On a cold night in Kingdom City, Missouri, there is table waiting at Denny’s complete with a malcontent waitress.
Her pink striped hair and nose piecing catch a glimmer of neon light as she bends slightly forward with her left shoulder to take your order after bringing a round of drinks and providing ample time to decide whether it will be a slam or a featured potpie casserole. She’s nice, but hardly interested in where the two tired eyed ladies seated in her section came from and why they would decide to stop in Kingdom City of all places off of I-70. She asks only about pancakes or whole wheat toast, and takes note that she has already put out the silverware and will need to come back soon to fill the already half empty water glasses.
She walks to the back, pins up the order for the cook/night host who placed you in her section and turns to her coworker seated in a booth across the room folding silverware in preparation for a rush. The older woman places the white-wrapped bundles in the dry washtub and asks the waitress about her baby still hidden deep in her belly while she watches out of boredom and training where the lemon bobs in the water glasses across the room. The waitress, who is hardly old enough to order a drink or even join the army, says she is excited and lightly brushes her hand across her midsection. It still is not yet time to make sure the only two customers in the cold night have everything they need.
“Does he have any of them?” her coworker asks over the soft collision of knives, spoons and forks. “Kids, I mean, does he have any from before?”
Blushing, the waitress replies, “Oh no. No he doesn’t. This is the first for both of us.”
Refocusing on her table, she walks over with a pitcher and refills the water glasses and asks if everything is all right and promises the food will be right up. She doesn’t notice that no one is in a rush or that anyone has been listening over the soothing R & B hits surprisingly coming over the speakers.
True to her word, the food arrives within moments and she leaves to carry on with the staff that has doubled despite the lack of guests. She comes back a few more times before bringing the check and offering thanks for your choice of dining establishment. Cash is tucked into the bill, and the two tired eyed ladies walk out the door knowing they’ll never walk through them again.
They also know the waitress, who looked like a teenage companion for days ago, will have to again and again and again, and the extra cash was left as a sign of hope for a child who will mother a baby in Kingdom City, Missouri through many cold nights.