A Man's Dedication by Chi Yau (499 words)

Rain pours heavily on the street.  The puddles reflect the neon lighting of every shop that is closed and those open for business.  Slow moving traffic dominates the street with the occasional car joining and leaving the queues.  A man dressed in a long coat rushes across the street weaving through the vehicles that he knows would be waiting there a long time if they were ever to leave the centre of the city.  Protecting himself from the rain he passes a man standing in the doorway who acknowledges him with a raised hand broken from the comfortable crossed arms posture.

"Hello Darryl!" the man shouts.

Darryl turns as he simultaneously walks past the man.
"Oh Hi Mr Khan," he replies. 

They part with little engagement.

Darryl arrives at a suave restaurant decorated with the colour of crimson and dark chocolate and he enters.  Darryl confidently walks up to the bar.  He nods his head to the bartender and passes a £10 note.  Darryl turns to the floor of the diners, casually standing against the bar counter while the bartender prepares his drink. 

Darryl's field of vision scans every occupant of every table under the sound of bickering, whispering and laughter.  There are romantic couples talking and getting to know each other.  Families with children having their tables decorated with banners and multitudes of balloons floating at differing heights.  Then there are the young groups shouting and laughing under the influence of alcohol.

"It's a busy night tonight," the bartender says as he presents a glass of vodka to Darryl served upon a napkin.

Darryl glances at his drink and holds out to reach it and then continues to hover over the restaurant floor.  He knocks back the glass of vodka and returns the empty glass to the bartender.  The bartender pours another drink for Darryl.  He sits on a bar stool.

Darryl's glance is directed to the entrance door.  A couple enter querying their reservation to a waiter.  The waiter leads them to their table.

Darryl smiles at a lady dressed in a short black dress walking past presumably heading to the washroom.  She reciprocates without hesitation and continues along.

Suddenly the restaurant door opens and a pretty brunette enters the restaurant alone.  Slightly flustered from being wet in the rain she pats herself down.

Darryl stares at the brunette as he knocks back his second glass of vodka.  He nervously slides off the bar stool with his gaze fixed on the beauty and elegance of the lady.  She looks over to him and walks in Darryl's direction.  Darryl smiles nervously as he unbuttons his coat.  The pretty brunette takes off her coat.

"Your shift started 5 minutes ago Darryl.  Get a move on before I sack your ass," shouts the brunette.

Darryl throws his coat under the bar counter.  His logo shirt is pristine clean and he straightens out his black skinny tie.  He walks to a customer.
"What can I get you sir?"

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