My wife was waiting for me near the entrance to the restaurant after I had dropped her off and parked the car. “I’m really excited to be here. I read about it in the paper and people are raving. Thank you so much for taking me here on my birthday.”
“I knew you wanted to try this place, so I made reservations several months ago,” I told her. She squeezed my hand as we walked into the restaurant, which was packed. I looked at my watch and saw that we were a few minutes early. “Wait here,” I said to her. “I’m going to check with the hostess on the status of our table.”
When I got to the hostess’ desk, I said, “The Wheeler party is here.”
She tapped on the screen of her iPad and then looked up at me. “You said ‘Wheeler?’” I nodded. “How many in your party?” she asked.
“Two,” I said. She tapped on her iPad again.
“For what time?” she asked.
“Eight o’clock,” I answered.
“Do you have a reservation?” she asked.
“Yes, of course I have a reservation. I made it two months ago.”
She tapped yet again on her iPad and then looked up at me apologetically and said, “I’m so sorry, Mr. Wheeler, but I can’t find your reservation. Are you sure it was for tonight?”
“Of course I’m sure,” I said, a tone of indignation creeping into my voice. “Today is my wife’s birthday. When I made the reservation two months ago, I told them that and asked them to arrange for a special dessert for the occasion.”
“Would you excuse me for just a moment,” she said and headed back toward the kitchen.
My wife came over and asked me if there was a problem. “They don’t seem to have our reservation in their system,” I said. “I’m sure it’s just a glitch.”
“Oh, I hope they find it,” she said. “I’ll be so disappointed if we can’t eat here tonight.”
At that moment, a man came out, followed by the hostess who had been unable to find my reservation. He reached out to shake my hand. “I’m Henri, Mr. Wheeler,” he said with a slight French accent. “I am the owner and head chef. There has apparently been a mistake with your reservation, but if you’ll be patient with us, we can have a table ready for you in 20 to 30 minutes. Please have a seat at the bar while you’re waiting for your table and enjoy complementary cocktails for yourself and your lovely wife. And for your troubles, dessert will be on the house tonight. Is this satisfactory?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Très bien,” he said. “Lynn, our hostess, will escort you to the bar.”
Once my wife and I were situated at the bar and had been served our drinks, she leaned over and gave me a kiss, telling me how delighted she was that we would be eating at this restaurant and pleased that the reservation mess got straightened out.
“Yeah, me too,” I said, not mentioning to her that I had completely forgotten about her birthday until late that afternoon and had never made reservations at the restaurant.
Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. The prompt is the word “reservation.”