Stephie is leaving. She is leaving me. She's leaving Dallas altogether. In less than a month, she's gone for good. She's given notice at The Wine Bar. She's packing her apartment and selling off what she's not taking.
This is something we do not speak of. We don't speak of it because apart from Smang, Stephie knows me better than anyone. The real me. All of the stuff with The Flake? She had a front row seat. My epic failure last week? We shared a hotel room. Hers is one of the phone numbers I have memorized. I get so fucking pissed at her, because I love her very much. We don't speak of it, because I cannot see a day without her.
Stephie was my first friend at The Italian Joint Next Door. She was the first person there who was nice to me, during a time when I really needed people to be nice to me. She and I are a good server team. She has spurred me on in this ridiculous wine quest. She drives me to not settle, but to be better. Because I want to be good at my wine, like she is.
And now, she won't be here anymore. If anyone ever deserved a shot at happiness, it's Stephie. She ought to be blissful and loved. She needs the California sun. She needs to grow on the vineyard. But dammit, I need her here.
Her last day at work is June 11. She'll be back in town on June 14. Then, in a few days after that, she'll be gone. And I just don't know what I'll do then.