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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Yasmine listened as her grandfather banged at her bathroom door for the twelfth time, telling her that she had to come out and face the music. She could guess he wasn’t talking about real music she was playing from her favorite man hating playlist. He meant the reality of her in danger of losing her business, forced to live in a beach house, and two months fresh off her divorce.

 Another knock reminded her that she had friends and family who wanted to support her in her time of need. Taking a large gulp of her grapefruit flavored merlot she lifted the bottle up in cheers at her grandfather's words. Merlot and a very nearly empty third row of oreo cookies were currently the supportive family and friends she needed. The soothing lavender bubble bath was the supportive non backstabbing cheating son of a bitch husband she needed in her life as well. Because the real one had used her optometry practice as a front for his money laundering schemes. It seemed her lovely bastard husband bought her the building and paid for all the furnishings only to scam her in the end. In fact according to the FBI he’d been cooking the books all six years of their marriage.

 Giggling Yasmine took another thirst quenching sip and chased it with an oreo trying to remember if the FBI agent who interrogated her really did talk like a 1950’s cop from Casa Blanca. Either way it seemed more funny now than when he informed her that he’d make sure she’d lose her license and everything she’d ever worked for. Yep, it was fucking hilarous when her clients watched her get taken out in hand cuffs while her office was being ransacked. It wasn’t humiliating at all to find out from the FBI that her husband had run off with his assistant and filed for divorce. A bitch she'd actually given a discount eye examination, at the request of her husband. Taking another sip she shook her head knowing all the signs were there that she’d been sleeping with her husband. The way the woman love bombed her with gifts, compliments and “let’s have boss's wife luncheons.” Yasmine couldn’t believe she fell right into that bitch’s trap trusting her so easily. Even though she’d been uncomfortable with all her attention and the pushy way she made her feel guilty for questioning the reasons she needed to go away alone with HER husband on business trips.

Sniffing, Yamine felt her tears bubbling up again thinking how Arturo would reassure her that Judy was only trying to be personable. That her fears were silly and that she was the only woman in the world that he could ever love.Then he’d start singing to her in spanish as he kissed her softly promising to love her forever. Sitting the bottle on the stand outside of the tub next to the oreos she dipped her face underwater again as she cried. Coming up she took a breath cursing,

“Fuck you, Arturo.” She breathed, laying her head back wishing she never met the asshole.

Arturo González, a financial advisor she’d met through her friend Lisa who thought that they should meet. He’d been hired to help crunch some numbers for her company and invited Yasmine to the company mixer as her guest. Usually Yasmine never went to those things even when Lisa begged her to go. She just always felt off about crashing someone else's party especially if the person you were bringing along wasn't a jaw dropping addition. All she wore was a green chiffon halter dress with some low black heels that wouldn’t kill her ankles. Nothing that made her stand out or brought attention to her plump body. Her mission was to stay for a few minutes before excusing herself when her friend was caught in conversation with her boss. So when a very tall and handsome older spanish man joined her side at the open bar, she nearly jumped out of her skin when he said her name. 

Then she would have called that night dreamy and magical by the way he looked at her. Teasing her for trying to hide away from him when her friend had promised that she’d come. Yasmine had dropped all of her guards in one second and soaked her panties in the next via the passenger seat of his Porsche when he offered to drive her home. He’d been so charming and so damn good looking in his suit that when he leaned over to kiss her cheek she’d turned her face to catch his lips. She had back cramps for days after their steamy makeout session in that tiny sliver car. Even now she could remember how his stubble felt along her face and how his thick hands grabbed along her sides to pull her closer. The man was one hell of a kisser and even better in bed.

