Waiting on Tomorrow

Annalynn Roe

Chapter One

The hustle and bustle of Green Garden's boisterous customers was not what she needed today, a young woman thought sullenly as she tied on her deep green apron and made sure her name tag was on correctly.

"Ann, you alright? It's a busy crowd tonight, I need my girls at the top of their game." A robust woman called from the stove where she was putting together a number of orders. The woman owned the Green Garden and was also the restaurant's head chef.

"Yeah, Rona, I'm fine. It's just been a long day, is all." The young brunette assured, glancing at the area she would be covering today. "It's a three hour shift, I can manage." Grabbing her pen and pad Annabelle made her way toward Section B without waiting for Rona's reply.

"Sorry for the wait," She gave a transparent smile, "Are you ready to order?" She nodded as they listed their orders, writing them down and noting who wanted what before taking the order into the kitchen. Bouncing around to another few tables before coming back with the first tables food.

The first half of her shift passed in a similar fashion with no mishaps. By the time it hit 6:00 most of the crowd was gone and Annabelle had begun to count down the minutes until she was free. With any luck she could swing by the daycare, pick up her little brother, and be home by 8:00.

The door chimed and she cast a fleeting glance toward the new customers, before doing a double take. Three men with pristine suits had walked into the restaurant; although, unusual as it was, that wasn't what had caught her attention. It was the youngest of the three that had caught her eye. He was the kind of handsome she had not seen in a while; lean and slightly muscular, tanned skin, dark brown hair, and green eyes that seemed to pop.

A woman called for a refill a few tables away and Annabelle quickly shook herself out of her stupor, chastising herself for being distracted. She had neither the time nor the energy to waste on such matters. "Sure thing, I'll get it now." After delivering the drink she checked her tables, only to notice the three men had seated themselves in a quiet corner. She could have smacked herself for the thrill that ran through her at the realization. With the rest of the customers in her section content for the moment Annabelle skirted a portly man whose chair was pushed back a tad further than she would have liked to made her way toward the table.

"Hello, my name is Annabelle, I'll be your server this evening." She repeated for the umpteenth time. "What would you like to drink?" One of the men looked more irritated at her arrival than pleased, as though she was wasting his time doing the job he'd come here for her to do. Assuming he didn't plan to sit around all day discussing golf.

Just another half hour to go, Annabelle calmed herself. Thirty minutes and you can ditch this stupid apron, these horrible shoes, and these people. The men answered, clearly uninterested in eating and merely simply for her to leave so they could discuss business. She was happy to oblige. Sooner than she would have liked the blue eyed girl returned with their drinks, sitting them in their respective places. As she was setting down the last glass, belonging to the green eyed man who had caught her attention earlier, a little kid raced by, bumping into her in his rush toward the bathroom. The glass slipped from her hand and crashed against the table.

"Shit." She muttered, scrambling for the rag she kept in her apron pocket for such occasions and attempted to mop up the mess, nicking her finger in the process. "Shit." Rona was going to give her hell for this. It turned out someone beat her boss to the punch.

"Christ!" Mr. Green Eyes swore, jumping up as the puddle streamed into his seat. "Watch what you're doing, damnit." Irritation laced his voice as he examined where the mess had spilled. "It's all over my shirt!" His eyes quickly turned to her, not missing a beat. "I hope you intend to pay the cost of the dry cleaning to remove these stains."

She snorted.

"Don't get your panties in a bunch, it won't stain, it's Sprite." Annabelle emphasized, picking up the other drink she had previously set onto the table. "But this will." The brunette proceeded to pour the entire glass – Coke – over his head. She slammed the empty glass onto the table. "And like hell I'm going to pay for anything, asshole." Turning she stormed into the kitchen, yanking her apron over her head and tossing it onto one of the several hangers adorning the wall.

"Annabelle, what on earth is going on out there?" Rona demanded as she turned down the stove to step away and see what was going on. The brunette twinged, knowing she'd get her ass chewed out for this one.

"There was an accident and I dropped a glass; some of it got on a customer and..." The look that crossed the Latino woman's face told her there was no need to continue. Yup, she was screwed.

"Annabelle, this is the third time in the past two weeks!" Rona reprimanded with her fists on her hips, spatula still in hand. Her hard expression softened slightly, as did her tone and posture. Definitely not a good sign. "I let it slide the last two times, because I know you're going through a rough time, but this is the last straw. Hun, I'm sorry." Annabelle stiffened, eyes wide and disbelieving.

"You can't mean–"

"I'm sorry." Rona repeated, "I really am, but I'm letting you go." For several long moments Annabelle stood in stunned silence, unable to believe she'd really just been fired. A second later she regained herself enough to nod and turn to leave; there was no point arguing, Rona had made her decision and she couldn't change it. She grabbed her bag from the locker beside the aprons and left without a word.

As she stepped back into the dining area she could feel several eyes on her. Taking a deep breath, attempting to steady herself, she strode toward the door. Look at the bright side, she thought feebly, You got off work early. The notion did very little to improve her outlook on the situation because, yes, she got off early. She would have to worry about coming to work tomorrow either, or the day after that. Or ever.

She sighed. "God, I hope tomorrow is better than this."

As it turned out tomorrow would be no better; rather, it was to become part of an increasingly downward spiral.