Chapter 1: Jenny Weiner Tries To Work at the Library
Nine months ago, Jenny Weiner's life went down the shitter. She was sustaining off ramen noodles in a barebones apartment that she only got to keep because the landlord actually stood to lose more money kicking her out than keeping her around. It was a crazy situation, and she actually didn't know how that worked. Was it some sort of numbers count? She knew the landlord had a hard enough time getting people to rent something in this part of town considering the people around here lived in townhouses or mansions; nothing in between. Everyone was rich- she lived richly too until she got kicked out.
It wasn't the time to be dwelling on the past like this. She was walking towards the library, the local one, to turn her life a little bit around. Finding a job was rough. She could barely get herself to make a portfolio, rarely could actually be out on the look for jobs. A library seemed like a low effort job that might actually work for her and if the landlord shut her out finally she could at least sneakily sleep inside. Really, it seemed like the perfect low level job.
She went through the doors of the library, heading to the front desk. The man at the front desk watched her walk forward, frowning as he saw her tattered torn top, a gross grey color with various mysterious stains that you'd recognize from a water damaged basement. She wore sweats that clearly used to be black but were now various shades of the darkest brown. Her hair was a rat's nest, flowing up and around as if she had just gotten out of bed. Her glasses were smudged and had a ring of grime around the glass circles and rusted steel frame.
"Can I… help you?" asked the man. Jenny yawned and stretched her arms. "The homeless shelter is… on the other side of town, I can call a Uber if you need one."
"I'm not exactly homeless. Listen, I need a job. I was thinking I could work here until I find something better." she said, rubbing her scalp. The man squeezed a purple ink pen and wrote chicken scratch on a piece of paper.
"Gonna… need to see ID. I think it's especially important for someone like you." the man said, staring at the mess of lines he wrote.
She rolled her eyes and pulled out her wallet, rifling through her useless credit cards and empty debit cards. She finally found some ID in the form of her driver's license. ""Jennifer Esign… Weiner?" he read out loud, almost giggling. Jenny rolled her eyes. "What, do…"
"...you have a weiner?" she continued with a sarcastic, condescending tone. She pulled her sweats and panties down to show him her shaven pussy. The man was briefly speechless. "Oh what, you like licking weiners yourself?" she huffed out with the same sarcastic and condescending tone, slightly increasing her tempo. "I'm a lesbian." she said, dryly. She had a tone in her voice as if she had heard this all before.
"Mam, you need to pull up your pants," The man said. Jenny pulled up her pants and tilted her head to the side. "Look, we're not currently accepting applications at this time but we are offering volunteer jobs…"
"Good enough. Give me the paper for that." Jenny shot out quickly. The man looked puzzled.
"You fill it out on your phone or computer…" the man said. Jenny shot a look at him.
"A phone or computer? I don't have one of those." Jenny stated.
"...look, can you get out of my sight? Uhhh… how about you help someone get some books, familiarize yourself with the library layout or something... Ugh, god, you're so trashy looking!" the man squinted his eyes.
"I will. Frankly, you have not been very helpful." Jenny said.
"Yeah, at least I'm not flashing during a job interview." the man said, turning his head away.
"God, ya'll are such prudes." Jenny said, turning her head a bit as she went her way, walking through the shelves of the library. There were a ton of socialites about, as was the case with The Neighborhood. The Neighborhood was up-tight, strict pack of gold studded people who could not tell the difference between their head and ass, and Jenny had quickly became disillusioned with The Neighborhood since she was forced to leave it's inner circle. She hadn't realized just what kind of people they were prior to this.
The realization that not everyone had a fountain of their favorite soup in their kitchen was a bit startling to Jenny, but she was really glad to be away from it at the moment. She enjoyed the rougher, gritter life, whether it was because it had a rustic charm or that she just found it so different from what she knew that it felt refreshing. She did miss the shrimp buffets though… she hadn't had a single shrimp in a long time, often feeding off whatever White Castle threw out if she hadn't picked up enough money that day. The ratburgers they served, diced with onions, were hard to swallow but at the very least it was edible, which she couldn't say about Arby's.
