Time: Saturday, 11:05 pm
It was way past when we should have left, and yet…
And yet. The mopping still wasn’t done–though Dana was almost through with it–bits and pieces still needed to be picked up, and I swear the huge party we’d been working with all evening had only left something like seven minutes earlier. An hour after we closed. There was very little good to be salvaged from this day.
Once we’d finally finished everything, Dana and I sat down at the bar just to catch our breath. Zöe and Patrick came in off the patio, and Zöe gave us a smile. “All done?”
“Finally. All done,” I replied.
“Either of you getting a shift drink?” Her glass of sauv blanc was already in her hand.
I held up the hard cider I’d already gotten, and Dana shrugged. “Sure, why not. Pick a beer. Surprise me.”
Zöe headed back and grabbed Dana a beer, then said something to Patrick and went back out on the patio. I grinned at the taller guy. “Nice to see you around again.”
Patrick gave me a small smile. “Thanks. Don’t miss it.”
“I can’t say as I blame you.” With all the turn-over in staff back of house, the kitchen had been running a little raggedly recently. I didn’t envy anyone back there. Eventually we’d find a solid kitchen manager and everything would go back to…well, whatever we called ‘normal’ here at Mocha Time.
Patrick came around behind the bar and found a glass, starting to make himself a cocktail. I peered at the bottle he was holding. “What?”
“What are you making?”
“It’s kinda based on a gimlet.” I nodded, leaning back in my chair again.
“Sounds good.” I sipped the cider–a new brand we’d gotten in, and not one I’d tried before. It was tasty; I’d have to recommend it around. I knew a few other people who’d been wanting to try it.
I don’t know what made me look up when I did, but Patrick had finished his drink and was headed back around the bar. His pants caught on the edge of some signs we’d been storing a little haphazardly on some boxes, which made him stumble–and then slip on the still-wet floor from mopping. My eyes widened as Patrick caught himself…but not before the hand holding his drink had shot up and then down too quickly, sending his drink flying into the air and onto his head and back.
There were a few beats of dead silence, and then I burst out laughing. Patrick turned and glared at me, and I just opened my hands in an empty gesture. “Look dude, if only one of those things had happened, it wouldn’t be this funny. But that was straight out of a movie. That…that doesn’t happen in real life. What…what the hell.”
Even through the irritation, Patrick was biting back a smile. “I don’t even know how that happened.”
I pointed to the signs. “Those. I tripped on them earlier too, but I don’t know where else to put them. I’ll figure something out if they’re still there on Monday when I come in. Oh my God, Patrick. You’re okay at least, right?”
“My drink’s gone now,” was his only response before turning to make himself a new drink.
I just put a hand over my mouth. “Thank you for that, Patrick. I needed that after this stupid day.”
A/N: In truth, I think it was actually later in the night, possibly into the next morning when this happened. I can’t recall; it was a very frustrating night and I’ve pushed it elsewhere. As for the validity of the event? Absolutely happened exactly like that. You can’t make this stuff up.