It was Tuesday, September 7, 2021. At a suburban Detroit home in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, Amore Cooper was sitting at the dining room table eating breakfast with the rest of her family before the first day of school. It was her Dad, Mom, and three sisters at the dining room table. Amore was the only one in her family to have red hair. Meanwhile, her Dad’s hair was black, her Mom’s hair was blonde, the oldest sister’s hair was black, the younger sister’s hair was black, and the youngest sister’s hair was blonde.
“Well, it looks like we’re gonna have another school year affected by the Coronavirus.”, Amore commented.
“Can we not talk about the virus right now?” Ashley (fourteen years old) replied.
“Yeah, the last two school years have been weird, but I sure am glad you kids will start school in person this year.”, John replied.
“Yep. And going to school in person sure beats going to school on an iPad if you ask me.”, Donna (Amore’s Mom) added.
“And Rebecca was only in Kindergarten when the pandemic started. So, she must’ve thought that a typical school year ends in March.”, Ashley added.
“To be totally honest, I did think that.”, Rebecca (seven years old) added.
“Well, I hope something like that doesn’t happen again once Lisa enters Kindergarten next year.”, Amore spoke.
“Yeah, let’s all hope that.”, Donna added.
“And thank God my pizza restaurant survived the pandemic. I’m pretty sure a lot of businesses had their struggles during COVID-19, but my restaurant still stood tall.”
“Hey, since you named Amore after me back when I was only a year old, I was thinking you might wanna go ahead with my suggestion for how to attract more customers.”
“Okay, sweetheart, I’m all ears.”
“You should start selling food items other than pizza. Amore sells pizza all the time. People might get tired of all that pizza and go to another pizza restaurant to satisfy their needs.”
“Okay, Amore, I like your idea. However, a lot of pizza restaurants sell food that’s not pizza. What makes Amore unique is that it sells nothing but pizza. Unless, of course, you’re talking about Amore’s wide variety of beverages. I’m sorry sweetie, but I’m gonna have to say no to that idea.”
“If there’s anyone else at this table who agrees with me, raise your hand.”
Amore, Rebecca, and Donna raised their hands while John, Ashley, and Lisa did not.
“Honey, I think one of our girls has a wonderful idea. You don’t think people are gonna eventually get tired of pizza all the time?” Donna asked him.
“I still say no to the idea, and that’s final.”
“And why didn’t you two raise your hand?” Amore asked Ashley and Lisa.
“I didn’t raise my hand because I don’t care.”, Ashley replied. Then the school bus was heard outside. “Well, we’re off to start another school year. Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad.”
Then Ashley started to leave the house along with Amore and Rebecca.
Lisa finished her breakfast and left the dining room shortly after the other three girls left the house to go to school.
“Our girls are growing up so fast. They are starting to look more and more like grown women.”, Donna commented.
“Yep.”, John replied. “Well, it’s about time I start getting ready for work.”, John commented. John got up and started getting ready for work.
It was Wednesday, September 8, 2021. In the overnight hours, Amore was sleeping in her bedroom. Amore woke up.
Amore sat up on her bed and started stretching and yawning. Amore turned on her bedroom lamp. She got out of bed and exited her bedroom.
She went into the hallway and started walking toward Rebecca and Lisa’s room. She arrived at that room and quietly snuck inside. Rebecca and Lisa were sleeping in their beds.
“Rebecca. Rebecca. Rebecca, wake up.”, Amore whispered.
“Hmm?” Rebecca spoke tiredly.
“Amore? What in the world are you doing in here?” Rebecca spoke tiredly.
“I need to talk to you about something privately. And no, it can not wait. Come on, follow me into the living room.”, Amore replied.
Amore left the bedroom.
Moments later, Amore and Rebecca were in the living room.
“Okay, I’m here.”, Rebecca replied. “What do you want?”
“I want you to help me change Dad’s mind about selling more than just pizza and drinks.”
“Okay, yeah, good luck with that. Count me out. Good night.” Rebecca started heading back to her room.
“Wait! Don’t go. Please. Help me with this.”
Rebecca sighed and turned back around. “Alright, fine. I’ll help you change Dad’s mind. What do you need me to do?
