The Legend of Saga Chapter 2: His First Friend

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I could hear the humdrum of the cafe behind me as I pulled the last sponge cake out of the oven. I passed it to Jason for him to decorate. Okay, finally done for the day. Now if I can just- "Blair!" Sh*t. Fleur sprinted up to me from out of nowhere, eyes wide and sweat rolling down in rivers. "We are so short-staffed right now since Ashley broke her wrist yesterday while breaking Emile's nose! The manager told me that she'd pay you for four hours if you just stay for two more. Please? The old ladies are getting crabby and snapping at me so I need some backup!" She said, shaking my shoulders roughly by the end of her monologue.

I clenched my jaw, sighing heavily. I nodded, but before she could pull me away, I pulled out my phone and motioned her away. She made an "o" with her mouth in understanding and went off to tell the manager. I dialled the most called number in my list, heart pounding in trepidation. A click soon sounded as he picked up. "Evander? I'm sorry but Mommy's going to be late tonight again. I know I promised that tonight we would finally go out to dinner but my co-workers need me. Especially Aunty Fleur, she had to beg me. I swear on my future grave that we'll go out next week." Silence answered from the other side of the phone. "Are you mad, Ev?"

"It's okay, I'm not mad, Mommy. If we're not going to dinner, can I have a friend over? He's in my class and is really nice! He's the first person to talk to me all year! Even the teacher doesn't say much, but it's okay. I still have you and now I may even have my first friend!" He said and I put my hand over my mouth, trying to stifle any stray noises.

"That's great, baby!" I said, my voice wavering. "Have any friends over whenever you want. Just make sure I can meet them soon! And remember, if anyone tells you to smoke this or eat this, we say…" I trailed off. I could practically feel the prideful glow from his smile through the phone as he responded. "We say 'My Daddy'll bust your face if you try to sell me anything again!' You still haven't told me what that means Mommy, but if you said it it's probably something nice." Oh, that's my little airheaded baby. Such a sweetie but so tragically gullible and trusting… It makes him that much cuter though.

"Okay, Mommy has to hang up and get back to work. Tell Ms. Bennett that I'll be late, please. There's dinner I prepared earlier in the fridge. I swear I'll be home by 10 at the latest, so you better be in bed by then or you'll be in trouble, mister. Love you baby." He said he loved me back then I hung up.

Despite the fact that I told him to say that his father would beat them up, which Ferris definitely would, I haven't been in contact with him since the night I left. As far as I'm concerned, he doesn't even know that he has a kid. And I would do anything to keep it that way, even after nearly seven years now. He's probably still in that bar, picking up girls whenever he gets lonely and punching the closest person out whenever he gets angry. Every time I think about that it absolves the guilt if only just for a moment.

"Oi, Blair! Take table seven for me please!" Fleur called out from the doorway. I took a deep breath and put on my service smile before grabbing a plate and heading out.

_(┐「ε:)_♡ And a skip~

"If you're going to a black tie charity banquet, I would rather you go with a simple cocktail dress rather than an LBD. Let me see here… Ah! The plum would go perfectly with these shoes! And it's from the Michelle Light Collection, you've been holding out on me!" I said, holding up the dress in triumph.

Mrs. Flórez tilted her head and debated on the combination. She nodded after a moment and then picked up her inconspicuous pearl necklace. "Would the pearls go with it?" I pondered, then shook my head. "If your rival is going to be there like you said, you should go simple with the dress and shoes, but your necklace and ring will be statement pieces. Use your matching ruby set. Yes, the one with the inlaid diamonds, It shows that while you're keeping it classy and here to donate, you're still a rich socialite with a better background than her. Oh, and use your black Ares bag." I put all of the items on the large divan in the centre of her closet. Gesturing to the vanity, I said, "Sit down so I can fix up your hair and makeup, Mrs. Flórez. You're already running late so I'll do it fast and free of charge."

As I pulled her hair into a wavy loose chignon, Mrs. Flórez peered at me through the mirror. "It's already 8:00 p.m. on a Friday night, someone as young as you shouldn't be working this late and instead be socialising," she smirked, "or dating." I groaned at her record-like dialogue. "You say that every time I come here, Mrs. Flórez. And like each time. I'm going to reply by saying that I already have my hands full with Evander, the PTA, the pastry chef job, and being a personal stylist for all you rich ladies up here in Vermillion Terrace. Until I get my big break and save up enough money to finally open up a shop and produce my designs, I'm going to be stuck single and busy."

She tutted in disapproval. "You know, my Emory has been doing well for himself lately. A single, handsome young man who's great with kids and in the fashion industry as well. Not to mention, he's rich and has me as his mother, so how much better can you get?" I snorted at her attempt to sell her son to me yet again. "I'm sorry, but he's hardly considered young now at 34. That's eight years older than me. Old guys like him are so not attractive. By the time I'll be hitting my prime, he'll be dead!" That's a big lie. Older men are totally my type. That's why I dated Ferris who is a full five years older. Agh! I have to stop thinking about him randomly like this!

She gave me a dubious look. Before she could open her mouth again, I said, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Flórez, but I'll be doing your makeup now so I can't have you moving your face." I said in the most respectful tone possible. She scowled at me, acknowledging my trick, but complied anyway. A couple of minutes of silence passed, she lost in her thoughts and me concentrated on my task. "Mmmhmm, and done! You're all set Mrs. Flórez! Tell Mr. Flórez I said hello. Now you really have to get going because you have around 15 minutes left until the event starts. You're lucky that Vermillion Terrace is close to the banquet hall. Make sure your driver doesn't get arrested for speeding!"

Mrs. Flórez scrambled out of the door, her demeanour completely opposite of that of a normal socialite's. "Thank you so much, dear! Give Evander a hug for me! Allison, make sure to escort her out and give her the payment! Honey, if you don't get out here right now I will drag you to the car myself…!" She screamed, voice fading away down the hall. Allison, the head maid, was watching her helplessly. After the front door slammed shut and the sound of tire screeching had sounded, she turned to me with a smile. "We've already arranged for a taxi to help you home, Ms. Clarielle. And don't worry, it's already been paid for. It's the least we could do for calling you in so late. Now, if you please."

I exited the mansion, hopping into the back of the taxi. It drove off into the night, stars shrouded by the city lights. Luckily the taxi fare around here was relatively cheap or else I would be in trouble. I barely had enough money to stay in a decent apartment and get Evander into a prestigious school, so getting a car was out of the question. Buses run routes throughout all corners of the city and, if necessary, Fleur can take me somewhere if she's off work. I think the most stressful thing about this is how Evander is living.

I feel horrible to have to cancel plans and stay out late, but I want him to be able to grow up smart and get connections early on. Who knows what can happen to me in a short instant? I hope he'll be able to have someone to rely on besides the middle-aged couple who lives next to us. But it seems I've underestimated the snootiness of rich kids because all they do is tease him for being worse off than they are. I tilted my head back and sighed. The ride passed by quickly, the noise of the city around the cab lightly vibrating the walls. The music of clubs, the laughter of girls out late, honking of angry drivers, the engine purring quietly underneath its hood. I took it all in as if it was my last time hearing it.
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