November 21, 2013

Famous Last Words

Hey Josie!

Heard it's freezing in New York right now...I ate lunch outside today. What I'm trying to say is that New York is the worst and LA wins ALL THE COASTAL WARS. 

This is the most insensitive transition in the history of mankind, but one of Doug's clients received some bad news this morning. Health-related. She's had to clear her filming schedule because of it, but I heard her make a crack to Doug that now she finally has a reason and the time to write her memoir. I think she would seriously document this. She's Ron Burgundy levels of big deal. Can't go into details over email so call me when you get a chance.

xx
Gretchen

I'd befriended Gretchen on my trip to LA. She was Simon's assistant, and when I was introduced to her I complimented her on her adorable cobalt blue booties. It had been the right thing to say, because she immediately invited me to lunch with some of the other assistants. Frank had plans of his own, and gave me his blessing. "You need to make an assistant network," he said. "You won't believe the valuable information you can attain from those relationships. Assistants are more in the know than the CEO."

Here was proof of that. I read Gretchen's email coming out of the subway and called her the second I had service. By the time I got into the office, I was dying to tell Frank what I'd just learned. Ignoring his dumb rule about not disturbing him until at least 10AM, I barged into his office.

"I'm sorry but this is"— I stopped mid-sentence. Frank wasn't alone. His son, Nick, was with him.

"Come right in," Frank sighed.

"Sorry," I mumbled. "I'll come back."

"You're fine," Nick said. "I was just leaving." He smiled at me. "It's Josie, right?"

"Yes, it's Josie," Frank said, "my assistant who apparently can't tell time."

"Christ, Dad," Nick said, "ease up." Frank looked chastened, which I'd never seen before and enjoyed immensely.

"It's actually good you're here," Frank said, recovering quickly with a smile. It was literally the fourth time I'd seen him smile. His son knew what strings to pull, apparently. "I was hoping you could help connect Nick with some of the editorial assistants, or any other friends you have in media or film here. My son," he looked at Nick over the bridge of his nose, playfully disapproving, "is trying to decide if he should move back here after he graduates and I want him to make all the connections he can while I've got him."

"I thought you said you couldn't wait to get back to the East Coast," I said to Nick.

"Well," Nick shrugged, "it's more like I can't wait to leave the West Coast. It's not for me. But I'm torn between here and Paris."

"Paris?"

"It's where my Dad lives," Nick said.

For a moment, I was confused—his Dad was right here in front of me, giving me the stink eye. Then I realized—he meant his other Dad, Frank's ex-partner. I glanced at Frank quickly. He looked stricken at the mere mention of Paris.

"Well, no problem," I said. "It's humpday." I swear if Frank was wearing pearls he would have been clutching them. "We usually go out for drinks to celebrate the halfway point. Give me your number and I'll text you the details when I have them."

After Nick left, Frank said to me, "I will literally do anything to keep him in New York."

I didn't know what to say. Frank and I have never really discussed our personal lives, and the desperation in his voice was shocking to me. Frank seemed to regret showing that card, because he switched gears, asking me why I'd "barged" into his office in the first place. We were back to business.

I told him about Gretchen's email. "You're never going to guess who the actress is," I said.

Frank exhaled loudly and his nostrils flared like an angry bull. Why did I think Frank would appreciate even a modicum of suspense?

"It's Jennifer X," I said, quickly, and Frank's expression turned on a dime. "She's going to be fine. But she has a battle in front of her and apparently her Mom went through the same thing. But she's estranged from her Mom since she first made it big—so she had to find her in order to get this genetic testing. Her idea for the memoir is to kind of weave in her upbringing with Mom—which is very dramatic—and how this disease is what ultimately brought them back together."

Frank looked as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. He cleared his throat and said, "I'll call Simon in a bit to discuss it."

I nodded and turned to go. "And Josie?" Frank called when I reached the door. "Nice find."

"Thank you." I walked back to my desk with a smile on my face.

I put together an email with some of the Literatti assistants, and cc'd Ashley, Nina, and Richard. Richard had finally gotten a job, doing online advertising, but he was working on a start up sports website with a few friends and had even managed to wrangle up some investors. It would be good for Nick to meet him, and also nice to see him since it had been a while.