What was she supposed to do? She got so caught up in thinking about her life that she completely lost track of what she was doing. It was pretty common for her, but it had never been this bad before. She found herself in the N section of the Adult Fiction section of the library, stumbling around as she was getting her bearings again. Oh yeah, she was supposed to be helping people find books, right? She glanced at a black haired woman in white tennis garb. She must have just gotten finished with a tennis match because she looked kind of sweaty. She wore a white sports skirt and a white tank top, with lemon yellow socks and white shoes with golden laces.
Jenny found her kind of irresistible. She knew she was from The Neighborhood, but she didn't seem like the kind of blandly attractive, highly manufactured woman dropped from The Neighborhood's deeper annuls, where plastic surgeons were paid top dollar to fix looks. Nah, the beauty came off so natural, even for someone that was wearing stuff that was so manufactured. She had to go to her, even though she probably would have because the task at hand was starving for someone to guide and help. She tried to make herself look a bit more presentable and walked up to the woman.
"Hello, can I help you find anything?" Jenny asked, leaning against the shelf.
"Oh… haha, nah. Just kind of looking around, not really looking for anything in particular. Do you… work here?" the woman asked.
"Maybe?" answered Jenny honestly. "The guy at the front told me to help people find books, despite the fact I don't know where really any of the damn books are, haha."
"Ah, that explains… a lot, really," the woman said, looking at her attire. "Are you homeless?"
"Close. Very close, very close to that brink. But I'm not, if you wondering. Unless you want me to be. Because I can be homeless…" Jenny spat out.
"Oh… I don't want that, no," giggled the woman. "Well, good luck helping people I guess."
Jenny still wanted to talk to her. "Well… I could use a friend or two. What's your name?"
"Oh… Patrice, Patrice Canson," the woman stated. "I don't suppose you could tell me your name, could you?"
"Jenny. Jenny Weiner." Jenny stated.
"Weiner? You're from the Wiener family?" Patrice asked. "Why are you looking so ragged and… that?"
"Look, it's a whole thing, I don't feel comfortable disclosing that." Jenny said. Patrice glanced at her new friend.
"Well, see you soon then, should you keep working here. I like to pick up books." she said, smiling at Jenny.
"See ya, Patrice!" Jenny replied back, smiling as the two went their separate ways. Patrice probably wasn't gonna talk to her ever again. It was worth the shot she got, though. She knew though, that this was probably gonna be the last time she saw her.
She took a moment to take a breather. If she really thought about it, it was unlikely anything today was gonna impact her, and she would just be out on the streets, doing odd jobs for little cash and biting into ratburgers from White Castle for the rest of her life. Maybe once in awhile she would get a glimpse into The Neighborhood, ever wondering what would life would be like if she had never left.
She was wrong, though, because this day would actually be one of the most important days in her life. Unintentionally, yes. It would fundamentally change her entire life, although she wouldn't realize it at the time. She couldn't. She didn't have the power to see into the future. That wasn't even a superpower she wanted. If prompted, she would jump to "turning invisible" and refuse to elaborate. Everyone would know exactly what she wanted from that kind of power, but nobody would say it out loud because only Jenny Weiner held that kind of power. It was something she had begun to manifest in her conversations, because nobody was willing to be crude like her and they didn't wanna assume anything about her because she gloated in being right. In the subject of "Jenny Weiner", Jenny would know every answer.
The day would turn radically, radically different once she just gave up and left the library, because it was not exactly bustling and she honestly didn't know if she worked there or not. She kind of didn't need a job there to sleep there anyway. It was a waste of time as far as she was concerned. She outstretched her arms and put her hands in her sweatpant pockets. She walked down the sidewalk, glancing at The Neighborhood joggers, known internally as The Joggers. They weren't actually people, they were surveillance. It was smart, it was hidden away, and should they actually detect something, they had the speed and strength to catch what became their prey.
She could have sworn they said something, but she was too far away to actually tell for sure. She shrugged and waited for the crosswalk to turn onto the person walking sign, stepped forward, and slammed into a goddamn car hard. The car had sped into her. She had a flash of realization, and that's all she had. Everything went black.