Thursday, July 14, 2011

Crème brûlée

Note: this is a little story I wrote for class but I'm having some difficulty with this program retaining the format, indentions, alignment etc. Enjoy.

I am trying to act cool but the owner of the firm came too. It’s only been a few weeks since I started my position as Receptionist. Rachel, my boss, decided on Emeril Agassi’s new restaurant, in Orlando, for the Christmas luncheon.

“Any minute now,” she says pushing her sleek black sunglasses back over her long, dark hair.

A female hostess in a black dress shirt, her blonde hair pulled back into a tight bun, holds the door for us.

“For what” I say.
“He’ll find something to complain about,” she says.
Eric, the paralegal, shakes his head lightly back and forth, “He’s never satisfied.”
“At least we will get a nice meal,” I say nodding appreciatively to the hostess as we enter the restaurant.
“It’d be nicer if they weren’t here,” says Tina the older, blonde secretary, “they didn’t even wait for us they just left us in the parking lot,” she points to the owner, Ted and his perverted older brother, Ron who are already seated.

We follow the hostess to our table. The ceilings are high and the windows wall to wall. The crisp air and jutting rays of sun warm and cool my face as I walk. The light dances upon the crystal wine glasses, silver utensils, and china place settings. Blonde wooden chairs draw attention to themselves contrasting the white linen table cloths. With the coarse rock walls and cool air, I feel as though I’m on a city street somewhere in ancient Israel.

As we approach Ted waits, an impatient fist pushed up under his protruding chin. The sleek wooden floors make me nervous. My red pumps are new, a Christmas present to myself. Carefully, I make my way to the table fearing a humiliating fall. A young male server wearing a white dress shirt and black tie, his rich, brown hair slicked back, holds a chair out for me.
“Thank you,” I say smoothing my black shirt dress under my bare legs as I sit.
“Would you care for a black one,” the handsome waiter inquires.

My eyes dart about searching for his meaning. He raises his shaven chin motioning to another server who is handing a black napkin to Tina. Poising myself, “yes, please.”

He leans very close placing it upon my lap. His cologne, Armani’s Acqua Di Gio, encircles me tickling my nose. I struggle hard not to close my eyes while breathing it in. Through the meal I enjoy my plate of fish, veggies. When dessert arrives, the owner is still talking; he has been talking through the entire meal. The last I can remember he had started talking about his plans to visit his parents for Christmas although I can’t remember where he said they live.

It’s time for dessert, I had ordered Crème Brûlée. The server places a triangular dish in front of me. In the center sits a half hexagon beige mound, its smooth creamy bottom contrasts against the sleek tawny top. Aside it lay a medley of berries blue, black, and rasp. I push my spoon down hard into it but it slides through with ease. My spoon clanks onto the plate underneath it. A convex bite of the ivory custard slips past my lips, with little chewing, the bite smoothes over my tongue, massaging my taste buds. I smell rich confection. The luscious caramel topping crunches softly between my teeth. I give the fruit a try. I expect the deep red raspberries, their usual matte appearance replaced by an enticing gloss, to be tart next to the richness of the Brûlée. They are not. The raspberry seeds pop between my teeth as the juice trickles into my cheeks. I ease a spoonful of blueberries into my mouth. The dark, violet berries burst as their soft innards saturate my mouth. A rich red strawberry sauce lay drizzled in a zig zag over the dish. I swipe a dollop of it on my finger and place it in the center of my tongue. The substance melts away. The tartness tingles my jaw. I take a bite containing all the elements; it is like fireworks in my mouth, an explosion of sweet pastiche.
My mind has strayed far from the conversation but I hear enough to be confused. The lawyer takes a bite of his ominous pumpkin cheesecake then with contorted face pushes it from him, “so, it’s not a big cabin but it has all that you need, a place to eat, a place to sleep. It’s tight quarters but it’s enough to keep us somewhat comfortable for a day or however long it takes us to get to Mom’s.”

What is he talking about? To my shame I ask, “are you going by boat?” A shockwave hit the table. Each employee looks up in order as if participating in a strange wave.

The lawyer, mouth gaping, scans my expression with those icy blue eyes “are you kidding?”

Am I? Would it make it better if I were?

My boss, who had just hired me vouching, “she’ll be worth every penny,” places a shaking hand aside her temple. She drops it, staring right into me with those striking black eyes, “a boat from here to Virginia?”
Humiliation assaults me pressing down hard on my chest. My stomach thrashes within me. Mashing my bottom lip I accept the consequences, “Oh, of course not.”
Older brother, Ron snickers behind a chubby hand, a faux Rolex watch holds on to his flabby wrist for dear life, “wow, Rachel you know how to pick ‘em.”

Bumping a reassuring knee into mine Eric says, “Guys, you’ll have to excuse her she’s like a screensaver.” The attention shifts to him. I tighten as embarrassment licks my earlobes and heat strikes my cheeks. “Yeah well, if you tell a boring story she tunes out and goes into screensaver mode, looks like her dessert was more interesting than your lengthy train story.”

I join Rachel and Tina in nervous laughter. Ted shifts in his seat resting his glaring eyes upon Eric. Eric sets his jaw returning the evil gawk with a wry smile. The bovine brother is finally silent. It is apparent that Eric will pay for this later.

I learn two very important lessons, we here at the Dunn Law Firm take care of each other and my nickname will forever be, Screensaver

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