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 Freedom and Fashion, - Nina Wallace [Em]
Michelle Cordero
 Posted: Jul 16 2017, 07:26 PM
Quote
Newcomer
Mara


Saturday, July 1, 2017
Early afternoon


Michelle was excited. It had been too long since she had gotten together with her friend Nina. Sure, she had seen and talked to her a few times in the last few months since she had needed that heart-to-heart about her ex Kris. But those had been a bit more casual, spur-of-the-moment, not allowing for deeper conversation. They had both been busy, Michelle at the hospital, Nina with her new enterprise. Which in fact, was almost entirely the reason she had set up this little date with her good friend. To catch up and hear all the good juicy details about this change in her life.

But she would have been lying if she hadn't had an ulterior motive as well. Eventually, she had taken her friend's advice, after much thought, and set up a meeting with her ex-husband. Nina had been one of the few who knew he had weaseled his way back into her life, and Michelle felt she deserved to hear the end of the story, once and for awhile. However, not before she heard all about Nina's new fashion endeavor. This was to celebrate her friend, first and foremost.

Somehow, she had managed to be free today, despite the holiday weekend. A lot of times, she ended up working shifts for the other doctors who had to go out of town or had other more pressing plans. And was more than happy to do so, most of the time. She had no family in town, though plenty of friends. Plus, she loved being at the hospital anyway; the extra money she made was insignificant compared to what she already had in savings and the help and good work she was doing with her patients. Despite all that, it was good to have some time way for socializing and recuperating before it started all over again.

She was in the kitchen, making the final preparations on a bit of food she had put together for them to snack on while they talked. A glance at the time told her that Nina would be arriving a few minutes. Michelle had already uncorked the bottle of wine to let it breathe awhile before she poured it in glasses. Now she was arranging a plate with her take on tapas. Cuban-influenced instead of Spanish. Knowing that she had instilled a love of her ancestor's cuisine in her friend during one of those rare moments they had been together, and cooking each other's favorites.

Simultaneously, keeping Marlin away from the food, because he could definitely smell the little pork sandwiches and kept sniffing up at the counter. Michelle had half a mind to just shut him up in the backyard, but had decided to keep him indoors so he could touch base with Nina. Then later maybe he would need to get outdoors. For the moment, though, he was a bit underfoot as she finished filling up the platter with food and walked out to the dining table. Catching eye of the French doors leading out to the patio, considering taking the meal outside instead... and then heard the doorbell ring.

Leaving the food where she had set it, she headed towards the front door, calling Marlin to her. "Come on, Mar. Nina's here." He padded after her, tail wagging. Michelle was barefoot, in jean shorts and a bright yellow top. Her hair was hanging loose over her shoulders. A big smile spreading across her face, she pulled open the door to greet her friend. "It's great to see you! How are you?" Giving Nina a big hug before stepping back inside to let her into her house.

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Nina Wallace
 Posted: Jul 19 2017, 04:38 AM
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Townie
Em


With Fourth of July coming, Casey was going to busy. He usually liked to help out in the community, and the holiday was providing him a way to that. Also, well they would have their own celebration and perhaps something with his little scouts too so they have plenty to keep them busy and entertained. That would not stop Nina from meeting up with he friend though. So much has happened since the last time that they talked and she knew that they would have a lot of things to catch up on.

Michelle was particularly interested about the show Nina did in LA a few months ago. She couldn’t believe that was three months ago already. She was still amazed she had that chance and new opportunities are popping up for her. She was finding the need to take a step back and look at everything, talk to Casey about it and just determine what her plan of action was.

Truth be told Nina was an ‘in the moment’ person. She gets very focused on one thing first and lets that pass before setting her sights on something else. She didn’t know what would happen or what she would do after Fashion Week save for helping Casey transition into training again and getting into competitions. Nina really wanted to see him getting into his sport again, but her husband was insistent in letting her do whatever she wanted with her career as a designer.

