Sharlee had been working at her new job for two weeks. Noah always took her to and from work, and one Saturday afternoon he came to pick her up. He waited for her inside the restaurant. He barely glanced at the woman who came through the door until she spoke to him.
“Well, I’ve wondered what happened to you. The last I heard was that you were in Juvie.”
Margie said, “Hmm, Kat’s purring. She’s trying to get her claws hooked into him.”
“Isn’t that Sharlee’s husband Noah?”
Margie laughed. “Yeah, this ought to be interesting. Noah’s gaga over Sharlee. Kat doesn’t stand a chance!”
They stood watching and listening.
Kat looked Noah up and down with a lustful expression in her eye. “Mmm, you grew up nice. I knew you would. What are you doing here? Are you here to eat? Come sit at one of my tables, and I’ll treat you right. We can catch up!”
Then he suddenly remembered Kat. He’d completely forgotten about her after he saw Sharlee.
Kat was shocked. “What! She must have gotten herself pregnant. Leave it to you to do the noble thing and marry her.”
He could see the puzzlement in Sharlee’s eyes. “I mean when I was fifteen. It was just before I left home. We got together once.”
“Well Kat you’re twenty-five now. So that means that you were twenty-two then! I can’t believe that you seduced a fifteen year old boy. That’s low even for you!”
Noah looked at Sharlee. She was staring at Kat with dislike written all over her face. He hadn’t expected to feel so uncomfortable when she met someone he had slept with before her. He knew how he’d feel about anyone that she had been with before him. He’d hate the guy on sight, but thankfully he’d been her first. He wished again that she had been his.
Noah was shocked by Sharlee’s response. Sometimes he forgot how fiery she could be.
“Noah you can’t possibly be satisfied by a silicon filled, bottle blond doll!”
“Kat, I can assure you that every inch of Sharlee from head to toe is the real thing. There is nothing phony about her. Since you seem to be so concerned about it, let me assure you that I am not only happy, but I am completely satisfied with Sharlee in every way.”
He hoped that since Sharlee still had to work with her, that Kat wouldn’t make things too difficult for her just because of him.
The other two waitresses laughed. It was good to see someone put Kat in her place. While it was true that Kat was very attractive, she automatically assumed that every guy wanted her. Based on what they’d seen from Sharlee’s interactions with the customers as well as Noah’s reaction, it was clear that Sharlee was going to give her some stiff competition.
It was also one of the special things that she liked to do for Noah. She looked for ways to spoil him because she knew that no one ever had before. On Sunday mornings when they were both off from work, she sometimes surprised him with breakfast in bed. His gratefulness at just the smallest things that she did for him, always touched her heart.
“Hun, do you want anything special for dinner?”
After checking what was on hand in the refrigerator, Sharlee decided on spaghetti. As she started preparing dinner, she spoke with Noah.
“So was it a big thing between you and Kat?”
“We only slept together once, but she really creeped me out. She got very possessive. She kept calling the house and dropping by. My mother finally made her stop. My mother told her that she was a grown woman and shouldn’t show such an unnatural interest in a fifteen year old boy. Not long after that I left home. Then she moved from the neighborhood, and I haven’t seen her again until today. I hope she won’t make things too difficult for you at the restaurant.”
“The other girls already warned me about her. She gets upset if anyone else waits on her customers, and she has certain customers who only want her to serve them. The girls suspect that she might be doing more than taking their orders. They think she gives after hours services as well.”
“Do you think that Lee knows about it?”
Before long, Sharlee had loyal customers of her own who were outstanding tippers. They included mainly guys but she also had a mix of women and families as well who would wait until there was a table free in her section of the restaurant because they wanted her to wait on them.
Since her tips were really pouring in, Sharlee suggested to the other girls that maybe they should start pooling their tips at the end of each shift and then splitting them evenly. She also suggested that they start assisting each other with their customers and that would improve the restaurant’s service all around.
Carrie was standing in the restaurant watching the waitresses and customers when Lee came and stood beside her. “The whole atmosphere of the restaurant has changed since we hired Sharlee. She has a way of making each person she comes in contact with feel important. Most women like her and well, the men want her. I knew she’d be good for us!”
