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Chapter 2: of Girlfriends, Dresses, and You

She is excited to express through writing the many areas in life that we tend to overlook. This time, on romantic realism.


Previously in Chapter 1

They went for a run, they met, and they exchanged contacts. Find out how Kristina and Simeon met in a city of millions!

Chapter 1: Oh Brooklyn, How Sweet It Is!

Chapter 2: of Girlfriends, Dresses, and You

Overjoyed, Kristina was thinking if she should wait for a bit before she replied. Also, what would be ideal to text in response to a ‘Hello’. It was not hard to decide as she just could not wait to keep the conversation going with Simeon after the running encounter.

She texted back. Hey there! Home?

His reply was immediate. Yeah you?

Kristina: Not yet. I had a good run all the way back to my workplace. Leaving now though.

Simeon: Ohh wow. Okay. Better be careful!

Kristina: Thanks :) Going into the subway now. Ttyl!

Simeon: Alright. Let me know when you are home.

Whoa. He cared and he did not text a conversation stopper. Kristina could not stop smiling to herself. That was a good start. A real good start. She hopped on the R train. It was a good train ride home, could not ask for a better one. The loud conversations, the germy seats and handrails; they became tolerable. She felt out of place for having such good vibes during a late train ride home on a Monday. These folks probably got stressed out for having to leave work so late. It was past 9 p.m. already. The train conductor and her anemic voice in announcing, “stand clear of the closing doors” was definitely not helping. Despite this, her good vibes managed to dodge it all.

After a quick walk back to her apartment, she texted him back, I’m home. Safe and sound. Alright, that was kind of a witty reply. At least that was what she thought. As soon as the text was sent, Simeon popped up online. He then went on to type.

Simeon: Great! Quite a long ride home for you huh.

Kristina was thinking while jumping around in the most silly way, does that mean he kept count of the time from when they last texted?

Then, she replied, Yeah, tough life. Just like the majority of people in this city. Haha. Do you sleep late or early? With that analytical mind of hers, she was trying to probe if it would be appropriate to keep texting him this late. No one would want to annoy his or her crush. Not Kristina either.

Simeon: Hahaha. I guess. Define early?

Kristina: 10-12pm? Or before 1am I supposed?

Simeon: Erm. Then it’s early then. Lol. I go to bed at around 11-12ish.

Kristina: Ohh, that’s like soon. Sleeping early is good! Kristina got what she wanted to know and she needed then to conclude this conversation gracefully.

Simeon: Yeah. Always good to get enough of sleep.

Kristina: Ok. Hope u have a good night :) The first wall of formality between them was broken when the word ‘you’ was abbreviated.

Simeon: U too. Rest well. He followed suit with the abbreviation.


“Morning! How was your night?” Kristina greeted Sue J. in a better than average spirits for a Tuesday morning. She got off a great start with Simeon last night and she also managed to grab her usual black coffee (no sugar) from the coffee cart by the block. There was no reason to be in an average spirits! Well, it was mostly because of Simeon of course.

“Wow, morning! What happened to you?” Sue J. was not used to this.

“I got his number! And we texted for a bit!” Kristina spilled it out. “Remember the guy whom I told you about? The guy with a buff body and a cute face who runs the same track as me every Monday evening?”

“You diddd?! Oh my, that’s awesome. Why didn’t you say anything yesterday?! So what’s his name? Is he single? Or available?” Sue J. talked and asked at the same time in excitement.

“Well, his name is Simeon. I’m not sure if he’s available but he’s wearing no ring. He texted first and he also responded to my texts after. You know what, it’s too early for that but I will find out. Let’s try to keep the stake light for now.” Kristina said with a laugh. She would like to find out of course, but not today. There were some important matters to attend to at work. Showroom appointment, seamstress business, and packing and shipping out dresses for clients to try on. These were the business as usual at the boutique. The seamstress would be called in should there be a pre-booked showroom appointment. On a more hectic note, there would be modeling photo shoots and overseas trips sourcing for designers.

