The Timely Adventures of Rachel Evans, Part 5: Bus-Boys and Broadway!
December 22, 2011
"I really am very sorry," Leigh started, but Harve cut her off.
"It's all right."
"Really?" Rachel asked skeptically.
"Really." He grinned widely. "It just so happens our dishwasher ran off to get married last week to some yokel out west. So you're in luck."
"That's just...peachy." Leigh murmured.
**********Five minutes later**********
"It could be worse." Rachel said optimistically, bringing another stack of filthy plates over to the sink where Leigh was washing a full basin.
"Do tell." Leigh brushed her hair out of her face and glared at her. They were in the back room of the diner, surrounded by stacks of dishes in varying degrees of grime.
"They could have had us bumped off by the mob. I bet Harve has connections." She leaned in to mutter shiftily. "He looks like the type."
"Rachel, I am up to my elbows in the disgusting leftovers of the past. Please. Do not make jokes about the mob."
"Okay, okay." Rachel started scraping at the plates. "I'm sorry, but I did warn you."
"So I forgot to bring my time-currency changer with me," Leigh snapped. "It wasn't like this little jaunt was planned."
"Next time." Rachel began.
Leigh just looked at her, until they both started laughing. And Rachel knew that however much Leigh loathed doing dishes, she was no longer mad.
"You have to admit, this is an..."
"If you say adventure, I will throw a plate at you." Leigh said, but she was smiling. Slightly, very slightly, but it was definitely a smile.
"Not an adventure exactly," Rachel conceded, "Not this part anyway, but...it is something."
"Oh, it's something all right. Just look at all this ambience."
"Good afternoon," A voice broke into their deliberations. A gangly guy with a shock of black hair walked into the back with another load of dishes.
"Just what we wanted." Leigh muttered sotto voce. "So," He turned and leaned back against the table, watching them. "You two are the counterfeiters, eh?"
"That would be us." Rachel said airily.
"Allegedly." Leigh added.
"Joe." He stuck out his hand. "Bus-boy. At the moment."
"Not a life goal?" Rachel shook his hand.
"Hell, no!" Joe shook Leigh's hand too. "Definitely not. I'm an actor."
"What a surprise." Leigh rinsed another plate and added it to the clean stack.
"That must be fascinating." Rachel flicked soap at Leigh. "So are you working at the moment?"
"Surprisingly, yes." He grinned. "Believe you me, my pops is also surprised. He thinks this," Joe spread his arms, gesturing at the back room. "Is a real job." He sighed dramatically.
"So what're you appearing in?" Leigh inquired.
"It's new. We open this weekend. My Fair Lady." Joe shrugged a tad self-consciously. "Maybe you've seen the posters? It's a little sappy, but I think it could go all right. Enough for me to quit this job anyway."
Rachel raised an eyebrow. "Ah, yes...I think it will do very well." The Broadway opening of My Fair Lady? Now that was worth going to. She wondered if they could sneak backstage or if that would just end up with them getting arrested.
"So you two..." The bus boy looked them over. "Are you looking for something else to do or do you intend to continue your life of crime?"
"Welllllllll..." Rachel drawled, and then stopped when Leigh gave her a look.
"That would depend entirely on what you're suggesting." Leigh said, drying her hands.
"Well, it's just the theater company I'm working for? We need extras."
"Seriously?" Rachel stared at him. "For My Fair Lady? On Broadway?" She shot a not-too subtle sidelong glance at Leigh.
"Yeah. See," Joe looked around before leaning on the table in a conspiratorial manner. "It's just...We've had several of the cast quit over the last couple weeks. Nobody major, main you, just enough of the ensemble that they'll pretty much cast anyone at this point. No offense."
"None taken." Leigh said flatly. "Why're they quitting?"
"Oh, you know, the usual things." Joe said vaguely. "Anyway, if you're interested, I can take you over to the theater after my shift's over."
"That would be fantastic." Rachel said quickly before Leigh could get a word in.
"Terrific." Joe beamed. "I get off at five. So if you want to meet me back here around then. Rehearsal's at six. I'll take you over and introduce you to the gang."
"Joe!" Harve bellowed from the front. "Get your scrawny-"
"See you at 5!" Joe grabbed his tub hurriedly and headed back out.
"Broadway." Rachel turned around and looked at Leigh with wide, delighted eyes. "Broadway. Leigh. BROADWAY."
"Rachel." Leigh said warningly.
"We could be extras in My Fair Lady. Come on! That's a once in a lifetime opportunity, Leigh. On Broadway!"
"I refuse to sing." Leigh stated. "On Broadway or elsewhere."
"Then just stand in the back and look fashionable."
"It's a musical, Rachel! They expect people to sing."
Leigh rubbed at her eyes tiredly. "I. Do. Not. Sing."
"Leigh," Rachel took her friend by the shoulders and stared her directly in the eyes. "It'll be okay. I promise you, you won't have to sing."
"Thank you." Leigh took a deep breath, then narrowed her eyes. "You're totally crossing your fingers behind my back, aren't you?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," Rachel said blandly. "Come on. Let's get this party finished so we can have our date with show business."
She ducked the wet rag Leigh threw at her just in time.
To be continued...