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Author Topic: A new story - Sparkles  (Read 15926 times)

Offline Braceface2015

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A new story - Sparkles
« on: 06. January 2023, 07:07:16 AM »
I've had an idea rattling around in my brain for a while. This is more of an intro to a larger story, but I don't plan on working on this one for a while, so you will have to wait until I finish some of my other stories.


Sparkles

By Braceface2015


Chapter 1


“Hello, and welcome to Sparkles. What time is your appointment?”

There are more lines to the greeting, and I’ve been hearing that greeting, or one similar to it for over a month already. I know every line of each of the scripted greetings by heart. The short greetings are accompanied by a smile each time. It’s my job to interview each person applying for a job at our new restaurant, and I’ve been enjoying most of the interviews more than I should.

My job is to manage the restaurant for a company made up of a few friends and business partners who wished to stay anonymous. The best part of my job is interviewing potential staff.

The idea to open a restaurant happened after a class reunion when a few of us went out to eat and catch up on what had happened since we graduated. The place we went to had a sign out front that it was for sale and someone said it was sad that another place was closing. I had to agree. After I graduated, I went to college and trained to be a chef, and added a degree in business management so that I could run a place of my own someday.

After running several restaurants for other people and making them a big success, my bank accounts were healthy. Part of my success was finding the right people to work for me and give me the time to do what I enjoyed, get into the kitchen and create meals for the restaurant to place on the menu to draw in people.

We’d all grown up eating at this place or someplace just like it and knew how good the food was. The idea of it closing didn’t feel right.

We sat there for a couple of hours, talking about what we had done after high school and how our lives had turned out. There was a husband and wife team with a renovation company, one was a doctor, and not surprisingly a woman who had been a cheerleader in high school and had been married and divorced several times.

We had pushed a few tables together so we could all talk, and with everyone throwing in a few bills, the tip was quite large, so the staff was happy to let us stay and talk. After we got caught up on what everyone was doing, the talk turned to things we remembered doing in high school. Someone laughingly said something about me buying the place to keep it open so we could all eat for free. The seed of an idea had been planted, though we didn’t realize it.

I commented that we could do more by showing up at the restaurant each week and paying to eat there to keep it open. Everyone had a good laugh and the conversation moved on to other subjects. As we were leaving, someone else mentioned my comment about eating at the restaurant again and suggested meeting on Wednesdays, just so that we could keep in touch with each other.




I was in the area the next week and decided to stop for something to eat. To my surprise, the couple with the renovation company were there too. They invited me to join them and we had a good time chatting about the things that we did when we were in school. The food was good, though simple, and we decided that we would meet the next week to do it again.

I invited one of my old school friends to join me and the couple brought one of theirs, both of our friends from different years at the school. While we didn't all know each other, we did have some things in common such as teachers and events that happened. We had so much fun that we decided to make it a steady thing.




The group that showed up each week varied, sometimes just a few of us, other times a much larger group. The restaurant started reserving a section of tables for our group and suggested we call our food orders in so they could have everything ready for us when we showed up.

The restaurant wasn't very big and our group was a steady source of income. The old couple who owned the place made a habit of dropping by our table and they brought us a cake for dessert each time. It turned out that it wasn't just the restaurant that was for sale, it was the whole building. The place had been for sale for quite a while, but they hadn't had any offers that they considered reasonable. When they bought it, they had hoped that their children would take it over, but their children had all moved away and didn't want to take it over. The neighbourhood had changed with time and businesses had moved to newer areas, taking the customers who used to show up with them. The old couple wanted to sell it and retire.





The seed of an idea that had been planted the first week began to sprout. The core members of our group were the couple with the renovation company, a real estate saleslady, myself, and an orthodontist. The former cheerleader had been looking for work and the old couple hired her to work for them, more to help her out than because they needed her. Her pleasant greeting and slightly off-kilter smile became a welcome addition to the place. Some of our group started eating there on other days and they brought their friends.

A few of us decided to see if we could help out the old couple by using our skills to make the building more appealing to potential buyers. I created a simple menu with a broader range of foods for their kitchen to cook, the couple with the renovation company looked over the building and made a list of features that might appeal to buyers and let the old couple know what could be fixed to upgrade it for a small cost, and the real estate agent offered to handle the listing for a modest portion of the sale. It didn’t cost us anything except for a little bit of our time.



The old couple was grateful for our help and one day they sat down with a few of us and made us an offer that made us think. They showed us what we had all done for them and they wanted to return the favour by offering to sell the building to us at a good price. We already knew all we needed to know about the property and the offer was a good one.

