The annoyingly bubbly blonde girl follows me from table to table as the night passes on and though I’m trying to train her, she isn’t seeming to retain anything. She gets order after order wrong and ends up flirting with half of the male guests. "Natalie, that drink is supposed to be a diet coke." I say, correcting another mistake of hers. Normally, I wouldn’t be as bothered about it, but it’s the tenth drink mistake she’s made tonight.
Natalie cringes a bit and starts to make up another. "Sorry, Brooke. My head seems to be in the clouds today." She sets the drink down and adjusts her uniform. "Ugh. These clothes are definitely not flattering to my figure at all."
"It’s Brookie, not Brooke." I say, adding on a slight smile to try to sound less grouchy, and to maybe make her feel better. "Anyway, now that you’ve got that diet coke sorted, let’s get back to the dining room before the guests decide to deduct from our tip." One more crappy thing about training someone. You have to split the tips.
We get plenty of complaints about plates not being the correct orders and it takes every ounce of my patience to not yell at Natalie for it. Don pulls me aside two hours before close. "What’s going on, Brookie?" He asks, propping his elbows up on his desk in the office.
I sigh and try to think of the nicest way to phrase my thoughts. "Honestly, Natalie is just, oh I don’t know, the slightest bit of an airhead. I get that she’s new and waitressing can be difficult but she cares more about what she looks like, than what the orders are. I can’t train her."
Don tries not to laugh, but chuckles slightly, clearing his throat to cover it. "Why don’t you switch her over to Maddie for the rest of the night? Tell Natalie it’s normal to train under two waitresses so she doesn’t feel like you hate her."
I grin. Maybe now my night will pick up. "Thank you!" Don always seems to understand what I need and I head out to inform Maddie of her new agenda for the night. Natalie seems unfazed when I hand her over to another and I manage to finish off my night on a good note when I get a fifteen dollar tip from a table with an old couple that seemed to take a liking to my ‘cheerful smile’ as they called it. That and I apparently looked like their grand-daughter. It makes up for the tips I had to split with Natalie.
Natalie and two other waitresses go home an hour before close and it’s just Maddie and I to take on the late night eaters. Which aren’t many tonight. Jeremy comes through the kitchen door into the break room minutes after Maddie puts up the closed sign on the door, wiping a bit of sweat off his forehead. "Hello there, girlfriend." Jeremy says, smiling at me. A grin spreads across my face and I blush slightly at my happiness.
"Well, hi to you too, boyfriend." I say back and he kisses me briefly.
Maddie sighs from the doorway. "Alright you two. No PDA in the break room."
"Would you bother we move it to the kitchen? Or maybe one of the booths in the back of the dining room?" Jeremy wiggles his eyebrows at Maddie and she rolls her eyes, but laughs a bit.
"You are absolutely ridiculous. Come on, Brookie. We’ve got a dining room to clean. I want to get home!"
Jeremy pecks my lips quickly before releasing me and Maddie takes my hand, yanking me away, back towards the tables we need to wipe down. She keeps her voice hushed as we work and she badgers me with questions. "So are you two like together?"
I grin and nod. "Yeah, we are." I didn’t imagine ever saying that, but we are now and it makes me so incredibly happy.
Maddie grins back and moves to another table, wiping it down quickly. "Good. You’re cute. But watch out, Carla was saying how she wanted him."
"Carla can suck it." I mutter. "She can’t always get what she wants."
Maddie grins again. "I like this you."
"This me what?" I ask, tossing my cloth into the bucket, standing up from the last table.
"You’re being all bold and taking what you want. When you first started working here you were all shy and letting people walk all over you. But you don’t do that anymore. And I’m proud of you."
I shrug a bit, knowing the reason for me letting people walk over me was that I had gotten so used to letting Tyler do it to me. But I smile at her compliment and when she offers to vacuum the floor I happily agree, taking our buckets to the back room to dump out. When we finally get to leave, Jeremy and I pile into my car and head to the blue house. Our house now I guess. I smile at the thought. Our house. I like that.
It’s a Saturday night and the party is in full swing when we reach the blue house. It’s still sinking in that I won’t have to worry about facing my mom tomorrow when I go home, because I won’t be going home. I already am home. Jeremy takes my hand and pulls me straight for the pong room. "You’re home!" Someone squeals out and a girl attacks Jeremy, pulling him into a hug. For a second jealousy flares up in me, but then I realize that it’s just Alyssa. Marlie is standing behind her and Jeremy hugs her next. Then both of them are simultaneously hugging me and saying hello. "Brookie! It’s so great to see you! It’s been so long!"
"I told you she’d still be around." Marlie says. I raise an eyebrow, questioningly and Alyssa shrugs a bit.
"I wasn’t sure how long you’d put up with Jeremy." She tells me with a chuckle. "But a little bird told us that the two of you are finally dating." By little bird, I’m sure she means Cameron. I’d ask how she felt about me being with her brother but there’s a huge grin on her face that gives away her happiness.
"Oh, this is Jetta." Marlie says, introducing the smaller girl that’s standing beside her and Alyssa. "She’s one of our other sisters."
"How many of you are there again?" I can’t remember if Jeremy had ever told me, but I’m a bit surprised that there seem to be more than just Marlie and Alyssa.
Alyssa laughs. "Six girls, four boys. Oh, and then we have an older sister from our dad’s second marriage. It’s complicated."
