Maria is in her bedroom in the apartment she shares with her best friend Ashley, sitting on the floor arranging her laundry, it is almost half past midnight and her roommate still hasn’t come back. She wonders where exactly Ashley was and what she was up to.
Meanwhile on the Upper East Side, in a 5 star French restaurant a slightly drunk but happy Ashley is sitting at a table with her new friend Heidi and 2 middle aged men with expensive suits and very little hair on their head. “Although you gentlemen have been extremely charming and are very interesting, I am afraid it is getting late and we’ve got work tomorrow”, says Heidi as she gives Ashley a look that says “Don’t you think it’s time to go home!”. Ashley, however, is oblivious to Heidi’s hint as she accepts another glass of Courvoisier from the gentleman sitting closer to her. She giggles as her ‘partner’ pulls a sad face by making a frown with his lips like a 5 year old that has just been told that he can’t have any ice cream. She looks over at Heidi, who is politely but firmly keeping her “old man’s” hand at bay, as he keeps trying to move his hand higher up her thigh. Finally their evening comes to an end when one of the gentlemen receives a telephone call regarding a sudden meeting in Chicago the next morning.
As Heidi’s old man shouts into the phone, Heidi leans over to Ashley. She forcefully pulls her closer and whispers “If we don’t leave now, we might need to catch a cab from a hotel to work tomorrow morning, dressed like this,” she looks down at her dress. Ashley giggles as she imagines the ladies trying to catch a cab early in the morning dressed in the same tiny LBDs they are currently wearing. Heidi’s man hangs up the telephone, “so…where were we?!” he continues to say as he leans in closer to Heidi. Heidi moves away slightly pretending to reach over for the bottle of water in the middle of the table, as she pours a glass of sparkling water, she says “We…were just about to leave…remember?” and she hands the glass over to her old man. Happy to receive this care and attention, he kisses her hand before taking the glass of water from her. “Well in that case, we would not want to keep you independent ladies from going to work bright and fresh tomorrow morning,” he says as he smiles at his Heidi. “But you must promise to have dinner with us once more this week,” says Ashley’s partner as he caresses her bare shoulder, he leans in to plant a kiss on her arm .She caresses his balding head ,while at the same time using this gesture to politely push away his head from her arm. She holds up his head with both her hands and says,” Why of course” giving him her sweetest smile.
The ladies get up to leave and the gentlemen stand up to escort them to the door, as they say their goodbyes, Heidi’s old man hands them each a small light blue bag from Tiffany & Co. “ Oh no we can’t accept this” says Heidi, pretending to be shocked at the gifts. Ashley on the other hand, has the broadest smile as she accepts her bag. Her partner, delighted with Ashley’s eagerness to receive the gift, puts his hand around her waist and says “No, No, you must -that’s the least we could do for the wonderful evening you ladies have given us.” He gives her a long wet kiss on her cheek; she squeezes her eyes shut at the tingling feeling of his alcohol ridden lips as they slowly leave her cheek. After that she smiles at him, too disgusted to say anything, although she can’t tell if the disgust she feels is towards the men or herself.
The ladies catch a cab and after instructing the cabbie where to drop them off, they sit back and heave a sigh of relief. “God, I thought the evening would never end,” says Ashley. “Didn’t look like that from where I was sitting,” answers Heidi smugly. She stares at Ashley and the girls burst into fits of laughter, “”Let’s see what’s in the bags” says Ashley as she remembers the fruits of the evening’s adventure.
She quickly tears open the light blue box to find a beautiful heart locket in Sterling silver with diamonds on a silver chain. Her eyes and jaw open in admiration as she holds up the gorgeous item in her hands. She looks over at Heidi who is smiling proudly at their accomplishment. She looks down at her gift laying on her lap and thinks back to the first time she received such a gift – little did she know then that she would be addicted to this life ,or worse yet what she would be willing to do to maintain it.