Thinking about it now it was the way he responded so openly to her body despite being a plus size woman. They went dancing and took couples cooking classes for dates till he proposed about six months into their relationship. Everything had been so perfect until it wasn’t and now she was single again living with her grandfather in his retirement beach house. A firm knock at the door made her bellow out that she wanted to be left alone to die in her misery,

“Yazzy, open this door!” Sitting up quickly Yasmine sniffed and tried to wipe her eyes with her wet hands. Bubbles gathered on her chin and cheeks as she tried to figure out if she’d just heard her best friend's voice,

“Lisa, is that you? Have you come to apologize for introducing me to that stupid bastard?” A deep sigh was heard on the other side of the mustard colored door as her friends signature heels tapped impatiently on the wooden floor,

“Yes, actually and I’ve even brought a gun so we can help the FBI track him down.” Yasmine felt the sarcasm dripping from her friend's voice and pouted tucking herself back into the water,

“If you aren’t going to take the blame for my shitty life then go away!” Grabbing her bottle of merlot again she took another swig and grabbed an oreo just as Lisa popped the lock on the door. With a mouth full of oreos she half-heartedly shouted for her friend to leave when she headed straight for her speakers. Turning off the music she took an assessment of the bathroom seeing her clothes were all over the floor and this wasn’t her only tray of oreos. Shaking her head she started picking up her clothes and putting them in the dirty clothes hamper,

“How long have you been sitting in your own filth, Yazzy? Your grandfather called me saying he was afraid your skin was going to fall off in the water.” Shrugging Yasmine lifted her thick caramel leg over the white tub edge splashing her friend with water and bubbles. Wiggling her chip painted toes she motioned with the lip of the bottle,

“I’m not even pruny yet. I’ve only been in here for a few hours after I got a letter saying that I was losing my building in a month.” Lisa followed Yasmine’s head motion to the letter crumpled up and soaked in water. Ignoring the water on her new dress she picked up the letter going to the side of the tub still with a ball of clothes under her arm. Reading the bright red letters she sighed knowing Yasmine had worked hard to get that building on the Miami strip,

“And they won’t give you an extension under the circumstances?”

“Nope, something about my missing husband under FBI investigation doesn’t make for a good sympathy card.”

“What about-.” As if prediticing her friend next words she excitedly took another sip,

“All our joint accounts are frozen. He emptied our rainy day fund and I only have five thousand dollars in my personal savings which I’ll need to survive on since I am currently jobless. With my license being on the verge of being revoked I’ll be lucky to get an office assistant job in a medical clinic.” Lowering the letter Lisa looked at her friend with sympathetic eyes,

“I’m sorry this is happening to you. I’m sorry you are losing your business. I’m sorry for ever introducing you to that fucker. I mean just know you aren’t the only one in the shit since he disappeared with his bimbo. My company is laying off so many people after all the money he embezzled from us. If this new guy they hired doesn’t stop downsizing soon my job will be next. Jack is promising me that I'm safe but he can only do so much in his father's company.” Licking her lips a little she reached up to wipe a tear with her wrist,

“At least you’ll be a clinical assistant. I’ll be waitressing again with my community college business management degree.” Yasmine felt a guilt bubble in her stomach as she looked at her friend knowing Lisa had also worked her ass off to make her salary. Being a single mom living with her mother as her son went to private school wasn’t cheap. When they first met she was a college student and Lisa was working three jobs just to afford her son’s uniform. They were only three years apart in age but Yasmine knew Lisa had the street smarts of a gangster. In fact she worked at the coffee shop Yasmine studied in at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Though she lived closer to Jacksonville, she’d told Yasmine they paid better out near the college areas. Since Lisa closed a lot they both stayed late and talked about their futures with each other. They had a lot in common even if Lisa had a rougher upbringing then she did. Nonetheless, they became fast friends and both worked hard to get where they were at.

“I hate that you are making me feel like shit when my life's falling apart.” Yasmine breathed, handing her the bottle after taking the letter from her and tossing it back onto the floor. Lisa took a long drink before responding,

“Single mom card who may lose her job will always trump any sad story being told.” Rolling her eyes Yasmine leaned on the side of the tub laying her head down on her arms,

“I really hate him.”

“I know Yazzy but you can’t live in the tub for the rest of your life. Your grandfather is worried about you and he has to use the bathroom.”

