“Two main courses to table 30, please.”
“Yes!” I hear myself say. I say it firmly, loudly.
With a towel, I take hold of the hot plates. The smell of fish is filling the kitchen. I take a deep breath. Delicious.
I make my way out of the door onto the terrace. The sun blinds me for a second. I squint, slow down my pace as to not stumble over something I can’t see.
Little drops of sweat are glistening on my forehead as I arrive at the table. I set the plates down and then return inside. The heat is unbearable. The air feels heavy, almost materialized. It’s hard to walk. My legs are hurting. I’ve been putting my weight on them for too long.
I turn left into a room where a woman is doing the washing up. It’s even hotter in here. The heat hits me in the face and I stumble backwards. It takes me a second to compose myself.
On a shelf, I make out empty wine bottles. My hand reaches for the tray they’re in and I’m on my way to the glass disposal. I open the bin. A biting smell of wine makes me hold my breath. I pause a moment. Suddenly, I realize how quiet it is in this room. No tinkling glasses, no talking, no footsteps. Just peace and quiet. I cherish this silence for a moment, taking it all in. I want to just sit down here and rest my tired legs a bit. But I know I can’t. I’ve got a job to do. So I jog back to the kitchen.
It all hits me at once. The noise, the heat, the sound of frying meat, the smell of food and sweat. I see black dots dancing around in front of my eyes. Someone hands me two glasses filled with red wine. “Table 50”, I hear a voice say from far away. My legs move toward the door that leads to the terrace. I’m walking too fast. I know that I am but I can’t stop. My sight grows black. I stumble. My foot hits the threshold. I can feel how my body is slowly falling. It’s a nice feeling. Soon, I will sleep. My face hits the stone floor. I feel a flaming pain in my nose and mouth. Something warm is slowly covering my teeth. Far away, I hear glass shatter and someone screams. My eyes close. I’m waiting. Waiting for them to open.