THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit, is a hilarious and touching look at re-entering the dating world after divorce.
“Wake up, Dorsey.” Mimi’s lilting voice bounced around inside my head like a pesky kitten. My eyes fluttered open—only to be assaulted by sunlight so bright you’d think I was on CSI-Miami.
Last night I’d ordered another pitcher and had gotten so smashed I couldn’t drive home. Guess I didn’t make it to the guest bedroom because now I was sprawled on Mimi’s white sofa with my head propped up on one hand, trying to decide if I wanted to live. “You okay?” she called out.
My mouth, sticky and smelling like sewer debris, opened then closed again. “Astoundingly ecstatic,” I muttered.
“Here,” she said, bringing me a cup of freshly brewed java. I wasn’t sure why, but Mimi made the best coffee I’d ever had. Something about a gold-threaded filter, which was nice, if you could afford it, and I guess she could. I didn’t know much about her since she’d never volunteered much of anything, and I thought it best not to ask. I figured when she was ready to talk about herself, she would.
Mimi tucked a yoga mat into her tote bag. “Dorsey, ransack my closet if you want something to wear. Your car’s out front. Pilar got a waiter to bring it here last night then drove him back to Oro’s. I swear that girl can talk anyone into anything”
“She sure can,” I said, waving bye to Mimi.
After crawling off the sofa, I wobbled into the kitchen. I’d never make it to work on only one cup of caffeine, but her coffeemaker was so high tech I needed a tutorial just to turn it on. Luckily, she’d made a full pot.
Twenty minutes later, I was in my grandma-gray Corolla, wearing my brown pants from last night and a tangerine tunic from Mimi’s closet. As I cruised up to the intersection, I warned myself not to look to the left. But I couldn’t help myself.
I had to look. I didn’t want to. I had to.
And there it was. Taunting me. The flagstone entrance sign for Mimi’s cul-de-sac. My eyes lingered on the sign: Melissa Circle.
A sting of pain prickled up my spine. The only way it could be worse is if the damn thing said Melissa Street.
A stalled pickup blocked my exit off the 405. I took the next one and backtracked, praying I’d get to work on time, or even a bit early, which I would gleefully point out to Janet Wu, my supervisor. Mudslides, earthquakes, a shootout on the 405, nothing deterred Janet Wu. She was never late. Wouldn’t surprise me if she had a secret teleportation app hidden on her iPhone.
At five to nine I pulled into the garage. Not enough time to get to my desk on the tenth floor before Janet sprang out of the woodwork to check up on me. An idea popped into my head. Quickly stuffing my iPhone into my bra, I threw my purse under the seat and ran to the service elevator.
My plan was to slip out of the elevator at the tenth floor, grab something from the supply room, and then walk back to my desk as if I’d been there all along. On the ride up my bladder threatened to burst, and I knew there was no way I could make it to the tenth floor ladies’ room, so I decided on a ninth floor pit stop. Unfortunately, all the stalls were in use.
I squirmed, prayed, did ten Kegels, and finally a stall door swung open. A striking Amazonian brunette in a red silk suit strolled out. Racing past her, I flew into the stall and reached for a toilet seat cover. The container was empty.
“Screw it,” I muttered, unzipping my pants. I was about to sit down when I saw three huge glimmering yellow drops of pee on the toilet seat
A burst of anger flamed up inside me like a roiling volcano. Deep down, I sensed it wasn’t just about the pee. It was everything. Theo dumping me. Seeing him with the blonde last night. Hating my boring job. And, of course, being divorced for five freaking years.
My rational self told me to take a deep breath and calm down, but suddenly I was zipping up my pants and, with my head on fire, I stormed out of the stall. “You!” I shouted. “You in the red suit!”
The brunette was washing her hands at the last sink. Her head swiveled in my direction. My finger stabbed the air. “You peed on the seat! I’m not cleaning up your pee!”
Her eyes flickered with surprise, and then burned bright with venom so raw it seared straight to my bones. I gulped, dropped my gaze and started to shrink into the floor. I was about two feet tall when the woman thundered past me, with her black python pumps clattering on the white porcelain tile.
Eight minutes later, the service elevator stopped at the tenth floor. I slipped out and quietly stole into the supply room where I found a printer cartridge, then walked down the hallway to my cubicle. Hmm. Odd. The place was strangely quiet. I looked around. Where was everybody?
I dropped the cartridge on my desk and strolled around the corner, expecting to see Janet Wu in her office. What the ... Wu was not at her desk. Just then the conference room doors swung open and my co-workers, grumbling in low voices, drifted out, followed by Janet.
I gave her a puzzled look. She glowered back at me before barking, “Corporate is downsizing.”
I gasped, stunned. God, no. I couldn’t lose this job. I hated it, but I needed it. Somehow I had to persuade Janet to keep me. Tossing away every shred of dignity I had left, I started to plead my case.
Janet Wu cut me off. “New York sent their people. They’ll decide who stays and who goes.” Her lips quivered and her eyes blinked rapidly. “I’m not even sure if I’m staying.” I felt myself softening. Janet seemed almost human. Suddenly, the room grew disturbingly quiet again. I glanced around. Four men in dark suits had just stepped out of the elevator. From behind the men, a woman emerged. It was the Amazonian brunette in the red suit.
“W-who’s that?” I stammered.
“HR from New York,” Janet replied.
Meet the Author:
CeCe Osgood lives in Texas after many years in LA working in the film industry. Her writing career includes magazine articles and screenplays as well as being a freelance script analyst (main client HBO). She also has had two screenplays optioned.
Being a novelist has been her lifelong dream, and now it’s becoming her reality. Her debut novel, THE DIVORCED NOT DEAD WORKSHOP, a romantic comedy with a whopping side dish of chick lit aka lighthearted women’s fiction, is about dating after divorce. She loves red wine and hates pretzels. See more about her at http://www.ceceosgood.com.
Amazon Buy Link: http://bit.ly.com/tdndw
Social Media Links: