George and Ember met in the reception area and the hostess escorted them to their space. She has told them there server will be with them shortly and left to be sure the server knows her customers have arrived.
Ember (smiling): It's very nice. I don't think you're being pushy. I love this place and this set up. Thank you.
George: Have you been here before?
Ember: Just during the open house.
George: I received a post card in the mail and thought this would be a nice place to bring you. So, should we have a seat?
George takes Ember's jacket, pulls out her chair to let her sit and hangs her jacket in the far corner of the room on the hook. Then he sits in his chair.
George: Well, you know I work as an account executive. What you don't know is, I'm one of the company's top producers for selling upgraded catalog space.
Ember: So the items in the catalog aren't just placed by the company?
George: They are, but some of the companies will pay to take up more space with their brands. They want larger photos, more text and to be on pages by themselves. For that, they pay more.
Ember: Oh, I didn't know that.
The door opens and in walks Marlin with a big smile on her face.
Marlin: Hi! Welcome to Select Spaces. I am so glad I was right. I saw your name on the reservation, Ember, and wondered if it was you. I traded with another server so I could serve you.
Ember: Hi, Marlin. How are you?
Marlin: Good. (turns to George). Hello. I am Marlin. I will be your server. I also happen to know Ember.
George (chuckles): Hi. Yes, I can see that. I think that means I will have to be sure I leave the extra special 'good friend' tip tonight.
Marlin: Well, isn't that kind of you? I'm hoping my service will be so good, it will top that.
George: Yes, I hope it's good.
Marlin: It is. We taste everything we serve so we can be familiar with what our guests are being served. Before I pour, would you like to order an appetizer?
Ember: I can pass on a big appetizer. I usually fill up on those and can't finish dinner.
George: I will follow the lady's lead. No appetizer.
Marlin: Okay, but I will bring out our small loaf of complimentary sweet cornbread. I think you'll enjoy it and it won't fill you up. It's just a taste to tide you over until the main course arrives.
Ember: Okay. Thank you.
Marlin opens the wine and pours it. Then she leaves to attend to her other guests and get the cornbread.
They toast and take a few sips of wine.
George: So do you have any children?
Ember: Yes, one daughter. My princess.
George: Do you want more children?
Ember: Maybe, one day. But I'm focused on my business right now and I definitely want to be married before I have another child.
George: I have three children. Two boys and a girl. They are my world. They live with their mother, but I see them as often as I can. I get them a couple of weekends a month.
Ember: That's good. How old are they?
George: They are 9, 7 and 2. I've been divorced for 4 years, but we thought we were going to work things out about a year after the divorce. It didn't work out and we just ended up having the 2 year old. How old is your daughter?
Ember: She's 6.
They chat for a couple more minutes about their children as they sip steadily on the wine. It's gone by the time Marlin is back with the cornbread.
Ember: No, thank you. I still need to keep room for dinner.
George: I think I will pass too for now. Thank you.
Marlin: Please feel free to pour another glass if I'm not back and you decide you would like more. If you would like another drink, I can get that for you and we'll be sure to keep your water glasses filled.
George: Thank you.
Marlin: What can I get you for your main dish?
George: This shared sushi looks good. (looks at Ember) What do you think?
Ember: I can do sushi. Is it good Marlin?
Marlin: Yes, it is.
Ember: Okay, then sushi it is.
Marlin: Good choice. I'll put your order in while you enjoy your bread and conversation.
George: Marlin was correct, this is delicious.
Ember: Yes, it is.
George: If you don't mind me asking, how do you know her?
Ember: She's my younger sister's friend. Well, I should say her best friend.
George: Do you mind that she's serving? She may tell your sister all that she sees with our date.
Ember (raises her eyebrow): No, I don't mind. There's not much for her to tell that I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing myself.
George (noticing Ember's look): I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply anything.
Ember: It's okay.
Ember (blushing): Thank you for the compliments. I have just started allowing myself to start dating recently. I was married, but when my husband passed, I just needed some time.
George: I'm sorry to hear that. How did your husband die?
Ember: Thank you, but I really don't want to go into that.
George: Okay. (Hoping he doesn't say anything else that will make Ember raise an eyebrow or decline sharing.) Let's talk about your business.
They chat about Ember's latest ideas on getting more models on boarded and how she plans to get her models more bookings. After a while, Marlin returns with the food. She clears away the items on the table and places them on the cart they use to transport food, which is sitting outside the door.
Ember: Thanks, Marlin. It looks delicious.
George: It does. Thank you so much. You've been very attentive. You're good at your job.
Marlin: Thank you! Would you like anything new to drink?
Ember: No, thank you. Please keep the water coming.
George: I'll stick with the water too, please.
Ember: It looks so good, I hardly know what to select first. Maybe I'll just go with a roll.
George: That sounds like a good starting point. I'll start there too. We can compare notes.
George and Ember eat everything on the platter. It was so delicious they couldn't stop. Ember was happy she had saved room. Marlin keeps checking in on them and keeps their water glasses full. After that wasabi, they really needed it. When they are done eating, Marlin clears everything away. She asks if they would like dessert, but Ember is full, so she passes. George, trying to follow Ember's lead, passes too. Marlin presents the check and George pays, leaving a huge tip for her. Marlin happily tells them to take their time and she leaves to check on her other customers.
Then George does something that surprises Ember.
Ember knew she had smelled something like Febreze and cologne mixed with something on George earlier, but she couldn't place it. Now she knew what it was, smoke. While she doesn't judge anyone for smoking, she knows that a smoker is not for her.
Ember: It's late and I'm tired. If you can hold off for another few minutes, we can walk out and you won't have to feel rushed.
George (disappointed): Oh. Sure. No problem. I was enjoying sitting here talking to you. I guess I was hoping it would last a little longer. Let me get your jacket.
Ember stands up and puts on her jacket when George brings it over. She picks up the flowers from the table.
Ember was throwing a hint that she expected he would remain as such and not try to kiss her.
George: I'm glad you enjoyed the evening. Maybe we can do it again sometime soon. No pressure, but I'd really like to get to know you better.
Ember (smiling): That sounds nice. Thank you so much for a great evening.
George walks Ember to her car, they say goodbye and each head home.
Thanks for stopping by. ~ Jaye