None of us could afford it by ourselves, but if we bought it as a group, we had the resources to make it a reality. The old couple spiced up the offer by saying they would close the restaurant for one day and provide a meal for the group if we wanted to get everyone together and talk about the offer. The seed of an idea took root and grew.

Most of the group liked the idea, but many didn’t want or couldn’t afford to put money into the idea. Of those that did, very few wanted to get involved other than to put up some money. A few of us decided we could make it work, so we formed a company to buy the place.

I put quite a bit of my savings into the company and agreed to be the manager and head chef. After the sale was finalized, I took over running the place and kept the restaurant running with the old staff.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #1 on: 06. January 2023, 07:08:20 AM »
Chapter 2

Most of the building had been empty for a while, so the first thing we did was build an office on the second floor for our company. Several of the tenants had stayed in the building more to help out the old couple than because of the good rent, and they decided to move to better locations. They had given us plenty of notice of their intentions before we bought the building, so we were ready for them to leave.

The building had several advantages nearby buildings didn’t. It had plenty of parking around it, and heated underground parking with a freight elevator serving all the floors. Delivery trucks could park inside to unload out of the weather. The building had the second floor built out over the front, providing a sheltered area for customers to get out of their vehicles if the weather was nasty. The old couple had built a garden area beyond that with bushes to screen the drive, adding further protection from the weather and providing a place to enjoy the outdoors when it was nice. We also had great bus service just outside our front door.

The second floor didn’t stay empty for long. A few of the people who invested took advantage and rented space, in effect putting money right back into their pockets. One of those was an orthodontist who didn’t like the place he was renting before the purchase of the building. The couple with the renovation company opened a second office in the building, and began making changes to the building to upgrade it. They also had the advantage of being able to out-bid other companies in the area for jobs because of the low cost of their office. Their first renovation was to the entrance. They build a staircase to the second floor and a reception desk at the foot of it to give the building a professional appearance.

A second entrance to the restaurant was added off the lobby, though the restaurant itself stayed the same, with one change. The former cheerleader became the hostess and her slightly off-kilter smile greeted each customer when they entered the restaurant. The weekly get-together continued, with everyone invited to join in. It wasn't a business meeting, it was just a bunch of friends having lunch and talking.

Part of the main floor was used for storage space. While I wasn’t responsible for managing the building, I did have plans for the space. The restaurant was busy during the day when the offices upstairs were open and the businesses around us were operating, but in the evening, the building was deserted. I wanted to create a restaurant that would draw in people in the evening, and I wanted it to have an unusual theme that nobody else had. I just didn’t know what it was going to be. I also wanted to upgrade the existing restaurant to make it more modern.

The menu in the restaurant gradually changed and expanded. The orthodontist on the second floor suggested a change to the menu to make it more braces-friendly for his patients. The menu still offered many of the inexpensive items from before, but I added a few more-expensive choices in the evening, hoping to draw in a few more customers. It met with moderate success, paying for the cost of keeping the restaurant open later and making a small profit. The feedback from the customers was informative. They wanted a less casual atmosphere when they were dining in the evening.




Each month, the managing members of the company met to discuss business matters, and the second restaurant was always a subject of discussion. I was in charge of planning the layout and theme for the restaurant, while the rest of them had parts to play in making it a reality. The renovation company had a meeting room that was perfect for our meetings and the restaurant provided the food. Even though she wasn’t officially a member of the board, the former cheerleader always stayed after she helped me bring up the food.

Her slightly off-kilter smile had acquired a little bling since we bought the building, thanks to the orthodontist on the second floor. She usually took care of managing the meal or sat quietly while the rest of us talked. The basic layout of the restaurant had been decided on, and the kitchen area was planned out to be as efficient as possible. The new restaurant was going to be aimed at the evening crowd and would have a higher-priced menu, some of which were a success on the menu already. What we didn’t have was a theme and a name for it.

Many ideas had been discussed, with none of them being accepted. It was our normally quiet hostess that said, “If you're looking for something to draw people in, make your menu the focal point. You already have a braces-friendly menu, expand that and make it your focus. You can call the place “Sparkles” and hire a few waitresses with braces or something.” Then she smiled at all of us and added, “I’ll fit right in and can be the hostess at the new place. I wouldn’t mind being able to sleep in every morning.”

The room went silent as we all looked at her, and her smile began to slip, partially covering her braces. Her smile returned when the orthodontist said, “That’s not a bad idea. Nobody else has had an idea anywhere close to as good as hers. I don’t think there is a restaurant anywhere that has tried something like that.” After trying for so long to come up with an idea for a theme, we finally had one that we liked, even if we weren’t quite sure how to do it yet.

