I stood there while Frankie opened up the door to the tiniest closet known to man and peered in. Her blond head reappeared moments later, and she said “Your wardrobe is pathetic.”
I rolled my eyes. We had this conversation hundreds of times. “I’m a struggling college student. I don’t have money for clothes.”
“Girl, you gotta get your priorities straight. I know you want to be some hero doctor, but you gotta look the part. Dying people don’t want to look at a fugly mess.”
I laughed. But then I thought about the man on the street. I wondered if he was able to see me before he died. Suddenly, it did seem important to look pretty.
Frankie must’ve noticed the change in me because she sighed. “It’s not that bad in here. We can find something.”
“Frankie. Will you help me?” I said, plopping down on the end of my twin-size bed.
She appeared again, this time with a scarf around her neck and several articles of clothing draped over her arms. “Of course I will; you know that.” She thrust a pair of jeans at me and a long- sleeved white T-shirt.
I stood up and stepped into the jeans, pulling them up under my waitress skirt. “Well, what I want you to do is kinda illegal.”
“Oooh. Do tell,” she sang as she dove back into my closet. I had no idea what she was doing because I had hardly any clothes.
“Well, he drives this really fancy car. It’s a Mercedes Roadster.” I began and I heard her gasp from somewhere in the closet.
“You’re just now telling me this? Is he rich? Is he cute? Does he have a brother?” Her words tripped over each other.
“I have no idea about any of that stuff,” I said. “Anyway, I was thinking—”
Frankie cut me off to say, “How can you know none of this? Have I taught you nothing?!”
“He wasn’t the talkative type,” I said, discarding my uniform completely and pulling on the T- shirt.
“He’s a serial killer. I knew it. He drives that car to lure in poor women.”
I laughed again. “Oh my God, Frank. You’re so paranoid. Will you just listen already?”
She sniffed. “Fine. But if you die, I’m not crying at your funeral.”
“You will too,” I argued.
“Fine. I will. But only a little.”
“Anyway,” I said, trying to get back to the subject. “I was hoping you could, you know, look him up, see where he lives?”
“I knew working at the Motor Vehicle Administration would be good for something someday, other than making me feel dead inside.”
She now had a hat on her head, three bracelets on her right wrist, and one glove on her left hand. “What are you doing and where did you get that bracelet?”
She wagged her eyebrows. “I told you I could find something.”
“I got his license plate number when he drove off earlier. I’ll give it to you and you can look him up.”
“I’ll do it on Wednesday. My supervisor is off. She has an appointment to get the broom she flies on serviced.”
“You’re too much,” I said, giggling.
“I know you love me,” she said, stepping back from the closet. It was organized into outfits that all hung together with accessories and everything.
She smiled and draped the chunky knit scarf around my neck. “It’s a calling,” she said and sighed. “Come on, I’m taking you to a late-night movie. You’ve been working and thinking too much lately.”
“Sure, I already have it stashed in my purse. Candy too. That usher won’t dare try to search me after what happened last time.” She wagged her eyebrows.
I grinned at the memory of the very embarrassed usher’s face. “I’ve never seen any guy get so flustered in all my life.”
“It takes a special kind of man to handle all of this,” she said, motioning to herself. “He was out of his element.”
Most men were out of their element when it came to Frankie. Most women, too. But she was the best friend I could ever hope for.
Excerpt done. Over and out.
Oh, and there's this ONE other thing.