"Who? Oh, him? Yes, he said he had plans this evening so came earlier."
"He he, didn't want to miss seeing you for a whole day," teased Bernie.
Jade rolled her eyes. Working in her line of work meant she was an easy target for such teasing. Fortunately, she knew Bernie meant nothing by it, but before she and Bernie took over the cafe, she had been just a regular employee, and the teasing from the customers and old owner had been less than pleasant at times. Now, most of the regulars knew that she was the boss and not to harass her.
As she thought back on some of those unsavory memories, she could not help but feel sorry for the other women in similar positions. 'We don't even sell alcohol here, and we get harassed occasionally. I can only imagine what the women working in bars and nightclubs have to put up with!'
The beeper on the coffee machine interrupted Jade's thoughts, indicating that the man's coffee was ready.
Jade placed the coffee onto her tray and carried it out along with a complimentary biscuit. As she reached his table, the man's phone suddenly rang, so she placed the coffee down quietly so as to not disturb him.
"Hello? Yes, this is Liam."
'Oh…' thought Jade as she walked back to the kitchen, 'so that's his name! Liam…'
However, she stopped thinking about this new information almost as abruptly as she came across it. 'He's attractive, and he seems nice, but I don't think he's my type. He seems quite a serious worker. Plus, he's probably got a family, and I'm not interested in becoming a homewrecker.'
Jade chuckled to herself. 'Look at me, already thinking about rejecting him. He probably doesn't have any interest anyway. He's only here for his coffee.'
At that moment, the little bell attached to the door chimed, so Jade span around to deal with their next customer.
"Hello, what can I get you today?"
That customer marked the beginning of the lunchtime rush, and Jade did not have chance to sit down until gone 1:00 PM. However, that was partly her own fault, since she would not let Harriet do anything unless she could not handle the customers herself. "You sit there, Harry," "Don't strain yourself," and "Take care of the baby" were among numerous phrases Jade would rattle off whenever Harriet tried to get up to server a customer.
Eventually, Harriet had no choice but to say, "Please, Jade, I'm not an invalid. It's the early stages, and I can work just fine. Rather than make me sit to the side, please let me work while I can."
After a quick apology, Jade let Harriet carry on as usual, but she could not stop herself from sending concerned looks the other party's way every now and then.
By 2:00 PM, the lunch rush was finally over, as was Harriet's shift.
"Ok, take care of yourself."
"I will, Jade, don't fret. Ah, I don't know if I mentioned it before," Harriet said, "but we plan on moving in two weeks, so will you be ok if my last shift is in a week?"
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