Chapter Six: Diana
I went over to Anthony's house right after school on Friday. My uniform was neatly folded and safe in my backpack as I knocked on the huge mansion door. "Yes?" came an electronic voice.
I leaned down to the intercom on the door frame. "I'm a waiter here for Anthony's party tonight." The doors opened and I walked in.
The mansion had a winding staircase immediately as you walked into the foyer. A huge crystal chandelier hung in the center, casting little rainbows around the room if you tilted your head just right. Every room in this mansion I'd ever been in was beige with white moldings at the base and top of the walls like the foyer, every room except for the kitchen. That remained pristine and white.
"Where is your uniform?" boomed a voice from the top of the stairs.
Anthony's mother descended in an elegant white cocktail dress the stopped just above her knees. Her blonde hair was curled away from her face, framing the sharpness of her jaw; it made her look more intimidating. Pearls hung from her neck and ears, showing her wealth off to everyone. Her piercing blue eyes were stuck on my dull brown ones as she descended.
I bowed my head, breaking my eye contact with her. "I was hoping I could borrow a bathroom for five minutes to change. I didn't want my uniform dirty before I arrived. Cleanliness is key." I prayed she wouldn't dismiss me right then and there. I'd seen her do so for less.
Anthony's mother pointed to the bathroom behind the staircase, the one I usually snuck into. "Be quick. The other waiters have already begun setting up in the lounge without you."
Anthony's mother headed into the lounge, probably to back orders at the others like she usually did. I looked at my watch to check if I was truly late; I was right on time as always.
I ran behind the stairs and changed into my white button down shirt, black dress pants, black vest, black dress shoes, and white gloves. I stuffed my regular clothes in my backpack without folding them up neatly. I jammed two extra sets of white gloves in my back pockets before exiting the bathroom.
After every party, Anthony's mother checked our gloves for stains. If you had even the lightest stain, you were never called back. I couldn't afford that. Backup gloves were key to continuous employment.
I walked into the kitchen with my backpack on my shoulder. Bernie was off to the side cutting up an assortment of vegetables. Bernie was the chef that looked out for all of us human kids, making sure we were fed before we left. He knew it was rough outside for us.
"Hey Bernie, where can I put my backpack?" Bernie pointed to a corner of the kitchen that hadn't been cleaned, let alone used, in ages. "Thanks." I dumped it and ran out to the lounge.
The lounge was a huge empty space, more like a ballroom than a lounge if I had to describe it. Half of the room was left empty for the dance floor where the DJ and his posse were preparing the equipment. The other half of the room was filled with tables and waiters working. All of the waiters were already holding trays of silverware and were placing the utensils next to the china plates. I grabbed my tray and went to work.
We finished setting every single table in an hour. I took my tray and walked back to the kitchen. There was a guy doing the same thing in front of me. I immediately recognized him from Shop Topic, which struck me as odd. He was definitely a Telepath and surely it would be beneath him to work one of these parties.
I ignored the alarm bells screeching in my head. This was my time to get some answers about Natalia even if I had to join the exclusive club she seemed to be caught in. I ran right into the guy as I moved to place my tray down on the counter. The guy reached out to catch me as if I was falling. "I am so sorry. I didn't mean to bump you."
I sat my tray down on the counter. Bernie winked at me; I rolled my eyes at him in response. "No. I'm sorry. I'm such a klutz."
The guy smiled. "I'm Johnathon."
I doubted that was his real name and so did the muffled alarm bells but that was the name he was going with. "Diana."
Johnathon held the door open for me. "How long have you worked these parties?" he asked.
I stepped out the door, shooting a glance over my shoulder at him. "Since he started throwing them a few years ago."
Johnathon walked side by side with me back to the lounge. His emerald eyes were just as mesmerizing close up as they were far away. "Got any tips for a rookie?"
I grabbed a drink tray along with him. "Don't talk or make eye contact with anyone. It'll be worse for you because you're a guy. Anthony doesn't like anyone better looking than him." My cheeks burned as soon as the words rolled off my tongue.
Johnathon chuckled. "I'll keep that in mind."
Anthony descended the stairs in the foyer. All of us waiters lined up at the entrance to the lounge. "Everyone be ready. My party is about to begin. I want all of you on your very best behavior once the first guest steps through that door." Anthony set his eyes on Johnathon before striding into the lounge.
Johnathon leaned down to my ear. "You weren't kidding."