“It was a dark and stormy night,” the gentleman began, raising his champagne glass high and in front of him.
“Papa…stop it! You should know better than to use cliches!” Laughing and shaking the her head, the guest of honor couldn’t believe her ears. “You’re a writer. A good one. You should know better.”
“It’s not my fault it’s true. You had the audacity to have such bad timing as to arrive in the deep night, during a storm.”
“Let you dad finish, Annabeth.” Marie grabbed hands with her best friend and turned her to face her adoring friends and family. “We’re going to embarrass you either way. You can either fight it, or you can hide and not hear just how much we embarrass you.”
“You win. It really is hard to fight what you don’t know.” Annabeth turned to face the friends and family waiting to hear the speech.
“As I was saying…” Mr. Jefferson continued, “Annabeth came into the world on a dark and stormy night. As you can expect, she’s never taken the easy way. So being here, celebrating this momentous occasion, is fantastic. You gave us some worries along the way – changing your major ten times your freshman year, that momentary period where you thought you were the new abstract artist-
“hey! if a painting that looks like it was done by a five year old can hang in galleries, why not my untrained work!”
“well, yes there was that. But now, you seem to have found your niche. And now you’ve done what you dreamed of has come true. Congratulations, baby girl.” With that, he saluted Anna with his drink before tipping it back.
“See, babe, that wasn’t so bad,” Marie led Anna off to the bar for another flute. “Your dad’s just proud of you, you can’t let your fear of crowds rule you. Especially if you’re going to be a famous world-class manager.”
“Don’t go jinxing me now. You should know better….theater folks are a superstitious lot.”
“Well then what are you doing working in one of the creepiest buildings I have ever seen?”
“It’s a cool building, I can’t believe you’re freaked out by it.”
Marie made eyes with the handsome bartender as he handed her two full flutes. The theater had hired out the section of the restaurant, somewhere they’d had opening and closing night celebrations for several years now. As a matter of fact, the first time they’d struck up a deal with this restaurant was the first time Annabeth had worked with this company. Now, several years later, she was closing her first full season with the company. And the theater was celebrating their first in their new home. But opening and closing were still held here.