He knew it was her dream, and he was always so encouraging and supportive of it. Her line up for fashion week got a bit of attention and it was something Nina was still trying to wrap her head around. It was also something she felt her friend could give her a bit of input on so the girl bonding could not have come at a better time.

After making sure everything was squared away at home with her chores, she let Casey get on with a bit of farmwork with Steve while she visit Michelle. She brought with her the peach raspberry cupcakes she baked that morning while doing laundry, and then she decided to take Nai’a with her so that Marlin would also have a playmate while the mommies talk.

”I love you,” She told Casey before kissing him goodbye, and then he complimented the little skirt she had on which had two things he approved of--the color and the length.

The drive to Michelle was a nice one, and Nina let the wind blow through the open window of her car. Nai’a enjoyed it too, and was happy to be in the passenger seat while he stuck his tongue out and enjoyed the summer wind. Music played on the radio, and Nina hummed or sang along until she arrived at Michelle’s place. ”Let’s go, Nai! We’re here!” Nina took the box of cupcakes from the back seat before opening up the door to let her dog out.

They walked to the front door where Michelle was already standing with a smile on her face. ”Hey!” Nina greeted excitedly, walking up her with her own bright smile. ”So good to see you again!” She gave her a big hug, careful not to bang the cupcake box at her friend. ”I hope you don’t mind I brought Nai’a with me. I thought Marlin would like the company. I would have brought Rex and Rufus but three dogs is kind of tough to wrangle without Casey.” The brunette grinned, stepping inside the home and greeting Marlin. ”Hey buddy,” Yes, her tone might have gone a pitch higher at that greeting. Nina held out her hand for the dog to sniff, and she reached down to rub him behind the ears. ”Oh you’re such a handsome boy, aren’t ya? Yes, you are!”

She looked to Michelle after greeting Marlin, and she held up the little gift she had. Never go to a home empty-handed. It was something she and Casey always remembered. ”I brought cupcakes!” She sniffed the air and felt her stomach grumble too. ”And something smells so good!”
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Michelle Cordero
 Posted: Jul 24 2017, 08:17 PM
Quote
Newcomer
Mara


Shutting the door behind her friend and her dog, "No, no, the more the merrier. Marlin loves hanging out with his buddies." Michelle smiled down at the border collie whom her husky had met a few times over the years, along with Nina and Casey's other dogs. In fact, it was a wonderful surprise, something she wished she had thought of in the first place when she had asked Nina over: having another four-legged friend to keep Marlin company, and away from the food, while the two human friends talked.

Marlin gave Nina a big sloppy kiss when she came down to his level. He loved people, especially familiar ones. And always had a friendly smile and a wag of his furry tail for them. A look of bliss came over him at the nice scratch she gave him. But then Nai'a was there, and Nina was forgotten as the two boys started up their own doggy greeting, once Michelle had finished own hello with Nina's dog, having given him a good pat-down.

Michelle watched them for a moment more to make sure they were playing nice, and nothing in her home was in danger, yet, and then she turned back to her friend. "Great!" accepting the box from Nina. "I hadn't thought of dessert. Thank you." She tilted her head towards the interior of her home. "Come on. Let me get these on a plate." Leading her friend towards the kitchen and dining area, the dogs somewhere in front of them, by the sounds of barking and yipping.

She set the cupcakes on the island counter and reached for a cupboard. "Nin, can you open one of the doors to the back? I think we should get those boys out where there are less things to break," she laughed, calling out to her friend. Marlin was generally a good-behaved dog, as well as Nai'a, but with the two of them together, she would rather be safe than sorry. Plus there was a lot more open space in the backyard. Michelle finished with the cupcakes, and then walked out to the dining table where she had left her other goodies.

