It's 3am and CeCe, sat at her desk in front of the computer that should have been upgraded 4 years ago. It still got an internet connection but only while waiting a minute before a page loaded. Essentially, that was still a miracle given it's age and the amount of viruses it had already endured. Her chubby, short fingers bounced along the keyboard as she struggled with rewriting her dating profile. This was the fourth time in the past month. The response to her ad was hopelessly lacking in response aside from a cross dresser, a scorned woman of 5 divorces and 8 penis pictures all adorning top hats and a Sharpie'd smiley faces.
“What is going to get their attention?,” she thought to herself. While wearing very revealing lingerie and stiletto’s while laying in a provocative fashion across her bed, crossed her mind – she just couldn't go through with it. At that moment, her kitty brushed her leg with his tail meowing for food.
“Oh Teejay, you are always hungry.” His nearly 20 pound, black, orange frame jumped up onto her lap and on to the keyboard.
“What do you think you're doing? Typical man!” She giggled while walking over to the cupboard to grab him his favourite rice and turkey can of food. While she was up, she decided to grab a bag of chips for herself.
“Do you know what I should write Teejay?”
“That's what I thought.”
CeCe reluctantly sat back at her keyboard and stared at the screen until deciding on the following:
About me: I enjoy swinging from chandeliers and fighting crime in my fiercely white spandex. My ass looks like a Safeway bag full of marbles but they keep me level when bucking on mechanical horses and bungee jumping from flag poles. My super power is grilling bacon. Mmm... bacon. In my spare time, I will perform blackflips down the freeway while humming the theme to Rocky, Multi-tasking is my middle name... really. My parents are incredibly organized. I have a cat name Tom Jones because he likes to sing and wear sequence jackets. I'm looking for a conscious man with a pulse. Octopuses and unicorns need not apply.
“What do you think of that Mr. Teejay? Do you think that will work?”
“I think so, too. I also think it's time for bed.”
A shrill briiing wakes CeCe from a very bizarre dream of being chased by an octopus with a top hat and a unicorn wearing a sequence jacket. Briiing rings the phone again. Looking over at the clock it was 9:40 a.m. “Who's calling me now?” She thought. It was Tuesday, but she had really nowhere to go. Briiing. CeCe rolls herself over to the other side of the bed and thumps her head on the nightstand. “Ouch!” She grabs the phone now very irritated.
“That's me,” she barks.
“Did you forget about our appointment again?”
"Pardon? What day is..." In mid-sentence the lightbulb goes on. Her appointment with the Community Support Worker was for 10 minutes ago. "Of course, I didn't forget, I'm just running late."
"Really because we can reschedule. Sounds like you just woke up."
"No, it's just the meds. Been feeling a bit groggy. I'll be right there." CeCe hung up the phone and rushed out of bed quickly flipping clothes out of the hamper trying to find a pair of jeans that at the very least, appeared clean. She didn't want to appear neither irresponsible or dirty when she's been trying to get assistance to go back to school. "There they are!" She pulled on her favourite jeans that gave her the least amount of muffin top but hung just above her ankles looking like she was ready for a flood. She was already wearing her favourite shirt. A Pantera concert tank from their 2002 show. A shower wasn't feasible due to her tardiness so she slapped on a bunch deoderant and sprayed some body spray that said "coconut" on the bottle but was blue in colour and smelled like a bowl of fruit that was sitting in the sun for a few days. It being summer, she would be wearing her favourite flip flops. They were also her favourite flip flops in fall, winter and spring, too as she hated wearing socks. The inseam would feel weird against her toes. It would be all that she could think about and drive her crazy. So unless there was a foot of snow outside, socks and shoes were not happening.
Grabbing a brush, CeCe was a little shocked by her own reflection. Her dry, red curly hair looked about eight feet wide. She looked like Ronald McDonald had a party with 8000 volts of electricity. She didn't have time for a show and hair straightening so a scrunchy and a lot of gel had to do.
Missing this meeting wasn't an option. Her Support Worker was helping her fill out an application for funding to go to fashion design school. Not having a great sense of fashion sense for herself, being free to create styles that she could wear and feel comfortable in was incredibly appealing. The idea she built up in her mind of the excitement and glamour of the industry drew her in even more. Running out the door, she quickly grabbed her Louise Vuitton knock-off purse, locked the door of her second floor apartment and speed walked awkwardly to the coffee shop, two blocks away.
"I'm over here," waved Victoria.
"Oh ok," CeCe smiled and walked over. She thought Victoria was beautiful with her long, thick, shiny black wavy hair to her waist, olive skin and big brown eyes. She wondered if her lashes were real. Her lips were full with high cheek bones and a vuluptuos, curvy figure. Victoria was her Community Support worker who dealt with adults with mental illness. She didn't really need the job as her husband of two years worked as a plastic surgeon. Victoria wanted to feel like she was still contributing to the household and feel like she was helping the community,
"Oh my, you look like you could use a pedicure," Victoria winked and giggled down at CeCe's feet.
"I could use a lot of things," CeCe smirked as she almost visably drooled over Victoria's beautiful new white Armani pant suit and Gucci sunglasses.
"So how are you doing, CeCe? Have you worked on that application for school at all?"
"Yes, but I need a portfolio and have not been able to put one together, yet."
"Are you sure this is what you want to do? I mean, it's going to be very challenging for you to fullfill those prerequisites."
