Chapter Eight

I locked my car and made my way towards Coffee Rush; a popular local café, that I worked part-time at.

Aunt Em bought me my car, but it was my responsibility to maintain it and petrol was all on me

As I stepped inside the building, I breathed in the rich aroma of coffee and smiled.

I glanced around the huge room, the marble counter just opposite me, with the cash registers and baked goods displayed in the glass case beneath it, the counter lining the wall just behind it which displayed even more baked goods and a monstrous coffee maker. The round tables situated in the front of the shop, the sofas and armchairs and loveseats and beanbags grouped around deeper into the shop. This was a lovely place to work at.

It was four o'clock in the evening, and the building was packed. Busy business men and women rushing orders at the counter, teenagers lounging on the cosy sofas laughing, hassled looking middle aged women sipping beverages around the circular tables, fitting in some time for gossip in between their jobs and children.

I walked towards the marble counter, around the lines of people waiting to be served and pushed open the hinge door at the side and walked into the chrome kitchen. I made my way around more coffee machines, ovens and people rushing around with trays, towards the backroom where the aprons for waiters hung.

"Hey Tay," Chad, another waiter who I also went to school with greeted me as he was tying his apron around his waist.

"Hey," I said as I picked up my apron from the peg beside him. "Looks like a good day for tips out there," I noted.

"I know," he grinned, flashing his brilliant white teeth.

"Get a move on it!" our manager Rhonda called as she whirled past us, smartphone in her hands. "Enough chit chat."

Chad made a face behind her back as she hurried away, phone at her ear. I snorted, trying to hold back my laughter. Rhonda was a hard ass, the boss everyone hated.

He winked at me, and headed outside.

I fished my nametag out of my jeans' pocket, pinned it on my pale brown Coffee Rush employee T-shirt, secured my hair in a ponytail and made my way towards the exit of the kitchen.

"Hey Tay," Jessica, a student at the local university who worked the cashier, breathed as she pushed a button on the register, making the money tray pop out.

"Hi," I greeted her as I picked up a notepad and a pencil from the counter that lined the wall behind her. "Good luck," I teased walking past her, as she was taking yet another order from the line that stretched on all the way towards the entrance.

"I'll need it," she muttered as the woman in front of her fished in her purse for money.

I made my way past the chattering groups of people, deeper into the building. The section set for me this week, was most of the couch sets, and was situated in the back of the building.

I located a group of people who seemed to have no coffee with them and made my way there.

I pulled a smile onto my face and asked them what they would like. And it went on like that for the following hours of my three hours shift.

I was back in the kitchen, and was carefully placing the cups of coffee the barista, Ryan, another student at the local university, just made on my tray.

Helen, another waitress on duty at the moment walked in, looked around and noting that Ryan was free walked over here.

"I hate Fridays" she complained as she ripped out the order and handed it to Ryan.

"I know right," I said placing some napkins and sugar packs on the tray.

"What are you two complaining about?" Ryan said as he pressed some buttons on the great coffee machine, making coffee splutter out into a metal cup. "I've been making coffee nonstop for the past two hours! And you guys get tips!"

"That makes me feel better," I grinned. Ryan glared at me as he started working the milk frother.

I picked up my tray and walked carefully outside the kitchen, only to stop again at the counter outside lining the wall.

I glanced down at the order, two chocolate muffins, I had scribbled.

I placed the tray carefully on the counter and lifted the glass cover on the revolving muffin display. I picked up a plate from under the counter and placed two muffins on it with the tongs.

"Fuck yeah, my shift is over," Jessica cried to me as someone else took over the cashier she was using.

"I have half an hour left," I sighed. She smirked at me and walked inside the kitchen to retrieve her things.

Balancing the tray in my hands, I made my way towards the hinge door; I was just about to push it open with my hip when it was pulled open from the other side.

"Thanks Chad," I said.

"Always a gentleman," he grinned. I rolled my eyes at him playfully.

I made my way to the group and placed the drinks on the coffee table in between them.

"Thank you," the small girl in pigtails sang through her gap teeth as she reached for a muffin.

"You're very welcome," I smiled as I straightened up.

I walked away and looked for another table that looked like it needed service. Spotting one in the corner of the room, I made my way there.

