Realtor of the Year | By Jeff Harvey
Turned down again by another potential seller, Derek stopped at Panna’s to have lunch. While enjoying the tofu stir-fry, he heard a familiar voice ordering a quinoa salad. He looked around and caught Jessica’s eye.
“Can I join you?” Jessica placed her tray on his table before he could respond. He and Jessica had been friends for two years, ever since he helped her get a receptionist job at his real estate company.
Derek began to spend more and more time with her and her boyfriend, Aaron. One evening, after binge-watching several episodes of Nurse Jackie and enjoying too many Mojitos, Jessica passed out. Aaron spent the night in Derek’s bed.
“Aaron told me the two of you went to the Kacey Musgraves concert last night.” Jessica flashed her beauty-pageant smile.
“I told Aaron I’d get you a ticket, but he said you couldn’t make it.”
“You seem uncomfortable.” Jessica reached over and took Derek’s hand. “I want to assure you that it’s all good.”
“What do you mean?”
“The thousand you give Aaron every month.” Jessica tightened her grip on Derek’s hand. “No need to make any changes. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to make my Tesla payment, and you couldn’t enjoy your weekly romp with him.”
Derek’s eyes welled up. “I haven’t closed a real estate deal in four months.”
“Best find a way to pump up your business. Should I tell Aaron that he may want to look around for another beau?”
“No. No. Please don’t say anything to him.”
“You could always trade your Range Rover for a Toyota. Better gas mileage.” Jessica walked away and left her tray for him to clear.
Five months later, Jessica kicked Aaron out after he lost the use of his right arm in an auto accident. He moved in with Derek, and she moved in with their company’s CEO. She was fired shortly thereafter. Derek had let the CEO use his phone, where he happened to see pictures Jessica sent to Aaron every night, leading to the reorganization of the team. Derek went on to win Realtor of the Year.
Jeff Harvey grew up next Memphis TN and now lives in San Diego CA. His work has appeared in Stone of Madness Press, Salmon Creek Journal, Literary Yard, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @JeffHarveySD.