Chapter 20:

One day, Pecan worked at Witch Cafe Camellia. Part 2

Witch Cafe Wisteria

It was a breezy day at Witch Cafe Camellia. Yes, that was correct! Pecan was working at Witch Cafe Camellia that day, and it still shocked her to see her ex-girlfriend, Ama, working there. She thought she was in a whole other country the entire time. Though she had been upset at first, they cleared up their feelings and were getting ready for the expected rush of people.

Derry had told her to be ready, so Pecan was prepared for the worst. With a tasty meal made by Ama digesting in her stomach, she felt that she could face the day at full strength. It was Ama who was going to teach Pecan the ways of the cafe before they opened.

“All full?” Ama asked.

Pecan sighed to indicate that she was full. “Too full.”

“GOOD! You know I like feeding Hangry Hungry PecoPeco!” Ama cheered as she wiped the counter.

The witch apprentice grumbled as she swept. “I swear you keep adding on to that nickname.”

As Ama laughed, Miits came in to check on them. “Ama, you told her about everything already?”

“I’m like trying but like, it’s a lot!” Ama lied. While it’s not good to lie, she figured it wasn’t as if they weren’t doing anything. They were definitely cleaning!

Miits eyed Ama suspiciously, but she eventually went back into the kitchen with Yolanda and Minesh. Once they could hear her speaking to the others, Ama sighed. “Phew. Okay! So things are probably not TOO different! You just have to ring up food stuff too! So they told me you’d be making drinks and cleaning, so I’ll just be ringing up things aaand bringing out the food! Howzat?”

“Sounds good,” Pecan murmured, “But it might be good if I knew how to ring up the food just in case.”

Ama whipped out an abacus and stared blankly. Eventually the two started cracking up, but Ama quickly pulled it together once she heard Miits raise her voice a bit. “Well! We totally just add by totals right now! This city doesn’t do the whole history mystery thingy, so we have, WALLA! A new age register system!!”

“Uh, I think it’s ‘voila’, not ‘walla’,” Pecan pointed out as she inspected the cash register.

Ama made a noise as if she were rewinding and gestured toward the register. “VALHALLA.”

“Look, you--” Pecan tried to be firm but could only laugh. She inhaled and nudged Ama gently. “You’re going to get us in trouble.”

“It’s okay! We’re still working!” Ama said as she knelt and opened a door beneath the counter. She waved for Pecan to come down as well. Following the unsaid order, Pecan bent down to see a cabinet full of herbs and such. “These are our herbs! I can only make the really popular ones soooo I can’t help you on anything else, heh heh!”

Pecan took a peek at all the jars. There were some that she didn’t usually work with while some she knew well were missing. “No chicory?”

“Nope nope! Derry says you use that one like a lot! So she usually takes that one since we don’t really use it,” Ama explained as she pulled out a booklet from beside the jars. “Here are all of our recipes though!”

Of course, that was something Pecan appreciated a lot. At Wisteria, her time working was made a lot easier once Miits had written everything down for her, so she was glad that Miits had done the same for the cafe that she managed as well. “Miits is the best.”

“I knooow, right?” Ama laughed out. “But this booklet also has the prices! Like heeeere, and heeere. So just ring them up on the register based on this or the board if you wanna turn to look… and yeah! That was like the entire point of all that!”

Pecan clapped for Ama’s explanation as they both stood up. Even if it was a joke, there was a part of her that was genuine about it. She really didn’t get many explanations at Wisteria, so Camellia was like heaven to her.

At the claps, Ama bowed as she wore a cheesy smile. Finally, she pulled herself onto the back counter and took a seat, tapping the spot next to her so Pecan could join her.

Once Pecan was sitting next to her, she asked, “So hooow’s it at the other one? And ya know what? How are YOU?”

“I’m okay,” Pecan began. “I’ve been getting pretty good with witchcraft. I feel like that’s been taking up my time the most.”

“Yeah! Derry was like, she’s getting betteeer and betteeer,” Ama said while trying to imitate Derry’s voice. She hummed in thought and furrowed her brow. “Better and beeetter”.

Hearing the impersonation, Pecan let out a quick chuckle. “I’m glad she thinks I’m uh… getting good. Oh yeah, but uh do you remember that one guy who would be with those two guys who’d uh… say stupid stuff to us when they walked by us?”

“Hmmm, the guys who’d go “Mnnnnnngay” when they passed by?”

“I wasn’t even going to repeat it, but yeah, those guys,” Pecan confirmed.

“Euuh, I KINDA remember the others they were with… or not! Depends on what you’re asking for!” Ama said with a little hesitancy.

Pecan crossed her arms in slight discomfort. “Well, do you remember someone in that group with uh… weird brown-red hair? Popular?”

Ama nodded. “Ooo! Oh what’s his name-- Yamada Doe! The kid with two last names! He was in my classes sometimes.”

“Yes! Uh-- Him! He’s working at Wisteria now,” Pecan said with a huff. “My quality of life dropped so much.”

