Night 16: Birthday Roller Coaster
Today’s my birthday. December 15 and ten days after, it’ll be Christmas time. As part of the annual celebration, the sisters prepared a mass to ask God to bless me more and of course, not to take me too early because one of the priest said, I’m still young and too beautiful to be taken. I wonder how God takes that thought. After the mass, Mother Cleo sent homemade cookies to my room simply since I don’t like big celebrations and my birthday has been an ordinary day for me. I am not also the person who hangs out during a special occasion.
I am now 22 and I wonder if what good will happen today.
Last year, I got into a fight outside the diners because a guy thought I scratched his car. I don’t even know where his car was.
Chris already sent me a text saying I can take a birthday leave but I insist coming to work since only him knows it’s my birthday and it’s not a big deal if it’s my day. I don’t want to bore myself in my room, stating at its four corners.
I went into the diners wearing thick clothes and scarf since after the storm, the snow came almost every night. Like a very ordinary day, there’s Chris behind the counter listing things; Ben cooking in the kitchen with his fellows; Brix walking around taking orders; Christina cleaning a table and the new janitor. Luckily, I finally got the scarlett red apron with my name stitched to it. But still, I don’t take orders, I just serve them since I still don’t like to socialize and talk to people like they don’t want to with me.
The truth is, aside from hoping that everything will go well, I am wishing for Samuel to at least greet me. But who am I to wish for it? He doesn’t even know it was today. The night passed normally, and Samuel dropped by to drink milkshake and order fries with Eric this time. They are both wearing casual clothes when they entered the diners.
“Hey, did your boyfriend surprised you?” Chris poke fun again but I think he really believed that pretentious statement.
“He’s not my boyfriend… he’s just someone’s fiancé.”
“And that saddens you?”
“Of course not. We’re just friends.”
“Well, I hope not. Look, you better take their table now.” Chris gave me a tray of two milkshakes and burger and fries. I just wonder why Samuel is not tasting any other foods in the menu. He keeps ordering the same thing over and over again. Instead of complaining, I brought their orders to their table but that doesn’t end today.
“Hey, you know Eric already right?” Samuel introduced me to his driver a.k.a the cute guy wearing a Sleeping with Sirens shirt. This time, he doesn’t look like a driver. “This is my personal driver. Eric, this is Scarlett.”
“Hi, Miss Scarlett.” Eric even stood and showed respect as he greeted me but Samuel kicked him in the leg under the table.
“Hey, that really doesn’t suit you bro. We’re not even at work.”
Eric laughed with his eyes curling beautifully then acted like they are just friends who hang out together.
“I was just trying to impress this lady. Seems like you like her than the foods here.” It was obviously the reason why I suddenly felt hot and I think my cheeks are like rose tomato.
“Do you need anything else to add?” I asked forcing myself not to stammer. This is really awkward for me.
“My friend here wanna add you, Miss Scarlett.” And that did the same to Samuel. I have to admit, he’s cute when he feels embarrassed.
“Sorry. I still have work.” I replied gaining every confidence I have to ride what just happened but Samuel’s too good to answer them.
“Why do work always gets in between two people, right Eric?”
I leave them smiling and return to the counter to get another order. I look back and notice Eric is preparing to leave. Already? He’s smiling while approaching me there. “Miss Scarlett, I have to leave now. It’s Christmas soon and I need to see my family in Colorado. The thing is, my boss is always alone by himself and I will only feel comfortable if he’s with someone he’s comfortable with.”
I still don’t get what he is saying because aside from he’s not staring at me, Chris is here also listening and Samuel is just in the table enjoying everything he ordered.
“In short, I’m leaving him up to you. Adios.” Then he exited like nothing happened. Like what he said is just leaving a pet for me. I only got back to earth when Chris patted me on my shoulder.
“We are really approving of him.” He said while looking at Samuel. “Here.” He slides an envelope to my hand and I know it’s cash. “You’ve been working here for two years doing the most tiring job just to satisfy everyone in the diners.”
“Wait? Are you firing me?” I asked hysterically because it is obviously a lot of cash in that envelope.
“Stop the overacting, Scarlett. I’ll be going out of the country next week so take the few days off starting tomorrow until the Christmas holidays. Happy birthday and I’m giving you a chance to live.” Chris smiled like it was nothing. This old man has been like a father to me. He’s one of the people who accepted me and he just never looked down on me even once. He once again hold my shoulder while looking at Samuel and back at me. “I know that guy can help you.”
At first, I’m thinking of neglecting any opportunity that I see because it’s been two decades that I wish to take my life and not to prolong it. But right at the moment, I’m seeing Samuel’s lonely eyes but he is still smiling. Christina treating the customers like her family even though her own family left her. Chris is alone and decided to live on his own; he said he’s fine with it but in the depth of him, I know it isn’t. Life can be cruel to everyone around here. Different stories but even though these ones wanted to give up, they just can’t do it themselves. It seems like it is just a matter of time.
I did the rest of my job until the morning and when I got home, I packed my bag and told Mother Cleo I’ll be staying out for the holidays. I still haven’t informed Samuel yet about accepting his invitation last night.
He didn’t know what Eric said to me last night but he asked me if I am not doing anything for the vacation. I said none, and he immediately asked me that he needs to get rid of Shiela and his family looking for a free time for him. Since I am available and also help him with the plan, I said I’ll think about it. Now, I am holding my phone as soon as I finish the packing.
“It will be good to be with someone who just share the same thoughts as mine, right?” I asked myself while dialing Samuel’s number.
[Yo! Yes or No?] And he knows what am I calling for.
“I am done packing so be here within five minutes.” And I drop the call. I wasn’t trying to act cool, I was just nervous when I heard his voice. He’s expecting me to say yes since last night. I wore a black knitted long sleeves inside a black leather jacket. It’s just that everything in my closet is black.
“Honey, someone’s downstairs waiting for you.” Mother Cleo opened the door as soon as I finished gathering my things. A minute or two just passed, is it him already?
“Wait. Who is it, sister?”
“I don’t know. He got a car and he visited you before.”
“Wow, that’s him.” I whispered to myself and grabbed my bag.
“Take care sweetheart. Merry Christmas.” Mother Cleo hugged me before going downstairs.
“Merry Christmas to every one of you here. I’ll be fine, sister.” I smiled and I can tell she’s too happy for me that I’m still smiling.
As expected, it’s Samuel but he brought a different car this time. Not the Porsche 911 but much bigger – a Ford Ranger pick-up truck. I got inside and looked at him.
“You thought I flew within just minutes? Nah. I was already outside; I know you can’t resist my charm.” Wow, am I with Samuel because he is too full of himself. “You will want to sleep it’ll be a long ride.”