Day Eighteen of Thirty Days of Writing
Olivia tried to ignore the cell phone buzzing in her pocket as she took table 67’s order, but it was strange for anyone to call her, much less in the middle of the day like this.
She punched two cheeseburgers with tater tots in the computer and escaped to the back to check her phone. Worry was starting to weigh on the back of her head — she hoped everything was all right.
Three missed calls and one voicemail from the same unknown number. Olivia listened to the voicemail. “Hello this is Cheyenne from Real Realty, and we were calling because we still have not received your payment for 3452 Sutter Street. Please call back as soon as possible to avoid further fees and eviction.” Cheyenne’s voice did not sound pleased with the situation.
Olivia immediately dialed Emma. She was supposed to go to the bank this morning. What a fucking liar. Emma’s phone went immediately to voicemail. Where the hell was she? They had some little disputes as roommates, but Olivia felt like that was normal. In the two years she had known Emma, she had never seen her act like this.
Olivia sank down to the floor next to twelve, gallon cans of ketchup in dry storage and rested her head in her hands. What was she going to do? She needed six hundred dollars by tomorrow or she would be evicted. Twelve hundred dollars if she couldn’t get the bank to cancel her previous check for six hundred.
“Olivia,” her manager’s voice bellowed in the concrete room. She stayed silent. His footsteps padded away. She texted Emma, “CALL ME ASAP. RENTAL PLACE JUST CALLED.”
She was about to stand up and get back to work when Jackie came back and found her.
“Dude, Cal’s looking for you. Hurry up and get out there,” Jackie said, peeking her head around the shelves in the back of dry storage.
“Shit.” Olivia stood and walked quickly back toward her section. What was she going to do?
She tried to snag as many tables as she could during the lunch rush, and agreed to pick up another shift for dinner. At least work could distract her from the unknown. On her break she tried Emma again — her phone was still off, but Olivia was able to call and cancel the check. She guessed Emma had never put in the bank like she said. Olivia was starting to question if she even knew Emma at all.
“That’s so fucked up,” Jackie said, passing her a cigarette.
“I just — you know, I don’t even know what to think about Emma, much less what to do if she doesn’t show up with the money. Maybe if I work tomorrow, I might have enough to pay it.” Olivia shook her head, and took a drag. She could feel the tears sting the back of her eyes.
Jackie shook her head, “I’m so sorry, I wish I could help you.” She looked at Olivia with pity.
“No dude, just a shitty situation. I think I can cover it, but it will take every penny I have.” Olivia closed her eyes and shook her head. “Just what-the-fuck?” She kicked the curb they were standing on.
“Let me know if you need anything,” Jackie replied patting her on the shoulder.
Olivia nodded and they both headed toward their cars. “See you tomorrow.”