I didn’t just write this new book,
I lived it.
An excerpt that tells a piece of my story…
Motivated to be Included: A Waitress is Presumed Innocent
By the time I was waitressing summers in college, for money to return to college, I had a pretty good handle on my learning “situation.” But one day when I least expected it, it raised its ugly head. While setting the dining room for a wedding, the huge staff of waiters and waitresses often talked about movies. Presumed Innocent was a big movie in theaters at the time. It was a thriller, a murder mystery with an ending that no one saw coming. Since I had been cursed as one of those people who often sees how the plot will unfold three to four steps in advance, I was excited to be surprised.
The next week, while we were all in the dining room setting down the silver, coffee cup and saucer, and decoratively folded napkin for 500 wedding guests, we started to talk movies. Presumed Innocent came up and I listened as closely as I could, as everyone shared how they hadn’t seen the ending coming and shared who they thought had “done it.” When I was asked for my opinion, I shared that I knew from the very beginning of the movie who the killer was. I thought it was obvious and I was right. One waiter, Brian, who showed that he liked me by being mean to me said: “There is no way you knew who it was.” (spoiler alert) “I did know,” I answered, “It was obvious to me that it was the wife because she was the only character who had been presumed innocent, which of course is the title of the movie so I knew it was her.”
He gave me an awful look and said, “That is not what you were supposed to think. It was just the title of the movie.” He took a few steps toward the kitchen and then turned and added, “and I don’t believe that you knew it was the wife. We’ve all seen it and none of us knew. What makes you so special?” And there it was, none of us knew. I was no longer considered a part of “us,” I was made to feel apart from the group.
To this day, I remember the way he looked at me. He looked at me in a way I had seen my whole life. It made me long for the days someone would look at me that way and I would have Christian beside me to tell them to go away. Brian never really talked to me after that, maybe he hadn’t liked me after all, maybe he was just mean.
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