"Humph!" The woman did not even give Jade a thank you.
However, the woman's partner smiled awkwardly at Jade. "Thank you. I know our order is rather… finicky."
'Rather finicky? More like downright ridiculous!' Jade put on a polite smile. "No, no, not at all. I hope you enjoy it."
"I'm sure we will, thank you."
On her way back to the kitchen, Jade once again overheard the woman complaining to her husband.
"Why are you being so nice to her? It's her job to remember our order; we pay her to do that! And the way you smiled at her, am I not enough for you…"
Jade did not catch the rest.
'He he he. I did remember, including those snide comments. I hope you enjoy the extra shot of saliva! Ha ha ha! No, no, I wouldn't do that really, I swear…'
As she was cackling to herself, Bernie asked what had happening.
"Nothing, nothing. Just amusing myself."
"Oh, I see. I won't disturb you then."
"Bern, before we forget, what's the soup of the day for tomorrow? Have you made it yet?"
"Carrot and coriander."
"Why didn't you say earlier? You know I'm a fan of that one."
"I only just finished it, so it was too late for your lunch."
"Shame… Were you heavy on the coriander?"
"Of course, it's the best herb."
"I know, right?" Jade could not help but exclaim; she really did love Bernie's soups. "I think I'll help myself to a bowl for supper."
"Oi, don't have too much. Remember what happened last time. You're the one who will have to deal with complaints when we run out after three bowls."
Jade shuddered at the thought. Bernie had experimented with parsnip in one of his soups, and she had been unable to stop herself. Suffice to say, the customers had been less than happy about the soup of the day being more like soup of the hour.
As those thoughts were crowding Jade's mind, a familiar scent brought her back to reality. "Oh no…"
"Is that who I think it is? He still hasn't given up?" Even Bernie had noticed it. The thick stench of cheap cologne.
"Ergh, I don't think I can be any blunter without being rude."
"Poor kid. He's literally been struck dumb by your beauty. You'd better go deal with him before we get complaints about the smell again."
Reluctantly, Jade exited the kitchen, only to be greeted by a bizarre sight. 'Sadly, this is beginning to feel kind of normal…'
The man who had just entered was quite young, definitely younger than Jade. However, he dressed like a forty-year-old Italian bookie. With slicked back, oiled hair, he had a big gold chain around his neck and a shirt that had three too many buttons undo, revealing a chest that had more hair than it should have given his age.
As Jade waded through the almost tangible cologne, she said, "Frank, come on dude… We can't keep doing this."
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