Roy was a chef at a job I had a long time ago. It was a job I couldn’t get to by foot or any form of public transportation and I didn’t have a car.
I’m not sure what even made me go out to apply and interview for it knowing all of that, but I did. I was able to get there for the interview borrowing my mother’s car, but I would not be able to have it on a daily basis.
Roy hired me that day and since I’d been up front about my transportation issue, he arranged with one of the staff to pick me up at a certain place each morning so I could get to work.
Each morning I would walk about 8 blocks to meet my ride on a main stretch of road, we’ll call the pike, the same small highway the restaurant was on actually, however, miles down the road. Rose was my ride in the beginning, but she was also pregnant, so her days at the restaurant were numbered.
Later I got rides from Sally who would pick me up at the same place. She and I became friends outside of work as well. But this is about Roy, so let’s get to it.
It did not take long for me to develop a crush on Roy. He was gorgeous. He was tall, with jet black hair and oh so handsome. He was 26. I was 19.
My direct supervisor, in the pantry, Dianne and I were talking one day and she asked me if I had a boyfriend. I told her I liked someone right there in the kitchen. She got all excited and asked me who. So I told her.
Immediately the grin dropped from her face and she said, in a hushed urgent tone, “He’s married. You can’t date him.”
“Oh wow, I had no idea.” And I didn’t. He didn’t wear a ring. The news was so utterly disappointing. I assured her I’d forget about it.
But I didn’t. In fact, I didn’t really care that he was married. I didn’t exactly set out ‘to get him.’ But the fantasy of being with him stayed alive.
Much to my surprise he seemed to be flirting with me when the opportunity presented itself. I’d catch him staring at me from time to time as well. Roy then made flirting between us even easier when he assigned me to make the daily soup after the lunch rush was over and I’d cleaned up the pantry/cold side of the kitchen.
The huge pot that was for making soups was near the butcher block he spent most of his day at. The massive pot was a permanent fixture in the floor, so there was no moving the soup pot.
He taught me how to make soups and I would use his recipes to do it. It gave me something to do since I had to wait for Sally anyway, who worked until at least 5:00pm everyday and usually later.
I didn’t mind staying as long as whenever. There was plenty of food and soda available if I wanted it. It was a restaurant after all, and I worked in the kitchen. But my main focus was Roy.
One day, the exact circumstances of which I cannot remember, Roy and I were alone in the kitchen at the end of a Sunday, a day I didn’t usually work. I think what happened was that Roy asked me to stay a little later that day, when Sally was getting ready to leave and said he’d give me a ride home.
Perfect! Yes of course.
So when we left, I climbed into the passenger seat of his sleek, black, beautiful Corvette. I was so excited. We drove down the road and as we neared the mall on the pike, he asked me if I’d ever driven a Corvette. I chuckled and said, “No. I don’t even know how to drive stick.”
So he made a left turn into the vast empty parking lot of the mall, stopped, yanked the emergency break up and got out. I watched him as he walked in front of the car, over to the passenger side, opened the door and said, “Climb over.” So I did.
I could not believe this guy was going to allow me to drive such a beautiful car. But that’s what happened. On Sundays that mall (which is no longer in existence now) closed at 5 pm so I had a lot of room to learn. I never mastered that car, but I certainly had fun trying.
I think we must’ve stopped for a bite to eat as well, because by the time we pulled up to the front of my parent’s house, it was dark. It was a nice night though and we got out of the car and spent more time talking. By the end of that night we were all over each other on the hood of his car. It was a wonder we were still clothed by the time he left.
Our affair had started.
We’d kiss in the walk-ins. He initiated this. I remember being so nervous about others walking in on that. He actually initiated everything that happened between us. I didn’t have to chase him at all. I just fell into his arms… so to speak. I reached a point where I felt completely special and I’d believe anything he told me.
We spent a weekend once, at the shore house he owned and had fun on the rides on the boardwalk.
I didn’t see him a whole lot outside of work, but when I did, it was exciting and fun. The sex of course was phenomenal. But one day brought the kind of excitement I did not enjoy.
Roy and I were sitting in a fast food parking lot by the mall in his car one late afternoon, kissing. All of a sudden I heard a sharp sounding thud and simultaneously felt the car rock…hard. Startled, I looked out the windshield and saw a woman jumping up and down on the hood of the car, yelling, screeching actually, “Roy, what are you doing? She’s just a kid.”
Scared. the. shit. outta. me.
It was Pam, one of the cocktail waitresses from the restaurant. She was obviously not just upset about me being so young. It was then I’d figured out she’d been another one of his girls. But after he/we made our escape from this woman, who actually chased after us in her car, he assured me it was over.
This actually explained why the woman would stand and talk to him before her shift every day. I never thought much about it since the restaurant had been in business for years. They’d likely worked together for a long time and were friends. Big deal. I was friends with everyone on the kitchen staff in one capacity or another, including the men and I was particularly close to one of the cooks, who I thought of as a brother. At some point, I had partied with most of them as well as some of the wait staff.
I believed his lies about he and Pam being over. And to be honest I don’t remember how I faced Pam after that. Knowing what I know now though, I have no doubt that he told her some lie that settled her down, just as he’d lied to me.
And all this time he is still married and has a small child. However, he did tell me he was divorcing. I was 19 and quite naive. I had no idea.
I remember there was a weird day when his wife came into the restaurant and Roy, his wife, Pam and my direct boss, Dianne, all gathered into the chef’s office and shut the door. I never did find out what that was about.
But down the line, I found out late at night, after a party, at a Denny’s, that he and Dianne (my direct supervisor) had also been fucking around. She’d actually told me while Roy was in the rest room. I had been chewing on a french fry, when she delivered the news. That fry, quickly turned to cotton in my mouth and my appetite immediately dissipated.
I got up and went outside. I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. Dianne herself was married. She’d been the one to discourage me away from crushing on Roy. It all made sense.
The only jealousy I ever remember feeling pertaining to the two of them, is one day I saw them walking back toward the kitchen together from dry storage. They were talking, laughing and Dianne actually glowed. I shake my head even now. I never once addressed that. I mean, people get jealous. They worked together. I let it go.
Dianne chased me out to the parking lot and talked to me like a friend. I don’t remember the words exchanged but I was so hurt and felt like such an idiot. Roy soon followed to find out what I knew.
Dianne wanted to give me a ride home that night, but I said no and went with Roy instead. While he drove I asked questions and he answered with lies. But of course I didn’t know they were lies and wanted to believe him.
I’d been hopeful when I got out of the car that we’d see each other again. By this time, the restaurant as we’d known it had shut down and was running in a different way. He wasn’t working there anymore, but Sally, Dianne, and I were, along with one of the guys (the one who’d felt like a brother to me).
Some time later, I tried to call the number I had for Roy and discovered the number was out of service. I hung the receiver up in a sort of shock and went to my room. I sat down on the corner of my bed, knowing that he was gone forever from my life and cried.