I haven't worked on this story for a while. Today, I got the bug to pull it up and see what I've got... So, here goes:
The call ended and Saraiah Decarro calmly hit the end button on her iPhone. The girl’s hand shook ever so slightly after she tossed the phone/mini-computer beside her on the bed where she spent the past five minutes speaking to a man she never before met, but who held her budding journalistic career in his hands.
The call left the usually verbose and energetic brunette sullen, quiet. So quiet that her roommate stopped eating her Chinese take-out dinner and walked from the kitchen the two college friends shared to Saraiah’s room to see if anything was wrong.
“Who was that?” Marci said just before her head broke the plane of invisibility and appeared within the doorframe of Saraiah’s bedroom. Marci heard the B-52’s ring tone when the call came minutes earlier. Such a short call, the roommate thought. Usually Saraiah’s calls last longer.
Saraiah looked up at her friend but said nothing. A tinge of worry traveled up Marci’s spine; Saraiah looked vacant, blank against the Euro sheik surroundings of her bedroom.
“Sar? You okay?” Saraiah’s growing smile resolved any concerns Marci may have had. She waited for the beautiful part-time administrative assistant to tell her about the call.
“Hell, yeah,” Saraiah said. “Good news…” Saraiah stopped speaking but the smile remained.
“What?!” Marci said, the infectious smile now on her face. Saraiah allowed the tension between them to grow, her eyes boring into Marci’s. Finally she said only one word, “…Denver.”
Marci immediately knew what that meant; Denver was a top 10 market and one of the places Saraiah’s demo DVD traveled via FedEx to local television news stations the month before. Of course, Saraiah posted many of her news stories online, but news directors were inundated with thousands of clips of smart (and more importantly, pretty) journalists reporting on stories big or small online. Saraiah sent out her DVDs as a throwback to an earlier age where mail—actual mail—with a person’s name printed on the envelope went across the country until it reached its destination. Hopefully one of those people whose name appeared on the envelope might find the personal touch quaint. It might even bring back memories of a time when life wasn’t quite so fast. And if the personal gesture didn’t work, she was only out the cost of a couple of dozen DVDs, the cost of shipping, and her time.
Saraiah sent most of her DVDs west, thinking her east-coast upbringing and education would add a sense of intrigue to her job experience. Most of the DVDs went to major markets but a few made it to smaller cities like Colorado Springs, and Idaho Falls and other markets where most television journalists cut their teeth on local stories about local people. Small markets had their advantages, Saraiah thought. In small markets any journalist worth a damn will stand out, and perhaps signal to everyone that the reporter was destined for bigger things, bigger markets, more viewers. And, Saraiah knew, a greater percentage of viewers watched TV news in small market city than in the major markets. Local fans are loyal.
But, Denver! The reality of the call began to sink in and Saraiah let out a scream uncaring of any souls in the vicinity who may hear the racket coming from the friend’s small apartment. To make matters worse Marci joined her friend and the shrieks increased in volume until the audible pollution infected the adjoining apartments as well. The girls didn’t care, Denver had called, after all…
Eventually the endorphins firing within both women slowed and the two came back to earth. “We should celebrate!” Marci said. “What should we do?”
“Let’s go to Jake’s!” I could use a drink.” Saraiah suggested. Several bars in the area came to mind, but Jake’s brought with it fewer painful memories. After a pause Marci said, “Jake’s it is. Let’s go.” Marci worried about her roommate’s increased drinking over the past six weeks since she split with her boyfriend of two years, but maybe Saraiah moving across the country was just the thing to make her friend escape all the emotional baggage she still carried around with her. Marci was sure that once Saraiah found a new life in Denver, she would forget all about Jim and move on. Who knows, Marci thought…maybe she will meet someone nice—someone who won’t take advantage of her and will treat her the way she deserves to be treated. Marci was sure there was someone out there among those mountain boys from the Rockies who could turn things around—there just had to be...
Saraiah followed Marci out of her bedroom, but as she crossed from room to hallway Saraiah had the strangest feeling that she had left something behind, something that should be coming with her. The sensation wasn’t strong enough for Saraiah to know what exactly what it was that was left behind, but something…some item, or maybe a memory…something. The irritating thought kept nagging at Saraiah as she looked around her room while her roommate patiently waited. She had her I.D., credit card, cell phone, but something remained inside that room, something she would be without once she left. Marci’s voice snapped her out of her mild trance.
“Saraiah,” Marci said as threw her friend her jacket. “I’m so happy for you.” Marci said as she reached the foyer.
The two walked to the apartment’s front door where Saraiah stopped. “Thanks,” Saraiah said. “Me too.” The two shared a smile and each knew that the words just spoken between them had little or nothing to do with the actual job in Colorado. Their smiles continued as they left the foyer and locked the door behind them.