“There is one downstairs in his room.” As if summoned by the idea of being restricted from using his toilet he and Lisa’s son Camilo walked into the doorway. Him holding a game console in his hand with her grandfather having a newspaper tucked under his armpit,

“You know damn well that the toilet downstairs can’t handle more than two flushes a day.” Groaning Yasmine tucked herself back under the bubbles,

“Then get it fixed, old man.”

“And with whose money, Missy? I’ve got enough saved for the rest of my life, my funeral, my future grandchild’s inheritance which includes Camilo, and one lottery ticket when the jackpot gets high enough.” He listed out on his hand making Lisa smile at him knowing Mr. Jackson had even watched her son when her mother couldn’t,

“Did I ever thank you for that?” He waved her off before untucking his newspaper,

“I’ve known the boy since he was in diapers and had no reason not to save for him. Nonetheless, Imma need my bathroom back before it hits twelve today. I can’t keep using the neighbors' guest house bathroom to do my business, they are coming back Sunday. They asked me to watch they house not blow up their bathroom,” Camilo smiled looking up at Mr. Jackson showing his missing teeth,

“You have firecrackers for the bathroom?” Grinning the old man placed a hand on his stomach patting it,

“That’s what my doctor tells me. It’s the reason you see me eating fiber like you eat them pizza rolls. Which reminds me we are heading out to the deli to get some sandwiches for lunch so text me if you want something.” Lisa thanked him and told Camilo to be good before the boy nodded, closing the door again. Yasmine sighed knowing her pity soak was over,

“I’ll go put these in the wash while you get dressed and we can get you sober with some good coffee.” Giving in, she sat up unplugging her tub as her friend left with the dirty clothes hamper and her bottle of merlot. Turning on the shower she stood rinsing the bubbles off of her body before toeing out of the tub. Pausing she looked in the mirror at her body feeling those creeping thoughts of self doubt sneak into her mind. Maybe he’d left with the assistant because deep down he found her attractive. She couldn’t help but think it was somehow her fault for the bastard leaving her even when she truly knew it wasn’t,

“You better not be staring in the mirror, Yazzy! Don’t start that low self esteem bullshit again, we got over that in your college years!” Rolling her eyes she hid a smile knowing Lisa always had a sixth sense when she was fat shaming herself. Grabbing her towel she wrapped it around herself tightly heading out of the bathroom with her oreos. Popping a few into her mouth she headed into her room to change deciding he was the problem not her.


“This coffee tastes like-,”

“Shit? Your grandfather only has fiber brand coffee.”

“Figures, I keep telling him all that fiber is what is stopping him up, but telling him anything is like talking to a wall. You know what he is like.” Her friend raised her hand taking a sip of her own cup shaking her head,

“He is paying for Camilo’s future college tuition so I don’t have anything against him or his shit tasting coffee. Don’t try to get me tripped up, I know where my loyalties lie.” Laughing despite herself she pulled her legs up on her lawn chair that faced the skinny inlet that let out into the ocean. Her grandfather's beach house along with the neighbor across and on each side of him all the way down the block shared access to this inlet that let out into the ocean. It was nice and private. Most everyone that lived around here were fifty seven plus. When she was married she'd thought about settling somewhere here in Tampa with Arturo.  Now she thought about finding him and burying him somewhere out here in the ocean,

"Do you miss this?" Lisa's voice pulled her out of her head forcing her to take another sip of her coffee. 

"Miss what?"

"Us hanging out. I mean after you got married and moved out to Miami with Arturo. Then you opened up your business then it was nearly impossible to see each other." Pressing her lips together Yasmine felt some truth in her friends words,

"We did talk over the phone."

