There is a waitress named Lisabetta who lives in Harmony Cove. She works at the Harmony Cove Café. Harmony Cove is a picturesque coastal town kissed by Mother Nature’s lips. Some residents live in cottages where roses bloom over them.Some of the residents live in gingerbread style homes. Others live on sprawling estates of incredible beauty.
“Miss, may I please have my check? I’ve asked you about 5 times now.” The man looked at his watch in annoyance. “I will be late for work .What is so fascinating about the view out of that window?”
Lisabetta tore her eyes away from the tall, broad shouldered man who was walking into the restaurant. “I’m sorry, sir.” She wrote the check as she scurried to the warm honey coloredtable.
The newly arrived patron sat at his preferred table.Lisabetta approached the table. “Hi, Phillip. What will it be this morning?”
“I’m in the mood for some of your homemade blueberry muffins. That and a steaming cup of coffee.”
“Coming right up.” Phillip smiled as he gazed at Lisabetta’s rosy complexion, dark hair, and large,darkdoe shaped eyes. “Lisabetta, I’m sorry about your mom.”
“Thank you, Phillip.. She had a tough year battling her cancer, but at least she’s at peace now.” Lisabetta could feel tears welling up inside her.
Phillip scrunched his eyes up in a manner which exuded kindness. “You know, you might think I ‘m crazy, but you always reminded me of Snow White.”
Somewhat taken aback, Lisabetta sought a way to deflect the comment. “I can certainly see why. I toil here at the café all day.”
“Someday your Prince will come,” the female voice pronounced. An auburn haired woman with short spiky hair and chiseled cheekbones kissedPhillip on the cheek. Mine already did.” She clutchedPhillip's hand, as he smiled weakly.
“Hi, Vivian, nice to meet you here.”
“I dropped in for some breakfast before I go to work. I’ll have the fresh fruit and yogurt parfait, waitress.”
“That waitress has a name, Vivian. “
Vivian snapped her fingers. “It’s right at the tip of my tongue.”
“You know perfectly well that this is Lisabetta.”
“So sorry, LIsabetta, I always have had a hard time remembering the names of the help.”
Phillip’s shoulders rose, as he clenched his teeth.By the time Lisabetta had arrived with the orders, he was ready to vent. “Vivian, just because someone wasn’t born into a wealthy family, that doesn’t mean they’re inferior to you.”
“Please, spare me another lecture on the merits of the proletariat working class.”
Phillip sighed deeply and bit off a chunk of the muffin. “Delicious, Lisabetta. Your baking is a gift from Heaven.”
Vivian’s mouth was frozen in a tight little smile.“Lisabetta, dear, will you be attending the Make a Wish Foundation Ball ?”
“I’ll be serving as a waitress there. “
“How nice of you, Lisabetta. I’m sure you need the extra money, living on a waitress’s salary and all. “ Phillip rolled his eyes around, as Vivian droned on. “You’ll get to see a lot of prominent people, Lisabetta.I hear there’s going to be an ambassador there, from some country called Zarpathia.“ She touched Phillip’s hand. “And I’ll be seeing it all with you, darling.”
Philip pulled his hand away and drank his coffee. Vivian quickly glanced at her watch. “I have to get to work now. All those eager investors are waiting for me.” When she rose, she kissed Phillip on the cheek. “Oh, I almost forgot.” She pulled a dollar out of her wallet. “I can’t forget your tip, Lisabetta. Thanks for your service.”
Philip’s head dropped a little. When he lifted it, he sought out Lisabetta’s eyes. As she stared at his high cheekbones, and his tousled sandy brown hair, images flowed through her mind. She pictured herself walking along the beach, hand in hand with the man she’s loved since she was a girl.“I do apologize for Vivian. She can be a bit much at times.”
“It’s not your fault, Phillip.”
“Why do people do things they don’t want to?” LIsabetta shook her head. Phillip’s mouth turned downward in a sad look. “I have no time to philosophize, anyway. It’s off to work I go. See you, Lisabetta.”
Lisabetta watched as Phillip walked out the door. Sue, a fellow waitress,tapped LIsabetta on the shoulder. “Girl, are you still dreaming about that boy? When are you going to realize he’s out of your reach?”
“I can’t help it, Sue. I’ve loved Phillip from the moment I first saw him.”
“Your mother was the housekeeper for the Whitneys. His family would never let him date you. Boys like him may flirt with girls like us, but they don’t marry them. Besides, he’s practically been delivered to Vivian Mainfield on a silver platter.It’s practically a merger between the Mainfields and the Whitneys.”
LIsabetta sighed. “I guess you’re right, Sue. Boys like Phillip don’t mingle with us waitresses. Still, he didn’t seem to be getting along too well with Vivian. And he looked so sad.”
