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Authors: Dalya Moon

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Love & Romance

Smart Mouth Waitress

BOOK: Smart Mouth Waitress
6.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Smart Mouth Waitress by Dalya Moon

 YA to adult; New Adult; Main character is 18.

Content Warning:
 Contains some swearing, underage drinking, talk of sex.

: Set in Vancouver, Canada.  Perry Martin makes a strong first impression, from her blond-brown dreadlocks to her uncensored opinions. When she combs out her dreads on a whim, she catches the eye of a cute guy who’s a regular at The Whistle, the diner where she works as a waitress. He mistakes Perry for someone completely different: the girl of his dreams. Perry tries to become that girl. But it’s so hard to be normal. And eyebrow piercings are so cute. 

Book Length:
 approx 90,000 words (about 270 pages in print) 

This book is also available in paperback.

Praise for Smart Mouth Waitress
"One of the best romantic comedies I've ever read."
- Amazon reviewer, P.J. Storm
"Perry is an 18 year old with issues. Between her rock star mom and her ADD dad there is enough drama but throw in her bestfriends new gf hating her and her little brother being - well a little brother it's enough to make any sane person snap. During all this she makes it her mission to get her first boyfriend and finally get some of that "love" stuff for herself.
I love how Perry is brutally honest and makes no apology for who she is, I do believe she's a little bit my hero.
- Amazon reviewer, Regina
"Peridot, Perry to her friends or Dottie to her mother, is an 18-year-old young lady that wants a boyfriend. She thinks she’s very individual and off-beat, yet her wants and needs are very mainstream. She finds herself agreeing with things her mom has done or said, which is slightly disgruntling yet normal for a young lady transitioning from teenage crazies to adulthood."
- Sara Nowlin-Edens, The Hysterical Reader (book blog)
- Neomi
"I didn't want it to end. I LOVE Peridot Martin."
- C. Powell
Chapter 1

February 2012, Vancouver, BC, Canada

I'm Perry and my superpower is knowing how people like their eggs. Other people have perfect singing pitch or the ability to get homework done ahead of time, but me, I can tell if someone likes their eggs scrambled, poached, or sunny-side up.

The guy at the table was a sunny-side up type, and when he asked what types of bread we offered at The Whistle, I listed them off for his girlfriend's benefit, since he and I both knew he was going to choose the white toast.

If my best friend, Courtney, had actually shown up for her shift that day, she would have pointed at him and said, “You're Chinese. You get runny yolks and white bread,” but she can do that because she's second or third-generation Chinese-Canadian herself.

Courtney's funny, and she introduced me to the world of banana humor,
being the term for Asians who feel white on the inside, whatever that means. Her favorite internet memes are Tiger Mom and High Expectations Asian Father—the one who says in broken English,
I am disappoint

Courtney will look at me whenever I'm doing something stupid, which is often, and say “I am disappoint.”

That Sunday brunch at The Whistle, I was the one disappointed in my best friend for dumping me with the whole restaurant to serve. I had Toph, from the kitchen, helping me, but he kept hovering too close, getting in my personal girl space. We bumped hips a few times and I suspected our collisions were intentional on his part.

The atmosphere was noisy that day, with all the diners shouting to be heard over the others. My ears were ringing, but I only had another hour before reinforcements arrived and I'd be able to sit and eat something besides lady fingers.

At the table, notepad in hand, I shifted back and forth like a sapling in the wind to prompt the couple I was serving to stop being so cute and order already.

The guy was Asian and adorable, wearing a
Hans Shot First
t-shirt. She was Caucasian, with a round face and big brown eyes, and she was familiar-looking. I tapped my notepad and said to her, “Either I went to school with you, or you're from TV, or both.”

“Bakery Confidential,” the girl said. “That's the show I'm on. I'm Maddie Bird.”

I pretended to wipe sweat from my brow. “Phew, that means you're not a Scientologist!”

Her boyfriend looked back and forth between me and her. “What?” 

She gave him the most adoring look. “Give the nice waitress your order,” she said.

The cute girl gave me a wink, as if to say, “Men!”

I nodded back, as if to say, “Don't I know it!” but the truth was I'd never had a boyfriend, even though I was eighteen.

Foot movement drew my gaze to under the table. They were wearing matching sneakers. Cuteness overload!

Maybe it was the stress of having to serve fourteen tables practically by myself, or the tearful goodbye I'd had with my mother earlier that morning. Maybe Saturn was in retrograde, or some bizarre climate-change thing was happening with the drizzly February weather, but a strange feeling came over me.

The cute couple did not make me feel like barfing. I'm not saying I wanted to have a threesome with them, but I
that thing they had between them. Love, I guess. And I wanted it.

I wanted to reach out and grab off a big chunk of what they had and take it for myself. I'd suck up their love and put it in a shallow bowl and dip my fingers in it, then lick my fingers.

I was thinking about all those things when I should have been jotting down their order. Like a fool—like some silly girl on her first day on the job, which, for me, it was not—I had to ask them to repeat their order.

