One Day Maybe
by Mark C.
by Mark C.
Authors Note: This story is copyrighted by the author, and no part of it may be copied, linked to, or used in any way without the express written permission of the author. This is a work of fiction, and the characters, places, and events are not real. They exist only in the mind of the author. Any resemblance to real persons, places or events is unintentional.
Three years later...
"Where do these napkins that were just delivered, go?" I hollered to James, who was busy going crazy in the kitchen of his own restaurant, scheduled to open in just a couple of days.
"Put them at the server station for right now, Ben. I'll deal with them later."
I looked around the restaurant, muttering to myself, 'If I were a server station, where would I be?' There was furniture stacked up high, and cans of paint on the floor and drop clothes draped over things so all I could see were indistinguishable lumps here and there. The third drop cloth I looked under revealed the errant server station and I placed the load of napkins in it. That chore done, I headed over to the whiteboard set up in a corner of the dining room and drew a line through the word "Napkins".
To my eyes, there were an awful lot of uncrossed-out items left but I knew James was pleased with our progress so far. He had gone over the board with me earlier and pointed out most of the major structural items and equipment were done or installed, and really the majority of items left were details. These finishing details would be coming in fast and furious over the next couple of days. I had hugged him from behind and put my head on his shoulder as he went over the whiteboard. I could never get enough of holding him and his excitement for the restaurant was palpable and I, in turn, fed off it. Even after 3 years I marveled how much I loved him and it seemed to me, every day my love for him grew. Our sex was fantastic but what was even better was the feeling I was now complete and I knew James felt the same way.
I looked around at the mess which one day soon would be full of seated diners, with waiters taking orders and delivering food, hurrying to and fro in orchestrated chaos, and reflected back on how we had arrived here.
James had moved in with me after he gave his required month's notice to his landlord and we had merged our two households so James would feel it was his home too. His print of the Boston Commons replaced my print of the Space Needle at night where it now hung over the fireplace and looked like it had been hanging there for a hundred years. After several months of living together and growing closer every day, we discussed work and our relationship. Company policy would not allow two people in a relationship to be in a direct line report situation, and as James reported to me, we knew a change would have to be made. I transitioned over to Programming and became a Senior Projects Manager and Janice moved up to take my old position in Operations.
Six months later, we caught the train up to Vancouver, B.C. and had a long weekend holiday. We were walking hand in hand along the seawall in Stanley Park, taking in the view of green trees and ocean blue, when I dug something out of my pocket. Placing a ring in his hand, I asked James to marry me. Instead of a 'Yes', I got a merry laugh. He then proceeded to pull a ring out of his pocket and told me he was going to ask me when we had reached the next bench on the seawall. We had a small intimate wedding with our friends. James' mother and my parents even showed up, much to the delight of James. But even his enthusiasm could not warm them up and he had said, "At least they came." Fay and Tim were there too, Tim having come to his senses earlier, realizing his behavior was threatening their relationship and he did not want to lose her. That night when they got home from our wedding, he proposed to her.
We were on a walk in our neighborhood one day when we spotted a new restaurant opening in several days and I saw the look on James' face as he was peering in the window. Total fascination, with a bit of lust and wistfulness included. That night, I sat him down and we had a serious discussion about opening his own restaurant. He admitted he had been thinking about it but was not sure about what I thought, so had not said anything, not wanting to make waves in our relationship. I had cuffed him lightly on the head and said, "You goofball, don't you know by now you can tell me anything and I would still love you?"
The next two years were then spent in 'scrimp and save' mode, saving as much as we could for restaurant start-up costs while James began making business contacts and looking for a suitable space for his restaurant, to be called, simply, "James". Eventually a small location 4 blocks away from us came up for lease and James felt we were ready to pounce and he did. And thus I now found myself in the middle of a 'work-in-progress' and having a crazed chef on my hands. Would I change anything? Heck no. Did I know the restaurant would be a ton of work? Heck yes. Would I always love James? Damn heck yes! The only decision ahead of me was whether I would quit my job and work exclusively at the restaurant or stay where I was. I suspected I would end up at the restaurant so we could spend time together, even at work.
Gone was my motto of 'One Day Maybe". It had been replaced by "Forever, One Day at a Time".