Once Nina had rejoined her from letting the dogs outside, "Well, shall we go out in the fresh air as well? Or do you want to stay indoors?" Michelle would be fine either way. Despite the heat of the day, she would be just as comfortable outdoors. Having grown up in an environment a bit more tropical than Lochland Grove. Of course, Nina had as well. But sometimes there was something to be said for staying away from mosquitoes and other insects. And where it could be quieter.

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Nina Wallace
 Posted: Aug 3 2017, 05:50 AM
Quote
Townie
Em


It was good for Nai’a to be around other dogs. While he had play dates with dogs of friends, it wasn’t until she started living with Casey that he had constant companions and playmates. They were a good group, and seeing Nai’a with marlin now made her think another playdate was in order. And soon!

The dogs went off to another part of the house and Michelle took the box of cupcakes from Nina. ”Oh my mind is always on dessert. Even before I start on the main course.” She replied with a wave of her hand and a chuckle, knowing her closest people could attest to the truth of it. Nina always looked at the desserts before she orders her entree, thinking it important that she has room at the end for something sweet. And there is always room for dessert.

Nina followed Michelle to the kitchen, letting her eyes roam to take a look around and see if there was anything new, and before long was asked to let the dogs out. ”Who let the dogs out? Who? Who who who whowho!” She sang--perhaps quite badly--dancing along to her song as she called the dogs’ attention and opened the back door for them. ”Come on boys, time for a bit of exercise.” The two were so eager to be out they were running out the door as soon as it was opened.

”Oh, walking outside would be nice. I wouldn’t mind that.” Nina smiled, returning to her friend at the kitchen and seeing how she has displayed the colorful cupcakes. Nina also grew up in a warmer area and the summer in Lochland was pretty tame in her opinion. There was no wind from the ocean that could help in tanning her skin, too, but the air was pretty pleasant today and a walk in the fresh air was always nice. The town had trees that still kept things pleasant even in summer.

”I can’t believe summer is here.” She mused, leaning her arms on the counter and smiling over at the pretty cupcakes. ”We’re on the second half of the year! I’ve been doing so many things, I don’t know where time went.” She just knew that she has had a good half year, and she was really looking forward to the rest that the year had to offer. ”Things are going to start to get busy again, I want to go to Hawaii before that all happens. I miss my family there. You planning on going anywhere this summer?”

Nina had a number of places she was hoping to visit this summer, but Kauai is on the top of that list. She wants to go see her parents and brother and just be in that familiar place again. It was like she needed the extra encouragement for all the things she and her husband would have to tackle from here on out.

"Oh and do you have plans on the fourth? Maybe you want to join me and Case in celebrating independence day."

((Oh gosh I should really track this thread! Sorry love!))
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Michelle Cordero
 Posted: Aug 12 2017, 02:56 PM
Quote
Newcomer
Mara


Not for the last time, Michelle was glad she had purchased a home with a fenced-in backyard. Of course, if it hadn't been, she would have immediately hired someone to put one up for her. But she was happy that Marlin finally had his own space outside. Yeah, her friend Lucas had had a similar yard, but the husky had had to share that one with her friend's ginormous dog of his own. And back in Florida, he had been cooped up inside high-rise condos and apartments most of the time. Having a dog in her backyard reminded her of her childhood and the family's dog Oso who had long since passed.

But the backyard was not just for the dogs, after all. "Great," she answered Nina. Michelle did not get many chances to use her patio area with guests. Did not have many gatherings over at her house, due to schedules and other things. "We'll go join the boys out in the fresh air then," she smiled and headed back into the kitchen where she had left the wine. "If you'll grab the food and cupcakes, I'll get the drinks."

Picking up the bottle, she started pouring the wine into the first glass. "I know... this year has just flown by. I was just thinking a few weeks ago, that I've been here almost three years already." Michelle shook her head, pausing over the second wineglass. "Me? Oh, no. I'll be staying around here." She would have loved to go back down to Florida this summer, but with Alex busy playing, her other two brothers occupied with families of their own, it was hard to get them all together much anymore. The last time she had been had been before Christmas, but that had not been entirely happy circumstances, due to her father's heart attack. He was okay and recovered completely, but it had not been the holiday she had wished for.

