Chasing Kiarra - Book cover

Chasing Kiarra

N. K. Corbett

1: Marlin’s Diner



My boss’s roar rang out through the diner just as I was refilling a regular customer’s coffee mug.

“Uh-oh, someone’s in trooouble!” Joe laughed as I just rolled my eyes.

“Who knows, Joe? Maybe he finally realizes my name is just the perfect alternative to swear words.” I shrugged my shoulders and gave the middle-aged man a wink before making my way back to the kitchen.

“Ha! He’s known that since he hired you, honey. I haven’t heard him say ‘fuck’ in a month. But that last name of yours seems to be his new favorite word.” I heard him laughing from behind me.

Like a lady, I gave him the finger without turning around, and continued to make my way toward the kitchen where I knew I’d find my boss, tomato-red with visible steam coming out of his ears.

I didn’t really care that much; this was just a temporary place to be anyway.

Marlin’s Diner, a place at the edge of town with a maximum of fifty customers per day, wasn’t exactly where I planned to have my dreams of being a full-time waitress at minimum wage fulfilled.

As expected, I found my fat old boss standing with papers in his hand, red as a tomato and steaming like a kettle about to whistle.

“What’s up, Boss?” I gave him an innocent smile. I had no idea what had gotten his panties in a twist this time.

Last time it had been because I had forgotten to take out the trash after a twelve-hour shift. The time before that was because I had gone on a rant in front of a customer.

Excuse me, but if someone answers my “Anything else I can get you, sir?” with a condescending answer about giving him a blowjob behind the diner, I tend to go a little psycho. Sue me. At least I didn’t get physical.

So my point is, my boss got angry at anything. I could’ve forgotten to put the last one of the five sugar cubes in his morning coffee, and he would be a dick about it.

“Explain to me, Belle; what the fuck is this?” He shoved the papers into my hands, and I could see veins throbbing in his forehead.

I sighed and took a look at the papers. I read the first few lines, looked back up at my asshat boss, and rolled my eyes.

“This is obviously a lawsuit being filed against the diner; so what?” I knew what was coming next and was already packing up my stuff in my head, thinking about where my next stop would be.

I may need to find a friendlier town next time. This hasn’t been the worst, but it’s definitely not the best I’ve been in, either.

“This is a lawsuit against my diner, because you chose to fling hot fucking coffee at a customer!” Marlin was fuming.

I found it more funny than threatening, though.

Okay, it was hilarious.

Picture a walking tomato at about five feet tall, rounder than that, and fuming and steaming so furiously that at any minute there was gonna be ketchup all over the walls.

I snickered at that thought. Bet it would be my job to clean up the mess.

“Yes, well, if you recall, the guy smacked my ass and called me “sweet cheeks,” which by all accounts is sexual harassment. If I’m not mistaken, you told the fucker to get the hell out of the diner and told me that I did nothing wrong. So. What’s the problem?”

“The problem is this fucking lawsuit, Belle! Your temper is gonna cost me! And I swear, you don’t sit in front of the jury and tell them all that the bastard raped you, I’ll make sure you spend the rest of your life paying me back.”

I stood there looking at the short, fat man who’d been writing my paychecks for the past month and I felt absolutely nothing, except for impatience to get on with it.

“Sure, Marlin, but I need to get back out to the customers now. Oh, and don’t forget I get paid today,” I said as I walked back into the diner.

No use in arguing about the court stuff. I wasn't going to be there anyway. I just needed my last paycheck before packing up and quitting.

The good thing about my never staying in one place for long was that I never got past the first two months of job training, so last-minute resignations weren’t a big deal.

The rest of the day went by like usual. A few customers here and there.

When the clock finally said 8:00 p.m., I was happy to see Charlotte walking through the doors to take over for the night shift.

“What happened to Marlin?” Charlotte tied her apron, looking from me and back to the kitchen with mild amusement.

“Ah, nothing much. The pervert from the other day filed a lawsuit based on nothing. Marlin is using it to get a payday.” I shrugged my shoulders and gave her a smile.

It was true that Marlin was using it to get a little extra cash. He could’ve fired me if he didn’t think he could win the lawsuit and settle it that way.

But since there were hidden cameras in the diner, which the pervert obviously didn’t know about, Marlin could counter the suit with a sexual harassment complaint.

I wouldn’t be here for it though, so it would be settled with no payout or payday for Marlin.

He wouldn't be too happy about that, but honestly, the asshat shouldn’t try to use sexual harassment as a payday anyway.

Charlotte frowned for a second, before she turned it upside down and laughed.

“That would do it. Well, I’m ready to start working, so you head home, hon. Sleep tight!”

And with that, she picked up the coffee pot and went around to the three customers in the diner, asking if anybody needed refills.

Before heading out, I made sure I got my last paycheck from Marlin. His mood had turned from boiling to brewing, probably contemplating what to do with all the money he didn’t know wasn’t gonna get.

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