After I sent the email, Kate swung by my desk. "Was that guy who was in here earlier Frank's son?"

I nodded.

"No way Frank's swimmers are responsible for that," Kate said.

"Yeah," I said. "I get the feeling he's either adopted, or he's the biological child of his other Dad—who apparently lives in Paris?"

"Um, yeah he lives in Paris," Kate said. "You don't know the story?"

I shook my head.

"Josie, it was like a huge news story. On the cover of The Post like ten times over six months."

"I read the Times." I stuck my nose up in the air.

"You read Dlisted," Kate said.

"Just get back to the story," I said.

"It was one of the first major custody battles over the child of a gay couple in New York state. Frank's ex is some Parisian socialite. They wanted a kid, and they asked their, like, Mexican actress friend to carry the child. When they split up, they both claimed they were the father. I don't know if they ever did a DNA test, but it got so ugly the Mom ended up taking him back to Mexico with her."

I collected my jaw off the floor. "For how long?"

"I think until he was eighteen. Then I guess he decided to come back here to go to school."

So I had detected a slight accent. I'd just been off about where it came from. No wonder Frank was desperate for Nick to stay in New York. He'd missed his kid's entire childhood. The realization warmed me to Frank a little more—no wonder he was such a curmudgeon.

"Well, even more of a reason for us to show him a good time tonight," I said. "Imagine him coming home and being like, 'Dad, Josie is the best and I'm moving to New York!' Do you think I'd get promoted?"

"I don't think anyone here is getting promoted anytime soon," Kate said. "But if you want to stack the cards in your favor, I'd suggest not taking Nick to Flannerty's." That was the bar I'd told everyone to meet at—it's a faux Irish pub in Midtown, around the corner from the office. It's totally generic and lame but goddammit sometimes I just want to go to a place where people don't judge my hideous commuting shoes.

I sent out a revised email and told everyone to meet us at Houston Hall, this newish beer garden in the West Village which, while not the most authentically New York, was that perfect balance of scene-y and laidback.

Houston Hall kind of looks like the Hogwarts cafeteria. It's dark and cavernous with ceilings as high as the Christmas tree in Rockefeller center. Long wooden tables crowd the interior, black Chanel bags lining their benches. "Um, this seat's taken," some chick in a Barbour coat will say if you try to move her stupid overpriced purse to sit down. It can be very intimidating! But I walked in that evening determined not to take any shit. I put on my fiercest resting bitchy face and secured a good chunk of a table in a prime spot.

"I didn't know places this big existed in New York," Nick said, looking up at the ceiling in awe. Nick had met me and Kate at the office, and the three of us had cabbed it down together while our other co-workers took the subway. When we arrived, I refused to let Nick pay for the cab even though he offered and even though he can definitely afford it. Normally I would not take a cab from Midtown to the West Village during rush hour because the fare makes the big vein in my forehead want to pop, but I wanted to show Nick how charming New York could be and that morning on the Subway the guy across from me had been clipping his yellow toenails and nibbling on them like they were Cheez-Its, so....

"Yup," I said. "You'd be surprised how much space you can get here."

"How big is your apartment?" Nick asked.

"500 square feet," I mumbled into my Pale Ale. Even that was a lie. Technically my apartment is 450 square feet and in case you were wondering, yes I cry every time I pay my rent check.

"Hello!" I looked up. It was Nina and Ashley. Nina was wearing a sheer sweater and no bra. I know this because at the height I was on the bench, I was staring directly into her nipples. I noticed Nick noticing them too. They were hypnotizing.

As I was introducing Nina and Ashley to Nick, my co-workers strolled in, Richard right behind them.

"Who did you have to blow to get us this table?" Richard asked as he gave me a hug.

"Always classy, Richard."

"You missed me," he said.

"Where's the Gee Eff?" I asked as we sat down across from each other. Richard had a little scrub on his face, like he'd been too busy to shower or shave this morning. He looked good.

"Out with some of her friends. She might stop by."

"Still in love?" I teased.

"Still trying to pretend like you don't feel empty inside?" Richard shot back.

"Burn."

"Seriously, Josie," Richard said. "I know. I'm the last person to take advice from on this. But I've got a few years on you so I feel like I can say it. I wasted my twenties dicking around, avoiding commitment. I thought it made me happy, but it didn't."