“Ahhh! A ruffian! A ruffian in the cafe! Hm hm okay okay, but like is he mean?” Ama asked. Pecan denied that he was mean, to which Ama replied, “Okay, ‘cause he was never reeeally mean to me in class at least. He was just… huh what’s a word for it? Hmmm… WEAK!”

The two women laughed and mimicked how Ama said “WEAK” in such a strong, deep voice. Until Minesh popped his head out of the kitchen to check on them in confusion. It’s not every day you’re working in the back only to hear the employees in the front suddenly yell “WEAK” in oddly demonic deep voices, especially when their voices were relatively high pitched before.

Meanwhile, at Witch Cafe Wisteria, Doe sneezed multiple times. However, this isn’t about Doe, so we shall return to Pecan and Ama.

“Sorry!” Ama called to Minesh as he ducked back into the kitchen. “But yeah! We had to be like project partners a few times! He was okay, just like hmmm obsessed with being liked or praised or… I dunno, weird guy, but he was okay.”

Pecan thought about that for a while, but she eventually dropped the subject and they decided to catch up on each other. Ama was liking Seabirche and being on her own while Pecan was enjoying all the cafe shenanigans in Reingale.

Soon, Miits walked out from the kitchen. “Aight, almost opening time.”

With that, Pecan and Ama prepared themselves for the day. As soon as they opened, three customers were already waiting to come in.

“Welcome to Witch Cafe Camellia!” Pecan and Ama greeted the guests.

The first customer pointed to the menu on the wall. “Can I have the Good Morning Gumbo, please?”

“Good Morning Gumbo!” Ama shouted to the back. Minesh and Yolanda shouted it right back. “Alrighty! Anything like a drink with that?”

The customer thought for a moment and then finally answered, “How bouta Good Luck Tea?”

“Okie dokie! That’ll beeee… eleven godas, please!” Ama beamed. She was about to call on Miits to make it but remembered that Pecan was there to do just that. “Pecan, it’s all you!”

That’s right. It was Pecan’s time to shine! She looked below the counter and grabbed all the ingredients she needed. “Okay, just give me a--”

“Helloooo! Welcome back! What would you like to order?” Ama asked the guest, who was wearing all black, after posting the receipt of the last order on the window for any of the cooks to take.

“Can I get the Blackened Boudain Bowl and a Creativi-Tea, please?” they asked.

Ama shouted for an order of the Blackened Boudain Bowl, and Pecan fished a small notepad out of her pocket to write the drink orders on.

“Also…” The customer in black shuffled closer to the counter. “Will there be a human sacrifice today?”

“Oi! You ask that every time and the answer’s always no,” Miits said, peeking out from the kitchen.

The customer nodded. “Just checking…”

“Welp! Speaking of checks, that’ll be seeeeventeen godas, please!” Ama announced. They ever so slowly paid and took a seat.

After the next customer ordered and paid, Pecan cracked her fingers. “Alright, Ama, watch this!”

With the swiftest movements she could manage, Pecan prepared the Good Luck Tea, clapped twice, and then hovered her hand over it. As she expected, a striking yellow beamed out of the cup, but Pecan waved her arms around to make it look more dramatic.

Ama had seen Miits infuse magic before, but she clapped since it was Pecan. As Minesh placed a plate on the order window, Ama cheered, “Ooo, lookit you! Leeet me get this order out!”

With that, Ama grabbed the plate, grabbed the drink Pecan made, and served it to the first customer. “Here you gooo! Enjoooy okay? Oh! And lemme know if you need anything!”

Pecan huffed excitedly. She was excited to see Ama’s stellar customer service. Perhaps not the most common thing to get excited about, but as mentioned long ago, Pecan is not exactly one to follow the norm.

“I should do more in that department,” Pecan thought as she watched Ama wave to the customer as she returned. Except, another group of customers came in and Pecan began to realize that it really wasn’t the time for theatrics. It was going to have to be a day with a larger focus on speed and accuracy!

Eventually, as the day rolled on by, the crowd slowed down considerably. Pecan couldn’t help but groan in fatigue as she leaned against the back counter.

“What the heck, isn’t it a little too busy?” Pecan asked.

Miits nearly stumbled out of the kitchen, fanning herself for a quick moment. “Tch. What, you want us to have less revenue?”

Minesh and Yolanda popped out of the kitchen as well, holding plates as they yelled, “Quick! Quick! Break time!”

Pecan looked around in confusion as Ama dragged Pecan over to the tables. Ama chuckled once she saw Pecan’s puzzled face. “We have to eat suuuper fast before the next rush!”

And so, the crew quickly demolished a plate of garlic fries with garlic aioli dripped over them. That time, everyone ate at the same table. If it wasn’t so busy, Pecan would have felt that working at Camellia was a little bit like a foodie heaven.

They hardly talked and almost as fast as it began, the break was over.

Miits gave a quick pep talk for the crew. “Yolanda and Minesh, you’re doing good. Ama? On fire. Pecan? Better than I thought. That’s a compliment. Good work. Aight, let’s hit it.”