Before she filled up Nina's glass, she glanced over at her friend. "That is... if you can still have wine?" A grin and a glint in her dark eyes. Ever since a year and a half okay when her husband Casey had confided in her about their wishes for a family, Michelle had made it a personal mission to joke with her friends about it. Not to needle or noodle them, or pressure them in anyway, but just a bit of a conversation starter at times. And if she was honest, because she was a bit curious and nosy as well. After all, what were friends for?

After Nina's answer, she finished up and picked up the two glasses as well as the bottle, and followed her friend out through the French doors. The joking with her friend had also been a bit of a delay in replying to her query about her Fourth of July plans. That day had always had special meaning for her, the one day as a kid when her family would gather at the beach and just have family time. But it had been so long since she had really celebrated it: not since her mother's passing. "I don't..." she said, passing into the sunlight and the sounds of the outdoors and playing dogs. "I was just going to stay at home, maybe pick up a shift at the hospital for someone who needs it off."


(((No worries! My Wi-Fi has been acting stupid lately...)))

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Nina Wallace
 Posted: Aug 17 2017, 08:46 AM
Quote
Townie
Em


”Got ‘em!” Nina chirped, prancing a bit as she walked over to the cupcakes that have been set on a plate. ”Do you need a fork?” You know, just in case she didn’t want her hands to get messy. Nina was happy about eating outdoors though. She had always been very fond of eating al fresco. There was something about the air blowing on her face and the sun kissing her skin that she really liked. Sometimes, when she closes her eyes, it was almost reminiscent of the feeling of her home in Hawaii.

Hearing that Michelle had been around three years made Nina look back on the years she spent in town too. She was ahead of her friend for only a year, and she could not believe that much time had passed either. Everything had gone so wonderfully ever since she moved to Lochland Grove, and she has met so many great people. Like Michelle. Nina smiled as she regarded her friend, but when she said she was not going anywhere for the summer, her expression turned to one of disapproval.

”What? You’re not going anywhere at all? That sounds criminal…” Nina replied, shaking her head and giving her friend a stern look. ”You know you gotta take a break sometimes too, right?” The brunette added with a bit of a smirk. Michelle was a hard worker, and she had an important job that Nina felt was difficult to leave. There were lives to save and people to help, after all. Still, it was good for Michelle’s mind to just pull away from everything and relax.

She was going to keep poking her friend about it, but as she opened her mouth, Michelle asked if she was still allowed to drink wine and, automatically, Nina caught her drift. ”Of course!” She chuckled, widening her eyes at Michelle. She was on of those people often asking about it, probably next to her parents. ”I mean, last time I checked.” Nina grinned, though she was just kidding. She was sure to keep herself protected with how intimate they often were, but if she did want to have a baby already she knew she would be consulting her friend about the best time to conceive is for a woman.

They walked out of the house to get the fresh air Nina wanted, and as soon as she stepped out she took a deep breath of the scents around her. It was nice out, and Nai’a and Marlin were already enjoying the yard.

”What?!”

The look of disapproval Nina had just moments ago easily returned to her face when Michelle said she didn’t have any fourth of July plans either. ”You can’t take someone else’s shift! Just come celebrate with us! Casey grills good meat, and his grandparents are wonderful. Phil will be there too! If you don’t have plans of going anywhere you should at least try to be on a holiday when there is a holiday!” Nina chuckled, adamant about her suggestion that her friend do something fun for the Fourth. ”We’ve invited other friends, too. You will get to meet them.”

Nina was then distracted by how nice the garden looked now. Assuming it was Gavin who was helping Michelle with, Nina grinned brightly and looked to her friend with mischief. ”Nice garden… You have a good time planning this out with Gav?”