With the help of the orthodontist, and assistance from the sparkling-smiled hostess, a braces-friendly menu was put together. The renovation company put together a concept drawing of the inside of the restaurant, with emphasis on the entrance. When the diners walked in, they would find themselves in a waiting room, complete with a vintage dental chair on one side and modern furniture similar to a modern dentist's office on the other, right down to the out-of-date magazines and posters on the wall. The rest of the interior would be typical seating found in any other restaurant, except for the accents, which would be from the various ages of orthodontics.

As the interior of the restaurant took shape, I spent more time working on getting the staff arranged. Our hostess made a few suggestions for what the waitresses should wear and what kind of look they should have. What surprised me was that she suggested we look for guys as well as women to work on the floor.

When I had the scripts we wanted our staff to use, ready, she tried each one of them out for me, with a pleasant smile on her face, so that I could see what to expect as each script was spoken. The idea was to have the orthodontic appliances on display as naturally as possible. With a few minor changes, she improved them for me.

We wanted to hire quality staff, so we offered a good benefits package with all the usual medical and dental benefits. One thing our benefits package had was a free orthodontic exam for every person who applied and met our hiring standards. We had an on-site orthodontist to do them, and he had the final say about if we would hire them.

It gave us several ways to refuse applicants who weren’t suitable without violating labour laws. We knew right from the start that we had to be careful, because we were hiring people with a certain look and had one condition that all of our potential employees had to agree to before we agreed to hire them.





The interview process was in three steps. Anyone that wanted to apply had to show up in person to get an application. The application included the script they would use while working, and they had to know it before they could move to the interview stage. The last page of the application had a list of requirements all our employees were expected to meet or exceed. Our hostess dealt with handing out the applications, and had a polite way of telling some of them they wouldn’t be hired because they didn’t fit the image of the employee we were looking for.

I dealt with the interview process, and I sure enjoyed my job. Each applicant was asked to dress a certain way, as if they were coming to work, and expect to be asked a few personal questions that they might be a little uncomfortable with.

Each interview started the same way, with them smiling at a camera, facing a large screen on the wall so they could see how they looked, as they recited the script they had been given. This step had been suggested by our braced hostess, and she and the orthodontist had tested it out with me watching as if I was conducting an interview, then they had done the same with me. The next step was the interview, where I went over their application with them and asked questions about their work experience.

If I felt that they might make a good employee, I moved on to the last part of the interview, where I asked them questions about why they wanted to work for us and if they understood what the requirements were to work in our restaurant. This is where things became fun for me.

All of our employees were required to wear an orthodontic device of some kind while at work, and it must be visible whenever they smiled. If they chose to wear a retainer,  it had to be Hawley-style.

I had a list of questions I asked each applicant, and one of them was if they enjoyed wearing braces. This question tended to embarrass the guys more than it did the women. I was good at judging how honest they were by their reaction to the question.

Another question I asked was what they would do if they were given the opportunity to fix their teeth and what kind of treatment they would like if they did. This question was more important to us than it seemed to the applicant.

Those two questions often determined whether their application was approved or not. Another determining factor was the way their teeth looked when they smiled. If they had a pleasant, natural-looking smile with teeth in need of treatment, they were given a higher priority. If they already had metal braces and were near the start of their treatment, they were given top priority.

The applicants who made it through the interview were sent upstairs to the orthodontist, where they were given a thorough exam. It was the final screening point and having good hygiene was a final determining factor.

Offline ortho218

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #2 on: 07. January 2023, 17:14:34 PM »
I like this :)

Offline Castlesswonder

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #3 on: 07. January 2023, 17:44:41 PM »
Great idea and story so far. Five stars would definitely eat there

Offline bsma189

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #4 on: 08. January 2023, 02:28:08 AM »
Super excited to see where this goes!

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #5 on: 08. January 2023, 05:26:26 AM »
It's going to be a while before I work on this story again. I have three other stories that need my attention first.

I'm posting the other stories in the club section of the forum and adding them to TheArchive and my account on DeviantArt.

I have a few ideas for where I want to take this story, but as frequently happens, as I write the stories they take a path of their own. I picture this story becoming more of a series of shorter stories rather than one long story, telling it from the point of view of different characters. We will just have to see what happens.

Offline radian

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #6 on: 09. January 2023, 12:38:33 PM »
I've just read the first chapters of this story and it's a very good one, with an original idea ! Such a shame we have to wait a long time for the next parts but I understand your priorities. Thanks a lot for your work !

