Frankie at work – Chapter 7: Noor’s birthday

Chapter Seven — Noor’s Birthday

The teasing has been going on for months. Summer passed as fast as it came while fall and winter are now battling each other for dominance. It’s cold outside and Frankie can’t wait until spring will make its reappearance. Just a few more weeks. Sunshine is always coming back. She’s shivering as time passes slowly. Noor and her entourage disappeared in a nearby music store to promote the new album while the dancers gathered around the tour bus, patiently waiting to head toward the next village that’s on the schedule. She secretly loves being on tour. Everything’s happening so fast and unexpected, it’s crazy. June is over the point where she’s pissed off about Frankie’s sudden career peek. She just talks to her little sister with words drenched in sarcasm and criticism. Not that Frankie’s home a lot. When it’s work-related, she often stays at Noor’s house. Whenever she feels like having some fun, Kennedy’s apartment door is open for her. And in between, touring or rehearsing takes up most of the time. That’s when all her favorite girls get together and things get complicated at times. Luckily, Frankie doesn’t seem to care a lot. Noor must know what’s going on between Kennedy and Frankie, but she has never said a word about it up until now. And Kennedy raises more than one questionable eyebrow over Noor and Frankie’s interaction, but maybe she’s happier not knowing. 

The only one oblivious to what’s going on — or what isn’t — is Aiden. He and Frankie somehow bonded over the last couple of months. They go out to attend sports games every other week. Basketball, baseball, American football — you name it. They buy each other beers and loosen up around each other to the point that Noor’s wondering whether or not it’s healthy for her husband and her special lady friend to like each other that much. It’s like two guys, having a bromance. Sure, she finds her husband staring at Frankie’s perfect ass once in a while, but she knows Frankie well enough to trust that nothing will ever happen between the two of them. And besides, Aiden stares at everyone’s ass. The married couple started counseling in October, which seems to work. They aren’t the loved up birds they used to be, and maybe that’ll never return, but at least they aren’t fighting 24/7 anymore.

“Hello, sexy.”

Frankie looks up and finds Kennedy hovering over her shoulder, looking down the little notebook she’s holding. Her slim fingers just wrote down the words ‘I hope you’ll wish for me’ and she can’t be fast enough to hide it from plain sight.

“What’s that? Still dragging along your special book?”

Frankie just nods and puts it in her shoulder bag.

“You look great today. Have you done your makeup yet for tonight?”

The brunette shakes her head, but can’t help but feeling flattered. Tonight’s Noor’s birthday party. It’s actually tomorrow, the day she’s turning twenty-eight, but there’ll be no time. In fact, a show is scheduled that evening, so they are having the party one day in advance.

Loud noises reverberate from the store and that tells everyone Noor’s on her way out. A hysterical crowd comes rushing out the second the famous singer leaves the building. Security guards lead her all the way to the bus and she gloriously waves one last time before getting in. Her hair’s styled perfectly, her clothes are expensive and sophisticated, her smile is radiant. Frankie swoons over the sight before following her footsteps. Everyone knows those two are secretly joined to the hip. They don’t even try to hide it. Most of the entourage is used to it by now, though some think it’s questionable. Interviewers and outsides even mistake Frankie for Noor’s personal assistant at times. The dancer doesn’t contradict it too often. Maybe it’s easier when people see her that way.

“Ready for your party?” Frankie asks after sitting down next to her boss.

Noor seems excited and happy. She’s been this way all morning.

“It’s going to be great. There’ll be fireworks and champagne fountains and a massive, massive cake.”


Noor tilts her head and looks offended: “Of course, it’s chocolate. Chocolate Fudge Brownie stuffing.”

Frankie puts her head against the seat and heaves a relieved sigh: “In that case, count me in.”

“Don’t you want to sit with Kennedy? I mean, there’s a ton of emails I have to reply to.”