I glance over at Jetta and see she’s already got a beer in her hand. "How old are you, Jetta?" I ask, curiously. She looks so young.
"Sixteen." Jetta says, smiling at me. A small part of me wonders how Jeremy and his brothers can allow their sixteen-year-old sister to be drinking. She’s so young. But then I remember how Jeremy was kicked out and I wonder what family life is like for these girls. Deciding I’m not one to judge on underage drinking, I drop the thought and smile at her.
"Well, I’m Brookie and it’s wonderful to meet you." I say. She returns the smile and then turns to watch the current pong game.
"I’m going to grab a drink. You want one Brookie?" Marlie asks and before I can even really answer she’s disappeared towards the fridge.
She comes back with three, passing one to me and one to Marlie and then they’re both dragging me towards the other room to talk while we drink. Jeremy gets pulled into a pong competition and I don’t see him again for a few hours.
I bump into him on my way out of the bathroom and I try to balance myself with the wall. His words slur when he says my name and presses a sloppy kiss on my lips. "I missed you." He mumbles, nestling his head into the crook of my neck, pulling me against him. I giggle and wrap my arms around him.
"Your sisters told me the cutest stories about you." I can’t remember them right now but I know they were good ones.
He pulls back, pouting slightly. "Why do girls do that?"
"Tell stories. All the time." He grumbles, but it seems to slip his mind quickly when Cameron calls him back to finish the game. "I’ll be right back." He says, stumbling back to the other room. I make my way back to the couch, collapsing next to Alyssa and Jetta, giggling happily. Marlie’s sitting on the other couch, next to a cute boy with a name I can’t name.
"Isn’t Jeremy just the cutest?" I ask, not waiting for their confirmation. "He really is." I tell them, proceeding to tell them how he asked me out. They both giggle and ‘aw’ along with me and Marlie finishes her drink before standing up quickly.
"I have to go defend my pong champion title." She declares before making her wobbly way to the pong room. Alyssa hands me another strawberry ale and we toast to something. Her voice is slurred and with the music blaring from Russell’s room I can’t hear her but I drink anyway, sure that whatever it was, would be worth drinking to. Jeremy comes by with Cameron and when he passes by, he grabs my hand and pulls me up and kisses me. "We’re going to smoke a bowl." He tells me. "Coming?" He starts towards Russell’s room, taking me with him before I answer, so I reach back and grab Alyssa’s arm. She grabs onto Jetta and the four of us pile into Russell’s room.
We crash onto the couch, laughing, and Russell lights up a bong this time, taking the longest hit I’ve seen in a while before passing it on. "This is so smooth." He says and when I take my hit I realize he’s right. Marlie comes in, holding drinks for everyone, almost like it's a bribe to let her join us. She sits down on the ground by the couch and takes the bong from Alyssa. I get Jeremy to get the cap off the ale she brought me and he takes a drink. "My payment for opening it." He tells me with a grin.
After a few more hits, he turns me to with a smile that makes my heart melt. "Wanna go to our room?" The words sounds even more wonderful with him acknowledging the room as ‘ours’ and I immediately agree. We grab our drinks, say goodnight to Alyssa, Jetta, and Marlie and stumble up the stairs. I nearly fall into the broken step but Jeremy manages to catch me and pull me up just in time. My drink sloshes a bit, spilling down my arm and onto his shirt. He laughs and when we reach the room, he just yanks his shirt off and tosses it into a corner. He wraps his arms around me, holding me tight and I tip my head to kiss him. He kisses me back, deepening the kiss quickly. I’m becoming so attached to his lips, his everything.
My stomach is full of butterflies and alcohol. My hands reach up, encircling his neck, and when the bottle I’m holding hits my other hand I pull back. "I forgot about this." I mutter, looking for somewhere to put the ale. Jeremy downs the rest of it in one gulp and sets the now empty bottle on the bureau. When he kisses me I can taste the strawberry in his mouth, and the coolness of the drink on his tongue contrasts with the heat from everywhere else.
I’m lightheaded from the mix of alcohol and a lack of oxygen when we break apart for a moment. His lips attack my nose, my cheek, trailing their way down to my neck and earlobe and circling back to my lips. Full of drunken confidence, I step forward until his knees hit the bed and buckle under him. He lands with a soft thud onto the bed and with a grin, he lays back, pulling on my arm until I fall on top of him. He wraps his arm around me, tightening them when I wriggle to sit up. "No, don’t move." He whines. He looks so adorable and I giggle quietly, relaxing against him. "What are you laughing about?" He asks and through his slurred words I barely manage to make out the question.
My heart starts racing and I bite my bottom lip nervously. "Nothing." I say and to keep him from asking again I kiss him. He flips us over so I’m underneath him and then he kisses me again, muttering something so softly that I can’t even hope to hear it. But his lips against mine take my thoughts to other places and I forget what it was I wanted to ask him. All I can think about is this moment.
Flora - Thank you so much! Haha nope, no worries for Chris! I'll try to keep updating as quickly as I can.
Emma - Thanks for the comment! Glad you liked the chapter! I hope to hear from you again soon! Hope you enjoy this chapter as well!
Miha - Thank you!! I totally think adorableness is a word. Haha I hope you like this chapter too! Hahaha the Chris pregnancy talk was so much fun to write and I had a conversation somewhat like it with one of my brothers once - awkward! Haha hope to hear from you again soon!
Scars And A Daisy - Chapter Thirty ThreeBrookie meets Jetta!
By Em Bishop