Debra arrived right on time. She wasn’t known for being terribly early, and honestly wasn’t always prompt. However, she looked forward to getting together with her friends so much that she didn’t want to let them down.
She arrived to find John, Lucy, and Krystal already waiting outside Vito’s Italian Restaurant. Debra felt bad they’d be eating in front of their friend Vince, while he would have to work helping his grandparents out in any way possible.
“I checked us in already,” John reassured Debra.
“And don’t worry about everyone paying,” Krystal said. “I got this. Let me do it as a way of thanking you all for letting me be part of your group. I think it’s great we will be spending time together.”
“Before you ask, I’m okay with that,” Lucy added. “Because I know you’ll ask me if I have any complaints. Right now, I’m just thankful for somewhere to be.”
“Sounds like we’re all set then!” Debra eagerly responded.
“One small problem,” John pointed out. “They only seat complete parties. It’s five minutes to three and no sign of Cyrus or his friend.”
“I hope they both make it!” Debra told John, genuinely worried. “Since we’re friends of Vince’s, maybe they’ll make an exception.”
“We actually asked about that,” Krystal explained. “But with such high demand for the restaurant seating, they need to give everyone equal treatment.”
“But we’re celebrities! Flying Glory and the Hounds of Glory!”
“Have you ever seen the walls of that restaurant, Debra?” Lucy questioned her. “Celebrities, ones far bigger than we are, have come to this spot for decades. There’s pictures of them all over the walls taken at the restaurant, and personally autographed. We are nothing compared to the kind of people Vince’s kind hearted grandparents serve through these doors every day.”
“Wow,” Krystal responded, a small reminder of how new she still was to the whole group dynamic. “I’ve never heard someone speak so well about an ex-boyfriend’s family before.”
“His grandparents are incredible people. Having to raise a grandchild like Vince after tragically losing your only child, that takes a lot of strength to me. Especially when Vince came from a life a lot more like yours, used to having more. I think it’s a great testament to them how well he’s turned out, all things considered.”
Vince came out to meet his friends, dressed in slacks and a white button up shirt, and using some hair oil to try and keep his wild locks in place with mixed success. Debra could hear Krystal try not to laugh, and wondered if Lucy saw Vince this way before when the two of them dated.
“Your name’s up on the list, John,” he told them. “Is everyone here yet?”
Debra and John both looked around sadly.
“Doesn’t look like it. We’re so sorry to have wasted everyone time, Vince,” Debra told him. “We know how busy you and your family are. And we can’t wait too much longer because Krystal has to be back by seven.”
“I’m just glad you thought of giving my grandparents the business for the holiday,” Vince admitted. “The restaurant is still popular, but not like it used to be. To see all of you come in would have been a real big morale boost for them though, to let them know being part of the band has been a good thing for me. They worry about me a lot.”
“I’m surprised to hear you admit that,” Lucy told Vince.
“I don’t like to show emotions to a lot of people, but when it comes to my grandparents, I’m more than happy to brag about them. They’ve done so much for me.”
“Are we too late?” the group heard a familiar voice say behind them. They turned to see their manager, Cyrus Mulroney, arriving with another familiar face… their principal, Lionel Arthur.