“Well, I haven’t come up with a good plan yet to change his mind. I still need to recruit more people before coming up with something. Lucky for you, you’re the first one to be recruited for this mission.”
“Yay, lucky me.”, Rebecca replied pretending to be excited. “Now, can I please go back to bed?”
Then Amore and Rebecca saw Lisa after she entered the living room.
“Lisa? What are you doing here?” Amore asked her.
“I heard you two talking while I was pretending to be asleep. What’s going on?”
“Oh, we’re just planning on changing Dad’s mind about the restaurant.”, Rebecca replied.
“Would you like to join us?” Amore asked her.
Lisa shook her head to say yes.
“Great! We’re glad to have you on board. Now, let’s all go ahead and get some shut-eye before the second day of the school year starts.” Amore replied.
“I’m thirsty.”, Lisa commented.
“Okay, on second thought, I’ll get you a cup of water in the kitchen. And then we can all go ahead and get some shut eye before the second day of the school year starts.”, Amore replied. Then Rebecca went back to her room to go back to sleep. And Amore went into the kitchen to give Lisa a glass of water.
Later that day, it was recess time at Amore’s elementary school. Amore walked up to her boyfriend who was sitting on a wooden bench reading a superhero comic book. Amore sat down next to him.
“Hello, lover.”, Amore spoke happily.
“Hey.”, Jake spoke happily.
“I need you to help me with something very important.”, Amore replied.
“Alright, I’m here for you. What do you need help with?” Jake asked her.
“I need you to help convince my Dad to sell other food along with pizza instead of just pizza all the time.”, Amore answered him. “Is that okay with you?”
“Of course. I love your Dad’s restaurant. I and my family get our pizza from there every Saturday.”
“Awesome! Just know that I still have yet to come up with a plan and I’ve already recruited a few other people to help me out as well.”
“Well, if you’re looking for suggestions on what to sell, I suggest selling pizza-flavored Pringles.”
“Hey, I think that’s an excellent idea! It’s potato chips, but it still has that great pizza taste we all know and love. Any other suggestions?”
“Nah, I think that’s it.”
“Well, thanks for choosing to help out. See ya later.”
Then Amore got up and walked away from Jake.
It was Thursday, September 9, 2021. In the overnight hours, an alarm that was previously set by Amore on her smartphone woke her up in her room. Amore woke up and turned off the alarm.
A few moments later, Amore arrived at Ashley’s door. However, something wasn’t right because Amore heard the voice of another teenage boy along with Ashley’s voice.
Then the talking stopped. Amore peeked inside to see what was going on. Amore went inside Ashley’s bedroom which was filled with blue lighting. As a result, everything looked blue inside the room.
Amore quietly closed the door behind her. Meanwhile, Ashley and Eric (Ashley’s boyfriend) were seen making out (kissing) while lying on Ashley’s bed. Eric was on top of Ashley.
Amore quietly walked closer to the kissing couple.
“Hi.”, Amore began.
The romantic couple saw Amore and stopped kissing.
Eric sat on Ashley’s bed while Ashley sat on her bed. Ashley grabbed one of her pillows and threw it at Amore. “What on Earth is wrong with you?! Didn’t anyone ever teach you to knock?!” Ashley exclaimed.
“How did your boyfriend get in here? And what in the heck is he doing here at the wee hours?”
“He snuck in just like he does every late night. That’s how. Now, get out.”
“Wait, I need you to help me with something very important.”
“Okay, I’m listening. And this better not take forever.”
“I want you to help me change Dad’s mind about selling food items that are not pizza. If you don’t mind. So, will you help me?”
“Unfortunately for you, I do mind. Out. Now.”
Amore started walking away in disappointment.
“Wait! Maybe I could help.” Eric offered.
Amore turned back around.
“Seriously?” Amore asked him.
“Seriously?” Ashley asked him.
Eric got up.
“I and my family get our pizza from Amore every Saturday. I would like to see them change the menu up a bit with some new food items that isn’t pizza. So, count me in.”
“Cool! You’re counted in.”
Ashley got up.
