She's at it again! Haha. Yeah, I'm back. Read and enjoy with no promise of end.
Disclaimer: I don't own nothin' offica, I swear it isn't mine, I swear. haha.
This used to be one of my best classes until she transferred into it. I never had a problem paying focusing until she got here. Taking notes off the projector screen wasn't a strenuous task until my eyes started training themselves on her figure. If I were of sound mind, I might realize that I really ought to be listening to the teacher. Common sense should tell me that my grade might start suffering. However, it seems as though common sense and sound mind have escaped me, coincidentally, as soon as she walked through the door.
Spencer Carlin. Student body president. Blonde, blue eyes, rocking body. Need I really say more? You may not think so, but man, if I could go on about her all day, I wouldn't hesitate. She's one of the most amazing people anyone could ever come across, the sad part being that most people don't know they've come across her. They've never experienced her smile, her laughter, her ease the way those who are close to her have. That's the sad part about high school. She's student body president because people know she's efficient, not because they like her. They've had pre-determined views of her since we walked through the door freshman year. It's a shame they'll never get the opportunity to see her at her best, mostly because they wouldn't even acknowledge it if it were to occur. I know. I know these things because I used to be one of those people. I thank every star in heaven that I'm not anymore. You know the saying, "You don't really know someone until you work with them"? It's not just a saying. Let's start from the beginning, yes?
One year earlier.
"Hey Ashley, you on?"
Brown hair, brown eyes, rock star complex. I'm just your basic teenager. Nothing particularly special. Ashley Davies is the name. Daughter of a punk-rocker-turned-insurance-agent (don't ask how that happened, I still don't even fully understand) and a bra saleswoman. The upside being that I'm incredibly gifted with a natural music inclination, and I never have to shop for bras.
The downside is that I have to work to put a few extra bucks to put in my pocket. It's not so bad though. There are worse places in the world than Garfield's Bar and Grill. I love my job. It's not always easy, it's not even always worth it, but it's usually fun. I work with the most infuriatingly amazing people on the planet. I can't really describe them any better than that. Take Jenny, for example:
"Hey Ashley, you on?"
"I will be in five minutes," I reply.
"Okay, awesome, then I'm going to see what I have to do in order to get the hell out of here."
That's another thing you should probably know about me. They call me a "dying breed". You know those weird people who actually get excited about going to work, love doing their jobs and always try to put their co-workers before them? Yeah. I'm one of them. I blame my parents' constant (and intravenous) sex/professionalism talks. I was seven when they started drilling me. The thing most of my co-workers don't realize is that I really am only like this at work. School? I get by. Social life? Existent. Love life? Fail. See, I have this uncanny ability to make people fall in love with me, while I can't return the favor.
But that's neither here nor there.
Reaching into my purse for my apron, I make my way towards the kitchen.
"Hi Chris!" My voice has jumped a few octaves, allowing my excitement to slip out. He's stopped asking me what I'm so excited about, they all have. Life, as a general principle, excites me, and after a year and a half, they finally understand that.
"Hey Ash, how are you JB?" He responds, nodding his head in my direction.
JB. Jailbait. My infamous nickname. When I started working at Garfield's, I had just hit the 16 and a half mark, successfully making me the youngest one in the restaurant. They never failed to remind me.
At this point, I've reached the manager's door, my picture's still up on the door from Halloween when I came to work in my costume. I give the door a slight rap. It cracks open and I grab the handle before the opportunity is lost. Looking inside, I can see that only the kitchen manager is in.
"Hey Joe, can I see your card?"
"Sure kiddo. Hey, did you see my Red Sox kick ass the other night?" Ugh. Joe's a Bostonian. Not that I have anything against Boston. I've got cousins up there, but my grams is from New York and well, you can guess which games we watched together when I was a kid.
"Yeah, I saw, and then I saw my Yankees take them two-for-three games in the conference." I rebut. He waves me off. I love Joe; he's a cool old man.
"P.S. Who's on today? Judy or Lina?"
"Both," he answers, "they're at table 60 having a front-of-house manager's meeting."
"Thanks Joe!" and I'm off.
After clocking in and walking by 60, a silent measure of communication learned in restaurants (yes, we do have a secret language) that let Judy and Lina know I was here without interrupting, I was back up at the host stand.
There wasn't much to do, it was a Tuesday afternoon. Silverware, bathroom checks, and spot sweeps had been part of Jenny's side work, and therefore, finished. I would do them all again in 30 minutes, but until then, I was stuck twiddling my thumbs.
That is, of course, before a shadow briefed my line a vision. A shadow meant a guest was coming in. A guest coming in meant the doors needed to be held open. I rushed forward to do so. Normally, we only have to open the one door, but remember that I'm not one of those people who does things normally. I have this thing where I like to open the first door, then stretch the short distance and (while using my left hand to keep the first open) use my right foot as a wedge for the second door. Most people are impressed. It's not that hard, but it makes them think I'm going to great lengths to provide good service, and as long as they're happy, I'll let them think whatever they want.
Getting back to the shadow that briefed my vision and the guest that was now walking in. I hadn't, until that point, cared who it was who was coming through the door. I hadn't, until that point, dropped my jaw. That changed when did see.
"Spencer?" I knew my voice echoed my surprise. Sure, we knew who each other were. We did go to school together after all. We'd had a class together in our sophomore year, where she sat behind me. And this year, I think we might have, but my schedule was shifted and we didn't.
"Hey, how are you?" Ever the polite one, her voice let slip nothing but the calm coolness that she emanated at all times. That's why most people didn't like her. This was the only part of her they saw.
"Good, what are you doing here?" It might've been rude, looking back, but you've got to understand… this was Spencer Carlin. She wasn't rich, she wasn't snobby, but she always seemed to come off that way. Garfield's… well, Garfield's was your everyday restaurant; it seemed too normal for even the presence of Spencer Carlin. You might wonder why I keep using her full name. She was like one of those great authors you always learn about in school, it seems wrong to be informal with the use of name.
"I'm here for a job interview," she replied.
And just like that my heart stopped beating.