It was a beautiful sunny day in the city of Beverly Hills, California. Like any other twenty- first century teenager, Cynthia Danielle Andrews spends her Saturday afternoons at her favorite place, the mall.

"This is really cute, Cynthia," her mom said holding up a blue low V-neck tunic-length cardigan with two pockets near the hem.

The mother-daughter duo were walking up and down the streets of Beverly Hills, and their current stop was Lilacs, a low key, trendy boutique. Cynthia and her mom have been regular customers at Lilacs for about two years now, and since Cynthia's seventeenth birthday was uncelebrated two weeks ago, what better way to celebrate it but to go shopping.

"No, it would look better in orange," Cynthia told her searching for one in her favorite color. Cynthia Danielle Andrews is addicted to the color orange. It was rumored that since the moment of her birth all she saw and all she wanted to see is orange. If it looks orange, it looks like it's going to be hers.

"I knew you were going to say that," her mom sung out and smiled when she spotted the scarves section.

Her mother, Melinda Johnson Andrews, is a lawyer who has a high sense of fashion. She knows what looks good and what looks good on her. Cynthia gets all of what she knows and what she owns from her mother. Cynthia was still looking for a cardigan in orange; but eventually she gave up, complaining about the store being too unorganized. She started examining her uncolored nails when something hit her, not literally but mentally.

"I need new nail polish to match the dress that I'm going to wear to my aunt's wedding next week," Cynthia said walking over to the beauty section. "New Arrivals!" The sign read, and right underneath it was yellow-orange nail color.

"I need this color!" she thought, picking it up and examining it. "I already have all the shades of orange this boutique has to offer, but this one. . ." She started drifting off, and this happens almost every time she sees orange. She was looking for any deformities on the bottle.

"None. None. None." She thought between breaths, until, "No. The sticker at the bottom is a little ripped." It was ripped; and she needed a new one.

"All things orange must be perfect," she said out loud. She examined every yellow-orange nail polish bottle. After eleven had been rejected, she narrowed it down to two. Now she had to decide which one looked more yellow-orange. They were both the same brand, same bottle, and the same management company produced them. The sticker claimed the bottle contained the color yellow-orange on it. They were the same, but she saw distinction between the two.

She finally made her decision. "You look too blotchy." She said to one, rejecting it and accepting the other. Clutching onto the perfect yellow-orange nail color, she started searching for its dress counterpart. Her mom was still feeding her scarf addiction, while Cynthia was feeding her orange addiction. Two hours later, both of the Andrews left Lilacs satisfied.

"Mom thanks, so much for the orange nail polish, dress, and cardigan. I love you," she said hugging her mom.

"No problem, but try to control that fetish, okay?" Melinda said pleased with the three new designer scarves she had bought herself.

"I'll try mom." Cynthia promised.

"We're not made of money you know," her mother said which was very false. With her mother being a lawyer and her father being a plastic surgeon, money never stopped coming in.

The next Friday, Cynthia celebrated the end of the week, like she always did, at the mall. She was not with her mom. There was no restraint following her. After only thirty minutes, she left the mall with two new coats each with orange trimming and a monkey key chain. This routine turned into a habit, lasting up to four weeks. She was on her fifth week, when her parents got Jazzie's bill.

"Cynthia Danielle Andrews!" her father called for her. She was in the middle of blow drying her hair but dropped everything and ran downstairs. When her father uses her entire name that meant she was in trouble. "But I don't remember doing anything wrong this week." she thought to herself.

She caught herself at the bottom of the stairs where her father was holding a piece of paper. She had to come closer to it to see what it was.

"What's that?" She asked meekly. Seeing her father's angry face was intimidating. Mr. Edmond Arthur Andrews, "Daddy" in Cynthia's case, is an intimidating man.

"This, Cynthia, is a Jazzie's bill." Her father said firmly. Jazzie is Cynthia's credit card, which was a present from her parents on her fifteenth birthday. It is one of Cynthia's most prized possessions, next to her orange stuffed elephant Moo Moo which she's kept since she was three years old.

