It was late at night, and the staff at Raise were scrambling to set everything up. “Hey, Jamie, I just finished placing down all of the chairs and the outside crowd dividers.” Georgio reported as he walked into the upstairs office. “Awesome! Thanks, man.” Jamie grinned. “No problem. Also, is everything okay with you and Farina?” The bouncer looked at him, curiously. “Yeah. Why do you ask?” “You seem a lot happier. I think she’s been great thing for you, man. You seem a lot less tense these days. It’s a good look on you.” “Thanks.” Jamie smirked as Georgio walked back to his post. It felt encouraging to hear that dating Farina has had so many visibly positive effects on him and the way he carried himself. “You’ve definitely been in better spirits these days.” Andy added, looking up from his desk. “I mean, you’ve been supportive of us since the beginning.” Jamie pointed out. Andy approved of Farina since he first met her, citing her to be polite, responsible, ambitious, and hardworking. She was an all-around likable human being. “I do question some of people she surrounds herself with, like that Jessica girl, but she herself, she’s not bad news. She’s a good person with her head on straight. I think she’s exactly what you need right now. Somebody who will make you feel good about yourself.” He continued, encouragingly. “Thanks, man. You know, I wouldn’t have dated her if you said she was a bitch. I trust you that much. And now we can see why. You were right about her.” Jamie smiled. It was a relief to know that Farina was somebody who could elicit the approval of so many people whose opinions he cared deeply about.
“So you guys spent the weekend together?!” Olivia and Patricia gasped. They, along with Jessica, were with Farina, and were supposed to be studying for their upcoming midterm, but instead were sidetracked by the aspiring actress’s holiday activities. “Wait, and you guys stayed at a 5-star hotel?! In a SUITE?!” Jessica especially could not believe what she was hearing. “Yup.” Farina nodded her head timidly. “Wait, how much did you pay?!” The frequent club-goer inquired. “I… don’t know actually. He insisted on paying for everything. Was being a little immature about it too. Such a manchild.” She shrugged. “Wow, such a good boyfriend!” Olivia smiled. “Yeah! That’s so sweet of him to pay for your hotel room.” Patricia added. “Oh, well, he also paid for everything on the trip. It was really awkward, because I tried to pay, but he would not let me.” She sighed. The last thing she wanted to be seen as was a gold digger, especially when she was more than capable of paying for things on her own, or rather, with her own parents’ money. She just felt bad knowing that Jamie was using his own hard-earned wages to fund their trip. “I think that you’re not being appreciative enough. You should really be having him treat you to everything. Or else he’s not a really caring boyfriend.” Jessica stated, much to the visible disagreement of Patricia and Olivia. “I don’t know about Jess, but I think you should go with your gut, Farina.” Olivia started. “Oh, shush, Liv. How many boyfriends have you had? Zero. How many has Patty had? Zero. How many have I had? Ten in the past four years. If anyone knows anything about dating, it’s me. Listen to me, and learn from my mistakes, Farina.” Jessica continued. “Let him treat you to everything. Let him spoil you, and let him treat you like the princess you rightfully are. Don’t even feel bad about it. He’s serenading you and letting you know how much you mean to him.” Despite the partial sense in Jessica’s logic, Farina could not help but feel bad. Patricia and Olivia exchanged skeptical looks, but decided it was better that Farina decided for herself what she wanted to do with her life.
“Hey, come back here, you little bitch!” A large man wearing a gray hoodie brandished a knife at an 18 year-old Farina who was just walking out of the girl’s bathroom. “What the fuck-” Before she could finish her sentence, the man continued to scream while swinging the knife. He was clearly under the influence of something, from the glossed over look in his eyes. Paralyzed for a second, Farina only snapped back into motion upon seeing a dirty-blonde female tackling the man over. “Call 999! Don’t just stand there, you fucking twat! This psycho, he’s trying to murder you!” She barked, holding down his hand with the knife in it as Farina frantically yanked out her phone and punched in the number. The moments that followed were a blur. The man was being escorted out of their dormitory, while the blonde was sitting on the stairs outside, talking to her. “You totally saved me back there. Thank you. What’s your name?” “Jessica. Jessica Untry.” “I’m Farina Liu-” “Look, I never asked for your name or your life story. But you owe me. I just saved your life. Just keep that in mind. Anything I say I want, you’ll help me get it if I ask. Understood?” She glared at the Taiwanese girl. “Okay…” She could not help but still feel indebted to the blonde, despite her aggressive behavior. A part of her wanted to believe that Jessica was a good person inherently, just by the fact that she saved her life voluntarily. A horrible, self-centered person would never try to sacrifice themselves like that. It was enough for Farina to openly welcome Jessica into her circle of friends. Even though Olivia and Patricia do not always approve of Jessica’s preferences or methods, Farina still saw the blonde as a close friend for everything that she has done for her.
Walking back to her apartment, Jessica pulled out a joint and began to huff the smoke. Being high, it was a feeling of liberation for her. She did not have to think about student debts or debts from her hobbies and interests. She had accumulated a lot of debts from those in particular. She should not even have the roll that was in her hand. But she stole it from Raise the last time she went. Taking another puff, she laughed to herself. Farina was being such a whiny little cunt, in her eyes. She should not be complaining. She’s dating a man who owns a nightclub. He could get her in anytime he or she wanted to. What she would do to have somebody like that in her life. All of the free trips she could take to the bar, and all of the connections she could make, talking to the dealers and promising them free admission in exchange for their product. Thinking to herself, she was starting to weigh the possibilities of getting into Jamie’s good graces. But to get herself in with his benefits, she would need to get close to him. And she would need to be his number one beneficiary. Not Farina. Mulling over the things that Farina complained about, the immaturity, the focus on money, the fear of being seen as a gold digger, the fibres student started to weave together a ploy to get hooked for the rest of her life. This could be her in to never have to pay for anything ever again. Who cares about Farina, anyways. She seemed to be liked by a ton of boys, even though the blonde personally thought that she looked like a skinny midget Bratz doll. Seemed to be liked. She reminded herself. Pulling out her phone, she started scrolling through FaceBook, looking at her friends. Her male friends. She was certain that at least one of them liked Farina. This could be it. The first step to becoming Jamie’s number one woman. Free drugs and alcohol and VIP club admissions for the rest of her life? Anyone would expend their friendship for that. Or at least she would.