Chapter Two: The Sweet Spot
As usual, school was such a drag. It wasn't exciting because Ethan didn't attend my school since it was public. For someone like him, it was obvious that he was attending a private school. I used to go to one; until my parents died.
The summer after grade eight, my parents were killed in a plane crash. They were actually on their way to Italy to visit my sick grandmother. However, they couldn't make it and I could also unfortunately say the same for my grandmother. Imagine all the grief I've suffered having to lose three important people in my life. It took me a while to get used to the fact that I may never see them again, but I needed to realize that their presence was always going to be with me. That last part took time for me to grasp. I was convinced that I've lost them forever and that I was destined to be alone. Nevertheless, my aunt tried to prove that fact wrong – the fact where I was 'destined to be alone'. Other than my mother, she was the strongest woman I know and I was happy that I still had someone like her in my life. I wouldn't have been able to go through my parents' and my grandmother's death without her. She had lost a sister, a brother-in-law and a mother-in-law as well; she knew exactly how it felt.
My family was a middle class family; we didn't have a monstrous amount of money compared to some people, but my parents sent me to a private school to improve my education. I thought it wasn't necessary, but they obviously wanted the best for me. Undoubtedly, it was hard for me to fit in since I wasn't in the same social class as any of them and my parents didn't make the same amount of money their parents made. It was weird that even at the age of seven, kids were already so judgemental. Don't get me wrong, I made a reasonable amount of friends, it was just that a majority of them were snobs just like their parents.
People like Ethan gave me the impression that he was just like me, except that he was just a bit more fortunate. I was the type of person who noticed ones personality instead of class type, race, and skin colour. Going to a school where everybody belittles you because you don't belong, made me change my view on things. Just like when Adam and Eve bit in to the forbidden apple and their eyes had opened. They were able to see flaws.
I loved my parents for sending me to that private school for my education because now I'm a little bit ahead in high school. But at the same time, I wish they hadn't sent me for several reasons. It was way too expensive and the money my parents had left me could go to a better expense. I've already explained the general con of going to a private school, but there was a personal con.
The part where I met Ethan.
That should be a part of the pro list, but if I were to really think about it, it would be a part of the con. Sure, I've made a friend, but that kind of stuff only lasts when you're like seven or eight. Once you grow up, you tend to forget certain people or you don't. In my case, I know for sure Ethan had totally forgotten me. I know he sees me at Starbuck's every morning sitting at the corner near the doors, but he never once had said 'hi' or a 'good morning'. His attention had shifted towards somebody else too.
The beautiful Karla Jones.
I'm not going to babble on about how bitchy or mean she is because she is actually the sweetest girls anybody has known. No, she's not the typical cheerleader, clique leader or blonde. She was captain of the soccer team and an active participant in the drama club. It's hard to hate someone who was genuinely nice and honest. It was probably why she and Ethan became one of those cliché best friends who fell in love. Having to realize that every single day not only put a damper in my mood but it slowly kills me inside. I'm scared to call this daily routine of mine an obsession because I am truly determined that he still remembers me. We were the mini version of what he and Karla are today, but for a brief moment though. Once I take in that this is an obsession, I will have to force myself to go to Starbuck's a little later than usual so I don't have to bump in to him.
Even in public school, I still really didn't fit in. I was the girl with the heavy brunette fringe, the enormous black frames that took over her face and the president of the art club. It was safe to say that I was the complete opposite of what is known to be the 'popular table' which naturally consists of the jocks and the cheerleaders. But honestly, I don't even pay attention to them. Except for that one time where a couple of cute football players had asked me to go to the Semi-Formal dance. As tempted as I was, I definitely decline because I'm not much of a social outing type of person or a dancer; I'd just humiliate myself.
As I was saying, I wasn't really the typical high school girl who spent a majority of her time obsessing over the most stupid things. Sure, I'm wasn't one of the populars and I just happened to be a little bit ahead of some people academically, but that didn't mean I was personally victimized by any of them. I'm pretty content with what I am doing right now and it's to get through high school successfully and with the money my parents left for me, I'll fly to England for a month of my vacation so I could be able to keep my mind off of things.
Not only was school a drag, but work was also going to be just as worst.
I work at an ice cream parlour called 'Sweet Spot' located a couple of blocks away from my school and during my shift, it was pretty busy since it was everyone's afterschool spot. Plus, the ice cream we serve here was pretty awesome.
"Hey Natalie!" My boss greeted when as soon as I stepped inside the door. She was clearing a table up.
"Hey Lea. What's up?" I said as I hopped over the counter and put my uniform on. It consisted of the typical thin vertical red striped collared dress and a white apron that hung around the waist.
She was stacking up the cups that were left on the table.
"Nothing really. Today is going to be a normal day. Not too stressful."
I grabbed a white cloth and wiped the marbled counter and raised an eyebrow at her. What was her definition of stressful?
"I doubt that, there is usually a bunch of teenagers hanging around here after school."
Lea shrugged while smiling.
"It's not that stressful."
Lea's little body was running around back forth. The parlour was filled with rowdy teenagers on a sugar high and it was turning Lea red with exhaustion. The other employees showed up momentarily and got to work as soon as possible. Luckily, I was behind closed doors where I was washing the dishes and making orders along with my good friend Ashley.
"I'm so glad I am not out there." Ashley said as she attacked the plastic cup with a sponge.
"I know right? It's a little crazy out there. You could hear the laughter and conversations from in here."
Our conversation had stretched until Lea came bursting inside the kitchen, panting. She always starts out as calm, cool and collected and after a couple of hours of serving people, she gets really exhausted.