“Okay, fine. You go ahead and join her. You can still not count me in. There’s no way you’ll be able to change Dad’s mind about selling food that’s not pizza. That place has been alive for nine years. Never have they ever sold food that wasn’t pizza and I doubt that’s gonna happen anytime soon.”
“I’ll give you $5.”, Amore offered.
“No! You honestly think your stupid little money is gonna change my mind?” Ashley asked her.
“$10.”, Amore offered.
“Once again, no! Out!” Ashley exclaimed while pointing at the door.
Amore pulled a $20 bill out of her pajama pants pocket.
“$20.”, Amore offered.
“Deal.”, Ashley replied.
Then Ashley took the $20 from Amore.
And Amore smiled and went back to her room.
It was Saturday, September 11, 2021. Ashley, Amore, Rebecca, Lisa, Eric, and Jake were all down in the basement of Amore’s place in the afternoon. “Okay, Dad is at work and Mom is busy watching Netflix.”, Rebecca reported. “So, what’s the plan?”
“Yeah, do you have like a blueprint lying around here somewhere?” Eric asked her.
“I don’t need a blueprint. This is the 21st century for crying out loud. I have my entire plan written down in my smartphone. Now, my Dad works every Monday through Saturday in his office from 9 AM to 5 PM managing Amore since he is the owner and general manager. Those are the same hours the restaurant is open. That means the place will be closed after Midnight tonight. What we’re all gonna do is sneak in and change everything to include other food items.”
“Wait a minute, you seriously want us to sneak into the restaurant while everyone is sleeping?” Rebecca asked her.
“That’s what I just said. And make sure to bring along any type of food with you to serve the future customers.”
“And I can sneak in and hack the restaurant’s computers and stuff to let people online know that Amore is selling different food items from now on.”, Jake added.
“Awesome idea, Jake!” Amore exclaimed. “Just so you all know, my boyfriend has a thing for hacking technology.”
Ashley raised her hand.
“Yes, big sis?”
“I thought breaking and entering was a crime.”
“This is not breaking and entering. Going into a home or business to steal something is considered breaking and entering. I’m pretty sure your boyfriend knows a lot about sneaking into places late at night.”
“What on God’s green Earth is she talking about?” Rebecca asked them.
“Okay, back to the plan.”, Amore continued.
“To recap, the current plan is for all of us to grab whatever food we can find, sneak into Amore after Midnight, and change some things up to make it crystal clear that Amore isn’t just an all-pizza restaurant anymore. Then we all get out of there and head back home once we’re done. Then when Monday morning arrives, way more customers will come pouring in than usual and our Dad will have no choice but to change his mind. Now, I strongly believe that all of us can successfully pull this off.”, Amore explained. “Any questions before we get started?”
Eric raised his hand.
“Is it okay if I and my family get pizza from there first before we all start taking action on this current plan?”
“Yeah, what he said.”, Jake added.
“Okay, but make sure you bring back some food with you that is not pizza tonight.”, Amore replied. “Okay, everyone split up for now and come back here around late in the evening. Then we all head out after Midnight.” Amore started leaving the basement along with everyone else.
“Hey, you’ve got a pretty smart little sister.”, Eric told Ashley.
“I sure hope we don’t get caught.”, Rebecca added.
And everyone else continued leaving the basement.
It was Sunday, September 12, 2021. It was a little after Midnight. Amore and the rest of her team were down in the basement again. They all were ready to leave Amore’s place to sneak into Amore.
“Okay, we all need to be very very quiet once we leave. And I’m not talking about hunting wabbits. Please, everyone, try to be as quiet as possible while leaving so we don’t wake up Mom and Dad.”, Amore instructed.
“You got it, big sis.”, Rebecca replied.
“Let’s do this!” Jake added.
Then they all started leaving the house.
Later that early morning, Amore and her team arrived at the restaurant. Rebecca tried opening the door. “It’s locked.”, Rebecca informed.
“And we have to enter a PIN to get inside. So, I guess we all came here for nothing.”, Ashley added.
“Maybe I can hack it.”, Jake suggested.
“I don’t think that’ll be necessary. I’m pretty confident I can figure my Dad out.”, Amore replied.
