kitchen-4Sometimes Sundays surprised everyone. This day, thankfully, was not one of those. Lexi and Victoria were working, as was Norma and Lorraine. Three girls would have been enough, but the fourth was for in case, in case it got really busy. On a normal night they had at least four, depending upon which night of the week, and from Wednesday to Saturday they had more. Friday and Saturday they had seven, sometimes eight waitresses.

Bill did not see Lexi come in. The first time he saw her she was in her work clothes. Same for Lorraine and Victoria, but Norma came in through the back door so she said hello from the hall before going down the back stairs. She wore tight jeans and heels, a low-cut sweater-blouse and a Pea Coat. The Pea Coat was open so Bill could see her bosom, could see she wasn’t wearing, it didn’t appear as if she were wearing, a bra. Later he would find out she wasn’t. Norma was one of those waitresses who would offer her male customers a nice view so as to get a better tip. Bill would discover waitresses who would pinch their nipples or apply ice to them to make them stiff so they would show through their blouses.

Grandma did not work on Sundays and Jimmy came in at six and usually left at nine. They closed at eleven so Bill had one night in the week he could get home early, when his fiancé was still awake, or generally so anyway.

This Sunday, like many, he spent a lot of time sitting in the hallway. After Mary, Bea and Henry Lee were gone, Marie moseyed on out to the hall. Jimmy took to sitting on Bea’s stool in the corner of the kitchen by the pantry station.

Marie didn’t say anything. She sat opposite Bill and crossed her legs. After a few moments, she uncrossed them and crossed them the other way.

“Life sucks,” she said.

“Sometimes yes and sometimes no.”

“Got any weed?”

“Yeah.”

“Wanna help a girl out?”

“Sure.”

Bill told Jimmy where they were going. Jimmy didn’t care. He could put up any salad orders that came in and then start the dinners. He told Bill not to be too long. Bill knew he and Marie could not both be gone long, so he assured Jimmy they’d be right back.

As soon as they were they in the deep freeze, Marie took off her mitt and started feeling Bill up. He pushed her hand away, but she kept on until her hand was so cold she put the mitt back on. But then she lifted her dress and let Bill see her bald coochie.

Back in the meat room, she asked for some bourbon. When Bill got it for her, she pressed him against the counter and took his hand up her dress.

“Cooperate, goddammit.”

“Leave me alone.”

“Why should I?”

“Cause I’m not getting involved with you and Henry Lee.”

“We’ll see about that.”

While she took a drink, he reached up under her dress and pushed aside her panties to get a real feel. He let his fingers linger a moment then stopped and moved away from her slightly.

“Happy now?”

“It’s a start.”

“What do you want?”

Finished drinking, Marie stepped back in toward Bill and whispered something in his ear. Not generally one to be shocked, what Marie told him nearly took his breath away.

“Jesus Christ,” he said.

“And then some.” Marie blushed.

“I don’t know,” Bill said. “Anyway, we have to get upstairs.”

Bill gave Jimmy plenty of time off. All the while they hadn’t had one order, but when Jimmy went down the stairs, several orders came in. Marie set about taking care of the salads. Bill started the items ordered on the Garland.

At nine-thirty Bill broke down the steam table and scrubbed the line. It was change-the-grease night, the last thing he would do before putting away the leftover food. It was all he could do to get out without Marie molesting him.

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