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Created by Diane Brown, Buena Beach is an online soap opera, giving up all the juicy details of some of the hottest guys and gals of Buena Beach, a small town in Southern California. Check back everyday for a new episode here on HelloBeautiful.com.

The Voice

It wasn’t the first time she’d let her boyfriend Jonathan take her car for the day while she was at work, but it was the first time he was late picking her up, leaving Diane standing outside to wave farewell to her colleagues as they exited the lobby double doors and headed to their cars at 5:02, 5:05, 5:07. Then 5:10, 5:15, and 5:17. She would have dialed his cell when he wasn’t right there at the curb at 5:00 on the dot, but he was out of cell phone minutes the last time she called him. So when Jonathan finally pulls up at 5:22, pouring loud thumps from Dr. Dre out of all four windows, Diane swears that he better have a good excuse.

“What took you so damn long?”

Jonathan lowers the volume on the stereo and flashes an Academy Award-winning smile. “Good to see you too, babe. How was your day?”

Diane shakes her head, only able to concentrate on details outside the front window shield. If she looks at him, she’s likely to fold. “Do you know how stupid I looked, sitting on the bench waiting for you like I’m a high school freshman or something?”

“Now, c’mon. You know you’re overreacting. All you have to say is that I took your car to the shop or something like that…since I know you won’t tell them the truth – that you’re ashamed of me.”

Forgetting her resolve to avert his eyes, she quickly turns to face him. “I’m not ashamed of you.”

He whips out the smile again. “I know you’re not. How could you be ashamed of ol’ Jon boy?” He’s hoping his exaggerated giggle is infectious, but it just aggravates Diane more.

With that, the two drive in silence for the next four minutes. Of course he’s not going to tell her why he was really late, accidentally falling asleep at his friend’s house following an afternoon of weed and wii. Whatever excuse he used, it would have to be a good one or else it might be the last time she lets him take the car. His still sat in parking space 21 at his apartment complex, in need of a new transmission and brakes. And a rear tire.

So when they cross over into Long Beach towards Jonathan’s place and she finally asks the question, he responds, “Oh, uh. My, uh, interview got pushed back.” Yes, that’s the way it works with fictitious, non-existing interviews. You can move them to any time that’s convenient.

Diane considers this for a second, nearly buying it until, “Wait, I know you didn’t wear that to your interview.”

Jonathan then remembers that he’s still wearing his Sean John t-shirt, shorts, and leather flip-flops. But he played hoops in high school, and was great at rebounds. “Now, come on, Di. Do you really think I’d wear this to my interview?” he asks, keeping as cool as the air conditioning.

She finally gives a little leeway on her smile. “I don’t know. You do some pretty random things sometimes.”

“Nah, girl. I was the mac daddy up in there. They wanted to hire me as soon as I walked in the door.”

That’s music to Diane’s ears, so she faces him again, this time with interest. “So, do you think you got it?”

“I don’t know. There were probably a lot of cats up there with a lot more experience than me.”

“Well, be sure to send a thank you card first thing in the morning, okay?”

Jonathan nods, now feeling a little guilty about lying to his girl. He really does want to get a job…one day. Now just isn’t the right time. There’s too much to work out first, and he’s just isn’t ready to deal with reality. And for now, things are okay. Someone else is paying the rent. Someone else is paying the bills. With his car out of commission, no one has to pay for the gas. And Diane ends up footing the bill for most of his meals. What’s he need a job for?

“Hey, so what’s going on with ol’ girl?” It’s a perfect time for a subject change.

No problem for Diane since this is her favorite topic lately. “Well, I told you how I got part of her personnel file last week, right?”

Jonathan nods, remembering how proud he was at his girl’s ruthlessness.

“That girl, Ericka – Sandy’s best friend – she was all stressed out when I told her she left it in my car because she could get in big trouble for misplacing confidential files. She came to get it right after I called her, but I had already photocopied everything and put it all back in the folder just like it was.”

“And you just now read it all?”

“I haven’t read any of it. I’m such an idiot…after copying it, I panicked and filed it away somewhere super secret where I didn’t think anyone would find it. In Danny’s office. You know how he leaves it open all the time when he goes to meetings. And I have his key anyway. But then, that fool goes and has another damn panic attack…”

“What?” says Jonathan, amused.

“And then, is forced to take leave…which was going to happen anyway because some article about dumb ass Calvin came out about him laundering money right under Danny’s nose.”

“Damn.”

“So the mayor goes and puts Mario as Acting Director. Now Mario thinks he’s, like, the damn governor. He had maintenance come in and change the locks.” She goes on to tell Jonathan that if things don’t change soon, she’ll be hitting the pavement with her résumé, too. Unless, that is, another Coordinator position opens up. “That’s why I’m all brown-nosing right now, you know? What if Mario ends up taking over for good? They’ll need someone to take over his vacant position. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to keep working as his assistant. He’d probably want to move Sandy into that position anyway.”

Diane describes how she managed to tiptoe into the office while he took a restroom break, climb on top of Danny’s wooden file cabinet, and snag the envelope from behind the hutch where she’d tucked it days before in 45-seconds flat.

“You got the Social Security number?”

“Probably. I would think so. We can look at it when we get to your place. Can your friend still do the background check for me?”

“Yah, if you give him the right info.”

“How much is it again?”

“Mmmmm, I think I can talk him down to five hundred.” Half of which Jonathan plans to keep for himself as a finder’s fee. He would feel guilty about taking his girl’s money, but figures he’ll spend most of it on her anyway – taking her out to the movies, Chili’s, McDonalds.

Hmm. Perhaps he’ll have to come back tomorrow and tell her that he couldn’t talk his friend down to anything less than $600.

Hey, times are tough.

Check back tomorrow for the next episode of Buena Beach!

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