The girl was pacing nervously on the sidewalk. The day was brisk; cooler than usual for the time of year, and this particular girl had been out in the elements for sometime. She had walked straight to the street of high-end restaurants after school for a reason: not to lose her nerve. An hour after the final bell had rung, however, and she found herself trying to ascertain that it was not lost, but merely hiding.

This is just like any other restaurant, she tried to assure herself. Except this one serves a lot of drinks. Mom and dad can’t be too mad, just because people order a lot of drinks…

That was the thought that carried her through the heavy wooden doors that she had to tug open with unexpected force. Though the day was far from sunny – in fact it was quite over cast – she found herself squinting in the low light of the new not-bar on the block. There were no windows, to begin with, but the dim lighting combined with the dark wood felt almost blinding compared to the cloudy day she had come from.

As her eyes adjusted, she spotted a blonde sitting at a table with a petite brunette, both popping gum and muttering conspiratorially between each other. Behind the bar, a harried looking woman with short hair shook a clip board at the new comer to the kind-of-restaurant.

“Are you my 4.15?” The woman behind the bar demanded, “Because if you are, you’re late.”

“I… I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” the girl said quickly. “Are you… uh… Miranda?”

The woman behind the bar set the clipboard on the counter. “Maya.”

At the dark, polished wood tables, the gum poppers giggled. The girl who had just entered squeezed her eyes shut, fighting back the urge to cringe. “Sorry, sorry. Maya. I’m Molly Sheriton,” she said, hurrying forward to offer a hand.

The woman ignored the gesture, crossing her arms over her chest. “Did you bring a resume, like I asked?”

Trying to keep her stomach afloat, Molly Sheriton passed over a piece of paper – one only slightly crumpled by the death grip she had had on it during the walk from school to the not-bar. Ducante’s. “Yes, ma’am,” she mumbled.

For just a moment, Maya raised an eyebrow, as if this ‘ma’am’ nonsense was entirely foreign. The expression was fleeting – or at least, it was covered as she glanced down at the paper in front of her. She pressed a finger to the ‘previous experience’ section. “You worked at a chain restaurant?”

“Um,” Molly fidgeted. “It was ‘family style.'”

A smirk seemed to tug at the corner of Maya’s mouth. “We don’t get a lot of families in here.”

“I… I know.”

With a flourish, the woman behind the bar lay the paper on the counter top. “Let me guess. You’re applying here because you think working in a bar is ‘bad ass.’ Or that it will make you more money.”

Molly fidgeted, but said nothing.

“Maybe it’s not about making payments on some half-baked teenage sports car at all. Maybe you’re just doing it to piss off mom and dad.”

“I’m not,” she said quickly, and just as quickly, biting her lip in silent, self-directed rage. This was all at once not the way, and entirely the way, that she had expected this interview to go.

Maya leaned her elbows on the bar, her face now very close to Molly’s. “Do you have a family, chica? One that loves you?”

“I… I’m sorry,” Molly murmured, taking a step back. This was all so horribly wrong. She was about to turn on her heel to go, when the bar keep spoke again.

“Because that can come in handy around here.” There was the sound of scraping paper – Maya was holding out Molly’s resume. “Show up tomorrow. 4 o’clock, no later. Training.”

Slack jawed, Molly accepted the paper.

Maya simply looked over her shoulder at the gum poppers at the table. “Alright. Which one of you sluts is my 4:30?”

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