I feel my legs wobble as he comes through the door. That, oh so gorgeous man, my new, special, customer number one. Those eyes, that smile, those dimples beneath the designer stubble, he will be mine, all mine! It’s the third time this week he’s visited my humble cafe. I smell destiny.
“Does it come with fries?” a voice comes from my elbow. Reality bites. I always wanted my own cafe, just never realized just how dull it could be. Bills, rude customers, useless staff. Did I mention bills?
“Huh?” I look down at a guy in a grimy jacket and sweat stained baseball cap. Has he washed this year?
“Fries?” he asks impatiently.
I throw him a “Yes”, flash a smile (he is a customer after all) and slip away before he can ask for anything else. My focus is on gorgeous, I need him, and he’s just gotta need me back.
I rush for the kitchen. I’ll get this order in, check my hair, and then casually stroll back before Sally can beat him unconscious with her cleavage. Where is that cook? Damn it!
“Where the hell is Hamish?” I say to Sally as she wanders past with a plate of eggs. “And why is the music so loud?”
“Huh?” she says and keeps going. She’s got earplugs in. She’s listening to music over the music.
Grabbing my own order, I scoop some fries into the hot oil, slap onions on the grill and rummage for a steak in the fridge under the bench. None! There better be some in the cool-room.
I lift my head above bench level, and there I spot my special man in a booth holding a menu. He looks up, our eyes lock and he smiles. Oooh, he’s smiling at me. Oooooh.
That’s it, I’m going over there right now, but as I stand my head is whipped over sideways. Oh no, what’s wrong? It’s my earring, it’s hooked in my collar! Fighting to keep my smile sunny, I wrestle with the traitorous jewellery. My man raises his eyebrows and then looks back to his menu. What does that mean? Is that a good sign? Is he sparing me embarrassment or just totally, heartlessly, uninterested? How can he fall in love with me if I’m not able stand up without putting myself in traction?
With my head bent over, and a complexion like beetroot, I take the only action possible, run. Scurrying awkwardly to the cool room, I wrestle the wonky door open and close it quickly behind me, free my earring and grab a pack of steaks. Back in action.
Working fast and hard and hell bent on my mission of conquest, I put my shoulder to the door and, bounce right off. I push harder, the stupid thing is jammed! No, no, this can’t be happening. With my face pressed against the tiny window I give the bell a pounding, and it pops off and skids across the floor under a bench.
What now? Calling out and banging on the door achieves nothing. It’s that music. Funky cafe groove or whatever its called. Everyone outside proceeds sweetly with their own lives and my cutie-pie is now ordering from that bitch Sally. The tramp is leaning way, way in. Note to self: Fire Sally.
Look up somebody, Can’t you see me waving, “Help!”
Back to the door, I give my best efforts, shoulder and hip combined, but it doesn’t make a difference. Another look outside and Sally is still hustling, she’s actually sitting on the edge of the table. Angling my head towards the kitchen, I look for Hamish. Where the hell is he? How many unscheduled paid breaks can a lazy, good for nothing, slob have? He’s fired too.
Then I see the fryer. Oh no. I’d put the gas on full and the first wisps of smoke are now rising. If I don’t get out of here soon, this could really go pear shaped. I need a weapon or a battering ram. I rummage through jars of pickles, plastic containers and bread rolls. My hand lands on a huge can of anchovies.
Grabbing it, I start hammering with all my strength. Can’t anyone hear this? I looked out again. Help, can’t you see me? Crazy woman, trapped in fridge, laugh, tell your friends, take photos, I don’t care, just get me out!
More people are coming in, the back of one guy looks strangely familiar, but they are all just ignoring me. Well perfect, now that business is looking up why don’t I burn the building down?
I’ve just gotta get out! I heave my best, most massive, girl plus anchovy can swipe at the door and it splits wide open. Not the door, the anchovies. Hundreds of oily anchovies spray out over me, down my dress, legs, shoes and onto the floor.
Well, that’s it. I’m done.
I was so close, the man of my dreams was here, ready to wisp me away. Now I’m trapped, filthy, and yes, probably going to die.
Sally wrenched open the door, an annoyed frown on her face.
“What happened to you?”
I raised my hands and let them fall again. What could I say?
“You left the fryer on high. Hamish is pissed.”
She reached past me for some salad. “Hey that cute guy is here, we’re going out tonight.” she made a fist punch. “I sure got it.” she said and slapped her butt as she walked out, hips swinging, sashay turned up full. “By the way, he’s here.” she said over her shoulder.
“Your husband, he wants to borrow the car.”
The door slammed shut. I lent against the wall and slid slowly to sitting position, in the anchovies.