Her: Day 120 - My heart wasn't fluttering

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Penny knew I've been on edge since last week. A day remains before my training, and I'm already hyperventilating. My enthusiasm was merely an act. In my head, everything was on flame, and an echo of my scream rang clear. Penny and I took turns as head chef. As she'll be taking over for me, the bistro required a new sous chef. Ryan was exceptional in the kitchen, but he wasn't equipped for the task yet. Therefore, we hired someone new to the team.

Kean had been with us for a week (which was another reason I've been on edge). He was a great chef, but I wasn't convinced he could handle being Penny's right hand. Yet Penny appeared to be okay with his performance. Based on my observation, it might have something to do with his physical appearance that gave him the upper hand.

"You can't seriously say he's capable of doing this job after a week, Penny," I argued again. It wasn't the first and probably won't be the last until I officially leave.

"He's more than capable of handling it, Emilia. And if he's interested, he can candle me in any way he wants as well," she suggested teasingly.

I glared at my friend, a bit appalled at what she was saying. "I'm not against workplace romance. But if you're doing all sorts of kinky stuff on my kitchen counter, then we both have a problem here."

She chuckled. "And I thought I'm the one with a dirty mind. Goodness, Emilia. I'm not that kind of girl..."

I rolled my eyes and playfully slapped her arm. "Come on. I don't like leaving the new guy alone with you in my kitchen."

"It's my kitchen in a few weeks, Emilia. And I like having the cute guy around."

I rolled my eyes on cue.

****

On my last day, I'm still not confident about Kean. I saw some progress with his work ethic; though there were times I've nearly shouted at the poor—well, not so lacking in the physical appearance department—man, it made me question my judgment about leaving him with my sous chef (now turning head chef). As for Penny, I couldn't ignore her glow from taking my position with a handsome assistant. Knowing her, her imagination is running rampant to be surrounded by men who were at her beck and call. Ryan might not be as attractive as Kean, but he had his own charms as well.

Entering the kitchen, I still feel my heart tighten at the thought of leaving my second home.

"You'll be fine, Emi. You'll get to work a much better, and probably fancier, kitchen than this," Penny commented without preamble. It had been almost identical from her yesterday's remark.

"Nothing can truly compare to this place, Penny." I reasoned.

I don't know why I'm saying all of this when I've already made up my mind. There was no going back, and I've accepted early training next week.

"I know. But you have to let it go, Emi. At some point, you've got to let go of things in your life to move on."

I arched my eyebrow, astonished at her sudden ethical advice. "Where did that come from?"

Penny was surprised as well. "I don't know. But it was some good words, don't you think?" She grinned, returning to her cheeky self.

I chuckled in reply and shifted the conversation towards our work in hand.

It was lunch rush hour. Having two chefs at the moment, orders came and went in the kitchen effortlessly. Watching Kean work on my last day, I noticed yet another improvement. He was able to aid Penny and me. He'd only slipped once, and he hadn't stopped the workflow. When the place died down, I gave Kean his first, well-deserved compliment.

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