(Ch. 1) Not Again
I wandered into the garden full of different types of flowers. Roses, lilies, jasmine, poppies and a lot more which I don't even know the name of. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, the scent of the garden making me feel relaxed. I loved it here, alone and calm. Nothing to worry about and not a thing to care about. The birds chirping and the leaves rustling. This all made me feel so relaxed and at peace.
I was enjoying this beauty of nature when suddenly, an annoying sound started ringing against my ear. A sound of something beeping, a sound annoying as hell. This sound taking over the musical sound of nature as it continued to get louder and louder, more louder and louder until it became the only thing I could hear. Then, everything went black at once and all I could hear was that annoying sound.
Groaning, I woke up - from my beautiful sleep and my relaxing dream - with this annoying sound of my alarm, that shitty beep beep sound banging against my eardrums and it felt like they'll bleed the next second. Again, why I chose this shitty sound instead of some new pop song to wake me up? Ah! Right! Because it was annoying as fuck and a great tool to wake you up. All I wanted at this time was to smash this alarm clock with a hammer and continue to have my beauty nap. After a few beeps, it quieten down and thanking God, I dug my head deeper into my blankets and curled myself into a ball.
My dreams! Here I come again...
Smiling, I drifted back into my precious sleep and in the very next moment, that annoying alarm goes off, bleeding my ears once again with its beeping.
I swear! This beeping was so fucking annoying.
"Uuuh... What the hell!" Cursing in my half-sleep, I turned over and peek at my alarm clock with my one eye shut. My eyes bulged out of my sockets as I look at the time not believing that I just overslept.
"Shit! It's almost 8:00 am? You must be kidding me!" I wriggled out of my blanket hurriedly and as I was going to step on the floor to run towards my bathroom, my foot got stuck in my damn bed sheet, tripping me and causing me to fall on the tiled floor. My messy hair came in front of my face, covering it completely.
I groaned in pain, "Damn you! What the hell?" I winced. Today would be a bad day, I could feel it. I wanted to just take a leave and rest but I couldn't. I already took my leave for this month and I can't take more. I put my hair back from my face and look at the clock now showing 8:15 am. I couldn't believe my eyes. Where the hell fifteen minutes just went? I swear, it was 8 am a second ago. Was my alarm broken?
I grabbed my phone and check the time. "Shit." I cursed as it showed 8:18 am now.
What the heck! Can't time run a bit slow?
No! Not again. Please no! Not this time too. Miss Johns is gonna roast me alive.
I wriggled my foot out of my bed-sheet and rushed towards the washroom. I brushed my teeth and took the quickest shower of my life - which I didn't even want to take if not for me smelling like a sweaty boy's shirt.
'Always take a shower at night to avoid being late.' I made a mental note inside my head.
Hurriedly coming out, I took a look at my wardrobe and pick out a floral brown top and denim pants. Putting on my long brown boots and putting my brownish-black hair in a ponytail, I grabbed my purse and rushed to the nearest bus stop. My face was simple as I don't do make-up. I don't like having tons of make-up on my face and besides who has the time for that? I was already too late.
I ran as fast as I could and with heavy breaths, I shout, "STOP!" The bus was already pulling away but thank god, the driver heard me and stopped the bus.
I paid my bus fare and sat on the first empty seat that I see. I placed my hand on my chest, trying to catch my lost breaths due to running so fast. Thank god the bus driver heard me and stopped or I would have been standing there and waiting for the next bus and that'd be after thirty minutes.
Maybe today was not a bad day after all...
I took my earphones and plug them in. After twenty minutes of the drive, I reached my destination and ran straight into the cafe. The aroma of coffee filling the air making my mouth water and my stomach grumble. With my head hang low so that I could hide my face, I moved towards the kitchen with steady steps. I was technically trying to sneak in without being noticed by my employer.
"MISS EMMA JAMES!" A deep angry voice growled from beside me, and I shut my eyes knowing that I have failed.
Mission failed. I was dead.
Turning around slowly, I met the glaring hazel eyes of Miss Johns and I smiled sheepishly, looking at her. "I am so sorry-" I started to excuse myself but got cut off by her at once.
"Don't say anything, you are late again. It's the fifth time you are late in the past two months. Five times Emma! You know I hate tardiness," Miss John said furiously and I hung my head low in embarrassment.
"Miss John. I really-"
"What? You again forgot to set your alarm? I am tired of your lame excuses..." She said , her voice holding a warning tune.
Yeah...That's the excuse I made last time.
Emma! Think of another excuse. Hurry...
"Uh...No, I actually... I missed the bus this time." I lied and bit my tongue hoping she would let me go. "It will not happen again. I promise," I pleaded, looking at her with sweet innocent eyes.
Well, I hope so... And I'll try.
"Keep your promise next time young miss, or you will be in deep trouble. This is the last time I am letting you go, don't do it again." Her deep threatening stare made me gulp and I nodded. "Yes, Ma'am."
"Now go change into your waitress attire," she ordered and I nodded again.
I went to the washroom and changed into my dress. More like a uniform, I would say. It was a knee-length black dress with a white apron in front and full sleeves with a cut on both shoulders. I took my notepad with my pen and headed to table 2.
"Hello, sir. Are you ready to order?" I asked politely to two young men sitting at the table. One of them having blonde hair, his skin tan, and the other having brown hair with fair skin. They looked at me and gave me a smile. "Yeah, I think we are ready."
I gave them my usual waitress smile and took out a pen ready to write their order. "So what will you like, sir?"
"How about...." The one with the blonde hair paused, looked at me from head to toe and then replied, "You," he smirked. I bit my inner cheek to control my temper. "Nice joke sir. Now please what would you like to have from our menu?" I emphasized on the word menu to give them a clear indication that I wasn't liking this shit joke of theirs.
