Dinner at Copper Penny

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It was her first day on the job but everyone was so friendly and so welcoming that the nervousness she initially felt went away. Paul’s secretary met her at reception and took her up to his office. After he greeted her, he took her around and introduced her to the rest of the staff. He left her with Natalie who was going to train her for the job.

Natalie and Nita hit it off and by all appearances it would seem like they knew each other for years instead of having just met. Natalie made Nita feel very comfortable and she was excellent at training and it helped also that Nita was a quick learner.

When it was lunch time, they went to cafeteria. “So, how long have you been working here?” Nita asked her.

“For about ten years. I love it here. The people are great. They are like family. And Paul is such a terrific guy.”

“Yes, he is. It was he who offered me this job.”

“Yes. He told me about you and after meeting you, I can see why he chose you. You will enjoy working here.”

“Yes, I will.”

“Where did you work before?”

Homespun Fabric. A nice little shop where we sell handmade fabrics. I really liked it there but the salary wasn’t enough. My mother is on disability and it’s a struggle to support her. Now, I will be able to hire a live-in caretaker.”

“I know what you mean. This job helps me to pay for the nursing home where my father is. I wish I could care for him myself but he has dementia and they said that he would be better cared for in a home.”

They talked some more and then, it was back to work. The hours flew by and before she knew it, her first day was over. She was clearing her desk when Paul went over to her. “So, how was your first day?” he asked.

“It was great. Natalie is such a great teacher and person.”

“She said that you’re a fast learner and that it was a pleasure to show you the ropes.”

“Thank you so much for giving me this job, Paul. I really appreciate it.”

“You can thank me by having dinner with me this evening–that is if you don’t already have plans.”

“I don’t and I’d like to.”

“All right. I thought that we would go somewhere casual with great food.”

“What did you have in mind?”

“How about the Copper Penny?

She smiled. “Sure. They serve the best chicken wings there.”

“And my favorite–Beer Battered Onion Rings.”

She laughed. “Sounds very greasy.”

“Not these. I’ll let you try a couple and you’ll see why they’re such a big hit with guys.”

“All right. I’ll see you at…?”

“Six-thirty. I’ll pick you up.”

“All right. See you at six-thirty.” She grabbed her handbag and jacket and left.

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At six-thirty, it was still bright outside. He found left his building and drove to Nita’s. It was a low-rise in a nice area. He stood on the sidewalk and called her on his cell to let her know that he was downstairs.

Five minutes later, she joined him, looking very attractive in a red top, jeans and a denim jacket. Her hair was pulled back as usual. She smiled when she saw him. “I’ve been thinking about those chicken wings all afternoon,” she said.

He grinned as they walked to his car. “And I’ve been thinking about those onion rings,” he replied as he opened the door for her to get in.

Soon they were sitting inside the Copper Penny, the energetic saloon chowing down on chicken wings with fries and onion rings. She tried a couple of his onion rings and liked them. “I think I’ll have them next time.”

He smiled. It was a very pleasant evening and they had a great time.

Amy watched them, unseen. She was there with her boyfriend, Rick. Paul didn’t notice her. As soon as Rick excused himself and went to the washroom, she called Angie on her cell. “I’m sitting here at Copper Penny and Paul’s here.”

“Is he there with the woman you saw him with at the mall?”

“No. This is someone completely different. The other woman was a tall, slim redhead. She bore a striking resemblance to Julianne Moore.”

“That’s his cousin, Lacey. She was at our wedding. I don’t like her and she doesn’t like me. If only I had asked you to describe her, I wouldn’t have gone to see Paul and made a complete idiot of myself. Describe what this other woman looks like. She might turn out to be one of his relatives.”

“If I had known that you would hightail it over to his place so you could have it out with him, I would have kept my mouth shut.”

“Amy, will you please tell me what this woman looks like?”

“Well, I can tell you that she isn’t another relative.”

“How do you know that?”

“She’s black.”

After muttering an expletive, Angie yelled, “Damn her!”

“Damn who? Do you know who she is?”

“Yes! It’s Nita. She’s trying to steal Paul from me. Well, I won’t let her.” There were more expletives and then silence.

“Hello? Hello? Angie?” There was no answer. Amy slowly lowered the cell from her ear. Me and my big mouth.

Posted for February 2021 Writing Prompts – #27 – Homespun fabric

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