Reasons Not to Fall in LoveBy: Kirsty Moseley
First off, a huge thank you to Anna Baggaley, my editor at CarinaUK for believing in me right from the very start of my career. You’ll never know how much that belief means to me. Secondly, for the CarinaUK team for making this whole process so easy. And thirdly, to everyone that has followed me and continues to read my work. You all rock my world, so thank you.
For three people whom I’ve never met but consider dear friends: Irvana, Hilda and Rebecca. For Irvana, because of her never-ending support and encouragement; for Hilda, because of her beautiful soul; and for Rebecca, who still smiles through adversity and is one of the strongest women I know. Love you all.
Wriggling my toes, I let my cheap white plimsoll drop off, trying to relieve the ache that was getting worse in the ball of my foot. My eyes fluttered closed and the sounds of the busy café washed over me. The smell of burnt bacon lingered in the air as I leant against the counter waiting for Dave, the fry cook, to finish plating up the order for table seven. I could have done with not working today, if I was honest. I’d been bartending at my local pub until just before midnight last night, so the five o’clock wake-up to come and serve food to hungry patrons wasn’t something that I needed. Right now it was the mid-morning brunch rush at the greasy spoon café that I worked at, so I still had another three hours to work before I could go home and wash the fried lard smell out of my hair. My tiredness was only going to get worse as the day went on. The thing was, as a mother of a five year old child, my duties didn’t even stop once I clocked off.
“Order up,” Dave announced, setting down four plates onto the serving counter.
Without speaking, I slipped my foot back into my shoe and picked up the orders, balancing the four plates along my arms. I sighed deeply, pushed myself away from the counter and struggled across the busy café towards the table. As I got halfway to the desired table, a pinch to my behind had me gasping and whirling in shock, almost dropping the customers’ food all over the floor.
“We’re ready to order when you are, little darlin’,” Rex purred, winking at me.
I forced a polite smile even though I wanted to grab the greasy fry-up I was holding and shove it into his face. Rex was a regular; he also left a nice tip, so I couldn’t afford to be rude to him. “Sure thing, I’ll be right back,” I replied, sidestepping his hand that was dangerously close to my backside.!
He smiled his predatory smile and I tried not to cringe at his teeth – permanently stained a yellowy-brown colour because of too much coffee and smoking. Before he could say anything else or flirt with me again, I turned on my heel and delivered the food to the waiting family in my section.
After a round of pleasantries and telling them if they needed anything to call me, I headed back to Rex’s table and tried not to act like I would rather be shovelling horses’ poop than working here. Rex was with his brother and his friend today, they all had the same flirtatious smiles on their faces as I stopped at their table and pulled out my order pad.
“What can I get you today?” I asked, trying not to let any of the frustration leak into my voice. I put on a smile, pretending that I didn’t resent waiting tables in a pink uniform that was made from cheap, scratchy polyester, and that I didn’t think I had wasted my life.
Instantly I was pulled down into the booth next to Rex and his heavy arm slung across my shoulders as he smiled at me. “When you gonna accept my offer to take you out, Bronwyn?”
I laughed and secretly tried not to envision grabbing his face and smashing it onto the table. “I’m married, Rex. Not gonna accept any time soon. Maybe you should stop asking?” I suggested.
He grinned and shook his head confidently. “Nah, one day I’ll ask and you’ll say yes.”
Yeah, and one day pigs might grow wings and fly off! “So, what can I get you guys today?” I repeated, pushing his arm off me and standing up, straightening my awful pink uniform.
Rex sighed, and the guys he was with reeled off their orders to me one at a time. I really wasn’t in the mood for this today. I shouldn’t have even been at work today at all, Fridays were my day off from the café because I worked at the pub on Wednesday and Thursday nights, but a shift had come up this morning and I’d needed the money too badly to refuse.
After I’d put their order in to the cook, I smiled at Marina and motioned with my head that I was going to take my break. On the way through to the back room, I poured myself a strong black coffee and then almost fell onto the uncomfortable iron chairs because I was exhausted. It just seemed never-ending; every day was so long that, by the time I got home, all I wanted to do was go to bed. That couldn’t happen though, I had responsibilities after all. No one ever told me that life was supposed to be this hard; even if they did I’m sure I would have thought they were exaggerating.