To say that I hated the world would be extreme, I hated society and the way it treated those who needed help the most.
These thoughts spur out of my mind every time I'm at work, as I glance around at the women with Gucci bags and wearing Louis Vuitton shoes, the guys dressed in three piece suits from Versace and everything else in between. It was all materialistic and not realistic.
I have no problem with people rightfully deserving their wealth and success but a lot of people don't work hard for what they have, it's handed down to them.
I've studied up on it during my free time because the topic interests me, Pierre Bordieu a sociologist calls it 'habitus'. In which those who have wealthy parents often inhabit their fortune and carry on their business or profession.
But my problem with this is, where is the space for those who have worked their way up from the bottom? For all the people who have parents who never had any money or are working class or yet alone, those who just have normal, everyday jobs.
"Micah?" Abel's voice brings me back into the room.
I press up from the counter by the kitchen and look towards him. "Sorry, I'm not with it today," I sigh as I reach up for the receipts hanging above the kitchen heater.
"You look tired, is everything alright?" He asks as he straightens out his cufflinks.
My shoulders shrug as I look over the receipt in my hand, making sure I take over the right plates. "Just uni stuff, it's fine," I say to him with a forced smile.
"Marco really wouldn't care if you took an early shift," Abel says quietly. "It's fairly quiet tonight."
I instantly shake my head. "I need the money and the tips, I can't cut the shifts short."
The chefs draw up plates on the heater and I instantly take them into my hands. My skin burning from the heat but I was used to it, my hands felt like sandpaper from the years of practice. Pulling away from the kitchen and out onto the dining room floor.
My eyes scan over the room and find the table I was serving, hurrying over to the two people sat opposite each other. "I've got the prawn linguini," I say politely as I stop in front of them.
They stop their conversation and flick their eyes up to me like I had farted extremely loud in front of them. "Yes, that's me," the woman replies to me as she shuffles back in her seat.
I force a smile because I knew my emotions wouldn't let me do it automatically. "Here you are madam," I place the plate down onto the white tablecloth gently.
"And the sterloin steak," I say.
"Well that will obviously be me, won't it?" The guy says lowly, his voice sounding like a Made In Chelsea boy. He shoots me a glare making me feel about three feet tall.
My teeth bite down on my tongue so hard that I almost draw blood. My shaking hands placing the plate in front of the man and continuing to smile. "Enjoy your meal,"
I pull away before I attempt to yank my hair out. "You're fucking welcome," I mumble under my breath as I shoot back over to the kitchen.
My face felt like it was on fire, quickly taking off my glasses and rubbing my eyes harshly. Only four more hours to suffer and I could get the hell out of here. Best believe when I graduate from university, I am out of here like the speed of light. But right now I need the money, I need it more than ever and knowing I have to support my mum will get me through anything. Even if it is ridiculously painful.
So I keep a bright, fake smile plastered across my face and act like I could tolerate the whole dining floor full of ignorant capitalists.
. . .
By eleven that night I'm finally on my way home, working in Mayfair should be a full time job. Work a few hours and spend the rest of the time recovering from rude and spiteful comments.
With keys in one hand and my bag in the other, I push open the front door and shuffle inside my tiny flat. My eyes float to my roommate Valentina, who is sitting on the sofa. Our flat an open space that combines the kitchen and living room together. This is what you get for renting a flat in central London, extremely small spaces,
"Hey," she smiles at me as she reaches for the TV remote and turns down the volume. "I thought you were going to be home earlier,"
I sigh as I drop my backpack beside my feet and fall down onto one of the dining chairs, my keys crashing onto the table. "There was a malfunction with the tills so it took longer than usual unfortunately."
"You feeling okay?" She questions as she sits up on her knees, her dark short hair now tucked behind her ears.
My fingers fumble with my glasses as I rub my eyes harshly, my face feeling sore from being awake for so damn long. "Yeah, just thinking about that stupid assignment I've got due tomorrow."
Valentina's mouth falls slightly at my words. "You've got this Micah," she says supportively. "Are you hungry? I've got some left over chicken chow mien if you'd like it."
Pushing myself up from the table and shuffling my feet over to my bedroom door. "No thanks Vee, I'm not hungry. Well haven't got much of an appetite."
My ears pick up the slight sound of her sighing at my words, I knew she was worried about me but thats only because I work so hard all the time. At my job, at class and whilst studying. It's like I never give myself a break. "Okay well don't stay up too late with the assignment will you, try and get a bit of sleep?"
"I will," I say and attempt to force a smile but nothing shows on my lips. As I push open my bedroom door I'm instantly met with the worlds messiest room. Why do I never learn to clean up before I leave?
