Chased by Nikolas Ardolf
- Genre: Romance
- Age: 18+
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Rituparna Darolia
“Brooks, someone is asking about you at table 50,” said Carmen, giving Brooklyn Davis a look of dread. Both of them were working as servers at The Chicago Lunchbox, which was a glitzy and upscale restaurant in the poshest areas of downtown Chicago. Brooklyn’s eyes widened with apprehension. She hardly knew anyone in Chicago. Who could ask for her?
“Who? Brandon?” asked Brooklyn, worriedly. Brandon Davis was her twin, and he was the only one she knew here. Carmen knew her brother very well since he came by many times to collect Brooklyn after late hours of work.
“No, no, a rude and arrogant asshole. Why don’t you find out for yourself?” Carmen walked away to get back to work.
Brooklyn sighed, not wanting to find out at all! Who could be the rude and arrogant asshole who was looking for her? Her heart started dreading going over to table 50, but she knew that there was no escape. She hated this job, but this was her only source of income. At nineteen she would rather go to college than wait tables at the Chicago Lunchbox, but luck didn’t favour her at all, especially after her mom’s death, a year ago.
She had just graduated from school when she had to take up a job to run the house, and her mom’s medical expenses. Despite trying her level best, she couldn’t save their mom who was suffering from Leukaemia for the last two years ago. However, she wasn’t alone in this. Her twin, Brandon, too, was in the same boat as her, although he continued his studies by earning enough money for evening college. Brooklyn did not know where he worked.
He was always the reserved one of the two. Being elusive, he preferred to keep to himself, sometimes staying away from home for days. Brooklyn had become used to his ways and had stopped asking. Both siblings had never seen their dad. He had abandoned their mom while she was pregnant with them! A cowardly brute! They hated him and had never asked their mom anything about him. For them, he was non-existent and inconsequential.
“Brooks, attend table 50. The man will drive us crazy,” said Mia, another server at the restaurant. It brought Brooklyn out of her reverie and she rushed towards table 50. What did the man want? However, she started attending table 40, where a large family had turned up for lunch. Afterwards, when she walked over to table 50, she found it vacant. Looking around in confusion, she was at her wit’s end. Where did the man go? Mia stopped by, seeing her lost look.
“He asked for you, then watched you, then downed three cups of coffee and then again asked for you. Then he watched you till he finished his coffee and then just walked out, leaving me a 100-dollar tip.” Mia waved the money in the air like a prized possession. Brooklyn gaped at her with horror. Was the man watching her all this while? This sure was getting creepy!
“Oh, are you joking, Mia? Why would someone do that? I don’t know anyone.” Brooklyn was at a loss and flailed her arms helplessly in the air.
“Nope, I’m serious as ever. He was so hot! His eyes would drive anyone crazy!” Mia rolled her eyes melodramatically, clutching at her heart. Brooklyn gaped at her friend as a feeling of dread clutched at her heart. Why would a hot guy ask for her out of all the hottest girls on the planet?
Brooklyn was concerned now. There was no trusting Mia. “I hope you haven’t given away anything about me?”
“No, I didn’t need to. He knew everything about you, your full name, your age, your brother, your address, everything.” Mia shrugged, walking away to attend to a table. Brooklyn stood dazed at the newfound information. How did the hot man know everything about her?
“Brooks, stop daydreaming and start working. Mr. Foster has his eyes on you, girl,” said Carmen, making her come out of her reverie and rush to attend to the tables under her responsibility. She didn’t want a blast from the scary Mr. Foster, who was their manager. The rest of the day, she was too busy to even give the incident another thought.
“Brooks, can you please cover for me tonight? I have a date with my boyfriend and Foster isn’t giving me a leave. He said to arrange for my backup if I need to go,” said Claudia, another server she was close to. Brooklyn nodded, agreeing immediately. Of course she would. She needed money and any sort of extra pay was most welcome.
“Sure, I will, enjoy yourself, Claudi,” she assured her. Brooklyn was a sweet and easy-going girl whom everyone liked. She was the youngest staff around the place and despite all hardships in her life, she was kind-hearted and helped everyone. Her colleagues loved her and they were like a family to her.
“Thanks a lot, dear. I’ll make it up to you tomorrow. Lunch is on me.” Claudia blew her a kiss and walked away to change out of her uniform and get ready for her date.
Brooklyn smiled at her offer and went about her work. She was already exhausted, but now, with Claudia’s duty, she would have to pull another five hours. She rushed around, pushing herself to the limit. Just a few minutes more and she could go home. It was about to be eleven o’clock in the night and she just couldn’t wait to drag herself home to her bed.
Finally, after fifteen minutes, her duty ended for the day and she rushed over to the staff washroom to change out of her uniform. All her friends had left except Mia and her boyfriend, Seth, who was the cashier. They always went home together.
“Do you want me to drop you home, Brooks?” yelled Seth as he wrapped his work for the day.
“No, I’ll reach home by the time you’re done here,” replied Brooklyn. She just couldn’t wait for another minute more. Seth gave her a salute and continued with his job.
Brooklyn rushed out and looked around. It was dark and deserted, mostly with the sound of cars rushing down the roads. Pulling her cardigan close around her, Brooklyn started hurrying down the road as fast as her legs could carry her. Her small one bedroom rented apartment was a twenty minutes’ walk away, and she always walked down. It saved her hard-earned money. It wasn’t much of a problem when she got over early, but on the days when she got late, she literally had to run all the way.
However, tonight, from the moment she started walking, she had the eerie feeling of being watched. The hair at the nape stood up, and she had to turn around to check.