Aubrey needed to see it one last time before she took the reigns and embarked on an epic journey of a lifetime. Tomorrow, when the doors opened, this place would fulfill her dream. Her father would be beyond proud and wouldn’t be able to contain himself as his own dream played before his waking eyes. But until then, she wanted to see it one last time before the newspapers and bloggers deemed it worthy or unworthy as if they were in charge. All she needed was one moment of silence before this place became her home…and new headache.
Tomorrow, she would stand in that very spot with that same smile on her face and say, “Welcome to J. Pruett’s Grill!” She would say it 100 times and hoped to say it at least 100,000 times before growing tired of it.
Her hand gently stroked the freshly printed menus before they became stained and the beautiful leather folders cracked and lost their luster.
The plates, pots and pans, and trays were stacked so neatly on top of each other. The kitchen would never be so immaculate again, and she stood in awe of it for just a moment.
The tables and chairs shined and were free of fingerprints. She stood in the middle of the dining room and inhaled the new furniture smell before the smokiness of the grill covered the place.
The patio looked amazing with the chairs tucked neatly under the tables lined perfectly in a row. Before the customers complained about the heat lamp being too high or not high enough, she stood in the middle of the patio and enjoyed the silence.
Tomorrow was the first day of the rest of her life, as cliche as it was. She would never be the same. Jonathan and Skyla’s daughter, Maya and Oliver’s sister, and Julio’s girlfriend were a few of the titles she went by. After tomorrow, she would probably welcome many more. But for the moment, she wanted to sit silently in her restaurant and enjoy the last few minutes of simply being “Aubrey.”