Status: A work in progress.

Everything But Time is Running Out

My pulse won't stop racing, just as my heart explodes.

"Sad kid! You're back!" I felt somebody ruffle my hair, causing me to groan and shy away. "Congrats for making it out alive!"

"Fish, coming from you, I'll take that for sincere gratitude." I grumbled, taking out my pony tail to fix it thanks to a certain pain in my ass.

"No sweat, babe," Kyle, or Fish, as his nickname remained, said. He winked at me as he expertly balanced five entrees on his tray and hulled them out of the kitchen one handedly.

Kyle Hoyer. My knight in shining apron. Or rather, my fruity and colorful knight in shining apron. As long as he could remember, had earned the nickname of Fish because he had a pet fish as a child that he greatly adored, thus his first and favorite word as a kid was Fish. Short, sweet and such a cute little backstory. Kyle was the very first friend I made after moving out of state for college, much to my parent's dismay (about me moving, not about fruity Kyle). But what can I say? When you have a slight idea of what you wanna do when you grow up in this fucked up world, you just gotta hit the pavement running... or however the saying goes.

As it turns out, the culinary department and art and literature departments are in the same building, thus how I met this crazy guy. However, obviously both of us are so far ahead with our career plans, seeing as I'm working under the table (thanks to Fish!) at a restaurant with hopes of majoring in story and graphic design whilst Fish is working as a waiter at the same restaurant with hopes of becoming a renowned chef. In my opinion, Fish is in the lead on this one.

"Hey Kara!" My head snapped up as David, the boss and owner of said restaurant called me over. "Make sure the place is stocked and then you can leave for the day if your little heart desires it. It's down pouring and lunch period was dead as a door nail." I nodded in agreement. All we had for our lunch crew were just a group of guys who had been here for an hour or so.

I grabbed the tray of place mats and rolled silverware and made my way to the dining floor. Meticulously, I checked each table for refills of sugar, cream, salt and pepper and cleaned the area when necessary. As I made my way over toward the corner booth, I was within earshot of the group of guys' conversation.

"Mikey, you're such a fucking queer," a guy with super wild hair insulted. I couldn't tell if that was his natural look or if he just had a super bad case of bedhead.

"Oh, come on, Ray. Admit it. You are totally in agreement with me!" The so-called Mikey retorted. His hair layered down to his ears and he wearing thick, rectangular and black pair of glasses.

The fro guy snorted. "Mikey, I'll admit it-"

"Yes!" Mikey celebrated.

"-that Deryck Whibley does have an orgasmic voice," Ray finished, "BUT! He just looks like an ordinary dude, honestly." The look Mikey gave him was of total and utter sadness.

"Bob! You agree with me, don't ya?" Mikey pleaded with the blonde haired guy sporting a very shiny lip ring and a nice face of groomed facial hair. Bob grunted and continued to eat his food. Mikey glanced at the only guy of the group apparently having better things to do than participate in whatever this conversation entailed. He had messy black hair and was hunched over, frantically scribbling on paper, his face wearing total concentration. Mikey looked like he was having second thoughts on disrupting him and dragging him into the conversation.

Looking around the room, pushing his glasses up by the bridge on his nose. A very nerdy, but cute habit, I found myself thinking. "You!" Mikey yelled, pointing straight at me. This sudden outburst caused a few of the guys to jump. I'm sure I looked like a deer in headlights as I glanced around me to double check he was pointing at me and not Fish. I humbly shuffled over to their table.

"Tell me-" he started as Ray and Bob groaned and visibly sank in their seats.

"Dude, just drop it. Why does it matter even?" Ray pleaded.

"I just want the opinion of a lady!" Mikey insisted.

"I'm all ears," I offered, giving a small smile. It isn't every day that somebody values your opinion, let alone that of a stranger. Mikey looked so eager that I wouldn't be surprised if he kissed me.

"Tell me," he spoke again. "Wait... Do you know who Sum 41 is?" I nodded, of course. Who didn't enjoy a song or two from the band? "Okay." He spread his hands flat on the table top. "Deryck Whibley. Yay or nay?" The messy haired guy snorted in mocking laughter. "Shut it, Gerard. The question still stands." He locked eyes with me in a sort of dead stare. I sighed.

