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Heartburn (standard:romance, 1492 words)
Author: Rene AmadorAdded: May 18 2002Views/Reads: 2042/1221Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
How many of us have been in a situation where things go from bad to worse, and all for a girl?

Heartburn by Rene Amador 

As Xavier sat on the curb of the street with the blaze to his back the
embers wafted on the air and slowly fell to the ground, extinguished 
before they hit the pavement of the sidewalk and street.  The smell of 
propane rolled out and seemed it would linger hours after the fire was 
out.  The fire department was in full force and tried their best to 
prevent the fire from spreading next door to the bookshop.  Xavier just 
sat there on the curb dumbfounded with his head in his hands.  The only 
thing he could do was mull over the events leading up to the fire.  He 
had to tell the insurance agent something. 

Usually Xavier worked the dinner shift at the diner.  He liked it but
not so much as to make it a career.  The pay was good and it fit into 
his schedule that he liked to keep for himself.  On this particular day 
he was scheduled to pull a double shift.  Anthony was out of town and 
he had asked Xavier weeks ago if he could cover his shift.  Xavier 
never worked the breakfast shift but Anthony assured him that it was no 
different than the dinner shift just that it was in the morning instead 
of the evening.  Xavier agreed, but a week before that day, he had made 
plans to go to a concert, the Screeching Banshees, his favorite band of 
all time.  Last minute plans were what he lived for, but due to the 
popularity of the band he had to buy the tickets in advance. 

The night before the concert he got a note from Anthony at the diner
reminding him of their switch.  Xavier slapped the palm of his hand to 
his forehead with such a force it sounded like thunder clapping.  It 
had slipped his mind.  Well, he decided to go to the concert still and 
just go through with the double shift without any sleep.  How hard 
could it be, he thought. The concert lasted until four in the morning.  
That left Xavier with about three hours of sleep before the diner 
opened.  It wasnít enough sleep in his opinion so he drove his car to 
the diner after the concert and slept in his car parked in the lot. The 
next morning he woke up and opened shop for the day.  About fifteen 
minutes later in walked the reason he took over the shift for that day 
for Anthony.  Catherine was the waitress that worked the morning shift. 
 Even in a waitress uniform she was a knockout.  One would think that 
she walked right out of a magazine, but she didnít look like one of 
those runway models.  This was a woman, the original that had tempted 
Adam so many years ago in the garden of paradises.  So beautiful, so 
woman, so money that she put Eve to shame.  The kicker, she was single. 
 How in this day and age a woman like Catherine was single defied all 
the explanations that modern science could offer. 

She strolled through the door and dropped her jacket and purse on the
coat rack going into the kitchen.  Xavier had always kept an eye out 
for Catherine.  Not only was she beautiful but also great to talk to, a 
combination found in a woman that seemed to beat all the odds.  She was 
the total package.  Xavier had made it a point not to make the wrong 
impression on her.  Although she was great, she had one major flaw: her 
temper.  She was known to fly off the handle every now and then.  To 
this day, she will not take an order for chicken parmesan no matter how 
much someone pleads with her.  Xavier made some small talk with her to 
ease into the shift until people started coming into the diner. 

That morning was a busy one.  Cooking the orders was no problem.  The
problem was cooking all of those orders either simultaneously or right 
after one another.  Omelets followed pancakes and french toast with the 
occasional steak and eggs.  Xavier cooked almost non-stop the whole 
morning and part of the afternoon.  Finally when there was a lull in 
the customer flow he had a chance to talk to Catherine more.  They 
talked for a few minutes until Xavier gave her a compliment.  He must 
have phrased it incorrectly because she slapped him across the face and 
walked away.  Even hours after that slap he could feel the stinging 
sensation on his cheek.  Odd, he thought. 

The dinner shift was more of the same with the substitution of dinner
platters and sandwiches.  Eventually the flow of people dwindled down 
to a trickle and they stopped coming in all together.  Xavier finally 
had a chance to apologize for what she thought he said.  All through 
the shift he ran the speech through his mind so that it didnít sound 

After locking the front door and taking the trash out he approached
Catherine as she gathered her belongings and started to make her way 

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