Yes, it was just another day in stress-ville, population of one and a slight chance of chaos around the corner.
She let out a heavy sigh as she listened to her next customer place his order. Her chocolate eyes travelled from the woman sitting on her right back to her companion.
They seemed like a nice couple. The kind that held hands, constantly smiling at a private joke, with their feet touching under the table. It was the perfect sight and final blow that made Vanity want to throw up instantly.
She gave them a faint smile as she quickly scribbled down, "Two Wednesday specials" and an "ice tea".
One more week and you're out, she thought to herself, walking back to the pick-up window.
"Table seven," Jason the chef called out sliding the plates onto the pick-up station.
"Thanks Jay," Vanity smiled and handed him the new order.
Her eyes roamed over to one of her tables, she noticed that the old lady with the crocodile skin bag was back from the toilet. She tucked her order pad in her apron before picking up the plates and walking over to her.
"One caesar salad, a side of fries, with lettuce and tomato on the side. Enjoy your meal," Vanity beamed placing the plates in front of her.
"Thank you, dear." The old lady smiled before picking up her fork.
Vanity made her way to table three and cleared the dirty plates of half eaten hamburgers and barely touched soda water. She shook her head in disapproval, some people had absolutely no respect at all. People were dying of hunger out there and others come and order food just for the sake of ordering food. Disgusting!
She pushed past the kitchen doors, and made way for the washroom with her tray and placed it on the sink. This was going to be a very long day, she sighed. She had almost forgotten she had classes tonight, plus she had her business communications test. Hopefully, Gina would make it here on time so that she could at least have an hour or so to go over her notes.
She couldn't risk a bad grade, not when she was risking everything to move out of this town and build a new life for herself. Reagan Field had brought nothing but tears and emptiness to her life. She wanted nothing to do with this place or the memories it held. They were nothing but a ball and chain, holding her back.
"Vanity dear? Oh! There you are!" Angela's voice snapped through her thoughts.
"What's up Ange?" she asked grabbing a plate and dumping the uneaten food into the compost bin.
"Sweetie, he's here again, asking for you by name."
Vanity's fingers tightened around the porcelain plate. It took her a moment of hesitation before she turned and faced Angela.
"What did he say this time?"
"That he only wants coffee and to see you."
"Oh." She turned her attention back to the dirty plates. "Then you should have told him that I'm busy. I don't have time for this Ange. Look around, we're practically serving people standing up."
"Yes, I know that, but he is very persistent...and ...handsome. So damn handsome," Angela said batting her eyelashes dreamily while fanning herself with her captain's order pad.
Vanity rolled her eyes, and discarded the final plate.
"I don't get it." Angela looked at her with confusion, " He's been coming here for the past three weeks asking for you and you never go to see him. What's the story between you two?"
Vanity's shoulders tensed. There was nothing between them, not after he....it still hurt just thinking about it, so why bother talk about something that you just want to forget?
"Nothing. There's no story, please can you stop playing detective?" she huffed, pushing past her, to dry her hands with the hanging towels hanging from the rail.
"Then what's the problem dear, you're beautiful, young and single and he is....mmm, he is obviously rich, tall, dark and furiously handsome."
"Stop it Ange," she warned Angela.
"But it's true hon, even at my age he makes me all hot and bothered just looking at him."
"Then you can have him." Vanity hissed through clenched teeth, annoyed by her persistence.
Being reminded of him and his good looks was the last thing she needed.
"He's not all that," she mumbled more to herself.
"Oh really," Angela cocked her head at her unconvinced. "How would you know? You don't even look at him. As soon as I say, Mr. Dark suit is here, you immediately go running back here."
"Drop it Angela. I'm serious."
"What am I supposed to tell him then?" she asked placing her hands on her waist "I can't keep lying to the poor guy."
"I never asked you to," Vanity shrugged.
"Then what do I say?"
"The truth, that I don't want to see him. See how easily that came out of my mouth? Now go and tell him that's what I said." She turned and stormed out missing the shocked look on Angela's face.
She didn't have to look around to know where he was seated; it was always at table ten.
She refused to even spare him a look ; he didn't deserve it.
Why couldn't he just leave her alone? They were done, he moved on didn't he? Then why did he insist on rubbing that in her face? Why couldn't he at least let her pretend that she was doing the same thing?
If she was in any other place, she would have collapsed on the floor and cried, right after smashing all the empty bottles against the wall.
"Excuse me, Miss." Vanity heard someone calling out for a server from one of the tables.
She quickly walked over to attend to her customer.