"You've exceeded the limit that we've set for you. The deal was fifteen hundred a month, Cynthia. You went over nearly eight thousand dollars!" This is not his calm voice; and when dealing with money, her father is never calm.

"How could I have gone over? I thought I bought everything on sale," she thought but soon realized that "New Arrivals" did not mean "On Sale." Her mouth was dry, and words could not escape.

"Cynthia? We've already canceled your credit card and taken away more than half of your orange assets..."

Her mouth dropped. If she was speechless before; she's flabbergasted now.

He wasn't finished, "We're going to keep taking them away, until you have money to pay it all back."

"Does he mean money that he gives me like allowances, or. . ." Cynthia could not complete that thought. She was still thinking, but words had not left her mouth since she asked about the bill.

"That means you're going to have work." he said bluntly.

"Work?!" she questioned.

"Yes, you're going to college next year, Cynthia, and we're not going to be sitting here at home paying off all your expenses. That has gone on for far too long; and it's been about time you've gotten yourself a job."

That talk was two weeks ago, and Cynthia still could not find a job. Her room was losing its orange flair and its orange content. She was losing faith, but she knew that she could not give up. Maybe she was looking in all the wrong places. Bookstores, coffee shops, even Luggage Mart did not have any openings. She decided to go to the place which she feared most, the mall.

It looked the same, as if nothing has changed. It hadn't. The only thing that changed was the fact that Cynthia did not have any money. Without that, she had no motivation to spend; but her addiction to orange did not die.

"Okay, Cynthia, stay focused. You're here to get a job." She said to herself. She was about to past Envy, one of the stores that help feed her orange fetish, but it had contained the answers to her prayers. "Help Wanted." It was orange too. She walked straight inside to the registers resisting temptation. She asked for a job application. The lady was more than happy to give her one. Cynthia thanked her and then left the store. She was contemplating about whether to go home or stay to fill it out.

"That would just waste time and gas." She said while walking herself to the food court. It was not like she was a child anymore. She finally knew her social security number, so she needed no other help filling it out. Her parents want her to grow up and that's just what she would do.

It only took her a few minutes until every blank was filled. She returned to Envy, waiting for the manager's decision. Cynthia was sitting on an orange comforter.

"This is a nice comforter. It's way nicer than that one I used to have. Maybe if I get this job, I'll use my employee discount on this." She thought when the manager came out and told her the good news. They agreed that she'd work weekdays after school.

"Can you start tomorrow?" the manger, Lucy, asked.

"That was too soon, but if I say 'no' they might take it back and fire me. I just got hired." She kept these thoughts in her head, but managed "Of course."

She thanked Lucy and left Envy, knowing that the next time she entered she'd be there for work.

"I left the mall empty handed, but I gained something that I couldn't buy." Cynthia said referring to the job that she finally obtained.

"It can't be that hard. All I see the workers do there is stand around and fold clothes. What's so hard about that?" She asked. She would soon find that she was very wrong.

The next day was Cynthia's first day of work. She came promptly at the time Lucy asked her to come, dressed in her lucky white sun dress, which would lose its luck turning into a mucky gray.

"We're going to have you go to the storage room and sort everything in rainbow order. Then when you're finished with that you can take this." Lucy handed her a price tag labeler, "and put price tags on all the new items. I'll give you a list of how much every costs later. After everything in the storage room is taken out to the store, I'll give you a broom to clean it up."

Okay, what? Cynthia was already feeling the pressure, and she's only technically worked for five minutes.

"Hop to it!" Lucy said clapping her hands and leading Cynthia to the storage room. It was dark, and turning on the light would not release it from the darkness. The person before her must have quit, because this job seems hard.

Cynthia did not like the jobs she was given, but she did every single thing that Lucy asked her to do. On the breaks that she was given she browsed around the store.

