This is more from my top secret project. It's what happens right after what I posted last time.
Jazz was surprised it was still living.
The strange man and woman confronted Boris and Manuel.
“I ordered FRIED trout, and THIS is what I get!” The woman with the scratchy voice said.
Jazz noticed, almost all of a sudden, what she didn’t notice before. Both the woman and the man had strange eye-colors.
They were a murky pinkish color-though neither the man nor woman was albino.
Manuel put up his hands in surrender and looked back and forth at the couple and Uncle Boris, spatula still tightly grasped.
“You order fried fish. I cook it. I no serve live meat. Promise.”
Uncle Boris crossed his arms.
The scratchy-voiced woman smiled with her thin lips.
The man with the wheezing laugh spoke up in a surprisingly soprano voice for his size.
It was as high as a ten-year old girl’s voice and no less squeaky than a twelve year old boy’s.
“Well obviously something went wrong!” Uncle Boris’s bald head turned a vivid shade of red as it always did when he was upset about something.
He reminded Jazz of an ice cream Sunday with a giant cherry on top.
Manuel looked down at his spatula helplessly.
Jazz felt a pang of guilt. She couldn’t let him get fired. He had only started a couple of weeks ago. And like Jazz and her mom-she could tell he needed the money.
She said something she would instantly regret two second after it came out of her mouth, unbidden.
“I did it!”
“What?” The scratchy-voiced lady, high-voiced man, Manuel, and Uncle Boris asked all at once. Their voices clanging together like ill-matched symbols.
“What?” The lady asked again. “What did you say girl?”
“I.....I did it.....” Jazz vaguely mumbled something about a practical joke, much to her own horror.
Uncle Boris’s head looked much more like a beat now than a cherry.
Manuel looked confused. Jazz stared at her reflection on the shiny counter. Uncle Boris looked furious. The strange couple looked shocked.
Boris took a deep breath, almost like he was pretending to take a drag on one of his enormous cigars.
‘My office. NOW!” He bellowed.
Jazz followed Uncle Boris to his closet-office in the back.
“Seat.” Boris said, pointing to one of the plastic chairs crammed up against the wall.
It was as if he was so disgusted with her that he didn’t even want to waist a full sentence on her.
She took the chair that was farthest away from the desk. Which wasn’t very far at all, this being a closet-office.
“Explain.” He mumbled while lighting a cigar.
“I just-I....it was just a prank...I didn’t mean....”
Uncle Boris blew out a large puff of smoke.
“I did not hire you, niece, to play pranks on people. I hired you to work as a bus-boy. I should have known this would happen! After all, my sister is a flake. Why should I expect her offspring to be any different.....?”
He was talking to himself more than to Jazz.
She winced, not sure how to respond.
“I’m....sorry?” She hoped that was the right thing to say.
She was utterly and entirely wrong.
“Sorry doesn’t cut it kid. I had adults applying for your job just the other day, and I think that they would not play around.”
Jazz’s eyes darted around the room. These words didn’t bode well for her.
Uncle Boris laughed without smiling.
“Don’t ya understand, kid? It translates into ‘Sayonara, Bye-Bye, you’re fired. Case Closed. Out of my office. See you at Christmas.’”
Uncle Boris laughed his mirthless laugh again and shoved Jazz out of the office.
She should have been sad. She should have gone back and apologized profusely. She should have begged-gotten on her knees, told Boris how great of boss he was. Instead...she was enraged.
She stormed back to the coat closet, where her coat and guitar-shaped purse were waiting, stomping all the way.
Once she’d donned her coat and come to the front room, she ripped off her horrid nametag and threw it to the ground, where she stomped at it furiously.
“By the way,” she raged angrily at her former co-workers, “my name is Jasmine. Not Jazz! AND NOT KID!!!!!!!” She yelled especially loud for Uncle Boris, still in his office, to hear.
Her former co-workers looked at her in confusion and shock. She no doubt looked like an idiot. But nevertheless-she stomped on the dejected nametag once more before leaving and slamming the door shut.
Once she was out of The Porker, realization hit her like the cold, hard waves at New Harbor beach. She had been fired. She hadn’t even stayed around to get her last paycheck. And the electricity bill was due in a couple of days. She needed that job. And she was to blame for getting herself fired.
What would she tell her mom? When would she tell her mom?
Jazz knew she needed to find another job, pronto. But she didn’t feel like it at all.
She needed to think first. To calm down.
Sometimes-Jazz found herself taking refuge in the strangest places.
She should have gone straight to the apartment that she shared with Liz, her mom.
Instead-Jazz found herself walking to Middleton Park-which was actually the closest one to The Porker.
She quickly walked past storefronts and penthouse apartment buildings and five-star hotels that Jazz couldn’t even fathom herself affording.
She walked so quickly that she didn’t even realize she was being closely followed.
Jazz was really on a rage. Even when bewildered tourists, coming from The New Harbor Metropolitan Hotel/Museum, sidled up to her, large maps clutched in hands, frantically asking her for directions to the Docks, or to the Metro station, or to the hottest new club-The Green Lounge, she just pushed them out of the way without thinking.
Middleton Park was perhaps the only one Jazz appreciated. It was the maybe the smallest park in New Harbor. Perfect for ranting and raving.
Plus-it had this large circular fountain near the center where hundreds of pigeons resided.
Perfect for wallowing in self-pity and anger at certain bald men.
Jazz threw her guitar-shaped purse, a Christmas present from her mom, Liz, to the ground.
What am I going to do?
Jazz pondered this question for a very, very long time.
Most of the people in Middleton Park stared at her, balancing precariously on the edge of the pigeon fountain.
But she didn’t care.
What was I thinking, Jazz asked herself, when I said that I did it?
But she knew what she was thinking.
Manuel was going to get fired-and he’d looked miserable.
Maybe Uncle Boris wouldn’t have fired him. Maybe the only one he didn’t hesitate to fire was Jazz.
That made her angry.
She’d worked just as well as any of the other staff.
In fact-she was practically working the hours of a full-time job. Not just a summer job.
Oh well-none of it mattered anymore.
She was fired.
Two large, very fat, wet raindrops plopped on her head.
“Great. Just great.”
It was going to rain. Just what she needed.
As it always happens with unexpected rainstorms-everything was drenched in a matter of minutes.
Jazz knew she needed to go back to the apartment, or at least go inside.
But she couldn’t move.
Not that she really wanted to, either.
After Jazz watched everyone eventually vacate the park, she felt a cold hand on the back of her neck, and fell instantly asleep.
Jazz’s only thoughts before she fell completely unconscious was that she recognized the person behind her-just couldn’t put a name to their face.