The blonde looks up to the sneaky face of Noor. She does this every now and then. They never actually talk about whatever it is that’s happening between Kennedy and Frankie, yet sometimes comments like these get thrown her way, just to see how Frankie will respond. This behavior reminds her of June’s. And Frankie learned how to handle that a long time ago.

“No,” she confidently whispers. “I’m good. I’ve got my iPod and my favorite book.”

The party takes place in the backyard of the Stonewell’s and it’s enormous. This looks more like a music festival. Everywhere around, there are famous people and dancing areas. A majestic cake is positioned in the centre of the massive tent, tables are filled with champagne glasses around it. Noor is looking more amazing as before. Her hair is up in a regal, low rolled updo. Her dress, a mixture of gold and silver, must be tailor-made. It accentuates her curves and edges perfectly and sticks to her skin like a snake’s second layer. And that smile — that smile could stop a war. Frankie actually gasps for air the second she sees her walk in. There won’t be much room for interaction tonight. Parties like these aren’t the ones where you have careless fun and hang out with your besties. This is partly business. There are managers, label owners, celebrities and influential people everywhere. Noor must talk to each and every one of them. And charm them.

Frankie and Aiden have some drinks after he introduced her to some of his male colleagues and her body immediately relaxes. When he puts his warm hand on her shoulder to excuse himself for a minute, she smiles. A bit too friendly — too friendly to be this crazy about his wife. Luckily, Kennedy sneaks up on her and kisses the lower side of her cheek, which makes her forget about the awkwardness.

“Having fun between the A-listers?”

“It’s okay. I have some meaningless dancers to keep me company.”

Frankie winks and Kennedy acts as if she minds the comment. She doesn’t.

“Want to find an empty bathroom and fool around?”

Kennedy’s suggestive eyebrow wiggle does most of the talking. In all fairness, Frankie could be down with some lady loving, but she just squeezed herself in this tight dress with the help of Noor’s assistant Teddy. It took ages. And her hair looks so pretty tonight. Quite a difference from the messy ponytail she mostly pulls her hair into.

“Maybe later,” she tells Kennedy. “Let’s just have some non-sexual fun for a second.”

Her company doesn’t mind the rejection. It was just an idea. And this might just be just as fun. The girls take some drinks off a waiter’s plate and document everything happening around them. They both keep an eye on Noor, who makes her way from clique to clique. She shakes hands and laughs out loud, but Frankie can tell there are at least four different kinds of Noor’s laughter that are more genuine.

“She has such a crazy life,” Kennedy concludes. “I wouldn’t want it for all the money in the world.”

Frankie sighs and nods. It can’t be easy, being such a public figure. Everyone constantly watching your every move. I mean, a simple birthday party seems impossible. This must be a million dollar event.

The evening evolves to a dancing fest where everyone is tipsy enough to dare to wiggle their shoulders. The birthday cake has been cut two hours ago, some are still enjoying it. Noor only had a small bite. She still needed to say hi to so many people. Frankie stood next to her when she blew out the twenty-eight candles. The singer looked utterly happy, surrounded by so many people she adores.

“Make a wish,” Aiden had ordered her just a minute before and when she meaningfully looked up to Frankie afterward, the dancer couldn’t keep herself from wondering.

“What did you wish for?”

Noor’s mysterious smile revealed the state of silence she’d keep over herself. It was a flirtatious expression that was addressing Frankie, with soft eyes and mystical sparkles hidden in them. Frankie’s stomach was twisting and turning from both confusion and arousal. Looking at this beautiful creature tonight took a lot from her, both mentally and physically. But the moment passed and loud music and cheerful people dragged them back to the reality of the party. Aiden actually grabbed his wife by the arm to kiss her fiercely on the mouth. Frankie felt like she could die that second.

The other dancers of their entourage appear in the center of the event. They bundle to their natural group of friends, so Kennedy and Frankie join them. It’s a careless gathering for a change, not just talks about rehearsals and upcoming shows. For once, their boss isn’t the prime subject of their conversations. She’s just the one throwing this party.

