9.72 The Courtyard

“Good morning, Mr. Oliver!”

Eugene smiled. He appreciated the respect that Jonathan gave him as his elder. However, they were family now, and he was living in Jonathan’s house. “When are you gonna start calling me Eugene?”

“Ummm…never?”

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“Ha! Ok. Habits are hard to break, huh?”

“I guess.” He noticed that Eugene had began to develop a rash, but he didn’t want to call it out directly. “Are you feeling ok?”

“Oh yeah…it’s nothing. I’ll be fine before the party.”

“Alrighty then. Maybe you should still get some rest,” he said for good measure. “Speaking of which…I need to get outta here.”

“Ok, sonny boy. Have a good day.”

Jonathan took his plate to the sink and sought out Skyla before he left. He found her watching TV in the den. “Hey you,” he said and sat next to her.

“Hey you,” she said.

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“Do you have to open the store today,” she asked sweetly. “I haven’t seen you all week.”

“You’ll see me tonight. I’ll only be gone for a few hours. Then when I get back, it’ll be party time!”

“All right. Well, have a good day then,” she said and kissed him.

Jonathan arrived at the restaurant and made sure everything was in order before he opened the store. Chasity arrived a few minutes later.

“Oh! Just the person I want to see,” he said. “How have you been, first of all.”

“I’ve been ok. I have my good days and bad days.”

“Yeah. I know what that’s like. Well, just let me know if it gets to be too much for you.”

“I’m fine. I promise,” she said.

“Ok. Well, I want to get you ringing up customers today. How does that sound?”

“It sounds great! Thank you!”

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“Great. Take your time and make sure you’re ringing them up accurately. You’ll get faster as you get more practice.”

She went to the office to put her things away, and Jonathan turned on the open sign. Within a few minutes, the place was near crowded.

“Good morning, everyone! Thanks for coming in. Feel free to have some coffee and donuts.”

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“Hey, little brother,” Janessa said. “This is such a nice place!” This was her first time visiting the shop. Aldo came nearly every day on his lunch break.

“Well well well! I wasn’t expecting to see you until tonight,” Jonathan said. “You’re still coming, right?”

“Of course I am! I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the place,” she said.

Chasity finally came out front, but she stayed behind the counter for a long time. Jonathan thought that maybe she was just nervous. There weren’t that many customers at the time, so he didn’t worry about it. However, as the afternoon went on, more and more customers came, and he was looking to close a few hours early to get home before his dinner party started. The display case started looking dull from everyone’s finger prints on it. Jonathan thought that maybe Chasity would take care of it, but she didn’t move. So, he chatted with customers and cleaned the case at the same time.

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More customers came, and several of them wanted to make purchases at the same time. It was an awesome problem to have, but he wished his employee would help like she was supposed to.

“Chasity…I could use your help…”

“I’m coming,” she said. But she didn’t move.

“Hey Jonathan,” Aldo said. “I’m sorry to bother you, but I really have to go. Can you check me out?”

“Absolutely! I’m very sorry to keep you waiting.”

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While Jonathan was ringing Aldo up, another customer had made up her mind and wanted to be rung up as well.

“Chasity…now would be a good time, please.”

“Ok,” she said and slowly made her way toward the woman. However, she began to cry. Jonathan understood what she was going through and took pity on her.

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Luckily, he was just finishing up with Aldo and could ring this customer up without waiting.

“Oh, Chasity…if you want to, you can clock out early. I’ll pay you for the whole day.”

“No, it’s ok. I just need a few minutes to get myself together. I’ll be fine!”

“All right. Well, just let me know.”

She disappeared into his office.

“Hi, how are you,” he said to the customer. “Welcome to Sky High Cafe! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before…”

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Jonathan took care of the customer and conversed with all his regulars. Chasity had come out to attempt to do her job again, but she looked terrible. Juliette walked in and distracted him from Chasity.

“Your display case is disgusting,” she joked.

“Hello to you too,” he said.

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“You’re still coming tonight, right,” he asked. “I’m gonna close up here in a few.”

“Oh! Crud. I wasted a trip then. Oh well. At least I saw the place.”

Juliette hung out with Janessa while Jonathan finished up with his customers, closed the store, and cleaned up. Then they were all on their way to the Pruett Estate for Jonathan’s dinner party. He wanted to inaugurate the new courtyard and invited everyone to celebrate with him. He loved the space very much. Everyone danced while he made some salad in the kitchen. He called everyone to dinner, but some of them couldn’t tear themselves away from the dance floor. It made Jonathan very happy to see other people enjoying his new space as much as he did.

 

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