Each day begins the same, Murphy hops on the bed as soon as the sunshine begins to peek into her bedroom. He’s ready to run. She wouldn’t start her morning any other way, and though she didn’t always spring out of bed in the morning, especially in the winter; she was always exhilarated before her feet hit the pavement.
Some people start their mornings with a cup of coffee, and dragged their slippered feet through their homes. She started her morning running three miles, she clocked a mile in the day before at five minutes. She was pushing to get under that mark. Murphy would have it without a doubt, she could tell she held him back from his full sprint.
“Just another Hump Day.” She remarked to Murphy dryly. Her boss, Eric required staff to call it this. She couldn’t believe she was a Business college graduate and was only a hostess and sometimes fill-in server at a poker pub in town.
The serving of food, she always found extra demeaning. She didn’t lack respect for those that did this job, she just felt with her college degree, she ought to be do something more.
Her highlight for this particular evening was Benjamin. He worked long shifts at the fire station, and was coming in to wait the rest of her shift out. He arrived a quarter to midnight, she was stuck until close at 2:00 am. He didn’t seem to mind waiting, he wasn’t the best card player in the city, nor did he claim the ability for arcade games, but he was pleasant all the same while he waited.
When he arrived this evening, it took all her effort to not jump into his arms. She gave him a discreet kiss on his cheek instead when her boss wasn’t looking, and Benjamin idly thumbed through the menu, feigning to be a regular customer.
“Hmm.. I have a problem here, miss.”
“What’s that, fine sir?” she leaned in a little, wanting to kiss him more, but held back.
“I don’t see what I want on this menu. Think you could arrange a special for me?”
She stepped onto her tip toes, close enough that he could feel her breath on his ear. “Absolutely.”
“Oh but the guys are coming over to watch the game. I taped it since we all had to work. But after wards I’m all game.”
“That won’t be until four in the morning.” He pouted.
“You can go tell the guys then, if you must cancel.” She gave him a little nudge in the direction of her coworkers, and went back to the hostess stand to answer the phone.
Benjamin didn’t cancel the get together, as she knew he wouldn’t. He wasn’t that big on sports, nor was she, but they both enjoyed the atmosphere. They ordered a peperoni pizza from the joint by the college, and she had stocked the fridge with cold beers the night before, so they were all set. These guys weren’t like her friends from college, which she didn’t see much these days, but she liked them just the same. They were relaxed, and drama-free for the most part. And even though Charlie Grimsley had kids, and a wife, he was capable of topics outside of that realm, and that gave him huge brownie points in Grace’s book.
Grace didn’t dislike kids, she just didn’t always want to hear a run down of every little thing. And that was all Rebecca seemed to offer, that and complaints about how difficult marriage and parenthood was. Then Violet-Adele was half a country away for her internship. All she had available were these guys after a long day on her feet at Peanut’s.
On the three nights a week that Grace didn’t find herself at Peanut’s, she spent it visiting with friends and family. She hated sitting at home alone, so she made sure that her schedule was full of plans. She stopped by to visit with her aunt Hazel and get to know her first cousin ever, Bea.
“How’d you decide to open South Soda Shop?” Grace rested her cheek against Bea’s as she swayed from side to side. She wasn’t a mother yet, but she had spent most of her life helping her mom raise her siblings and she was quite at ease with children of all ages.
“I could see the whole thing in my head, and could see the steps to make it attainable. That’s how I knew it wasn’t just a pipe dream.”
“I want to open my own business, and looked into getting a loan. It all seems attainable, but how did you know your business would succeed; that there was a need for it?”
Hazel gave the fussing Bea a bottle to help calm her down. “Just look around, is your idea one of a kind? If it’s not, how’s yours going to be better? In the end, just jump. You have a degree in this stuff, I think you’ll be fine.”
Grace sighed, “I think you’re right. I should just jump. How old were you when you started your diner?”
“Your age, and I didn’t have a degree. I just got a job in the culinary field, saved enough, got a loan for the rest, and jumped in.” Bea’s eye were beginning to grow heavy, though she fought to keep them open whenever they spoke.
Grace leaned in closer to Bea and smiled, “She’s beautiful.”
“Yes, she is, absolutely perfect.”
With her Aunt Hazel’s blessing, Grace decided to leap the next morning. She couldn’t swallow the idea of staying on at Peanut’s permanently, and Hazel had been right when she had said Grace was at the perfect age. She wasn’t married, didn’t have kids, didn’t own a house. She didn’t have all that responsibility. Grace took her run, then made her way to the bank to secure the loan. She had just stumbled on the vacant property during her run, and now everything seemed to be falling into place.
When she was handed the keys, she called her sister Emma and told her to meet her at the address for a surprise. Grace waited outside of the building impatiently for Emma to arrive, she was going to be her first customer, and didn’t even know it.
Notes: Cutting this into two parts I’ve decided, because it’s late and I’m sleepy. And, it’s gotten quite long. So, I should have the second part up sometime in the next day I’d imagine. It’s been over a year since we’ve touched base with Grace, so this is kind of laying the down low on her life. She doesn’t seem impressed working at Peanut’s. While she was working, she suddenly had the want to fire Charlie. I have no clue where that came from. Their relationship is 40, and I don’t believe he did anything to cause such a strong response. It eventually rolled away, but it was persistent for much of her update.