Chapter 1 Katie
Every morning I get up out of bed around 5 a.m. But on Sunday, I may sleep in until 7 a.m. I get up and take a shower every morning. I’ll usually make a pot of coffee, but sometimes I drink one cup, two if I want a little pep in my step while going over my day planner and getting ready for work. I guess it’s a habit to make a pot every day when Robert was alive. That man could consume a pot every day and it was always black, and could drink it like water.
I’ve been working as a restaurant manager for almost six years. It’s located a couple miles south from the Charlotte motor speedway. When ever there is a race in town, you could count on us being slammed all weekend long. Sometimes we would stay open longer for the race crowd. We’ve seen a couple famous drivers come in here a few times. I think their names were Tony Stewart and Clint Boyer. We get some of the Basketball and Hockey crowd in there.
Ever since Robert died about a year ago, I’ve been working almost every day now. The restaurant is my second home from home. Everybody who works for me are my children, so in a sense this is my second family.
I pull into my parking spot at the restaurant around 7 a.m. and see Christine is already there. She is my right hand for everything as my assistant. I can guarantee, as soon as I walk into the backdoor, and she sees me, she’s going to say. “You know, you don’t have to be here this early. I know everything you do.” I put the key in the door and open it and there she is standing there with her hands on her hips. “You know, you don’t have to be here this early.” she says.
“I know, but this is my routine. I like my routine.” I tell her as I walk into my office. I put down my bag and pull out my computer. I bend over and plug it in.
“I got a call from Patty this morning. She said she wouldn’t be in today. She thinks she has the clap.” Christine says laughing.
“I don’t think she knows what the clap is. She’s a virgin and probably has a cold sore on her lip.” I say as I scream out my office door.
“Well if she would stop kissing the dishwasher maybe she won’t get lip clap.” Christine says laughing. “Have you checked your e-mail today?”
“I checked it this morning. Bobby is going to be late later today. I guess he needs a two week order, so I guess we need to double our grocery order.”
“No, I meant your personal e-mail.” she says.
“No why?” I say and don’t hear an answer. I pull up my personal e-mail, and the first thing that pops up at the top of the e-mail said. “Date confirmed. Thank you, Katie.” “CHRISTINE! What the hell did you do?” I scream. She slowly slinks her way into my office with a big smile on her face.
“You got a hit on your profile last night.” she says.
“I told you I wasn’t ready to date anyone yet. I’m perfectly happy the way my life is right now. I don’t need to worry about if he’s happy or I’m happy. I don’t want to tip toe through a relationship.” I say with my arms crossed.
“I know, but you need to get back on the horse. It’s been almost a year since Robert died.” she says.
“Don’t you lecture me about when I should get back on the horse.”
“Come on KD. It wasn’t your fault he died fucking you. He had a bad heart, that he forgot to tell you.” she says laughing. At the time it wasn’t funny. It scared me. But listening to her made me laugh about the whole thing.
“Yeah, I know. But I’m still not ready to date yet.”
“Just take a look at his profile.” Christine says as she walks over to me and clicks the e-mail. “Let’s take a look.” She right clicks his profile. “Justin M. 44 divorced with one girl 19 in college. He likes to travel, hiking and long walks on the beach.” Christine says with a grin and points at the screen.
“Do you know that every profile I looked at all said long walks on the beach.” as I point to the screen. “ I don’t like sand. It goes in places it should never go, especially in places where the sun don’t shine.”
“Just give it a try.” she says.
“Fine, when are we meeting?”
“Tomorrow at eight.” she says as she runs out of my office.
“Tomorrow? Where are we meeting cupid?”
“Here.” she says as she pops her head in my door.
“Love you too.” she says.
Later that day.
I’m in my office working on the schedule for next week when my phone on my desk beeps. “Yes.”
“Bobby from Meadows food service is here.” Christine says.
“Thanks, put him in the back table and see if he wants anything to eat.”
“Will do.” as I hear the line click.
I grab my clip boards and calculator and head out to the dining room. Bobby’s there pulling out his computer loading the program for the restaurant.
“Bobby. Good to see you. You about ready?” I ask.
“I’m always ready for you.” he says.
“No you idiot. The wedding? You’re getting married this weekend? Right?”
“Oh yeah, the wedding. I thought you meant something else.” he says.
“I bet. Is this why you need a two-week order?” I ask.
“It is. My boss got Donna and I a room for a whole week in the Virgin Islands as a wedding gift.” he says.
“Well that was generous of him.” I tell him.
Bobby goes into his computer and starts rattling off specials and promotions. I begin to give him my order, and right away I started to daydream.
“KD, are you ok?” he asks.
“Huh, yeah, I’m fine. I got something on my mind.”
“Care to share?” he says as he closes his laptop.
“Christine thinks I need to get out and start dating again. So she put me in this dating app a while back, like six months ago. I totally forgot about the app. It got a hit last night. So Christine thought it would be funny and confirmed the date for a meet and greet here tomorrow night at eight. I just don’t know if I want to do it. I don’t think I’m ready to date. I know it’s been over a year since he passed, but this is my house.”
“Ok, what’s the worst thing that could happen? If he does anything you don’t like, call it off. Send him on his way. This is your house. Delete his name or take yourself off the market. I’ve known you for a couple of years now, and I remember what you went through. But you do pretty much live here and these are your children. Getting out every once in a while isn’t a bad idea. I’m with Christine on this one. Don’t be mad at her, she’s trying to look out for you.” He says with a caring face.
“You know she’s old enough to be my daughter, but I guess you’re right. What could it hurt?”