“Damn, I don’t feel like takin’ my ass to work tomorrow!” she said as she threw herself on the couch.

“Meeeeoooowwww…” her cat, Twelve, replied sympathetically. Almost as if he completely understood how she felt as he made his way over to comfort her on the black couch. She sat up, fluffed her hair back into place, and stroked his velveteen black fur.

Quinita was enjoying a bowl of kettle corn and a big bottle of pinot noir while sharing some chicken tenders with Twelve, her beloved cat, as they watched cartoons on Nextflix.

She lived on her own in a 3 bedroom apartment in the south of Tampa, Florida. It was decorated in such a neutral way in which there were white curtains and other tan or black fabrics with a few pops of color here and there. Quinita didn’t like clutter, everything was always in the right place and squeaky clean. Pine or lemon-scented on a good day.

“I know, right!? They don’t do anything but work me to death!” she lamented to the cat, just before her phone rang, belting the melody of Time After Time, a song made popular by Cyndi Lauper in the 1980s. “Oh GOD what is it NOOOW?” she said while observing the name on the screen through her oversized, bubblegum pink-framed glasses.

She answered the phone.

“Hallo?” she spoke.

“Q-Q-Quinita we need you to come in a–” a nervous voice seeped through the speaker.

“You don’t need me for a damn thing tonight!” Quinita cut the crap before it began, putting the phone on speaker.  “I barely EVER have time to myself! I already have to come in tomorrow. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it can wait another 14 hours.”

There was a long pause on the other end.

“Hello?” she spoke after a few seconds of silence.

“You’re right, it can wait.”

“David, you of all people should know me better than to call me to come in on my off day, right when I’m about to go to bed! Seriously?”

“Well, actually…” David paused briefly before exhaling, “…Lexi asked me to call you to see if–”

“ Oh, Lexi!?” Quinita cut in again. She hated Lexi, and the entire office knew it. “Let her know that she’s at a negative 635 in the cool points arena with me! I’ll see you all tomorrow!”

Quinita hung up the phone and resumed her activities for the night by turning the volume back up on her flatscreen television hanging on the wall.

“They got some kinda crazy-ass nerve!” she said aloud.

“Mmmrrrooowwww…” Twelve agreed.

Quinita Jones was a 32-year-old Medical Researcher for the University of South Florida in which her job was to find and assist with any new information regarding various diseases. She’d been responsible for several discoveries in the past couple of years, her most recent being back in 2025 which led to a new cancer treatment that proved to be 4 times more effective than previous chemotherapy treatments.

She was great at her job and highly respected among her colleagues; however, as it goes at every job, sometimes they attempted to overwork her or to give her even more work to do while they slacked off; and Quinita wasn’t having it!

It was very odd for them to call her into the office at a time like this, though.

“It’s got to be something really serious for them to be calling me like that.” she thought to herself.

She got up from her couch and went into the kitchen to the counter to pour herself another glass of wine. Twelve trailed behind her, apparently hoping to get another snack.

“Meeeeooooooowwww–” he pleaded. His tuxedo fur making him look so professional.

“Twelve, you’ve had enough for tonight, buddy,” Quinita said as she bent down to pick him up.

He purred happily.

Twelve helped Quinita in all of her research and lab work and was just always a great friend to always have around. Due to her being a single woman living alone, Quinita believed in disguising everything around her to look harmless, but always ready to execute if her life was ever put in jeopardy. Needless to say (or maybe it isn’t needless), she taught Twelve how to listen for a command when she needed him to attack.

Luckily, that time never came.

Quinita decided to switch from the cartoons on Netflix to watch a few minutes of the news. She only watched the news twice a week for no more than half an hour. That was her rule because there was never anything positive on the news.

Tonight, something on the marquee scrolling on the bottom of the screen sparked her interest:

POSSIBLE CURE FOR INCURABLE DISEASES?

“Mmmmph!” Quinita wondered, “I wonder what lies behind this tent?” she continued while she was still eyeballing the T.V.

Her phone rang again.

“Hallo?” she answered.

“Q, get your ass down to this lab immediately!” It was Drew. When Drew called, it was no joke. He was the head honcho at her office. “I’m sending you an Uber right now, there’s no excuses!”

“Drew, Drew but wh—” she started.

“I’ll see you in half an hour!” Drew said. Drew didn’t play the radio not one iota!

“Awwwww shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!!” Quinita got dressed as fast as she could, packing her bag.

David had already sent her a text message that gave the details of the Uber, so she gathered her bag, keys, and phone and hurried out of her apartment down to the first floor.

“What could it be that they need me so bad for?” she thought to herself, “It better be worth it, and it betta be some snacks when I show up, this is ridiculous!”

The car pulled up to the curb where she was standing.

“You’re going to the University, right?” the driver said after she slid into the backseat.

“Rodger that,” she replied.


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