"Hi there," I greeted the two teenagers who seemed to be my age.

"Hi," the boy with the dark brown hair sang enthusiastically in a somewhat familiar voice. I wondered why he sounded familiar as I pulled out my notepad and pencil from the front pocket of my apron.

"What would you like?" I asked as I had done so many times before today. This time, the boy with the light brown hair looked up from his phone and he raised his eyebrows. I noted that he was quite good looking.

"Hi, I'm Liam," he said straightening up. Why did his voice sound familiar too? Liam…?

"Uh," I said confused. Not many people introduced themselves to the waitress. "I'm Tay," I gestured to the nam etag on my chest. Liam smiled at me as his eyes ventured towards the nametag and my chest.

The boy with the darker hair groaned.

"Of course," he said slowly, still grinning.

"So…" I said, getting uncomfortable at that look. "What can I get you two?"

"Oh, we finally got some service," a voice behind me said. I turned around and came face-to-face with Logan Cole.

My eyes widened and I realized why the voices sounded familiar, I heard them just last week.

"Oh," Logan stated as he recognized me. Then, without another word he sat down on the couch opposite the one his friends occupied.

This interaction went unnoticed by the other.

I cleared my throat as I turned back to the table. Stay professional.

"So, what would you like today?" I asked looking only at brunets.

"How about…" Liam started, paused, and smiled. "Your number maybe?"

My eyes widened once again, and I felt a rush of heat reach my face.

"Liam," Logan snapped, "seriously?"

Liam shot Logan a look as if to tell him to shut up.

"Okay," the one called Neal spoke up over his friends. "We'll have three cappuccinos and three brownies."

Grateful for his intervention, sparing me from having to reply to Liam's… proposition or looking at Logan, I scribbled down the order.

"Alright," I said hurriedly and without another look, rushed away.

"Really Liam? The waitress?" I heard Logan say before I got out of earshot.

My face was flaming.

It wasn't very often that I got hit on… especially by a good looking boy. And it was never that I got hit on by the friend of an acquaintance who really disliked me, in front of said acquaintance.

All this blushing I was doing lately really must not be healthy…

"Chad!" I cried as I entered the kitchen, grateful to see him leaning against the counter Ryan was working at.

"Why'd you look so flustered?" he inquired as he saw my face.

"I need a favour from you," I rushed as I grabbed his arm.

"What?" he asked immediately.

"So, you know how I let you take the tables with the pretty girls like all the time?"

"Yes and thank you for that," he sounded confused.

"So you basically kind of owe me," I continued.

"Not really… I am giving you one less table to wait on…"

"No," I snapped shaking my head.

"Yeah, she could take the pretty girls all to herself," Ryan added as he placed a cup full of frothing coffee on a tray.

He narrowed his eyes at us. "Fine. What?"

"Okay, so the table I just waited…" I said hesitantly. Both the boys waited, curious. "Okay, so there was this dude there who kind of… well, pretty much hit on me."

"Score!" Chad crowed as Ryan laughed.

"No," I shook my head. "Weird. He kind of looked at my… chest."

They both laughed again at my fluster.

"Was he creepy looking or something?" Ryan asked.

"Really good looking," I said. "But that is beside the point. I'm no comfortable with it. I am working."

"Ever the professional… waitress," Chad joked.

"Fuck off."

"So what do you want me to do?"

"Can you bring them their order?" I asked hesitantly.

"Come on Tay! You can't avoid the dude just 'cause he hit on you," Ryan added.

"It's not only that," I complained. "His friend… this dude that's with him, is kind of this person I know who really doesn't like me… and it's just too much awkwardness at one table."

Chad raised his eyebrows as Ryan chuckled.

"Oooh, drama," Ryan joked.

"Pretty please?" I begged.

"Alright, fine," Chad said. "Only 'cause I'm a total gentleman."

"Thank you," I gushed as I wrapped my arms around him in a hug.

"Stop loitering and get to work!" Rhonda yelled at us. "You're not here to socialize." I pulled away, made an apologetic face at her and made a big show of handing Ryan my order. She gave us a warning look and moved onto terrorize more employees.