((I assumed the garden is better now? If it isn’t fixed I can just edit my reply for you!))
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Michelle Cordero
 Posted: Aug 21 2017, 07:34 PM
Quote
Newcomer
Mara


She had smiled back at her friend after Nina had confirmed that she could still indeed drink wine. Michelle had been pretty certain about her answer, knowing that she would be one of the first to be told, but enjoyed joshing her friend anyway about expanding her family. In fact, she was almost looking forward to that day; though she had nephews and nieces, even other friends with children, they were all back in Florida. It would be a first for her to have a child here in Lochland she could spoil. Whether Casey and Nina liked it or not.

Though perfectly content to eat with her fingers--part of the reason she had decided to make some tapas for them to eat--Michelle managed to juggle a couple forks and some napkins with the wine as she passed out of the kitchen, into the living area and then out through the open doors. She was generally of the mindset to be prepared for anything. A quality that sometimes was at odds with her spontaneous nature and adventurous side. But like everything else in life, she tried to have it both ways. And sometimes succeeded.

As Michelle reached the table and chairs she had out on the patio, carefully depositing her goods, she heard her friend exclaim. Definitely in reaction to her own declaration that she had no plans for the holiday, and hadn't been expecting to make any either. The Fourth just wasn't the same without her family around. She had celebrated with friends in the past, but generally in the past few years, she had preferred to go it alone, do something more simple, more reserved. It was one of the rare times she went against type, actually.

Turning to face her friend, a hand on the back of a chair, "That does sound nice." Normally, she would not be at all bothered to be in a gathering full of people she didn't know. Michelle's outgoing personality helped her easily break the ice with strangers and turn them into friends soon enough. However, with the history behind the holiday for her, as well as what had happened recently with her ex, she hadn't be so sure that she was up for a big to-do. Preferring to keep busy with work. "Let me think it over, okay? I'll let you know." A smile for her friend.

As Nina's focus switched to their surroundings, Michelle found her own eyes wandering around the yard. There were only a few plantings here and there, but they were pretty and tasteful. She hadn't wanted a huge undertaking, given her schedule, but had instead opted for hardy and easy-to-care-for trees and flowers. Plus, it left most of the lawn space for her dog to run around in. "No, actually... I went with someone else. I did talk to Gavin, but schedules just didn't match up." Well aware that Nina had been more than offering up a landscaper to her all that time ago but not taking the bait.



(((Yup! It's all finished.)))

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Nina Wallace
 Posted: Sep 6 2017, 05:00 AM
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Townie
Em


Nina had an expectant look as Michelle considered her invitation to spend the fourth with her and Casey. It was much better, she though, than just missing the holiday all together. She knew that some people would rather work since they didn't have anyone to be with for the holiday. She knew that it would just be lonely for some people to not be doing anything. For Michelle though, she had Nina and Casey there and they would be more than happy to have her with them and their friends. Holidays were for friends and family to get together! So, Nina was really expecting Michelle to say yes.

However, she did not.

It was obvious that Nina was a bit disappointed as her shoulders slumped a little and her smile softened. "Fair enough," She replied, nodding her head as Michelle at least said that she would think it over first. Perhaps she will say yes, right? Nina was still hopeful. She would rather that he friend took a break from work on that day. Not that it was her role to decide that, but she was concerned about her friend.

She was willing to let it go for now though. There were treats to be eaten and conversations to be had under the sun. The garden did look really nice now compared to how it was before, but Nina was surprised to hear that Michelle didn't have a good time planning it with Gavin. Or, well, that was how Nina interpreted it before Michelle cleared it up and said that she didn't get Gavin to do the job.<p>

"Aww, you didn't?" Apparently she did call him though, just that their schedules never matched up. That made Nina smile. "I guess it isn't time for you two to meet yet." She shrugged, hoping to play matchmaker again sometime in the future with her friend. If Michelle was always curious about Nina being pregnant, Nina was always curious about her friend's lovelife. Last time they talked he had a rough moment after encountering her ex-husband for the first time in years. Nina felt that it must be fate that their paths crossed again, but only time will tell if they would ever be able to make things right with each other.

