Arthur enters the doorway and trips over a fallen piece of paper. He picks it up and goes up the stairs. He reaches the end rather quickly seeing as how it used to be such a pain going up to the entrance but now it only took a couple minutes to reach the top. Perhaps they did some renovations.
Once at the top, Arthur notices that the hallway is much wider now, looking at the walls, he sees that the wallpaper has changed from its once dark green to a light blue which compliments the atmosphere better. Arthur pats his pockets to make sure he has everything and starts walking down the hallway his footsteps get softer as he nears the front door, going out of his way to make as little noise as possible. Right in front of the door he stops and looks at the sign hanging on it that says “CLOSED”. Arthur puts his hand on the door knob and turns it slowly. He cautiously enters the restaurant.
Light from the street lamps illuminates a woman’s face as she looks out the window to a busy crowd. An apron wraps around her waist and covers the graphic on her T-shirt. She seems bored and uninterested as she rests her head in her hands while staring off into a daydream. She sits up after noticing the door open and spins around in her seat. Her face lights up as if she had been waiting for him for an eternity, then her face scrunches up into a wrinkly frown. She gets up from her chair and gives Arthur a hefty punch to his shoulder.
“Hey, you’re too early! You weren’t supposed to be here until-” Samantha looks across the room to a clock on the wall. “At least a few more minutes”
“There’s nothing wrong with being early Sam. Besides, the sky was clear for once, so I felt like taking a walk.” Arthur replies as he takes off his coat and hat to hang it on a rack next to him. His hair falls
“You could’ve given me a heads up y'know, like called or something. I haven’t even cleaned up the place. The family who came in today made such a mess at the second booth. Their toddler threw up all over one of the seats so I suggest you don't go anywhere near there for the time being”, she sounds so exhausted, Samantha goes behind the counter.
“So instead of cleaning up you decided to leave it there?” Arthur asks her. Samantha crouches under the counter and pulls out a handkerchief. She throws it over the counter towards Arthur who's sitting on a stool, He catches it and she says to him from under the counter.
“Well there’s no way I was gonna clean that! and plus you were already on the way sooo…. could you be a doll and clean it up while I fix us some drinks'' She looks over the counter and gives Arthur a wide smile. He sighs and pulls up his sleeves.
“Honestly, I don’t know how you run this place”
After cleaning up the mess of vomit rotting on the booth’s seats, Arthur looks around for Samantha. He sees her pouring out a drink in the “half baked” bar area. Arthur moves over in front of her and pulls out a chair from underneath the table to sit down. She slides him a mug of a piping hot dark liquid. It smelled like coffee but the vapour escaping the cup was strangely black. Arthur starts feeling a little concerned as he believed he was just served poison in a mug. He turns towards Samantha to start questioning her but she reassures him that it was edible, though she did not say anything about it tasting nice. That was enough for him to try it, at the very least he knew he wouldn't die.
He takes a long sip of the drink and it was nothing short of bland, tasteless and dilute. Arthur tasted a hint of coffee in it but not enough to overpower the general blandness of it overall. It was not bad to say the least and it didn’t taste like anything Arthur had drank before, but the drink itself had nothing going for it other than its unusual lack of flavour, given its appearance.
“That's something new I’m working on, I wanted something that tasted simple, y'know.” She explains.
“I think you could’ve just served water, it's barely a poison anyways."
“Good point, I’ll have to change that one”
She takes back the mug and walks into the kitchen. She comes back out to hand Arthur a different cup with a little stirring spoon. This one’s just plain tea,you can tell by its red tint and the faint smell of strawberries. As she carries the cup towards him, Arthur notices how she slightly shakes with the cup in her hands. After handing it to him she asks him.
“I’m gonna play a song, did you want anything in particular?”
“Let me think”
Arthur gets up from his seat and walks behind the counter to the shelf full of records. He presses a button and a record pops out. Its sleeve is in black and white with a woman’s face cropped in a square. The words were in pink and from her expression, she looks like she’s having fun. Arthur walks over and places it on the bar table.
“I’m not sure what this one is, looks as old as you though with all those grey hair”
“I don’t recognise it at all either. I thought you would having lived through the ice age”
“Hahaha, well at least my hair stayed the same, unlike you, its like ur an old grumpy jack frost”
“At Least I know when to stop dying my hair”
“Hmm, well if it's from the shelf then I guess you must’ve heard it somewhere, let's pop this in and give it a listen” Samantha goes to play it and Arthur sits back down at the bar.
The song starts to play. A drum plays a simple beat, brass and strings play in the background as a woman begins to sing. Arthur doesn’t understand her language but her voice carries strong emotions. He doesn’t pay much attention at first but as the song progresses he finds himself more and more invested. The word regret is slipped into the lyrics every now and then. Her voice sounds so happy, so why was it mentioned? Perhaps the song was about something else entirely than what Arthur had imagined. His judgement of a song was never off before. As the song continues playing through the walls of the room. Samantha walks in but legitly frfr.(nocap)
She sits down across from Arthur.
“You know with Samuel moving away and all, I really appreciate all the help. I know it’s been busy with all the work lately and I thought that I should let you know how much it really means to have you come around”
“Don’t think about it too much alright. What are friends for?”
“Yeah, what are friends for...”
“Well since Samuels is moving away he’s not gonna be able to come to work often. I was wondering” She looks down
“Would you like to work here?”
“Are you serious?”
“Completely serious, you’ll be paid by the hour. I'll teach you everything you need to know and I won't bother you if you need to work on ur Art. It would just be such a big help. Not a bad deal if I say so myself”
“Well I do need the money, so why not”
“Alright then Let's Shake on It!”
As they shook their hands, Arthur felt a chill down his spine. He looked behind her for just a second and saw a menu hopping around doing a little dance. She was just happy to have another worker but what Samantha did not know was the fact that Arthur was about to be evicted from his apartment the next day.