It’s a busy night. As I dash into the kitchen Saroya walks out with a plate of tiramisu in each hand. I’m not watching where I’m going. My shoulder catches her in the left eye.
“Owwww!” Saroya yelps almost dropping her desserts.
“I’m so sorry!” I apologize taking the plates out of her hands.
“Let’s go put some ice on it,” I say pulling her over to the ice machine. I wrap a wet cloth around some ice and apply it to her eye socket.
“That hurt!” Saroya moans.
“Well it looks like you’re ok. You didn’t smack into me hard. You’re not going to get a black eye.” I offer soothingly.
“My boyfriend is going to beat you up,” Saroya whispers mischievously.
Saroya has been dating Armando, our assistant chef, for two years. They’re moving into together next month. Armando is a BIG guy.
“Well,” I sigh, “if I’m gonna get my ass kicked I might as well really pop you one,”
Saroya laughs, “You’d like that.”
Saroya and I have worked together for four years. We’re the top money makers at the Bistro. We’ve always had a mildly antagonistic, teasing, friendly relationship.
“You stay here with the ice and I’ll go run your food.” I say.
I go into the kitchen and deliver Saroya’s food to her tables. When I finish I explain to Armando what happened.
“No dinner for you,” he says grinning.
“I’m sorry. It was an accident,” I say.
“Don’t worry about it.”
Relieved that I’ve been spared physical retribution I go back to work.
A short while later I notice Saroya is fine. Her eye didn’t swell up. I apologize again.
“Since you banged into me you’re gonna have to pay the obstetrician bill,” she pouts.
(Waiter turns to audience and grins.)
“If I banged into you Saroya and you needed an obstetrician, I think Armando would definitely kick my ass,” I say.
“Saroya an obstetrician is a doctor who delivers BABIES. An opthalmologist is an eye doctor. ”
“Ooops!” Saroya says covering her mouth in embarrassment. She’s originally from Honduras. While her English is excellent she still trips up on a few words.
“You don’t want to mix those doctors up,” I say.
“How do you say it? Optha…..?”
“Yes Armando would beat you up if I had to go to the obstetrician!”
“Everyday for nine months,” I say ruefully
Saroya laughs evilly
“Be a beautiful baby though,” I quip
Saroya mock slaps me on the arm, “You’re a very bad man!” she gushes.
“No kidding,” I reply.
Laughing softly to herself Saroya goes into the kitchen. Soon she and Armando are nuzzling sweetly in the corner.
Ah, I think to myself, love is blind. There’s no opthalmologist in the world that can quantify what the heart sees. I look at Armando and Saroya. They’re nice people. I hope everything works out for them. Who knows? Maybe they’ll get married.
Then they’ll really need an obstetrician.