Amore went to the door and entered a PIN. Amore tried opening the door and was successful.
“How did you get Dad’s PIN?” Rebecca asked. “He never gives that out to anyone.”
“All I did was guess. Oh, and F.Y.I. the PIN is the year I was born. Two, zero, one, one. Come on everyone, let’s step inside.”
Amore and almost everyone else went inside.
“Oh, thanks. That’ll be useful the next time one of us wants to sneak in here twice.”, Ashley joked as she went inside.
Amore closed the door.
“Hey, it makes sense to me now. Your Dad set the PIN to the year you were born because he named the place after you.”, Eric commented. “Are you like his favorite or something?”
“In her dreams. I’m clearly the favorite daughter. Change my mind.”, Rebecca replied.
“First of all, Ms. Meme, who was the one that gave this place its name in the first place?” Amore asked her. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” “Okay, let’s move it, people! Oh, and please keep in mind that any cop cars that pass by here might be able to see what we’re doing from outside. So, be on the lookout and dick and hide if you do see one. Alright, enough said, let’s rock!”
The whole team started executing the plan. Amore and Rebecca started changing some of the menu items with pieces of paper. Ashley and Lisa started doing the same thing Amore and Rebecca were doing in a different spot inside the restaurant.
Eric started providing the food items. Jake went into Amore’s Dad’s office. He entered a PIN at the office door, and it worked.
Jake went inside and started hacking the restaurant’s website. No one seemed to be wasting any time. Then everything was finished.
“Okay, I think that’s everything.”, Amore commented. “And remember, the main goal here is to change Dad’s mind once he sees a million customers come in tomorrow morning, and there were no cop cars which is a plus. Come on, let’s all head back home.”
Then everyone started heading back home. Once everyone was outside the restaurant, Amore closed the door and locked the restaurant after Jake locked the office.
That same morning, it was after sunrise. John and his family were driving to church. “Can we go get ice cream sundaes after church?” Rebecca asked her parents.
“You got it, young lady. And, hopefully, I’ll be able to catch the Detroit Lions opener on TV after church.”, John replied. The drive continued. Then John saw something very unpleasant to his eyes.
“What in the world?” he asked himself.
John drove his car back to what he saw.
“What is it, sweetie?” Donna asked him.
“Someone just broke into my restaurant.”
Donna stared into the windows of Amore. “Should we call the police?” Donna asked him.
“I should go inside first to look at the aftermath. That way, I can better explain my story to the cops.”, John replied.
Amore didn’t see this coming and felt like she needed to say something sooner rather than later. “Um, could it wait? I mean besides, is pizza more important than our heavenly Father?” Amore asked him.
“Okay, fine. We’ll go to church, get sundaes, I’ll watch some football, and then I’m coming back here tonight.” Then the family drove away from the restaurant and Amore’s secret was kept hidden for just a little while longer.
It was Sunday evening. John and Donna were in the living room which was lit at the time while it was completely dark outside. “Girls, I need you all to come in here right now!” John exclaimed.
All four girls entered the living room. “Have a seat.”, John told them. Then all four daughters went ahead and sat down on the living room couch.
“Okay, why am I here?” Ashley asked him.
“Did we do something wrong?” Rebecca added.
“Wrong?! How about against the law?!” John replied angrily. “I logged into my computer earlier tonight and the security cameras saw all four of you breaking into my restaurant! And you had a couple of other kids with you!”
“Nice going, Amore! You completely forgot about the security cameras!” Rebecca exclaimed.
“Can someone please explain to me what’s going on here?!” John asked angrily.
“Well, you see, it’s kind of a funny story. And I imagine you’ll be laughing your but off once we tell it to you.”, Ashley told with a pretend smile. Then John had a serious look on his face and was not laughing. “It was Amore’s idea!”
“Is this true, Amore?” Donna asked.
Amore sighed. “Yes, it’s true. I set the whole thing up and planned everything.” “Remember that conversation we all had not that long ago where I suggested that you sell other food items along with pizza?”