In between crossing the tent, Noor runs over to Frankie repeatedly, grasping on to her hands tightly, telling her again and again how sorry she is for not having the time to talk to her. Frankie says it’s okay. Her actual birthday is tomorrow, and since it’s concert night, that means she’ll have Noor all to herself after the performance. That weirdly excites them both.

For now, Kennedy keeps her company. They dance and act silly around each other until they can’t speak from laughter anymore. When a slow song starts to play, Kennedy wraps her arms around Frankie’s waist and they flirtatiously stare into each other’s eyes until the music stops. God, Frankie is having so much fun with this girl. And every other dancer in the entourage knows exactly what’s going on between them.

Suddenly, a yelling voice transcends the lyrics of the current song playing. Everyone turns their heads to find the crowd separating in the back corner of the tent. Frankie doesn’t need eyes to see what’s going on: it’s Noor, angrily screaming at her dear husband.

“What’s going on?” Kennedy asks her, as if she’d know the answer immediately.

“I don’t know.”

They hold hands as they approach the scene. Noor’s storming toward them, with a highly intoxicated Aiden following her steps. He’s yelling too, but nobody seems to understand his words. It must be about a girl. Frankie sighs: it’s always about a girl with these two. She didn’t realize how far gone Aiden got tonight. If anything, she assumed he behaved perfectly. Somewhere during her dancing feast, her friend must have found his way to the bar repeatedly. Perhaps even something else. When the couple passes her, Aiden just barely makes it to grasp Noor’s hand. It’s hard and must hurt. Noor turns around and tries to pull herself free, but his grip is too strong. Her eyes are teary and wild from rage, while Aiden looks upset and misunderstood. He always looks like this whenever he does something wrong, simply because he never realizes he did something wrong in the first place. That’s when Frankie and Kennedy’s hands part. Somehow, the bracelet around her wrist starts to glow whenever Noor’s near. It hurts her skin.

“Let go of me,” Noor snorts, but her husband refuses to listen.

That’s when Frankie steps in, in spite of all her reasoning not to. She confidently walks over to them and with the eyes of a thousand spectators aimed at her, she calls out his name. Aiden’s drunk eyes turn to her and the second he realizes it’s her, his body relaxes.

“You don’t want to do this here, do you?” she whispers close to his face. “Everyone is watching. You should go to bed and get some sleep and it’ll all be fine in the morning.”

He hesitates for a second, before checking the space from the corner of his eyes. That’s when he notices all the people staring at the spectacle. This is a public disaster. Bad for his career. Bad for Noor’s career. He sighs and that’s when Frankie smells the alcohol on his breath. She puts her calming hand on the his grip and that’s when Aiden releases his wife. Noor is staring at the two of them, with an expression that’s the exact opposite of the beautiful one she was wearing throughout the evening. Her birthday party is ruined, that’s obvious. Aiden doesn’t say another word anymore, he simply turns around and walks away through the crowd that splits the second he approaches them. Luckily, the music is still playing, some people are wise enough to avert their look and the dancers kick in a desperate attempt to get back to the festive atmosphere. When Frankie turns to her favorite person in the whole world, Noor’s expression thanks her.

“Come with me.”

The voice is both fragile and embarrassed. She puts her hand in Frankie’s and drags her out of the tent, into the house and up to the bedroom where Frankie normally spends the night. After entering, the singer immediately checks her makeup in the bathroom mirror. Her crying outburst nearly ruined her eyes.

“What the hell happened?” Frankie wonders while sitting down on the edge of the cabinet.

Noor reappears in the bedroom area and heaves an exhausted sigh.

“He cheated on me.”

Frankie’s eyes nearly pop out of her head: “What?”

