MAEVE GALLAGHER knew as soon as the door burst open who had just entered the local diner, the Madisonville Family Restaurant.
Elie stood, as red-faced as a half Dominican could be, next to Maeve’s table.
Maeve stirred her tea.
“Were you not taught how to enter a respectable public establishment?” she asked.
Elie didn’t budge. The waitresses kept their distance. The other patrons ate their lunches. One baby sat in her high chair, gurgling and smiling.
Maeve picked up her fork and cut her fried eggs, yoke broken, into surgical strips.
Elie huffed and left the restaurant. Outside, he took two deep breaths. He entered the diner a second time.
He walked over to Maeve’s table.
“Hi, Maeve,” he said.
“Hello, Elie. Sit down,” she sailed, motioning to the other side of the booth. “Steve got those Celtics tickets for Friday night.”
Brielle, a young, pretty waitress, came to the table with an orange soda pop. She placed it in front of Elie.
“And a blueberry muffin, toasted, no extra butter,” Maeve ordered, though it was unnecessary. Maeve always got two eggs, fried, broken yoke; bacon, well-done; raisin toast, dry; and, a pot of hot water for her tea.
Ellie’s usual was orange soda pop, no ice, and a blueberry muffin.
“The plans for the access TV center redesign are all jacked-up,” he said. “My edit suite is gone, and so is Veronica’s conference room.”
“You let Veronica fight for her own stuff,” she said. “I’m tired of her expecting everyone else to make the hard decisions at the MAC.”
Brielle came back with Elie’s muffin. “Nick put it on the grill as soon as he saw you.”
Maeve handed her a ten and a five dollar bills.
“Keep that, Brielle,” Maeve said.
Brielle smiled and left.
“What did Peter Wilton put in their place? A shrine to himself?”
Elie chuckled. “Just about. His office is twice the size it used to be. He’s only going to fill it with more crap.”
He dug into his blueberry muffin, a signal that he didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
“Did Alex finish that music for Kieron and Emily’s video?”
“Good. I’m glad he’s getting more involved at the MAC. You get to see more of him, and it keeps Frank Corcoran away from him,” Maeve said.
“I’m glad you started calling him ‘he’,” Elie said, speaking, chewing, and swallowing at the same time.
“I’ll call him ‘Myrtle’ if that’s what it takes to keep him out of trouble’.”
Shiny Object: “All politics is … deadly.”