Hello again. I’m feeling particularly inspired today so I decided to edit one of my old pieces. Well, when I mean edit, I mean randomly post it on this blog without even a minimal proof read. Sounds about right. This was a novel I worked on for about two months until I tired of it completely. The title is Following from here, which I thought of two minutes ago, (honesty is the best policy.) It consists of a struggling waitress trying to pay her dues and her life surrounding it. That is all the context I can think of right now, to be fair. It is very short, ill thought of and empty. I need to focus on developing the plot and characters, but to me, the story is a little dead in my mind. Anyway, I hope you like this little extract. I found it on my laptop a couple of weeks ago and forgot about it completely until now. I can’t promise it’s very good. I have the tendency to write random prose when insomina hits me.
Following from here.
She hated the night shift. Despite her love of quiet, silent evening drifting through the dark, it soon dawned on her that slaving away at the bar wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. In fact, she believed heartily that her manager had romanticised it when he proposed the offer months before hand. It was her own fault, she had begged Darren for overtime for countless hours.
“Come on, Daz. I need the work, you know I do,” I implored.
“I don’t know, Maeve,” he sighed, “Robert usually covers after time, it’s all he can do really around his day job.”
“I know that, but, please. It’s the rent, Daz. I can’t cover it with just tips alone.”
“Don’t you have another job?” He argued, “two part times should be enough to make ends meet?”
“You’d be surprised,” she smirked mirthlessly,” there isn’t much in the end.” She didn’t tell him about her brother. He didn’t need to know, no one did. In the end he had given up the fight, he always had a soft spot for her. They had resolved a mere two hours on Tuesdays and Fridays. At first, she bewailed this pathetic extent of her usual work hours but by the end, she was thankful that it hadn’t grown any further. School work toppled her anyhow, anymore work and she barely would have been able to drag herself to uni every morning.
It wasn’t as if being a waitress was the most rewarding of jobs. No, certainly not. There was much better occupations that surpassed her grueling hours and haughty customers to the low pay at the end of the month. In all honesty, she barely got by. Rent, water, electricity, food, heat. Sometimes it was all too much. On mornings, she scoured every surface of a cafe down main street for two hours. Then in the afternoon, she would revise for school exams or attend lectures which were infrequent at best. Then, there was the night shift. Perhaps, even a night lecture after that. Every day, long and tiring without a second of reflection. Sometimes, it felt like she was getting nowhere in life, her dream occupation of being a doctor seemed so far away. Despite all the hours she worked, despite all the effort she put in, it never seemed to be enough. Still, she couldn’t dwell on it, there was no point on living life for the fear of it crashing down, or so followed her logic. She had to have her optimism, otherwise, there wasn’t nothing left for her in the world. Anyway, if she gave up on everything what would keep her brother going?
She straightened her skirt, pulled her shoulders back and kept on plodding past the catcallers, salesman and the homeless scattered below the glowing neon and brash advertisements. She soon reached her stop, smiling in relief. Maeve pushed open the door, gleaming with expectation. She nodded at Gabriella who waved at her jubilantly, her dreadlocks bouncing as she did so. Gabby threw her an apron which Maeve trussed round her waist.
“Well, soldier,” her friend smirked, “are you ready for the apocalypse?”
“Whenever am I ever not?” Maeve returned, swiping a dish rag to wipe the tables. They reopened for dinner services at six and Darren was a stickler for a clean restaurant. Especially since he got a mere three for hygiene last year. Now, he made sure everything was spick and span, well, he made sure his staff did. Gabrielle would complain constantly about his lack of input to the establishment but Maeve would just laugh it off. She had known Gabriella for an awfully long time, she was a great ease from the bustle of the life. Gabriella was an easy going Jamaican immigrant with aspirations for being a chef. She had come to the restaurant, courageous, determined and ambitious. Despite the requests of the overbearing manager, Gabriella had kept these attributes entirely intact, if anything, pristine. However, she felt inclined to have a moan now and then, which always ensued hilarity. Whether it was mint sauce or cutlery, she always had a way with words. Gabby was a trooper, that was something Maeve knew for sure. It was one of the things they had in common, their optimism. Something that probably appealed to their camaraderie against the world and all its grievances. If someone was being foul mouthed in the bar to Gabby, Maeve was there to repeal it. If someone was fuming over their order and took out their fury on Maeve, Gabby always stepped in to diffuse the situations. Whilst their lives and ambitions were very different, they enjoyed each others company. Thus, always taking time for a conversation.