I didn't wine up going back to the office after storming out of there at the start of March. I wanted to, but another lesson you learn working in sales is that sometimes you have to be ready and willing to not just look like you're going to walk away from a bad deal, but actually do it. I hate it - it usually means you've misjudged something - but none of the guys from the office made even the slightest token motion of support by the time I was dressed and ready to head to my car. I don't consider myself any kind of feminist, but folks who aren't even going to talk to you privately when you've been attacked? Fuck 'em!
(And, yeah, I have spent some time racking my brain trying to think if that includes me. I feel like I've never been in the situation, but Treena thinks I have and it just didn't make enough of an impression on me.)
It was an effort to find new work after that, because my/Joy's one set of references in the real estate business now said I was "difficult" and ended with the story of me kneeing a potential buyer in the groin. That does not look goods on your résumé, even if some of the women who inhabited me looked a bit encodes at points. Eventually, you wind up lowering your expectations which is why I went from dealing with successful people looking to buy and sell houses to helping folks looking for new apartments.
It's not a bad job for someone who isn't exactly planning on staying in this life forever. The dress code is a little more casual, and while the hours can be longer, as far potential clients can duck out of work and so want to see places early, late, or on the weekend, things tend to get done with a minimum of haggling. The commissions are lower, but it's easier work; sometimes the job seems like it's just a matter of them trusting me with keys.
And it gave me a big leg up when looking for a new place when Treena informed me I was moving.
Even though it's kind of a miracle that we lasted this long - there is a lot we don't see eye to eye on - the way she did it was a real power move. She intimated that it was about her boyfriend being ready to move in, but they've only been together a couple months.
"Fine," she says, "I'll skip the nice version - I just realized that I've had you as my roommate for almost as long as the real Joy, and ever since you've been getting cozy with Iain, the two of you have started running together in my head and I don't like it. Then I thought, okay, it's only until he goes back to the Inn, but then I realized that meant that you'd be replaced by some other not-Joy who could be an even bigger pain or, worse, dangerous. A girl's got to protect herself."
We had a little "I see you've made your mind up" exchange, and while I'm annoyed, because who likes moving, Treena is hardly the first woman to call me an asshole to my face or anything. If she doesn't want me around, fine. I've got a database full of nice-looking studios to look through, and I'm not going to have to pay an extra month as to the agency. I can deal with it.
Now, does she have the same attitude when I set up tables for a yard sale on Memorial Day weekend, after having put some of Joy's stuff up on Craigslist? Nope, then it's "how can you get rid of that, it was so important to her!" and "we always shared this!" Like, do you want me to be Joy or not?
I didn't get rid of that much in the purge, but it was enough to make the move a little easier. I found a real hidden gem down near the beach (no ocean view, but you can almost smell the salt air), and I've got to admit - even if a lot of the contents of this new spot were once Joy's things, it does feel more like my place, both because I'm not sharing it and because I put everything where I thought it belonged. Yeah, I felt like I'd played myself a few days ago when I woke up with red spots on my panties and nobody to borrow tampons from, but I actually felt a little better after that, too. I may not be Joy for much longer, but I don't need training wheels as a girl anymore, either.