Pulling back one of the chairs, Nina sat down and smiled over to her friend as she gave her a plate and fork. "What's new with you though? Any news about your ex?" She really was curious about where they stood now or if they met at all after that chance encounter. Nina still remembered how bothered Michelle was about it, but she was also open to meeting with the man again, if only to finally put aside the past that has been latching on to her.

Nina wished the best for her friend, and she really hoped that if fate wanted to bring them back together that she would be open to it and not afraid. "Any news of anything other than work?" She smirked, hoping there was more news about Michelle maybe seeing someone. "That other landscape artist a charming man?"
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Michelle Cordero
 Posted: Sep 11 2017, 08:04 PM
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Newcomer
Mara


"No, I suppose not," Michelle agreed with her friend, though perhaps a little vaguely. Getting back out into the dating scene had been something she had been contemplating as of late. Now that her hours were more regular, it would be easier to add a relationship back into her life. And Michelle did admit she missed that aspect, of having someone more than a friend to share everything with. Not to mention her own biological clock was ringing loudly. However, her ex had thrown a well-aimed wrench into those possibilities for the time being.

And thinking of the devil, Nina spoke of him. Nina had been one of the few friends Michelle had told about the man coming back into her life suddenly and surprisingly. Had even gone to her for advice of what to do with it all. Advice that had eventually made her call him up and ask for a meeting, to wash him out of her life and mind forever and for final. But if anything, it had done the exact opposite for her. While she had of course never let him see that he had gotten to her, inside, deep inside, it had affected her, had gutted her, broken her heart again, and made her fall in love with him all over again.

Fortunately, her friend kept on going, and gave her another question to answer. She was not ready to discuss her ex yet. Reaching for a couple of her little mini cubanos, "Well, she was great. I loved working with her." Looking up to see the expression on Nina's face when she admitted the landscaper she had eventually hired was a woman, not a man. Not someone her friend could coerce into her matchmaking plans. "We didn't see eye-to-eye on everything, but it was still a good match. I was really placed with the design she came up with."

Popping one of the little sandwiches into her mouth, not bothering with dainty nibbles among one of her close friends, Michelle sighed with delight. She had been worried the flavor would not translate into so small a bite, but they tasted just as they should: like smaller versions of the larger sandwich. Without finishing the others, she scooped a couple more onto her place. In between swallows, she managed, "But enough about me... what about you? I want to hear all about your fashion show." Smiling widely at her friend as she reached for her wine.

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Nina Wallace
 Posted: Sep 18 2017, 05:13 AM
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The disappointment was evident in Nina’s face alright. She had really hoped that her friend was meeting more men and finding time to date and socialize. To hear that she had chosen a female landscape architect to help with her garden was something that disappointed her. ”She?” She repeated, pouting playfully at her friend. ”I mean, I love this garden but… She?” She really needed to introduce more people into her friend’s life. If anything she would just be exposed to more potential friends, but at least she was being exposed.

It was rather obvious that Michelle did not want to discuss about her lovelife though, so despite Nina’s desires to keep poking her about it she decided to back off for a while. Maybe later she can bring it up again, but for now she will give her friend a break. She was, after all, asking her about the fashion show that Nina had not too long ago.

”Oh it was great! It was unlike anything I have ever done before! Ugh! I was so nervous! Like, the day or so before, when we were in LA, I didn’t know what to feel or think. It was good to have a few things to distract me though. Even when I wanted to focus, I was just… I don’t know it was just such a big deal to me that I hoped everything turns out right and I don’t screw up.” Okay perhaps she was rambling now, but it was so easy to get carried away when she was talking about the biggest thing that has ever happened in her career so far. She had gone there to honor her grandmother, and she thinks she has done well in trying to do that.

