The Inklings: Chapter 10

John met his father at the pizza place in the morning. John had hoped that his father would quickly show him where things were and leave, so he could call D’arby to come and help, but strangely John’s father seemed to want to give John as much help as he could and by the time John could call D’arby to tell him that the coast was clear, John’s father had already explained everything. There were good systems in place for ordering ingredients, preparing food, cleaning, staffing and even washing the table cloths. John didn’t think there was much for him to do after all. He could hardly believe that things were going so well. The only problem he could see was that the turnover was already so high. John didn’t see how the restaurant had capacity to make and sell any more pizzas.

That night, while John and D’arby watched over the restaurant, John asked D’arby “How are we going to make more money than the restaurant already does?”

D’arby laughed. “Did your Dad say it had to be a statistically significant increase in profits? Did he say that profits had to increase above the average monthly profit, last month’s profit, or the profit for the same month last year? Did he say the profit had to increase through increased sales? As long as we make five cents more than whatever he was expecting then you can say you have met the challenge” answered D’arby. “If we don’t sell more pizza, we can just decrease your salary.”

“Fair enough” said John, while thinking that he’d better ask D’arby to write down what he had just said.

The next day as John walked to the pizza place, something strange happened to him, something that would make him high all night.

When he got back to D’arby’s flat after work John knew that D’arby would be asleep but he didn’t care. He had to tell D’arby what had happened to him that day, so he shook D’arby until he woke up.

“What is it?” said D’arby. He thought that something terrible must have happened. “Have the police come to get you? Did you burn the restaurant down?”

“Ha ha. No! Something WONDERFUL happened. I have to tell you about it” said John and he started to dance around the room with his arms floating up and down.

“What have you taken? Are you drunk?” asked D’arby. He was really disappointed.

“No! I just saw something wonderful on the way to work”

“What?” asked D’arby, although he still didn’t believe that John was sober.

“A beautiful woman” said John

“Haven’t you ever seen one before?” asked D’arby. He was really annoyed, but still not sure what was going on.

“Not like this…but that’s not the important part” said John

“What is the important part then?” asked D’arby, and he sighed.

“She looked at me. She looked at me like I was a normal person, and she smiled!” said John

“Great!” said D’arby sarcastically. “Good for you. Now go to sleep. I’m tired” and he turned off the light.

The next morning John still hadn’t calmed down. When D’arby got up he found that John had cleaned the kitchen and was ironing clothes on the carpet.

“Why are you doing that?” asked D’arby. D’arby had a thing against ironing and he hadn’t even known that there was an iron in the flat.

“You don’t have an ironing board, so I have to use the carpet” said John, but when he saw D’arby’s expression he realized he’d given the wrong answer and quickly added “I’m trying to fill in time until the medical centre opens”

“Why are you going there?” asked D’arby

“I want to check that I haven’t got any STDs before I bump into that woman again” said John. Although John tried to sound casual as he said this, he was very worried. The thought of a relationship with someone had made him consider what he’d been up to while he was an addict.

D’arby knew that this was a very serious topic, but he couldn’t help laughing.

“What?” asked John

“Have you talked to her yet?” asked D’arby

“Not yet” said John, “But I might today if I see her on the way to work again”

“Good luck then, with her and at the medical centre” said D’arby and he left for uni, rolling his eyes.


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