“Yes, I do remember!” John yelled angrily. “Sneaking out?! Breaking and entering?! Going behind my back?! Do you know how dangerous that is?! You kids could’ve gotten arrested, kidnapped, or worse! Now, I gotta go in tomorrow morning and try cleaning up the mess that was left behind! My customers are gonna come in and get the wrong impression that we are finally selling other food items!”
Ashley got up and yelled angrily, “I don’t think you need to yell at her! She’s just a ten-year-old who had absolutely no intentions of doing wrong!”
“You stay out of this!” John exclaimed angrily.
“I’m sorry, Amore, but I’m gonna have to ground you for a month!” John exclaimed.
“A whole month?!” Amore exclaimed. Amore yelled angrily, “You can’t do this! All I wanted was for the restaurant to be more successful!”
“Yeah, well, looks like you didn’t get your wish young lady, and I’m very angry at you!” John exclaimed.
Amore got up. “Okay, well, you know what?!” Amore exclaimed. Amore yelled, “Fine, ground me! I hate you so much and I wish you never named that stupid restaurant after me in the first place!” Amore started crying before quickly running back to her bedroom.
Ashley exclaimed, “Nice going, Dad! Now, you made her cry! Well, you know what?! I think she had a great idea for the restaurant! But I guess you don’t know how to think outside the box for one nanosecond! If she’s grounded, you might as well ground me too!”
“I also think Amore had a great idea.”, Rebecca added. “What about you Lisa? Do you think our big sister had a great idea?”
Lisa shook her head in agreement.
Ashley exclaimed, “Well, there you have it! All of us take Amore’s side on this one! So, I guess this means you’ll have to ground all four of us!”
“Okay, fine! You’re all grounded for a month! And this conversation is over!” John yelled angrily. The other three daughters left the living room while the oldest daughter left in anger.
“Wow, breaking into your restaurant? What in the world has gotten into that girl?” Donna asked him.
“Probably watched too many movies and TV shows of people breaking into homes and businesses. Remind me to set a PIN for the parental controls first thing tomorrow morning.”
Then John exited the lit living room.
It was Monday, September 13, 2021. John drove up to Amore in the morning to start work. He walked up to the restaurant, entered the PIN, and went inside.
He walked up to his office and entered another PIN. He went inside his office. He went outside his office to try cleaning up the so-called “mess” left behind by his daughters along with Jake and Eric.
Then the first customer of the day (an elderly woman) walked up to a female cashier. “Hi, I’d like a double cheeseburger, large fries, and a soda, please.” John walked up to the register.
“Uh, sorry ma’am. My store got broken into, so-.”, John spoke.
Then a nice-looking young woman in her late twenties walked up to another female cashier. “Hi, I saw that you people sell other food items now, so I’d like to place an order for takeout.”
John interrupted, “Okay, well, I’m sorry to inform you that-.”
Then a young man appeared. “Good morning, I’d like to buy a large pizza and five tacos please”
John interrupted, “Sir, I’m very sorry, but-.”
Then a Mom ran up to the register. The Mom quickly said, “Good morning. I’m kinda late for work today. I’ll have two subs, small fries, and a milkshake to go.”
“Now, everyone, please settle down! I’m trying to clear up a huge misunderstanding here if you would all just listen for one second!” John exclaimed. Then many more customers started entering Amore than normal. “What in the world?”
Then John could not believe his eyes when he probably saw the greatest number of customers inside Amore at the same time ever since the restaurant was established back in 2012. A crowd of paying customers formed inside the restaurant.
“Wow, I can’t believe this. My daughter was right. How in the world did I become so blind?” John told himself.
John climbed onto a table to make an announcement. “Can I have everyone’s attention please?!” John yelled. He successfully got everyone’s attention.
“I’m sorry to inform you that the new menu items were supposed to arrive early this morning but didn’t show up. Therefore, please give us at least a few weeks to bring in the new food items. And I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. But in the meantime, we still have some good old-fashioned pizza and beverages for anyone who still wants to stick around.”
Then almost everyone still stuck around and made the restaurant some extra money that day. John got back on the ground. And John started feeling happy again.
It was Monday evening. The sky was completely dark outside. Amore’s parents were standing in the lit living room. “Girls, can you come here for a short second?” John yelled.
