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The Best In Three
As I watch my new waitress take orders, from the kitchen while I tell Grant my own order, I feel pride in her for doing so well. I glance at the clock, “Crap, they will be here soon”. I untie the back of my apron, throwing it in my small office in the back.
“Hey, Jude!” I raise my voice, from the office, so she can hear me.
“Yes?!” she calls back, from the kitchen, telling Grant the order she just took from the front.
“Do you mind taking over for about 45 minutes? I have close friends from my childhood coming in for lunch. I can’t cancel again, or else they will take off my head.” I huff after telling Jude my dilemma, walking to the front to meet her half way, besides the kitchen.
“Of course, you especially need it after this morning’s customer tourist encounter,” Jude smiles and brings her hand up to squeeze my shoulder softly, her eyes showing empathy.
“You are a lifesaver! I owe you one!” I exclaim as I run to clock out, which I only started to do recently, with the government being on me about it. “Also Joe will be here in fifteen minutes, so if you need help until then just ask me, the boys won’t mind, as long as I don’t bail on them completely” I let out a light, nervous chuckle. I look up to the front door, just as the bell rang. Charlie and Emerson strut in, Emerson scanning the area until his eyes set onto mine.
“Rosalynd, you aren’t working! I was thinking I was going to have to force you to sit down with us,” Emerson teasingly remarks, throwing a playful grin my way, while chuckling.
“Ya ya, you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk,” I jokingly glare right into his eyes.
“Ugh, don’t mind me, but I am starving over here! I was hoping to get some of Grant’s famous onion burger, please?!” Charlie cuts in and sighs with all the sass he can muster.
“Charlie you are always hungry, but... what if I told you I already put it in and it is being made now?” I turn my body more towards his and watch his face light up like a kids’ on christmas.
“You know me so well,” Charlie fake sniffles. “Bring it in sista,” he embraces me in his famous wide-armed bear hug.
“Alright there Smokey The Bear, I need my hug too,” Emerson practically ripping Charlie off of me and embracing me into a soft comfort hug. We pull away, I state,
“The food should be ready soon, let’s go sit and talk,” guiding them to the corner booth of my café area.
“So, how are the papers going?” Emerson asks, as he slides next to Charlie across from me.
“Sigh”, “They are going alright,” reducing my volume as my heart drops slightly due to the subject.
“What pape--” Charlie begins to ask.
Fortuitously, Jude arrives with the food, interrupting Charlie. “I have the onion burger with extra crispy fries and a side of honey mustard, caesar salad, and dippy eggs, with white, with a side of home fries,” She sets the caesar salad in front of me, knowing that it was mine, “ now which one of you gentlemen got the burger combo?” She scans between them finding for a hint. Charlie goes to lift up his hand and the plate is in front of him before he can put his arm all the way up, she then places Emerson’s plate in front of him. “Now, can I get any of you drinks? Rosalynd are you going to want the strawberry lemonade like normal?” Her pen just touching the paper, looking at me with sincerity in her eyes. “I am beyond happy I had hired her.”
“Why of course, thank yo-”, I started to say before Charlie cut me off with,
“I woulb lob to hab ome o dose too!”
“Alright, would you like one too, uh-” she drifts off of the sentence, looking at me for help.
“The name is Emerson,” he chuckles, “and I would love one too, thank you,” Emerson states calmly, with a slight grin thrown towards me.
“Alright, I will be right back with your drinks, thank you.” I smile up at her, one that is warm and and genuine with pride lacing my eyes.
“So, how is the food guys?” I wait to say until she is within a good distance away, just incase Charlie decides to ask about the papers.
“Fantashtieck” Charlie’s word muffled by his burger.
“Quite delicious, thank you,” Emerson taking another bite of his yolk drenched toast. I had just began to eat, looking up I see Joe rushing in, looking down at my watch, “huh, he is a couple minutes late, I’ll tease him about it later.” A giggle arose from my throat and pierces through the boys’ eating sounds,
“What so funny Ro?” Charlie said as he looked up from his burgerless plate, “Damn, I forgot he always eats fast.” He catches Emerson’s attention, causing him to sit back and watch us carefully, with an amused look on his face. “You laughing at me? How dare you do such a thing. What is it this time!? The noise from my eating!? The way I’m eating!?” Charlie throwing his sass trying to muster something up between us.
