I walked around the tiny dinner with the pitcher of iced tea in hand ready to give any one a refill if they needed it. It was a cute little dinner with red booths and brown fake wood tables. There was a bar made out of the same brown fake shiny wood with red stools made into the floor and Mae stood behind the counter ringing everyone up. A couple of gentlemen motioned me over for the tea in my hand. They were dirty and wore blue jeans and plain t-shirts. The one on the right was Bobby and the one of the left was James.
“It sure is hot out there ain’t it boys?” They looked up and smiled I almost laughed at James when he tried to hurry and swallow his food so he could speak to me. He was a new hire to Bobby’s ranch and he was having a hard time adjusting to the ranchers life.
“Yes ma’am it is. But Mrs. Mae’s sweet tea sure does hit the spot on days like this.” I agreed and continued on my rounds. The bell above the door rang signaling that someone had just walked in.
“I’ll be right with you.” I said without turning around. We knew most people in this town anyways.
“Oh it’s all right Lettie I got it!” I heard Mae’s voice call from behind the counter.
“Thanks Mae!” I continued to talk to the customers and refill glasses while she spoke to the person who had walked in.
“Here ya go sweety here’s a menu for ya and you just let me know what you need.” a menu? Most of the time people already knew what the dinner had. I turned around to see a man in black slacks and a pristine white button up shirt on. His shoes were shined and looked slicker than snot. Oh my what had the cat dragged into our little town.
He looked over the menu with his back straight and his elbows off the counter. One look around the room and you could spot the outsider. I walked back around the counter and set the pitcher of tea down. Mae was talking to the cook, who was also her husband. The man put the menu down and folded his hands on top of it.
“Excuse me waitress.” I rolled my eyes.
“Well my my don’t we have a proper young gentleman here?” He looked over at me surprised.
“People call me Lettie around here not waitress. What can I get for ya darlin?” I leaned my hip against the counter and held my notepad and pen at the ready. Now that I was closer I could see his chocolate eyes with little streaks of gold in them. His hair was neatly cut and a dark brown. He smirked at me for just a brief moment and my heart fluttered. I had to admit Mister Prim and Proper was pretty darn cute.
“Excuse me ma’am I did not mean to offend you. I am not from around here and did not know your name.” I laughed and he raised an eyebrow at me.
“Well obviously you ain’t. Ain't one of use have nothing as crisp and white as what you’re wearing. Hell not even the preacher’s son’s sunday best look that white.” The man nodded and looked down at himself. I cleared my throat and when he looked up I tapped my pen to my paper. He realized I was waiting and he order his food. A hamburger well done, fries, and a chocolate shake. I was whisked away by Mae to take care of other customers before I could ask anymore questions.
I was burning with curiosity. It was bubbling inside of me and I wanted to just scream out of frustration at the people I was here to serve. Finally my shift ended when Patty got there. The little hussy had called Mae saying she couldn’t work her normal shift today and with George out sick I was called in. I was just about to walk back behind the counter when Mae stopped me. She was a short little pudgy woman. She had straight brown hair stacked into a bun on her head. She had crows feet at her blue eyes that looked like they held more kindness than a newborn baby. Don’t let that fool ya though. She would take her always handy wooden spoon and crack you over the head if need be.
“Oh Lettie thank you so much for coming in today. I know it was short notice and all.” I smiled at the little lady.
“Oh don’t worry about it Mrs. Mae you know I don’t mind and the extra cash helps.” She hugged me and went on about her business when Patty called her over. I walked back to the stranger with the shiny shoes. I put my elbows on the counter and leaned over. He got startled and jumped back a bit. Well someone’s personal bubble just got popped. He straightened up and looked at me. Before he could speak I spoke.
“Well I do believe now mister that you know my name but I don’t know yours. And now I know you aint from around these parts but it is customary to give a lady your name.” There was a slight twinkle in his eye like he knew I was pulling his leg.
“Carter. My name is carter ma’am.”