“He just admitted it, too drunk to realize who he was talking to, when a lady friend of us crossed us at the dance floor. He looked cocky as hell when the words slipped from his mouth. That’s when he saw I just walked into his little group of macho friends.”

She’s getting more angry as time passes. Her feet pace up and down the room, while Frankie just sits there in silence. She has no words to say. No words that could come out right, in fact. Who would ever dare to cheat on this masterpiece of a human? And how is everyone always stupid enough to think nobody will ever find out about it?

“Oh, my God, Noor. I’m sorry. That fucking bastard.”

Suddenly, she’s angry as well. Her entire body is burning from rage and aversion. That’s when she realizes just how close Aiden and her have become recently and how all of this might seem confusing to Noor.

“I swear to God he didn’t tell me,” she says. “You must know that. If he had told me, I would’ve kicked his ass.”

The words leave her mouth and that’s when she gets up and straightens her back.

“You know what, I’m going to kick his ass right now!”

But Noor stops her from storming out of the room. Her hands tightly wrap around the dancer’s bare arms and waist.

“No, no, no. Just stay with me. I need to … I need to do something. I just don’t know what …”

Frankie nods and heaves a troubled sigh.

“Let it out.”


“You’re angry. And you should be. But let it out. Yell, scream, say whatever it is that’s on your mind.”

Noor shakes her head and reminds herself of the pure, natural and calm act she’s been keeping up for years now.

“I don’t want to.”

“Oh, you want to. And you should,” Frankie promises.

She looks around the room and finds one of Aiden’s precious sports memorabilia on a shelf. She usually stares at it right before falling asleep, whenever she spends the night. It’s a replica of the last Jules Rimet FIFA World Cup Trophy from 1970. It’s worth $29,000. She walks over to the beautiful statue of an angel reaching for the sky and takes it in her hands. She never dared to before. It’s beautiful, it’s heavy, it’s iconic.

“Here. Smash it!” she tells Noor while offering it to her.

But the singer reacts completely shocked: “I can’t do that.”

The words are saying no, but that spark in her eyes says she’d love to. That’s when Frankie shrugs and mischievously smiles.

“Well, I can!”

The trophy gets smashed to the ground and breaks into a thousand pieces. Noor puts both hands in front of her mouth and gasps. After a few seconds in shock, she softly starts laughing. Another moment passes and she ends up cursing and screaming. Frankie’s confused by the levels of emotion that take turn at showing. She has never seen Noor like this, so fragile and out of control. Something snapped inside of her and it’s liberating. The singer walks over to the shelf where Frankie just got the expensive trophy and wipes it clean with her arm. All sorts of golden medals and signed photographs of sports gods crash to the ground. A baseball even rolls all the way to the window. Frankie stands back and gasps. This might be taking it one step too far.

“Stupid sports crap!” Noor shouts after staring at the damage in front of her feet.

Her heart is pounding, her hands are trembling. She’s enraged, hurt as hell, she feels betrayed. All her senses are in overdrive. This man, this bastard she married a few years ago did this to her. He promised to forever be faithful to her, to stand by her side, good or bad, sickness or health. And then he cheats on her? He actually sleeps with a friend of her? What an awful person she chose to spend the rest of her life with. What a disgrace to call herself his wife. She thought he’d forever make her feel special and appreciated. She thought he only saw the light in her eyes, the light Frankie sees whenever she’s looking at her.


Frankie sees it.

She always does.

Then, after heavy panting and realizing what her emotions are telling her, she rushes back toward a seemingly amused Frankie and dives in to kiss her. Their lips touch and the dancer is startled to the bone. She has dreamt about it, for days, for weeks, for months and the sensation almost makes her knees collapse. Noor puts her hands on the blonde’s cheeks and pushes her back forcefully. They are making out. They are intensely making out. Frankie knows this is a bad idea. She can sum up all the reasons why she shouldn’t go on with this. Noor is mad and sad and confused. She’s hurt and seeking for revenge. But for God’s sake: they are kissing! They’ve been doing this little flirtatious dance for months now and it’s finally happening. So, as usual, Frankie ignores all the legitimate reasons for why she shouldn’t. And she just does.

