As the elevator rose, so did her spirits. Imitating the woman to her left, she stood a little straighter, bringing just the right degree of aloofness to her bearing. Busily checking her watch might be a good idea; she started consulting her wrist every few seconds.
The elevator neared the top floor, filling her insides with a tingling anticipation. It was nearly ten years ago that she had stood outside this very building, staring up at the fairy lights around the rooftop restaurant.
“Someday,” she had told her mother, “I will be one of those people up there.” Shivering in her winter rags, the poor woman had nodded solemnly, choosing not to correct her daughter’s teenaged folly.
Yet here was that daughter now, going up in this elevator, same as all these elegantly-dressed men and women. Wouldn’t her mother have been proud today?
The ride over, everyone filed out, the gentlemen holding back so the ladies could go first. And even this added to the specialness of her evening – this gallant treatment of women such as she had never seen before.
Of course, once inside the gaily-lit restaurant, all their manners took a backseat, as each couple scrambled to score the best table for themselves. She entered and stood to one side, watching, mesmerized by the golden lights, the tinkling music, the feel of the evening breeze on her bare legs.
“Leena!” yelped a loud, sharp voice. Her boss! He must have got in before she had! Quickly she turned, rushing to his side.
“Don’t stand there all night girl! Take these trays now!” he barked again. “Tables two, seven and nine,” he shot off, handing the new waitress the tools of her trade.