I’m getting upstaged by a damn teenager. Ok, technically I’m 19 but that’s basically an adult, right? This kid’s only 17 and he’s already taken the café by storm. Three weeks ago he was drinking a strawberry milkshake that I brought him, and now he’s making them. Scanta gave him the best employee award of the month, despite him only being here for half of it. I got “Most Average” as usual. Even Wabong likes him. And they haven’t even met!
They were supposed to get formally introduced on today's shift, but-
“Where’s Wabong?” Kai asked.
Yeah, that about sums it up.
I gave him a knowing look and he furrowed his brows in annoyance. Poor dude had to carry all these shifts alone. Even with Rahim here, busy days were still a struggle. It’s not like he could work night shifts or during school hours, so he was limited as an employee. Another great reason why he shouldn’t get employee of the month.
Kai’s hours were technically limited too, in their own way. For some reason his dyed orange hair seemed to deeply offend Rika, so he never dealt with her directly. That meant that I had to deal with her directly the days that Wabong wasn’t here (which was basically everyday).
As for Ben… he’s somewhere. Lord knows. I’ve never actually seen him. He’s basically an urban legend. He came back for a couple of weeks after the ice cream machine fiasco, but then he broke the oven, so Scanta kicked him out again.
Rahim popped his head into the main floor to ask if we needed the pastry display case refilled.
“A few more of those butter tarts would be great. They’ve been our bestsellers lately.” Kai responded with a smile.
“Awesome! I’ll get started on those right away!” Rahim smiled back and disappeared into the kitchen. Ok, I had to admit, he was a pretty diligent worker. And he made good pastries. And everyone at the café seemed to like him.
Scanta even commented on how different he seemed from the dull kid that walked into the café three weeks ago. He’d stay late after work, experimenting with different recipes, and recently Scanta even let him add his own items to the menu, like the butter tarts, and frog shaped bread that the kids went crazy over.
This place was always full of teenagers after school these days. Scanta had started giving student discounts, which actually made no sense from a business standpoint, but whatever.
Maisha and her friends started coming here more often to “study”. The strawberry blonde one, Jessica (I think that was her name) usually accompanied her. Jessica also surprisingly got along with Genu for some odd reason, I’d see them talking alot.
Oops, I forgot I was working at the front counter today, “Hi, sorry, what can I get for you?”
The kid who was ordering (okok he’s clearly Rahim’s age) asked for a box of tarts.
“Can I also get the student discount?”
“Sure, do you have an ID on you?”
He took out his wallet and held up his student card. I wrote his initials, T. N., on the order ticket and let Rahim know. Apparently he went to some place called Elohssa Highschool
“Alright, no problem. Give us a few minutes.”
He sat down at one of the tables patiently waiting.
“Hey, he kinda looks like you,” Kai remarked.
“Huh? Really?” I squinted at him, “I don’t see the resemblance.”
“Well, you both have blonde hair and a similar nose. His eyes are brown, not blue, but close enough. Although he’s a little more rugged looking I guess.”
Scanta walked in at this exact moment and just had to add, “Yeah, he’s way better looking than you Tristan,” and let out a rowdy laugh.
I scoffed. C’mon, this guy’s only defining feature was just some scar on his cheek. Kai looked like he was about to say something but Scanta kept talking, really loudly for some reason, “You know, I feel like we’ve gotten so many new customers lately because of Rahim and Maisha, we should do something special for them.”
The wannabe Tristan sitting at the table seemed to take an interest in what we were saying.
Kai nodded, “They’re all graduating from highschool this year right? Most of them, including those two, attend Nerva Srec. Why not do a little grad party?”
Scanta’s eyes lit up, “Well… it’s still not for a few months, but sure, we can start planning now.”
“I sure would've loved to have something like that when I was their age,” Kai said while packing up to leave.
Same. My highschool graduation was just a bunch of sweaty teenagers in a crowded gym where we sat for five hours to get a piece of paper.
We all waved Kai goodbye as he opened the door and a cold gust of wind spread through the café, making us shiver. Some unseen force shut the door quickly. Probably the wind.
I boxed the butter tarts and placed it on the counter, “Order for T. N.!”
He grabbed his coat and walked up to where Scanta and I were standing and opened his mouth to say something, and the bald eagle started talking AGAIN.
“MAISHA ALI usually comes here AFTER SCHOOL, so we should make sure no one talks about it when she and her friends are around.” I covered my ears. He was so damn loud for absolutely no reason.
The kid silently took the box and left, letting in another cold draft.
It wasn’t until later I realized I’d heard his name before. Well, it was a common name, but considering all the things that happened today, it must be him.
Trevor. Trevor Neat.