Bad Day at Work

I felt sick to my stomach as I watched Juliet flirt with three guys at once. They were new to town and the high school. They had all their classes together. They also had all of my classes. I could have dismissed that as a coincidence if they hadn't been standing in front of the diner when I had arrived for work. Now I was stuck watching Juliet single-handedly flirt with them. I wanted to shoot myself (or maybe Juliet). I didn't though.

I grabbed my notepad and pen from my apron and walked over to their booth putting on a big fake smile. "Good Afternoon. My name is Emma and I'll be your server today. Are you ready to order?"

Juliet looked up at me and sneered. She opened her mouth to speak, but the biggest of the three guys spoke first. "My brothers and I are new here. Could you please get us some menus and water?"

"Of course, I'll be right back," I said. I went to the back and grabbed a tray and filled up four cups of water. I grabbed four menus on my way out and distributed them at the table. "Take your time, I'll be back in a few minutes."

I walked past their table quickly and to the table at the end of the aisle where Jack Pierson, a forty-something year old man who came to the diner daily. "Afternoon Jack," I said with a genuine smile.

"Well I'll be, how is my favorite server today?" Jack asked smiling.

"Soldiering on as always," I assured him. "You want the usual?" I asked.

"And another cup of coffee if you can manage it."

I made a few notes on my pad and went back to the kitchen. "What ya got for me?" Colin, the cook asked.

"Jack's here. He wants his usual and coffee."

"I'll put another pot on." Colin said turning away.

I left the top sheet of my pad on the back counter for Colin and went back to the "booth of flirting". "Are you ready to order?" I asked with false cheerfulness.

"You know Emma," Juliet said. "That yellow really isn't your color. you really would be better off a the penitentiary. Those gray things are more suited for you." Her voice was smooth and condoning.

I smiled back. "Oh, but I left that job just for you Juliet."

"We all know uniforms have never been my style," Juliet said without missing a beat. "Who knows, maybe they'll even let you visit your father."

"Maybe I could get them to have your dad join him," I snarled.

"Just because my dad shut your father's business down doesn't mean-"

"Can I get three cheeseburgers and fries?" One of the three guys asked abruptly. The question was so sudden that it caught both me and Juliet by surprise.

"O-of course. What would you like to drink?"

"Root beer," it was the big guy who had interrupted again.

The black hair one spoke next. "Two fish and chip baskets with lemonade please."

"I'll have two orders of chicken strips and I'd like an ice tea with no sugar if you will?"

"And you Juliet?" I asked cautiously.

"A salad with low fat dressing and a diet coke." Juliet ordered almost slamming her menu in my face.

"Of course," I said with a strained smile. I turned on my heel and nearly fled the table. I slapped the slip of notepad paper that had the order on it into Colin's waiting hand.

"Get those drinks out and Jack's order will be ready when you get back."

I nodded and got the drinks ready. I took them out and didn't say a word. I made it back into the kitchen without so much as a glance or a word from Juliet. I silently celebrated. I grabbed Jack's order and put it on the tray. I balanced it in one hand and took the coffee pot in the other. I walked purposefully and quickly towards Jack's table and then found myself pitching headlong to the ground. The tray flew forward and the coffee pot fell under me. It shattered meaning that I was about to land in hot coffee and glass and the glass that bit into me was probably going to embedded into my skin, if it didn't bounce away to cut the customers. Two strong arms wrapped around me and pulled me into a lap.

Jack stared at the person who had caught me in shock before running out of the diner. "You should not have done that Juliet." The person holding me admonished her coldly. "Someone could have been seriously injured.

Juliet rolled her eyes. "She's perfectly fine."

Colin came out of the kitchen and looked from me, to the coffee, to the tray, and then to Juliet. "Do I need to ask what happened?" He asked me while glaring at Juliet

"No Colin, it was my fault." I lied. "I'll clean this all up, and if you want, I'll leave afterward."

Colin's eyes softened as he sighed and looked at me. "Alright Emma, come speak to me before you leave."

I nodded and stood up carefully. I turned to the man who had caught me. He was the third brother. His hair was brown and black and his eyes were gold...pure gold. "Thank you," I whispered. "Thank you for catching me."

"I'll always catch you Emma," he promised softly.