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Why does it always have to be me?

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“Trix!” Trixie quickly looked up from the papers in her hands when she heard a familiar voice shout out her name. Lexi waved at her from across the park, where Trixie decided to study, and started walking towards her. Trixie felt her heart sink, when she realised that Katya who was by Lexi’s side until that moment, was quickly walking away.
“Hi Lexi.” Trixie smiled as soon as Lexi was close enough.
“What are you up to?”
“Just looking through my notes.”
“Hmm.. Boring.” Trixie laughed at Lexi’s unfazed face. “Do you want to do something fun?” Trixie looked at her watch. The time was passing too quickly and she knew she should go back to library to use one of the old computers to look for a job.
“Yeah, but I’m not sure I am free today, sorry.”
“Oh come on, what’s so important that you can’t even hang out with your friend?” Lexi had a playful smile on her face that suggested that she wasn’t mad, yet Trixie still felt bad. Oh how she wished she could go out with Lexi.
“I need to find myself a job.”
“A job? So you have even less time to hang out with me? Oh I see how it is.” Lexi nudged her ribs but the look in her eyes asked Trixie for an explanation.
“Yeah.. I uh need money.” Embarrassment flushed Trixie’s cheeks. She hated her situation. She was expecting to lose Lexi and Katya any time now because who would want to befriend a loser like her? But Lexi didn’t seem put off by it at all.
“Hmm.. Yeah, I get that. Do you have any ideas where you would want to work?”
“Not at all. Frankly, I’m getting desperate. Every job collides with my classes. I am willing to work anywhere, just so I can get some money by the end of this term. I suppose you don’t have any suggestions, right?” Lexi watched her face carefully before she slowly spoke up.
“I might have one. But I am not sure it’s a job you would want.”
“I’ll take anything.” Lexi thought about it once more before she nodded to herself.
“Okay, but don’t come at me if it’s not what you want.”
“I won’t, don’t worry.”
“So we were out with Katya this one night – oh god you can’t tell her I told you about this, she would kill me.”
“It’s not like we talk much anyways.” Trixie couldn’t help the sadness that took over her voice. Lexi furrowed her eyebrows in confusion.
“What?” It seemed like Lexi didn’t notice that Katya was purposedly avoiding Trixie whenever she had the chance. It usually was like that day. Lexi was walking with Katya, then they noticed Trixie, Lexi came over to her and Katya disappeared.
“It’s nothing. You were talking about the job?”
“Yeah, right. We went out to one of the clubs I was talking about before, remember? And there was a sign that they are looking for ehm employees”
“I still don’t know what the clubs are.” Trixie said in a small voice and Lexi smiled sweetly.
“That’s probably good, it wouldn’t be a good job choice for you anyways.”
“Lexi please, I’m desperate, you have to help me.” Lexi sighed.
“They are sort of strip clubs.” She quickly admitted.
“Strip clubs?”
“Yeah, though we always just stay at the bar, where there isn’t anything that explicit. I think they’re looking for dancers.” Trixie closed her eyes. She knew she wasn’t pretty enough – or hot enough – to be a stripper but working night shifts would be perfect and the club might be looking for someone working at the bar as well. She could just go there and ask and hopefully she could at least clean the toilets for a bit of change.

The more Trixie thought about it, the better the idea of working in a club seemed. Or the closer the end of the term was. Either way Trixie was almost certain she would like to at least try to get the job, but she couldn’t bring herself to go there. Whenever she thought about it, she panicked. It felt like she will never have enough courage to ask for the job.

It took her three more days without warm dinner to realise that she didn’t really have a choice. She desperately needed a job and working in a club appealed to Trixie. She had nothing to lose.

The classes that day seemed to be never ending. Even Katya’s class was too long. Nervousness was eating Trixie alive and when Katya asked her to stay for a bit after the class, she felt like she was going to jump out of her skin. Any other day she would die for more time with Katya, but today she was too nervous about the club to be excited about anything else.

