Adventuring through twisted time.
Roni walked into the small diner. She looked to the sign at the front that noted for customers to seat themselves. With a shrug she moved through the small establishment to a booth along the main wall that didn’t have many other patrons nearby. It had been a long day, and she was sure the exhaustion she felt was due to the jet lag from her flight that morning. So her plan was to get something to eat, before finding a motel for the evening.
The interview she had flown in for had had gone alright, she thought. Of course she likely wouldn’t hear the results until the next day at the earliest. Although three had been time for her to catch a red eye flight back, Roni hadn’t felt it necessary. A night or two in a new city that very well could become her next home seemed a small debt to pay while she waited for an answer. At least she knew she had passed her boards with flying colors.
At the sound of a voice, Roni looked up to the server with a smile, “Hello Harper. I’ll just start with a water, please. Are there any specials on the menu today?” It would always be a good thing to start with a local dish. And tonight Roni was feeling bold.
Harper smiled at her and noticed how she was dressed.
She looked like she was a very important person. Harper knew in this job that it was to notice the finer details, some people could tell you their life story in a matter of hours and then others were colder and distant. Harper had fun imagining what people did for a living. This woman looked like she had an important and fancy job.
"Water it is, as for specials they are having Shepherds Pie, comes with a fresh-baked roll, and your choice of pie for dessert. Or we have a big bowl of beef stew with a roll, and three homemade crackers. Or you can take a peak through the menu." She said as she grabbed the menu from under her arm and placed it on the table in front of her.
"We normally aren't supposed to say anything, but you look like you could use something better to drink, than water. Did you want a coffee or a soda or something with energy?"
Roni laughed lightly with a nod, "You're observant, Miss Harper. A coffee would probably do me well with that water. You are right." She conceded.
"That shepherd's pie sounds like a good deal. I'll take that please." She told the other woman, pushing the menu back across the table and looking the younger woman over. "Would you be able to join me? Dinner alone is always so boring. Perhaps you could even fill me about the town; point me in the direction of a good place to rent. I'm sure you could use a break off your feet."
Roni knew it wasn't usual for wait staff to sit down with their patrons. Especially strangers. Yet she felt a kindred spirit in her and frankly she looked spent as well. Plus it wouldn't hurt for Roni to make a friend here. It would certainly make living in this town easier.
Harper smiled at her. "What can I say? It's just possibly a secret weapon of mine, just maybe." Harper smiled as she held her pen and began to jot the note of the shepherd's pie. Hearing her be asked to sit with the customer she turned to look at the clock in the front of the restaurant. "I haven't taken a break today so I guess I could. As long as I leave in good time for my shift at the bar. I work all the time it seems. That sounds like a plan. I will get your order and be back."
Harper gave a swift nod of her head and went to the back and placed her order then put a burger on order as well and decided she would take her break that she missed at lunch as she had quickly snacked on a granola bar throughout the day and in between customers. Her feet were always moving and some days felt like they would fall off.
Getting her a coffee she brought it back to her and smiled. "Dinner should almost be ready ma'am. Can I get you anything else?" She asked carefully with a smile as she looked at the woman before her. Didn't look much further from her age.
Roni raised her brows and appraised the young woman that couldn't be much older than herself. "Sounds like you could use the break then, miss Harper." Roni had worked multiple jobs throughout college; now she was ready to focus on one. However her finances would truly hold the key to if she was able to do that. That along with the result of her days interview.
"Call me Roni." She told Harper as she came back to the table with a coffee. She wrapped her hands around the warm mug with a content sigh, "I hate to be a bother, but do you have any creamer?" As much as she loved the nutty brown loans in front of her, Roni's sweet tooth always caved to adding the sweet cream.
When Harper came back with cream, Roni added some to get cup before taking a sip. Looking over the room of the mug at the other girl, she asked directly, "Tell me, Miss Harper, why are you punishing yourself with so much work on your feet? Surely your exhausted most nights from this job alone."
Harper smiled at the woman and nodded her head.
"Nice to meet you Roni." She said as she took a moment to get the black coffee for the woman. When asking about a creamer she brought about some cream and sugar in case later on that was something she needed as well. She would wait to hear what the chef ordered and since it seemed pretty quiet she sat across from her at the table.
"It just seems to have gone that way. I am paying off the loans to my aunt's house and it just, one thing after another. I am tired most days and nights but... I'm young my body can bounce back with two-three hours of sleep." She said with a smile before fiddling with the pen in her fingers. She never really spoke about her reasoning for all the work she did.
Harper lost her aunt not that long ago but it still stung, even though she believed that things happen for a reason it ate at her that she wasn't able to help her. Everything seemed to fly by and be out of her control.