”It’s still kind of surreal looking back at it now… I can’t believe it’s over, you know? And now I am left to decide whether or not I want to keep doing that, or if I want to do something else.” She loved to design and sew, but she did not want to be taken away from the other responsibilities that she had. She knew that there were things that she had to let go, but she was working on handling her activities as best as she could.

”Did you get to see the video we made for Cosmo?” It was trending now, and it made Nina laugh the first time she saw it, but knowing that her other friends and family have also seen it made her feel a bit sheepish. Being in a Youtube video was not something she was used to. She could strut down a runway or pose in a magazine, but being in Cosmo with Casey was different. Good different though. And they had a lot of fun filming. ”They asked us all these personal and intimate questions for it, and if we didn’t want to tell the truth we needed to drink. It’s a fun game. Maybe next time I throw a party I will do that, except it won’t ask intimate questions.” Nina said with a laugh. ”But yeah, show was great… I… I actually got a few calls and offers about designs but I need to get back to them on that.”
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Michelle Cordero
 Posted: Sep 24 2017, 07:54 PM
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Newcomer
Mara


She just smiled back at her friend's reaction to her having hired the best person for the job, regardless of gender. Knowing full well that her friend was well-meaning in her astonishment. If someone else had overheard Nina, they might have thought the woman sexist or anti-feminist, horrified that Michelle had not hired a man to redo her backyard. But Michelle knew it was all because she had been hoping to set her up with her friend Gavin, or at the very least, would have hit it off with any man working hard on her patio. And so her friend's words did not bother her in the slightest, except where they insinuated her lack of a love life, and even then, she was bothered very little.

But it was time for her to get this conversation back on track. One of the main reasons Nina was over here at her house in the first place. Michelle wanted to hear all about her fashion show adventures. As Nina got into it, her smile grew wider and wider, her happiness swelling for her friend's happiness. Though she was rather a neanderthal when it came to fashion herself, Michelle could definitely support her friend in this, what sounded like a wonderful moment in her career, in her life in general. And she knew Nina would have shown the same enthusiasm for Michelle, even if it was for something she perhaps did not quite understand fully. So she listened and smiled and nodded, letting her friend get it all out.

"I'm so happy for you! It sounds like a great time." She wanted to get up and give Nina a big hug, but settled for reaching over and squeezing her hand across the table. "I wish I had been there to see it." Even if she wouldn't have known what she was looking at half the time. Michelle generally bought clothes based on a feeling or a need. Not on designers or price, or even style half the time. None of her friends complained about her wardrobe, though, so she knew she must have some kind of eye for it, even if it wasn't quite the same as the things Nina had strolling on the runway. Just being there for her friend would have been enough.

Michelle paused, as Nina mentioned the video. "Hmm... Yes, I think so. I think you texted me the link?" As her friend explained more, the lightbulb went off in Michelle's mind. "Ahh, yes, I remember now! I thought Casey was going to get so drunk by the end of that!" she laughed, recollecting the personal nature of some of the questions, and Nina's husband's red face at some of them.

Reaching for her wine, she composed herself down a bit, "I'm sure you will make the right decision. About whether to continue in this new path, or to focus on your current one." Michelle was not about to tell her friend what she should do with her life, but she was here to listen and to let Nina bounce things off of her if need be. "What does Casey think?" Obviously, he would support her no matter what, but Michelle was sure he still had an opinion on the issue.


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Nina Wallace
 Posted: Oct 11 2017, 04:22 AM
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Nina raised her shoulders and squeezed Michelle's hand back. "It was a wonderful time! Looking back on it I still can't believe it happened! But it did!" It was a dream come true, and it was one that many designers needed years of experience for before they could be there and participate. "It's like a dream... I have to pinch myself constantly. It's just something so great so soon that at first I was suspicious as to why this awesome opportunity fell on my lap, you know? At first it made me feel like I was cheating or something--like I needed to go through something more difficult first. And yet there I was and designing clothes for LA Fashion Week."

