That Four Letter Word
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All rights reserved. Copyright of Kellisa Kelly.
This story is craft from my imagination, I won’t tolerate my work being translated into another language or being copied to another site. Anyone who violate my copyright claims will be severely punished.
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What is love?
I release a short snort at the question. Ever so often these four letters will pop up in my mind seemingly to inflict pain by picking at the faded scars branded across my heart. I really thought I held the answer to that a few months ago, I couldn’t be more wrong.
I actually did believe in furry kittens and chocolate rainbows at one point, funny how quickly that perspective can crumple into nothing. Well I’ve learnt from it and to me that’s the greatest part.
“Zoey you’re needed at table five.” Emma bumps my shoulder on her way to the stifling kitchen.
“I’ll be right there.” I gag a bit at the strong scented bleach burning my nostrils. Throwing down the wet washcloth on the stained counter I head over the recommended table with a low sigh.
This filthy cloth mocks the stupid choices I’ve made to paint myself in a frigging corner.
My eyes trail over the faces of happy patrons conversing over brunch. Despite the urgent need for new decoration, the diner’s dull red chipped walls and stained table tops always seem to reel in a multitude of loyal customers. I am grateful for the returnees who keeps the doors of this place open, I would have probably been let go months ago.
“Good morning, welcome to BQ’s diner.” switching to my peppy voice I greet the lone woman occupying the empty booth. “What can I get for you?”
I glance over the lady’s attire. It’s very telling that she is at least in her mid-fifties seeing as several streaks of white hair ran wildly on her head. I can not help but wonder if that’s how I’ll be in the future — alone with no one to share life with, no one to love... no one to love me. I purse my lips slightly.
There I go again reading into things to feel sorry for myself. She may very well be married and blessed with children for all I know.
“I’ll have the sweet iced tea and bacon with toast,” her lips twist into a brief smile as she finishes of the order.
I scribble the light order on my notepad repeating it as I go along. “Okay so sweet tea, bacon and toast.”
She confirms with a short nod, with that I left the table to place the order behind the counter.
Returning to the booth a few minutes later I gently set down the dinnerware in front of the woman with a warm smile. “Please enjoy,”
“Thank you, darling.” Looking up from her smartphone she mirrors my expression. “Please bring around the bill, I want half of this to-go”
“You’re welcome and will do.” Excusing myself from the table I head over back to Emma who is now manning the register.
I hastily fasten the bolt making sure the lock is secure behind me.
I really hate this rundown apartment ever since I step foot into this place, it helps zero that we live in the worst possible part of town. Every other night it’s something different, if it’s not the raging hormonal couple being loud next door then it’s the gunshots constantly echoing outside my broken bedroom window.
The only “pro” that comes with the purchase is, the very limited, spacing for two. I should have known that sleazy landlord was dirty when he offered to slap on a discount price to sweeten the already cheap deal.
“Hello, hello.” Throwing the shared apartment key on the mahogany coffee table I walk into the small kitchen area where Kat is slaving over the tiny stove. My eyes immediately flicker to fire licks decorating the pan.
“Whatcha doin’?” Climbing up onto one of the high bar stools I watch her under a wary gaze.
Katherine is the first, and favourite, person I’ve met since I up and left New York. This woman is undeniably beautiful, inside and out, with pin straight flowing hair and vibrant blue eyes that seems to capture the souls of men.
She must have seen a desperate woman that day when she stopped me from shoplifting a pop and some biscuits from our local grocery store.
Inexcusable but I was a lost soul.
“Hey Zee, I’m just reheating last night’s pizza and some jerked chicken breast I grabbed on the way over.” She waves the spatula around before pointing the thing at me. “How was your day?”
“Same old same old.” I sigh wincing at the pain skating up and down my spine. Today’s rush hour was brutal. “You?”
“Aw,” she braces her back against the mini fridge shooting me a sympathetic gaze. “Mhm. Well the day did a complete 360° when Josie introduced us to the new HOD I can tell you that!”
A pink tint splouch her flushed cheeks. I smile sweetly at the woman internally rejoicing at her mini triumph, no more sitting through long rants for me plus bonus points that this new head is obviously a stud.
“A guy,” I wiggle my eyebrows suggestively causing her to release a fit of giggle. “I see you!”
“How---” she begins but wave me off instead totally dismissing the conversation. “You know what, I don’t wanna know.”
I glance up at the old clock hanging from a rusty nail above our sink.
Barely after five.
“Well save me some chicken breast.” I hop off the stool gritting my teeth at the excruciating pain pulsing through me. “Gonna take a shower then we can catch up that movie from yesterday.”
“Yep!” her shout trails me all the to my bedroom door.
Thanks for reading!