"You take this then," Chad gestured to the tray of coffee Ryan had made for him before. "Table twelve. Bunch of soccer mums. "

"Thank you Chad," I chimed as I picked up the tray. "I'll specially scope out some pretty girl tables for you!"

Both the boys laughed as I walked away.

As I placed the coffees on the right table, I glanced at the direction of the couches where Logan and his friends sat at.

They were looking at some book placed on the coffee table and talking intently. I watched them for a while, to make sure they weren't discussing me in any way. They seemed quite interested in the book, so chances were, they had forgotten me already.

Just as I was about to look away, Logan glanced up in this direction, and I turned away so fast I gave myself whiplash. I once again felt my whole body warm up as a blush crept into my face. Did he see me?

Could I ever catch a break?

"Oh yeah, I nearly forgot!" Chad cried suddenly as I was driving down the main road, he was sitting in the passenger side.

"What?" I asked, turning to look at him as I came to a stop at a traffic light.

He reached into the pocket of his jeans and fished something out. "Here," he handed me what seemed to be a crumpled up paper napkin.

"Thank you?" I said slowly, taking it from him. But then I saw some writing on it. Scrawled on it was a number and the name Liam.

"It was really fucking weird, getting a number from a boy…" Chad noted as I stared perplexed at the paper. "Usually I only take numbers from girls."

"What the fuck?" I looked at him incredulously now.

"Yeah… I don't like boys," it was his turn to talk to me slowly now. I shook my head.

"I am pretty aware that you like girls Chad," I rushed. "I meant; what the fuck is this? How did you get this? Why are you giving it to me?"

"When I went there to bring them their drinks, this Liam dude seemed very concerned as to where the 'pretty waitress' was," he reported. I felt a blush creep into my face again; I didn't know what to do or how to feel about this.

"And then when I came back to bring them their receipt, he handed me this and told me to give it to you…" he finished off scratching his neck awkwardly. "It felt weird."

"Oh my god," I mumbled. I was dumbstruck. The car behind me honked and I looked up to see that the light had turned green.

"What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?" I exclaimed waving the napkin with one hand.

"Call him? Throw it away?" Chad offered.

"This is so weird," I went on. "This is the first time I've been… given a number like this."

"Cute," Chad laughed.

"I'm going to throw this away…"

"Don't break the poor boy's heart!"

"From what I've heard about him," I started, thinking about what I overheard last Saturday, when Neal called Liam a 'dog', "he gets enough girls."

"So you think he's good looking yeah?" Chad shrugged. "Booty call," he crowed.

"Dammit Chad," I shook my head as I pulled over to the bus stand I usually drop Chad off at after shifts we have together.

"Hey, you asked me what to do," he grinned.

"Get out," I laughed.

"See you Monday!" he called out as he shut the door.

I came home to find my mum at the kitchen table, dozens of photos spread in front of her, her reading glasses perched on her nose, a plate of grapes beside her.

"Hey," I said as I grabbed a glass from the dish rack.

"How was work?" she asked looking at me over her glasses.

"Busy," I filled the glass with some cold water. "What's the theme?" I leaned over the pictures and looked at them upside down.


"Your theme is a colour…?"

"Oh, 'cause you know. Its autumn, leaves are turning orange."

"Right," I said as I turned a picture towards me. "This dress is gorgeous!" The model was standing in what seemed to be fallen leaves, and the dress was a flowing, gauzy orange number that stopped just above her knees.

"Yeah, I'm thinking either that or this for the cover," she turned another picture towards me. In this, the model was sitting on a park bench, and had on a dress of a deep orange that pooled at her feet.

"The one with the leaves is better in my opinion," I said tapping the picture with a finger.

"I'm so torn," she mused as she turned the pictures towards her.

"Well, have fun," I said as I drained my glass.

I was itching to talk to Sam about today's event.

I headed upstairs and into my room where Toby was fast asleep on top of my bed. I shut the door tightly behind me and walked towards one of the two windows in my room, the one that faced the window in Sam's room.

I pulled back my turquoise curtains to see a light shining in Sam's room just like I expected it to.

I climbed out onto the window sill and sat down, my legs hanging over the side. I pulled my phone out and speed dialled Sam's number.

"Taier my man!" she crowed at the second ring.

