At home she poured a glass of wine and turned on the boob tube. Wendy watched the ugly pictures on the TV. She hated hate, and all she saw were pictures of war-torn areas and people who scrambled to find safety. I need to get out of here, she thought, as she shut off the television. She grabbed her purse placing the picture of Brad in it.
At Hoffman’s she dropped down onto a bar stool…Mike stood nearby preparing a drink.
“Hi. I got the impression you weren’t coming tonight.”
“I wasn’t, but with the ugly news and all the violence...I needed to get out of the house.”
“Pretty shitty, huh?”
“I will never understand hate. Why don’t people just do their own thing and leave others to do theirs?”
“A screwdriver?” Mike asked ignoring her question.
“Yeah, thanks. I’m sorry.” While he fixed the drink, she turned around toward the piano bar then back at Mike as he set the drink down. “Thanks.”
“You’d better grab the last bar stool before it’s gone.”
As she sat a woman asked Brad to sing, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” the song Wendy adored.
“Thanks, Patty,” Brad said as she put $1. 00 into his tip jar.
Patty’s face flushed.
While Brad was on his break, Patty turned to Wendy and said, “Hi.”
“Hi, I’m Wendy.”
“I’ve seen you here a few times. Are you one of Brad’s gals?”
Wow, quite a question, but not totally unexpected when you consider she was there a lot. “I just enjoy his voice. It’s bitchin’.”
“Yeah, it’s great.”
Patty went to the restroom. Wendy pulled out the picture of Brad and reached around his music stand, placing the picture of him there.
When Brad sat down to start the next set, he looked at the picture and smiled up at Wendy.
Wendy left after the fifth song finished. “I have to leave, see ya again,” she said to Patty. She stopped by the bar to say goodnight to Mike.
The busier than usual nursery surprised her. Dozens of people came in and strolled around. Claudia stopped by to talk to Wendy about meeting her on Monday and taking Wendy to a home she was designing. While at the nursery Claudia bought a prayer plant for her office.
When Claudia left, Wendy went to her office to check her calendar for all the events next week. She stared at Wednesday where she wrote in Elliott’s art show. On the calendar she had paper clipped the card he left with all the details. She looked forward to seeing his work. When Wendy talked to him at the nursery, he sparked a spirit in her unexperienced in a very long time. His creative mind intriguing her. He was so different from Brad, Mike, and Scott.
On Sunday, October 1st, The Fireplace Grill opened. Judy and Mary Ann came and brought people with them who Wendy didn’t know. Paid for snacks were placed on the tables. The increasingly large crowd was impressive. Wendy introduced herself to some patrons and moved around pleased people complimented her on the food and the décor. They may have been surprised by the mountain décor since the place faced the ocean, but no one said anything negative about it.
As Wendy stood near the entrance two women on their way out stopped to talk to her.
“We wanted to tell you, or whoever owns this place, that it’s a great escape like being in a mountain cabin. We’ll definitely be back.”
“Thank you so much. I’m one of the owners and it’s great to hear positive feedback.”
“Glad we could give it to you,” and they left.
Once a week she drove to the Grill to make sure everything continued to run smoothly. Jake said he’d go by regularly as he handled the business end just like he said. Stan would make the deposits at the bank and her cousin, and his accountant would keep on top of things. Stan was a godsend. Ralph, the other bartender, also handled the bar well.
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