Time in the Pruett household shifted into warp speed ever since opening Viviana’s. Through Jonathan’s leadership and positive ways, and Skyla’s personal touch, the restaurant increased in popularity and value. Customers came and went, never to be seen again while others remained faithful and came every day.
As the restaurant progressed, so did the employees. Jonathan saw to that. It was tough on the small budget, but he made sure his ladies got the training they needed and were justly rewarded for their progress. They were very grateful.
There was a little lady in his life—the only little lady he had left—who was excited about becoming a not-so-little lady soon. Aubrey had her heart set on having her birthday party at Viviana’s. Jonathan was flattered, but he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. Of course, he wanted all his family members to enjoy the work of his hands as not all of them had visited yet, but at the same time, he didn’t want to stress his staff; there were a lot of Pruetts! He tried to steer her toward another place; he even suggested his friend Lee’s place, but she was a determined little lady. Jonathan caved. He and Skyla took the day off on her birthday and hoped that things ran smoothly in their absence. He wanted to tell them ahead of time what the plan was, but he secretly wanted to test them and said nothing. So, that night, all the Pruetts showed up at Viviana’s door, and Jonathan went in first to give Aylin warning.
“Hi,” he said nervously. “How’s everything here?”
“Oh! Why hello, Mr. Pruett! Everything is going quite well, thank you.”
“Good, good. Ok, so listen…tonight, I’m Jonathan, a guy who brought his entire family here to celebrate his daughter’s birthday…” He could see the surprise and panic in her face. “I know, I wanted to tell you before, but I didn’t want you to stress about it.”
Aylin took a deep breath. “Well… At least we’ll get to practice serving a large group, huh?”
Jonathan smiled. “That’s the spirit! I love your attitude. We won’t be any trouble though. I promise.”
Aylin switched gears and put on an air of confidence. “Well, sir, our large dining room just happens to be open right now. I can seat you and your family right away if you’d like.” She winked.
“Yes! Thank you, madame. I’ll go tell everyone else they can come in now.”
Aylin left to make sure the dining area was in tip top shape before she proceeded to seat the Pruetts. Jonathan remained at the door and welcomed everyone as the owner, but also as the host of the birthday party on behalf of his sweet baby princess. Everyone who was there came in and mingled in the dining room while Jonathan waited for the last few family members to arrive. Among the late comers was Chasity. He was surprised yet not surprised to see her in her current condition.
“Hi,” he said. “I’m glad you could make it… Though…you look like you should have stayed at home though.”
“Oh, I’ll be all right.”
He didn’t believe her but told her he wouldn’t be offended if she had to leave.
Once everyone got reacquainted, everyone sat and looked over the menu. Savannah came over and began asking around for everyone’s order.
“Can I try Juice on the Rocks?” she asked nervously.
Janessa looked at her daughter skeptically.
She disregarded her daughter’s request and turned to Savannah. “We’ll both have a cream soda…thank you.”
Savannah laughed internally, but Juliana was a bit embarrassed.
“Savannah,” Jonathan called. “I don’t want to make trouble for you and Tiana, and I definitely don’t want to be here all night. So how about this. Bring us a strawberry cake and then we’ll all drink punch. Easy enough, right?”
Savannah looked relieved. “Certainly, sir. I’ll bring out the cake and will be back with the drinks shortly.” She disappeared into the kitchen and came back 10 minutes later with a beautiful cake and candles. She placed it on Jonathan’s table. Aubrey who was sitting next to them was getting even more excited about her pending transformation.
Jonathan and Skyla were thinking the same thing as they thought about what was about to happen. They were considering what their lives would be like with two teenage daughters in the house and how this time of their lives happened upon them so quickly.
He looked at his little princess and wished that she could be his little princess for just a few moments longer. However, he was excited about learning more about her. What would she like? What would she want to do with her life? It’s generally a faux pax to have a favorite child, but Aubrey lit Jonathan up in a way that Maya hadn’t been able to do—not to mention how much of a handful she had been lately. As he gazed upon his beautiful little girl, he wished that they would always remain close.
Jonathan didn’t realize it, but it was also Janessa’s birthday! He felt bad for not knowing and wished this party could have been for both her and Aubrey, but Janessa didn’t seem to mind. She spun into her elder years with confidence and style.
“I gotta tell you something!”
He chuckled. He loved her raspy little voice and would miss it so much. “What is it, Aubrey?”
“When I grow up, I’m gonna work in your restaurant!”
He was so happy he could have cried. He never really put much thought into the future of his business as in what would happen to it when he was gone. But, in the six seconds it took for her to say those words, everything came together for him and it warmed his heart so much. He was reminded of the Pruett legacy. Although the money was gone and the estate was falling apart, the family still existed even though he chose not to continue its way of life with heirs and spares. However, the family would continue to go on for more generations than he could count. What would he leave behind? What would his legacy be? With this news of his daughter’s interest in his business, he knew this was it. Aubrey will take over when the time came, and she’ll pass it onto her children. Hopefully the trend would continue. Only time would tell.
It began to get late, and Aubrey’s excitement could no longer be contained. Party time!
Aubrey spun into a cute teen, but she was very sore about her outfit; she got the perfectionist trait. Oh, and as fate would have it, she got the master chef aspiration!
“What is it, honey?” Jonathan asked.
“I hate these shoes, daddy! And my hair! I look ollllld!”
Skyla had an epiphany in that moment. She and Jonathan were not rich by any stretch of the imagination. It would take them three life times to save up enough money to buy the Pruett Estate back if they wanted to. Although Xavier’s lilies had been very good to them, they still had to be strategic with their budget and couldn’t get everything they wanted—especially now with them needing to support their businesses. However, they had what they needed and a few extras that they wanted. Skyla was able to redecorate the house when she wanted to and buy new clothes for everyone. They were comfortable. But, here she was a mother of two teenage girls who never struggled a day in their life. Maya was around, clearly, at the peak of their struggles, but she was too young to remember it. She didn’t remember sleeping in the living room on a cheap bed behind a room divider because her parents couldn’t afford to build her a room. And now, she and her sister are mostly concerned about how they looked while their mother grew up with three outfits and one stick of lipstick. Aubrey hated her hair, but Skyla didn’t know how to do her own hair and wore it in a messy braid; her mother died before she learned these things. She didn’t think that her daughters were spoiled exactly, but she could see how they could be headed in that direction. That night, she made a mental note to step up her parenting game.
Everyone enjoyed the cake, and the party began to dwindle down. Half of the guests were of school age, and the other half had school age children to get home to. It should be noted that Chasity did go into labor at the party, but she was a trooper and stuck it out until the end. She gave birth to a baby girl two hours after the party ended. She named her Kaelyn which is interesting seeing as how her other daughter’s name is Cayla. She must like names that begin with Kay.
Skyla couldn’t resist cleaning up even though they were off duty. Jonathan loved how she had grown to care for Viviana’s like it was her own brainchild. He started to stop her, but he knew she wouldn’t listen. Besides, it’s the least they could do for Savannah as they kind of dropped 10 guests on her suddenly.
The party ended, and everyone went home except Jonathan. He stayed behind to give special messages to his employees. He appreciated their good attitude throughout the night and wanted to reward them for their hard work over the past week. He gave them all promotions!