"Why're you trying to be all… gangsta?"

"Baby girl, I ain't gotta try," she drawled. I laughed.

"Stop being an idiot and come to your window," I said and she hung up. I saw her silhouette walking towards the window, the curtains were pulled back and Sam was grinning at me.

She pushed the window open and climbed out, and sat down imitating my posture. This was something we've been doing for years now.

"What's up?" she asked as she dangled her legs.

"Sam, the… weirdest shit ever happened at work today!" And with that, I recounted what happened to her.

"Look," I said and I pulled out the crumpled napkin from my pocket. I stretched it out and held it for Sam to see.

She gasped and reached for it, through the short distance between us. She appraised it and grinned. "Taier Joyce, you dog!"

"I didn't want this!" I complained loudly.

"You said he was cute yeah?"

"Not the point!" I exclaimed. "Like, from what I heard that day, and I don't know, what I guessed, he's the playboy type." I dropped my voice to a whisper, "And he kind of stared at my chest!"

Sam cackled. I kicked her shin.

"Taier's first phone number," she squealed. I kicked her again and glared at her, she stuck her tongue out at me.

"So this boy, he's a friend of Logan's?" She asked.

"From what I've seen, I think so yeah."

"What are the chances?" she laughed.

"What are the chances," I repeated as I shook my head.

I was awoken on Saturday to an incredibly loud noise that sounded a lot like retching.

At first, it was just part of my dream but then as I started regaining consciousness I realized that it was coming from outside my room. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, staring at my open door, as if the source of the noise would jump up at me.

When this tactic failed, I climbed out of bed and slowly ventured out of my room, listening. Then I heard it again, retching and the noise of something hitting water.

I headed in the direction curiously, still rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, and pushed open the door of the bathroom that I claimed as my own at the end of the corridor, where I concluded that the sound was coming from.

I was faced with the scene of my mother kneeling in front of the toilet with her head bowed over the bowl.

"Woah," I exclaimed in surprise as she heaved again.

"Go away Tay," she moaned.

I didn't need telling twice.

I couldn't stand people throwing up. It tends to make me throw up too…

I immediately backed out of the bathroom closing the door behind me. I leaned against the wall beside the door and cleared my head trying to rid myself of the sound… this was not the way I wanted to start my Saturday morning. I heard the toilet flush and then I heard the tap running.

The door opened and my mother walked out looking haggard and pale.

"Morning sickness?" I asked, eyeing her.

"Yay!" she said sarcastically.

"Well, I am going to use your bathroom since you chose to purge all your… food or whatever in mine." She made a face at me and trudged into her room.

I entered my bathroom, grabbed my brush and made my way to my mother's bathroom to go through my morning routine.

I glanced at her bed as I passed; she was simply a lump covered from head to toe in her floral quilt

"Tay," my mother yelled up the stairs, her morning sickness had passed, and she no longer sounded weak and dying.

"What?" I called down the stairs as I walked out of my room and leaned over the railing of the staircase.

My mother looked up at me from where she stood downstairs.

"Can you drive me to Rebecca's house? My car's in the garage."

"You can just take my car," I offered.

"You know I hate driving that."

I sighed. "Fine. What time?"

"In half an hour maybe?"

"Alright then," I said. She walked away and out of my sight.

I sighed as I doubled up against the railing. I still didn't want to face Rebecca and Logan after the falling incident, but I could just drop my mum off and pick her up when she's done. No need to face anyone.

I ventured back inside my room and sat at the desk in front of my laptop. I opened a webpage and leaned back in my chair as I waited for it to load.

As I waited, my eyes drifted to the crumpled napkin beside my mouse. I narrowed my eyes at the piece of paper as if it was my enemy and turned it over, face down.

Author's Note:

Yay! I finally posted a new chapter! I'm really excited to get some feedback on this! Please leave a review with your thoughts :) It really won't take too long

I'd like to thank you just for taking the time to read this :) I hope you liked it.

Thank you to;

Lele Winchester, renagade01, Nikki Nix, Binkybaby, U MadeMyLifeComplete, Legadema and Shadowkiller176 for the reviews on my previous chapter, I know you reviewed months ago, but I still want to thank you :)