Emerson shakes his head slightly and lightly chuckles, his arms crossed.
“Charlie, like always, it is nothing about you.” I say with a slight giggle following a sigh, “It is just one of my employees are slightly late, and I thought about how I am going to tease him later. This is his first job, and being only seventeen, I joke with him a lot to make him feel more comfortable.” Another small giggle arose from my throat. I find his reactions funny, reminding me when I was his age, he is like a little brother to me.
“Whatever,” Charlie says while rolling his eyes.
“Here you guys go, the strawberry lemonades. If you guys need anything else just hollor my way.” She smiled quickly, getting coffee to a customer across the diner.
“Anyway, what papers were you talking about? The ones Emerson mentioned before I got this amazing burger, that I sadly ate already,” Charlie asks puzzledly.
I was dreading this question, barely noticing the compliment on the food.
“Oh um, well you see, um, James and I are getting a divorce...” I say trailing off towards the end, shoving a forkful of chicken in my mouth, quickly.
“Wait, what! That is why you don’t have your ring on?” he shouted in a whisper towards me, leaning on the table to get closer to me, “did you know about this?!” whipping his body towards Emerson with his hand plastered on the table, looking him dead in the eye.
“Why yes, I actually have known for several weeks now, but only because I asked how he was doing, that is in which she told me.” He stated calmly.
Charlie’s eyes rapidly looking between us,
“but, why? He was so good to you, I thought he loved you, why would he divorce you?”
“Actually, HE isn’t,” my voice stern and low, “I am divorcing him…” my voice shaking slightly.
“WHY!?” he practically yelled this time and all the elderly folk that come in at this time looked at us, my heart starting to beat faster,
“Please, keep it down, and I have reasons, and good ones too.” emphasizing the words in a low stern tone.
“What could it possibly be?” Charlie mocks me like I was some child to be scolded to.
“He made me feel like complete crap! I was his maid, anything he wanted he got. If I said no, he would still do it. If I wanted to do something, forget that. If I even so went up against him especially in public he would scold me like a child, calling me everything in the book, and humiliated me in front of everyone. He even cheated on me.” I practically snapped, I could feel the tears fighting to break through, but I swallowed them down, knowing I am in public and in my diner.
His face dropped and he swallowed hard, letting out a shaky breath.
“Ro I am sorry, I didn’t know…” he trailed off this time and he was on the brink of crying, too.
“Follow me, quickly.” I say standing up, they both get up, follow me, and I bring them to my office. I shut my door to muffle any sound that can carry through the hall, giving us more privacy.
“Ro…” tears streaming down Charlie’s face.
I just flew into his arms and we start to cry together, Emerson comes around us and joins in.
“How,” *snff*, “how are you going through this so,” *snff*, “well?” Emerson barely gets out between sobs.
“Because,” I let out a shaky breath, “I have you guys, you guys are the only thing keeping me going, even since all that started,” I choke on my own tears. Sniffling came from all of us, pulling back at the same time, I turn around and grab the tissue box off of my desk, “Here, you guys are going to need some.” I can’t help but giggle and release a small smile.
“I love you guys, I am sorry for my outburst before letting you explain.” Charlie apologizes.
“It is okay, I know how high you thought of him, I half expected this, which is why I hadn't told you until now.” I say trying to calm him some more.
Emerson stands quiet giving us the silence that we need to hash the situation at hand out.
“Emerson, why didn’t you tell me?” Charlie says as he turns towards him.
“This was her madder, for only she to tell can tell you.” Emerson states, making me smile gratefully, “but I will not deny the fact that I did bring it up on purpose. I know she needed that push and I didn’t know when we would get the chance to be all together again.” He states while looking at the ground and rubbing the back of his neck.
“Oh,” Charlie says and silence falls among us.
“I would love to keep up this heartfelt moment we barely ever have, even since we were kids, but we have to get going. I have work soon and I have to drop him off at his place before that.” Emerson states in a low tone, letting out a sigh showing he doesn’t want to leave.
“Alright, well you boys get to it, I will make sure to take time to talk with both of you again,” I say truthfully.
“Bye” Emerson says has he gives me a hug.
“Bye Ro” Charlie says as he hugs me before following Emerson out of the room.
“Bye boys” loud enough so they can hear me, but not too loud to disrupt the diner. What would I do without them.