Vanity's head jerked up at the sound of the diner's door slamming shut. Her eyes then roamed to Angela who looked cross and was making her way over to where she now stood behind the counter.
"That was absolutely brutal, Vanity."
Vanity merely shrugged.
"I'm not completely naive you know. I know something happened between the two of you and whatever it was it must have been really bad." Angela said looking at Vanity who proceeded to count the loose change in her hand.
Angela's frown hardened and she blew out in resignation, "He had the same sad look you used to carry around two weeks ago. If he comes back, I'm not going to do your dirty work," she turned and left.
Vanity had to clench her fists to keep her hands from trembling.
Was this ever going to get any easier?
Thank goodness Gina came earlier than expected. Vanity pulled on her coat and waved goodbye to her co-workers.
It was already dark outside, the infinite streetlights barely lit Reagan Field's street. Vanity tugged her bag under her arm and began to make her way towards the bus station. She had just enough time to go home, take a shower and browse through her notes before going to class.
Halfway to her destination, she heard the familiar roar of the car engine as it pulled up beside her. The hairs on the back of her neck stood as the dark tinted window rolled down.
Her blood turned to ice, even if he had kept the window rolled up, she still knew that it was him.
"Are you stalking me now? Is that your new thing?" she asked sparing him a sharp glance.
"If it means finally having a conversation with you, then yes," he replied getting out of his car.
Great, he still looked as good as she remembered, but his dark hair was longer and his eyes were as blue as ever. Clearly she was the only one suffering here.
She had lost so much weight these past three months, everything about her screamed misery. But here he was, looking like a Greek God, with his perfect face, perfect body and perfect life.
"You're out of your comfort zone here. Go home, Kontantine! Go back to Greece. "
"I can't, you know I can't. Not until you come home with me." He walked around to where Vanity stood.
She took a few steps back and her back hit the lamp post, "Not gonna happen. In case you missed it, we're over. Done!"
She flinched at the sound of his voice calling her nickname. Her throat tightened, as she silently battled for air. His presence was suffocating her.
"Don't call me that! You don't get to call me that, ever!" She hissed, thrusting her hands into her coat. "Haven't you done enough? Why can't you just leave me alone?"
"Because I love you and if you just let me explain..." he pleaded.
"Don't!" she interjected and lifted a hand in the air.
"I'm so tired of this and I'm trying so hard to move on with my life. Can't you see that there's nothing left for you to break here. You did it, you took the final piece of me that was worth saving and you tossed it aside like it was nothing," she stopped and allowed a heavy breath to escape her.
"Just leave me alone." she said in a whisper, bringing her arms around herself.
"Agápi mou..." he began.
Her brows furrowed into a hard line. She could feel her heart slowly being squeezed as the pain shot throughout her body. Didn't he know he was killing her?
"What you saw... I didn't... I tried to... she was hurt."
She was hurt? What about her? She was his wife, didn't she count?
"Don't! Just... don't," hot tears swelled up in her eyes.
Why couldn't he just stop hurting her?
"Agápi mou, please." His hands reached for her.
Vanity took a defensive step back, not wanting to feel his touch on her skin. She knew that was all it would take for him to finally break her and she'd be damned if she allowed him that satisfaction.
"I hate you! I fucking hate you Kontantine. I regret the day I said yes to you." She shrieked ferociously at him unaware that tears were pouring down her delicate cheeks.
The pain was still raw and the memories of his betrayal too vivid. Even after three months of not seeing him, the images of him in bed with that woman kept haunting her night after night, day in and day out. It was unbearable. And now having him here, standing in front of her was somehow even worse.
She roughly wiped the treacherous tears with the back of her hands; they were making her look weak. That's the last thing she wanted, for him to think that she was weak.
"I don't want you to come and look for me anymore. If there's any decency left in you at all, you'll let me live what is left of my life. Do you hear me? I want nothing more to do with you, not unless you're ready to sign the divorce papers," she uttered, her face and tone bitter.
"Never!" he hissed maliciously, his icy cold eyes piercing hers.
They were the coldest she had even seen them in all her time of knowing him. For the first time, it frightened her.
"It will be a cold day in hell before I sign those damn papers," he snarled at her.
Vanity's eyes widened at him as it trailed down to his hard clenched fists then back up to his rigid face.
"Then suit your damned self." She spat back, then turned on her heels and walked off into the night, silently sobbing her misery away.
Who was she kidding, she still loved that man. She loved him so much that it burned holes inside her heart but she could never forgive him.
His betrayal was too great, not even time could help her get over this.
She needed to get out of this damn forsaken town.