The social trio, Aimee, Mady, and Justine, will be stopping by the shop today to try out dresses for a brand launch event this weekend. Kristina and Sue J. took the liberty to name them as the AMJ. They were publicists in a luxury brand builder company and they were also one of the earlier clients of Rent-A-Dress from K. Kristina got to know them through a series of partying back in the days where she was an underappreciated Wall Street analyst. Looking back, it was glad to learn that those struggles were not wasted as both great friendships and subsequent client relationships were formed as a result of that. As brand publicists, the AMJ had to be seen as possessing a unique taste in fashion, especially when attending launching or social events. After the first few months of them renting long dresses for events, they started to request for short dresses to wear to normal working days too. Kristina and Sue J. could only imagine their stress at work for them to make such request. The AMJ had perfectly justified their requests by explaining that this would minimize the chances of outfit clash, especially when there were so many females in the company and the industry as a whole. It would make little sense to invest in expensive dresses only to find out that they could not wear that anymore after a month or two just because someone else got it too. However, Kristina and Sue J. still stood by the stress theory, especially when they did this mostly for Monday and Tuesday. That was when Kristina and Sue J. got to step up their game and it prompted them to start sourcing for designers overseas. Designers from Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Hong Kong were their favorites. They would take turns to travel.

“Hello, hello, hello! Show us them dresses ladies!” the AMJ made an entrance full of groove.

While the AMJ knew exactly what they were looking for, it was always good for Kristina and Sue J. to be part of their selection process. They enjoyed the AMJ’s company anyway. After some tryouts, they had decided on their own long glitzy dresses. The seamstress then proceeded to work on some temporary alterations as per their requests.

“Hey Kris, why don’t you join us for drinks this Friday night. Our usual place you know. It’s been ages!” Aimee asked while the seamstress was marking her dress’ length.

“Sure, why not.” Kristina could use a good night out after months of Netflix and take-out on a Friday night.

“No thanks for me.” Sue J. chipped in.

“Owhh Sue, I have not even asked you yet! You gotta join us!” Aimee was trying although she already knew that her chances of convincing Sue J. were slim. As ironic as it could be, considering that she was one of the top publicists in her company, Sue J. always emerged as the winner of saying no to drinks and parties.

“Hey, can I bring a friend along? If he can make it.” Kristina asked. The thought of asking Simeon to join came about swiftly. It was no surprise as Simeon had been running in her mind all day. Kristina would not mind a bit for the AMJ to meet Simeon as she knew there would not be an awkward moment. The AMJ was that cool and good in rocking a party.

“Sure babe. Bring your man! It’d be fun.” Aimee replied seductively.

After the AMJ’s appointment, there were some walk-ins as well. Sue J. also managed to box up the dresses ordered by clients online and they were ready to be picked up by FedEx. It was a fairly busy day. At 4:23 p.m., there were still no texts from Simeon. That was kind of a downer given that they hit it off last night. She got to decide now on whether to text him first. She was never a fan of this dating game. She wished guys these days would be more bold and direct. Or else, she wished she could just stop feeling like crap for having to text first.


Hey, how’s your Tuesday going? She texted first and then quickly shoved her phone away under a pile of paper, as if she could avoid not hearing back what she wanted to hear. She then went on to reply some inquiries from her prospective clients. The task was fun as long as there would be no questions asked on what already been posted online.

Question via email from a prospective: How do I rent a dress from you?

Whattttt?! Arghhhhhhhh! Kristina thought, the entire website is designed to answer your question and it has been working well for 4 years now. Do you really wanna rent a dress or are you just asking for fun?! Thankfully, she was shielded by the cyberspace for this part of the interactions with her existing and prospective clients. In a way, her clients would be thankful for it as well. Then she proceeded to type “Dear XX, thank you for your interest in…”

Her phone vibrated. She could feel in from her desk. She was anxious. Would it be a cold one-liner reply? Or a conversation stopper?

Simeon: Hey!

Simeon: Been busy.

Simeon: Yours?

Just as the rationale part of Kristina had thought. He was busy after all. And, it was certainly not a one-liner text!

Kristina: Yeah. Same here. Hey, I was thinking let’s ditch that coffee plan. Are you up for drinks this Friday night in East Village?

Simeon: Hmm…I have some work stuff on Fri. It will be real late if I were to join since I’ll need to head home first.

Bummer. But Kristina decided to react quickly, and hopefully cutely. It was not a rejection after all. Whoa, that was quite an emotional ride for that split second before she replied again.

Kristina: that’s a no then? Okay…

Simeon: Well, I always showed up late to drinks these days. Am just worried that I’ll be super late.

She was determined to convince him now!

Kristina: What about 9:30pm? If u do not mind coming out again to have a toast with me!

Simeon: Oh okay. Some special occasion eh? I’ll try to be there by 9:30! Which bar?

Kristina: Ok! Great! No special occasion, just a casual Friday night out. And if you don't mind meeting a group of publicists. We’ll be at Goodnight Sonny.

Simeon: sure thing!

The vibe seemed permissive enough to ask that question that Kristina had been dying to ask. Two minutes later, she typed: btw, r u seeing anyone right now?

Next Chapter

Chapter 3: Make or Break

© 2019 Katy Phun

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