"Yeah, once every few weeks even then it didn't feel the same." Grabbing her coffee with both hands she remembered wishing at times for Lisa to be there with her. Especially when Judy popped up in her life maybe she could have confirmed the suspicion she'd been feeling. Half ass conversations over the phone about general things. While she planned parties and events on her calendar to help Arturo make good impressions on his clients,

"Damn, I was a shitty friend." She confessed knowing she more than likely hung up on Lisa a few times when Arturo had entered the room, "I just wanted to stay in the honeymoon phase for as long as I could. I did miss you a lot and now I feel stupid that I didn't try harder to see you. I got caught up in this fairytale of happiness. You know me, I started planning out everything down to our future kids' marriages. I just-." 

"I know you were happy."

"Yeah, but look what that stupid emotion got me. I shouldn't have just dropped working at our friendship because I grew obsessed with being the perfect wife." Instead of Lisa disagreeing with her she crossed her legs and tossed her lovely thick cuban hair over her bare shoulders,

"You know the more I think about it, you were a shitty friend." Smiling, she drank from her coffee making Yasmine frown as she leaned forward motioning to toss her cushion at her if she didn’t relent on her statement. Lifting her hand she sat down her mug on the edge of the circle stone fire pit,

"Alright! You were semi trashy as a friend but I forgive you. I know Arturo meant the world to you and you planned for a happily ever after. I had the same ideas about Camilo dad until he bailed. Either way taking stupid chances on love is what life is about. I mean sometimes you have to gamble everything when you feel it's right, right?"

Lowering her weapon Yasmine settled back in her chair raising an eyebrow at Lisa's rambling. The woman looked like she was sorting things out in her own mind rather than encouraging her,

"Uh oh what you do?" Popping up straight in her chair she looked at Yasmine like an alligator being clipped by a passing boat,

"Huh? What you mean?"

"You are rambling about love and you only do that when you've slept with someone you shouldn't have." When she started forcing out shock followed by fake laughter Yasmine knew she hit the nail on the head,

"Stop looking at me like that! I haven't done anything wrong."

"Lisa, you called your boss Jack."

"Yeah, so?"

"The last time you called your boss by his first name you were sleeping with Thomas. The coffee shop manager with the stupid highlights in his hair and wanted to be a lead singer in a band." She watched the woman bite into her bottom lip before giving in,

"I blame you, you know."


"If you'd been a good friend and actually listened to me when we talked then you'd know I was already thinking about sleeping with him."

"You've been working for him since before Arturo and I got married, remember? You never showed any signs then."

"No, I was working for his uncle then he came in and took over about a year ago. Damn. Damn. Damn. I was so used to his Uncle's old man smell and the hair loss look… so when he showed up it was like kryptonite. Ugh, smelling like the deep ocean, thick black hair and business casual suits that showed too much of his firm chest. Thick legs and tight ass. Goodness, he used to be a soccer player for a travel team before his knee got injured. Now he is the VP with the board and he has seen me naked several times. A few of those times in his office, his house and maybe my house." 

"Lawrd, Lisa! Has your mom caught you yet?"

"No, but…" The look of Lisa's face told her someone worse had caught her and her boss together,


"Yes, BUT it was just us kissing at a business picnic. We thought we were in a good hiding space and Camilo walked in on him kissing my shoulder."


"I know! I know! We quickly separated and Camilo didn't have any questions about it. He just asked to play with the soccer ball he found of Jack's. Once he got permission he walked away and never mentioned it."

"Of Course he isn't going to mention it. He is just a kid and only seven. What questions did you want him to ask?"

"I don't know something." Sighing she slumped back in her chair, "After that we've been careful not to cross too deeply in each other's lives and it's working." 


"I don't know. I-I, we've been at this for months now and I want more. I like him, Yazzy and I mean a lot. He is smart, funny, charming, and he always makes accommodations for me when it comes to Camilo. Do you know he lets me bring him on trips at times? Even gives me time off from the conferences to spend the day with Camilo to sightsee. He comes along sometimes and I like to pretend we are some happy family on vacation." Yasmine watched as fat tears rolled down her friend's cheeks, "Does that make me pathetic?'


"No, just a woman in crazy dumb love. I know the feeling." Smiling Yasmine stood going to Lisa to hug her close so they both could laugh about their lives going to shit.

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.