The couple on 24 finishes dinner. The busgirl clears the plates. As I crumb the table the man and woman fall silent. It’s obvious they want to talk in private. There’s an energy passing between them. The air hums with tension. Experience tells me to give them space.
I let several minutes pass before I bring the dessert menus. When I get to the table the couple’s holding hands.
“We have some excellent desserts,” I say placing the menus on the table, “The tiramisu here is fantastic.”
The couple unclasps their fingers and open the menus. I take a quick look at their hands. No rings. They’re on a date.
The man peruses the menu. “Are you having dessert?” he asks his date.
The woman purses her lip. “Hmmm. The tiramisu sounds good.”
“One tiramisu for the lady,” the man says.
“And for you sir?” I ask, “Would you like some dessert?”
The woman chuckles. I turn to look at her.
“I’m his dessert,” she says with a sly look.
The woman’s on the early side of forty, blonde, busty, and very cute. At the beginning of the meal she was rather withdrawn and nervous. But, after a bottle of wine and some good food, she started wiggling in her seat, as if her clothes were becoming a nuisance.
“Very good Madam.” I reply.
“I’ll just have a double espresso,” the man says. You’re gonna need it pal.
“Right away sir.”
I go to the kitchen and fetch their desserts. When I return the man and woman are kissing. I stand off to the side and wait.
And I wait.
“Ahem,” I cough politely.
The couple laughs.
“I didn’t want the gentleman’s espresso to get cold,” I say apologetically.
“And he doesn’t want me to get cold,” the woman counters.
“Then I suggest you eat quickly,” I say.
The woman laughs.
“Shall I bring the check sir?” I ask with a polite smile.
I go to the register and print up the check. When I return the lady’s already devoured her tiramisu. They’re in a hurry.
The man stuffs some cash into the check holder and hands it to me.
“That’s all yours,” he says. “Thank you very much.”
“Thank you sir,” I say, “And enjoy the rest of your evening.”
“Oh,” the woman says, “He will.”
“Excellent,” I reply.
The couple gets their coats and leave. They’re barely out the door before they’re all over each other. Ah, amore.
Shaking my head, I walk to the back where Louis is hanging out by the POS machine.
“Hey Louis,” I say holding the checkbook to my head, “I’m predicting 30%.”
“Oh yeah?” Louis replies, “You haven’t looked?”
“Why do you think it’s 30%?”
I fill Louis in on the woman saying she was her date’s dessert. Suddenly a vision of her in a tiramisu bikini fills my head. It’s not an unpleasant thought.
“Guy knows he’s getting laid,” Louis replies, “You know the tip’s gonna be good.”
I open the checkbook. The guy left me $30 on $70.
“Forty percent!” I crow happily.
“You were off a bit,” Louis says, “You’re slipping.”
“I wish I was wrong like this more often.”
“Good for you,” Louis says, “All the couple in my section are over eighty.”
Stuffing the money in my pocket I think about the young man who had the bad date the night before. You never know how things are going to work out. Sometimes men and women get hung up on each other’s sharp edges.
But sometimes they get hung up on each other.
I sigh deeply and go back to work – dreaming of tiramisu.