"Okay. Here's how this answer goes.?" I could tell I had Mikey's attention tenfold. "His voice is absolutely perfect regarding everything relating to punk music." Mikey nodded, drinking every word I offered. "But... I'll have to say nay-"

"Haha!" Mikey stood up, punching the air, causing the table to marginally move. That earned him a very hard glare from Gerard.

"-because he's actually ugly as fuck." I concluded.

"Thank you, miss. Carry on." Mikey sat back down and started shoveling food into his mouth. I gave a welcoming smile and continued to stock tables. The bell on the front door jingled and I turned around to greet them... and then immediately retreated, turning back around.

"Frankie boy!" Bob yelled, waving him over. Cheers from the rest of the guys followed shortly after. "Congrats on continuing to breathe the same air and walk the same Earth as the loves of your life!" Everyone got up and gave Frank side hugs and bro fists and whatever else guys feel the need to do.

"Thanks, man. You know, admitting myself wasn't so bad. I actually enjoyed my time there." He explained as he took a seat. I was hiding behind the corner, near the back of the room, trying to devise a plan of how to make it to the kitchen without being noticed, grab my things and leave for the day.

"Leave it to Frank to make himself a comfortable home at the insane asylum," Ray chuckled. Frank merely shrugged and looked at the surrounding mess on the table.

"We ordered you a plate, bud, but someone ate it already." Mikey glared at Bob who had a mouthful of food and a forkful on its way.

Frank laughed, his easy-going eyes smiling with him. "No big deal, I'll order something else." As if on cue, Fish came out, but instead of looking like the cheery little worker he is, he looked distressed. I immediately walked over to him, temporarily forgetting that I was supposed to be incognito due to a certain someone's presence.

"Kara, I'm super sorry, but someone smashed my car window in." The rage emitting from Fish was indescribable and a bit scary. "I walked out back to take a smoke and saw it. The fucker stole my backpack." I let out a frustrated sign as Fish brushed his hand through his hair in anger.

"Okay, Fish, no problem," I said understandingly. "I can cover for you until Mikayla gets here for the dinner crowd." Fish gave me a weak smile of gratitude, hugged me tightly and rushed out the kitchen, making his way toward the back door. I pivoted and when I looked at the guy's booth, there were five pairs of eyes on me. All of them heard the whole thing, including when Fish said my name. I mentally punched Fish in the gut as I walked over to them.

"Hi," I said awkwardly. I tried to avoid Frank's line of sight as I took out a pen and paper. "Was there anything else you guys needed?"

"Yeah, I was wondering if I could have the special?" I knew who it was that spoke; I got so used to hearing his voice over the past couple of weeks and (un?) fortunately I wouldn't be able to forget the sound of a (long) while.

"Alright," I said, writing down the order and not looking up from my pen. "One special on its way." I swiftly turned to walk to the kitchen. I almost reached my destination when I felt a hold on my shoulder.

"Kara?" I closed my eyes as I felt my body tense. Forcing myself to turn around, I decided to plead the fifth and stay silent. My eyes finally locked with his hazel ones as I noticed pleasant surprise fill them. "So it is you. You've got to be shitting me," he said in disbelief. Suddenly I was engulfed in a hug as he expressed his excitement. I ended up making a weird sound as the air was squeezed out of my lungs. "How the heck have you been?" He exclaimed, and then ever so softly, he murmured in my ear, "you know, I've been waiting for your call." He let go of me and held me at warms length, one hand on each shoulder.

I had no idea what to say. It had been a week since we were both released. I had wanted to contact him, truly I did, but what was I to say? Hey Frank, it's Kara, you know? The girl you met at the psych ward. Wanna grab coffee sometime? I don't know. It just didn't sound like a smooth thing to say.

"Hey to you, too," I said, frantically thinking of an excuse as to why I hadn't contacted him yet. "Sorry about the brief hiatus. I accidentally lost your note." Great. Way to seem careless and uninterested. I mentally kicked myself. Fortunately, Frank didn't seem to take offense. He just laughed.

"Well, I sure am glad to bump into you like this, then!" I nervously chuckled, too, mumbling a me, too somewhere in there.

"Well," I said, "I think I'm gonna put in your order now..." I took a slow step backward, excusing myself. Frank gave me a thumbs up and an adorable smile as he went back to his seat at the booth. Before I left, I noticed all of the guys staring at both of us.
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Thank you so much for reading! Sorry, it's so short; I promise a longer chapter next. As always, comments, subscriptions and professional criticism is always welcomed! Thank you, guys! ♥