I sat in my car outside of the restaurant where I worked trying but failing at covering the bruise around my right eye. I closed the visor and pushed my make up into my purse and took a deep breath, I opened the car door and stepped out in to the cold January air I pulled my jacket tighter around me and headed for the door.
“Oh finally she decides to turn up” Brad hissed as I walked in he was the manager which I thought was fun especially as he’d graduated 2 years ago and just stayed at his part time job he’d had since being 15.
“Whatever” I spat back at him as I walked out through the kitchen to where we had a tiny break room and our lockers I put my bag and jacket away wincing as I stretched up, I heard the door close behind me and looked over my shoulder, Brad was standing with his hands on his hips.
“You’re almost an hour late for your shift” he said trying to come across with authority.
“So fire me or dock my wages” I shrugged, “I’m really not in the mood for your crap tonight”.
“I would fire you if you weren’t such a good waitress” He snapped. “I’ll dock you and hour’s wages, now get out there it’s going to be busy in a while there was the basketball game at the high school”. I fastened my apron round my waist and pushed my pen in my ponytail and pushed past him. I walked back through the kitchen.
“Hey no smile for us tonight beautiful” a voice called out, I turned round to see the guys that we’re cooking smiling at me.
“Not tonight guys” I shrugged got to use them all for the customers. I grabbed an order pad from the shelf by the door and walked out into the restaurant and over to the front desk. To see which tables I had Jenna was standing taking a reservation on the phone she smiled at me which soon turned into a frown when she noticed my eye.
“That shouldn’t be a problem thanks for calling” she hung up the phone. “What happened to you” she asked.
“Oh I slipped on the ice at home and caught my eye in the door handle” I said trying to sound convincing.
“Like when you fell last month and dislocated your wrist or like a while back when accidentally banged your head on the steps outside of your house” she moaned.
“I guess I’m just clumsy that’s all” I said shrugging I looked at the seat chart and walked away to my tables, just to stop her from saying anything else or asking an awkward question.
“Bayli” I jumped as someone said my name I spun round and groaned as I saw my older brother Mason and his friends or creeps as I liked to call them. “You need to come take our order”.
“You’re not sitting at one of my tables” I hissed turning away from him, I’d seen enough of him to last me a lifetime.
To be honest Mason was only my step brother and was 4 years older than me and home for a weekend from college. My Mom and Dad had spilt when I was little and I don’t really remember him, she’d brought me up on her own until I was 8 then she married her boss who’d got a son and daughter of his own and was also divorced. We moved into a huge house and things we’re good until Mom found out he was an alcoholic that thought it was his right to knock kids into their place, but by then she’d gotten used to the lap of luxury lifestyle and never said anything when he used to take his belt to me for stupid things like not putting a plate I the dishwasher. Mason was turning out just like his Dad we’d never got on from the first time we met and every chance he had to put me down he’d jump on it, only today he wanted more than I was willing to give.
“I don’t care if I’m not on your table” he smirked looking round at his creepy friends. “I thought I’d taught you a lesson in doing what you’re told this afternoon” they all started to laugh. I ignored him and walked past the table to go get something, he grabbed my wrist as I passed by him and twisted it so no one could see.
“Ow” I tried to pull my arm away but he gripped it tighter, I felt the tears sting my eyes.
“Don’t try to embarrass me or what you got this afternoon will be like a walk in the park” he whispered angrily. “Now take the order”.
“Excuse me is there a problem” Jenna smiled as she walked over. Mason let go of me.
“No not at all” he said in is sickle sweet butter wouldn’t melt voice which sent chills up my spine. “I was just asking if Bayli could take our order I don’t see enough of her since going to college”. Jenna glanced at me I shook my head slightly.
“I’m sorry sir you’re waitress will be with you as soon as she can Bayli has to set up her tables ready for customers” Jenna smiled falsely “I could get you gentlemen a round of drinks to apologize for the wait”. I managed to walk away and avoid then for the next hour but then I was too busy to even notice they we’re there. I had managed to get a table of 10 which I knew all of them from school but they we’re the Jocks and their high maintenance girlfriends that just seemed to be arm candy more than anything else.
“Hey Bayli, you mind if we tag that table on to the end of this one” Ritchie called over to me. I’d known him since before kindergarten we we’re never really friends but he was always ready to give you a smile.
“Sure just give me a minute and I’ll move it” I said clearing the table next to him I smiled and walked back into the kitchen, I went back out to see the group had grown by 6 people I took a deep breath and walked over. I moved the chairs and started to pull the table to put it next to the other one. I winced in pain.
“Hey why don’t you let the guys do that” Lucy said “I mean what’s the point in dating big strong guys if they can’t move a table for you” she sniffed looking down her newly altered nose at me. “Corey why don’t you and Austin move the table for Bayli she doesn’t seem to be able to manage” I turned and glared at her as she cuddled up to Seth the Captain of the Basket ball team. I stepped out of the way as two of the guys picked up the table easily and moved it I grabbed a chair at the same time as Corey did.
“I think I can manage the chairs” I said smiling at him.
“Now we don’t want you straining yourself” he laughed not when I need you to bring me my dinner I started to laugh and pushed the chairs to the table……………..
Everyone was finally sitting down and I managed to take their drink orders. I was just finishing writing when Lucy looked at me. “Exactly why is it you work, I mean your Daddy is a big shot lawyer and earns heaps” a snigger ran round the table. I pushed my pen back into my ponytail.
“He’s my step Dad and gives me nothing” I smiled back at her. “I have my own bills to pay. I’ll be right back with your drinks” I said changing the subject and walking away. I was doing the drinks and Jenna came up behind me.
“What was going on with your brother” she asked helping me tray up the drinks.
