- Author: Bradleigh Collins
Book online «The Waiter Bradleigh Collins (autobiographies to read TXT) 📖». Author Bradleigh Collins
Copyright © 2020 Bradleigh Collins
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, or businesses is coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for use of quotations in a book review.
About The Author
for inspiring me to finish this book
for being there for all of it
One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.
God, I don’t want to go home.
It was my first thought when I awoke to the sound of the hotel’s radio alarm clock. “This is 1010WINS. You give us twenty-two minutes, we’ll give you the world.”
According to the newscast, it was seventy-seven degrees and going up to a high of eighty-eight on this Saturday, the twenty-eighth day of August. And, at the sound of the tone, it would be nine o’clock.
I rolled over to turn down the volume. Then I grabbed the phone and called my cousin Josh. He answered with a groan.
“Is it that bad?” I asked.
“Like you’re not hungover too.”
Actually, I wasn’t. I had paced myself throughout the previous night’s pub crawl. The evening started with margaritas and Mexican food at Mama Mexico. It ended about five hours later with tequila shots at Bourbon Street.
“I just need a really big iced coffee and a cinnamon raisin bagel. Meet me at Zabar’s at ten.”
“Ten-thirty,” he mumbled before hanging up.
I laid there, thinking about how much I was going to miss the feel of these crisp white sheets. After a few minutes, I climbed out of bed and opened the drapes. The rooftops and water towers dotting the skyline of the Upper West Side looked like disjointed puzzle pieces. I loved waking up to this view of the city every day.
I wanted to move to New York more than anything, and now was the perfect time to do so. I’d just turned thirty, it was the last year of the nineties, and a new millennium was approaching. I was also recovering from an apocalyptic breakup with someone I’d been dating for almost ten years. Now, more than ever, I needed a new start.
But first, I would need a new job. That was the primary reason for my trip. Hoping for a transfer, I’d interviewed at the Manhattan headquarters of the advertising firm I worked for in Atlanta. The interview had gone well, and I was cautiously optimistic.
I took a nice long shower and wrapped myself in the hotel’s comfy bath robe before rifling through my suitcase to find something to wear. I settled on a cute Old Navy denim mini-dress with spaghetti straps. It would be perfect for spending the day in Central Park. A little makeup, a lot of sunscreen, a high ponytail, and I was ready. I left a tip for the hotel maid, grabbed my Coach backpack, and headed out the door.
The sun was blinding and people scurried past me as I stopped to put on my sunglasses. New Yorkers are always in a hurry to get somewhere, anywhere. I, being a tourist for now, was taking my time and taking it all in.
The brightness of the day made everything appear in technicolor. Trees along Broadway seemed greener than the ones on Peachtree Street. A gold spire atop the Apthorp gate glistened in the sunlight as though it were winking at me. In the distance, the orange and white Zabar’s sign stood as a beacon, drawing me closer and closer to my morning caffeine fix.
When I walked in, the scent of fresh baked bread consumed me. I grabbed a shopping basket for bottled waters and Gatorades to take back to my hotel room.
“My god, it smells like an orgasm feels in here!” Either the other shoppers didn’t hear what Josh said, or they didn’t care because nobody reacted.
“How’s the hangover?” I said with a hug.
“Better. I had some Alka-Seltzer earlier and now I’m just starving.”
We walked up and down the narrow aisles gathering everything we thought we’d need for the day. I found my water and Gatorade while Josh grabbed a bag of Milano cookies and some potato chips. Then we got coffee and cinnamon raisin bagels and headed to the checkout.
“My friend Darryl thinks you’re hot,” Josh said as we paid for our food. “He has a thing for redheads.”
“Your friend Darryl is an alcoholic. I thought he was gonna throw up on the sidewalk in front of Jake’s Dilemma last night.”
“Yeah, he’s a bad drunk.”
We walked out of Zabar’s and started heading back towards the hotel.
“Why would you wanna fix me up with a bad drunk? Besides, I’m never dating again.”
“Don’t worry, I told him he didn’t have a chance. Dalton would kill him.”
Just hearing his name made me wince.
“Dalton’s a jackass,” I said with a mouthful of bagel and warm butter dripping down my chin. “I’m not taking him back this time.”
I wanted to mean it, and I was trying hard to mean it. I’d been keeping a running tally on my FranklinCovey Day Planner of how many days I had gone without speaking to him. It was up to thirty-five.
“Yeah, right,” Josh said.
I could understand his skepticism. Dalton and I had broken up and gotten back together about