Posted by: fictionopia | January 8, 2009

1.04 – “Reset button, square one…”

Sarah laid down on her mother’s sofa with her arm across her eyes. She tried to wrap her head around the events of the day as they replayed in her mind. Let’s see, Sarah thought, I lost my boyfriend, my job, my apartment and…”

“Happy Birthday.”

Right, she thought, I almost forgot.

“Hi Joss.” Sarah looked up from her prone position to see her younger sister Jocelyn standing next to the sofa holding a gift bag.

Sarah’s sister Jocelyn had, at 25, appeared on almost a dozen reality television shows. Even without cracking what she called the “The Trinity,” i.e. Survivor, The Amazing Race, and American Idol, Joss was intent on parlaying pseudo-celebrity into full fledged semi-celebrity.

Sarah sat up to make room for her sister on the sofa. Joss sat down and handed the gift bag to Sarah.

“Thanks,” Sarah said. She sifted through the brightly colored tissue paper and began pulling small gifts out of the bag: Kinerase skin cream, chandelier earrings from Banana Republic, a leather iPod case from Coach, and a gift certificate to Sephora.

“Joss, did you give me a swag bag for my birthday?”

“Your birthday is so close to Christmas,” Joss whined. “It’s not like I didn’t get you a gift for that. And it’s all stuff you can use.”

“My ears aren’t pierced… and my iPod was destroyed in a fire.”

“So the earrings…”

Sarah’s incredulous look kept Joss from finishing her sentence but she handed over the earrings anyway. Joss meant well, Sarah reminded herself, not completely sure that was true. Melody entered the living room carrying a tray with four cups of hot chocolate.

The doorbell rang and Joss opened the door for Kate who came bustling into the room a bundle of determination, dumping an armload of newspapers on the coffee table.

“Okay, I’m going to start going through these to find us an apartment. You look online. You can start your job search tomorrow.” Kate sat down on the floor and grabbed a cup of cocoa. She took a sip before she continued. “Oh, and today is so not your birthday. Friday is a do-over. We’re having dinner here and David is baking you a cake.” Kate’s boyfriend David was a pastry chef.

The words “do-over” sent Sarah rifling through the stack of publications until she found the one she was looking for: NY Weekly. Sarah took another look at her horoscope.

“What is it?” Kate asked.


“She’s reading her horoscope,” Joss tattled, reading over Sarah’s shoulder. “Reset button, square one…that sounds about right.

Melody asked to see the horoscope and Sarah handed the newspaper to her mother. After reading it Melody said, “Sweetie, you should hang on to this. I think the universe might be trying to tell you something.”

“Well could you take a message, Mom? I’m a little busy having a nervous breakdown,” said Sarah.

Joss leaned closer to Sarah and only pretended to whisper, “Be nice, Sarah. I think mom’s having one, too.”


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