This happened on Friday, 28th April, 2013.
My mother, father, Kylie, and myself (Amelia was sleeping, so my parents decided to leave her be) decided to go out for dinner, in what my parents claimed was a celebration that my mother had just gotten published. As a certain perspective in a book of about 25 (perspectives), but still.
We went out to this restaurant called Tuscany, which was all dimmed-lighting and violin-music and whatnot posh. And although this is irrelevant to the topic, the dimmed-lighting was not the best choice, because whenever Baba wanted to read the menu, I had to switch my phone on to torch-mode and give it to him, because, well, he's not exactly the young bunny around, and he can't read in bad lighting.
So we ordered.
We received the food in a matter of 15 minutes, which, in my history of long waiting periods at restaurants, is a fairly short amount of time. We all tucked in.
Another 15 minutes in, we were becoming stuffed beyond what we had thought, so we decided we wouldn't have any dessert. We still hadn't finished our food.
Suddenly, we realized that we didn't have any napkins or tissues.
My father called for a waiter, while Kylie began complaining about how she did want dessert - a Kit Kat chocolate fudge cake, to be precise. (How she can eat things like that and remain slim as a dandelion, only God knows.)
When I saw the waiter, my previous amusement to Kylie's whines were lost.
He looked merely 16, with his hair greased-slick, parted in the middle. You don't normally see teenagers working at restaurants over here, so I was surprised. He was evidently of lower class. He was skinny and of average height - but what caught me was his expression.
It was unfathomable. It was caught somewhere between innocence and hardship, and he seemed weary from a battle yet to begin, but lost a while back. He seemed content, but also... not.
My father, un-surprised, asked for napkins, and the youth nodded and went off.
He didn't return, and my father asked someone else, rather irritatedly.
I kept looking around subtly for the young waiter. While three-quarters of my concentration was on the warm atmosphere of the dinner, the rest was on finding the waiter, because... I don't know, but it was. And I was struck at the irony of my situation; here was I, someone who always wanted to stand up for all judgemental causes, be it discrimination of race, sexuality, or class, and I was set to watch a (however much) poor boy work for his money while my sister grumbled about wanting to get a luscious dessert.
(The dessert, in the end, wasn't so much luscious as average.)
I managed to catch sight of the waiter thrice more, all the while feeling small by way of hardship, yet big by way of class, despite the awfully cruel discrimination there. First, as he rushed about; second, when he entered the kitchen; third, when he came outside of it, and struck up quick conversation with another waiter. His laugh made him look like all the other 16-year-olds I knew (because Amelia, being sixteen, generally has friends in those areas, and her friends generally get to know us).
I snuck a quick last look at the restaurant right before we were outside.
I didn't see him.