"Richard, you're twenty-nine years old and this is your first girlfriend. Ever. You can't seriously be pulling this smug couple shit on me right now."

"I just...I can recognize bravado when I see it."

"Well then you need to get your batteries checked because there's no bravado here. I'm happy."

Richard was about to say something else but Ashley plopped down next to me. "Um, are you seeing what I'm seeing?" She nodded to the end of the table. Nina and her nipples were in Nick's lap. Granted, we were short a few seats, but standing was an option. Some of my other seat-less co-workers were up and milling around.

"What the hell is she doing?" I hissed. "Please tell me she and Brad broke up at least."

Ashley shook her head. "They're not broken up."

"Can you ask her to go to the bathroom with you and I'll meet you in there? I don't want Nick to think I'm like, cockblocking him or something."

I waited for a few minutes until I got up and made my way to the bathroom. Nina was washing her hands in the sink when I walked in. "What are you doing?" I asked.

Nina shook the water off her hands and leaned forward, examining herself in the mirror. "I'm not doing anything." She smoothed a flyaway in her hair. "Frank's son is a smokeshow. I'm not allowed to flirt with him?"

"Please don't do anything with him, Nina," I said. "You have a boyfriend." Nina opened her mouth to say something but I cut her off. "A boyfriend who is kind of being douche, yes. But this is Frank's son. Don't toy around with him."

"I'm just flirting, my God," Nina said. "I thought you wanted to show him a good time. I'm showing him a good time."

"Can that good time not be in your pants?" I pleaded, and Nina gave me award-winning side eye in the mirror.

On my way back to the table, my phone rang in my back pocket. I pulled it out—I couldn't believe it, Ian was calling me.

"I'll meet you guys back at the table," I said to Ashley and Nina.

I hurried over to the entrance, where it was quiet.

"Hi,"  I said.

"I know you're still annoyed with me. But how could you not respond to that text?"

"What text?"

"The one I sent you. With the picture of us."

"I didn't get a"—my phone vibrated against my ear. "Hold on. I think this is it." I pulled my phone away and opened the text from Ian. I suppose it's not a huge surprise that Hogwarts would have terrible reception.

'Packing and came across this. A few hours shy of #TBT but too good not to send.' Attached was a picture of the two of us at a swim meet, rocking our green and white Speedos. We both desperately needed a tan and not that you could tell from the picture, but I desperately needed to do something about the woogie bush I was sporting underneath my suit.

I brought the phone back to my ear. "I can see why you held on to that. We're just so...attractive."

Ian laughed. Neither of us said anything for a moment.

"So I get in on Saturday," Ian said.

"Uh-huh."

"Oh, don't torture me."

"I have to work Monday and Tuesday," I said. "I'm coming out on Tuesday after work."

"Need someone to pick you up at the train station?"

I smiled. "Yeah, I do."

I was still smiling as I made my way back to the table. It disappeared when I took inventory of the group.

I grabbed Kate's arm. "Where are Nick and Nina?"

"Ow!" Kate said, and I let go. She looked around the room. "I don't know. I saw them a second ago."

I approached Ashley. "Please tell me Nick and Nina didn't leave."

"Okay," Ashley said, "Nick and Nina didn't exit out the South entrance."

I couldn't believe Nina would do this to me. I know she's going through something with Brad, but she also knows how desperate I am to get in good with Frank. Yeah, he's happy with me at the moment, but with Frank I get the feeling that you're only as good as your last home run. My best friend using his son to make herself feel better about the rough patch she'd hit with her boyfriend wasn't going to do me any favors.

I was afraid to text Nina what I really wanted to text her ('You and your nipples need to get back here IMMEDIATELY'). God forbid Nick saw. To his knowledge, Nina wasn't involved with anyone, and I wanted to keep it that way. I took a deep breath to calm my crazy ass down and typed out, 'Hey! Where did you guys go?'

'Nick was hungry. Just grabbing a bite to eat.'

'Are you guys coming back?'

Nina started to write something and stopped. She started and stopped again. Finally, she said, 'Probably not.' Before I could fire off another text, she wrote, 'Stop worrying it will be fine'.

I exhaled irritably. Those were some famous last fucking words if I'd ever heard them.





