Her: Day 45 - Fresh start

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It was at work when I received the e-mail. My legs felt like jelly, and then I burst into my mother's office without preamble. Her eyes widen in surprise.

"Emilia, is there something..." she trailed off when I interjected.

"Mom! I got in! I'm getting an interview this weekend!" I shrieked in excitement.

"Wha... Is this the apprenticeship in Italy?" she inquired with a growing smile.

"Yes! Yes! It's the apprenticeship! I've just got the e-mail! Here! Do you want to read?" I pushed my phone near her face, making her lean back.

She took the phone and begun reading. Her smile continued to brighten, which I thought wasn't possible. Once she was done, she handed the phone back to me and pulled out her own.

"I need to call your aunt, Ophelia. She'll be so proud of you as much as I am, dear."

I beamed as she mentioned my favorite aunt, my only aunt on my father's side. Other than my mother, who'd been my inspiration for being a Chef, my aunt Ophelia was the other pillar who supported me. She was a big fan of my cooking.

"While you do that, I'll call Nina and tell her the news," I informed gleefully.

"Sure, dear. And ask Nina when she'll visit again. I think it's high time she'll make more drives here," she stated, mainly teasing.

"I will." I chuckled. "I'll leave you on her call now and get back in the kitchen. Please tell aunt Ophelia, my love."

"Will do, dear."

****

For most of the day, there was hardly anything that could tarnish my good mood. After the brief phone call with Nina, I was filled with euphoria. Penny and Ryan also nursed my ego with congratulations. When the whole staff heard the news, they've given me their regards as well.

When we finally turned the close sign on the door, I was able to stretch my arms and legs, ready to celebrate the good news. Being who my mother was, I couldn't bring her with the rest of the party-goers.

"You go and celebrate with your friends, dear. We'll have a small breakfast tomorrow to celebrate. Since it's a weekend, I have a few checks and papers to sign. I can't go. But don't be fooled. I am proud of you."

"I know, mom. And I'll take your word about breakfast tomorrow, even though I know we'll be eating here in the bistro," I muttered the last part dryly in feign discontent.

She rolled her eyes and brushed off my uncharacteristic theatrics. "Now go, celebrate, and have fun. And tell the rest of them to don't drink too much that'll render them helpless for work tomorrow."

"Still a businesswoman until the end," I teased, giving her a brief hug and kissed her hair. "I'll see you tomorrow, mom. Drive safe."

"You too, dear."

My guests consisted of Penny, Ryan, Nate, and Rae, a waitress from the afternoon shift. Penny and Ryan hitched with me while Nate and Rae, respectively, drove themselves to the bar. It was a good ten to fifteen-minute drive from the bistro, depending on the flow of traffic. Once we arrived, a bit early than most party-goers, it took less time to find the right parking spot. While waiting for the other group to arrive, Ryan got tired and offered to get us a booth inside.

"When will the interview be again?" Penny asked after Ryan left.

"This weekend. Which I forgot to say, you're covering for me again," I answered, looking at her apologetically.

She scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Please, go for as long as you like. It's nice not to be nagged for once in a while."

I bumped her arm and chuckled. "Don't be coy and admit you'll miss me if I get this gig."

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