# 195 ‘Besides this appearance, I feel a bit of a clumsy mouse’

Maud’s life is going well. She managed to land the job at her favorite magazine that she really wanted: she can work two days a week. The new house also feels good: she has already thoroughly tested the new bed with Tommy. And Jessie is doing better: she unexpectedly arrives at the door to make amends with Maud. However, she cannot stay for too long: she has agreed with Thalisa, her former primary school girlfriend who she recently met on the train. And that actually feels a bit like a first date …

When I arrive at the entrance of the Vondelpark, I receive an app from Thalisa that she is a little later. No problem: the weather is divine, so waiting in the sun is definitely not a punishment. I scroll through a few online web shops for some new outfits: next week I will of course have my first working day for the magazine and I can come to the office to get some training. Of course I want to look pico bello in order. While I am ordering a purple suit, I get a message from Tommy. ‘Lievie, Noa is coming to stay on Tuesday. I thought I’d say so, so you can prepare a bit. ‘

To prepare? Um, I just got a new job this week… Can’t wait or something ?! I actually want to text back irritated, but hold back. Tommy already has such a difficult relationship with his daughter’s mother. I shouldn’t start whining now when she’s finally allowed to spend time with her dad. But to have a 5-year-old sleep with us for the first time on my second day at my new job … Pff, I can’t tell Tommy that I’d rather sleep in my old house, where I still have to do the last things take away. Then he will soon think that I shouldn’t know anything about his daughter. ‘Ok nice!’ I therefore just text back – unintentionally. Fortunately, the knot in my stomach only betrays to myself that I don’t like it that much at all…

“Yoohoo, Maudje! So nice to see you! ”, I then hear the enthusiastic high-pitched voice of Thalisa further up the road. She looks picco bello again, in tight leather pants, the latest white sneakers and a cool sweater above. Her hair is in a tight ponytail and she is wearing large sunglasses. Her teeth beam at me. They weren’t so white last time, were they? It looks like a movie star …

“Hey Thalis, how are you ?!” I ask her as we walk into the park and start our ‘walking tour’. Besides this appearance, I feel a bit of a clumsy mouse. I’m suddenly acutely aware that the cardigan I’m wearing is off the sale three seasons ago, and my sneakers are so dingy compared to hers, she’d believe it if I took them out of a bag of third-hand clothes. had drawn. While Thalisa talks on and on, I feel a little uncomfortable. Not that she does it on purpose, but this is so much glamor … Am I special enough to hang out with this woman ?!

“So, I will soon be leaving for Istanbul for those new teeth,” I suddenly hear her say. Sorry, eh ?! What are you saying?! New teeth ?! ” I shout in surprise, turning red because apparently I haven’t really heard the last few sentences from her at all. “Yes, those facings! In Turkey it is much cheaper and I think it is super nice. So I made an appointment. My father thinks it’s nonsense, he likes me as I am. Anyway, he always says that. He knows I have a new nose, but doesn’t see any of those botox and fillers that I’ve already done. So he probably won’t notice this either… ”

I don’t know what I’m hearing. Indeed, it is absolutely not necessary for her to let herself be tinkered with: she is beautiful! I try to convince Thalisa not to do that with her teeth, but I doubt it will get in. When I have been busy with my speech for ten minutes, she interrupts me: “Nah, Maud, I am done on the subject now. How are you? How do you like your new house ?! ” I decide not to talk about it anymore and tell Thalis about the fantastic first night in the house, my new job and the fact that Noa is coming to stay on Tuesday and that I don’t really find it that relaxed. “I understand, but dude… such a kid takes some getting used to, you’ll be crazy about her soon. And that new job will give you enough energy to put it aside. How crazy dude! ”

When I get up the next day to leave for the editorial office, nerves are running through my body. Who could have thought this a month ago ?! I, without any experience in this industry, am going to work for a magazine. I’m half an hour early for the office. The only person already present in the building turns out to be the receptionist. She kindly guides me to the part of the office where I will soon be trained. “Sit here for a moment,” she says gently, and she guides me to a bench in an office. After she’s gone and I’ve been staring at my shoes for five minutes – a clean pair of boots this time, no dirty third-hand sneakers – I get up and walk around the office. I think it’s from the editor-in-chief: old magazine covers hang on the wall and there are plenty of papers on her desk. She is not very neat say …

Then my eye falls on a paper full of scribbles on her desk. It says ‘Reorganization’ above it, with a number of names below. I recognize one of them: Annemarie. Behind her name and after the name of another, Lizet, is red pen supernumerary. When I pick up the paper to see what else is on it, the office door slams open. “Maud ?!”

# 194 ‘It feels a bit like a first date…’

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# 195 ‘Besides this appearance, I feel a bit of a clumsy mouse’

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