Jonathan and Skyla walked across the street excited about the adventure that was ahead of them for the day. They opened at 11:00 a.m. sharp and stood at the door and awaited their employees. Savannah was the first to arrive.
“Welcome, Savannah,” Jonathan said. “What’s the matter? You don’t look excited.”
She wasn’t quite sure how to answer him without putting a damper on his own excitement. “I’m fine,” she said. “I’m excited on the inside. Just nervous, I suppose.” That was true, but not the real reason of course.
“Yeah. We’re all nervous. We’ll get through it though. Just take things slow, don’t rush, and…smile!”
“I’ll do my best, Mr. Pruett.” She left him and went to go get ready for the day.
Skyla greeted Tiana who slipped by Jonathan quietly. She wanted to get straight to the kitchen to begin prepping.
Finally, Aylin arrived and snapped into place.
“Good morning,” Jonathan said. “You look great! Are you ready for this? It’s gonna be awesome.”
“Yeah…I think I am!”
“Great! You’re the first person people will see, so keeping flashing those pearly whites.”
Internally, Skyla was rolling her eyes at her goofball husband, but she was glad that he could still be light and fun in the face of a potentially stressful situation. Jonathan had begun to tell Aylin what his and Skyla’s roles were going to be when the first customers came through the door. Juliette was trying to be the first, but a couple of people got in before her.
She didn’t say anything and commenced to request a table while Jonathan went to welcome the others.
“Ahem… I’d like a table for two. And don’t stick me in a dark corner either!”
“Of course not, Ms. Pruett,” Aylin said. “Welcome to Viviana’s by the way!”
Juliette blinked a few times and said, “Yes, I know where I am.”
“Juliette,” Jonathan said. “Are you terrorizing my employees already? You haven’t been here two minutes yet!”
“Just keeping them on their toes.”
“Is Tony here?” the woman in the red blazer asked.
“Yeah…he was so hot,” the woman with blue hair said.
Juliette looked like she wanted to knock the smiles off their faces, so Jonathan quickly answered gracefully, “No.”
Aylin showed everyone to their seats, and Savannah took their orders and relayed them to Tiana who was giving herself a pep talk. Before Savannah went back out to check on everyone, she needed a moment with her thoughts.
The last few days of her life weren’t anything like she dreamed they would be. She was a newlywed, but she wasn’t happy. She and Manu dated for five years. They met in college and dated until the year after they graduated. They were going to take over the corporate world together and build an empire that rivaled the Langraab legacy. But, after he proposed to her, and she happily accepted, things changed. The truth about him slowly began to surface. She didn’t want to admit it, but she felt like she didn’t know him after a while. He wasn’t as sweet to her anymore. As a matter of fact, he was quite demanding. He still hadn’t found a job and wasn’t even looking for one. She made herself believe that he was just stressed out because of the unemployment, and things would get better when he found a job. She disregarded all the red flags and married him anyway. She still loved him. She thought it was enough. But, after a very rocky three year engagement, a lackluster wedding, and no honeymoon because of the money, she was seriously considering if love was enough.
She felt alone. Her life was not going according to plan. Working in a restaurant was the last thing she wanted to do, but she had to do what she had to do. Honestly, being away from Manu all day was kind of a treat although she thought of him and her problems the entire time. She found that she couldn’t escape him. At the moment, she had no plan for what was to happen next. At least, she hoped there was a next.
Meanwhile, in Savannah’s brief absence, Aylin worked the room and made sure all the guests were happy and without any needs beginning with Juliette.
“Is everything to your satisfaction, Ms. Pruett?”
Juliette loved that they all thought she was someone to fear and were catering to her. She had a good thing going, so why stop, right? “How can I be satisfied with no food on my table? What’s good here?”
“Everything, of course, but my personal favorite starter is the clam chowder. I highly recommend it.”
“Oh do ya now?”
“Mmm hmmm. I also recommend the Italian meatballs. If you have room for dessert, what’s better than chocolate ice cream?”
“I like this place! This place has real class.”