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #7 on: 09. January 2023, 15:19:35 PM »
I will probably post a little more as the mood takes me. I'm not going to focus on this one just yet. I have a few ideas rumbling around in the back of my brain, and at some point, I'm going to have to get them out of my head.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles - The Cheerleader
« Reply #8 on: 12. January 2023, 10:15:26 AM »
Sparkles - The Cheerleader

By Braceface2015


Chapter 1



It’s a bit embarrassing to be riding the bus wearing a fancy dress and heels, but I wasn’t going to miss another school reunion just because my car was broken down again. I’d saved all year to buy a nice dress and new shoes just for this event, and I wanted to make a good impression in front of some of the people I had gone to school with.

I had been a cheerleader and dated the quarterback, every high-school girl's dream. After graduation, he had gone to college on a football scholarship and I followed him, getting a job as a secretary. I figured my looks would get me through life, and it worked for a while. We got married after dating for several years and thought we would be together for the rest of our lives, until he graduated with a useless degree and ended up playing for a bottom-tier team and was injured.

That was my first marriage that ended in divorce. My second one wasn’t much better. I should have known better than to get involved with my boss. A couple of years after marrying him, he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar and ended up in jail, and left me with an empty bank account and my second divorce.

My looks had matured a bit and I had struggled to maintain my figure through everything, so I still looked good, but I couldn’t compete with the college girls anymore.

The bus stops across from the school and I put my head up and my shoulders back as I cross the street, determined to do my best to project a modestly successful appearance. After detouring through the parking lot to make it appear as if I came by car, I walk through the people standing around outside and talking. It’s a school reunion, so there are a few people that I vaguely remember from my years at the school. A couple of people wave to me, so I make my way to them and introduce myself, adding what years I attended. It seems they remember me from when I was a cheerleader and they invite me to join them for the afternoon.

After the typical speeches that come with all reunions, we decide to skip the mass-produced meal and find someplace with better food. I make the excuse that my ride has already left and I would like to join them, but I don't have a way to get around, so one of them offers me a ride. It turns out he is one of those kids we all made fun of in school for studying, and has a successful business now.

We all meet at a little restaurant that has been there for as long as we can remember. The food is good, even if it is simple, and the conversation is better. We find that we have a few shared memories, one of them being how much we enjoyed hanging out at restaurants like this. Someone suggests meeting again so that we don’t lose contact with each other and a few people agree, one of them being the guy who gave me the ride.

When the bill comes, he pays for my share, then offers me a ride to my place. I smile at him, something that I haven't been doing much of lately. I've always been a bit wary of how I smile, being accustomed to keeping my teeth covered, but it feels g to have a guy treating me nice for a change and I give him a toothy smile as I thank him.

I’m a bit ashamed of where I live, so I ask if it would be okay if he drop me off at the mall so I can catch the bus instead. I give him my cell number and email, saying that I would like to hear from him again.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles - The Cheerleader
« Reply #9 on: 12. January 2023, 22:08:09 PM »
Chapter 2

A week later, I get a text from him asking if I would like to get together with the group on Wednesday. At first I’m hesitant, not sure if I fit in with them. They’re all more successful than I am, and I can’t even afford to get my car fixed. When I text back that I am having car problems, he offers to pick me up. After a few texts back and forth, he convinces me to let him pick me up at my place.

After scrounging through my closet, I put together a reasonably dressy outfit. Even though it isn’t a date, I still want to feel good about how I look and I want to look good for him. I make sure to brush my teeth before he shows up, looking at my off-kilter teeth one more time. I’ve always wanted to fix them, but have never had the money to do it.

His car looks so out of place in my neighbourhood. He gets out and opens my door for me before I reach it, then asks me to wait while he opens it for me at the restaurant. Before he opens the door to the restaurant he says, “Let me pay for your meal. It’s not a date and I don’t expect anything in return. Just have fun and enjoy yourself.”

I give him an off-kilter smile and accept his offer. We’re not the first to arrive nor are we the last. The restaurant is busier this time and it looks as if they are short-handed. The waitress looks as if she is falling further behind, so I grab a coffeepot and take care of our table to give her a break. I’ve done my share of waitressing and it feels good to be able to do it again. As more people join us at our table, I grab a fresh pot and ask the waitress for an order pad, explaining that I would appreciate it if she let me help her out a little. The group is a bit confused by what I am doing, but I ask them to look around and take notice of how busy she is.

I’m a bit rusty, but the cooks seem to understand my order shorthand and everyone gets the meal they ordered, or at least I don’t hear any complaints from the group. At the end of the meal, everyone divides up the bill and throws a few bills into the middle of the table for a tip, then push it my way. I blush a little, then call the waitress over and give it to her.

