The next day, Jess dropped by. Maya looked out the back and saw that the tall storm fence was gone. In its place was a midget fence, only one foot tall. Maya stepped out onto her back porch in amazement at the enterprising idiocy of her neighbor. The man must have worked through the night on his ridiculous project.
Jess joined her on the back porch, but didn’t see the tiny fence. Instead, she saw an apple pie with a note that read, “Short fences make good neighbors.”
Not bothering to worry about what that might mean, Jess said, “I like pie!” and picked it up and returned to the kitchen, where Nikki was reading a newsfeed on her tablet.
Maya followed Jess. “Help yourself.”
Jess pulled plates and forks from the cupboard and cut three pieces of pie. Maya lit a Lucky.
“How is Lito?” asked Jess.
“You still have a thing for Lito?” asked Nikki.
“No,” said Jess. “I didn’t even have a thing for Lito when we were together. And, anyway, I have a man that I love.”
“Yeah, right,” said Maya, poking her slice of pie with her fork, not eating. “The married man?”
“Lito was nice enough,” said Jess, “and has those great abs, but it was just a casual thing. I can still ask about him, though.”
“Lito is Lito,” Maya answered with a shrug. “But, I need to get out of this gig with him. I need a change of career that doesn’t have anything to do with computers.”
“You should do tattoos,” said Nikki. “You’re a great artist.”
“Yeah right,” said Maya. “I’ve got no capital, no business experience.”
“Details,” said Nikki. “We can get those things. My mom used to say, ‘Do what you love, and everything else will fall into place.’ I have my job, so the rent’s paid.”
“You are always so optimistic,” said Maya. “Always the glass is half full. I am more the glass half-empty kind of girl. And, by the way, there’s a chance that the water is contaminated.”
“Why debate if it’s half full or not?” asked Jess. “Why not just go fill the glass? There’s a tap right over there.”
Maya rolled her eyes. “That’s not what the saying means, you ditz.”
“It should mean that. The question means ‘do you pretend everything is fine or do you sit around complaining.’ Those aren’t the only two options. You can also go out there and make things better. If you don’t like something, fix it!”
“Like when you decided your chest was too flat and you went and got implants?” Maya said sourly.
“Maya!” scolded Nikki. “That’s rude.”
“No, she’s exactly right,” said Jess. “Life is short. I don’t have time to sit around thinking I don’t look like how I want to look.”
“But your boobs are still fake,” said Maya.
“Fake?” Jess adjusted her shirt. “I hope not! I paid good money for these!”
(c) copyright 2016, Eric Maywar
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Follow Nikki’s story here.
Follow the story of the Other Woman in Love here.