Perfect Illusion

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Chapter 3: That Man has no Shame!

Two and a half months before:

“Do you have a reservation, sir?” I stood there behind the mini concierge of the restaurant, my fingers hovering over the keyboard of the computer in front of me. I smiled slightly at the guy in front of me, though it felt forced.

The guy smiled as well. However, it was not directed to me, but to the attractive girl beside him. He slid his arm behind his date’s back, his hand gliding down her waist and almost touching her butt.

I felt bile rise from my throat. Not again.

He spoke, his voice deep and smooth. “Yes. It’s under the name Daniel Kerrington.”

Of course it was. It had always been under that name every single time he came to this place.

“Daniel Kerrington,” I pretended to type, my fingers just tapping lightly over the keyboard to create sound. I did not have to check whether he had made any reservation. I know he had.

He called every Saturday morning to place a reservation for two at 7:00. He never failed to ask for the booth at the corner, next to the window, which is the best place to sit in the restaurant. He had been hogging that same booth for a month now, and I think my customers were starting to get angry.

I clicked on the mouse several times, pretending that I was scrolling through our database for his name. “Yes, Daniel Kerrington. Table for two.”

I looked at him, and -surprise, surprise!- he’s can’t stop looking at his date. His eyes skimmed over the red fiery curls that cascaded past her shoulders, to her huge breasts, then down to the rest of her perfect, size zero body.

The way he stared at her made me want to hurl. He did not look at her with interest and wonder, not like how a man would look at a girl on the first date. He looked at her with hunger and lust, like he was going to take her to his place right after dinner and have crazy wild sex with her... if she would allow it.

But she would. They always did. Daniel Kerrington always got his way with girls... and I was pretty sure tonight would be no exception.

“Yes, that’s right.” Daniel said after finally managing to tear his gaze away from the girl.

My smile tightened as I grab two menus from the counter. “Shall we, Mr. And Mrs. Kerrington?”

I have wanted to say that for some time now, just to irritate the crap out of him. Just like I expected, he winced and tried to correct me. “Actually, uh, it’s not-”

The girl placed her hand seductively on his shoulder, her hair flipped to the front. ”Mrs. Kerrington, huh?” She smiled seductively at Daniel. “Are you hinting something to me?” She wriggled her eyebrows.

I almost wanted to laugh. Little did she knew she was not even going to be on another date with him, let alone be the next Mrs. Kerrington.

I would know that.

I had been working in the Basil Kitchen the entire summer after graduation.

My best friend, Cara had decided to ditch me by taking an impromptu trip to visit some relatives over in France. She left me to rot by myself in Boston. For the first few weeks of summer, I literally had nothing to do. I was not that close to the rest of my classmates, and I was pretty sure they had forgotten about me the minute we left school for good. So, I figured I might as well make the best of my last summer before going off to college.

After my dad heard that I was up for hire, he persuaded me to work for Woods and Co. I, however, thought differently. When he knew I wouldn’t budge, he immediately pulled in some favours amongst his clients, and landed me a job as a waitress in Basil Kitchen. I was thrilled, of course, as I could finally prove that I was independent. It was my first job, and I was already loving it. I found myself really liking it there. The staff at Basil Kitchen always had friendly smiles on their faces. I always looked forward to the little gatherings in the back kitchen with them, chatting and gossiping about the guests that poured through the doors of the restaurant.

One of them had warned me about Daniel Kerrington. He was the son of Harry

Kerrington, the owner of Kerrington Enterprises. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Kerrington Enterprises is pretty freaking famous. It basically specialises in every single product known to mankind: kitchen utensils, air-conditioners, shower heads, and even my very own iron curler. Yeah, it was that famous.

Anyways, they told me about Daniel’s scandals that took place in and out of the restaurant. Every weekend, he would bring a different girl to dinner. He always had a specific type of girl that was with him: blonde or redhead, hazel eyes, huge chest, and a tall curvy body. He and the girl would be seen having a simple pleasant dinner in his usual booth. During the date, he let the girl do all the talking. And of course, girls love to talk about themselves. He always listened, but never revealed much about himself when asked. My guess was that if that he did, it would make things much more complicated the morning after.

The date usually took about half an hour. After he paid the bill, he would take her by the waist, and usher her out of the restaurant with a mischievous grin on his face. Then he would take her to his apartment just less than ten minutes away and well.....

Needless to say, he was a one-night-stand person. Because every Sunday morning, the Basil Kitchen morning staff would get a glimpse of his latest hookup, her clothes creased and torn, stumbling along the walkway with tears streaming down her eyes.

I did not think I have ever disliked anyone as much as I disliked Daniel Kerrington. He used his good looks to get what -or who- he wanted. He treated his hook-ups like shit judging from the way they usually react after he’s done with them. And even though our conversations were only based on things like ′what would he like to eat’ or ′would you like more champagne’, I still felt like he was sort of a horrible human being.

“Right this way, Mr and Mrs. Kerrington.” I murmured as I weaved my way through the restaurant.

The Basil Kitchen was always packed, especially during the weekends. It was one of the most popular restaurants in that area. Everyone who’s anyone comes here.

I ushered them into the grand dream of a restaurant. Modern lighting illuminated the room and complemented the design of the room itself. Wooden tables decked the floor which was already bustling with activity. The other waiters and waitresses held trays and swiftly dodged each other when they crossed paths.