She’s young, probably just starting college and working to pay her tuition, and judging by the metal braces on her teeth, new to braces as well. Her teeth have an uneven appearance and she keeps moving her lips away from the brackets on her teeth when she closes her mouth.

I noticed the guy that brought me glanced at her a few times as she moved around the restaurant, but no more than the rest of the guys did. She could have been me when I was younger and waitressing, except I didn't have braces.

When he drops me off, he asks if I want to go again next week, and says that he will pick me up and pay for me again if I want to go. He says it isn’t a date, just that he is enjoying my company. That earns him another toothy smile and a promise that he can pick me up again. I notice that his eyes linger on my smile before returning to my eyes.



After running around to job interviews all day, I’m not quite ready when he arrives to pick me up. I’m dressed, but need to do my makeup and fix my hair, so I let him in. My place is small, only a bachelor apartment, so he can see through the bathroom door as I finish getting ready. He moves a little closer as I brush my teeth, and I notice him from the corner of my eye as I rinse the toothpaste from my mouth.

He opens the car door for me again, both as we leave my place and at the restaurant, then opens the door to the restaurant for me. The group is larger this time and we push several tables together to create one big table. The same girl is working and she looks as if she is just as busy. She smiles at us and says she will be with us soon to fill our coffee cups. I notice my friend checking out her smile, but it only lasts a second or two.

Before I sit down, I grab a coffee pot and fill all our cups. I get a thankful smile from the waitress as she takes food to a nearby table. When it seems as if everyone that is coming has arrived, I get an order pad from her and take everyone's orders. With so many orders ready at the same time, I give her a hand bringing them to the table. My waitressing skills show as I handle multiple orders at the same time and deliver them to the correct person each time. I was taught to always smile at the customer as I am serving them and my training kicks in, and I catch my friend checking out my smile as I move around the table.

It’s not as if I am spending all my time serving our table. The coffee pot moves around the table without my assistance, though I do get refills when it is empty. The rest of the time I just sit back and listen to them talk. While I am accepted as an equal, the conversation tends to be above my income level much of the time and I don’t feel as if I have anything to contribute.

Once again, the pile of tips in the middle of the table grows and is pushed in my direction. I make a point of calling our waitress over and giving it to her. She thanks me and smiles at me, and again, my friend checks out her smile.

He takes the long way back to my place, giving us more time to talk. Each time we wait at a light, he turns to me and watches me talk. When he walks me to my door, he says, “Let’s make this trip to the restaurant an ongoing thing. If you can’t make it, just send me a text. I’m not asking for a date, I just enjoy spending time with you and I spend so much time working, I don’t have a lot of chances to spend time with a pretty lady.”

I blush at being referred to as pretty. It’s been so long since I felt that way about myself, and just as long since someone said it in such a casual way. He waits as I smile at him, and again his eyes drop to my mouth before returning to my eyes, as I accept his offer of an ongoing ride to the restaurant.



Each week, he picks me up at my place and we drive to the restaurant. He never lets me pay for my meal, and each week, I take care of serving our table, no matter how busy the restaurant is. It makes me feel good about myself to be useful and help out someone else.

What I am doing doesn’t go unnoticed. After helping out the waitresses for several weeks, I find a dessert being delivered to me at the end of the meal and the charge never appears on the bill.

One week, just before we leave the restaurant, one of the ladies in the group takes me aside and hands me a bag, saying, "I was making room in my closet. I came across a few things I never wear anymore. Take them home and try them on. Let me know if they fit." When I open the bag, I find it full of brand-name clothes, some looking as if they have never been worn. A few weeks later, another of the ladies does the same thing. I try to thank them and tell them they shouldn't be giving me such expensive clothes, but they repeat they were just making room in their closets.

One of the topics of conversation around the table is the real estate sign in front of the restaurant. One of the ladies in the group works for a real estate company and has access to information the rest of us don’t. It’s not just the restaurant that is for sale, it is the whole building. I’ve spent enough time working in restaurants to know that this place has the potential to keep going as it is, and after looking around ‘behind the wall’, feel that it has the potential to be even better.

The old couple that owns the building and restaurant sometimes drop by when we are around and chat with us, and the lady has started to bring a cake to the table when they chat with us. She’s mentioned a few times that she could use a waitress with the skills I have, and that if I ever need a job, she’d be glad to hire me. If things don’t improve for me soon financially, I might just take her up on the offer.

