I wish I had Murph’s confidence. Before that dustup with Edsel, I was positive he was the one, but now my optimism has left me, never to return.
“What do I do while I’m waiting for ‘the one’? And how do I solve my money issues?” My voice cracks. “I might lose my place.”
“How can I help?” He bites his lip. “Do you need to borrow some money?”
“No.” My tone comes out much more forcefully than I intend. But hell no. “I’m not getting into more debt, especially not to a friend. I just need to put my job search into hyperdrive. I have to get myself a job that pays more than the greeting card gig.”
“Now, that’s a solvable problem.” Murph’s eyes light up, and he claps. “What do you want to do for work? What skills do you have?”
He glares at me. “You have to be good at something.”
“Well, I’m very good at arranging romantic dates, but that’s not exactly a salaried position.”
He tilts his head to the side. “You could be a wedding planner!”
I scratch the back of my neck. “Actually, that’s not a bad idea.” My shoulders slump. “But I don’t know how to break into that business. And I need money fast.”
“Who needs money fast? You’re still job hunting?” A body hovers over us, and I look up to see my friend Jeremy Everett. After he and I got a tiny bit sauced one night here at V and V, he adopted me as a member of his booklover gang. Like Murph, Jeremy’s a force of nature, only he’s a bit more reformed fuckboi and a bit less princess. He runs a hand through his halo of dirty-blond hair. “You could sell plasma. Or sperm.”
“Hey,” I say, scooting over in the seat to let him in. “And, um, no.”
“I’m not gonna judge,” Jeremy says, holding up his hands. “You gotta do what you gotta do.”
“Even if I were desperate enough to bring the product of my ham candle to market, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to pass on my genetic material. The recipient might end up in as dire straits as me.”
“Product of your ham candle?” Murph and Jeremy say at the same time.
Shrugging, I hide my smile.
They burst out laughing, and then Murph clucks his tongue. “I’ve had about enough of ‘Bag on Scottybear’ time. No more, okay? We’re problem solving.”
“Fine.” I grimace. “Just no, uh, dissemination of my, um, semen. For profit. I mean, I don’t have a problem with it, but it’s not for me.”
They crack up again, and now we’re getting looks from around the bar. Vino and Veritas is all chatter and good vibes, but there is a point where you can be a little too loud. We might be getting there.
“Do you have to get back to work?” I ask Murph.
He checks his phone. “I have a couple minutes left of my break. And this is more entertaining than that time Jason and Tai lost bets to me and Emmett and had to stand on the street corner across from city hall in Speedos holding signs that said, ‘Love me, love my Nantucket Nad Bucket.’”
Jeremy raises his eyebrows. “I missed that one.”
“You did,” Murph and I say together.