Amore’s three sisters walked into the living room. “Oh, no. I wonder what he’s gonna yell at us about this time.”, Ashley spoke. The three sisters sat down on the living room couch.
Amore came into the living room with a very sad look on her face. John hugged Amore. “I’m so sorry for losing my temper last night.”, John apologized.
“Um, okay?” Amore asked sounding confused. John stopped hugging Amore. “What’s going on? Am I in more trouble?”
“What?” John exclaimed. “No, not at all sweetie. It turns out that you were right, and I was wrong this entire time. I came into work today and had way more customers coming in today who clearly showed their satisfaction towards the idea of both pizza and non-pizza. You just made your old man a million times richer. Well, figuratively speaking. And it’s all thanks to you thinking outside the box for me. I just wanted to thank you so much for helping me out.”
“Okay, well, I don’t care. What do you want me to say?” Amore asked sadly.
“I don’t want you to say anything, sweetheart. But you could say you’re welcome.”, John spoke with a smile.
A minor smile started showing on Amore’s cute face. “Okay, you’re welcome.” But I’m still grounded.”, she said sadly.
“Not for long. I’m officially ungrounding everyone from this point moving forward.”, John declared.
“Are you serious?” Amore asked smiling. John shook his head yes. Amore quickly hugged her father. “Thank you so much!” Amore exclaimed happily. The hugging stopped. “And I’m sorry for breaking into your restaurant. I promise it’ll never happen again.”
“Apology accepted.”, John replied.
“Now, this change isn’t gonna happen overnight. I lied to my customers about the situation since I would’ve felt too embarrassed to say my own daughters broke into my restaurant and don’t know any better.”
“But I thought you said lying was bad.”, Rebecca commented.
“Yes, lying is bad Rebecca. But I didn’t have much time to think about what I was supposed to say, so I lied by accident.”
“Well, if the change isn’t gonna happen overnight, when will it happen?” Ashley asked him.
“At least three weeks.”, John replied.
“Okay, I guess I can live with that.”, Amore added.
“Okay, well, you girls can all go back to doing whatever it was that you were doing.”, John declared. Then all four girls exited the living room.
Donna commented, “First, the restaurant gets its name from her. And now, she’s upgraded to making marketing decisions nine years later? Honey, I think we may have a future pizza restaurant owner in our household fully ready to take your place after you retire.”
“Yeah, you might be right. And I’m feeling so happy right now that the whole family should celebrate this new and upcoming change to the Amore menu in the best way possible. And I’ve got the perfect idea.”
It was Monday, October 4, 2021. It was evening and the sky was completely dark outside. Inside the restaurant, Lover by Taylor Swift was being played in the background. Meanwhile, Amore and her family were eating dinner to celebrate the new change that was put in place.
“Wow, I gotta say, Amore’s new boneless wings sure are the bomb.”, Ashley commented while eating.
“Yeah, and these new breadsticks with dipping sauce are to die for.”, Amore replied while eating.
“Hey, don’t forget the most important thing of all. Pizza.”, Rebecca spoke while eating pizza.
“I’m also starting to fall in love with this new pink lemonade this place is now selling.”, Ashley spoke before drinking.
“And for dessert, we’re all having cake. More specifically, strawberry cake.”, Donna informed.
“This place is even selling desserts now?! Am I hearing this right?! Did I just die and go to heaven?!” Amore exclaimed happily.
“You really came through for me, kid. And it was a very successful day today with the new change.”, John commented.
“Hey, Amore, this is your song.”, Rebecca told Amore.
“And how, exactly, is a random Taylor Swift song my song?” Amore asked her.
“Because Amore is the Italian word for love.”
“That’s why I and your Mom decided to name you Amore in the first place. Then I named this place after you and you’ve done nothing but show what love is truly about these last ten years.”
“I love you too, Dad. Well, I say we do less chatting and more digging in while we’re still young.” Then after all of that, the whole family did less chatting and continued eating and celebrating the change that took place at the restaurant. And finally, after nine long years, Amore (restaurant) now had much more to offer besides pizza.