"Welcome to New York City!" Jerry exclaimed, after we excited some super long tunnel. It was pretty amazing, I have to admit. I was just excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and expected some more highway to come out, but instead giant buildings of all sorts, billboards bigger than my house, and tons of people exploded into sight. I swear, each one of us muttered, "Wow."
"Excited now?" Mom chuckled.
"Maybe." I shrugged.
"Yeah." Emma mumbled.
Half an Hour Later
We turned a few corners to a quieter, less populated, and seemingly smaller part of the city, but still big and magnificent.
"Here comes my street!" Jerry announced, excitedly. We took a sharp turn onto a small street.
"Woah!" My eyes widened. There weas a huge parade float in the middle of the freaking street that we had to squeeze around!
"Yeah, that was an old junky one until all the kids on the block fixed it up. They use it every day."
"For what?" Emma asked.
"Well... the first time is always a nice surprise, so I'm not telling you." He smiled.
Before we unloaded everything, Jerry wanted to introduce us to our new home.
"So this is my restaurant, gang!" Jerry said. "The stairs to the main floors are behind that gate in the back. The first floor up is basically our living space, the living room, kitchen, bathroom, you get it. Then another floor up to Mark, your mom, and my floor, equipped with two bedrooms, one main sort of living room, and two bathrooms. Then another floor to Emma and Izzy's rooms, one living room, and two bathrooms. Then two more floors which we pretty much use for storage, nothing, and wandering when we get bored."
"Wow." I said. "How did you get this building all to yourself?"
"Well, it was an abandoned apartment bulding. I know it's only six floors, which is small for the city, and small for an apartment building, but this entire street was a series of apartment buldings. The city fixed up the place around fifteen years ago into cheap living space and businesses."
"So you call this place the Smash Cafe?" Mark asked.
"Yep." Jerry nodded, proudly. "Cool, right?"
"Well, no. You can't put smash and cafe in the same title."
"Well it's quite popular in the part of town."
"It's so... empty." Emma commented.
"It opens in about an hour. My waitresses arrive soon."
Suddenly, a slightly chubby African-American woman walked in with a big smile. Right away I could tell she was one of the happiest things about this "adventure."
"Hi Jerry!" She strolled over for a big hug. "You've been gone for a long time! This must be your family!"
"How are you?" Jerry asked. "Are your kids doing okay?"
"Yes, we're doing fine, how about you?"
"We're great!" Jerry turned his attention to us. "Guys, this is my good friend, Madge!"
"Hi!" We all said.
"It's so good to meet you!" She beamed. "Let me see if I remembered your names... well I know this handsome boy is Mark, right?"
"Right you are!" Mark shook her hand.
"Good! And these pretty girls must be Isabel and Emma-Lynn, right?"
She shook each of our hands. "You can call me Izzy." I told her.
"Sure! And Emma-Lynn, what do you prefer to be called? Emma or Lynn?"
"Actually my name is Emmalyn, which is a combination of both. My parents couldn't decide." Emma informed her. "And you can just call me Emma."
"Okay, Emma! Beautiful sunglasses by the way, but it's dark in here! Can you see?"
"Yeah, I'm good."
I stifled a laugh, as well as Mark.
"Oh, Gage, you look so pretty!" She gave Mom a hug.
"Thank you so much!" Mom said. "You do, too!" Mom has already been to New York twice with Jerry, so she knows everything.
"Izzy, my son, Anthony is around your age and I think he'd love to be your friend!" Madge smiled at me.
"Awesome!" I nodded.
"He's getting ready to perform now, but afterwards you two can meet up!"
"Well, I'm going to get to work so see you in a bit!"
I take one large look at the restaurant. It was a dark room with a bunch of tables and restaurant stuff and a bar running down the side of it. There were about three TV screen and (ugh) a kareoke stage.
"So gang, I'd say that the kids are just waitors," Jerry began. "Your times will be flexible of course. You don't have to work the entire time, but I think it will be good for you guys to work here. It's fun."
We groaned, but agreed.
"Let's head you up to your rooms."
We followed him to the back to a black gate, blocking the stairs. He handed us each a key for the lock.
Kind of scary looking to be a home entrance, huh?