Three

This is a day late – and complete drivel.
Oh well.

The night was warm for early March in the Northwest. Ty hadn’t even bothered with a coat on the short walk from the apartment to work. But then, that was when the sun was up. The night would prove colder than the thin cotton-polyester shirt Ty had chosen.

The place is slow for a Saturday night, Ty thinks as the cigarette in hand dwindles itself down to nothing more than a butt. The pubs down the street in this small town are packed full – standing room only, if at all. Why? Trends, Bill says. Most likely, it’s the fact that the other places have the image. It’s the European thing. It’s out.

A tingle on Ty’s finger says the cigarette is done now. Pity, didn’t even take a single puff. But then, Ty doesn’t actually smoke. The cigarette was more of an excuse to get some fresh Saturday night air. Bored as hell, standing behind the bar watching the two kids in the corner drinking sodas while Mae, Ty’s manager, bitched to anyone who had an ear on their head about yesterday’s order, just waiting for the next customer to walk in had gotten rather thin. Hence the cig pinched off Gin, the fry-cook. Gin was the pub’s resident chain smoker dead-set on cultivating a fellow addictee.

Tossing the butt to the ground, Ty decided it was time to get back inside. Enough of this fake smoking. Besides, those kids might need another soda.

The doors to the back were janky, hung on two fully rusted hinges. Tonight, Ty had to give them extra muscle in order to gain access to the back of the kitchen from the alley. Ty pressed shoulder to door and shoved. A cry and crash sounded from the other side. Peeking round, Ty was being stared down by a befuddled Mae.

“Oh, Mae. I’m so sorry. What were you-”

“You just broke out last bottle of Lavender!” screamed at a very unreasonably high pitch.

Ty tried to back away. “Oh god, I’m-”

Mae stayed glaring, brown curls shaping her round cheeks and angular chin. “That’s coming out of your paycheck.”

“I’m sorry?” thrown here. Mae could be unreasonable, but really?

“You should be,” dusting off the front of a red suit jacket. “Get back to the floor. What are you doing back here anyway?”

“Smoke break,” like this was acceptable. For Gin, it was. It should be for Ty. Right?

“Did you take your fifteen? Do you get another break? I don’t think so. Move your ass.”

“Great.”

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