“Vivian Mainfield is like royalty in Harmony Cove. She’s the town princess, and Phillip is her prince. It was destined to be.”
“Do you know why I’m going to serve at the Make A Wish ball? It’s just so I couldbe with Phillip.”
“Hey,how long do I have to wait to get my order?” the annoyed voice demanded.
“Coming right up, Sir, “Sue responded. “See? This is our destiny, Lis. The princess stuff is for girls like Vivian. She was born to it.”
A couple of truck drivers lumbered into the café. “Hey, doll.” One winked at Lisabetta. “Get us some hotcakes and coffee.”
Lisabetta’s mind was fixed on a sweeter dream. Visions of Phillip danced in her head as she served the patrons of the café that day.Although she didn’t see him again all that week, she was always waltzing with him under a moonlit sky. She was squirming with anticipation at being able to be with him at the Make a Wish Ball.
The time for the Make a Wish Ball had finally arrived. Lisabetta and Sue stood in front of a stone castle. Balloons adorned the entrance with splashes of color. “How enchanting,”Lis exclaimed. “It has turrets, just like a castle from a fairytale book.” They walked through the archway to a courtyard where a fountain reigned. A sign in front of the fountain invited people to throw a coin into it and make a wish.Lis walked alone to the fountain. She threw a few coins into the fountain, and in a very soft voice, she whispered, “I wish for Phillip to become my prince.”
The sharp command broke her reverie. “This ain’t no time to be making wishes. “
Lis turned around to see a man holding a uniform. “You’re here to work, honey.”
Lis pulled the outfit towards herself. “What is this?”
“It’s the outfit Miss Mainfield ordered for the staff.”
“This looks like a French maid outfit.”
The man shrugged. “I’m Louie Palmetto, and I’m getting paid a hefty fee to run this thing. If Miss Mainfield wants you to dress like a Chiquita banana with a bunch of fruit on your head, than that’s what you’re going to do.”
“What’s the big deal, Lis?” Sue was already holding her uniform. “It’s just a shorter version of a waitress outfit, and sexier. Who knows what the night could bring wearing this?”
“Sue, I can’t let Phillip see me in this.”
“Girls, you have 15 minutes to dress before the guests start arriving. Move it.”
Lis and Sue changed into their uniforms in the ladies room. LIs‘s reflection displayed a wench in an off the shoulder black top and a lace trimmed white apron tied around the short skirt. A frilly white headband completed the look. “How humiliating, Sue. This is what Vivian wanted.”
“Of course. Like I said, Lis, she is the town princess and we are the lowly serving wenches, and the sooner you accept that, the better off you’ll be.”
As soon as they finished dressing, Lis and Sue entered the catering hall. Lis’s eyes drank in the exquisite beauty. There were tables and chairs covered in pristine white. Lush green foliage was placed in the center of the tables. Peach and white lanterns streaming from the ceiling cast a magical glow upon the scene.
The guests were arriving. Lis and Sue went about their assigned chores of passing out canapés. Lis was thinking about the moment when she would face Phillip and Vivian. She was torn between her desire to see Phillip, and to find the nearest mud hole to hide in. Then, she spotted him.She moved behind a crowd of people, but she was summoned by a familiar voice.
“Waitress.” Lis’s heart palpitated when she recognized the imperious tone.
She found herself holding out a tray to Vivian, Phillip, and a tall, slim man she had never seen before. He had a curious gaze on his face as he glanced at Lisabetta.
“What a darling uniform, Lisabetta. You look so, so suited to serve,
“Hello, Lisabetta. The uniform looks great. ”Phillip winked at her.
Vivian’s mouth clenched. She turned to the man standing beside her. “Ambassador, you must try the cheese puffs. They’re scrumptious.” She placed her arm on Phillip’s shoulder. “Come . darling, let’s introduce the Ambassador to all our esteemed guests.” Phillip smiled warmly at Lis , casting backward glances at Lis as he departed. The Ambassador was also casting backwards glances at Lis as he walked away.
Lis moved to the side of the space as the band started to play, and couples moved to the floor. Fast rhythms switched to the slow pace of “My Heart Must Go On.” Lis stood with her tray as she closed her eyes and sang softly to herself.
She opened her eyes to the sound of a deep voice. “May I have this dance?”
“Phillip, I mustn’t. I mean, I’m here to work, and what about Vivian?”
“She’s off with the Ambassador somewhere.”