"I'm serious sweetheart. What you say? Me and you for one night. I'll pay you a handsome price," that blonde smirked and then gaves me a dirty smirk. I scoffed as my blood boiled up and there goes my temper. I have had enough.
I hate them.
"You want me?" I batted my eyelashes and leaned towards that blonde hair idiot. His smirk widened this time as he leaned closer.
"Would love to," he winked at me and I smiled despite my anger.
Love to? Ok! No Miss Goody now.
I banged my hand on the table and grabbing his tie, I pulled him closer. Glaring in his eyes, I smirked and gave him my sweetest smile. I earned some of the attention from the neighbouring tables but who cares? Well, I don't.
"How about I kick your pretty ass out of this cafe and then beat you up like a plush cushion? Sounds great! Right?" I whispered, my voice laced with anger and he sucked in a breath.
"Aww! Scared already? It's just a trailer, baby!" I smiled with a proud look and let his tie go. He straightened up and cleared his throat. He averted his eyes from me towards the outside window and I gave a winning smile.
"Anything else?" Smiling, I looked at the other person sitting there.
"Miss, sorry for that. Actually, we will take two cups of espresso and four doughnuts." The other man said and I nodded. "Which flavour?"
"Umm. two chocolate and two simple vanilla ones,"
"Okay, I'll be back," Noting their order, I turned towards the kitchen. I went to Kate - the barista of this cafe - everyone loved her coffee, even me, too. She had some kind of magic in her hands and had a unique way of making it. She was a completely crazy-party girl with a sweet smile on her face every time.
"Hi there..." I chirped.
"Oh... hi! I saw that you were late again," she said while giving me a hug. "Yeah," I chuckle, "it's the fifth time now."
She chuckled in response. "Hey, this is the order for table 2," I gave the paper to her and grabbed five doughnuts from the fridge. Three chocolate and two vanilla ones.
"Uh Emma! It says two chocolate doughnuts here."
"I know, one is for me. I didn't get the time to have breakfast," I took a bite of my doughnut. "But don't tell Miss John's. Hush!" I placed a finger on my lips making a hush sound.
"Okay Okay..." She giggled lightly. "By the way, I just saw what you did to those guys, you should be nice to them, Em! They are our customers." She slightly chuckled making me smile victoriously.
"What? I was just giving them a good show. You know! Just entertaining them," I shrugged with an innocent face and she slightly nodded. "I know all about your way of entertainment," she smiled and then after a minute let out a deep sigh, like a sad weary sigh.
"Hey! Why you look sad?" I asked her while she was making a cup of espresso. She looked at me for a moment and then her eyes shifted to the coffee machine. "Oh, nothing," she replied and I know something was wrong. There was definitely not an oh nothing. She was usually not like that. She was a jolly person making jokes and smiling all the time.
"Hey, Kai! Is something wrong? You look a little worried. You can tell me," I said to her, assuring her. "No, It's nothing," She gave the same brief answer.
"Kai! I know something is not right. It's written all over your face, " I looked at her as she sighed. "Actually... I have no place to stay. The apartment in which I am staying is to be renovated. The landlords have given me two days to find a new place," She whispered. "How in the world would I do that?" Her voice becoming low, and I could tell, she was on the verge of crying.
"I can help you with that." I smiled and she looked at me as her black eyes got filled up with hope. "Really?"
"Of course. Why not? You are my best friend after all. You can live with me." Her face gleamed up with joy, but then something dawned upon her making her frown. "But what about Alice? Your roommate?"
"Oh! She is planning to join an international university for her master's degree. So, she's leaving tomorrow for Britain. I will be all alone in my apartment," I smiled at her.
"So it means, I can live with you then?" she asked and I nodded. Her smile widened, happiness evident on her face. She looked relieved now. Alice stayed with me for 4 years of university. We did our bachelor's study together and now she was going to Britain for master's. I was also in need of a new roommate and thank god, that new one will be my friend Kate.
"Of course, you can bring your things tomorrow, say 6 pm? Alice will be leaving in the morning at 10'o'clock."
"It will be great. Thank you, Em! You're the best," She jumped with joy and hugged me. I hugged her back I was glad that I was able to help her.
"By the way the order is ready," She said while pulling away from our hug.
"Oh, right," Biting my tongue slightly, I picked the tray in my hands and head towards the table. I put the tray on the table, not even glancing at them.
"Here's the order. Enjoy," I tried my best to be polite. The brown haired guy murmured a thank you and I headed towards the next table.
The rest of my shift spent as usual. I work seven days a week here, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. I have just finished my bachelor's degree and now I was planning to get admission in master's. I was currently saving for my college fee. My father supported me throughout my life and my 4 years of university and now I'll like to earn for my further studies. I like to be independent since I was 17. My parents live at a drive of one hour from my apartment in the centre of New York City. I love my family and visit them often at weekends - whenever I get the time.
I changed into my clothes and took the cup of Americano that I have requested Kate to make for me. I headed towards the exit of the cafe and went out of the shop when Kate called me, "Emma!" I turned my head to see her. She was standing in the doorway of the shop. "Thanks, Emma, for everything." she smiled and I chuckled waving at her. "No need to-"
I was mid-sentence when something happened in a flash. The next thing I noticed was me on the floor with an empty cup of Americano on my head and hot Americano on my top. God! It's hot! I gasped as I grabbed the front of my shirt a bit higher so my skin won't come in contact with the hot coffee.
I looked up and saw a guy standing there, one hand in his pocket and the other holding his phone. He looked at me with a cold expression. I glared at him. "What the hell! Look what you have done Mister!" I shouted at him while pointing at my Americano-covered clothes.
Gosh! Today, I'll kill this jerk…