Sunday, August 20, 2017
Charmaine whistled as she wiped down the front counter of the restaurant. The lunch rush was over and she was ecstatic that she was far enough ahead to have a little downtime before the supper crowd. Her cheerful thoughts were interrupted when the chime on the front door jingled a bit, signifying a customer's entry. She looked up to see a young teenage girl approach the counter.
"Hello. Can I help you?" Charmaine acknowledged with a smile.
"Uh… yes. Can you tell me if this is the restaurant where Cameron Elder works?"
Charmaine tilted her head sideways with confusion.
"Not anymore. Are you a friend of his?"
"Not exactly. My name's Maya and I'm a acquaintance."
"Yeah… he hasn't worked here in almost a month. He's friends with my son, so I'll have him pass the message on."
"Thanks… I guess." Maya said as she walked out of the restaurant. Charmaine just stood there for a second before walking into the back office.
"So, your mom's letting you work here again?" a waitress said as she sat on the corner of the desk.
"Yeah, but only part time and only on the weekends once school starts. Something about senior year being more important."
The waitress nearly jumped out of her skin when Charmaine walked in.
"S-Sorry, Mrs. Hayes! I was just asking Kenton about the schedule."
Charmaine smirked and nodded as she looked over the desk to see that Kenton was indeed working on the waitress schedule.
"Kenton, I have no problem with you dating a waitress, but if people see her talking to you while you're doing business, they're going to suspect that there's some special treatment going on."
"Even though there isn't?" Kenton said, not afraid to defend his integrity as a junior businessman.
"Especially if there isn't. Can you run to the store and pick up some bar cleaner?"
"Sure thing, Mrs. Hayes."
"And get yourself something nice, too!" Kenton cheerfully said.
"I already have you!" Talisha said as she left out of the front door.
"Kenton, baby, the weirdest thing just happened. A little girl came in here looking for Cameron."
Kenton looked up from his work with a confused glance.
"A little girl?"
"Yeah. She asked if he worked here, I said 'Not anymore.' and she left."
"That's really weird. He wasn't with us for a good chunk of the time in California. Makes me wonder what he was up to..." Kenton said semi-jokingly. Charmaine reached over and gave her son a playful smack.
"Stop that. You know that Cameron knows better."
"I know, I know. I'll text him and let him know. This should make for an interesting afternoon."
At Cameron's house, Sylvester sat in peace watching television with Cameron and Mia when Cameron's phone chimed with a notification. Cameron reached into his pocket and removed it.
"What's wrong?" Mia asked as she noticed Cameron making a weird face as he read the message.
"Kenton says that a girl was in the restaurant looking for me."
"Oh, this is better than anything on TV." Sylvester said as he grabbed the remote and muted the show.
"...What the hell?" Mia asked.
"I know, right?" Cameron said as he sent a reply back to Kenton asking for more details.
"Hey, I can vouch for him. He didn't get up to anything stupid while we were back home." Sylvester said to his cousin's surprise.
"Yeah, but there's plenty of stupid for him to get up here in Oregon." Mia said as she glared at her boyfriend.
"Oh come on, you can't be serious. You think anyone else would put up with me?" Cameron said, actually hurt that Mia was even suspecting anything out of him.
"Yeah, it takes crazy to love crazy." Sylvester added.
"Shut up, Sylvester!" the two replied in unison.
The phone chimed again and Cameron looked down at it.
"He says that it was his mom that saw her, and she was a younger girl."
"Did she say that you were her daddy? I've always wanted to see someone I know on that daytime trash TV." Sylvester joked before dodging several couch pillows tossed his way.
"I'm going to tell him to give her my address next time. I really want to know more about this." Cameron said as he tapped out a reply. Mia could only sigh at this.
"So, are you going to school here or are you going back home?" Mia asked Sylvester, trying to change the subject. The younger boy could only shrug.
"I really don't know. I know that school will be starting soon. Aunt Shirley hasn't said anything to me about going to school here."
"You're more than welcome to stay with us if you want." Cameron politely said after sending the message.
"Honestly, it's tempting. But, I have friends and a life back in Hollywood... Wait, are you saying that you like having me around?" Sylvester replied.
"Well… maybe." Cameron said as he looked down.
"Hah! You love me!" Sylvester said as he got up and playfully snuggled his older cousin.
"Okay, okay. I do, but that's enough." Cameron awkwardly said.
Monday, August 21, 2017 – Approximately 7:00 AM
The next day, Cameron sat with Kenton at the bar of the restaurant.
"So… since I don't work here anymore, I'm just a patron. I can push this bowl of pretzels onto the floor with no consequences." Cameron joked as Talisha swept the floor.
"That depends. Do you consider this broom going someplace special a consequence?" Talisha said as she held it up.
"No, I'd consider that a bonus."
"Shut up, Cameron." Kenton said, trying not to laugh as his girlfriend dumped out the dustpan before bagging up the trash.
"Hey, don't you remember the days when I did that for you all?" Cameron said, further taunting the poor waitress.
"Want this upside your head?"
"Kenton!" Cameron said in protest.
"Shut up, Cameron." Kenton repeated as Talisha went into the kitchen and out of the side door. Almost immediately, she ran back inside and to the dining room with the bag of garbage still in her hand.
"Everything okay?" Kenton asked.
"No, there's someone going through the dumpster." Talisha said.
"Okay. I'll take care of it." Kenton said as he took the bag of garbage. Cameron got up, not wanting his friend to confront the dumpster diver alone.
The two of them walked into the kitchen and out of the side door slowly.
"Hey! Get out of here!" Kenton said as he made some noise by kicking the side of the dumpster. The girl who was looking for Cameron just a day ago poked her head up and looked at the two older boys.
"...What the hell?" Cameron uttered as he recognized the girl.