Tiffany Hawkins: The Night Softly Whispers

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Tiffany Hawkins dialled the number for her older sister's mobile phone for the third time on the Pandora Café private phone. It wasn't meant for personal phone calls, but Tiffany was getting worried that her sister wasn't texting her back.

Stacey Hawkins had always been a bit of a wildcard and Tiffany would always go through long periods of time without seeing her. Stacey was very adventurous, and a little nosy. It ran in the family, of course, but this time Tiffany was worried her nosiness would get her in trouble.

"Come on, Stacey, pick up the damn phone," Tiffany muttered under her breath, smiling at a customer who was waiting to be served. Christina was busy with her customers, and Tiffany had an obligation to put this customer first, but she just ignored her. Roberto walked into the main café from the supply closet and headed behind the counter.

"Can I help you?" Roberto said to the customer, while his eyes shot daggers at Tiffany. She ignored him, like she usually did, then put the phone down. She was wasting her time; her sister was not going to pick up. Roberto served the customer and sent her on her way. "Tiffany Hawkins, what do you think you are doing?"

"I was checking up on my sister, what's it to you?" Tiffany replied with attitude. She couldn't be bothered with Roberto tonight.

"You're supposed to be working!"

"I think I'm due a break," Tiffany told him. "I've been working all day without a break."

"That's because you started half an hour ago. Now get some work done. I don't care what you do. Clean, serve customers, look busy!"

"If you want me to do something, Roberto, bribery does work," Tiffany informed him. Roberto kept giving her a steely gaze. "Fine, I'll serve a customer." She plastered a fake smile on her face as she took to the till. Another young female customer stood patiently with a menu. "Can I help you?"

"Yes please," the woman started. She looked in her early twenties and was definitely a storybook nice girl. "Is there anything that doesn't have any kind of meat in it? It's just that I'm a vegetarian and I don't believe in meat."

"Well, bitch, it exists," Tiffany responded sweetly and smiling. She looked at Roberto. He always told her – service with a smile. She gave him a nod and a thumbs up. "Might I suggest one of our specialty sandwiches? I could get my colleague to make you a ham salad sandwich, without the ham."

"If it isn't too much trouble," the woman replied, though her smile had diminished. Tiffany was a force to be reckoned with. Her personality came on strong, squashing the vegetarian girl. Tiffany wrote down the order on a page in her notepad and walked toward the kitchen with it. She placed it on the kitchen service window as Carmen was already busy preparing other sandwiches. She looked in her own little world so Tiffany didn't disturb her.

Tiffany returned to the till and charged the customer. She then turned to Roberto, who watched gobsmacked. "Is that what you call customer service?"

"She's getting what she wants thanks to me," Tiffany responded. "I'm pretty incredible at serving customers."

"I'd beg to differ," Roberto quietly said. Tiffany turned her attention to the recently opened door to the café. In walked a tall, black-haired girl with a boy of equal height by her side. The girl giggled and kissed the boy on the cheek. Tiffany growled at the sight. The super-skinny girl looked directly at Tiffany. The boy seemed hesitant to approach Tiffany, but the girl dragged him to the counter, passing Christina at the bottom till who was busy with her own queue of two.

"Jesus, what make-up did you put on today?" Tiffany broke the ice. "Nutella?"

"Tiffany!" Roberto shouted. She turned to him.

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