Looking for a moment out the window as she saw the sun setting, ever so slowly. "What about you? What brings you to this area of town?"
"Thank you." Roni smiled in gratitude as the woman brought cream and sugar to the table before sitting down herself. Roni picked up some creamers and poured them into her coffee. Picking up a spoon she stirred it in before taking a sip of the hot liquid.
As she drank her coffee, Roni listened to the young woman explain why she worked so much. "You must be close to your aunt to be helping her pay her debts." She qualified the reasoning with a nod.
Roni watched her for a bit before turning to look around the diner. At this moment it wasn't very busy. But Roni could see how the place would fill up. "Do you like what you do Harper? I'm sure you are talented for many other jobs that would help you pay the debt faster."
Roni shrugged as Harper asked after herself, "I'm in town for an interview I had earlier this afternoon. I'll wait a couple days for the result before I decide if I need to find a place to stay or apply elsewhere. Kinda put all my eggs in one basket for the moment, so to speak."
Harper smiled at the young woman. "No problem, quite literally my job." She said with a slight chuckle, trying to make light of the situation for a moment, sometimes a good joke needed to be cracked to keep everyone at ease. When she brought up her aunt she shrugged her shoulders slightly before running her hand through her hair.
"I was, before her accident. It was all of a sudden, but she left me the deed to the house and she had some debts on it yet, so I am doing everything in my power to keep the property and such." She mentioned with a smile coming to her face as she asked what she liked to do. "The bar is my personal favourite, I am, I think more of a night person, I like the livelihood, the music and just its overly upbeat atmosphere."
"Ooh what did you apply for?" She asked eager to discuss things about this woman's life as she was talking far too much about herself, and this woman probably didn't want to hear her sap story for life.
"I'm sorry to hear of her passing. That must have been hard for you being close." Roni didn't want to bring up a sensitive subject, and it seems she had without meaning to. It was hard to lose those you loved, and although she had debt, she had been left a place to live.
She laughed friendly as Harper divulged excitedly that she loved working at the bar with the atmosphere and night life. " Do you go often then when your not working as well?" She asked curiously. " Perhaps I'll have to join you again and get a feel for what kind of nightlife this city has." Roni hadn't gone out to a bar in about 6 months. With studying for her boards and most recently the nightmares that had begun, she hadn't had much time. But if she wasn't going to sleep, then maybe she should do something with her time. And what could be better than going out and having a good time? Maybe meet a few people.
Roni swallowed the sip of coffee before answering Harper."I interviewed at the vet clinic around the corner. I just finished vet school last month and passed my boards. There isn't much for me back home or where I went to college. I'm looking for a fresh start, and well when I hit a map with a dart this seemed as good a city as any for that." Roni explained her reason for being there.
Harper shook her head slightly and tried to nod it off, not wanting to think of her aunt's passing. It hurt still too much to look back on that history. It was the written story, nothing she could do to change it. She was given those cards and they were stacked, she couldn't withdraw them or ask for a do-over. It just didn't happen. Her brain wanted to turn it off but gave a small smile to just nod past the subject.
"You are more than welcome to join me, my shift is done in an hour. I will check on your food for you. It should be done soon. I work a lot, take on other people's shifts, keeps me from staying at the house alone. Kind of consumes me these days." She said thinking about her magic that she should be practicing but hadn't really worked on in a while.
"Vet school, that is incredible, what a wonderful career choice. You must love animals then?" She asked looking at the woman before noticing how the chef moved about. "I will be right back." She said with a swift movement before going to the kitchen and retrieving the meal she ordered, bringing it to her and placing it in front of her. "Your food."
"It seems horrible to not enjoy the place you are paying to live. Have you thought of having a friend be a roommate? Would make it less lonely and help pay off the debt." Roni suggested to Harper. If the girl wanted to continue working morning, noon, and night there was nothing Roni could do too change that. And yet there was a reason her aunt left get the home and why she has kept it. Plus it was a shame to live life all work and no play.
She smiled politely, "yes well animals don't seem to complain as much as humans. Plus they can make good company. And it's a way I can help others." She told her before the girl left the table. Roni let out a sigh as she looked out the window. Animals were great, if you could deal with the fact that you would most likely always outlive them.
When Harper came back she placed a plate of food in front of her. The warm, honey atoms filled her nose. Roni smiled content,"This smells delicious. Thank you." Slowly she began to dig in. Before the food had been set in front of her, she had forgotten that this would be get first meal of the day! “Oh, this is delicious!” She told the other woman between a bite. “My compliments to the chef. It’s been some time since I’ve eaten anything resembling a home cooked meal.”