"This is really cute." She said feeling the texture of a knitted sweater. It was orange, and that was all that mattered. She took the sweater to the storage room and kept it there until she got her paycheck. It wasn't much, but she still had her employee discount. Closing time was at nine o' clock, and Cynthia had worked exactly six hours, which was six more than she had ever worked.

She came back the next day, greeted Lucy, and then got to work. The tasks were basically the same, but Lucy did give her some opportunities to leave the storage room. Cynthia took every one that she was given, but she also took everything that she liked to the back. After the week was over, she got her half of her paycheck; the other half went to funding the orange addiction. She saw nothing wrong in it; she came home with money and something new. It was a win-win situation, until her parents started questioning her. She created excuse after excuse to steer her parents away from the truth. It fooled them but not Lucy. She was working at Envy for a little over two months. No one knew that she was keeping the good stock in the back, and then buying them later. She thought wrong. Of the two months that Cynthia has worked at Envy, she had never got "Cynthia, may I have a word with you in my office?" until today.

Cynthia did as she was told. She may be a little empty headed sometimes, but she was always obedient to authorities. She sat down in the chair in front of Lucy's desk.

"I've noticed that within the last two months, much of the stock has disappeared for some reason." Lucy started. Cynthia gulped.

"I've also gotten complaints from the customers that the new arrivals are always out." Lucy stated. Cynthia looked down, scared to look at Lucy. She did not take rejection well.

"Cynthia, if this happens again, I'm going to have to let you go." Lucy warned.

Cynthia was supposed to be happy. Her boss just gave her a second chance, an opportunity to redeem herself. She didn't want it.

"No." Cynthia said quietly. "I quit." She said then got up and left.

Lucy was stunned. It probably never happened to her before; she was used to firing the employees not the employees quitting on her.

Cynthia left the mall, not caring about the money or orange, or any of it. Today, she realized what she wished she knew beforehand. She did not need all of this. She needed to stop this addiction, because it was getting too out of hand. She should not have gotten a job at a place that ate up her earnings before she reached the door step of her house. It was her own fault though; she had let the other half get the best of her. Not anymore, she no longer envied Envy.

Cynthia got home and went quietly to her room. It was lacking orange, but what she bought from Envy made up for the difference. She was so tired and drained that the time that she woke up from her nap, it was already dinner.

"Cynthia. How are you, these days?" Melinda asked settling down to the dinner table.

"Horrible." Cynthia answered truthfully, looking up from the spaghetti she was stabbing.

"What's wrong, honey?" Edmond asked.

"My job, daddy, I quit today." She said looking down at her dinner.

"Why?" Her mother wanted to know.

"Because it just wasn't for me," Cynthia looked up. Here comes the truth. "I spent more than half of my weekly paycheck on things that I had stored away there. I wasn't satisfied when I came home, and when my boss found out she was going to give me a second chance. I didn't take it; and I quit. I need help," she said somberly.

"No, you need a hug," her mother said coming over to comfort her.

"Thanks, Mom," she said feeling a little better.

"I think I know how to help, Cynthia," her father spoke up.

"I don't have to work anymore?" she asked with a brightened face.

"No, you're still going to have to work, but you're going to like this job better." he said reassuring Cynthia of her doubts.

Her father kept his promise. Cynthia loved the job that she currently works at.

"Welcome to Groovy Smoothie, what would you like to order?" Cynthia asked a customer with a smile. It's been five months and eleven days since Cynthia first started working here. Everyday she comes in with a smile and leaves with an even bigger smile. There were no temptations lurking around but oranges, the fruit. It was at this smoothie resort where she completely transformed her life. After accidentally discovering a new smoothie, and giving the recipe to her new boss, Mr. Shingles gave her the title of employee of the month. Weeks later, she gave in an entire menu of Orange Delights; and Groovy Smoothie sales have been through the roof. Addictions are hard to overcome, but nothing's impossible. It's safe to say that Cynthia Danielle Andrews has conquered her addiction to the color orange and started a new one to the fruit.

GANGSTAR: Yep, my first one shot. :]