Overture: Chapter 3

Antonio Russo stood at the door with a smile on his face.

“Good evening,” he says to Amy while walking closer to Amy, eyeing her as he does so. “I hope you’re not closed?” Amy looks at him, bewildered. Why was her heart doing jumping jacks??

“Uhm, No, no! we’re not closed yet. What can I get you?” She says, gesturing to the counter while walking toward it. She looks at her wristwatch and thinks to herself “Gosh, I need to close soon, or the babysitter leaves!”

“I was hoping to catch you here,” He says, “My family and our associates caused quite a scene this morning and I have come to apologize on their part.” Amy’s eyes widened. Antonio Russo is apologizing to her? Was it opposite day? Mercury in retrograde or whatever it is called?? 

“Don’t worry about it, please. I had forgotten about the whole thing already.” She says, flustered. Why was she acting like a little girl? Truth be told, she hadn’t forgotten about this afternoon’s events. It left an unpleasant taste in her mouth. 

Antonio looks at her and smiles. “No, you haven’t. My little brother is quite the hot-head and tends to forget his manners.” He says, referring to Luciano. “Although, I must say I have never seen anyone stand up to him as you did this afternoon,” Antonio muses and laughs.

Amy blushes. That wasn’t usually how she was, but she couldn’t stand seeing little Isabella scared. When it came to kids, she had a soft heart. “I didn’t mean to offend him, Mr. Russo. He was scaring little Jenny and I couldn’t help myself.” She blushes and looks down at her feet, wishing the ground would swallow her whole. 

Next thing she knows, Antonio was pulling her chin up to face him. “You have no reason to apologize.” Amy’s breath caught in her throat and her heart starts beating faster. “You have the most exquisite hazel eyes I have ever seen.” He stares at her the same intense way as this afternoon, “Like pools of honey...” Amy got lost in his gaze. Then she gets that static shock feeling again and pulls away, blushing and clearing her throat. “Ahem, thank you for the compliment, Mr. Russo...” Amy stammers.

“Please, call me Antonio,” he says, aware of the effect he had on her, and smiles, looking smug. He looks at her name tag and says, “Amy.” Upon hearing her name, she quickly snaps out of her daze. Looking at her watch, she suddenly exclaims, “Oh shoot!”

“Mr. Russ- uh, Antonio, thank you for dropping by to apologize to me. I do appreciate the sentiment. However, I need to head out soon as I have to lock up and have to get home.” She stammers. He looks at her, expression turning cold. “Have a good night, Amy,” he says and walks out.

“What the fuck was that?!” She says aloud to no one in particular. “Talk about a switch, damnit.” Referring to his sudden mood change. Hoping she didn’t offend him; she decides to forget about what had just happened and continues cleaning up. While locking up, she makes a call. “Hi, Julie! I’m on my way, please don’t leave yet!” She says and hurries to her car. Sighing as she gets in, she exhales.

“Today has been a weird day.” 


Parking her car in her driveway, Amy climbs out and heads inside. She smells the sweet scent of pancakes and smiles. Bailey had trouble sleeping again by the looks of things.

She opens her front door, hangs her coat up, and puts her bag down on the stand next to the door. “I’m guessing someone couldn’t sleep again?” she says and smiles at the scene in the kitchen. Bailey turns around and runs to Amy. 

“Ameeey!! There were monsters in my room!” Bailey exclaimed and started wailing in Amy’s arms. Looking over at Julie with a worried expression, she asks, “What happened?” Julie looks at Amy and sighs," She had just started to doze off when she says she saw a monster by her window. I went to go check, but there was nothing there." Julie whispers to Amy. “Seems like you had a bad dream, honey. Come, let’s go back to bed. I’ll lay down with you until you fall asleep, okay?” Bailey sniffs and heads to her room.

“I’m so sorry for running late, I had to lock up and had a few stragglers after closing time.” she apologizes. Julie pats her arm and shakes her head with a slight smile, “Please don’t worry about it. I know how hard you’ve been working after you lost your parents. I’ll always be a phone call away.” Julie smiles at her and pats her head. “We left you some pancakes. Please eat up before heading to bed. I’ll see myself out and I’ll be here at the usual time. Goodnight dear,” and with that Julie turned around and left.

Amy didn’t know what she would do without Julie. Four years ago, her parents were driving to her cello recital and their car got hit by a drunk driver. The driver got arrested after fleeing the scene and went to prison, but she’s felt guilty ever since. Amy was a musical prodigy, and her parents were proud of her acceptance into the best music school in the country. She’s had to take care of Bailey all by herself ever since, so she applied for the waitressing job at Marie Anne’s and dropped out of music school. She felt like this was her atonement for her parents’ death.

Heading to Bailey’s room, she caught a shadow passing her front window. Frowning and anxiety on edge, she tiptoes to the window and peeks out. Satisfied with what she saw, and writing it off as a passing car, she heads to Bailey’s room.

“Scootch over!” she says playfully as she enters the room. Bailey laughs and cuddles close to her while she lays down on the bed. “No monsters will get you while I’m here,” she says, looking at Bailey. Bailey hugs her closer and says, “I know, Amy. You’ll fight them all if they do anything!” Amy smiles, “You got it!” She hums their lullaby and playing with Bailey’s hair, with the latter slowly drifting off to sleep.


After she was certain Bailey was fast asleep, Amy heads back into the kitchen. She grabs a few pancakes and the cinnamon sugar container and sits down. She replays the day’s events over in her head and sighs. It certainly was an odd day. She couldn’t help thinking of Antonio Russo randomly pitching up at the diner’s closing time to apologize to her, then turning cold and leaving when she tried to lock up. Mentally making a note to stay away from the Russos if they ever do come back, she continues to eat her pancakes, only just realizing how hungry she actually was. She finishes off her plate and heads to her room, stopping by Bailey’s room to check in on her as well. Throwing off her uniform, she enters her bathroom and starts the shower, washing the stress of the day away.

Afterward, she flops into bed and drifts off. 

The following morning

“Amy! Hello, earth to Amy!” Serena snaps her fingers in front of Amy’s face, in turn snapping her out of her daydream. “.. huh?” she trails off and looks at Serena. “Sorry... what was that?” Amy responds. she had been daydreaming in the back of the diner and didn’t realize she had dozed off until Serena woke her.

“First you rock up late to work for the first time in the history of your employment here, then I catch you falling asleep in the back. Late night?” Serena muses, “No... just had bad dreams... Anyway, what’s up?” Truth be told, Amy barely got any sleep last night, seems like her night terrors were back. Serena sits down next to her with a look of concern in her eyes. “Nightmares? I thought that had passed a while ago, Ames?” she asks. Amy smiles at her friend’s concern, “Yeah, but it hasn’t happened since...” Amy trails off.

Since her parents died. Amy had continuous night terrors and spent a month in a clinic because of it. She had been blaming herself for her parents’ death from the beginning, and the guilt manifested in her dreams.

“Anyway, I’m fine. Was there something you were calling me for?” Amy asks. “Are you sure? I could cover your shift for you if you’re not up to it?” Serena replies. Amy looks at her friend and smiles, “No, I’m really okay. Now, what is it?” Serena suddenly looks uncomfortable, and Amy notices. “Hey, spit it out and tell me.”

Serena gestures to the front of the diner with her thumb, “Arianna wants to see you. It’s regarding a shift change.” Amy senses something is up and gets up to walk towards the front of the diner, wondering what she was in for now.

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