Short Story: Cuban Heels – Prt 2

Part Two

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Creative Commons – http://pixabay.com/en/heels-shoes-black-fashion-clothing-160635/

‘Good morning Ms Monero, you come for breakfast?’

It was Anh, my favourite waitress. She was always so politely and had a genuine warmth for people because she loved people and hospitality came naturally to her.  She had her hair in a tight, immaculate bun and she always wore just the right amount of make-up for her face. Her skin was flawless, with beautifully defined cheek bones, and a smile that was adorable.

‘I have a table for you by the window today, Ms Monero, and we have a new buffet style for everyone with more to choose from.’

‘Would you like tea or coffee?’

‘Coffee Anh, that would be wonderful.’ I replied.

As she disappeared with my order I decided to go and see what so different about breakfast today. I didn’t want a huge breakfast, but I definitely wanted something hot at least to eat.  Anh, was not wrong.  There certainly was a lot more to choose from, besides the usual continental breakfast.  There were Chinese dishes and Asian dishes as well to choose from. I decided to wait whilst the chef cooked me a fresh omelette with ham.  He was cute for a chef.  He couldn’t have been more than about twenty-two years old and he had been working for The Solaris Hotel for about seven months. He knew exactly how I liked my eggs, as I always had them the same way, so he just got on with it, without saying much. To that I added some mushrooms, baked beans and a tomato salsa with jalapeno peppers.  I thought that would be enough and so walked back to my table and placed my plate in the spot I had chosen to sit in.  I then turned back to pick up a bowl in order to get some freshly  sliced tropical fruit and a glass of freshly squeezed green apple juice.

When I returned to my table, my coffee was waiting, and I sat down and started to eat. As I looked at my breakfast, I thought hmm ‘who was I kidding?’ ‘this was no small breakfast!’ I smiled at myself, because I just loved my food and puddings and cakes were just the best.  Heaven on a plate as far as I was concerned. Diets and small portions were punishment and never for me.

I could see through the thin white muslin curtain beside me, that it was another stunning day.  The sky was a baby blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight.  The food tasted lovely, as it always did here, and the tables were full with people eagerly eating their breakfast before heading out.

I, was in no rush, as I didn’t start singing until noon.

I took a sip of my coffee.  ‘Hmm, strong,’ just how I liked it.

My night had not been great. In fact, I only had around four hours sleep after another one of my nightmare nights.  What it was all about, I never fully remembered. All I know , is that I wake up with my heart racing, my body covered in sweat and an immense sense of dread and total helplessness. I’ve had these nightmares on and off since I was seventeen years old.  The day I barely survived,  and the day I lost my dad and younger brother.  I have no clear memory of what actually happened but doctors told me it was a way of the brain protecting itself from immense trauma.

I spent five months in hospital and through physio regained my strength to walk again. At first I would have the nightmares pretty regularly and I took tranquilisers in order to get some sleep but I took myself off of them after seven months because I didn’t want to be dependent on them. Over the years I tried many alternative herbal medicines and therapies instead to calm myself and to help me go to sleep, and slowly I regained my nights and my sleep back.

But last year I was in a minor accident with a friend of mine.  Someone ran into the back of her car and shunted us pretty hard into the car in front of us while we were at a stop light. We both ended up with whip-lash, which we both recovered from, eventually.  I couldn’t work for around three months, but fortunately my friends insurance covered us and we were paid compensation. Some how, however, this triggered the frequency of my nightmares again, and I have them a least five or six times each month.  Its rough coping with them but I have a pretty focused mindset.  It’s what enabled me to regain my walking so quickly following the accident. The doctors said it would take at least twelve months and I would be weak in my right leg.  But I was adamant that would not be the case. So whatever they set as a target I always pushed myself to exceed it.  I always set my own expectations because that was all that mattered to me.  I lost my biggest fan that day in the crash, so I had to make sure that my dad’s dream for me did not die too. I was determined to make it as a singer songwriter and bad nights were not going to get in the way of that.

‘Is everything ok for you Ms Monero?’ It was Anh back at my table.

‘Its lovely, and how are you Anh?’  ‘I’m fine.’ She responded with her usual smile.

‘Anh,’ ‘your make-up is always so perfect, do you do it yourself?’

She giggled ‘Oh thank you Ms Monero,’ ‘Yes I do it myself.’ ‘You like?’

‘Hmm, very much.’ ‘You trained in make-up?’

‘Oh no, I just watched and learned while I was back home in Vietnam, but I am trained in massage therapy.’

‘Really!’ I was totally surprised by her revelation.

‘So how come you work as a waitress?’

‘Its much easier to get a job as a waitress’ she responded. ‘But one day I hope to be a masseuse.’ She beamed.

‘You must do my make-up one day and give me a massage Anh.’

I could see that she was surprised by my statement. ‘Don’t worry, I know you can’t do this because of your job but outside of working hours should be fine.’ ‘Please, think about it? ‘I would pay you for your time.’

She smiled nervously, and softly said ‘yes’ as she cleared my empty plate and left.

If there was anything I was good at, it was recognising talent, and if Anh was a good as my instinct was telling me she was, I would be an idiot to ignore her. Massaging is one of the things I have in order to de-stress me and it helps to improve my sleep with the hope of reducing my nightmares. Anh would be a great asset as I need to build a good team of people around me.

My phone vibrated noisily on the table, It was Nicole my agent.  ‘Hey, how are you?’ I answered. She was her usual efficient self.

‘Evalise, I’m fine.’ ‘But I don’t have time to talk much.’  ‘I have an opportunity opened up in England for you to sing, possibly write a few songs as well for a new up and coming artist, it’s a nice earner, you interested?

‘How long is it for?

‘Maybe four months but with the song writing it could be longer if other artists become interested.

‘But the thing is you would have to finish at the Solaris by the end of the month.’

‘What? ‘You crazy!’ ‘Just hold on!’

I hastily got up from my table to walked through the nearest glass doors to the outside patio for some privacy.

‘That’s to short a notice, they can’t find another artist that quickly and I am contracted until the end of August which is two months away, you know that?’ ‘Whats wrong with you?’

‘Yeh but I’m sure I can cut that down!’

‘Really!’ ‘But that’s not how I work Nicole, so you need to sort something else out in England!’

‘Yeh alright, I will see what I can do but your interested?

‘Yes!’ ‘But not for the end of the month.’

‘Ok, I’ll get back to you.’  ‘Ciao!

‘Yeh cioa!’ She was gone.

Nicole, she is such a wild card.  Always pushing my buttons, because for her it was always about the next big break and nothing got in her way for the next big opportunity. It’s why I agreed to her being my manager, because she was a risk taker and very sharp.  But I couldn’t allow her to have it her way all the time, not at the expense of my own integrity. My word or promise means a lot to me and I was not loosing who I was for no one. I wanted my dream, but not at the expense of myself.  That was one of the things my father instilled in me, because he totally understood the music industry and how destructive it can be.

‘Money is great but it doesn’t make you who you are.’ He would say.

I stood in the heat for a while just to soak in the warmth of the sun and the location. Life was good right now. I think I will spend some time on the beach this afternoon, once I finished my first singing session.  I turned and walked back to the door I came through.  I looked to see if I could see Anh, but she was busy talking to some guests at a far table, so I headed out of the restaurant.  It was about 10:40, giving me enough time to go back to my room and rehearse a few tracks.  I loved singing, I always get so lost in it.

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