“It will be a love story and she will be my heroine for all time, and her name: Viola”
-Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard-
It was early Saturday evening and I was polishing up glasses and putting bottles in order as the bars manager, Otis, came walking up to me. “Hey Cocktail artist!” He grinned while clapping me on the shoulder. “You have made this place so enormously popular I’ve had to hire some new waitresses.” I smiled back at him and mumbled something so he knew I heard him. Then he moved on to tell my colleague, Mike.
I watched Mike’s eyes lit up as Otis said the words ‘new waitresses’ and shook my head at him. After Otis had clapped him on the shoulder too, Mike came over to stand next to me. “Don’t say it.” I said, knowing it would have no effect. “New waitresses.” Mike almost moaned. I closed my eyes at the inevitable vulgarities that were about to spout from mike’s lips, and so they did. After he was done I gave him a slightly exasperated look. “What?” He replied, knowing full well ‘what’. “Mike,” I said smiling at him again. “If you live your life between your legs you’ll never see over this bar to begin with.” He laughed at this before countering with: “Well, if I have difficulty making eye contact with them, maybe you have a chance to get laid!” I threw the cloth that I had been using to wipe the glasses with at his head.
Later that evening, just before the night had really started, four blonde young women walked into the bar. Mike raised one eyebrow at me while smiling like a kid in a candy store. “Behave!” I said under my breath as the girls came up to the bar. They told us that they were our new waitresses and introduced themselves. Mike took each of their hands in his and kissed them. I rolled my eyes, introduced myself and then said: “Wait here, I’ll get the manager.” Mike, probably trying to show off beat me to it. He yelled across the room at Otis, who was sitting at a corner table arranging the menus: “Oti!” Otis looked up from the menus and yelled back: “What?” “The new girls are here.” “Good,” Otis replied, “show them where they can change.” Mike led the girls to the backdoor into the little kitchen. After he opened the door for them he turned and yelled again at Otis: “How many did you say there would be?” Otis did not look up from the menus this time but just yelled back: “Five, but one of them called to tell she would be a little late.”
About two hours later the first customers had begun to show up and Mike and I were throwing some bottles around to warm up. “Excuse me,” said a little voice from the bar. As I looked over I almost dropped the bottle I just caught. “I am supposed to start working here tonight?” She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. Big blue eyes stared out at me from under long sheets of silver white hair. A current went through my entire body before settling somewhere in my throat, leaving me unable to speak. A shattering sound brought me back to me senses and I was able to look away from her mesmerizing eyes. Mike was laughing and said loud enough for everyone to hear: “Guy hasn’t dropped a bottle in two years, pretty girls walks in and look what happens.” I looked back at the amazing girl half expecting her to have disappeared like a dream. But she was still there, still looking at me and smiling slightly. “I’m sorry,” I spluttered. “What did you say?” Her smile widened a little before she answered: “I am supposed to start work tonight.” I put the bottle down, “Yes, please follow me.” She walked around the bar her perfect hair slightly fanning out behind her. She seemed to catch every eye in the room. All the men were looking as I felt, as if they just had the wind knocked out of them. All the women looked at her with slight looks of envy before looking away again. I opened the door to the kitchen and told her she could change in there. As soon as the door had shut behind her Mike swung one arm around my shoulder and said: “Am I seeing this correctly? Mister ice heart has a case of the jitters?” I shrugged of his arm but before I could start denying he spoke over me. “I don’t blame you mate, look at her.” He whistled softly through his teeth and continued: “No worries, I’ll help you!” As I started saying: “No, Mike please…” The door behind me opened again and she came out, looking fabulous even in the black top waitresses wore around here. “I’m sorry,” she said while finishing tying her apron around her waist. “I never introduced myself.” She stuck out her hand to shake mine. “I’m Nina.” I immediately felt my palms starting to sweat at the idea of touching her hand. Quickly wiping them on my pants I clasped her hand gently and said: “I’m Jack, and this is Mike. The big black guy sitting in the back is Otis, he’s the manager.” As she let go of my hand my entire body seemed to scream in protest but I stayed still. “So how many people are you expecting tonight?”