The dinner

Natalie is new to town. In no time at all she has a apartment, job and friends, everything is perfect except Natalie is living the life of a girl that was recently murder. Natalie must solve the murder in order to save herself from the same fate.


2. Welcome Natalie

Natalie woke to her head bumping against the glass of the bus, she had slept most of the journey away and was closing in on her destination, New York City. Natalie had big plans she was going to be a big star, she was twenty five and had left her family back in Iowa due to their lack of support. Her mom never put down the vodka bottle long enough to appreciate her, her brother was in jail on account of abuse and her dad was no longer in the picture he had an affair with a women from work when Natalie was young he soon decided he would leave Ankeny and divorce Natalie's mom and move out to California with his new wife. He and Natalie kept in touch, even though he wasn't thrilled about Natalie's career choice he agreed to fly out to visit her. Natalie had not heard from him in a while and assumed she wouldn't anytime soon.


Natalie traveled light with only one suitcase and a shoulder bag. The move was very last minute for Natalie so she didn't have a place to stay, luckily enough it was still early and she had some money that she had previously stashed away, not much but enough. The bus Natalie was on was not in the best condition and had to stop in down town New York. The driver promised another bus would pick the passengers up, but it wasn't long before they all scattered leaving Natalie with little choice but to do the same. She wondered around until she found herself outside a diner, she hadn't eaten in hours so she decided to stop for a bite when she noticed a sign advertising job vacancies. Natalie didn't want to settle here but the money she had wouldn't get her much further and she had to be practical. Natalie gathered herself and went inside. 


When Natalie got inside she walked over to the counter, their she was greeted by a very attractive man who addressed himself as Tom  "I own this establishment" he told her. "Is the job you have been advertising still available" she asked. "It is, if you want the job it yours as long as you can start straight away that is" he replied. Natalie new there were better jobs out there but it was getting late so she accepted. Tom grabbed her hand and took her into the kitchen where he handed her a pad, pen and uniform. Tom told her she could change in his office and went back out into the kitchen. Natalie found Tom very attractive and blushed at the thought of changing in his office. She left her belongings in one of the spare lockers and placed the key and her phone inside her apron. The other girls greeted her when she stepped out of the kitchen. There were three other girls, Katie who was overly chatty and very excitable, she had lived here her whole life. She had worked at the dinner for about 3 years to put herself through collage and was living near by in student house with some friends. Jane who was very quiet, she was a student from England, and studying criminology at NYU. Sue was more business than the others she was in partnership with Tom and helped him out with the accounting in the evenings. She owned more than one apartment in the area and was more than willing to let one out to her. Natalie was very grateful. It was a furnished apartment four blocks away that sue had recently bought of the market for a very reasonable price. Sue told Natalie that she could sleep in her spear room tonight and take a look tomorrow if she wanted. Natalie agreed. The evening flew by, Natalie had three years of waitressing in Iowa behind her, Tom was very impressed.


Natalie was waiting for Sue to finish up when Tom stopped her,"You did well today, I'm very impressed, be here tomorrow at 3pm?" He asked flirtatiously. She nodded trying not to smile to wide. He touched her arm and winked. They shared a moment until Sue knocked on Tom's door. Tom immediately walked towards her and she kissed him. Natalie felt a little disappointed but shrugged it off and left with Sue.  Sue lived in a very luxurious apartment further up town. Sue showed Natalie to the guest room. Natalie sat down on the bed, sue was about to leave when Natalie asked "Are you and Tom dating?" "Ha ha, he wishes" Sue replied. "Oh I only assumed because of before" Natalie explained. "Me and Tom are casual, being in business together we see each other a lot more than we see other people, it just made sense to sleep with him at the time. We don't anymore. What you saw at the dinner was then end of somethings not the beginning." Sue told her. "That's a shame Sue, you two would make a great couple." Natalie remarked. "Somethings are not meant to be" Sue snapped Natalie went to bed feeling very confused about the conversation they had. Natalie did like Tom but she would never rush into anything, she didn't know him at all and she knew first impressions are not always reliable. Natalie was adamant that she was certainly not getting caught in a love triangle with Tom and sue.


The next morning Sue showed Natalie to the apartment. It wasn't what Natalie expected. It wasn't very well presented, and wasn't done up ether. Natalie noticed mould creeping through the fresh coat of paint. But this was not the time to be picky, Natalie new that. She smiled off the rusty taps and shrugged of the unpleasant smell in the bedroom. Wether she liked it or not this was going to be her new home.


Natalie turned up the radio, she proudly danced and sang around her new apartment. It was her first week in the city and she had an apartment a job and friends. As she unpacked her boxes she found an earring on the floor. It was a pale gold dangly earrings attached was a purple stone circled by a Celtic pattern. She new straight away it wasn't one of hers, Natalie assumed it was Sue's and that she probably dropped it on her way out. Natalie put it in her apron pocket and headed out the door for work.


Natalie grabbed the bus down the street from her house, it stopped a couple of doors down from the dinner so it was really perfect for her. It was still early so when Natalie got to work the dinner was still closed. On the door was a sign that informed Natalie that the dinner opened from 8am-12pm for breakfast, closed mid day and re-opened at 6pm-2am. Natalie was on the night shift so that Tom could evaluate her.Since the bar didn't open for another three house she was a little confused why Tom had asked her to come in now, Natalie took a seat on the curb and waited. Natalie looked up to see Tom standing in front of her. She took a moment to bask in his good looks, charms and the way he looked at her. Tom helped her up and invited her inside the dinner.


When she got inside she and Tom waked to the locker, Tom kept the lockers In his office for safe keeping. Natalie hung her jacket in her locker with her bag. She turned round to find Toms eyes locked onto her. She didn't no what to "I was reading the sign outside, the dinner doesn't open until six." Tom smiled "quite the detective aren't you?" He chuckled " I didn't have chance to train you last night because we were so busy, don't get me wrong you did great out there but I need to run through things with you. So if you can just bring me a. Hoy of your curriculum vita when you get the chance that will tie up the paper work. " Natalie smiled "so..... What next?" Tom walked into the kitchen "Erm the tables have numbers to reduce confusion, believe me it happens and the condiment counter is over there, we take them to a table when it’s occupied." Natalie looked a Tom, she began to blush."I'm going to fill up the condiment trays" she needed to get busy and went into the kitchen.


It wasn't long until the rest of the staff arrived and soon after the restaurant was filled with customers. The night flew by due to how busy the dinner was. As it got to the end of the night, Natalie was cleaning down the tables  when she remembered the earring in her apron. She put down the cloth and spray gun and approached Sue as she was about to leave. Natalie presented the earring to Sue, "I found this earring, is it yours?"  Sue looked up at her "No, maybe it stowaway from home in one of your boxes" Sue suggested. "Your probably right" Natalie agreed. She went back to Toms office to retrieve her belonging from her locker. When she step back out into the kitchen the atmosphere had defiantly shifted. Everyone was stood round Katie, Natalie got closer as she asked them what was going on, Katie held up the earring that Natalie found in her apartment. "Oh it must of fell out my apron, I found this at my new place I brought it to see if it belong to Sue, but i probably packed it by accident back home"Natalie explained. Katie fearfully looked at Natalie "No, I don't believe it did Nat, this belong to Halen, this is her earring. I'm certain". Natalie looked down at the earring, "Who's Halen?"

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