Chapter 8 - Broken

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She scrolls down and looks at some pictures he shared, most of the recent ones are from the beach, the sea and of his cats. Scrolling down she suddenly holds her breath. It's a picture of the Summer Dance poster, with a heart emote above it. He posted it the day she saw him in front of the boutique, she smiles, knowing by looking at his other pictures that sharing personal stuff is not what he normally does. Every older picture is work related somehow. Even the ones with the pretty girls are to promote something he worked on. She replies to the picture of the poster with a kiss emote and leaves it at that. About to close Facebook, she gets a notice of a reply. She clicks it and sees Darts' reply to hers under the video: I love your profile pic. XO

She goes downstairs and out of the front door, snapping a picture of the cafe to add to her Facebook and Instagram. She uploads the picture as she walks in with a smile and Jake moves closer to look over her shoulder. She shows him the picture and he reads her nickname with a wide smile. She winks at him, walking over to the bar, grabbing coffee and tea to refill the cups of the guests at the tables. The day is a busy one, keeping Jo and Jake on their toes, with hardly any time to drink or eat. But they work together like a well oiled machine, like they have been doing it for years. Finally the last dinner guests walk out and Jo walks into the kitchen. She sinks onto a chair, breathing out slowly and giving Ronnell a tired smile. Jake walks in after her and asks Ronnell if there's any food left, sitting down and putting his feet on the table. "Damn, it was busy tonight. I wonder if it has anything to do with a pretty girl, luring people in with her lovely smile." Ronnell laughs and replies: "I'm sure they are not here to see your ugly mug Jake! And my food only goes so far. Let's face it, it's all Jo's fault." They laugh together as Ronnell bakes some burgers and Jake grabs a few beers, placing them on the table. Soon a huge cheeseburger a la Ronnell appears in front of her and she dives right in. She is starving and like all Ronnell's cooking, it tastes divine. Jake grins at her, before eating his burger in a few bites, very hungry himself. They sit together, drinking beers and talking about Ronnell's food, the customers that stood out and finally Jo's nickname. Ronnell points at Jake when he hears what Jo came up with it. "He is going to be even harder to handle now. He is already so proud of you, it's starting to get annoying." They laugh happily and Ronnell gets up to take the last three pieces of cheesecake from the fridge. He passes out forks and plates and winks at Jo: "I believe you have this in common with Jake, your favorite dessert."

Jo is already in heaven after her first bite and doesn't really listen to the men any more. She thinks of Dart and feels her cheeks getting warm at the memory of eating cheesecake with him. She grabs her phone and takes a picture of the cheesecake, sharing it on Instagram, adding the text: Not sharing. She notices she has a few followers and checks them out. One of them being Dart, but also Ronnell, Jake and Maria. She adds #thesidewalkcafe to the picture, enjoying the rest of her cheesecake with soft moans. Jake feels his phone vibrate in his pocket and takes it out to look at it, smiling as he sees Jo's picture. "Someone's sad you're not sharing", he says, pointing at his phone. Jo grabs her phone to look for herself and sees a sad emote as a reply from Dart. She quickly replies with a kissing emote and immediately sees another reply from Dart: Imagining you eating cheesecake no... Jo giggles, knowing his mind is right where hers was a minute ago. She gets up and stretches, looking at Jake as she asks: "Can I go feed Dart's cats now? Or do you still need me for something?" "Go ahead, it's quiet now and when it gets super busy, I can always message you to hurry back." He grabs his beer to drink from it and leans back in his chair. Jo kisses Ronnell on the cheek and walks out waving at Jake.

She breathes in the air outside, singing as she walks over to Dart's house. Canelle is already waiting for her behind the gate and he starts meowing the second he sees her. Jo smiles at the cat and kneels down when she reaches the other side of the gate, to rub Canelle all over, kissing his head and talking to him. "Did you have a good day Canelle? Enjoyed the sun? My day was quite busy, but I am happy to see you. Shall we go inside? You must be hungry and I bet Minous is too." She walks in, still talking to Canelle and sees Minous peeking around the door of the bedroom. "Hi Minous, are you still a little scared? I will put food in your bowls right away." She fills the bowls and sits down at the breakfast bar, looking at the cats eat. She touches a mug Dart left on the bar, a bit lost in thought. She feels weird being in his house, without him being here. The cats emptied the bowls in no time and Canelle jumps up on the bar to rub his body against her. She pets him and then picks him up and carries him over to the couch. She sits down and places Canelle on her lap. Within seconds Minous jumps up and lays down next to her, demanding attention from her too. She smiles and pets them both, until they are both asleep. She takes a picture of them and sends it to Dart. He replies almost instantly Sure. First the cheesecake, now the cats. I am so jealous right now. Miss you! XO

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