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles - The Cheerleader
« Reply #10 on: 14. January 2023, 20:10:18 PM »
Chapter 3

A couple of people from our group took a look at the building and gave the couple some advice on how to make the building more appealing to potential buyers. When we first started meeting at the restaurant, someone made a comment about buying the place so we would have somewhere to eat for free, but everyone just laughed it off. It turns out the old couple made the group an offer to sell them the building at a good price, and they are considering it. My boyfriend is one of the people talking about maybe forming a company to buy it.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend asked if I would be interested in going on a date with him, and I answered him with a major kiss. For the first time in longer than I want to remember, I felt a set of lips on mine, and I was very pleasantly surprised when his tongue ran over my top teeth very briefly, before he broke off the kiss. He apologized for going too far, but I pulled him in for another kiss before he could finish his apology.

I also told the old couple that I would like to work for them, as long as I can have Wednesdays off so I can still meet with my group of friends. Having a reliable car to drive helped me to decide to finally change jobs. One of my friends in the group has a dealership and offered to sell me a good used car at a price I can afford. My boyfriend offered to buy the car for me, but I told him that I need to do things for myself. It took me a while to tell him, because I spent quite a bit of time kissing him while I tried to explain to him why I was turning down his offer.

He seems to like running his tongue over my misaligned teeth, and I encourage him to do it by making my mouth available to him as often as possible. I’ve told him I don’t want to be involved in a serious relationship just yet, but I don’t want to miss out on some of the things a serious relationship has. We’re just going to take things slowly and see where our relationship goes.



I fit in with the staff at the restaurant. I had met most of them already, and they easily adjusted to me being there more. My boyfriend began showing up almost every night for supper. He tried sitting across the restaurant from where I was working, but the other waitresses refused to serve him unless he was in my area. Then they would pass by and fill his coffee cup or ask him if they could get him anything.

When the old couple find out where I am living, they show me an apartment upstairs they have for rent and offer it to me at a good price. It is bigger than the place I am in and in much better shape, so I accept their offer. When I try to give them a damage deposit, the owners grin and the lady says, "Your boss gave you a good reference, and we know where you work if there are any problems." After they give me the keys, they tell me I can begin moving my stuff in any time I want to. When I bring the first load of things over, there is a new dishwasher installed in the kitchen and a brand new stacking washing machine and dryer in the laundry room. I begin to feel as if the old couple are using me to try to influence the group to purchase the building, but I'm not complaining. It's kind of flattering they think that I have any say in what the group does. They aren't putting any pressure on me and they haven't asked me to do anything.

My boyfriend told me was going to send a moving company to pick up the rest of my things, but all that shows up is a small enclosed moving truck big enough to hold my smaller items. After loading everything into the truck, he hands one of the movers the keys to my car and takes me to my new apartment. When he opens the door for me, I find brand new furniture in my apartment. I start to protest, but he puts his finger against my lips and says, “My back is sore from sitting on that worn-out stuff you call furniture.” He flips a lever on the end of the sectional and a twin bed slides out. “This is for when you want to have company over or you want to watch tv in bed.”

He takes me into the bedroom and there is a new queen-size bed with cast-iron head and footboards. “I want you to be able to get a good night's sleep instead of tossing and turning on the lumpy old mattress you had before. He picks me up and gently lays me on the mattress, and it feels as if I am resting on a cloud. So far he’s respected the boundaries I have set without any complaint.

I can see the direction this is taking, and pull his face down so I can kiss him. “You’re still not allowed to sleep in my bed, but I might be willing to make an exception if you were to sleep on the couch once in a while.”




I begin to see some of the group coming in for meals on other days I am working. At first I don’t say anything, but when they sit in my section most of the time, I bring it up at the Wednesday gathering. A few protest that they are just doing market research to determine if the restaurant is a good purchase, but they back off when I glare at them. They agree to sit in other sections of the restaurant when they do come in. The place isn’t that big, but at least the other waitresses will get their fair share of the tips.

It’s no secret that I don’t have money to spend the way most of them do, and they keep finding ways to help me out without me feeling as if I am a charity case. All I have to do is look in my closet or my parking spot. Other than the two bags of clothes, I have bought everything else myself, often at a marked-down price or at an employee discount when one of them took me shopping with them.



It takes a while, but eventually a company is formed to make an offer on the building. Most of the group don't want to be directly involved in the deal, but they are willing to invest in it. The decision is made to sell shares at a set price, and anyone in the group can buy as many shares as they want until there is enough money to buy the building. After that, a fund will be set up to renovate the building and manage it. A few members of the group agree to manage the company and form the board.