***Thank you so much for all your lovely words following Tuesday's post. Wishing everyone a gluttonous Thanksgiving, and I will see you all on Tuesday, 12/3 at 2PM sharp!***


45 comments:

  1. I knew I didn't like Nina

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  2. Bad Nina, bad. Seriously, friends don't screw around with your life that way! Not cool! Does this open the door for her to move to Chicago with Brad??

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  3. Wow, I get that Nina's going through a hard time, but to keep going after a guy that you - who's trying to make a good impression on him and his father, your boss - ask her not to? I would be SO mad. She said she was just flirting, then she took him home. I wouldn't let her get away with it.

    And I'm glad Richard is happy.. I get the feeling his gf might be cheating (call it overanalyzing), but I hope not.. it could turn him off commitment.

    GREAT post. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Friends don't do this to friends. If she wanted to have revenge sex with a rando then she could've found anyone in that place. Screwing around with someone's job is completely unnacceptable. And really? Sheer top with no bra in this weather?? Desperation. Good writing Jessica! You really know how to make a character piss me off lol (being completely genuine btw)

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    1. Seriously. Josie told Nina it bothered her, and she went for it anyway. She's really not acting like a good friend. Nina pissed me off so much, and I liked her until now.

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  5. Oh Nina. How are you doing this to yourself???? I just know this is going to come around to bite Josie in the butt. Somehow. Some way. Nick's going to end up traumatized by being the other man and/or beat up by Brad and never want to come to New York AGAIN and Frank will put it all on Josie. I'm glad Ashley is finally out of the doghouse though.

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  6. I have a feeling Nick's a big boy and won't fall apart if Nina humps and dumps. Maybe Josie's a little jealous that he wasn't into her like that?

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  7. Damnit Nina, why must you fuxk this up for me? Er..Josie. Haha.

    Viva México ((:

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  8. Funniest. Post. Ever

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  9. Yea for some reason I never trusted Nina. She's just selfish. She doesn't consider her friends. When Ashley was in her mess, and needed friends by her, Nina bailed because she was mad, and didn't put Ashley's situation first. Now here, she's seriously messing with her friend's JOB. I understand her being upset over the Brad thing, but this is too far. I really hope Josie doesn't let Nina walk over her with this one. Nina is self-sabotaging on all kinds of levels, and taking Josie, Nick, and Brad down with her. And Frank too, if this influences Nick's decision.

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  10. Love this post! and how you characterize Nina. great writing! this blog was the only reason I looked at Cosmo.

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  11. Being from NYC myself, this week has been super cold...who in their right mind would wear a sheer to sans a bra out. Desperate much, Nina? Maybe she is seeking attention from other men to make up for Brad's actions. I hope her hooking up with Nick doesn't hadn't repercussions for Josie. I'm not sold on Ian but who knows what will happen over Thanksgiving. Glad to see Ashley finally being back to normal.

    As always thanks Jessica and hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving:)

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  12. Yah Nina's being seriously selfish and a bad friend. Her boyfriend is a douche but leave him if you don't like it. This is just immature. Great post :)

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  13. Now this should ease all complaints that every guy is into Josie.

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  14. I always thought Nina was the toughest out of the 3. I guess heartbreak can make you do things you shouldn't be doing. Also, I have a feeling Nick is going to turn out to be gay and for now he's struggling with his sexuality so him hooking up with Nina is actually going to help him and in the end it's not going to affect Josie's job. Plot twist lol. I really want to know what happens with Ian

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  15. Sheer top with no bra..yeah Nina needs to get it together. That sounds like something Ashley would do.

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  16. NOOOO. I can't believe Nina. I always thought she was less genuine than Josie & Ashley about their feelings, but never thought she was such a dick. Josie needs new friends. Hers are so insensitive. Maybe her landfall memoir find will help soften Frank if he's pissed. Fingers crossed.

    Also, way to leave a giant cliffhanger for a week & a half! You're killing me, girl! Good post, though.

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  17. But how would that affect Josie's job? Is he going to be like: Hey dad I'm staying in NY because I hooked up with your assistant's friend! ? Doubt it ... Nina's wrong cheating but it's not like she'd hook up with him to make Josie look bad!

