for you?” She sent back. “I have to talk with my investors tomorrow, so maybe Monday?” “Monday sounds good. Where?” “Let’s meet at Regency Cafe? Maybe around 2, just so that you’ll be done with your classes for the day?” He suggested. “Regency Cafe at 2 sounds perfect.” She sighed. It was good to hear that he was alive and okay. But at the same time, Farina knew that something was going on with Jamie. That lack of responsiveness, and hardly acknowledging her previous texts, and the need to talk, it was really suspicious. There was no way that they were just talking to catch up. Thinking about it made her nervous. What could he want to talk to her about?

Jamie and Andy exchanged looks as the club owner put his phone away. “Well, at least you’re going to confront her about being with that guy and everything else.” Andy pointed out. “Yeah. I just have to grow a pair and do it.” Jamie covered his face and rubbed his eyes. Everything about him was hoping that this talk would resolve everything. That it was all a misunderstanding. The one thing that was bothering him was the fact that Farina was comfortable with calling him a manchild to her friends. As a kid, Jamie was always made fun of for being short. It felt as if everything he ever accomplished, it meant nothing because others would comment on how he was not even 5’8”, and it destroyed him. Back in high school, he could not make the basketball team because he was shorter than everyone else who tried out. In middle school, he could not even ride any of the rides at Coney Island because he was under the height limit. In elementary school, they made him play the only male elf in the Christmas play since he was the only guy in the fifth grade who was still under 4 feet fall. It did not matter if he was valedictorian in high school and college, or that he made a slaying in Wall Street, or that he owned a successful business in London. Being referred to as short, it undermined every life accomplishment he ever achieved. Everything felt like it was taken away, especially because somebody who he loved so much said that. He could almost forgive her seemingly cheating on him, but making fun of his height, that was not okay, especially since he confided in her that he was constantly made fun of for being 5’6” his whole life. He wished that he had not seen those messages. But he was grateful to Jessica for showing him these out of concern and respect to him.

“Whoo! That was…. adequate.” Jessica got up from the mattress, sheets flying everything. Rummaging through her pants on the floor, she found a lighter and a joint. Placing the joint to her mouth, she lit the roll and inhaled. Next to her was a drunk and passed out Robert, completely undressed and at this point, snoring in the bed. He was on his way to Sweden to become a researcher in a month anyways, so she wanted to have her fun with him before he left. However, she was disappointed in his performance. Breathing in another puff of smoke, the blonde began gathering her clothes so that she could make her escape. Right as she arrived at the door, Jessica noticed Robert’s wallet on his dresser. Quietly, she snuck out a few notes into her pocket, and called it a night. He did not need the money anyways. He would be working in a lab and making plenty of bank. She reassured herself. Besides, she needed to be compensated for having to perform such a degrading act that was sleeping with him. He was not good at all, and was lucky to ever spend a night with her to begin with. As she made her way back to her apartment, Jessica continued to think about what else she needed to do to pry Jamie away from Farina. It would be easy to play both sides the way that she has been. Farina is so gullible. The fact that she thought Jessica saw her as a friend was laughable. She simply was using the Taiwanese girl to further her own agenda. Because they associate the Jessica as a friend of Farina’s, others don’t really see her as a scumbag or degenerate, making it easier for the blonde to draw in and exploit these unassuming morons. “Oh crap, I need to see Brad before I forget.” She reminded herself. Brad was her cocaine dealer. She was running low on her stash and needed more to get through the week. Admiring her stolen money, Jessica was ready to part with it.

Bad Together: Chapter 8

It was halfway through the term, and Farina and Jessica were sitting together, studying for their anthropology exam. “Ugh, this is boring. I’m going to the toilet. I’ll be right back.” Farina sighed, getting up. Having to read about humanity was boring for her. But it was a required part of her curriculum, so she had to take the course. As the Taiwanese girl walked off, the blonde noticed another opportunity to set her plans into motion: Farina left her phone on the table. Picking it up, she quickly logged into SnapChat. “OMG. Jamie has such a small dick.” “Ew, I wouldn’t normally go for white dudes.” “He’s a manchild. I’m just using him for the free club admission.” Those messages should do it. She smirked to herself.  Using Farina’s phone, she just sent those messages to herself to screenshot. Deleting and re-downloading the app from Farina’s phone to remove any other trace of her misdeeds, Jessica quietly placed the phone back on the table, and went back to “studying”, or more accurately, finding other potential sugar daddies on Tinder. As a fibres student, her career in fashion would need a huge financial investment to take off. But more so than that, it would be free drug money, and plenty of it. How could she say no to that? Any chance she had to pay for more, she would take. “Read anything fun when I was away?” Farina eventually came back to sitting with her. “Nope. Unless you call the Origins of Human Diversity fun.” She groaned. “That’s the first chapter. We’ve been here for like four hours. What the bloody hell have you been doing?!” The model frowned. “Tindering. Don’t judge me, you skinny bitch. Not everyone can get a man like you.” She rolled her eyes. “Speaking, how are you two?” “Well, after exams are over, I’m going to go on another date with him.” She smiled shyly. Being around Jamie made her feel liberated from all of her troubles. 

