CopyCat Cafe: The Morning After

Continues from here.

When I woke up the following morning my first thought was ‘where the hell am I and why is my head so sore’. I might have been hung over but my memory was working because it only took a few seconds for me to remember where I was, why my head hurt and why I was sleeping in my bra and underwear and not my usual night attire.

As thoughtful and hospitable as Sonya was there was no clock in her spare room so I had to fumble around on the bedside table in the dark to find my phone. Once I’d grabbed it and brought it to life I could see that it was only 4:45am, I’d been asleep less than 3 hours, no wonder it was still dark and no wonder my head hurt. I put my phone back on the table and rolled over hoping for a bit more sleep and for the headache to disappear. I was lucky on both counts, not only did I sleep until 6am when Sonya came into the room and woke me but my headache had dropped to little more than an irritation by then as well.

“Wake up sleepyhead.” Sonya called from the open door as if she was my mother waking me for school.

“Argh, what time is it?” I said, my mind not quite as awake as the rest of me that was moving to get out of bed.

“6am, time for us to get to work, now organize that backside of yours out of bed!”

“Kiddo, you don’t have to come in today, honestly I’ll manage.” It wasn’t a lie I would manage, but I was also thankful for Sonya’s offer.

“Call me kiddo again and I wont come in!”

“Ok kiddo.” I said grinning at her from a sitting position on the edge of the bed.

Out in the kitchen I was surprised, but probably shouldn’t have been, how well Sonya had recovered from the night before, she’d drunk way more than me and she was not only awake but looked quite alive. Myself I was awake and moving but was not sure how alive I really was, and I was thankful I hadn’t seen a mirror. Then things got even worse because Tracey came out, dressed, make up on, hair brushed and as bubbly as ever.

“Oh my god, how do you two do it?” I asked.

“Because we’re not old!” Sonya replied quickly.

Over coffee and a quick round of toast I again told Sonya that she didn’t have to give up her day off work to babysit a hungover boss and again both Sonya and Tracey assured me it was happening whether I liked it or not. I was thankful for such good friends.

Walking to work with Sonya almost felt like I was doing the ‘walk of shame’ leaving my lovers house in the early morning and headed to work in the same clothes as I was out in the previous night. It was something I hadn’t ever done in my life and it felt weird, even weirder was the fact that I felt like that when that’s not what actually happened. The feeling was made a little easier by knowing that there was half a wardrobe of clothes stored in the storeroom at work for emergencies situations.

Like most hangovers mine dispersed as the morning went on and I felt well and truly able to cope with the day before the cafe was even open but Sonya still refused to go home and enjoy her day off.

“I’m not paying you to work here on your day off you realise.” I said jokingly still happy for her to be there but wanting to give her the option to leave if she really wanted too.

“That’s ok I’ll just steal double out of the till, and the cake from the cool room!”

Because I had organised to cover Sonya the day before we did have an extra body in the cafe for the majority of the morning. I wasn’t at all worried by the extra wages for the day simply because it made my day so much easier. I might have got over the effects of my hang over but getting over the missed hours of sleep was not going to happen by slaving over a sink of dirty dishes.

At 10:30, coffee time for some people, my phone rang but it didn’t ring more than three times before stopping. When I got it out of my bag I realised it had stopped ringing because it had turned off, the battery was flat.

“Oh well that fixes that.” I said to Sonya as I threw it back in my bag. “Flat battery, no one calls!”

“You have a charger over there don’t you?” Sonya replied pointing towards the clean bench in the corner where her bag was sitting.

“Yeah, but I obviously forgot it was there and couldn’t charge my phone until I got home.”

“You don’t even know who it was.”

“How many people have rung me on my cell in the past few weeks?”

Sonya didn’t need to answer the question because just as I finished asking it the land line for the cafe rang.

“Want me to answer that?” Sonya asked, I nodded, and not just because my hands were back in the sink.

“Good morning Copycat Cafe, Sonya speaking…No she’s not in at that moment…”
I could obviously only hear one side of the conversation but I suspected who it was by her tone, a tone which changed immediately and removed all doubt.

“Oh is that you Tom? She left twenty minutes ago saying she was going to meet you, I’m sure she can’t be far away.”

There was no amount of head shaking or waving of my wet hands in the air that was going to stop Sonya setting up the crazy plan our drunken minds had plotted during the previous night.

“Oh, it’s you Simon…Shit I’m sorry I didn’t recognise your voice, must be a dodgy line…Tom? He’s just a guy she meet…never mind, look I can tell her you rang but I’m not sure when she will be back…If it’s important you could try her cell…Oh well I think she took it so maybe it’s gone flat or something, you know what she’s like with her cell phone!…Ok well look if she comes back before close I’ll let her know you rang and she can get back to you when it’s convenient…Thanks for calling. Bye Simon.”

“Bloody hell Sonya!” I said, shocked, as she hung up the phone. “I didn’t think you were serious last night.”

“Of course we were.”

“I thought we’d wake up this morning and forget it. How am I going to face him now?”

“You wont have to for a while, trust me he wont ring back today!”

I honestly didn’t know whether to tell her off, praise her or throw a wet dish cloth at her, instead I said nothing and returned to doing the dishes.

Although I had no actual way to prove her efforts were responsible or not when it came to doing the close for the day and we hadn’t seen or heard from Simon I was kind of relieved. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and while I could feel a little bit of truth in that because my heart still wanted Simon I still wasn’t ready to just accept the rules of the game as he wanted to play them. My heart wasn’t ruling me that much.

Half way through the clean up there was a knock at the backdoor and my heart sunk thinking that I knew who was knocking. Sonya had given the other girls an early mark without asking me and when I again made comment about it being her day off she told me to quit complaining about working with her, so I just shut up and accepted it secretly happy for her company.

“I’ll get it!” Sonya said as she made her way towards the back door.

I was listening intently while acting like I wasn’t paying attention. I figured the door knocker was Simon and I wanted it to appear like I was not paying attention or waiting for him if Sonya opened the door wide enough for him to see inside.

“Hey babe! Come on in.” I heard Sonya say and realised it obviously wasn’t who I expected.

I looked up in the direction of the door and saw Tracey, followed by a man several years her elder. “Oh hey Tracey, great to see you. Glad you turned up I can’t get this one to leave the place. I’ve threatened her with everything today and she still wont go home. I was starting to wonder if she’d be staying the night.”

“Someone has to pick up your slack you drunken old lady.” Sonya joked.

Tracey laughed and then took over the conversation. “Kat, I’d like to to meet Tom, your stand in boy friend.”


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