“Nothing he was just being his usual charming self and he’s my step brother” I shrugged. ‘Oh and he’d been drinking most of the day”
‘It just seemed he was being a bit…” I cut her off.
‘Really it wasn’t anything to worry about” I sighed picking up the tray and walking through the doors I put down the drinks and looked at them, “Okay are you ready to order” I smiled, working made me forget my home life. I looked over at Mason who was knocking back another shot of Jack, he looked at me and blew me a kiss I honestly think my flesh began to crawl.
“Er are you going to take the order or spend the whole night looking at Mason” Lucy snapped. “I told you there was something going on there” she said leaning across the table to her friends they nodded like good little sheep hanging on her every word. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and painted a smile on my face again.
“Sorry I was thinking about something else now what was it you wanted” I took all of their orders and walked into the kitchen to post the order. Brad came over.
“The school kids giving you a hard time” he asked.
“No more than normal” I said, “I’ve been dealing with crap from Lucy Jenkins since 1st grade, I’m used to it”. I walked back out and to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror to see my eye was more bloodshot than I first thought it was. “Jeez girl you look like you stepped in the ring with Mike Tyson” I leaned closer to the mirror at least the makeup hid a lot of the bruise, I pulled up the side of my shirt it see a bid purple welt I pulled of the dressing pad to show a mark of a belt buckle that had broken the skin. “At least you’ve stopped bleeding” I said talking to my reflection again. I threw the pad in the trash and tucked my shirt back in and went back out in to the restaurant I bumped in to Seth.
“I’m sorry if Lucy has embarrassed you” he said pushing his hands in to his pockets and shifting his weight from foot to foot.
“I get that sort of thing all the time, I’ve got a thick skin I don’t get wound up by it” I sighed.
“She gets out of line sometimes” Seth smiled at me. “And makes the rest of us feel embarrassed when her mouth runs away”.
“She’s your girlfriend, I thought you’d have been defending her” I winked at him.
‘Yeah well it’s still not right they way she spoke to you” he shrugged. I turned to walk away.
“I’d better check to see if your food is ready” Seth caught hold of my arm I winced. “OW”
“Sorry” he said in shock, he pulled up my sleeve.
“Eww that’s a bad bruise” he wrinkled his nose, I quickly pulled my arm away,
“I really need to go see to your order” I hurriedly said walking quickly for the safety of the kitchen. I picked up half of the order and walked out to the table Seth was squatting down at the far end of the table whispering with Corey and Austin, I saw him pull up his right sleeve and gesture to his wrist and shake his head. I groaned because I knew he was telling them about me, I tried to ignore it as I handed out the food. He came back to sit down as I put the last plate down so I grabbed the tray and went to fetch the rest of the food, I went to the opposite end of the table where Seth had been talking and handed out the last of the food.
“Thanks, by the way can I get a refill on my soda” Corey said smiling at me,
“Sure” I reached across without thinking about my sleeve came up by an inch or so showing part of the bruise. I quickly grabbed the glass and flicked my eyes to Corey who was sitting wide eyed. “I’ll be right back” I walked away. I did my best not to show I was uncomfortable round the table but I was getting looks from most of them now which didn’t help much. I loaded up the empty plates and lifted them away from the table.
“OMG that’s just gross” Lucy squealed “Bayli what the hell is that on your shirt” I glanced down to see a red patch leeching through the white cotton. “EWW that’s wrong” I made it through the door to the kitchen with Brad and Jenna 2 steps behind me. Jenna took the plates and dropped them onto the side.
“Is that blood” Brad said his voice rising higher in pitch.
“When I slipped today I landed on some broken glass I thought it had stopped bleeding” I said my voice shaking.
“I’ll get the medical kit” Jenna said looking at me and shaking her head. “And I have a spare shirt you can wear” I followed her to the pokey break room. “I want the truth from you” she snapped “What’s going on. Is your boyfriend knocking you around”
“I don’t have one and like I said before don’t worry about it” I shrugged taking the medical kit from her. “I’ll dress it myself” I put my hands on my hips and nodded to the door for her to leave.
“No way I’m staying here” she hissed.
“Fine” I said unbuttoning my shirt and pulling it off. Jenna’s face became all wrinkled up when she saw the marks on my body.
“You can’t call that nothing” she said taking the dressing pad from me. “Who’s doing this to you” she put the dressing on. “You need to go to the police if this is happening to you”. I picked up the clean shirt she had put over the chair and put it on shaking my head.
“I have to go finish my shift” I sniffed walking out I went back into the restaurant to find most of the table had gone including Lucy and Seth. Austin, Corey and a couple of girls we’re still talking. I started to clear the last of the plates from their table.
“Bayli is everything okay” Jenny smiled. She was new to school this year and I’d never spoken to her.
“Yeah every things fine” I said trying to smile and failing miserably I picked up the tip from the table and pushed it in to the pocket of my apron.
“What time does your shift finish” Austin asked.
“I have another 2 hours yet I don’t finish till we close tonight” I shrugged, “No way I’m going to get to study for the biology test in the morning” I said trying to make a joke. Corey stood up and helped Jenny put on her Jacket.
“I’m glad you reminded me about that” he grinned “I think I need to go study” Austin and the other girl got up. I watched them all walk out.
I avoided everyone else until my shift finished I left via the fire door in the kitchen so I didn’t have to sit and chat like we normally did after the doors were locked, I walked across the parking lot to the only thing Brian ( my step dad had ever given me apart from cuts and bruises) my Truck Mom had convinced him to buy when I turned 16 almost 14 months ago I pressed the button to unlock the doors when someone grabbed me by the hair and threw me against the truck………………….