Something new, which would be an understatement given the fact that I’ve taken my sweet time uploading something. Yes, things have been pretty busy for me as I’ve finished my first novel and I’m looking for a glimmer of guidance in this strange world known only to the publishing industries.
The light was dim, silent as the slow paced music muffled the light whispers of the customers – this is where I met her. She was the daughter of the owner of the Golden Monsignor’s Place. An old man, well in his sixties; neatly shaved, with not a single hair on his chin; his well kempt hair lacking white hairs, unlike most men his age; his eyes darkened by the shadows of a hard life, where traces of blue had faded to the grey of regret. His firm hands were strong enough to lift a whole crate of bottles by himself; the same coarse skin that greeted us every morning. He walked, hands tied behind his back. He was a strict fellow and a demanding boss.
“Order’s up,” Joshua shouted from over the counter. “Keith, A Class, table 34. It’s the same salad guy.”
“Salad guy? He’s early today.” I grabbed the whole container.
“Yeah, well, that spot’s practically his.”
“That fellow has reserved it for 5 weeks now. Why do you suppose he does that?”
“Don’t know, don’t care; you’ve got work to do. We can’t afford to get behind schedule.” Jean-Paul whispered, his arm straightening up my tie. “Now, go get’em kid.”
The floor was glittering with golden sparks of starry wonder. Real marble on the walls; a strange thing to see nowadays as the echoes of my shoes’ heels resonated through them room along with the light clanking of the plate on the large porcelain support. I walked beside the central pool; the main attraction. Walls of crystalline, transparent water held together by tiny generators on the floor. Science was beyond me but this was something to marvel at; no support, a structure of liquid water akin to Jell-O.
I enjoyed observing the girls who would swim inside this structure. Blue miniskirts, a tight blue shirt and a small collar that blinked in a wide spectrum of colors; bringing to and fro, small jars with Tonic, an alcoholic beverage made for the elite. Finding myself staring at a small figure, she smiled.
There, a few steps from the pool, was a man dressed in a red, formal shirt with a black jacket covering his robust body. He took a sip from his glass of water and grinned.
“Hello, young man. We meet again.” He smiled at me.
“Good evening sir, here is your order: one Patrician Salad with a serving of St. Carlos Trout. Is there anything else I can assist you with?”
“How’s about some small talk?”
I realized that he was a lonely soul seeking the attention of anyone. He had taken me by surprise, like a wave of revelations. He opened the door and allowed me in, but I wasn’t interested in that. I needed my own problems solved. Do I need to listen to him? It wasn’t in my paycheck.
“I’m sorry, sir.” I looked at the clock. “We’re running a tight schedule here.”
“I see. It’s a wonderful place run by blissful people; I enjoy it.”
“Probably next time, okay?”
“Don’t worry, we’ll wait.”
We’ll? Who is we? That man needs help. I peeked back, his face overflowing with joy as he ate his salad. Strangely, it felt so nostalgic. It reminded me of myself; staring at the liquid walls, hoping to see her figure. Mother told me once: a woman cannot be swayed by words alone, but by actions – tangible gestures of affection. Strange, it doesn’t seem to be working.
From within the crystalline surface, a small hand appeared. Taking a hold of my sleeve, she emerged. Her long hair stuck to the surface of her tight blue shirt. Soaking wet, she smiled.
“Fancy meeting you here, A Class huh?” Her eyes gazed at my small necklace. She gave me this tiny golden necklace for my birthday, and I’ve keep it with me ever since. “You still carry that old thing?”
“It’s gold. To some of us, that is a big deal.” I replied, hesitant to provide any further conversation.
“It’s been…ummmm… five years? I’ll get you something new; you’ve outgrown that old thing.”
“I like this ‘old thing’.”
“Well, I don’t…”
Turning around, I waved goodbye and set off to continue on with my work. The boss would soon be here and I’d be in trouble if he caught me talking to his daughter. We’ve been friends ever since I was little, much to his dismay. He wanted her to grow up and become someone famous. She decided on staying her and working, gaining experience till she was ready to ‘command’ her own legion of mindless minions.
The slow sounding saxophone on the Class C section, even if they were less inclined to pay for a Class A seat, their section was still amazing. There was no pool in the middle but they were close to the entertainment. Men dressed in white suits, black ties and glistering charcoal-black shoes, reflecting the light from the crystalline chandeliers and golden wall lights.
I felt a gentle tug on my shirt’s collar. As I turned around, he placed a small cocktail on my service dish. He was looking irritated, his eyes placed firmly on the saxophone player.
“What’s going on, Erick?” I looked around for Candice; she was always great at dealing with these situations.
“I can’t deal with this shit.” Not again, he should know better than to start something he can’t handle. “Why do I have to deal with this dumb-ass.” He pointed his service dish at Martin.
“Martin’s just playing, he’s hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“Yeah? He’s been pinning Candice against me. I warned him! I told him shit would get real if he talked to my woman.”
“Calm down Erick, let’s just finish our shirt and go out for a few drinks, okay? The drinks are on me.”
“Man, why do you take his side?”
“Because I don’t want to see you guys beat the crap out of each other and regret it. Candice loves you but she cares about Martin in a strictly friendly sort of way. Get over and do your job.” I returned the cocktail.
He grumbled as he took the tiny container over to a lady sitting next to a wall. Again, another tug at my collar; seriously, why does everybody take it as normal behavior?
“Are you evading me?” Her again… Why does she keep bothering me?
“Maddie, please, can’t you see I’m busy?”
“No, I can’t… You’re going to sign off and go home. Let’s go out for a few drinks.”
“Is your father okay with this?”
“I’ve had a chat with myself about that…”
“I’m okay with it, so you’d be by the front door in thirty minutes.”
“That’s kind of long…”
She ruffled my hair and giggled, “I’m a girl, and last time I checked, we took our time to get ready. Stop whining and get to it.”