Carrie had already seen that Kat didn’t like Sharlee. However, she had anticipated that happening. Kat really didn’t get on well with other women, but her customers really seemed to like her. They had decided that the best way to handle the situation would be to schedule them on different shifts from one another. The other staff had quickly grown fond of Sharlee and were very protective of her. She was their youngest waitress, and she had also become one of the most popular.
Noah came into the restaurant early. Sharlee still had another hour before she got off, but he was starving and decided to eat there. It would be his first time. The hostess came up to him. “Hi Noah, Sharlee’s still got another hour before she gets off.”
“I know. I came early to grab a bite to eat. Could I get a seat at one of her tables?”
Janet checked her list. “Hmm, there is a wait of at least ten minutes before she will have a free table. There are a couple of people on the list ahead of you waiting for one of her tables. Sally has a table free if you don’t want to wait.”
The ten minutes passed and then Noah took a seat at a table. Sharlee came out from the kitchen and was surprised to see Noah waiting. She decided to tease him. He’d seen her and she walked over to his table intentionally swinging her hips more than usually.
Then she arched her back and leaned in low on the table, giving him a full few of her bosom. The other waitresses called it the lean and squeeze to get larger tips. Sharlee never did that with her customers though.
“Would you like something to drink and maybe an appetizer to start?”
“I’d like a coke and some wings, please. Some fries with that too.”
“Alright, let me just write that down.”
The other waitresses saw what she was doing and were laughing. However, a couple of Sharlee’s other customers saw it and were upset that she was flirting with Noah, but had rebuffed any efforts to make her flirt with them.
Sharlee picked the pen up and then leaned in close to Noah. She blew softly against his ear. She knew the effect that she was having on him.
“Yes. He says that you have been behaving inappropriately with the customers.”
Sharlee frowned, not knowing what they could mean.
“He says that you kissed a customer and were blatantly flirting with him. That you gave that customer preferential treatment.”
“He has to mean Noah. Noah ate here the other day, and I waited on him. I didn’t do anything inappropriate. I just flirted with him a little bit and gave him a light kiss.”
“I should have known it was nothing. Lowell is one of your regular customers isn’t he?”
However Sharlee was still upset that he’d complained. Kat and some of the other waitresses flirted with their customers all of the time, even more blatantly than Sharlee had done with Noah.
Lee too wondered why Lowell had complained. He had come to know Sharlee well and felt sure that she would not do anything indecent in the restaurant. Maybe Lowell was jealous.
“Sharlee has Lowell ever tried to flirt with you or asked you to go out with him?”
“Okay, that explains why he complained. I think I’ll just let him know the next time he comes in that you were flirting with your husband and give him his next meal on the house. I’ll also suggest that he allow one of the other waitresses to serve him.”
Sharlee went out to the diningroom and started her shift. Strangely, Lowell didn’t return to the restaurant again after that. It didn’t matter to Sharlee though. She almost had more regular customers than she could handle.
When Noah arrived at the restaurant a few days later to drop Sharlee off to begin her shift, he noticed a man out front fiddling with a motorcycle. One of Sharlee’s coworkers was standing beside the man.
“Oh good! That’s Remi, Noah. I want you to meet her. She started right after I did. She’s worked here before, and she’s started back for just a few months to make some extra money. She and her husband are trying to buy a house. They already have a little boy and she just found out she’s pregnant with their second child.”
Sharlee and Noah walked over to them. Remi and Sharlee had quickly become friends even though Remi was a few years older than Sharlee. Sharlee’s other friends that she had made in Bridgeport over the years were away at college and so she had been glad to meet Remi. She introduced Noah to Remi and Remi introduced her husband to Noah and Sharlee. His name was Darion.
Referring to Darion’s motorcycle, Noah said, “You really got her tricked out!”
Even after Sharlee and Remi went inside to work their shifts, Noah and Darion continued to stand outside and talk. As they talked, they felt like they had known each other for years.
“This is a nice place.”
They talked some more about many other things. Noah too had unexpectedly made a friend, and over the next several months, the two couples became close.
Maddie thank you for letting me use Remi and Caitlyn.