Xenia stopped in front of the restaurant door and looked at her reflection. She ran her hair through her fingers. She hated having anyone pointing out pieces of lint or fur or whatever was stuck onto her raven-toned curls. She then brushed her silk blouse and pencil skirt. She knew appearance was important to her company.
She entered the restaurant. The line snaked across the foyer. Men, young and old, wore gray three-piece suits. Older women were dressed in lavender sundresses and oversized hats. Little girls in their flowing dresses that nearly brushed the tiles.
Xenia looked behind her and tried to peek into the dining hall to see if the guests arrived before her. No one stood out. Occupants waved toward one another, chatting about whatever was the topic of the day. Xenia inched her way to the bar. She grabbed a tray and a plastic red cup.
Xenia nodded yes. “Has anyone from the Hardaway party arrived?”
The cashier looked back at the dining hall. Most of the tables taken were separated, seating the maximum of four people.
“I’ll see if I can find someone who can help you. In the meantime, the total will be $10.59.”
Xenia lay her clutch down and took out her American Express card. The cashier slid the card and handed it back to her. The manager, a man in a button-down shirt and red tie, approached the cashier and Xenia.
“Are you Ms. Hardaway?”
“Right this way.”
The manager escorted Xenia to the Boswell Wing, a private room reserved for large groups.
“Your party’s been expecting you. And I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Don’t be sorry, sir,” Xenia replied. “She wouldn’t want you to be.”