It takes a while for changes to start happening. The restaurant has a few repairs done and a minor renovation to add a second entrance, this one from the inside of the building. One of the new owners takes over running the restaurant and the menu gets an update. The big change for me is a promotion to the new position of hostess, which the other staff approve of. It’s more of a title than anything else.

I don’t know how many shares my boyfriend buys, and I promise him I won’t ask. For the first time in far too long, I have a small savings account again. I want to get something special for him, but I can’t think of what I can do he can’t just buy for himself if he wants to.

I’ve suspected for a long time that he has an interest in teeth. After the first time he kissed me and ran his tongue over my teeth, I’ve noticed how he likes looking at mine. He’s commented that he thinks I have an almost-perfect smile. In a roundabout way, I’ve managed to get him to admit that there is a way to make my smile perfect, but he won’t tell me what it is.

Offline Sparky

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #11 on: 14. January 2023, 23:01:52 PM »
I've done this myself in stories, having multiple views of the same thing, and it actually makes the story more interesting in a way, as we know  what is coming up.

I'm guessing there's going to be a couple more chapters from "The Cheerleader's" perspective before it's at the same point as the original story thread. I'm kinda hoping we might get to see things from a third person's perspective too.... looks like I just need to be patient. Also looking forward to when the new restaurant actually opens.

It's strange, I'm not enjoying your other stories over in the club area so much, but this one I'm definitely enjoying!

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #12 on: 15. January 2023, 01:26:17 AM »
Each of my stories is different. None of them is completely about braces, they each have more to the story.

I've said it many times, the stories I write are to entertain myself. If other people enjoy my stories, that is a bonus.

I've been tossing around ideas along that line, and there is plenty of opportunity to add more characters whenever I want to. I haven't done anything with the orthodontist, and there are plenty of restaurant staff with stories I can tell. :D

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: A new story - Sparkles - Charlene
« Reply #13 on: 17. January 2023, 03:00:28 AM »
Sparkles - Charlene

By Braceface2018

Chapter 1



I met my husband when we were both still in school. I had just moved to town and had been hired to work at the truckstop as a waitress. The truckstop was on leased land and the family that owned it was the largest landowner in the area. They had a mixed grain farm, beef and dairy herds and an egg-laying chicken operation.

At the time, he didn’t have his commercial driver's license yet, but had been driving big rigs around the farm for years and drove the smaller trucks on the road. The family operation used the truckstop to fuel their vehicles because they paid a lower price at the truckstop than if they bought it in bulk for the farm.

I’d see him at school and we had a few classes together, but we didn’t hit it off at the start. My name is Charlene, but I preferred to use Leena, thinking it was more feminine, but he always called me Charli even though I told him I didn’t like it.

He’d frequently stop by the truckstop and fuel up whatever vehicle he was driving, and he liked to flirt with the waitresses and cashiers, a few of who went to the same school as us. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but he seemed to favour the ones that had braces. Back then, they still used bands around each tooth, though the bonded brackets were becoming more widely used. He made a point of talking to me each time he came in, no matter who was working that day. I both enjoyed it and was a bit put off at the same time. He was always polite to me and waited until I was free, which I liked, but he also insisted on calling me Charli no matter how many times I told him not to do it. Looking back on it, it was his way of teasing me, and he still does it.

Back then, I didn’t understand why he was interested in me. He could have dated any of the good-looking girls at our school, especially the ones with braces, and he did date a few a couple of times, but they never seemed to last long. He kept asking me for a date, but I kept telling him I didn’t want to date a stuck-up rich kid. It was my way of getting back at him for calling me Charli. He didn’t give up though, and he kept buying me nice clips to tie back my long hair. I liked the clips and kept them all. As he bought more clips, he also bought a fancy multi-drawer cabinet to hold them. I found out later just how much some of them cost.

I didn’t think I was good-looking. My teeth were crooked and I had a gap between my top front teeth. My parents didn’t have the money to fix my teeth, so I learnt how to smile without showing my teeth unless I had to. He became quite good at telling me jokes to get me to laugh, something he didn’t do with the other girls he talked to. His jokes were good enough that he had me laughing with my teeth showing.

I rode the bus to and from work, but the bus didn't run that often and I had to wait for it in the dark to get home. Even though it stopped right in front of the truckstop and was well-lit, it still was a bit risky. When he found out, he started showing up at the end of my shift to fill up his fuel tank and began offering me a ride home. I resisted his offer for a while, but he would just park near the road until the bus came and I got on. I finally let him start driving me home, and I got to know him better. It turned out that the girls he dated had told me the truth, he didn't act like a spoiled rich kid. I didn't like that he flirted with the waitresses with braces, but we weren't dating, so I couldn't do much about it.