She could not have done it alone. There were so many people who became a part of it and have helped her along the way. She was very grateful for them, and honored to have been able to work with them. Michelle was one of her friends and she had given her some encouragement as well. Michelle was part of this victory. Every person around her who has helped her was part of that victory.

The LA trip was something she was going to remember forever, and apart from the show itself she had a great time filming that video for Cosmo too. It seems Michelle saw the video, and even if a little sheepish Nina still felt pleased that her friend enjoyed it. "I don't know why he decided that it was truth and drink." She laughed, shaking her head. "He was so nervous though, so I'm really touched that he agreed to do that with me. I think he did really great and he is a natural in front of the camera." His charm was his honesty and sincerity. Nina believed Casey could never go wrong with interviews or silly games like the one they did. "He's always looking out for me... Trying to make me look good... In the end that is just working on making him look even better."

She loved him. He was really such a great sport and she was also glad that he enjoyed filming that video with her.

Even if he got a bit tipsy.

It made Nina take a deep breath after she revealed to her friend that she has gotten some calls about designing. Casey said that they would come--those people wanting to work with her--and while she was excited about it, she also did not want to dive into it and then be overwhelmed. Working in LA was such a huge deal, and it was also something that took a lot of her time preparing for. She nodded at Michelle's words, and reached for her own glass of wine before answering her next question.

"Oh you know him. He is always so supportive... He always reminds me that I have a choice... That I don't have to say yes to everyone, and that in the end I can decide what kind of projects I want and what sort of designer I want to be.. Like, do I want to be that designer in Fashion Week? The ones maybe how design red carpet gowns for celebrities? Or do I want to be a small town seamstress and just have my online shop? I want to do this, but I also don't want to give up going to competitions with Casey. It's because of him that I got to travel to many places and meet the people who helped me pursue a career in designing... Leaving him to just compete on his own again is not even an option for me. I don't want him to go back to that."

She was going to always be with Casey in his competitions. That much she was sure of. She did not want to give that up, even for her dream, because she wants to be there for her husband. "You understand, right? I don't want to just focus on making designs or making it big... It was never about making it big for me... I just want to do something I love, and I worry that getting with big companies will just overwhelm me or make my clothes lose their identity. Does that... does that make sense?"
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Michelle Cordero
 Posted: Oct 14 2017, 08:49 PM
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One of the things Michelle loved about Casey was his humility and innocence. And obviously Nina as well. Even though he had been in the spotlight plenty of times before with his competitions, including the largest stage of all, the Olympics, he was still nervous in front of a camera. Michelle had seen that as he got comfortable, he really had been good on the video with Nina. She had knew plenty of other people who would have let that kind of attention go to their heads but not Casey. Nor Nina either. They were both great down-to-earth people, and that's why Michelle adored them so much.

She sipped from her wine and then nodded, smiling. Everything she said about her husband were things that Michelle had observed as well. It was true that no matter what, he would be behind Nina 110%, either way. But she also did not envy her friend her decisions. Something like that might turn her into a wreck. All her choices in life, the big ones, had been so easy for her, so she couldn't even imagine what her friend was going through. Michelle would be supportive of her, though, just as Casey would be.

Michelle set down her glass and folded her arms on the table. "It does... you want to make a difference but without compromising your ideals." In some ways, it was similar to her career as a doctor. The last thing she would want to do was to give in to some bureaucrats and try to convince herself she was still doing good work, even if it wasn't what she actually wanted or enjoyed. "I also cannot begin to understand what you are going through... All I can say is, go with your heart. If it's telling you just to run a little boutique here in Lochland, then go for it. If it's telling you to set up shop in New York or L.A. or whatever and cater to the rich and famous, then that's what you do. Or maybe a bit or both, or something in between." A smile: "Whatever it is you end up doing, you'll be great at it, I'm sure of it."


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