Not once glancing to see if Daniel and his date were following me, I continued my way. I heard them whispering to each other, and the sounds of the redhead girl giggling made me cringe.

“Your table, Mr. And Mrs. Kerrington.”

I heard Daniel heave a sigh. I fought the urge to snicker.

When they were seated at their table, I handed them their menus and stepped away for them to decide what they were going to eat. Daniel handed me the menu right back before ordering his usual.

“Just the salad, please.” He said. Really, the salad? Even I eat more than you. And I’m a girl.

He turned his attention to his date, “What would you like, sweetheart?”

The redhead looked down and blushed when he called her that. She probably wouldn’t if she knew he had used that term of endearment to the girl last week, or the week before, or the week before that.

“Um, I’ll have the lamb shank, please.” She closed the menu and handed it back to me.

I nodded again as I wrote her order. After that, I hurried to the kitchen to place their orders. As I barrelled through the doors of the kitchen, I spotted Marianne wiping her hands on her skirt before heading out with a couple plates of food. She was a dark-skinned waitress whom I have become acquainted with for some time now. She had been working in the restaurant for a year now, and knew all about Daniel’s hanky panky business.

As she passed me, she blew out a short breath. “So, what does she look like?” She was referring to Daniel’s new girl.

“Typical,” I said. “Red hair. Killer body. Long legs.”

“Of course.” She laughed. “Did he give you any problems, Alex?”

As if on cue, my stomach churned. I had a feeling he would be trouble. “Not yet.” I reply, “But he will.”


And I was right.

Sometimes on Sundays mornings, I would visit the Basil Kitchen even if I have an evening shift. I guess I had grown quite attached to the staff here. I found myself chatting with some of the staff there in the back kitchen, with Marianne blabbering all about Mr. Kerrington’s escapade last night. I guessed Daniel was their main source of gossip, because they never talk about anyone else.

“Can you believe it? He slipped his hand underneath the table and started to touch her leg,” Marianne said, disbelief crossing her face. “Poor girl was whimpering and moaning the entire meal!”

I threw my head back to laugh. The other staff joined in. “Does he always do that?”

“Sometimes,” She snickered. “When he’s feeling... you know. Aroused.” “Gross.” I muttered.

“That man has no shame!” One of the kitchen staff called out.

Others nodded in agreement.

I guess it was pretty mean of us to judge Daniel Kerrington and his private business. But it was hard not to because he always came here every week with a new girl draped across his arm, like he was begging to be gossiped about. I wondered if he knew about us talking behind his back. No doubt he would sue the crap out of the restaurant if he knew about it. He’s got the money to do so anyway.

After our gossip session, I decided to head back home. It was still quite early in the day. The sun hung high in the sky, the clouds stepping aside for it to cast its warm heat over the city. People started to arrive at the restaurant, eager for brunch. I said goodbye to Marianne and the staff when I spotted a familiar redhead dashing through the streets, a look of pure anger crossing her face.

Damn.

She trudged outside the restaurant barely clothed, only in a white T-shirt and the kitten heels she wore last night to dinner. She looked like a total wreck. Her bright red hair was in a mess and her face was... woah. Eyeliner smudged her eyes and mascara ran down the sides of her face. Her skin was pale, except for the slight flush on her cheeks. She looked like any other girl who has been royally fucked by Daniel Kerrington, but worse.

Because she was angry. Fueling, even.

I watched her from the restaurant window in curiosity. I didn’t know if I should go outside and help her or something, maybe ask if she’s alright. I mean, clearly she did not look alright, but at least it was worth a shot. Just as I was about to step out of the restaurant, I spotted Daniel from afar, running after her. He looked barely clothed as well, only in his black shirt and boxers.

The redhead turned back and when she saw him, she just rolled her eyes and continued walking away. Daniel caught up to her and grabbed her shoulder. The redhead spun around and flipped him off. I laughed. At least she was not afraid to tell him to screw off.

Both Daniel and the redhead started to argue outside the restaurant. By the looks of it, it seemed to be a really heated argument. I could only hear a little bit of their conversation, but it was enough to know that Daniel had seriously ticked her off.

“You lied to me!” She yelled, her hands flailing around like a crazy person. Some of the customers in the restaurant began to look outside to see what was going on.

Even the staff got out of the kitchen to witness the commotion outside. “You promised me I would not be one of those random girls you fucked!”

Daniel looked down, clearly smirking. “That’s just a lie I tell gullible girls like you to sleep with me.”

Oh he did not just say that.

The redhead clenched her fist in fury. She walked up to him and pointed a finger at his chest. “Fuck you.”

Instead of wincing, Daniel just laughed. “Sweetheart, you already did.” Then, bam!

She slapped him across the face, hard.

Some of the customers gasped. My mouth gaped open in astonishment. I heard Marianne behind me bursting into fits of laughter.

The redhead reeled her hand back and walked away from him, satisfaction written all over her face. Daniel just stood there by the sidewalk, still shocked from what had just happened.

I quickly turned away and processed what I had just seen. The way he had treated the girl was absolutely horrible. It totally contrasted from how he had acted around her last night. And I can’t believe he talked to her that way.

Like she was nothing but trash.

Ever since then, my hatred for that man grew.

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