The fried egg glides across the floor with all the elegance of a manta ray, arcing slightly as it gathers some fluff and subsequently slows down. The waitress quickly stoops and coaxes it back onto the plate with one fluid movement.
Incredibly, the yolk remains intact.
“Nice one. But you’re not serving that, right? …” her co-worker whispers from behind.
“I am.” She coaxes away the fringe from the egg’s border. “And you know what? I hope it chokes him.”
She leans on the swing door, carrying four breakfasts at a time.
A bald man who smells of cheap, spicy-sweet aftershave is watching as she approaches the table.
“Over easy. Just like yourself.” The roughness of his hand rasps on her stockinged calf, traveling slightly as she leans over him with the food.
When he laughs, she can feel the hot sourness of his breath on her cheek.
She clatters the plate down, the tell-tale egg settled in next to glistening partners of fried bacon, sausage and mushrooms. Her thumb nail is shiny with grease.
“Enjoy your breakfast.”
As she walks away, he’s still watching, ochre tongue pushing at the side of his mouth.
He listens to the material of her tight skirt swish, swish, swish against her.
She’s back in the kitchen now, heart beating like a jungle drum.
“Unreal.” The manager’s face is grim. He stares hard at her, hand at the back of his neck. “Ed is a regular. You know he just likes to kid around.”
He spreads his arms out with a shrug. “You can’t handle it? Next time you’re gone. Understand?”
She nods chewing her lip hard, eyes bright with tears. At table seven, Ed is now whistling and raising his mug for more coffee.