He said, “I love having love with bacon love and love over easy love bread.”

She said, “Love love love, I cherish the love.”

In place of their words, my brain heard the word

When I asked, for the third time, for the cute couple to repeat their order, I swear every person in the tiny restaurant turned to stare, the vast majority of them through their hipster glasses. The art-student paintings of spotted dogs plastering the diner's walls also turned to stare with their doggy eyes.

“Love,” they barked.

Despite the cacophony of noises, I managed to hear their brunch order.

“Lovely,” I said, writing the order down. I can memorize everything for a table of ten, but I write the orders down because it makes people feel more confident.

I squeezed past Toph, who was refilling coffee cups, and punched in the order for the kitchen, silently cursing my best friend. She should have been there and had cute-couple's table, since she was also newly in love and thus already infected.

As far as couples went, I could handle the awkward first dates and the even more awkward morning-after, breakfast-of-shame couples, plus the long-term couples and the assorted it's-complicated friends with benefits, but capital TL True Love had unleashed something in me.

Right there, at my workplace, I got that same mysterious longing I'd started getting when I was thirteen or so, when I'd lie awake in bed at night, imagining putting on my pajamas and hugging other boys from my class, also in their pajamas. 

When the whistle blew, I brought the hot plates to the cute couple's table, stopped, and tapped my foot impatiently.

“Super,” I said, my voice flat with sarcasm. “If you could spread your various mugs, cutlery and digital devices out a little more evenly, I can set these plates on top of everything and have a somewhat level surface.”

They froze, their eyes wide. The love was still thick as syrup between them, but chilled with fear, like maple syrup poured over snow to make chewy taffy.

“Our tables are small because it discourages riff-raff like you from lingering,” I said. “Come on, chop chop. Put your iPhone in the middle, honey, I'll balance the plate right on top.”

A silence spread out around us, like the hesitant muting of conversation that happens to a group of friends walking outside when everyone feels moisture, but they're not yet sure if it's raining or a bird is pooping on them.

Some tourist-types at the next table laughed, and Little Miss Hard-Poached two tables over pointed her phone's camera lens my way to capture the magic.

The cute couple, blushing, put away their phones and some folded paper things—origami, perhaps—into her purse, clearing table space for the plates.

For a second, I felt simultaneously giddy and ashamed. I was in the right, but it felt wrong.

We're not supposed to tell people the gimmick and ruin the fun for people who know, but I leaned in and whispered, “At The Whistle, the attitude is all part of the experience. Feel free to whistle or snap your fingers if you need anything, or if you want the abuse to escalate.”

She did a cute eye roll. “Right! I knew that, but I totally forgot. We don't get over to Main Street much.”

“West siders,” I said with pretend disgust, as though that explained everything. “There's a dollar surcharge for you having crossed over Ontario Street into the exotic East, but I'll waive it because it's your first time and you're not wearing Lululemon.”

“We don't do yoga,” she said.

“You were very convincing,” the guy said as I slammed their meals down in front of them.

“Clean off those plates,” I said, and left them to their breakfast.

A big table of six made their way out the door, and I squeezed back to the kitchen without rubbing my bum on anyone's shoulders, which is a special kind of relief for me. My bum's not a bad size now, but it used to be bigger until this year, and I'm still self-conscious about its heft and firmness. I wouldn't mind bumping into our dining customers if my bum felt like a grapefruit, but it's more like two scoops of mashed potatoes.

With no diners needing my immediate attention, I snuck into the kitchen and grabbed a seat on a bucket of pickles. I gobbled down a day-old brioche, which is basically a bun, but with more egg and butter. We put some extra sugar in ours, so it's nearly cake but not cake, which is an important distinction if you're trying to keep down the size of your bum.

As I savored the soft, yeasty-smelling brioche, symbols jumped out at me. The cook, Donny, had a heart-shaped birthmark on the back of his neck. A postcard tacked to the staff corkboard showed two people holding hands on the beach. One of the potatoes Toph had left on the counter top was shaped like a heart. Even the root vegetables were taunting me.

Love was everywhere but in my life.

When I went back out to bus tables and take the last orders for brunch, the restaurant was an orgy of love. Good-looking people in jaunty fedoras and skinny jeans smooched and groped each other contentedly. Gazes smoldered. Two guys as well as one girl knelt next to tables and offered engagement rings while the recipients bawled happy tears. Okay, the last part probably didn't happen, but that's how I remember it.

When I got a short break from serving, I sat outside the back door, facing the alley, with a little bowl of white sugar, dipping my index finger in and licking the grainy sugar off—a trick I learned from my mother. We call it
lady fingers
, as in, “I'm starving for a hot meal because I've had nothing but lady fingers all day.” Mom says licking food off your fingers gets you in touch with your
spirit. There's comfort, not in the food itself, but in the connection to your physical self, and in the carnal licking of the fingers.

BOOK: Smart Mouth Waitress
6.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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