CeCe started to feel her blood pressure rise.
"How have you been feeling with the new medications?"
"Just fine," Ce Ce responded sternly.
"You seem a little more quiet than usual. Is everything okay?" Victoria looks down and stirs her non-fat latte.
"No thank-you. I'm cutting back on caffeine."
"Well, CeCe, I know you are very creative, but maybe applying your imagination and skills into developing fashion as a hobby. There are other far less stressful programs out there."
CeCe was feeling her cheeks and forehead flush with frusteration.
"What do you suggest I do then?" CeCe barks back.
"I hear that you are getting upset. I know how much you want this and I'm absolutely not here to discourage you. Have you thought about maybe volunteering at a charity thrift store? That could get you some merchendising experience and working with fashion. Albeit second hand but it's still could be helpful."
"I am volunteering at a charity thrift store. Have been for the past 6 months. I've told you this before," CeCe said completely stoned face. She was ready to leave.
"Oh. Oh, yes, right. Ok. Umm. Well, if you want me to submit your application for funding approval, you will need to get it in to me by next week as I'll be going on a leave of absence."
"You're leaving?" CeCe looked a little dumbfounded. And hurt.
"Oh right. I'm leaving. Well, not really leaving," Victoria snickered totally oblivious."Our family bought a beautiful home in France and I'm heading there to make things a little more... you know.. homey. I should be back in two months. Latest four."
"Or never?" CeCe chimed back.
"I don't want to say never, but there's always that possibility. I guess we'll have to see won't we? It's really exciting isn't it? I'm just so nervous though," Victoria says beaming with her eyes almost slightly glazed over envisioning her new beautiful home with a beautiful garden and a kidney shaped pool.
"Victoria, can I ask you something? Like as in I'm being really serious here."
"Of course. You can ask me anything. What's up?"
"Do you think I'm too ugly or nerdy to be in fashion?"
"Absolutely not. There's a lot of eccentric, funny looking people in that industry. You are no worse than any of them."
CeCe was slightly taken back by that answer. "Oh great, she thinks I'm funny looking now. Serves me right for asking, I guess."
"Anyway, don't worry about what you look like and don't worry about me leaving as there will be another lady filling my place who is really nice. Not to mention, you have that friend of yours to keep you company, still, right? What's his name? Jim?"
"Right, Jon. How is he doing?"
"He's ok, I guess. He just had a medication change so he's tired a lot." Jon was CeCe's best friend since grade 8. When Jon's voice cracked, it never quite made it to the other side. One day when other kids started to razz him for it, Jon decided to call it quits and just leave. CeCe followed Jon out the room yelling, "You're all a bunch of jerks!" while flipping everyone the finger. Unfortunately, choir was already pretty low on the food chain for the "cool crowd". However, they soon made friends with Josie, the girl who only wore skirts to school yet had horrible psoriasis on her legs and Dirk. The kid that was caught practically wrist deep picking a winner in grade three. Ever since hes been called "Gold Digger" and everyone still refuses to shake his hand.
"Well, that should pass soon. He'll adjust. Are you both dating yet or just still friends?" Victoria winked and giggled.
"Just friends. We will always be - JUST FRIENDS." CeCe said loudly while letting out a huge sigh.
"He's quite tall isn't he? Does he still have the long hair?"
CeCe nodded. Now she knows Victoria was just making small talk. "Is your husband tall?"
"No. He's my height. He's also bald." Victoria laughed. "But he's cute. He's got huge dark, brown eyes. His best quality is the fact that he can practically read my mind."
"He sounds like an alien. I wonder if she gets probed every night," CeCe thought to herself while holding back the laughter.
"Anyway, I should probably get going now. You need to finish that application and get it to me as soon as possible. Just remember, it's not too late to pick something a little less intense. You are a smart girl but being bi-polar is sometimes hard to stabalize. You don't want any undo stress to exasberate that."
CeCe nodded. "Same time next week?"
"Absolutely," Victoria said while pulling out her iPad to schedule her appointment time in then rushing out the door to her new Bentley. "Good luck!"
CeCe sat there feeling a little more defeated and depressed than before. She decided to go visit Jon at the mall. He worked at a CD and DVD store. She always wanted his job but since everything is being downloaded now, the store has downsized and had to make some staff cuts. Jon works twice a week for a few hours unpacking and breaking down boxes as shipments come in. They keep him on mostly for charity purposes. He can make a few extra dollars a month and feel slightly productive. He doesn't function very well with customers on a friendly, social level, so he is quite content with being in the back room. Being on disability doesn't allow him to have any extra left over. At least with this income he was able to save for the computer he wanted - So he could download music and movies. CeCe left the coffee shop and headed over to the bus stop that went to the mall.
"Well hello there sweet CeCe! How are you, today?", smiles Luis, the bus driver as he opened the doors and watched CeCe stepped on to the bus and she flashed her bus pass. CeCe giggled and blushed as she walked over to a seat at the front so she could talk to him. Luis was a very large, tall man and wore shorts all year round. Mostly out of neccessity as the uniform issued pants were too short and tight. The sleeve of his shirt was always rolled up. He was one of the few people left on this earth (at least, that's what CeCe figured) that still purposely wore a handlebar moustache. His cheeks were always rosey and his eyebrows wiley but his eyes were a light, blue and twinkled.