“We should celebrate!” Louis said, then put a fist in the air. “Party!”
I laughed when Dale finally put me down. “I can’t. I have to work.”
“Me too,” Sue added. “But you can go have some fun.”
“Yeah, party a little extra for us,” I called as Sue, I and the twins headed for the doors.
“Well, when can I expect you over again?” Connelly asked as we came to the Xterra.
“Well, with the way these new steps look, I’ll try to come over within the next few days.” I opened the door and threw my purse in. We smiled, and he pulled me into a hug before leaving.
“I’ll be waiting to hear from you!” he called as he and Ivan slid into his mustang and drove off.
That night, as we walked into work, we found several new servers training on the floor. When we went to ask Lou what was going on, he said he had hired them so we didn’t have to work pretty much every day and that doing that was too much stress for us. Of course, Sue and I had our suspicions he’d done that because we were now on the dance team and would need much more time off to practice. Oh well, I thought, at least now I’ll have more time to practice.
After that, I was able to practice three times the next week over at Connelly’s, and after the second time I finally convinced him to give me his address so I could drive myself.
A week later I found myself walking into a new coffee shop called ‘Pages and Pie’ that had just opened not far from my job. Just as the name suggested, it was also a small bakery and bookstore. It was bigger inside than it looked, and I loved how it was set in warm tones that complemented the dark wooden walls. It was Saturday and Sue and I both had the day off, since the new servers were working today.
A few minutes after the bell stopped tinkling from my entry, a girl of about twenty-five appeared through a doorway behind the counter. She was average height, with long brown hair in a high ponytail, and as I drew nearer to the counter, I saw her eyes were hazel, with brown rings around her pupil and the outside of her iris. She smiled and said, “Hi, welcome to ‘Pages and Pie’! My name is Cadence, what can I get for you?” She was wearing a dark red shirt with the logo that matched the sign outside the shop. It was the name ‘Pages and Pie’ with a picture of an open book with the pages turning and one of an apple pie on a plate behind the word it described. It was a very cute idea.
I peered through the display glass that made up the counter at an assortment of things that put my sweet tooth on edge; huge cinnamon rolls, mini cakes, full-size cakes, pies of all flavors, brownies, cookies, cheesecakes, cupcakes, and a few things that were especially for coffee. “Hi, I would like a French vanilla cappuccino and one of your big cinnamon rolls, please. Oh, and it’ll be for here.” I smiled back at her happy face.
“Okey-dokey!” she chirped, and as she prepared my order she added, “And because today is my grand opening, I’m taking a dollar off every purchase of six dollars or more, just so you know.” As her back was turned to me, I saw it had the word ‘Owner’ in black cursive letters. She handed me a wide mug with a red handle and she shop’s logo on the side. “There we go! Enjoy.”
“You’re the owner?” I asked, slight surprise showing on my face.
“Yes I am,” she said, looking proud.
“But you’re so young.”
She regarded me with a warm smile. “You can do anything if you really put your mind to it.”
“Thanks. It smells delicious,” I said and she nodded.
“I make everything homemade. Enjoy.”
There were several small tables in the dining area, all black, some square and other circle. Behind the tables and going deeper into the shop were tall black bookshelves, completely full of books. I headed to a square table at the front of the store that looked out onto the snow-covered street through the large display window. Sitting down in the plush black chair, I shed my long black pea coat and red scarf to reveal a red long-sleeve sweater, dark blue skinny jeans, and wedge high-heeled black boots with fur on top. Leaving my matching red beanie on and leaning back in the soft chair, I began my wait for Sue’s arrival.
She had called and said she had a surprise and wanted to meet here because it looked cute. Well, I loved her, but I pretty much knew what it was since I hadn’t had to drive her. Unless she was going to have one of her parents drive her or Ivan, she had gotten herself a car. Besides that, she also had some filling in to do, since she and Ivan had had their first real date the night before. The night she was supposed to have her first date after I had gone over Connelly’s house, ended up not happening because Lou had called us both in for work.
Just as I was taking my second bite of the huge cinnamon roll, which tasted like no other cinnamon roll I’d ever had, the front door opened and as the bell tinkled, Sue strolled inside wearing a snow-flecked blue coat, a blue and white striped beanie and matching scarf. Spotting me, she smiled and beckoned to me. “Come see this!”
Still chewing my wonderful roll, I quickly slipped on my coat since I was still wearing my black beanie and scarf, and followed her outside. We walked past several cars, and then stopped at a blue bug parked beside my yellow Xterra. She stood beside it and spread her arms open wide in a displaying gesture. “Introducing, my new car! What do you think?” She was practically glowing she was so happy.
“It looks great, Sue,” I said, finally swallowing. I came closer and looked inside at the nice tan interior. “It’s totally you.”
“I know.” She grinned. “Ivan loved it. I just wanted to show you so bad. I’m so happy!” We started back to the shop, my hands already starting to freeze in my pockets from the too cold weather. If it was already this cold at the end of September, I didn’t want to think how cold it was going to be when winter really got going.
I went to my drink as soon as we got inside and let out a sigh of relief as the warm liquid instantly started warming me. Sue came back with her own mug and a large brownie. We shed our coats, hats, and scarves, and sat there for a minute, enjoying the warming sensation of our food and drink. “So,” she began after taking a sip of her drink, “I was thinking we could do something fun with the boys today, I mean the twins.”