My bed was half made, pillows and duvet half on the floor. Endless amounts of coffee mugs and clothes scattered across the carpet that you could barely see the colour of it. Dropping down onto the bed and kicking off my shoes and shrugging off the most uncomfortable work uniform, I just wanted to sleep.
I couldn't ignore how heavy and gritty my eyes felt but at the same time I couldn't stop thinking about the assignment I had due tomorrow. I had mostly completed it but I just wanted to add the final touches and make sure it was perfect. Maths had to be perfect.
Knowing that I only had a few more months left of university and I could finally graduate. I wanted nothing more than to find myself a job that wasn't working at Café Cosmo and the idea filled me with joy. No longer working with people who take you for granted no matter how hard you try to be polite and kind.
My mind wanders all night and I have no idea how I eventually drifted off to sleep.
. . .
Lunchtime is possibly the worst part of the day because it reminds you of all the things you haven't started or completed in the morning and will have to continue into the afternoon. Stupid logic I know but it makes me want to be productive, so I end up doing things to make myself feel better.
Sitting with Valentina and her boyfriend Arran in the University's Lounge, eating a poorly made sandwich that I made at six thirty this morning. Butter chunks and missing cheese. At least it was a meal.
"Did you get your assignment finished?" Valentina asks as she places a grape into her mouth and bites down.
I nod as I chew on my dry sandwich. "Yeah, not sure if it was good or not but I got it done,"
Valentina rolls her eyes as Arran shakes his head towards me. "Micah, if there is anything Vee has told me about you it's that you are ridiculously smart."
She hums in agreement with him, not like she hasn't told him these things in the first place. "For real," she says as she covers her mouth with her hand. "Have you even got a grade below a first this year?
I watch as her eyebrow flexes at me. "No," I mumble quietly.
She shrugs instantly. "Well there you go then, I have no doubt that you'll continue getting firsts and throughout exams."
"Gosh I can't wait for you to finish university," Arran tells Valentina. "Then you can come back and move to Manchester,"
Vee snorts sharply. "You'll be lucky," she says. "Micah and I agreed that after graduating we will stay in London together and try find jobs here. I've told you this like a million times." Her arm loops through his as she rests her head onto his shoulder.
"I know but I can still try and get you to come home," Arran grumbles before taking a sip of his water.
They continue to talk about life after university but my phone pulls me away from their conversation. Abel's name lights up on my phone and my heart almost sinks into my stomach, I knew what was coming.
Hey man, I know this is such late notice but we really need a shift covered tonight. I know it's your night off but Marco is desperate and you know I'd only ask if it was important!
Tonight was my only night off all week and I was looking forward to doing absolutely fuck all, well more like studying and sleeping.
"What's up with your face?" Valentina says as she scrunches up her nose towards me.
I quickly shake my head and place my phone down quickly. "I won't be able to make the movie night tonight," my voice dips slightly as I scratch the back of my head.
Valentina pouts. "What? Why?" She asks suddenly.
"Abel has asked for me to cover a shift,"
"Well tell Abel he can suck my dick," she spurs out which earns a confused look from Arran.
A small laugh escapes my lips. "I wish but he's my friend,"
Valentina rolls her eyes and leans back in the plastic chair. "You're always working, we never bloody hangout."
"Well I'm sorry Vee that I need to work so I can pay the bills and our rent, you know I've been struggling this month,"
She flashes me sad eyes, her face sinking with a look of guilt. "I know, I know," she pauses shortly. "I'm sorry, I know it's important that you work and keep your job. We will just have to plan something else for another time."
"For sure, we will plan something fun," I agree.
My fingers pick up my phone and I begin typing back to Abel.
Yeah of course, tell Marco not to worry I'll be there.
I owe you big time, Marco says he'll give you Sunday pay, I know you're busy studying and everything.
Just the idea of Sunday pay made me feel instantly better and I knew how valued I was to Marco's business. I worked hard and felt important to them, just wishing that I enjoyed it rather than dreading what people I was going to come across.
"Right I'm going back home," Valentina says as she pushes herself up from the table, Arran following her lead.
"Don't you have class?" I question as I look up to her.
"Yeah but I wanna spend a bit of time with Arran before he goes back to Manchester," she says as she places her bag over her body. "I'll catch up online tomorrow or something."
"Alright," I nod towards her. "See you later Arran."
"Bye man," he places a hand up to me before sliding it across Valentina's shoulders and walking out of the lounge.
I scrunch up the foil holding the crusts of my sandwich in front of me and open up my planner deciding what to prioritise first before I have to go back to work. Just hoping that I don't force my brain to develop a headache before I get there. God knows I will.