Jesse got out of the booth at the diner and approached the counter. He hailed the young waitress over as he leaned against the bar.
“Excuse me sweetheart, do you have any ice?”
the girl’s eyes widened and she gave a nervous smile. “excuse me?”
“Ice, I’m wondering if you have any.”
she was looking really worried now, and with a glance over her shoulder, an older waitress joined her. the waitresses exchanged a look and the woman looked at Jesse politely.
“Can I help you, sir?”
“I hope so. I’m looking to get some ice.”
the woman gently stepped in front of the girl. “You’re barking up the wrong tree, fella.”
his brow furrowed. “I’ll pay extra if you want. I just need some ice.”
“this isn’t that kind of place.”
“what? this is a nice joint, I just thought you might sell ice. do you not have any?”
“I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
Jesse blinked. “What? why? I just want some ice.”
the woman turned to the younger waitress “Darla, go get Robby, tell him we’ve got trouble.”
the girl nearly ran into the kitchen, double doors flapping in her wake.
“Who’s Robby?” asked Jesse. “can he give me some ice?”
“You sicko.” said the woman. “you watch your mouth or Robby’s gonna throw your ass outta here.”
“What?” said Jesse “why?”
“you can’t go around harassing people for–”
“You making trouble, old man?” a huge man had emerged from the back, stained apron proclaiming him as Robby.
“No!” said Jesse. “i was just asking for some goddamn ice!”
Robby pointed for the door and growled. “You get the hell outta here.”
Jesse stomped his foot. “What’s a man gotta do to get some ice around here?! if yall don’t have it, just say so!”
by now, Nicoline and Elise and Shannon were at his side, trying to calm both him and the diner employees.
Elise was trying to speak to Jesse, with limited success. “Keep your voice down, no need to cause– No, no, I understand what you are asking for, but I don’t think they do–Jesse–Jess–Jesse. listen to me. be quiet. just for a moment.”
Nicoline was trying to soothe the large man who was staring to round the counter.
“He didn’t mean–”
“Is this pervert with you?”
“well, yes, but he’s not, I mean really not a pervert, I can promise you that.”
Shannon was trying to help the situation but was not helping, starting sentences and stopping when he was interrupted, just adding to the cacophony.
Robby spoke again. “You get him outta here or I’ll tho all of you out.
at this point Elise and Nicoline both spoke over each other to Robby.
“he meant ice!
“he was trying to say ice!”
Robby ran one hand slowly down his face and let out a deep sigh. “Barbie, will you please get the man a glass of ice?”
the three settled with Jesse back into the booth, where Russell was polishing off his pancakes.
Jesse was disgruntled and confused. “What the hell was their problem? I just wanted some–”
Elise and Nicoline interrupted him with a flurry of tuts and titters.
“don’t say it again.” said Nicoline
“It’s your accent.” said Elise “they didn’t hear you properly. instead of ‘ice’ they heard…”
“Ass.” the women said together.
“What? thats….” Jesse trailed off and looked at them wide-eyed as a blush began to creep up his neck. “They…” Jesse put his face in his hands and slowly descended to rest his head on the table. “No. that little girl. no…”
Nicoline patted him on the back but he only shrunk from the contact. the entire table was containing their laughter, badly.
a moment later the older waitress arrived with a tall glass of ice chips, and leaned over the table to set it in front of the beet-red Texan, who didn’t look up.
“Thank you madam, I am so sorry, I just…” He shrunk further into the booth.
“Just a misunderstanding is all.” she said coldly.
Jesse dug into his pockets and slapped $20 on the table and pushed Shannon onto the floor to get out of the booth. in a heartbeat he was out the door.
Russell looked up from his plate.
“What happened? why did he leave?”Add to favorites