Pineapple juice for table five, pancakes and coffee for table seven, coffee for table three……
I hadn’t even put my bag down when Chef Roland shoved three plates into my hand.But, what could I do? This was after all my life,my livelihood. Those measly scrunched up notes that I received at the end of the day were the only reason I was living. Being a waiter,serving tables; this was never what I had wanted to do in life. Although, I guess that ,sometimes, life doesn’t offer any choices. You just got to go with it. Nowadays, life seemed to be a never-ending road of monotony. I longed to have some excitement, I longed to have some challenges, to have adrenalin rushes. I wanted my life to be an adventure not a Even after all of this,I had never felt sad for myself. My life hadn’t always been like this. It had been better, much better when uncle Noah was there. He had been an eccentric individual, but for me he was always there. We had nobody else, but each other. I still remember the camp-outs in desolate places, the swimming races and the innumerable life lessons he had taught me. And, then one day he had just disappeared. I had been seven then. . I had looked for him for days. After some time, I gave up and continued on with life.
“Hey you! Get back to work. If you wanted to daydream then why are you working here? Do you have even the slightest idea what I can do? I can get you fired before you say pineapple milkshake with cherries on the top.”
The chef’s voice jarred me back to reality. No time to daydream, time to get back to work now. I pushed the door open and started serving the people sitting outside enjoying the autumn wind. Suddenly, I saw a girl walking towards the café. The wind was rustling her chocolate brown tresses and her face was half covered with a hat. I don’t know why but something stirred inside me.. I quickly dismissed that feeling. I couldn’t let her distract me. She came to the café and took a seat. She just sat there and gazed into what to me looked like well….. blissful oblivion. Hours passed .Finally, she called me and ordered a hazelnut frappe. Another hour passed. She ordered another one. Another hour passed. She called me again.
“Don’t tell me it’s another hazelnut frappe because it’s going to be your fourth one so far,” I teased.
“Well, yes it is,” she huffed, “I am bored, he is not here and the frappe was brilliant so….”
I was suddenly very curious.
“Maam, if you don’t mind me asking, who are you waiting for?
She paused, eyeing me suspiciously. Then slowly taking a card out of her left jean pocket, she said – Mr. Robert Holland. “I am supposed to be meeting him here.”
My mouth rounded in astonishment. “What!” I exclaimed.
“What what?” she said obviously oblivious of the slightly surprising complication of what she said.
“I am Robert Holland,”said I.
“Huh,”she exclaimed, her green eyes narrowing. ”Didn’t uncle Noah tell you a certain Myra Holland was meeting you at Francis’ café at 10 am”
“W..Wait you have an uncle named Noah and are you also aware of the fact that he is probably dead? Also is it just me or a coincidence that your surname is Holland?”
“No..no ..this cannot be happening ,”she said putting her head in her hands.
I just couldn’t help feeling sad for this girl who somehow had scheduled a meeting with me with my only relative who had loved me and was now dead.
“What is wrong?”
Slowing lifting her face she said ,”Yesterday morning, I mysteriously got a message from uncle Noah who told me to come here to meet a certain Robert Holland who was supposedly my brother.”
I sat in the chair opposite to her and quietly asked her what her mum and dad’s names were.
“May and Houston Holland,” she replied.
Right there, right then, I knew she was lying.
I quickly grabbed my bag and ran out of the shop. I could hear the Chef calling after me. I knew I had left my bicycle there. But, I didn’t care. Anyways, I had always known that this job wouldn’t have lasted for a long time. I really needed to be alone with my own thoughts. I wandered down the streets of London, my scruffy sneakers echoing on the cobbled streets. I still couldn’t make head or tail of the incident that had happened in the morning. Who was that girl and what was she doing here. Was it just a coincidence that the person she was looking for and I had the same name or was it not ?
I was crossing the road, my flat was just a few streets away; when I saw her again. This time she was with another man. I swear this girl was getting creepier by the minute.
All of a sudden, the man turned around and looked straight at me. With a jolt I realised I was staring at the gray-blue eyes of uncle Noah.