Dreams Come TrueBy: KB Winters & Evie Monroe
“Redundant?” I’d worked hard on those designs specifically to avoid that.
“Regurgitated was the word one critic used. Maybe you should take a break, and perhaps hire another designer to come in. You could form a team, someone to give fresh ideas. Hell, you know that dope smoking insect you’ve hired to run the shows might need a little help too.”
“Weed? I know you and him don’t get along, but he did an excellent job. If the designs are weak, that’s our fault, not his. Don’t project this onto him. Not unless the data comes back telling us it was a matter of production.”
“I’m not projecting; I just think if we change our style and get a team going, the same would be good for him. A fresh start across the board. I’ll find some new, fresh talent, and you can work on some fresh designs together.”
“No, I don’t think so. I pour my heart into these designs. I can’t just find someone to come in with their shitty opinions and tell me what my style is. I’m the face and mind of Mad Mode.” I’d named my business after my madman personality and mode, meaning fashion. Mad fashion as it were. No one else could come in and be me.
“Look, if it keeps up like this, we’re going down. I want to save Mad Mode as much as you do. My tombstone will probably even have that damned mirrored M logo. So, I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit and feed your ego while it fails.”
“Watch it, friend. You’ll see why I called it mad fashion.”
He held up his hands. “Look, I’m trying to help. Let me find someone. We can get a person that’s green, young, fresh, full of ideas. They can brainstorm with you. We’ll form a think tank, and then you can design from there.”
He had a point. My mother has always told me that we never stopped learning. Having someone feed my head might not be so terrible. “Fine. See if you can find someone that fits the bill and I’ll meet with them. I’m not making any promises for permanent employment, but maybe they can finish this fashion season with us?”
“I’ll make all of the arrangements if I do, there’s no need in you stressing yourself out over this. I know you get in a creative funk.” He got to his feet.
“Are you still going to your mothers?”
“I’m going as soon as I leave here. My sister is in town as well. She gave me a lead, one I think might be worth checking out. I’ll message you with more information if she looks to be the real deal.”
“Who? Don’t tell me this is some friend of your sisters. You know I’m not about taking on amateurs for family favors.”
“It’s not like that. She was on her way home and found a new boutique in this small town. The girl does her own designs, and she sent me some pictures of the dress she bought.” He pulled out his phone and began thumbing it.
“I could tell you yes or no based on a couple of photos, you know.” He paused from his thumbing and looked up at me.
“I’ll just sit on this then, and I’ll call you with my opinion. But I’d at least like to go meet the girl. My sister raved on and on.”
“I hope she didn’t make the girl any promises.” I’d seen it before. People are going out of their way to make it seem like they had big connections only to disappoint some poor soul whose dream it is to become the next big fashion designer.
“No, she said she didn’t even mention having a brother in the industry, but that the girl makes all of her stuff for her boutique and that she even dyes her own fabrics and scarves. From what I’ve seen, I’m going to go check her out.” I glanced at his phone, and before he could shove it back into his pockets, I wanted to see those pictures.
“Let me see them.” I held out my hand and waved my fingers.
“You can’t give me an answer yet. I want to meet with her.” He was really interested in this one, and my curiosity was going to get the best of me.
“Fine, but at least let me see, Nate.” I reached farther across my desk, and he stepped forward to hand me the phone.
The picture was clear, and the row of scarves had been laid out on what looked like his sister’s bed. They were bright and colorful with a marbled pattern that was so intricate; it was hard to believe they weren’t machine made.
“Those are some amazing scarves.” I swiped the screen to the next picture. The dress was green, and had a little of the same type pattern. I’d never seen anything like it. The dress was simple, but the lines were nice, and the pattern complemented it so well that you could imagine someone wearing it and where they’d hit on the body. “I really like this. Maybe your sister is onto something. Check it out and let me know. If it’s the real deal, I’ll meet with her. But I want someone with some background. If we’re doing this think tank, I want someone who has some knowledge, not just someone with big dreams.”
“I agree. I’ll give you a call.” I passed the phone back to him, and he shoved it into his pocket and headed for the door. Something stopped him, or someone.
“I thought you were going to be out of town today,” said Weed as he came into the room.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m heading out now. I had to talk to Johnny about business first. You know business, responsibilities, professionalism.”
Weed walked over to a chair and lowered himself into it as he turned his nose up at Nate. “You mean like being on time for fashion shows you’ve worked months on? I’m aware of what those words mean, but are you?” Weed licked his high-glossed lips and sucked in his cheeks as he smoothed down his hot pink hair.
“Stoner bitch,” Nate mumbled the word under his breath and walked out.
A slow smile crossed Weed’s face which was painted and highlighted to the gods. His false lashes were so long they brushed his high cheekbones, and today he wore a fitted men’s suit with a pair of pumps and a pocket square. The scarf around his neck was his trademark.
“What’s his problem? Is he on his period?” Weed took out a joint and tucked it behind his ear. The man’s medical marijuana habit kept him high, and he was even permitted to grow it. He’d even developed new strains of the plant with his brother in his spare time. With a name like Weedman, the two guys never stood a chance.
“I wish you’d get along. I don’t have time for your petty fights, but yeah, if I had to guess, I’d say he’s ragging hard. He had bad news for me.”
“You mean the sales for the show? I’ve already heard they sucked big ones.”
“How’d you hear that?”
“Your bestie, Nate was blabbing his theories, and one of them was about my department, so naturally, I heard about it. Nothing is said in this place that I don’t catch wind of. Or at least a little smoke.” That was his way of telling me that whoever had told him, had done so to get high. Most everyone in the company was friends with Weed for his willingness to share. With the Weedman as your friend, you could stay high and never pay for it.
“You’re not wrong.” I shrugged. “I already defended you.”
“He’s only mad because I won’t hook him up with some weed. But you know me, I share, I don’t sell. Not without a doctor’s signature anyway. And I’m pretty sure he’s mad that he’s attracted to me. Most straight men are.” He gave me a wink and straightened his trademark scarf which he wore in place of a tie.
Weed and I had our agreement from the first time we met. I’d never remark on his preferences if he didn’t remark on mine. We’d been good ever since. “You know Nate’s straight as an arrow.”
“Of course, he is, but even arrows bend, honey.” He belted a laugh. “Besides, he’s kind of sexy in a Freddie Mercury, big teeth kind of way. I bet he’d suck a mean—
I made a face. “That’s enough. I don’t want that image in my head.” Weed threw his head back and laughed even louder.
“Strangely, neither do I, doll. Moving right along, I wanted to tell you that everything was accounted for and we’re all set for the next show.” He ran a tight ship in his department, and no one would ever question him and the way he did things. I’d never doubted him, but he’d always come in and tell me that things were going smoothly just for my peace of mind.
He always shot me straight.
“What do you think of the newest designs?” I watched as his face fell and he clicked his tongue.
“I was hoping you’d never ask.” He raised his hand and clicked his long, manicured nails together. One of them had silver polish and a big crystal star; the others were hot pink.
“That bad, huh?”
“Stale is a word I’d like to use.” He shifted forward in his seat. “Look, love, I’m always going to tell it like it is and I think you need a little inspiration. You’re working too hard. Your work is feeding your work, not your creativity. Creativity needs to be fed too once in a while. You should take a day away from this place.”
“I just went to Paris.”
“To work. It’s not the same, and you know it.” He reached across the desk and placed his hand on mine. “Take a day or two to refresh yourself. It will do a world of good.” He leaned back in his chair. “I can get you some Purple Kush if you want. It’s psychoactive. That will change your thinking, maybe spark your creativity?”