Continual Resort Part #7 – Acquaintances

businessman holding briefcase

Image courtesy of Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net

John was led to a small booth in a private corner. He had asked to be seated in the smoking section due to his liking for a ‘square’ immediately after a meal and he was quite comfortable with the confined quarters which was surprisingly cleaner that he’d expected. Most smoking sections were often neglected seemingly as a rule as if to somehow convince smokers that they were helpless nicotine addicts who did not deserve to enjoy a nice meal in the same conditions that non-smokers enjoyed while still being charged the same.

He did not order an appetizer for the tomato soup had served its purpose as he proceeded to tell his waitress that he would have the day’s special with water. After thanking the waitress for his meal and upon being served, John savored the aroma that wafted straight from the plate to his nose. “I guess it’s pleasure time”, he said with a grin and dug in; knowing the compliments given later by him would be sincere.

John stifled the burp that escaped his digestive system…”Shit, that was good.” He spoke quietly as others watched him.  By this time, the waitress had made her rounds back to John’s booth. “Was everything okay for you sir?” John answered in his deep country accent, “Aw, yeah! Ever’thang was just fine! I ain’t had a meal like that in well…forever, haha! Jus’ happened ta run up on a lil cash, so I thought it fittin’ that I have a decent meal and ended up here. Matter of fact, I thank I’d like’ta pay my compliments to’tha chef if’n it’s alright with’ya.” The waitress giggled a little at the accent, but was glad that this man had enjoyed himself if only for the first time in his life. She felt as if she were but a small component contributing to the glimmer of light beaming ever so slightly in his otherwise dark and unfortunate lifestyle.

Just a tad apprehensive about what she should do exactly, Sandy decided that she would ask first before taking it upon herself to lead him to the kitchen area as John pulled his shades down with a questioning look in his eyes. The look compelled the compassionate young waitress to accommodate her customer who had given her a generous tip. She immediately went to the kitchen area to inform the staff about her customer. Donny was acting head chef and would be running the kitchen on this night and throughout his work week after introducing his new dish and putting Derrick in his place. “Listen, watch, and repeat, dude.” Derrick knew full well that he had to do as Donny told him if he intended to efficiently carry on later that weekend while accepting compliments that Donny had earned.

After a few minutes, Sandy returned as she said she would to lead John to where he wanted to be. “Are you ready sir?”

“Shore am, miss! Jus lead tha way!”

**

“Awww, naaawww! It’s John ain’t it?” With a short laugh Donny hurriedly wiped his hands on his apron before shaking hands; in total shock while also pleasantly surprised to see  John standing before him which meant that this poor man had bought himself a decent meal. He quickly pushed back the question of how the beggar had found his way downtown; realizing that people in this situation were city-contained nomads who mainly traveled a pedestrian’s tedious journey. Any suspicious reservations that Donny may have had about John were now gone because he knew that this man had nearly worn himself out to simply live a dream that the majority thought commonplace and took for granted on a regular basis. Elated that he had once again made John’s day brighter, he also told the beggar that his dinner was on the house.  If this dude can come in here willing to pay for his shit, I’ll be damned if I ain’t gonna bless him some kinda way! Donny’s religious upbringing mixed with his somewhat negative everyday outlook did not hinder him from being charitable.

“Ain’t this a surprise! Did you walk all the way down here? If so, then all I can do is thank you by lettin’ you have that dish on the house, man. You didn’t have to come back here just to compliment me… everybody deserves a good meal.”

“Well I shore do thank’ya! Hell, if I’d known you cooked like that, I’d be settin’ out there upside that Walmart beggin’ for leftovers…I don’t think Id’n ever had nothin’ that good b’fore! They both laughed at John’s joke.

“Actually John, that can be arranged. I’m gonna remember this the next time I see you in the hood. You oughta be able to catch a bus now that you don’t have to pay for dinner, so be safe once you get outta here. Ready for the tour?”

Donny had no problem showing the ragged man what he did for a living while also explaining that he was an aspiring writer to which John actually encouraged Donny to follow his dream. Their discussion was friendly and John was sincerely interested in what Donny told him. It gave him a sense of who this guy really was. Gathering this information would also benefit his investigative endeavors.

The two men laughed and shook hands again. John already knew the chef’s name, but he asked again. He felt that Donny was a genuine soul. However, he still had to do what he came to do.

The tour was a brief one, but it had allowed him to carry out his mission in both the kitchen as well as the office. Surveillance would be no problem, and all of his plans would be put into motion by tonight’s performance.

In their own separate existences,  John and Donny had a feeling of satisfaction once the night was done. They had both done their jobs, while also sharing the same comforting feeling of accomplishment due their expertise despite neither of them knowing the full truth about each other – especially on Donny’s end.

Upon returning back to his shack in the woods,  John made a quick call to simply say, “Done.”

**

Later that night after closing, Donny came home to wait for Linda to return from taking Brianne back to Sheralyn’s house. It did not take long for her to return and she was in a good mood. She made drinks for the both of them while Donny rolled an ample joint. Over several drinks and one more smoke, they discussed the events of Linda’s day with their baby as well as Donny’s evening with surprise as well as some unexpected excitement.

Linda had said that she was proud of Donny for keeping his brother in line, both of them knowing if these two ever actually engaged in a real fight that Donny would more than likely be the winner, but she was so happy that everything went well with the special. Linda’s inward thoughts about Donny and Derrick fighting were outwardly expressed by a long and seemingly uncontrollable laugh at the mental picture that had emerged in her mind. Donny knew that it was simply because she was high and ended up laughing with her. “Yeah, you right baby…his ass would be grass!”

