It took Frank no more than a few bites of his meal to realize why he was always getting coupons for this particular Chinese place. The food was terrible. The noodles were dry, the sauce had a strange, sweet cherry like taste, and the chicken had obviously been sitting under a heat lamp for the better part of the day.
This was the absolute last thing he needed at the end of a long day, he thought. Irritated, he gestured for the waitress. She, at least seemed to know what she was doing. “What can I do for you?” she asked.
“Yeah, Sweety, this food is terrible,” Frank said, gesturing towards his plate. “Can you get your manager for me?”
“Oh, of course,” the girl said, looking worried. She scurried off towards the back room. Frank helped himself to a long look at her backside as she went. Strange to see a white girl working at one of these places, but at least he hadn’t had to listen to an incomprehensible accent throughout the terrible meal.
While he waited for the manager, he causally opened his fortune cookie, thinking that the incompetent cook couldn’t have possibly messed that up. As it turned out, it was stale. That, at least, was probably not the cook’s fault.
He pulled out the fortune, frustrated. It read, “Samantha says Hello.”
Quickly, he crumpled the fortune in his hand, looking around quickly. Samantha was a name he hadn’t heard in a very long while.
The manager was coming towards the table, with the waitress just behind him. “Sir, I understand that you were not satisfied by your meal?” he asked.
“Never mind,” Frank said, getting to his feet quickly. “Can I have the check now, please?”
“No, please, we’ll take care of it,” the manager said, shaking his head. “Have a nice evening.”
Frank turned away, and left the restaurant without a word.
Outside, there was a terrible surprise waiting for him. His car, which he’d parked just outside of the restaurant with four perfectly fine tires, now had three slashed ones. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered, fishing in his pocket for his phone. It was missing.
“Everything alright, sir?” someone behind him asked. He turned to see the waitress from the restaurant. “Oh, look at your car! Do you need a ride?”
Frank started to refuse, but then he gave the girl a look out of the corner of his eye. She was cute. “Sure, okay,” he said, “Won’t your boss be mad?”
“No, it’ll be okay,” she said, “He’s my dad. It’s a family business. Come on, I’m parked out back.”
He followed her behind the restaurant, glancing around to see if anyone was around to see them together.
“So, you work with your dad?” he asked.
“Yeah, my sister and I both have, ever since we were kids,” she said, fumbling in her pocket for keys. “We grew up around here.”
They got into the car, and she started it up. As they pulled away, she had a smile on her face. “I was actually really happy to see you in today. I have a confession, I’ve actually been sending you coupons for awhile now.”
Frank jumped when she locked the doors. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Why were you sending me coupons?” Frank asked.
“Well, see I recognized you,” she said, still grinning. “See, the cops couldn’t find anything on you, but I knew better. I’d seen you hanging around the bus stop for days before Sammy vanished, I knew it was you right away.”
Frank looked up quickly. She looking at the road, that grin on her face. “You know, she died slow too, after you left her on that bench.”
She moved quicker than he would have imagined. He hadn’t even seen the knife, stuck into the cushion under the girl. But before he could move she’d removed it from the seat, and planted it into his stomach. “You will too, I bet. Sorry you didn’t like the food, though.”