Andrea Sachs got out of the back of the town car, she looked over the hood at her boss. She was making her way up the steps, nearly being eaten alive by the paparazzi surrounding her. The conversation the two had just had, broke something in Andy, or rather it set it free. For Miranda to compare her to herself made Andy sick to her stomach, she could never be that cruel to her friends. She could never do to them what Miranda had done to Nigel, the man that had been at her side for twenty years. Her best friend.
Miranda Priestly didn’t care for anyone, minus her daughters, and yet, she was raising them to be just like her. More so, Andy was angry at herself. Because there had been a small bit of truth in what Miranda had said to her. She had gotten so wrapped up in the bizarre world of fashion that she had forgotten who she was, and what she wanted to make of herself in life. She wants to be a journalist, not an assistant. Even if Miranda does blacklist her for walking away, she wouldn’t care. She needed to leave before she lost herself in the crowd of people that wouldn’t save her if she was drowning.
Decision made, Andy walked across the street. She felt her cellphone buzzing in her pocket, she had half a mind to toss it in the fountain in front of her, but didn’t. She may need it later, and could just mail it back to the Runway offices. She hit ignore, and pocketed the phone. She took a seat on the edge of the fountain, looking up to the sky, she sighed, and closed her eyes.
“Some believe that the fountain is a magical being.” She was interrupted by a man who dressed in a suit that appeared to be from the late 1800s, and he was also wearing a top hat. She couldn’t quite place his accent, Andy’s best description of it was ‘old English’.
“Pardon?” She said.
“The fountain— legend has it, a keeper comes along once a year with magic coins, and the fountain grants one wish for whoever has one,” he said, holding up a hand, and waving it through the air, making a coin appear, “like this. Wish for whatever you want, toss it in, and it’s granted, but,” he said, holding up a finger, “you must be specific, or the fountain, and its keeper will grant the wish as they see fit.”
Andy didn’t say it out loud, but she thought this man was a little on the nutty side, “Right,” she began, skeptically, “if that’s the case, I would wish for—“
“Ahh, ahh, ahh, you can’t tell me what your wish will be, that takes all the magic away.” He said, interrupting her, and handing her the coin.
Taking it, she looked down at it, and inspected it. It was gold, and had all of these odd, swirling, patterns on it. Before she could hand it back to him, she was interrupted a second time.
“If you’re done splashing in the water, we need to get back across the street to the venue.” Miranda said.
Andy looked up, half of her was surprised that her boss had come after her. Defeated, she sighed, and asked, “What are you doing, Miranda?”
The older woman held her palms out, and looked around, “I thought the weather was nice, so I decided to go for a stroll.” She said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
Another round of anger washed over Andy, “See, this is why I’m walking away. You can be so mean.” She said, standing from the fountain.
Miranda laughed coldly, “What on earth does that have to do with your ability to do your job?” She asked.
“Are you serious? You are unbelievable, Miranda. It has everything to do with how I do my job,” she said, beginning to become hysterical, “would it kill you to say thank you every now and then?”
Miranda whipped her sunglasses off, stepping closer, she said, “Oh, you’re one to talk, Andrea. Like I said in the car, you had a choice coming here, and you made it. You’re happy it was you that came, and not Emily. You’re just too proud to admit it.”
Andy ran her hands through her hair, ready to pull it out, “Do you hear yourself? She has a broken leg, Miranda. There was no other choice to make, and then you had the nerve to send me to do your dirty work, making me tell her that the one thing she had been looking forward to, all year, she wouldn’t be able to go,” tears of anger pooled in Andy’s eyes, “I think you get off on it, honestly. You already have everything you could ask for, and you’ve grown bored. So, you put everyone in a constant state of turmoil purely for your entertainment.”
“If I were you, I would tread very carefully, Andrea. You’re beginning to pass the point of no return.” Miranda said in a deadly voice, getting even closer to Andy.
“Oh, yeah? Or what, you’ll blacklist me?” she asked, throwing her hands up in the air, and letting them fall with a slap to her legs, “that just proves my point even more. Anytime someone simply disagrees with you, you ruin their life. It’s always your way, or no way, Miranda.”
She couldn’t be sure, but she thought she saw a flash of hurt cross the other woman’s face, and that is the last thing she needs.
“If I’m so terrible, why are we still here talking about it?” Miranda asked.
Andy let out a bitter laugh, “Because for some fucking reason, I care about you,” she watched as Miranda’s eyes widen, she looked down at the coin in her hand, “I don’t want you to change who you are, I just wish you were nicer.” she said, emotionally exhausted, and half heartedly tossed the coin in the fountain.
Miranda watched as the coin floated to the bottom of the fountain, “Wishing for it won’t make it come true, Andrea.”
“I know, that guy over—“ she began, turning around, not seeing the older man, “there. Huh, he was just here.” She finished, her brows furrowed.
Unbeknownst to either woman, the man was watching from a distance with a smile on his face. He had warned the young brunette about being specific. Your wish has been granted, he laughed, and walked away.
“Listen, I’ll make you a deal,” Miranda said, putting a hand on the woman’s forearm to get her attention, “come back to work, hand in a two weeks notice, and I’ll give you a reference letter for whatever silly publication you would like to write for.”
Andy was suspicious, it sounded too good to be true, “What’s the catch?” She asked.
“There isn’t one,” the older woman said, looking away, “I’m not keen on admitting this, but I need your help for the remainder of our time here. I won’t be able to manage it all.” Andy didn’t miss how the last statement was said through gritted teeth.
Weighing her options, Andy thought it was a win-win situation. In two weeks, she would be at her dream job, and she was going to reward Miranda for being nice. Well, nicer, there was still a long ways to go, Andy thought. A little positive reinforcement never hurt nobody.
Sighing, she said, “Fine, I’ll come back, but only for two more weeks.”
Miranda nodded, both women started making their way across the street. Andy felt a weighted sensation on her ring finger, looking down at her hand, she saw a beautiful oval diamond ring sitting on it. That’s odd, Andy thought. She hadn’t put a ring on this morning, nor did she remember purchasing it. Taking a closer look, she knew it couldn’t have been hers. It would have taken four of her paychecks, and all of her savings to afford this ring. Before she could think more about it, they were stopped by Nigel.
“There you two lovebirds are, everyone is waiting.” he said, getting in between herself, and Miranda.
Andy’s brain skidded to a halt, surely he didn’t just say what she thought he had. She chanced a glance at Miranda, and saw that she was looking at him like he had grown a second head. Okay, nope, he definitely said it.
“I beg your pardon?” Miranda said, half shocked, and half irate.
Nigel gave her a funny look, “Wow, you are stressed. You haven’t used that tone of voice with me since before the two of you got married.” He said, causing Miranda’s eyes to widen, and Andy to choke on her own saliva.
“What?” Andy squeaked at the same time Miranda asked, “Is this some sort of joke?” both women stopping in their tracks.
Nigel had kept walking, stopping, he turned around, “What’s going on with you two?” he asked, confusion written all over his face.
“Us?” Miranda started, “What’s going on with you? And what do you mean, since before we got married?” She finished, gesturing between her, and Andrea.
Taking a step closer, “Miranda, dear, are you feeling alright?” Nigel asked, worried.
Regaining her composure, Andy flailed her hands through the air, and said, “Pretend we have absolutely no idea what you mean, and tell us what you’re talking about.”
Nigel looked back and forth between the two women. Concerned, he said, very slowly, “You two are married, and today is your one year anniversary.”