The married singer pushes her up against the wall and lowers her hands to grab Frankie’s boobs. It’s the first time she ever touches a girl like this and it feels great. They are both panting like crazy, desperately searching for air in between their heated kisses. It’s all happening so fast and wild. Frankie traces down Noor’s body, until she has caressed her shoulders, her breasts, her hips and her ass. She feels her back up and moans loudly into Noor’s mouth the second her boobs are being squeezed. That only drives Noor crazier. Frankie feels amazing. She’s getting jealous of all the times Kennedy got to touch her. Her free hand wraps around Frankie’s neck and she pulls her back to the cabinet Frankie just sat on. The dancer reverses their position, so Noor’s now leaning against it, firmly pulling Frankie’s hips into her own. There isn’t a single spark of reality crossing their minds. They are so absorbed into this moment of the ultimate climax of their months-long journey that all of it gets lost. Noor hums eagerly into Frankie’s mouth while their tongues passionately play around with each other. She grabs Frankie’s traveling hand and guides it down to her aroused crotch. After pulling her long dress up, she puts the hand down her silk panties. Frankie just lets her. She’s nervous and driven by desire to touch Noor. The second she does, though, her mind explodes. Noor’s more than ready for her — she’s warm and wet and sticky. The panties grace the back of her hand and the fabric feels so good. Noor’s breathing chokes when Frankie starts moving into her. She keeps kissing her for a little while longer before having to pull back to gasp for air to fill her lungs. Her hips instinctively thrust into the motion while her nails claw themselves into Frankie’s back.

“Oh, God,” she pants, barely remembering the last time she ever felt like this.

Maybe never.

Frankie’s kisses are trailing down her neck, to her collarbone and the top of her breasts just above the hem of her golden dress. Her fingers keep repeating the same motion in the silk panties, while her hips apply more pressure. Noor keeps moaning and panting and shrieking until she’s out of breath and her feet can’t seem to carry her own weight anymore. She puts one hand on top of the cabinet and the other one around Frankie’s neck. Their foreheads come together and Frankie watches how the release of pleasure and arousal take over Noor’s entire face. God, she looks beautiful. They kiss again, fiercely and hard as Frankie slips her fingers deeper inside of Noor. That’s when the singer’s jaw drops and all her muscles go faint. She feels lightening building up inside of her body. She sees stars with eyes closed and hears music in the way her voice is barely making any sounds. Another minute of undefinable hot sex passes before the charged lightening sparks and her entire body fades out. Her mind blacks out while all her muscles start to orchestrate their own movements. They are spasming but there’s nothing she can do about it. It’s an orgasm, hitting her hard and unmercifully. Sweat is dripping down her cheeks and Frankie is watching them slide down that delicious skin. It lasts a while before Noor finally remembers who she is and where she’s at. When she opens her eyes, she finds Frankie patiently staring at her, also panting. What the hell was that? How the hell did she lose all control? Her entire being feels like it’s been drained and her mind just took a trip outside her head. Above all, she just had sex with her best friend. And there’s Aiden.

As far away as her consciousness was a second ago, it’s hitting her just as hard right now. She’s married. She has a husband and they were fighting. This is Frankie, her very best friend. The person she cares so much about.

As Frankie is still enjoying the high, Noor gently pushes her back. A weird feeling of muscles trembling through her lower parts surprises her. What is this, an aftershock or something? Frankie looks up to her and softly smiles — it’s like she’s nervous. It’s just after midnight, she realizes.

“Happy birthday.”

“I have to go,” Noor whispers, while running fingers across Frankie’s soft face.

She kisses her one last time, tenderly and caring, before pulling her dress back down. Ten seconds later, she’s left the room. And Frankie just stands there, completely confused and overwhelmed with what went down.

