A Series of Unwitting Conspirators: Chapter 2


Chapter 2

Out With the Old, In With the New

“Hey!” A pretty redhead bundled in scarfs much to warm for the current weather bustled from the crowd of law students leaning, standing, walking, nervously chatting outside of the large hall. She pushed past a group of girls leaving dirty looks in her wake before finally reached Ashley’s side.

“You sure know how to make friends,” Ashley said with a laugh. Minnie looked back over her shoulder and joined in.

“Ha, I didn’t even see them there.” She offered, loud enough for the group to hear. They looked away in unison with an eye roll from the one who the others seemed to be clustering around as Minnie continued.

“Are you ready?” She asked enthusiastically extending a steaming to-go cup toward Ashley.

“Oh dear lord you are a lifesaver!” Minnie smiled as Ashley gratefully took the gift and raised it toward her companion before turning and making her way to their deserted corner for a half an hour of cramming.

“I know, and you are never early enough to stop at the cafe so I figured I would do it for you.” Ashley could hear the excitement building in her friend’s voice. “AH! It’s the big one Ash! How do you feel about it?”

Ashley sat down on the cold tile, her satchel flopped to the floor noisily beside her.

“Aaaah, I would be, but I don’t feel ready, I woke up late today because I turned my phone to silent and I didn’t wake up with my alarm.” Ashley absently rolled her eyes at the memory, looking up to meet Minnie’s curious eyes.

“Long night studying?” Minnie inquired as she pulled her study sheets and note cards from her bag.

“Not at all, I studied all day so I could get a full eight hours and then at 2 in the morning Bree calls me.” She held up her hand as Minnie’s gloating face started to appear.

“I know how you feel about her, but you don’t know her like I do. We’ve been friends since we met at a tennis camp in the second grade. Anyway, she called like four times or something before I finally silenced the stupid thing.”

“Seriously? Do you know what she wanted?” Minnie’s voice sparked with excitement.

“No, and I totally forgot my phone at home in my hurry to get here, but seriously, talk about bad timing.” Ashley flipped through her own notes.

“Talk about bad timing? That isn’t bad timing, that is inconsiderate why would she call you so late the night before the biggest day we’ve had yet?” Minnie raised a calculated eyebrow.

Ashley smiled and shook her head. “I don’t think she knew, I mean, we’ve both been so busy…”

Minnie cut in with a burst of sardonic laughter. “Um, sorry but busy? What has she been busy with lately besides partying and hanging out on rich-looking yachts?” She offered innocent eyes as Ashley cocked her head quizzically.

“What? I have her on Instagram she hasn’t posted much lately but there was a while where I was ready to stab her with my number two pencil. Her life seemed so, enchanted. Always big smiles, bigger parties, and huge adventures with hunky forty something millionaires.” She frowned playfully into her coffee cup.

“And I only ever seemed to see her pictures when I was elbows deep in law books, so excuse me for turning slightly green.” Ashley offered a wistful smile, Bree seemed to be living the life she had always wanted. The one Ashley had always secretly dreaded because no part of it seemed to align with her own dreams of becoming a big shot lawyer.

“Well I am just happy she is having fun with it.” Ashley said simply as she turned her attention to the list of definitions in front of her.

“Good thing she is having fun with it now, I just hope she finds a rich bachelor before her looks run out.” Minnie had always been protective of the friendship she and Ashley had cultivated. It showed in her sour opinions of the competition.

“Bree will be just fine, she is the strongest girl I know, I am sure she has a plan.” The words didn’t match Ashley’s feelings, something hadn’t set right. Bree never called more than once, it was her golden rule.

Three times in one night, after no contact for months?

Ashley shook the thought as they continued studying in silence. She didn’t have time to worry about that right now, she had pressing matters right in front of her to spend her energy on.

She could apologize with a better attitude over the whole situation when she didn’t have her entire life looming over her head in the form of a single test to determine her ability to practice what she’d just spent her entire young adulthood reaching toward.

All of the sleepless nights, tears of frustration and missed social opportunities were about to make sense.

I will call her as soon as I get home. A commotion rose from the center of the hall as the double doors opened. Like a funnel the lawyer hopefuls poured through.

“Well, here goes nothing!” Minnie’s nervous excitement was contagious. Ashley felt a flutter in her heart as she stood and offered a hand to her companion with a smile.

“You mean everything?” Minnie took her hand and heaved herself to her feet.

“I stand corrected.” She moved forward glancing back over her shoulder. “Celebrate tonight?”

“Ah, yeah!” Ashley offered back through a mouthful of coffee. “I have to run home first though.”

The thought didn’t excite her as much as she thought it would, none of this did. The BAR, the end of her training, the celebration of their soon to be freedom.”

Something was missing…

As Ashley took her seat and reached into her pack for a number two pencil her heart suddenly felt heavy.

Bree was missing…

With that, Ashley decided she would track down her best friend and surprise her with a visit to celebrate her success together.

 

 

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