Exams were finally over, and Farina was in her apartment with Liv and Patty; the Taiwanese girl was getting ready to go to Raise, while her friends were just there, talking to her before she headed out with Jess. “How do I look?” She came out of the bathroom, sporting a black one shoulder shift dress. “Like a cheap whore.” Liv looked at her blankly. “Liv, shut up. She looks fine. She’s going clubbing, not to church! Live a little!” Patty rolled her eyes, approving of Farina’s outfit. “Thank you, Patty.” Farina giggled, as she started collecting her things. Meanwhile, Jessica was already at the club. “Yoohoo!” She waved at Georgio, who groaned. “What do you want?” He sighed, crossing his arms. “I need you to let me and my friend in.” She gestured to the young man next to her. He was a tall 23 year old brunette from Wales named Robert. The Welshman fancied Farina, and was told by she was into him by none other than Jessica. “Here, stay by the door. I’m going to go fetch us some drinks.” Jessica instructed him. “Sure. Just tell me when she’s here. I want to finally get some of that fine lass in my life.” He smirked. “Of course.” She laughed, walking through the crowd and towards Jamie’s office. “Hey, where do you think you’re- oh god, what the fuck do you want?” Andy glared at her. She was lucky that she was friends with Farina, or else he would have ejected her in a heartbeat. “I’m just here to give my thanks to your boss for being so generous as to letting me in.” She laughed jeeringly as she walked past him. Despite letting her through, Andy could not shake the feeling that Jessica was up to no good. He had only met her two times, but between both encounters, the young woman proved to be an inherent troublemaker. It was as if she was only programmed to cause drama unnecessarily. 

“Hello, Jamie!” Jessica smiled toothily as she sat down in front of the club owner. “Oh, hey. Where’s Farina?” He looked past her excitedly. “Oh, she’s not here yet. But I heard that she’s… I’m so sorry to say this, but I care a lot about you as a person, and I can’t just stand to see you being manipulated and used like this.” She quickly put on the most convincing frown that she could; given how good of a liar and actress Jessica was, one would have only assumed that she too had a background in theatre. “What do you mean?” Jamie looked at her in partial concern and doubt. “She sent me these on SnapChat when I was asking about how she felt about you.” She offered him her phone. Scrolling through the messages, scanning their contents in disbelief, Jamie sat there, baffled and more importantly, hurt. How could she say that she was using him so freely? Or that he was a mindchild? Or that he had a microdick? Did he really have it all wrong with her? Handing back the phone, he was horrified. The Italian American assumed that Farina was not a materialistic and shallow person, but maybe he was wrong. How could he have been so off in reading her? “I’m so so sorry to have to be the one to tell you this. I had to, though. I couldn’t bear to see you hurt like this.” The blonde continued, obviously not feeling any remorse about what she was about to do or say. “Besides, I’m sure she’s cheating on you. She brought her side squeeze to the club.” “What?” This was way too many surprises for one night. Or even a lifetime. To think that Farina would be that horrible of a person to flaunt off her affair in his club. That was too much. “Where is she?” He growled angrily, getting up. “She should be outside.” Jessica eyed her texts; Farina had arrived in the club about 5 minutes ago. And she inevitably had to go through the front door, where she had purposely stationed Robert.

“Oh, hi, Robert!” Farina smiled in surprise as the older male approached her. He was her RA freshman year, and was a decently close friend because of that. “Hey, Farina.” The male chuckled, approaching her. He was getting a little too close for her liking, but the Taiwanese model assumed it was because of how loud and cramped the club was. If they were going to have an even somewhat audible conversation, they would need to do it within their personal space. While the two continued to talk, Jamie stood there, stunned speechless. From where he was standing, it looked like Robert and Farina was intimately interacting with one another. The nerve of her. He still did not want to believe that she was cheating on him, but it was hard to ignore the obvious sight in front of him. Grabbing out his phone, he decided to send her a text, just to see how she’d react. “So, I heard that-” Before Robert could finish his sentence, Farina grabbed her phone, feeling it buzzing from her bag. “Hey, where are you?” “Oh, sorry, Robert, I need to go!” She quickly gave him a hug before she ran off. “What the fuck?!” The brunette held up his arms, feeling cheated out of what Jessica promised him. Between not getting his drink and not getting his girl, he felt like this was a waste of his time. He decided to storm out angrily. Witnessing that, Jamie shook his head. It just did not look good. He did not know if he could even trust Farina anymore. This was bad. Yeah, they had not been dating for long, but he felt like she was somebody he could have spent the rest of his life with; her seemingly kind heart and almost perfect demeanor, it was starting to peel away to reveal the materialistic, egomaniacal, unfaithful, judgmental bitch that she actually was. But as of now, they were still together. So that made her his materialistic, egomaniacal, unfaithful, judgmental problem.