Manda was getting out of the rut that was her divorce from Brayden and was beginning to be in a good place. She was always working and building her portfolio to be able to save and get her own place.
She also had great company with Tiana and Miles. She fit right in, but she did want to venture out on her own one day.
One day Manda went out to collect the mail. She heard someone behind her approaching.
Stranger: Excuse me, do you live in apartment B?
Manda: I do. May I help you?
Stranger: I think I may have been getting some of your mail. Is this you?
Manda: Oh! Yes. Yes it is. Thank you!
Stranger: No problem. Iʻm Jaxton. Jaxton Ball. I just moved into apartment A two weeks ago.
Manda: Nice to meet you, Jaxton. Iʻm Manda. Welcome to the building!
Jaxton: Thanks, Manda! Iʻll be seeing you around. Take care!
Manda: Yeah, you too!
Manda goes back inside the apartment and sits down on the couch with Miles watching TV.
Manda: Have you met the new neighbor, Jaxton?
Miles: No I havenʻt.
Manda: He seems nice. He just moved in two weeks ago.
Miles: Weʻll have to go over and say hello and welcome him to the building then.
Sunday came around and the gang decided to go out for Mexican food.
Tiana: How was your day, guys?
Miles: It was okay. I just cleaned the apartment and worked out.
Manda: Mine was busy. I did a lot of artwork for my new freelance job. Wanna try and meet the deadline early.
Tiana: Thatʻs awesome, Manda. I swear every time I come in the living room youʻre face first in that sketchpad of yours going hard. Youʻre doing great. You can take a day off, you know? I think you should before you burn yourself out.
Manda: Honestly it doesnʻt feel like work. Iʻm loving the work Iʻm doing. Itʻs like since I left Brayden whatever has held me back in my art has disappeared. I have an entirely new vision on things.
Tiana: Iʻm glad to see you like this. Iʻm really happy that things are working out for you, Manda.
Manda: Thank you! What about you? How was your day?
Tiana: I relaxed all day. Interior design takes a lot out of me during the week so I just wanted a day to sleep in.
Manda: Good! You deserve some rest! Hey Iʻll be right back, Iʻm gonna go to the bar and see if I can get a drink faster. Does anyone want anything?
Tiana: Bring me a Coquito!
At the bar Manda recognizes a familiar face, Jaxton her next door neighbor. She goes over to say hello.
Jaxton: Manda, right?
Manda: Yeah! Nice to see you out. So youʻre getting used to the neighborhood?
Jaxton: Yeah. A few people told me about this place so I thought I would check it out myself.”
Manda: You wonʻt be disappointed. Itʻs a great restaurant. Have you ordered yet?
Jaxton: No, not yet. I was still looking over the menu.
Manda: Come! Join us! Weʻre right over there waiting for our food. Itʻs no problem, come dine with your neighbors!
Jaxton: If you insist.
Manda brings Jaxton over to the table where Tiana and Miles are sitting.
Manda: Guys this is our neighbor I was telling you about, Jaxton. Jaxton, this is Tiana and Miles. I live with them.
Miles: Nice to meet you.
Tiana: Have a seat, Jaxton!
Jaxton: Nice to meet you guys. I hope you donʻt mind.
[Jaxton and Manda sit down]
Tiana: Not at all! Sit! So Jaxton, when did you move here?
Jaxton: About three weeks ago. Wanted a change of pace so I left the room I was renting in the suburbs to live in the city. I have two roommates, an older married couple.
Tiana: Oh well welcome to San Myshuno! If youʻre looking for some furniture you should check out the flea market in our neighborhood on Sundays.
Jaxton: Thanks, Iʻll check it out.
Miles: Jaxton, what do you do for a living?
Jaxton: Iʻm a substitute teacher.
Manda: Oh wow. That must be stressful.
Jaxton: It has its good days and bad days.
Manda: You seem like you have a level head for it.
Everyone has a good time at dinner. Jaxton gets along well with everyone and he and Manda find out that they have a lot in common. They both love horror movies, read similar comics, love art, things that make them grow to become fast friends. Tiana takes notice of the conversation.
After dinner Tiana was getting ready for the bed when she saw Manda working in the kitchen.
Tiana: Girl, take a break!
Manda: Iʻm almost done! I swear!
Tiana: Enough about work. Let me ask you something…
Manda: Whatʻs up?
Tiana: What do you think about Jaxton?
Manda: Heʻs cool.
Tiana: Hear me out…I know itʻs only been three months since you filed for divorce from Brayden, but what if you went out with Jaxton?
Manda [Laughs]: Absolutely not.
Tiana: Why not? You two got along so well at dinner.
Manda: Itʻs too soon, Tiana. The ink is barely dry on my divorce.
Tiana: Iʻm just saying, you seem like youʻre ready to get back out there.
Manda: He is pretty cool though…
Tiana: He really is! What do you have to lose?
Manda sits back.
Manda: Okay Iʻm not saying, “Yes”, but Iʻll take going out with Jaxton under consideration…
Tiana smiles, and then goes off to bed.
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