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Fast Times at an Italian Restaurant

by BP | Score: 5100

"Look out!" Gino sauntered between tables and waiters, sambaing his hips left and right to avoid bumping into anyone. Passing by Janine, he flashed her what she called his, "spearmint smile," the type of big-toothed, wide-grinned  shiners that people only ever seem to experience in commercials that sell things you stick in your mouth.

A packaged rested on Gino's hand like a pizza, Janine noticed. The broadside of it resting against his head, ruffling his otherwise perfectly gelled, jet-black hair.

"Moving in?" She shook her head. That was stupid. Better off not even trying for a joke than making a stupid one. But she had said it and now all she could do was sell it to the best of her ability. She beamed back at him, hoping her coffee-stained, unfit-for-a-gum-commercial teeth could match Gino's radiance.

"Not yet, Gee-gee. Working on it though. Signed up for Saturday night's shift. You?"

She turned toward him as he disappeared further into the restaurant and shouted, "No." I'm thinking about it though, died somewhere between leaving her lips and Mr. Somner's table where he spent every Thursday night with his wife, meaning she might as well not even have said it. Better to say something meaningless and be heard that something important and be ignored, she thought again. She whipped the towel she had just used to wipe down table 4 onto her shoulder and started to rush back to the kitchen when Lisa Manelli, another Thursday night regular, waved her down for more bread. By the time she was done saying yes for the thirteenth time and letting Lisa know that, yes, she would tell her mother she said hi, and yes, school was going fine, and no, she hadn't decided what she was going to do after graduating, and yes, her brother was doing well, and no, she hadn't spoken to her aunt Donna, but, yes, when she did she would tell her Lisa said hi, Gino was already gone, hidden somewhere in the back most likely talking to Rachel, laughing, and joking, and flirting away.

Tucking the towel into her back pocket, Janine decided that Lisa Manelli could wait a little longer for her bread.


"Where'd you get the package?"

Before she even passed through the hall to the backroom, Janine could identify the voice: Rachel.

"Some guy."


"No. He was delivering it when I got here so I told him I'd bring it inside for him."

"Don't they need to, like, have someone sign for stuff that like?"

"Nah, just the important stuff." That last one was Michael, Janine's closets friend at the restaurant and founder, president, and most dedicated member of the Rachel Summers fan club. "This is probably just something stupid like plates or something."

"Why the fuck would Kristeen order plates?"

"Because you keep breaking them." Gino laughed followed by  sharp slap--him and Michael high-fiving.

Janine felt her face stretch out into her own commercial worthy smile. Maybe not gum, she mused. But definitely some kind of mint. Taking that as a sign, she stepped out from behind the wall.

"Hey," she said, offering the room a shy wave. A stunning entrance, to be sure. She promised to scold herself as soon as no one else was around.

A round of equally unenthusiastic hey's greeted her in return followed by a staggering silence.

"Sooooo," God bless you Michael Viveros, "why don't we open it. If it's something important we can just blame Rachel."

"No way," Rachel said. "Janine just got here, we'll blame her."

Michael laughed, the traitor, as all the eyes in the room settled on her. "Hey, yeah. It's only fair Gee-gee." Go to hell Michael Viveros.

"Well, what if we just say we thought it was plates. That way it looks like we were trying to be, you know, good, industrious kids who take the world...by the..." She let the joke and the stupid "dad voice" she'd been using die there. Hopefully it would be a quick burial and they could all move on.

But Gino was smiling. Not quite a "spearmint smile" but close. A toothpaste maybe.

"It's probably something stupid like tablecloths. It wasn't that heavy."

"I'm sure it's a little heavy," Rachel said, placing her soon-to-be-broken hand on Gino's shoulder. "Look how big it is."

Completed challenges

The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:

Begin Start typing to begin
Words Reach 50 words
Location A restaurant
Event A package is delivered
Words Reach 100 words
Letter Use the letter N
Words Reach 200 words
Words Reach 300 words
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words
Words Reach 600 words
Words Reach 700 words

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