I didn’t recognize Krista at the café, and she spotted me first. “Emily!” shrieked a gorgeous blonde.
My gawd. It was her! We hugged like we hadn’t seen each other in two years, which, duh, we hadn’t. “Krista, you look amazing! I didn’t even know it was you. You’re so skinny! And blonde!”
She smiled and flipped her hair. “I know, right? Meet the new me. No more dowdy, chubby, pizza-gobbling struggling writer. Now, this girl is a gluten-free, fitness-crazed published author with a movie deal.”
I sat down, overloaded with data. “Holy cow! Congratulations!”
Krista ordered a bottle of champagne. “We need to celebrate my success! What have you been up to?”
“Uhhh, gobbling pizza and struggling, more or less.” I didn’t want to lie to my college bestie. “Assistant to the assistant VP in a giant corporation, hoping to get noticed and promoted. But enough about me. Tell me about your book. A romance novel, I presume?”
The waiter served the champagne, and as Krista lifted her glass of bubbly to clink with mine, an enormous engagement ring glittered on her left hand. Geez, that too?
“This is chick lit,” Krista said. “The new hot thing.”
“Aren’t they the same?” I sipped my bubbly, first I’d had in ages. Then again, what did I have to celebrate? Gaining five pounds? My mother’s endless nagging about how I needed to hurry up and find a husband? My failure to achieve anything at work?
Krista flipped her hair. “Totes different. A romance novel is about the relationship between the protags, and it’s written in third person usually. It describes both the hero and heroine as characters with flaws that they overcome to find happily ever after true love. They’re generally incredibly good-looking too, and the hero is usually a duke or a CEO or a military type guy or a vampire.”
“I like vampires,” I confessed with a giggle as the waiter topped off my glass. He was rather cute actually.
“Chick lit can have vampires too,” Krista said, “but the point is, is it’s much more realistic. The heroine narrates the story in her own true voice without any pesky interruptions from other characters.”
I twirled my glass, watching the pretty bubbles sparkle in the sun. “Pesky. I hate pesky interruptions.”
“Exactly!” Krista covered my hand with her own. “Emily, I could use a loyal, smart friend to help me on the set. I had a bit of an ulterior motive in meeting you today.”
She laughed. “I’m offering you a job, silly! Come be my assistant and I’ll double your salary, whatever it is. We’ll get you a good stylist and nutritionist, and in a month you’ll be a new person. Hair, makeup, clothes, everything!”
I blinked at her blonde confidence. “A new person? But you’re hiring the old Emily.”
“The new Emily will be even better, trust me.” She tossed a credit card on the table. “Let’s get started today, shall we?”
Just then the waiter winked at me, which I took to be sarcastic. Sure, pity the frumpy friend. Just wait until my makeover!
“Why not?” I said to Krista. “What do I have to lose?”