Chapter 37:

Helpful Connections

New Leaf!

As I promised Camryn, I will help her get a job.Bookmark here

It was currently around noon. As usual, I was eating my lunch alone outside of the building. I was in a medium-sized garden area. This area had stone paths and was surrounded by hedges. There were archways with flowers acting as exits and entrances and planters were decorating the area and creating a small repeating pattern. Bookmark here

I sat on a wooden bench and felt the cool summer breeze. Since this city was more northern, summers weren’t unbearably hot.Bookmark here

I took out my phone and logged in. As I promised Camryn, I will help her get a job. I was going to call Valerie… Like Connie and Bailey, she was also a classmate in high school — and unlike Connie and Bailey, she did not attend the same university as I did. I guess in high school she became acquainted with me…Bookmark here

I went to the phone app and tapped on her name… I got a near-immediate response.Bookmark here

“Hello? Who’s this?”Bookmark here

“O-Oh… I-Is this Valerie? This is Ren.”Bookmark here

“Ren!? Oh… You don’t call me so I deleted your contact info…”Bookmark here

What? Even though she called me to help at her restaurant about a week ago?Bookmark here

“I-I see…”Bookmark here

I heard a small chuckle come from Valerie’s end.Bookmark here

“Geez, you don’t have to act so seriously — it was just a small joke.”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

A joke, huh? Yeah, Valerie usually acts playfully during her interactions with me. Not just her, but Connie does so as well.Bookmark here

“So Ren, what’s up? It’s not often that you call me.”Bookmark here

“Valerie, I have a question.”Bookmark here

“I question, eh. You act as my business accountant sometimes, so are you requesting pay now?”Bookmark here

Pay, huh? No that isn’t it. I’ve actually occasionally worked as an accountant for Alente Bistro a couple of times in the past, and all at no charge. I don’t know why. Considering that it’s technically another job, I should receive payment right? Valerie isn’t against me receiving payment, I just decline compensation. Why is that? Well… I don’t know. However, I do have some ideas. Maybe I don’t see this as a real job because it is only occasional. Or maybe it is related to difficulty. Personally, I find this to be an easy task, and maybe that is another reason why I don’t see this as a real job.Bookmark here

“No, that is not it.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

Valerie sounded a little disappointed. I guess that makes sense — she insists that I receive compensation, but not to an extreme extent.Bookmark here

“Actually, I wanted to ask if you were still hiring.”Bookmark here

“Eh? Can you please repeat that?”Bookmark here

She sounded shocked by my question.Bookmark here

“Are you still hiring?”Bookmark here

“Oh, so my phone didn’t glitch nor are my ears broken. Hiring? Why? Is Comeffecient just not cutting it for you? That’s weird since the wages here are mostly at the minimum. B-But it’s fine — my team will welcome you with open arms!”Bookmark here

I shook my head even though Valerie couldn’t see me — I guess it’s a habit.Bookmark here

“No, that is not it.”Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh, y-yeah… Yeah, you probably didn’t want to join.”Bookmark here

She started speaking in her joking manner again.Bookmark here

“I mean, why would you want to leave a place where Bailey works!?”Bookmark here

I, um, did not know how to respond to that.Bookmark here

“O-Okay… Actually, I am asking on behalf of someone else.”Bookmark here

“Eh? Someone else?”Bookmark here

Once again, Valerie sounded surprised by my statement.Bookmark here

“And I assume it ain’t Mama Morales, right?”Bookmark here

“No…”Bookmark here

I dug my elbow into my leg and leaned forward on it. This is the second time where I have had to explain Camryn to someone. But what do I say? When I talked about Camryn with Connie, he was nonchalant about the situation, but it will probably be different for Valerie, right? Valerie and Connie are very similar personality-wise, but they may still react differently. Valerie is Camryn’s potential employer, so there is a good chance that she would be against Camryn because of her past. Hm…Bookmark here

“You see Valerie, there is someone I know who is looking for a job.”Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

“She is a young girl at the age of fifteen.”Bookmark here

“I see… Sure, I look forward to meeting her!”Bookmark here

“She- Wait, pardon?”Bookmark here

“Hm? Is your phone glitching or are your ears broken? Yeah, I’ll meet with her then decide if I’ll hire her.”Bookmark here

Oh, it is that easy…Bookmark here

“I see… Sorry, I did not think that you would agree to meet her so readily. Do you not want to hear more about her?”Bookmark here

“Nah, save that for when I actually meet her in person.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“And besides!”Bookmark here

Valerie lowered her voice slightly. She sounded… sentimental. She spoke softly like she was reminiscing and was nostalgic about something.Bookmark here

“I don’t think I need to be hesitant. You’re generous, caring, trustworthy, and kind… Anyone who knew that type of person would be just as likable, right? I’m sure she’s a great candidate.”Bookmark here

There it was again… “Generous…” “Caring”... “Trustworthy…” “Kind…” It doesn’t concern me, so why am I agonizing over it?Bookmark here

“I see… Anyway, I do not have work tomorrow. Can we set up a time to meet?”Bookmark here

“Hm… Swing by Alente at around 2:00. I’ll be there all day so don’t worry about being a bit late.”Bookmark here

“Oh, okay.”Bookmark here

So it is decided — Camryn and I will go to Alente Bistro tomorrow to meet with Valerie. I think this will also serve as a job interview for her.Bookmark here

“Well Ren, it was nice talking to you!”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

“Oh, and thank you for always helping out at the bistro. You can’t see right now, but I’m bowing in gratitude.”Bookmark here

“Oh, that is not necessary — the work is not much of a challenge to me.”Bookmark here

Valerie laughed.Bookmark here

“Hey Ren, your selflessness amazes me! Regardless, thanks so much for always helping out.”Bookmark here

“Sure, you are welcome.”Bookmark here

“Okay, see ya tomorrow. And tell the girl that I’ll be looking forward to meeting her tomorrow, yeah?”Bookmark here

“Sure. Goodbye.”Bookmark here

“Yeah! See ya.”Bookmark here

And with that, Valerie hung up, leaving me with the noisy silence of the busy streets of Tronito.Bookmark here

I wonder what will happen tomorrow. Will Valerie still be accepting of Camryn despite her past?Bookmark here

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