Chapter 41:

I'm Hired?

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“Ah, how wonderful… Even her crying face is so cute!”Bookmark here

“Seriously Lily, you have a boyfriend.”Bookmark here

“Oh, Alan… Sweet, young, and stupid little Alan… He won’t find out, so it’s fine.”Bookmark here

“Hey, I’m not stupid! And I’m only two years younger than you!”Bookmark here

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After a couple of minutes, I completely finished the donut and stopped crying. Valerie sent me to a small washroom where I fixed myself by washing away my tears and snot. I was back at the booth with Ren beside me and Valerie directly across. Other than my eyes being unnoticeably red, everything was the same. The restaurant was also a little more packed.Bookmark here

I bowed.Bookmark here

“V-Valerie, I’m so sorry!”Bookmark here

“Oh? What for?”Bookmark here

“For what I did a while ago. Crying in front of you… I’m so sorry!”Bookmark here

“Oh…”Bookmark here

Valerie shook her head.Bookmark here

“Nah, it’s fine. Please raise your head.”Bookmark here

“B-But, I acted so improperly in front of you… I… Um…”Bookmark here

I looked down in shame and embarrassment… That was so disgraceful. That probably made Valerie think poorly of me, and it probably means that I’m not getting hired. It also probably altered the opinions of this bistro of other customers who witnessed my scene…Bookmark here

As I silently sulked, Valerie put a hand on my cheek — it felt warm and reassuring.Bookmark here

“Please stop, I really don’t like seeing other people look so gloomy. Seriously, it’s fine.Bookmark here

I raised my head to face Valerie.Bookmark here

“In fact, I encourage it. To be able to express what you’re feeling so explicitly… It means that you can understand yourself quite well, and I think that’s pretty damn important!”Bookmark here

I was still showing a troubled face, and Valerie noticed it. She moved her two index fingers to the corners of my lips and raised them… She made it look like I was smiling.Bookmark here

Valerie returned my artificial smile.Bookmark here

“Cheer up, Camryn — don’t be distraught over being yourself! And besides, people who can express themselves the best are the most interesting people ever.”Bookmark here

Do I really know myself that well? I… I don’t know. I mean, I was happy when I ate that donut, but the crying was involuntary. I wouldn't say that I was expressing, but rather failing to suppress. Hm…Bookmark here

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Valerie clapped her hands.Bookmark here

“Ah, okay Camryn, let’s change the topic, yeah?”Bookmark here

My thoughts of whether my knowledge of myself was enough were forgotten for now. I need to focus on what comes next.Bookmark here

Valerie went outside of the booth and signaled for me to follow. Ren also left the booth to let me through.Bookmark here

“Valerie?”Bookmark here

“Follow me to the back — we need to get you fitted with a uniform.”Bookmark here

“P-Pardon!?”Bookmark here

The three employees overheard and also conveyed their disbelief.Bookmark here

“What!?”Bookmark here

“Huh!?”Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

I also left the booth and stood in shock. I was hired? But how? I mean, my spilling of tears couldn’t have been the cause, right? Well, she did say that she was flattered by it, but that’s ridiculous.Bookmark here

Valerie was about to explain, but the girl named Lily angrily walked towards us and cut in. Alan was trying to hold her back but to no avail.Bookmark here

“Valerie, what the hell!? You don’t mean the girl’s hired, right!?”Bookmark here

“L-Lily, please calm down.”Bookmark here

“Huh? Yeah, that’s exactly what I mean.”Bookmark here

Valerie peeked her head at me.Bookmark here

“Camryn, you’re hired.”Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh, um, t-thanks…”Bookmark here

What? I’m hired? But why? Don’t tell me that the crying was the cause? If so, then getting a job anywhere will be easy — I learned to cry on command…Bookmark here

Lily put her hand on Valerie’s shoulders.Bookmark here

“Valerie, you can’t be serious! She’s only been here for what? An hour? And she’s hired? C’mon, at least host an official interview or something.”Bookmark here

“Okay.”Bookmark here

Valerie looked at me again.Bookmark here

“Camryn, what interested you in working at Alente Bistro?”Bookmark here

“Huh”Bookmark here

What? I have to answer that type of question? And it’s so sudden… Well, my primary reason was to gain experience on growing up and learn new life skills that my textbooks couldn’t. So…Bookmark here