Over the summer, I worked more hours, and each night, he was there to drive me home. He didn’t have a fancy truck, it was an old pickup that he had rebuilt and upgraded himself. And one day he showed up with the passenger seat recovered with my name stitched into the seatback. I didn’t know how to react. Once again, he asked me to go on a date, and for the first time, I told him I would go on one date with him and that would be it.

I expected it to be to a drive-in movie, just like all the other guys made a habit of doing on their dates, but he took me to his place on the farm and cooked me supper on the grill outside. After we ate, he took me horseback riding through the fields and we watched the sun go down from the top of a hill.

It was a few dates later that I asked him about the seat cover, and he told me I was the only woman who was going to sit in it, so I needed to have my name on it. It brought a big toothy smile to my face and earned him a kiss on the cheek. On the next date, I rode back from the hill on the back of his horse, and he got a kiss on the lips. I still hadn’t said I would date him. But we both knew I would.

In the fall, he passed his commercial driver's test and showed up at my door to pick me up in a highway truck, and my name was on the passenger's door. We still weren't officially dating, but we might as well have been. He was hauling things for the farm all day, and on the days I wasn't working, I rode with him. He stopped flirting with the waitresses when I asked him, though I did catch him looking at them when he thought I wasn't looking.

In the spring, he bought a couple more trucks and took over all the hauling for the farm. When the farm didn’t need him, he hauled for other farms in the area. His trucks were so busy that he needed someone to handle the scheduling, and he hired me to run the office for him. I didn’t get to ride with him as often, but I was making more money doing less work. Then he set up a laptop and cell phone to connect to the office and I could do just about everything while I rode with him. He changed the company name on the trucks to SRK Trucking, and I was the only person who knew that it stood for ‘spoiled rich kid trucking’. I still told him that I wouldn’t date a spoiled rich kid.

In the fall, he gave me a ring and asked me if I would marry him. I told him yes and pulled him against me for a lengthy kiss, then told him I still wouldn’t date a spoiled rich kid. He just laughed and told me to stop spoiling him then. That led to an extended kissing session, which included him running his tongue over my teeth and the gap between them. He enjoyed kissing me and my misaligned teeth didn’t seem to bother him at all.

We got married in the spring, and by the fall, I was pregnant with twin girls. We were both happy about me being pregnant, and he built a new house for our family on the farm. The trucking business was doing good and he had bought a few more trucks, so I spent more time in the office as my belly got bigger and less time in the truck, partially because it was harder to climb in and out of the truck with a big belly.

The old house became the office and it worked great having the space for the kids to be with me all the time. As the company grew, so did the length of the trips. What started as one-day trips became two days and grew from there. I didn’t mind it when we both did them together, but as my due date got closer and I spent more time at home, he let other drivers take more of them so he could be home more often.

After the twins arrived, he spent less time on the road and more time with his family, but I didn’t have the time to spend with him like I used to, and devoted more of my life to my daughters than him. The number of overnight trips slowly grew. As the girls got older and asked him to take them for rides, he took them in the truck for the day, alternating girls to keep it fair. By that time, the company had grown and we had office staff for me to supervise and a maintenance crew for the trucks. When he wasn’t on the road, he was managing the garage.

My daughters inherited my teeth, and when they were old enough, they asked to get braces and he willingly made the appointments for them to get them and was the one that took them to all their appointments while they had them. He asked me a few times if I wanted to get braces with them, but didn't push it when I didn't seem interested. When they got their braces off, he insisted they get Hawleys and made sure they wore them more than they were required to.

Their teeth turned out beautiful and stayed that way. I was a bit jealous of their smiles and almost wished that I had gone through braces with them. He was an overprotective father, and no boy seemed good enough for his daughters. I went behind his back a few times, and they ended up dating guys that treated them right, but not as well as my husband had treated me. Nobody was that good in my eyes.

Our relationship had suffered over the years and a lot of it was because of how I treated him. I had pushed him away too many times and he had eventually retreated to a place where he felt safe, inside his trucks. I knew that he cared for me still, but I had rejected him too often and he didn’t know how to get me back no matter what he tried.

Online TrainTrack

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Re: A new story - Sparkles
« Reply #14 on: 17. January 2023, 05:36:06 AM »
I haven't done anything with the orthodontist, and there are plenty of restaurant staff with stories I can tell. :D
I was wondering how it all fit together. Does that mean that “Charlene” and “The Cheerleader” are restaurant employees? Anyway, it’s a good story, even if we aren’t to the braces part yet.