Frankie never leaves that room again that night. She texts Kennedy that she doesn’t feel great. If it wasn’t for the concert, she’d drive home to sleep in her own bed. But there are obligations, there’s work and an entire group of dancers counting on her. Maybe Noor just needs some time to think. Maybe she’ll come back somewhere during the night and Frankie’s supposed to wait for her. At least, that’s what she tells herself to convince herself to stay.

When she wakes up in the morning, the crowd is gone, the music has faded out and the backyard is a mess. Frankie squints her eyes a couple of times before pulling herself up from the pillow that hurt her neck. It’s still early. Too early to survive without coffee. There’s noises in the area beneath her room. That’s where the kitchen is. Nervous about who and what she’ll find, Frankie gets dressed and makes her way over there. She smells coffee, she hears a person going through cabinets and cutlery. It’s Noor, making breakfast.


Noor startles when she recognizes the voice. It’s like she’s afraid to turn around, because she keeps facing the window while saying the exact same thing.

“Want some coffee?” she asks, voice determined and welcoming.

Frankie nods, though her friend can’t see, and shrugs: “Sure.”

She sits down at the counter and watches her friend’s every move. The coffee gets poured into a white cup and ends up in front of Frankie. Noor doesn’t look at her once and it’s troubling. Like she’s ashamed or afraid — or both. A minute passes and they aren’t saying a word.

“Noor —”

David rushes into the room, together with Teddy and Iris, and Frankie stops talking. The manager and his client go on and on about the concert later that evening, while Teddy and Iris pour themselves some coffee. Noor needs to leave in a few hours, David says, so she should start packing and get dressed. When his eyes glance at the silent Frankie sitting a bit further, he wiggles his nose curiously.

“I’m sorry, did I disturb something? I can come back later if you want.”

Even Iris and Teddy are fixated on the usually so quirky and funny blonde. She looks angry now. Or at least agitated. But Noor puts her hand on David’s lower arm and flashes another one of the fake smiles Frankie can sort out. She shakes her head determinately and acts all oblivious.

“No, we were done here. Nothing to discuss.”

She turns her head to Frankie and keeps that smile painfully screwed to her face. It breaks the dancer’s heart.

That’s when she walks out of the room and runs up the stairs to prepare for the night to come. Iris and Teddy know it’s up to them to follow their boss and make her seem presentable after last night’s events. Frankie is left with even more confusion and rejection than she woke up with. David realizes that something’s going on, but keeps his comments to himself. He just wishes her a pleasant day and exits the room. Frankie sighs, looks at her cup of coffee and starts to cry.

The back door of the restaurant opens with a loud squeak. As Frankie walks through the kitchen and into the front part of the place, she sighs. Her phone’s been buzzing and ringing all morning. Frankie cried for a solid ten minutes in the kitchen, wiped her tears away and stood up. She walked up to her bedroom, packed everything there was to find and jumped into her old, vintage car. David could kiss her ass. The concert could kiss her ass. Noor, especially, could kiss her fucking ass. She didn’t turn the radio on, nor did she pay attention to the world happening around her. She drove straight home. And when she found it empty and deserted, she went to the restaurant. It’s empty too. The blonde sighs. Where are her sisters? She needs to talk to them. She texted them, they should be here.

Frankie backed out of the tour, just like that. Didn’t even say a thing to anyone that’s involved. Not even Kennedy. It’s Saturday, so the restaurant will open in a few hours. Five p.m., that is. No one’s here yet, not even the chefs. Familiarity makes her fix breakfast on her own. Or is it lunchtime already? Her hands go through the refrigerator drawer and shelfs. She turns the ingredients into a sandwich with bacon and eggs. It’s delicious, but she’s not enjoying it. Noor refused to speak to her. She refused to even look her in the eye. It’s like nothing had ever happened. And the way she said those words — it must have meant absolutely nothing. Frustration is building a bomb inside of her body, Frankie can tell. She hardly ever gets mad, apart from when June is really taunting her, but something tells her she’s reached her limit.

