Short Story #27
“Joyeux Anniversaire! Joyeux…”
Marcus scoffs as his and Ray’s friends – Benny, Justin, Ramses, and Hasan – cheerily sang birthday greetings to them. “Come on, guys, do you want the whole of Montmartre to know it’s our birthday?”
“Aw, Marc, don’t be grouchy!” Ray positively beams. “We only turn eighteen once!”
“Don’t encourage them!”
“We still love you, Marc!” Benny and Ramses chortled as the little party walked to the top of the district with Moulin de la Galette in sight.
“Eew! No! Love me less!”
The guys heartily laughed as they came to a stop in front of Le Petit Eiffel its blue and white facade beckoning potential patrons in. The twins had a reserved table for six two months ago and they were looking forward to spending the evening in good company. However, when they walked inside the Belle Époque inspired restaurant, the maître d was near tears and looked as if he was ready to quit.
The little party paused to take in the scene. One busboy was clearing a table of five, two waiters were trying not to crash into each other as they sped to the kitchen with orders and many patrons were complaining about poor service from such a fine establishment!
The maître d sighs. “It’s been like this for the past two hours. Monsieur Deschamps has broken his leg and left his nephew in charge, but Gregorie has not been nice to the staff and they had it to here and some of them quit earlier even the head chef.”
“What can we do to help?” the twins asked in unison.
The man was bewildered. “Are you joking? It’s your birthday! Your table is reserved and…”
“We want to help in any which way we can.” Ray was adamant. “La carte, s’il vous plaît.” He scanned the menu and grins. “I can cook everything except the frog legs,” he said making a face. “I’ll cook, Ramses can help, Marc and Benny can bus the tables and Justin and Hasan can be wait staff.”
Marcus frowns. “Why can’t I help you cook?”
“You’ll eat the dishes before they reach the tables.” Ray was already making a beeline for the kitchen. “All right, men, let’s go to work!”
Le Petit Eiffel had to turn away some patrons after word spread about the da Díxon twins busing tables. When the doors closed at midnight, everyone was exhausted. Marcus sat next to his twin munching on a pack of Lays he found abandoned in the kitchen cupboards. Justin, Benny, and Ramses were on the phones to their parents while Hasan hummed under his breath to an old Egyptian tune.
“Some birthday this turned out to be, huh?”
Ray smiles at Ramses. “At the end of the day, our expensive cologne and fancy clothes mean nothing. Tonight brought me immense joy and when I look back at the year I’ve had, I don’t think any memory will top this night. Being selfless as Jesus is my main priority and I love to serve whenever I can.”
Marcus nods in agreement and runs a hand through his wavy red hair just as Guy the maître d’ and the skeletal staff of the restaurant wheeled a cake on a trolley into the sitting area.
“Joyeux Anniversaire, jumeaux!” Guy happily exclaimed as everyone gathered around the cake. “Marcus, Ray, and friends, we thank you tremendously for your help tonight, especially on such a special occasion. May the good Lord continue to bless you.”
The twins grin at each other as the restaurant filled with the sweet traditional singing of “happy birthday”.
French terms used:
* La carte, s’il vous plaît – The menu, please.
* Joyeux Anniversaire, jumeaux – Happy birthday twins
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
All grammatical errors are mine.
I must confess that I rarely write stories now. I only write when I’m inspired by God and lately, my focus is not on writing stories so I don’t know when another one might be published on this blog. This one was meant to be longer, but hey, the shorter version works, too.
Blessed Tuesday and…