    Btw. Happy thanksgiving Jessica! This is going to be my first week sans Josie ever since the start :'( and the worst Tue/Thu ever since you always post those days :( Keep up the excellently amazing job! Best blog ever!!<3

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    1. If the experience goes badly/convinces Nick to leave for any reason (he's more into her than she into him, Brad threatens him, etc) Frank may take out his heartbreak over losing his son on Josie, who was supposed to convince him to stay.

      Frank wants him to stay no matter the reason.. even that would be okay with him.

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  18. Bahahahah get some Nina!

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  19. The toenails part made me dry heave. Other than that, awesome post!

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  20. ahhh the cliffhanger!! What a goodie. Nina is making me mad but I like it!!

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  21. 2 weeks of no Josie! What am I going to do ;-(
    lol anyway hope you have a great thanksgiving and cannot wait to be filled in on Josie when you get back.

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  22. I want Richard and Josie together. No Ian, no Peter, no Justin. I have this feeling Richard means well and is truly in love with Josie. And things may not work out for them, but that won't be with as much regrets as most of these other guys. In most of cases, I don't see that sparky connection between Josie and the other guys, sex with them is usually like the only thing they care about or look forward to. I can bet sex with Richard will be awesome and intense. And their connection won't be just the sex, their will be a strong friendship within, which will make the sex even secondary

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    1. I've been anti-Richard a while, but you make a good point.. I may be persuaded to the dark side.

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  23. I so like Ian. *dewy-eyed and oblivious*

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  24. What I don't get is how Nina is complaining about how long distance relationships don't work, yet she's the first one to go out on the lose

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  25. Happy thanksgiving to you as well. Our Thanksgiving was last month so have a turkey leg for me

    K

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  26. Richard's back! Oh how I've missed him!

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  27. Yay! Richard is back! I love him, haha. And I didn't have time to comment on this last time, but I appreciate the note Jessica wrote to us, since I made a comment about her being more gracious, and she was! We appreciate it Jessica!

    I also really like the direction of this blog right now. I've never been one to hate on Josie, but grrr she does upset me sometimes. I feel like she has a tendency to be one sided about things and not look at it from someone else's perspective. however it has been totally different and I love it!

    I absolutely love how she was able to admit that what Ian was doing wasn't really that different from what she had done (so freaking true! Women tend to make this mistake often) I agreed with absolutely everything she said (except yoga, if you give yoga a chance it can give you an AMAZING body) keep up the good work Jessica!

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  28. Missing Josie already. BTW, you should look for a deal for a TV show.

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  29. I am Mariam used every single spell worker on the internet, spent untold amounts of money and discovered they are all fakes...i was the fool though; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the end, I decided that I wanted a tarot reading to know what my future held for me; I contacted a woman who lives locally to me and she told me about a man named (Priests Abija); he does not advertise on the internet, has another job for income, has no set prices, makes no false promises and refuses to help anyone that cannot be helped and even helps for free sometimes, he will give you proof before taking money. He is a wonderful man and he was the only person who actually gave me real results. I really hope he doesn't mind me advertising his contact on the internet but I'm sure any help/ extra work will benefit him.contact him here as (518) 303-6207 or spirituallighthealing101@live.com He travel sometimes.i cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he’ will replied to any emails asap,love marriage,finance, job promotion ,lottery Voodoo,poker voodoo,golf Voodoo,Law & Court case Spells,money voodoo,weigh loss voodoo,any sicknesses voodoo,Trouble in marriage,HIV AIDS,it's all he does Hope this helps everyone that is in a desperate situation as I once was; I know how it feels to hold onto something and never have a chance to move on because of the false promises and then to feel trapped in wanting something
    more.

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  30. Toats ready to get my fix and then, nothing. I can't believe I forgot there wouldn't be posts this week. Ugh! See ya'll on the 3rd at 2:00p.m. EST SHARP! mum

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  31. How am I gonna make it through the week without my dose of Josie :( I was hoping we would get a lil something something. I just love this blog my friend recommended it while it was still at cosmo and every Tuesday night I wait (yes night I'm in south africa) so we ate hours ahead of u guys... Can't wait for the next chapter though

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  32. I keep checking the time & it's still HOURS before the post comes up! I'm dying!!!

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  33. NMJ ... "need more Josie"
    i can't wait to read the next installment ... i've been dying .... isn't it 2 pm yet?

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