She cannot understand any of it. Why it happened, why it happened like this, what it means or what it’ll lead to. It’s shit, feeling this way. Her memory brings her back to last night, when Noor wiped the entire shelf of sports memorabilia clean. She does the same with the counter she’s sitting at. All the stuff that was just in front of her — the plate, the cutlery, the glass of orange juice and the pieces of bread — they are all on the floor right now. At the exact same moment, the front door of the restaurant opens. It’s Cece and Ellie, carrying some bags of vegetables and fruit. They are both surprised to find Frankie smashing her breakfast to the ground.

“What the hell?” Ellie utters. “What are you doing?”

“I’m angry. Can you tell?”

Frankie leans forward and puts her head on top of the counter. She heaves the most disturbing sigh and squeezes her eyes shut.

“I’ve fucked up. I’ve fucked up monumentally.”

Ellie sits down next to her and waits for Cece to return from the kitchen with a broom and a mop.

“What happened?” she asks.

Cece stares at them from the corner of her eyes and bends over to collect the broken pieces of the mess.

“Don’t,” Frankie sighs after sitting back up again. “I’ll clean up later. It’s fine.”

But Cece just shakes her head all motherly. She gets like this sometimes.

“It’s fine. Just a few splinters.”

Ellie bites her lower lip hesitantly: “And some orange juice on the wall.”

Frankie turns her head to witness what she did and closes her eyes.

“I’m sorry. I was just …”

“Ventilating?” Ellie smirks, almost amused.

“Something like that.”

Cece throws the mess into a nearby bin and uses her foot to mop the floor clean. After that, she takes some cloths to clean the wall. It’s like this cleaning experience immediately sheers her up. God, Frankie and her couldn’t be more different.

“Now tell us: what happened?” she asks before leaning over the counter so she faces both her sisters. “Don’t you have a show tonight?”

“Where’s June? I assumed she’d come with you.”

Avoiding the subject, it seems.

Cece shrugs: “She didn’t feel like coming.”

The littlest one of all puts on her angry face: “That fucking bitch. We’re so nice.”

Both Frankie and Cece smile.

“So you did a stupid thing?” Cece asks again.

Frankie nods and heaves a troubled sigh.

“It’s not okay to pray that your best friend’s relationship won’t work out, is it?” she hesitantly stutters.

Her sisters frown.

“I’m asking for a friend.”

Their questionable look doesn’t change. After an awkward silence, she gives in.

“The friend is me.”

Out of nowhere, she starts to cry uncontrollably. In between tears, she explains the situation to her sisters, who do nothing more than listen and nod. They’ve seen it coming from miles away. June told them, though in her own crushing and disapproving words, but still … Frankie’s too fragile for this world. She likes everyone she ever meets and puts too much faith in people that don’t deserve it. Maybe this Noor person did the same. After the sobbing rambling comes to its end, Frankie wipes her tears away and Ellie puffs loudly.


The dancer nods: “I know.”

“How do you do that, Frankie? How do you always end up in situations like this? I mean, come on, falling for a super star? A married one?” Cece asks.

It’s a lot more caring than disapproving. Quite the difference from June’s general way of talking.

“Hi, I’m Frankie. Queen of disaster,” Frankie sighs.

Ellie is the sweetest one. Maybe even the sweetest person Frankie ever met. She puts her head on Frankie’s shoulder for comfort and pats her lower arm.

“What is it about her?” she wants to know.

Ellie always goes searching for an explanation, details, reasons.

“I don’t know,” Frankie softly smiles. “She’s cute and she’s impossible.”

Cece straightens her back and looks at the clock above the kitchen door. Two more hours before the restaurant will open. The first chefs are already driving up the parking lot.

“Yeah, sounds like your type,” she says.


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