“Thanks?” Pecan mumbled as she followed Ama’s lead in cleaning the cafe. The cleaning didn’t last long. A whole new crowd of customers started trickling in soon enough. So, off everyone went. Back to taking orders, cooking, and serving, that is.

It was a long day of work, but by the end, the crew was able to lock up and eat their dinner meals with smiles on their faces.

“Well, Pecan, thanks for your help today,” Miits said.

“No problem. I uh… thought Derry was just shipping me off, but uh… yeah, this place was actually packed,” Pecan said as she took a bite of her dinner. Ah, yes. Another wonderful perk. The witch apprentice was definitely loving the three meals a day part of Camellia.

Miits frowned. “You’d think Derry’d have you training for the witch test by now. Why’s she sitting on her hands about it? She probably didn’t even tell you about it.”

“Uh… about a witch test?” Pecan asked. She recalled Millan talking about a test too. “Not really, but uh… I heard about it from someone else. For the hats, right?”

“Yeah, for the hats,” Miits confirmed as she shoved a fork full of dirty rice in her mouth. “You did good with the drinks. I’d actually say you’re ready, but I’m only at the first level myself.”

Ama swallowed her food and giggled. “She cooks more than she magics! Magics? Eh. Let’s just make that a verb!”

“That’s uh… good though? I wish Wisteria had food. Maybe one day Derry will get a degree for it,” Pecan whined as she savored her near perfect meal.

At Pecan’s comment, Miits scoffed. “Oh here we go. She doesn’t tell you anything-- you know what, not even going there anymore. Go complain about it to her. See what you get.”

The others couldn’t help but laugh at Pecan’s puzzlement. Perhaps they knew something she didn’t know! Nonetheless, the crew finished their meal together with much chatter and jovial times.

However, Pecan couldn’t stay at Witch Cafe Camellia forever. As Pecan readied herself for her departure, Ama tugged at Pecan’s shirt. “So! So you should totally visit again!”

“Dang it, Ama, that wagon fee isn’t cheap,” Pecan huffed, but she couldn’t help but smile. “But I can try.”

“You can always walk!” Yolanda suggested. Everyone just laughed. People did it, but that would be just about a two-hour walk!

After a bit more chummy times, Pecan said her good bye’s and thank you’s. It was back home to Reingale for the witch apprentice.

The next day was pretty lively at Witch Cafe Wisteria as Pecan came back from Camellia loaded with many, many questions for Derry.

“So uh… why didn’t you tell me about Ama working there?” Pecan asked, just a little cross about it.

Derry tilted her head in genuine confusion. “I thought you knew....? She didn’t… tell you herself? Odd.”

Pecan knew that Derry had a point, and it seemed like she was pretty serious about her reasoning as well. It’s true that it wasn’t really her responsibility to tell Pecan. I mean, what person wouldn’t tell someone they cared about what they were doing, right? Well, of course there were many situations which it might not be necessary, but considering Derry thought that Pecan and Ama were friends, she figured that they were in contact! That being said. Pecan dropped the subject.

“How was it other than seeing Ama?!” Doe asked, excited to know.

Pecan thought and perked up as she remembered. “Oh. Right uh… Miits was telling me about the witch test and said I should do it,” she said proudly.

The cafe owner beamed and clasped her hands together. “Oh yes…! I forgot about that! It would be chill… if both of you took the test. I think you’d both be okay…!”

“Okay!!” Doe yelled out.

“Wait, Doe too?” Pecan asked, a little disappointed.

Derry nodded and pat Doe on the head briefly. “Doe is... a little prodigy over here. We were working on magic infusion a bit and he’s getting it good!”

Of course, Doe looked more than happy to receive such praise, but Pecan was less enthusiastic about it.

However, she fixed her attitude a bit once Derry lowered her voice and said, “You... must have taught him really well. That takes a lot of skill on its own.”

“Yep! Pecan was a really good teacher!” Doe exclaimed.

Pecan graciously accepted her praise right along with Doe’s. “Okay. We’ll both get ready for the test then.”

“Alright...! I’ll hit up the society and let them know,” Derry declared.

Doe excitedly swayed back and forth. “How exciting! Let’s do our best! We’ll work together! We’ll study together! We’ll eat, sleep, and die together and everything! Just kidding! But it’s still exciting!”

Pecan remembered all the food she was able to eat. “Oh man, that reminds me. Camellia had a bunch of uh… just food. So good. We ate breakfast together, lunch, and dinner too-- so good. Oh my gosh.”

“Aww, I wish we could have food here!” Doe whined as Derry averted her gaze.

“Yeah.” Pecan looked up at Derry’s suspicious expression. “So actually uh… are you ever going to get your degree so we can have food?”

Derry laughed nervously. “...I already have my degree.”

“What?!” Pecan and Doe shouted.

“I just… don’t like cooking,” Derry revealed.

However, this wouldn’t do for Pecan and Doe! For the rest of the day, Derry’s employees brainstormed ideas on foods they could serve. All for the future of Witch Cafe Wisteria and not their hungry stomachs, of course!

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