Phillip took the tray from her arms and placed it on a table. He enclosed her hands in a gentle clasp. She followed along as he pulled her onto the dance floor. He had one arm around her waist and the other around her shoulder. She gazed into a pool of blue, as Phillip brushed her cheek with his finger.Warm, tingly feelings cascaded through her body. Lis glided along the dance floor with Phillip until she found herself in the courtyard alongside the fountain. She could still hear the strains of the music as the feel of Phillip’s tongue on her lips sent quivers down her body. Her eyes met his as he smothered her face with wet kisses.
“Phillip, I didn’t know you felt this way about me. I’ve loved you ever since I was a little girl.”
“I’ve loved you too, Lisabetta. It’s just that it was drummed into my head since I was boy that Vivian was the one for me.”Lisabetta’s heart quickened as he planted soft kisses on her neck.
The dream like mood was broken by a shrill female voice. “Ambassador, with all due respect, this is totally ridiculous. Lisabetta can’t be….” Her voice trailed off when she saw the Ambassador fall to his knees in front of Lisabetta.
Lisabetta’s mouth fell open just when Sue had ambled up beside her ,carrying a heavily laden tray. “Lis,I hate to break this up, but Louie is about to call out the National Guard for you.”
“There you are,” Louie’s voice boomed. He walked in front of Lis and Phillip to find the Ambassador on his knees. “What’s going on? Are you alright, sir?” he asked offering his hand to the Ambassador.
“Please get up, Ambassador,” Lisabettafelt her cheeks grow warm.
The Ambassador approached Lisabetta.“I have found the Princess of Zarpathia.”
“The princess?”Louis’s voice was incredulous. “This lady is no princess, and if she doesn’t get back to work, I’m going to withhold her wages.”
“Wait a minute, let’s hear what the Ambassador has to say,” Phillip suggested.
“I know this is going to come as a shock to you,” the Ambassador began. “26 years ago, the King of Zarpathia fell in love with a commoner. That woman was your mother, Lisabetta.”
“Her mother?” Vivian exclaimed. “Her mother was the maid for the Whitney family.”
“She told me my father had died before I was born.”
“Did she ever show you any pictures of your father?’
“She had a few of them.”
The Ambassador pulled a picture out of his wallet. “Does he look familiar?”
Lisabetta gasped. “It looks just like my father, except this man is dressed in royal robes with a crown on his head.”
The Ambassador nodded. “That is your father, Lisabetta. “
Lis leaned on Phillip for support. “How could that be? How could my father be a king?”
“Your father fell in love with your mother, who was a commoner. He wanted to marry your mother, especially when he found out she was carrying his baby. His family threatened to disinherit him if he did. His marriage had been prearranged at birth. His intended was the daughter of a Duke.”
LIsabetta sat down on the edge of the fountain. “This is unbelievable. What happened to my mother?”
“She moved to America. She was so hurt she ran off without telling the king where she moved to. He attempted to find out her whereabouts, but never succeeded, and he finally gave up after a few years.”
“Damn.”Louis proclaimed. “Just think, we have an actual princess here in Harmony Cove.” He walked away as he muttered umhhm over and over.
“What a wild tale,” Vivian pronounced. “How much did you pay the Ambassador to make up this tale, Lisabetta?”
“Madam,” the Ambassador exclaimed. “I take great umbrage at that remark. The reason I have Lis’s photo is because her mother sent it to me before she passed away. She felt she might be able to give her daughter a better way of life.”
“Vivian,” Phillip’s voice rose an octave. “I see you now for what you really are. You’re cheap and horrible, and I want you out of my life.”
“And I see you for what you are, Phillip. A man who can be suckered in by the wiles and charms of a cheap little tramp who’s the daughter of a maid.”
“She’s still a princess if her father was the King. It’s the law of Zarpathia.”
Louie returned with a tiara.He placed the tiara on Lis’s head. He stood in front of her . “I keep this on hand for weddings. You look beautiful, doll. It figures you’re a princess.”
“I must be some sight,” Lisabetta mused, “standing here in a French maid outfit and a tiara.”
Philip bent down on one knee before LIs. “Phillip, you don’t have to kneel before me. Please get up.”
“I’m kneeling because I want to ask you for your hand in marriage.”
“Way to go, Lis. I guess dreams really do come true if you believe hard enough.” Sue‘s eyes were wet and shiny.
LIsabetta stood up, and gave her hand to Phillip. She gently pulled him up and raised her lips to his. Lisabetta’s body melted into Phillip’s embrace as their lips locked in a kiss.
“That’s my answer, Phillip.”
“I’ve always known in my heart you were a princess, Lisabetta. “ Phillip whispered softly in ear.Moon glow and the shimmer of starlight fell onto the couple as they basked in a love that had found its’ completion
© Copyright 2016 Mindy Rodman. All rights reserved.