Hey You: Part 4
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Milo showed up to work the next weekend on a Saturday afternoon. The banquet hall was booked for every weekend of the summer. This Saturday was a bar mitzvah or maybe a quinceanera; he couldn’t remember. It didn’t really matter to him. Either way, he was serving a lot of food to a lot of people. It didn’t make any difference to him if the people were celebrating a boy or a girl or a happy couple.
He came in the back door to hang up his stuff and could hear yelling coming from down the hall. He had no desire to get involved in the drama of his coworkers until he heard Ivy’s unmistakable, I’m really upset high-pitched squeak raised above the other voice, which he now realized was Vito’s. Vito, whose name happened to be on the front of the building. Vito decided who worked here and who got unceremoniously fired.
Dropping his bag on the table, he hurried through the dim hall and into the middle of the battle between Ivy and Vito happening in the event space. There were gold balloons everywhere. Fiftieth wedding anniversary party. He was wrong.
Ivy grabbed him by the arm as soon as he walked in. Vito was red-faced, the steam practically coming out of his ears.
“Milo, please tell Vito that we’re the best band he’s going to get! Tell him he’d be crazy to let us go!” Ivy shoved him in front of her into the path of Vito’s rage. The rest of Ivy’s band stood behind her in a shocked row. Milo’s brain quickly matched names to faces: Ron, the white dude with the ponytail who plays bass, Mai, the way too cool for him girl-drummer, and Dean, the guitarist with the bald head who he had never heard speak more than two words at a time. They all looked ready to bail.
“What’s going on, Vito?”
“What’s going on? What’s going on?” The man’s chubby arms raised every time he spoke like visual exclamation marks. “What’s going on is that I have brides calling every day telling me they don’t want the crying wedding singer!” He pointed a sausage-like finger in Ivy’s direction, and Milo worried she might bite it off.
“I’m sure we can figure something out. That video is bound to blow over soon.” He spoke in the same gentle tone he used when the dishwashers were warring with the busboys.
“These brides are crazy, Milo! They tell me: I can’t have any bad energy at my wedding. What am I supposed to do? I’m trying to run a business! This was my father’s dream!” Before Vito could start on his father’s immigrant dream story, Milo cut in.
“Couldn’t Ivy do other events? Like anniversaries and family reunions and things like that.” He felt Ivy about to protest. Everyone knew weddings were where the real money was at, but he kept going. “Just until this whole thing dies down.”
Vito’s brow crinkled, and Milo could almost see the gears turning. He was banking on the fact that Vito had no one lined up for today’s event and would have no choice but to let Ivy sing.
He was right.
“Fine,” Vito conceded before actual smoke started pouring out of his ears. “But no weddings for the rest of the summer. And she needs to find me a new singer.” With that proclamation, he strode on stubby legs out of the room.
The band breathed a collective sigh of relief, but the look on Ivy’s face was enough to make him want to turn around and follow Vito.
“Thanks, man,” Ron said, with a slap on the shoulder. He got a thankful nod from Dean.
“Yeah, thanks.” Mai even smiled at him. Not too bad.
“What the hell was that, Milo?” Not too bad except for Ivy, seething next to him. “Now I’m off weddings, and I have to find my own replacement!” Ivy shoved him hard on the shoulder. He couldn’t help but notice her bandmates sneaking out of the room. Cowards.
“I just helped you keep your job. And if I recall, correctly you don’t appreciate a knight in shining armor crap.” He smirked and worried that she might take his head off.
“I didn’t need a knight. I needed a personal reference for a career situation,” she ground out through clenched teeth.
His smile grew. “If it wasn’t for my dazzling reference, you’d be unemployed. So…”
“You’re an asshole.” Her words were harsh, but the fight had left her. A mischievous smile crossed her face. “And now you have to help me find a replacement.”
More time spent with Ivy? He must be a glutton for punishment because he couldn’t find a single reason to object.
Featured image by Robert Matthews via Unsplash.
Nice job on Part 4. Your description of Vito was cracking me up. I really do think your coffee house stories are charming and fun to read!!