CH. 2 ☆ Harvey
Here I am, minding my own business trying to check on my restaurant, only to find this little shit treating people like they are worthless. And yes, I know the people that visit my restaurants are mostly high class, but I heard the guy, and I believe him.
He doesn’t stink, and his clothes are moderately clean, all things considered. He even asked for a job, though I couldn’t hire him without identification if what he says is true. “Sir I—”
I hear that Chris kid talk, but I cut him off. “When does your shift end?”
“In... two hours, sir.”
“Great! Get Mr. Spencer and me, our table. Meet me when your shift is over before you clock out for the day. Is that something you can do?”
“Yes, yes, sir, absolutely!” I follow the little shit. He finds me a table by the kitchen entrance so I can oversee the operations.
“Given your little indiscretion earlier, I think it is fair for me to ask you for a favor. Right?”
“Yes,” Chris is quick to say, “anything!”
“Great, Chris Daniels, thank you. Now, please don’t tell anyone I’m here since I’m here without announcement for a reason.” He nods, and I dismiss him after he places the menus on the table.
I own a chain of five stars restaurants, this being the first and main location. After getting a few bad reviews, I decided to come and check it out for myself; if the little shit’s attitude indicates how this place runs, there won’t be any employee left when I finish my meal.
Andreas’ Cuisine is something I built from the ground up, and I won’t let lousy staff throw it all away.
“Eh! Sir?” I hear the guy talk across the table.
“Yes, Mr. Spencer?”
“Please, call me Tobias.”
“Ok! Yes, Tobias?”
“I appreciate what you just did, but he wasn’t lying; this place is high class. I don’t want to cause any problems, so I can wait outside but do you mind if I order something big so I could have leftovers for later?”
I see a vulnerability in him that I hadn’t seen in myself for the past ten years. It makes me want to believe him, to protect him. Somehow, I see a young version of me in this young man.
“Nonsense Tobias! Order whatever you want, but you wait here.”
“Yes, sir. May I ask your name, mister?” I want to smile at his choice of words, but I hold back.
“And you said you own this restaurant?”
“Yes, I own all seven of them.”
“Seven?” His eyes open wide and are yet another confirmation that he didn’t lie. He is not from here. Andreas is well-known among the city.
“Wow!” He goes on. “But you look so young. How old are you?” This kid has no filter, does he? I chuckle but respond anyways.
“I’m thirty-two. And you?”
“Twenty-four!” Ok, so not a kid.
“So, tell me Tobias. How did you end up in this mess?”
“Long story short? My family threw me out and disowned me, and I decided to move to the city. On my first day here, I got robbed of everything but the clothes I’m wearing, and now I can’t even get my own money from my own account because well... my family won’t help me get my birth certificate and all the stuff I need to get an ID and start over.”
“Wow! That’s a story...”
“You are telling me!” He laughs at his attempt at a joke. “So, Andreas? Is that your mom, wife, sister, neighbor?” I want to get irritated at the assumption I’ve heard so many times, but this kid sounds so innocent and genuine that I can’t even get mad.
“Andreas is my middle name.”
“Oh! Cool, mine is Amell. I mean, not that you asked, I’m just making conversation.”
Time flies by, and we order our food and eat it. Tobias is so hungry he almost eats the plate itself, and I tell him to eat whatever he wants and order more to go so he can have it for later.
The young man is quite brilliant, and every second he proves he isn’t making anything up; he even graduated college already. So, I make a decision. A decision I didn’t know would come to bite me on the ass later.
“Listen, I know you said you need a job, and I think I have something you can help with.” He gets excited immediately, and it causes me to smile.
“I can’t give you a job at any of my restaurants without ID or anything, but I have a few tasks at home that I am too lazy to complete on my own,” his full attention is now on me, “you could do them, and I can give you a paycheck, clothes and a place to stay. I have enough rooms at my house so you can stay there as long as you need to.”
“You—are you? Are you serious?” I nod, “Then, yes! Of course, anything you need.”
“Alright then! Let’s wait for this Chris boy to come back and have a chat; then, I have to talk to the manager about a few people who need to get fired. After that, we can then go buy you some clothes.”
“No, sir, that’s not necessary!”
We go back and forth until he convinces me that he would rather prove he can help before I go spending money on him; his words.
“Ok then, you can take a shower and borrow some of my clothes. At least until you earn your money.” I see a crimson shade covering his face, and he gets all nervous, “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t think your clothes will fit me, sir.”
“Of course, they will.”
“I doubt it, sir. How am I supposed to fill the clothes that cover all of that,” he scans my whole body, “with just this?” He gestures to his own.
If possible, I’m the one now going red at his choice of words. Chris Daniels arrives to fix the awkward moment.
“Oh, Mr. Daniels, please, have a seat!”
“Sir, I really need this job! Please, don’t fire me, I’ll do anything! My little sister depends on me, and I can’t afford to be job—”
“I’m not firing you, Daniels!” I interrupt his ramble, and see relief in his face.
“No, I’m not. I’ve seen you working these past two hours, and you do well when you aren’t making people feel rejected.” He lowers his head in shame, not before throwing daggers at Tobias with his eyes. “Anyway, I asked you here because I believe you owe Mr. Spencer an apology.”
Before I’m done speaking, he is already apologizing, and Tobias is already saying that it’s not needed.
“That is not necessary, sir!”
“I apologize, Mr. Spencer.”
They say at the same time; Daniels extending the most insincere of all apologies. I thank the kid for not telling everyone I’m here, and what do you know? The manager hasn’t even left his back office to come and supervise the operations.
Excusing myself, I leave Mr. Spencer to order dessert and make my way to the back to give my manager an ultimatum. About half an hour later, I am back at the table, getting ready to leave.
“Eh, sir? There is something I think you need to know before you welcome me in your house.” I brace myself for whatever Tobias is about to say. “My family? The reason why they threw me out, it’s because they found out I’m attracted to men. I’m not a pervert or anything sir, I promise. I just figured you should know in case you want to change your mind.”