“This is so intense! I can barely stand it!”
The crowd has gone. The band is putting away the last of their instruments and equipment. Juniper, Bethany, Tish and Alesandra are gathered with the accountant, realtor and attorney awaiting a final tally of the night’s profits. The accountant is pecking mercilessly at his keyboard entering in the numbers.
“If you don’t hurry up I think I’m going to lose my mind!” Alesandra wails in anticipation. So much depends upon decent numbers tonight. If the sale did as well as Juniper thought it might, the possibility of owning the building will become that much more affordable.
Everyone seems to be holding their breath as the accountant enters in the last few numbers and pencils in something on his ledger. “Ladies, this event has earned you a grand total of $120,476.” The accountant glares around with an exaggerated grin about his face. There is silence. “I was expecting more squeals of delight and less…nothing,” he sarcastically scoffs while gathering his materials to exit, realizing that their expectations must have been a bit unrealistic. The now sad and disappointed faces glance at each other.
“So, I guess we just take the money and apply it towards the repairs for the sale of the building,” Alesandra suggests.
“No, wait. Who mentioned anything about selling the building?” Bethany nudges for Juniper to speak up.
“You heard those numbers. That’s not enough to put a dent in this thing for us,” Tish rubs Alesandra’s arm in consolation. “Or for anybody. That’s barely thirty percent.”
“But why give up? We could just put our heads together and come up with some other projects to raise more cash,” Juniper sounds off as the voice of reason.
“We probably would’ve collected more if we hadn’t had that impromptu performance by the drunk lady. That painting –“
“Wasn’t going to change the bottom line that much,” Tish interrupts her sister.
“Actually, paintings by dead people usually rack in some impressive dollars.” Juniper sounds disappointed about the entire ordeal.
“At any rate, playing the coulda shoulda woulda game isn’t going to get us anywhere. By the way, anybody know how she’s doing? The drunk lady?” Tish sounds tired.
“I called and checked on her half an hour ago. Her daughter said she was resting. The ex husband is there with them.” Bethany takes a seat, removes her heel and massages her foot.
“Poor thing.” Juniper shakes her head.
“No, the real tragedy is going to be for that old lady. I mean, we’re all able to move although we’d rather stay. But that old lady has been in that building for years. She doesn’t seem to have family. No one ever comes to visit except recently when that old man started coming around.” Alesandra begins to gather her catering utensils that have been neatly boxed. Tish assists with the bags of some other items. “I’m tired. And this is too much to think about right now. You guys let me know what you come up with.”
“Thanks, Alesandra. You’re on your way to becoming the city’s most fabulous chef! The food was exquisite!” Juniper waves as they head way toward the exit.
“Thanks!” Alesandra calls out, not bothering to look behind her.
Juniper is smiling as she takes a few small steps back to where the accountant left the tally at the table. Her smile fades as the reads the numbers and picks up the paper. “There simply has to be more we can do.”
“I think it might be time we consider the only option we have remaining.” Bethany slides off her other shoe and stands. “Pack.”