The invitation to go to brunch was one Sidney couldn’t refuse, and when she casually suggested the House of Brunch and it was accepted, she was overjoyed. She stood in front of her closet, discarded outfits scattered at her feet as she tried one shirt and then the next. It was brunch, so she did not want to look too put together–that would be too obvious, but she definitely needed to improve over the bedraggled, hungover state in which she had made her previous appearance. She finally settled on leggings, tall brown boots, and an oversized blue sweater. She spent fifteen minutes perfecting the messy bun atop her head and wavered on whether to put in her contacts or leave on her glasses. She knew her glasses made her face look thinner and she always got compliments on the frames. Glasses it was. The buzz of her iPhone on the dresser announced the arrival of Monica and Richard, her usual companions for the decadent meal between breakfast and lunch. Sidney hoped Richard would be ordering the pitcher of bottomless mimosas today. She slid into the backseat of Richard’s massive SUV and was acknowledged briefly before the two began arguing. Sidney checked her twitter feed, nothing new.
They arrived at House of Brunch and Sidney swiftly scanned the open kitchen, looking for his wavy brown hair and gorgeous smile. Her heart sank when she did not see him anywhere and she ordered her pancakes in a listless tone and couldn’t muster more than a half-hearted smile when Richard ordered the bottomless mimosas and grinned at her. She sat twirling her fork as she waited for the food to arrive, not really listening to Monica as she complained about her three roommates in turn. Sidney was used to the complaints; whenever one or more of them was present they would gang up on whichever roommate was absent. She was watching a young couple leaning over their omelets and coffee to smile and murmur to each other when she caught sight of someone walking in the back door. He was carrying a large ice-chest that was obviously heavy and she could see the tightening of his shoulder muscles under his butter-soft American Apparel v-neck as he hoisted it onto the gleaming silver table at the back.
“Ice is here,” he announced to the kitchen staff, running a hand through his coffee brown hair and smiling at his employees.
Sidney almost dropped her fork when the waiter appeared in her line of sight and set her steaming pancakes down in front of her. She mumbled her thanks and tried to ignore the flush rising in her cheeks. Richard splashed a generous portion of frothy, frozen mimosa into her cup and she took a gulp, feeling the slushy mixture of champagne and orange juice trickle down her throat. She glanced back at the kitchen over the edge of her cup and watched as he took his place at the register. He was handing a customer their receipt when he caught her eye over the man’s shoulder. He smiled and gave her a slight nod of recognition. Sidney told herself it was the bottomless mimosas that left her feeling weightless and giddy by the end of brunch, but she knew that was only partly the case.