I leaned against the glass door of the diner with my head in my hands, trying to pull myself together. I had too many thoughts running through my head and I had no idea what to do with them all.
I had spent the last fourteen months running from my parents and just when I thought I was in the clear, Aunt Pam showed up to ruin that. That stupid, vile bitch.
I snapped out of my thoughts to see Dex standing outside of the taxi with his arms crossed over his chest. He stood six feet tall with a lanky build. The look on his face was friendly, but concerned. “Are you alright?”
I shook my head and steadied myself back to my feet. I didn’t want him knowing that I was having a nervous breakdown. I needed to be strong and show the world that I could make it on my own.
“Yes,” I said smoothly, trying to sound rational. “I was just trying to figure out what I was going to say to help me get the job. Thank you.” I grinned.
Dex nodded his head, looking a bit skeptical. “Good.” He smiled. “Just checking.”
He gave me a supportive smile as I opened the door to the diner and slipped inside. The poorly lit diner smelled of cheese and garlic, making my stomach growl as I glanced around.
The inside was a lot smaller than the outside and it held six tables that seated four people each. The small tables, which were covered with brown cloths, had one candle burning in the middle of each one, giving off a small lighting.
The whole diner was empty except for one table that had an elderly couple sharing a small pizza. The couple glanced up, smiled and returned to eating.
I jumped back when a hand suddenly gripped my shoulder. “Holy…!”
“Take it easy child.”
A small elderly woman that stood about four foot nine, stood behind me with a tired smile on her aged face. Her red hair was tightly pulled back into a bun and she wore a long black dress with a brown apron over it. She looked a little lost as if she had trouble getting by on her own.
“You look familiar.” I was a little surprised at first, but finally put it together. “Ahh.”
Jan’s Place. It was the rude old lady from Jace’s diner.
My heart sped up and I lost all hope. She was a bitter old lady. I doubted that she wanted help from anyone.
She walked around me before taking a seat on a half broken stool. ” What do you want? Some pizza?”
I shook my head, trying to decide whether to even bother. What choice did I really have? “I’m looking for a job.”
She gave me a stern look. “You have one.”
“Not anymore. I need a new one and fast. Things are complicated and -“
“Have you ever cooked a pizza before?” she cut in, studying my face.
I stopped playing with my purse and a nervous smile crossed my face. “I haven’t, but I am willing to learn.”
She stared with curious eyes, before speaking. “I suppose I could use a young woman like you a few days a week. My hands are getting a bit fragile and it makes it hard for me to do it all on my own. It really pisses me off.”
She nodded and waved for me to follow her to the back of the diner. “Don’t just stand there. Come.”
I followed close behind, but still kept my distance. She’d probably snap my head off if I were to step on her.
We stepped into a tiny kitchen and Jan pointed over at the oven. It was large and stained with food. Most likely pizza sauce. “There’s your new oven. Don’t burn yourself. It hurts like a bitch.”
My face lit up. Even though she wouldn’t be very pleasant to work with, anything would be better than staying with Caleb. “I get the job?”
Jan smiled weakly and waved her arms in front of her. “If you think you can handle it.” She coughed and walked back toward the dining area. “You can, right?”
I raised my head and followed behind her, nearly stepping on her heels. I was excited, eager, and almost wanted to hug her. “Of course I can.”
I stared out into the orange and red dining area, lost in thought, until she gently placed her hand on my shoulder. “I don’t have a lot that I can offer you, but I would like you here on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays from ten o’clock a.m. until around six o’clock p.m. Those are the busiest days and hours so you better move that tushy fast.”
I nodded my head in agreement and brushed my hair behind my ear. Three days a week wouldn’t be much, but it was a start and possibly enough to get me on my feet until I could find more. “That works just fine with me. Thank you.” I turned on my heels and headed out the door with a satisfied grin.
Dex sat calmly on the trunk of the taxi, with his phone in his hands. He looked pretty into whatever he was doing and didn’t seem to notice me.
I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder with a smile. He jumped back, startled, almost dropping his phone out of his hand.
“Shit!” He laughed. “You scared the crap out of me. How did it go?” he asked, jumping off the trunk and sliding to his feet. He somehow managed to make it look smooth.
I laughed at the cheesy look on his face and followed him over to the backseat of the taxi. I smiled up at him as he opened the door for me to get in. “I got the job.”
He placed his hand on the small of my back and helped me into the taxi. He looked down at me and smiled his eyes bright with joy. “Hell yeah! That’s great. When do you start?”
I waited as he hurried to get back into the taxi before replying.
“Monday,” I replied. “She said that she really only needs me on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. It’s not exactly what I was looking for, but it works for now. I really need to find an apartment now and I’ll be set.”
Dex looked back at me and gave me a cocky smile. He had a nice smile and his face was pretty easy on the eyes.
“What?” I questioned, as he kept looking at me.
“I think that I can be of some help there was well,” he said with confidence. “
Taking a deep breath, I leaned into the seat and closed my eyes. “Take me anywhere you have in mind. It would be nice if it is closer to Jan’s though.”
Dex took me around to a few places, but they were either too expensive or already taken. After about two hours of searching, we stopped by a little duplex about five minutes away from Jace’s house. Being so close to Jace had me feeling nervous and sick to my stomach.
The nice man who owned the place showed me around the cute little one bedroom place, but then informed me that the place wouldn’t be ready for another week. He said that he would give me two days to think about it and then he was going to give it to the next person that showed interest. I really had a lot to think about.