I rushed to dress early in the morning. I looked at my bedside digital clock that flashed 7:40 in big print. I will be late!
Every summer since ninth grade, I applied to work at a downtown cafe to earn some extra cash to spend. I assumed that one day, the cash that my mother left me wouldn't be enough so I should probably start saving now. Besides, I really doubt that my father would work again.
I grabbed my bike from the garage and peddled hard down the streets. This time, I took care to look around for any red Ferrari's driving along the roads.
I turned the corner and came around to the familiar scene of the bustling cafe. The theme was the usual pink and brown. Though I thought the color arrangements were weird at first, I seem to have gotten used to it over the years. This time I was greeted with the aroma of fresh coffee and carnations. Last year, roses occupied the small pots sitting underneath the window.
I parked my bike at a nearby rack and went into the cafe. A little ring from the small bell above the glass door signaled my arrival. The tables were filled like always. Even though it was a cafe, it was really popular with the caramel coffee specialty that it served. People of all ages came in for all of the wonderful side dishes as well.
"Oh hey, welcome back to work Hailey." The manager greeted me with a smile. His name was Gilbert Renwall. He was a chubby middle-aged man and had a bright personality that everyone would come to love. He was currently taking the order of a table by the window. "It's as busy as always, so why don't you change and give your old man a hand?"
"Sure thing!" I went past the counter near the back wall and slipped under the curtain. Then I went past the chefs in the kitchen and into the female changing room after saying a greeting to everyone.
I slipped out of my apple green, v-neck shirt and jeans, into my normal uniform. It consisted of a white bouse, a brown vest with two pink pockets for the notepad and pen at the bottom, and a pink and brown plaited skirt that went to my knees. Shoes vary among the employees, but I preferred to wear silver sandals. I bundled up my wavy, golden-brown hair into a ponytail and set out to deliver my first order of the year.
I went back into the kitchen and found two plates of strawberry shortcake that needed to be delivered.
"Those need to go to table five, Hailey."
"Thanks Robert." Robert Winters was the first chef that started the cafe with Gilbert sixteen years ago. All of their work here has been a success since then. It seems they have already forgotten whose idea it was to start the cafe.
I took the two deserts and walked over to table five. I settled the plates in front of a young mother and her daughter. The child clapped as the food was placed before her. "Please enjoy your meal."
The rest of the morning went to taking orders and serving more tables with a variety of dishes. I picked up a word or two of gossip, but nothing was interesting enough to stay in my mind. Soon enough, it was lunch break for everyone at one-thirty. The cafe would be closed until three when a bigger menu, including dinner dishes, would be served.
I slumped into a high stool by the counter and heaved a sigh. "It's just the first day back and I'm already bummed out. I wonder what will happen."
"Yep. More and more customers come piling in. I wonder if we should expand a little bit. In fact, the neighbors next door just moved out cause they got a better job over in another state. We could buy that lot of land and build a bigger seating area." Gilbert took a cup of coffee and sat on the nearest chair.
"I suppose that would be a good idea. Do you have enough money to pay for it?" I said as I gave a nod to Claire, another waitress, as she set down a latte in front of me.
"Yep. Actually, Gilbert already placed a hold on that place. We'll probably start building next year." Robert and the other chefs came out of the kitchen to sit with us.