Thursday is my last day ever working at Lilly’s. Usually the lunch shift is slow, but today we get slammed – the best way to go out. Nothing can upset me, even the party of 21 who wants me to give them a discount because their food just “took too long.” Them’s the breaks, lady. There’s 21 of you. I clock out around 3pm. I’m the last one to leave and actually get a little sad that my job at Lilly’s is over. It’s weird.
For the rest of the day I pack. My flight to Florida is at 12:39am and I’ll be back Sunday. I pack light.
At around 8, I stop in Joe’s for a drink. Glenn told me to stop in while he was working. He was hoping to get out early and hang out with me at Lilly’s, but as soon as I walk in he lets me know he has a huge party and probably won’t be done until much later. He still manages to get my glass of wine on the house. Since I’m alone, I spend the whole time on GirlTalk talking to Kelly about the movie, About a Boy. We love this movie – it’s so hilarious. The first time we saw it together at my house we were dying. We couldn’t wait for other people to see it, but one by one, no one laughed or got the jokes like we did. I think it made us like the movie even more. Kel and I go back and forth saying quotes or parts of the movie that we love. “We should have a Skype session and watch it together.” It really is making me want to watch it right now.
At about 9 I walk next door to Lilly’s to hang out since I can’t be here tomorrow for the last night. I told Tropez a couple weeks ago that I wouldn’t be able to work tomorrow. During lunch today I had to remind him. “Oh that’s right, you’re not going to be here. Did you put in a request off note on the board? I didn’t see anything up there. If you don’t have someone to cover your shift you have to work.” I laugh. OK, Tropez. Fire me.
Adeline, Pepe, Claire, and the three little ones are all sitting there when I walk in. Hey! Adeline is the first to say something. “Where have you been? We’ve been waiting for you all night!” What? Why? “You told us this was your last night and for us all to come in. We’ve been sitting here, waiting for you.” Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know if you were actually coming! But it’s not that late, Adeline. It’s not even 9:30. She gestures to her one son running around the room and the other one in her lap. “It’s late for me, honey. I’m never out this late.” Point taken, Mom.
Dorian is working behind the bar, Momo and Tropez are on the floor and Francis is in the kitchen. It’s nice and quiet in the front, but the patio and garden look pretty busy. I sit down next to Claire and catch her eyeing up my wrist. “I love your bracelet!” Thanks! They’re called Reef Beads! My friend in Jersey started making them. I tell her all the details. I’m very excited, especially since my Reef Beads just came in the mail today. Kelly got me the bracelet for my birthday and I’m in love with it. Dorian pours me a glass of Corbiere, the staff’s favorite wine. I order the burratta and tomato appetizer, too. It’s so good. I will miss this.
We all sit around talking for a while, but the kids are getting cranky (Joseph is just mad that I kicked his butt in an eye staring contest). We say sad goodbyes and promise to stay in touch. Since I’ve started working at Zinque a couple days a week, I’ve realized even more how much I’m going to miss Lilly’s. As much as I’m against the way the money is done for tips, this really has been the best place I’ve ever worked for my overall well being. No micromanaging, no telling me to do my job differently, no problem taking off. Everyone has been so nice to me, and I know I can be a stressed out crazy person. I finally say goodbye to Francis and Tropez. Francis is taking a long vacation after this, but I’m sure I’ll see Tropez over at Zinque. He says he’s going to start calling me every Monday, just to check in and see how me and Jake are doing.
I get home around 10:30. Mike walks in shortly after and immediately passes out. I have to leave for the airport in an hour, so I pour myself another glass of wine and write. At 11:30, Mike stumbles out of bed, drunk from sleep. I stumble to the door, just plain drunk. I tell him so on our short drive to the airport. I don’t remember the plane taking off but do remember waking up just in time for pretzels and biscotti from the flight attendant. By the time I reach Memphis for my layover I feel hungover. I don’t sleep on the second flight, anxious and excited to be in Florida.
It’s 11:20am on Friday when I land in Tampa. Stephen and the twins should be here in just over an hour. I make my way to their terminal, plop down in a chair with a latte, and wait for the siblings to land and Aunt Laurie to arrive.
*Ultra Orange and Emmanuelle