Photo by p2722754 edited with Canva
It was past midnight and we'd closed Chris Burgers & Fries for the day.
I yawned, stretched my hands above my head and took off my apron. It was time to go to my empty apartment.
I checked my phone. Grandfather's picture that I'd saved on my screen stared back at me. I sniffed and wiped my nose with the back of my hand.
I still missed him, every minute….
A loud thud announced Adam's burst into the kitchen through the swing doors followed by a rush of air. He worked, walked and moved about the restaurant as if he owned it.
Well, he did. Still, he could at least try to be a little humble about it.
"You're still here. Good," he said with a grin. I rolled my eyes in response while stuffing my things in my handbag.
He knew I was still here, so why pretend?
He always took interest in everything I did which was becoming annoying. The other staff saw it and I'd heard some say, "she's his girl."
I wasn't anyone's girl and certainly, not Adam's!
"C'mon, don't give me that look. Have dinner with me?"
I paused and turned to give him my best bad eye. "Um, no way."
"Way. Look," he said, drawing close to where I stood. "You are probably going home to cook, eat and sleep. I'm offering to lighten the load and the night is still young…"
"It's a new day, in case you haven't noticed. So the night is not young. I need to sleep and be back at work later today!"
"Please, Alex. I don't want to eat alone." He winked at me and begged.
I paused and considered the offer for a minute.
"It's just dinner, Alex," he added.
"And that's all?"
"That's it. I promise."
I agreed. He grabbed my hand and drew me into the sitting area of the restaurant.
One of the tables and chairs in a discreet corner had been prepped for dinner. On it was a spread of grilled ribeye steak with roasted potatoes and sautéed green beans, beef lasagna with garlic bread and a side salad, and an expensive bottle of red wine.
This was unexpected.
"Please, sit," Adam invited.
He surprised me that night. We ate, talked and laughed like good friends. Or maybe it was the wine that lowered my inhibition.
I asked about his family. He paused for a long moment before telling me about the only family member that raised him and meant the world to him —his grandfather.
We seemed to have similar upbringing.
Don't tell him! Don't say anything! My inner voice warned….but the wine was stronger. I couldn't resist, especially because I missed talking to someone.
I told Adam about my grandfather and he listened intently, his beautiful eyes boring into mine, like he was memorising every little detail.
I almost think he cared but somehow, I was reminded of the game of chess.
Did I make a smart move?
To be continued….