“Oh, uh, well…”Bookmark here

“Oh, so it’s for the money? Yeah, that’s fine. You’re hired…”Bookmark here

Lily shook Valerie aggressively.Bookmark here

“The hell was that?”Bookmark here

“What? Everyone’s reason for applying for a job is money — and if it isn’t, they’re lying. Right, Camryn?”Bookmark here

I smiled doubtfully. Money, huh? Well, that wasn’t really my primary motivation… So what does that make me? Extremely rich? Heh, nope. A pretentious a-hole? Eh, maybe…Bookmark here

“That’s true, but that ain’t what I’m talking about. You can’t just hire someone like that — that’s just unfair! Or did you just hire her because she’s cute? How shallow can you be!?”Bookmark here

Pushing Lily off, Valerie laughed and wagged her finger.Bookmark here

“Ah, look who’s talking, Little Miss Falls-In-Love-With-Every-Living-Thing-She-Sees!”Bookmark here

Oof, what a counter! Someone, please get this girl some support before she loses and dies!Bookmark here

“And no. Camryn may be adorable, but that wasn’t why. Well, you see…”Bookmark here

Valerie gently shoved Lily to the side.Bookmark here

She smiled warmly and walked to Ren. A sentimental feeling radiated from her when she wrapped her arm around Ren’s shoulders, bringing him lower due to their height difference. Bookmark here

“You see, a big reason why I hired Camryn is that she’s acquainted with this guy.”Bookmark here

Lily stared at them, and I couldn’t blame her. Ren was why I was hired so easily? But why? I know that Ren and Valerie have been friends since high school, but they’re this close to each other? Even when Ren acts indifferent when she acts all chummy? Hm…Bookmark here

“The accountant? What, is he your ex or something?”Bookmark here

Alan put his hands on Lily’s shoulders.Bookmark here

“U-uh… Okay, that’s enough Lily…”Bookmark here

But Valerie continued.Bookmark here

“Ex? Nah, we were never in that type of relationship. However, we’ve always been good friends, right, Ren?”Bookmark here

“Hm. C-Correct…”Bookmark here

Valerie wrapped both of her hands around Ren’s shoulders, almost hugging him.Bookmark here

“You see, Camryn was actually referred to here by Ren. And hey, why shouldn’t I hire her?”Bookmark here

Valerie turned her head to look at Ren.Bookmark here

“Ren is one of the most diligent, hard-working, and caring people I know. Don’t you think someone acquainted with that type of person would exhibit similar traits? I also trust Ren, so of course his suggestions will be good ones — and I don’t think I was wrong in trusting him!”Bookmark here

Yeah, I agree with Valerie. Over the time I’ve been living with Ren, I have noticed those traits of his. Caring… It’s hidden by his serious appearance, but looks can be deceiving. But right now, why did I feel some guilt in his expressionless face? I was really unsure if the feeling was real, but I still felt a really small hint of it.Bookmark here

Lily sighed.Bookmark here

“It’s still unfair… I mean, not everyone has Mr Morales to back them.”Bookmark here

Valerie walked towards the room behind the counter, bringing Lily along.Bookmark here

“Are you just mad you botched your interview with me even with your expressive dress? Meh, don’t sweat it.”Bookmark here

“H-Hey!”Bookmark here

Valerie looked over at me.Bookmark here

“Camryn, come with me. We’ll get you a uniform and we’ll set up your schedule. We don’t supply the white shirt and black pants, so you’re gonna have to buy some.”Bookmark here

“R-Right…”Bookmark here

Valerie and Lily entered the room which I assume is the staff room.Bookmark here

“V-Valerie, this ain’t a personal issue I just think that everyone-”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah. Sort out your teenage hormones first, then we’ll talk…”Bookmark here

“W-What the hell!?”Bookmark here

As they disappeared from sight, Alan also left to tend to the front desk.Bookmark here

I slowly turned my head to Ren. He was, once again, caressing his right shoulder with his left hand.Bookmark here

“Oh, um… Congratulations on your first job… I doubt you will take longer, so I will wait here. Afterward, we will go to Beattie’s Heart to buy the other parts of your uniform.”Bookmark here

“Oh, r-right…”Bookmark here

After our exchange, I walked towards the staff room.Bookmark here

This was definitely different from what I expected… I was hired because of Ren, and the only thing I did was talk casually with Valerie and cry, huh? It’s… odd? No wait, yeah, it is odd. But I guess that shows the nature of Valerie Capperman and her restaurant — laid-back…Bookmark here

Well, whatever. All that matters right now is that I now have a job at Alente Bistro…Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.