“I was talking to Lexi.” Katya spoke up as soon as the last student left the class. Trixie quickly packed all her things and now she was just standing there, in the middle of the room and she felt incredibly dumb. Her brain was clouded and Katya’s words didn’t really make any sense to her.
“Trixie, you know I’d love to spend time with you, right?” Trixie nodded. If there wasn’t for the job, she would die with embarrassment. “Unfortunately, it’s not really sensible for us to go out too much, you know? So maybe next year, when I’m not your professor?” Trixie nodded again but she had to hold back her tears. Suddenly it hit her, what that meant. Up until that moment she could try telling herself that it was a coincidence that Katya always disappeared whenever she was around, she could pretend that Katya just always  had something important to do but now she knew that wasn’t the case. Katya was doing it on purpose. And now she knew these were just empty words to end their friendship with and the fact that she won’t be able to see Katya at all, not even in her class, was breaking her heart.

“Oi, you there! We don’t open in the next two hours!” A loud voice made Trixie jump. She held tighter on her bag and turned around.
“Hi, I uh I’m sorry. I saw that you were looking for someone, as in for an employee?” She managed to get out without stuttering but her voice was too shaky. The person whose voice greeted her was standing behind the counter with growing smile on their face.
“My apologies then! I’m Sam, sit down, darling, and I’ll go get Rose, who’s in charge of things.” Sam gestured towards the bar stools before they disappeared in the back room.

It felt like an hour before they and Rose came back, though it wasn’t more than few minutes. Trixie was digging her nails into her palms just to stop her hands from shaking. What if she isn’t good enough? What if she won’t get this job? What if she won’t get any job?

It seemed like Rose quickly decided she wanted to hire Trixie, because not even fifteen minutes into their interview she was already giving Trixie a tour around the club. She was sweet young lady with black ponytail high up on her head and warm smile constant on her face. Half an hour later Trixie  felt unbelievable amount of weight fall down from her chest when Rose smiled once more and said “We’ll be delighted to have you here!”. Finally it felt like Trixie was doing something good. And after few more words with Rose she finally let herself hope that she will have place where she’ll belong.

For now they agreed that Trixie should start at the bar, though Rose suggested that they needed a dancer more than a bartender. The work wasn’t easy, it wasn’t all fun and games but it was something and Trixie liked it. Suddenly falling asleep was easier when she came home exhausted but with a bit of change in her pocket, than when she used to look up at her ceiling for hours wondering if this room is the last roof she’ll ever sleep under.

Trixie’s shift started every night at ten p.m.. Her job was mainly to serve a few drinks and then to clean all the glasses they used in the bar and she usually got off around four. It didn’t take long for her to get used to not getting enough sleep and after making sure she’ll have this job for more than a few days, she even allowed herself a cup of coffee every other morning.

Even though Trixie's schedule was filled more than ever, she always tried to find some time to hang out with Lexi and – hopefully – sometimes even Katya. As the end-of-term exams came closer and closer the time they had for each other almost disappeared and Trixie felt like she needed to make the most of the time they had left.

The work paradoxically gave Trixie more free time because she didn’t have to stress herself over money that much anymore. Since she was working at night, she could study all days long and she found it to be much easier with full stomach and hot coffee. Unfortunately she knew that the money she got would not be enough. She talked to Rose about her situation and Rose decided that if Trixie promises to not overwork herself, she will be able to clean the dressing room for the dancers, since they were usually too tired to care about being tidy and the next day was always full of missing things and chaos in general.

Trixie liked the cleaning more than any other job she tried. Sometimes Rose or Sam asked her to be at the bar the whole night or to go and collect the empty glasses from the tables, when someone called in sick, and though Trixie didn’t hate that, being in the dressing room was something completely different.

She had to remind herself more than once that she should go home and get some sleep because trying on all the cute and sexy dresses she found was very tempting. She found herself lingering her fingers on the material of the dress she should have just folded and put away. She loved the way the dancers carried themselves. They had such an energy she always wanted to match. They had this kind of sense of confidence yet they didn’t seem cocky and Trixie wished she could be attractive in the way the dancers were. But when she looked in the mirror and saw her blond messy bun and round face bordered with glasses she was reminded of what reality really was like.

Another good thing about working in a gay strip club was Trixie’s confidence getting higher. She wasn't particularly amazed by her looks but she no longer heted it. Only after two weeks she couldn’t even count how many beautiful women complimented her appearance which made her very comfortable in her own skin. She wasn’t used to getting compliments and hearing them at random moments throughout her shift without anyone expecting something in return made her work much better.

Finally, Trixie was in peace with the term coming to an end. Finally, she felt like she was doing good. Finally, she felt like she was enough and what was meant to happen would happen.