"Okay, so maybe it is a little stressful." She said as she wiped off the sweat on her forehead. Ashley and I looked at each other in amusement while we were wiping the cups with towels.
"No really?" I said sarcastically. I turned around to wash more cups until this woman started speaking.
"Nat, could you please take over for only an hour? Please? I'm about to drop dead!"
I froze and the sound of the cups being dropped was the only thing I heard.
"I don't think so." I said firmly. I walked across the kitchen to stack the clean cups in the cupboard.
She followed my bum as she begged.
"Ask Ashley!" I retorted.
I heard Ashley groan.
"But Ashley is pregnant, remember?"
My head snapped towards Ashley's slightly swollen stomach and it was my turn to groan. I have to realize my co-workers were a couple of years older than I was. Ashley gave me an innocent smile and I glared at her.
I tapped my foot with my arms crossed against my chest. Lea did her best to give me the puppy dog look, but it turned out to be some really freaky looking look. I rolled my eyes and raised my arms up in exasperation.
"Fine! I'll do it!" I dropped the towel inside the sink and tied my hair up.
"I am so getting a raise!" I said as I exited through the metal doors.
Behind those doors was just … I couldn't even explain it. It was just basically the school's cafeteria during lunch time. You've got the jocks on one table, the cheerleader in another, the in-betweeners in one, the fashionable ones in another and so on and so forth. There were some private school kids here as well who were just flat out ignoring the rest of the parlour's population.
I shook my head and looked through the schedule under Lea's name. Since she was the boss, she seemed to be serving more tables than any other employees.
Gee, thanks Lea.
I grabbed a notepad and a pen and stuffed it inside the apron pocket. I approached one of Lea's tables who hadn't been served.
"Hello, welcome to Sweet Spot, what can I get you?" I said feigning enthusiasm. I wasn't looking at them though, I had this bored expression on my face and I wasn't allowed to show that. Instead, I hid behind the notepad where I was writing their orders.
"I'd like a medium chocolate covered waffle bowl with vanilla ice cream drizzled in caramel sauce and Eth, what would you like?"
Her voice sounded quite familiar and I couldn't quite put a finger on it. After minutes of trying to figure who it was, I decided to raise my head up from the notepad because it would bother me if I didn't figure out who it was.
I nearly choked on my spit when I discovered who I was serving.
"Natalie Wilson? Oh my gosh! It's been a while!" Karla squealed. She stood up and gave me a hug while I stood there stiffly. I really didn't know how to react. She actually remembered me.
"It's been a while too Karla!" I said feigning enthusiasm, again. It's what I was trained to do for this job.
Karla tapped the person in front of her, who was looking at the menu. The person dropped it and its green eyes met mine for half a second. I immediately look to my notepad and pretend that I was writing something.
"Eth! It's Natalie! Do you remember her?"
I felt him looking at me and I had the urge to give him a smile so he knew that I wasn't rudely ignoring him.
I looked up, only for him to give me one of those killer smiles that would make me melt. I felt my whole body heat up.
"Uh, nice to see you guys after for so long!"
Karla, who was so happy to see me, and she wasn't faking it – she was actually happy to see me, was looking straight at with a wide grin.
"So, what would you like to order Ethan?" I turned my attention to him and gave him a weak smile.
His green eyes went back to the menu until it sparkled.
"I'd like a medium chocolate covered waffle bowl with cookies and cream ice cream."
I quickly wrote his order down and collected the menus from their table.
"Anything else?" I asked while looking at the wall that was right in front of me.
Ethan raised his eyebrow at Karla, mentally asking her if she wanted anything else. She smiled and then shook her head. Ethan looked up to face me. I could have sworn my heart legit skipped a beat.
"Nope. Thank you."
And there was that boyish smile again.
I walked as fast as I could towards the kitchen and opened the doors the way Lea did before.
Ashley looked at me questioningly while Lea had a smug look on her face.
"Now you feel my pain."
My right eye twitched. I slowly went up to her with my index finger sticking up; she backed up until she hit the counter. Even though she was my boss, she looked at me terrifyingly.
"So far I have only served one table and do you know who I served?"
She tried guessing internally, but she failed.
I gave her a certain look and Lea immediately straightened her spine.
"No! He is not out there! He's never really been here before!"
A light bulb appeared above Ashley's head as her eyes widened.
"Oh my lord, he's here? I finally get to see this boy I've been hearing from you?"
I placed my head in the palms of my hands.
"These types of things only happen to me!" I raised my head and my arms up and I heard my colleagues giggling in the corner.
"Do you think this is funny?" I snapped and their laughter seized, or at least they tried to.
I gave them one last glare and head out to make Ethan and Karla's orders.
"Sorry, it took so long. There was, ah, something wrong with the machine and I had to speak with the manager."
I placed their order on the table and I saw both of them looking at the nicely arranged dessert in front of them. They looked so mesmerized. Then they looked up to stare at each other and exchanged grins.
It literally felt like my heart was dropping when I saw this. Tears were forming in my eyes and I tried to nonchalantly look up at the ceiling so the tears won't fall.
I looked at the both of them and couldn't help but smile. They were so perfect for each other and somehow in my heart, it felt so … wrong.
"I'm glad you enjoy your orders." And with that, I turned around to walk off to another table.
As I painfully walked away, I heard Karla say:
"I love you too."
A/N: Hello my fellow readers! I bring to you my new story, Half Past Seven! Another thing, this story is a short story therefore there are only nine chapters.
Hope everyone enjoys reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I truly appreciate all of your comments!