Chapter 4.12, Generation 4

Chapter 4.12.

Dakota was working in the darkroom on developing some photos. It was an old method, everything is mostly digital today, but she still liked to do it. When she found out there is a darkroom in the building, she had to use it. Last time she was in one of those rooms was in high school.

She was focusing on her work when the door opened and ruined it all.

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“What the hell?! Didn’t you see the big red light above the door?” she was furious.

“I’m so sorry. No one ever uses this room anymore. I didn’t expect anybody in here,” the young man apologized sincerely, “you’re new here, right?”

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Dakota felt bad for being so rude to him, “Yes. I’m sorry I snapped. I’m Dakota, I work on the fifth floor for Marc Snider.”

“Nate,” he also introduced himself, “How’s that? I’ve heard horror stories about him.”

“He’s not that bad. A little hot headed, I guess, but if you do your job, he’s ok.”

“Good, I’m glad you like it. So you like photography?”

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“Yea. You?”

“I do. That’s why I destroyed your pictures,” he laughed, “which I’m really sorry for.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll do it again later. I have to go back now.”

“Alright. Nice to meet you, Dakota….?”

“Cooper.” She answered.

“Dakota Cooper, got it.” The young man smiled and left the room.

Her shift was almost over when she got an email.

From: Nate Burchett

To: Dakota Cooper

Subject: Come hang out

Hi Dakota,

sorry again for ruining your photos earlier today. I’d like to make it up to you by buying you a drink. Couple of people from the office are going to the bar next door after work. Please join us!


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“Wrap it up, Nora, we’re going to a bar,” Dakota closed her laptop at exactly 5 pm.

“I can’t, I have to finish this,” Nora kept typing away.

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“No, you can finish this on Monday. Come on, it’s Friday night and you’re twenty three years old, don’t you wanna have some fun? Meet new people? Come with me. Please.”

“Fine I’ll go, for a little bit.”

Everyone was already there having a good time when the two girls arrived. Nate spotted them and came over to greet them right away.

“Hi, you came,” he cheered.

“Yes I figured you deserve a chance to make things right,” she teased him, “this is Nora, she work with me for Garret.”

“Hi Nora,” he offered his hand, “Nate. I think I’ve seen you around. How are you?”

“Good, thanks.”

Nora was a shy girl, not very talkative, especially when it came to cute guys.

“Can I invite you ladies for a drink?”

“Sure,” they followed him to the bar.

Dakota spent quite some time talking to Nate about photography and other things they had in common.

Even Nora started making new friends and it looked like she had a great time.

Few drinks later, Nate talked Dakota into singing a karaoke. She tried to resist, but eventually she gave in. Turns out they are a great duo.

It was three o’clock in the morning when the bar closed and and the staff threw Dakota and Nate, the last two people left, out.

“I guess it’s time to go home,” Dakota said when they were standing on the side walk, “I can’t believe we stayed till closing time.”

“Well, time flies when you’re having a great time,” Nate said, “can I walk you home?”

“It’s ok, I’m gonna call a cab.”

“Ok, then I’ll wait till it gets here. I wanna make sure you’re safe.”

“That’s really nice of you, Nate. Thank you.”

“Are you ok?”

She let out a sound suggesting she’s not feeling great.

“I’ll make you some coffee. Wash up and come to the kitchen,” he ordered.

“Thank you,” Dakota said a took a sip.

“Wild night, huh?”

“A little,” she chuckled.

“Met someone new?”

Was he trying to find out if she is seeing someone? Is he jealous?

“Just some people from the office. I actually really want to introduce my coworker to Dean. I think they’d really hit it off. Do you think he’s be interested?”

“Maybe, just don’t tell him you’re setting him up.”

“I’m gonna need your help. We should plan a night out or something.”

“Sounds good. Looking at you I think we’ll be better off waiting till next weekend.”

“Ugh, absolutely. I couldn’t even smell alcohol right now.”


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