The couple also discussed Donald’s absence which happened more and more each week. “You know my dad…ain’t no tellin’ what kinda mess he’s into – probably some ratched female again, but who cares…I did my thang!” Linda promptly agreed just before the subject of John’s appearance at ‘Robertson’s’ came into the conversation. Linda laughed as Donny repeated John’s jokes in his mocking accent. They both agreed that they now knew where the money that they had given John had been spent on, and for that, Linda was glad that their beggar had a nice day which they had contributed to. They both went to bed wondering what their next visit with John would be like.

***

Donald had made his deposit at the bank and sped home to get to his office. He could not be late for this call, nor for dinner. He seriously was not in the mood for Jesse’s questioning him about why he was always so late coming home when the boys were the main ones running the restaurant nowadays. Knowing that his wife was prone to a reaction of suspicion, he would simply tell her that everything was alright and that he’d had more business to take care of than usual and that everything at ‘Robertson’s’ was just fine.

As usual, he ate his dinner and talked with his wife until she was ready to take her meds and go to bed. With a sigh of relief, Donald realized that he was actually on time and went quickly to the bonus room which was conveniently upstairs; set off and away from their bedroom. Derrick only came back to use his old bedroom (which was also upstairs) when he needed money, to talk about business, or to vent his frustrations about his brother. He had not needed any money lately because Donald had raised his salary yet again, trying to ease Derrick’s frustrations which came from living above his means, but his father did not care. As long as Derrick did as he was told, he had no qualms about the boy’s behavior. Every young man needs to sow his wild oats is what Donald always told Derrick and he obeyed this command religiously.

Now settled in his office with the privacy that he so needed, Donald made a phone call. “Is this a good time for you?” Upon a positive answer from the receiver of this call, the awaited discussion began.

“Well…now that’s out-of-the-way, what kind of news do you have for me tonight. I need to know if we’re making progress because it’s time to get the ball rollin’. The money’s ready so I just need to know when you are, and it better be soon.”

“Sir, these things take time. I have to work my way up to – ”

“I don’t want to hear anything more about time! Time is something that we are running out of! I am not paying you to work your way up do a damn thing. You are getting paid to do exactly what I tell you, so maybe you should rephrase whatever you were about to say.” Everyone that Donald knew was familiar with his pushy attitude. His wife, children, and business partners alike. He did not accept ‘no’ very well as an answer to anything.

“Well, alright sir. My plan was to speak with her again on next week, because she did sound hopeful and agreed to speak with me again, but I guess Friday would be more to your liking. I’ll make my proposal on that day and see how she reacts, but you’ve got to understand the other aspect of the situation. If you are expecting more from this, it will take some time. Please believe me when I say that I have a good plan in mind.”

Donald was somewhat calmed by the explanation. “Now that’s better. Yes…Friday sounds much better…right on time in fact. I’ll make sure that the checks are written up for you so that next week, everything will be in motion and I assume that you know what to do about the other.”

“Yes sir…don’t worry, I have everything under control.”

With a short condescending laugh, Donald answered, “Well that’s where you’re wrong Steve. I, Donald Robertson have everything under control and the plan that you speak of is actually my plan, so I would be much obliged if you would keep that in mind from this day forward. All you need to do is be ready with your briefcase, your nice suit paid for by me, and your wavy-ass hair. Understood?”

Steve’s answer was a simple – ‘yes sir’ before they both hung up. Donald leaned back in his swivel chair while twirling an ink pen, smiling in satisfaction to what would occur in the near future. She’ll go for it…I’ll bring the trashy side out of that bitch yet. What are you gonna do then son? Haha…you’ll do exactly what I say, that’s what you’ll do. 

Donald’s thoughts followed him to bed where he found his wife sleeping as soundly as always. The coming weekend would go as he commanded, they would attend church as usual, and all else would soon fall into place. He laid down and let out a comforting sigh just when the telephone by his bedside rang. “What the hell…hello?”

The voice on the other end made Donald freeze. He thought his heart would stop right then and there while propped on one elbow.

“Why, hello dear father…your precious illegitimate daughter is back in town and can’t wait to see you.”

“Chelsea?”

“Of course it’s me daddy! You know, the one who was never allowed to live anything except what you demanded? Yep, I’m the one – unless there’s another one out there somewhere, but the one you’re speaking to now is Chelsea – glad to be talking to you again. You haven’t forgotten me have you? Of course you haven’t, you just wished you could, but that won’t be happening. Anyway, you’ll be seeing me soon…but I won’t be setting up an appointment with you like everyone else apparently has to, so let’s just say that I’ll see you on – whenever.”

Donald slammed the cordless so hard

on its receiver that Jesse stirred in her sleep. He assured her that he’d knocked the phone down while reaching over to put his glasses on the nightstand. Donald’s wife turned over and went back into her deep slumber while he stared at the ceiling in astonishment. This cannot be happening, but it is. “I’ll take care of this too.” Donald quietly made the statement to himself before drifting off to sleep…not so much at ease now.

 

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Aside

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. buildingalifeofhope
    Sep 19, 2013 @ 06:20:55

    I really am enjoying this story. The characters are well drawn and the subplots are well-developed. The overarching story is definitely suspenseful! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Christy Birmingham
    Sep 21, 2013 @ 03:10:26

    Oh! Well that talk about Chelsea caught me off-guard. You are throwing curveballs now, Charlene! The story is going well 🙂

    Reply

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