A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Jason and John Build a Water Heater. John is sent out to get his own tea by Jason. He spends some time with Stephanie and finds out a bit about Jason and his prejudices. John also reveals a bit about himself to Stephanie that he once would have held secret. He is pleasantly surprised by the easy conversation and might enjoy more.
For those who are new to The Omicron Matter, the home page is a good place to start.
Look for more tomorrow
Getting a Cup of Tea
John stammered but headed out the door. In the kitchen, he looked around Jolene was talking with Peter and they looked to be in the middle of preparation for lunch. While he had only been here a day or two, he could recognize people who should not be disturbed by trivialities. Jolene was the person who chastised Millicent Morgaine. He walked through the kitchen door and into the main dining room. Stephanie was carefully writing the daily menu on a sandwich board. John waited for a moment by the table before asking, “Who do I talk to about making a pot of tea.?”
Stephanie kept her focus on the board, but said “Jolene and Peter are already in the kitchen and can help you with that.”
John shuffled his feet a bit turned towards the kitchen door and then came back, “To be honest, I find Jolene a bit intimidating.”
Stephanie laughed and finally looked up, “She has that way about her. Let me finish a bit here and I’ll get the kettle on and show you where the teas and coffee are kept.” She finished the sentence she was writing and then led him back into the kitchen. She gave him a quick lesson on working with the gas stove (don’t leave it turned on!). She showed him where the teas were and then headed back to the dining room to continue her work on the sandwich board. He followed her into the dining room to wait for the water to boil.
She worked on touching up the sandwich board and said, “While we’re waiting for the tea, you can tell me how a posh city boy ended up with a rough country boy.”
John sighed and crossed his arms and said, “I’m not all that posh”. He broke in the sing songy Cockney accent saying, “I were raised in Stepney and learned me proper rhyming Cockney.” He stopped, straightened his vest and returned to the smooth accent he had spent years cultivating, “I practiced west end accents in my junior years and managed to hold onto it enough that I could pass for lordly in a parlor.”
Stephanie eyed him with a raised brow and said, “That is quite a feat. I don’t think Jason could pull that off. “
John said, “I think that I can is still a sore point with Mr. McNeil. Jason didn’t really care for my efforts. And truth be told, I was a bit of an ass in school.”
Stephanie leaned back and smirked, “Jason had a time with Findley. I supposed he doesn’t care for the high class stuff because of that. But I find it hard to believe you were anything but smooth.”
John shrugged and blushed at the same time and said, “I’ve done my share of reading to hold up conversation, but I also got standoffish with Jason and others. I guess you could say I was trying to hide that I was poor.”
Stephanie said, “Jason really doesn’t like how some people seem to lord it over the rest of us. As a waitress, I learned to take it in stride – meant better tips. But Jason…farm folk aren’t real mannered to start with and then he’s always been a bit resentful that his successful parents were forgotten.”
John scratched his chin and said, “His parents are an enigma.”
Stephanie smiled and said, “Such a grand word. They are a mystery. “ John turned red but Stephanie waved it away, “Father prefers they just stay forgotten. Seems they were taking risks.”
John said, “I’ve heard as much”
Stephanie got up and headed into the kitchen, “Your tea should be ready.” She quickly prepared a tray of milk and sugar and the pot. She handed him the tray and said, “It’s Tuesday so be sure to stay tonight after dinner.” John cocked his head in question. Stephanie answered, “The staff gets Tuesday nights early and we younger ones celebrate. Jason will know and you’re practically family.” She added a wink and pushed him towards the office.
John entered the office with the tray and tea set. Jason smirked a bit at the scene John created. John flushed a bit and then straightened and assumed his best service accent, “Tea for sir?”
Jason laughed and pointed to Stephan’s desk and John sat the server there and started preparing two mugs of tea. John said, “Stephanie seems like a nice girl.”
Jason said,” She is. She’s very bright and sharp in business. I think she runs the dining room now more than Jolene does.”
John said, “You weren’t interested in her?”
Jason said, “Candace has my mark. Stephanie is fine, but she been like a sister to me the past few months. Besides history shows my relationship skills need improvement.”
John smirked this time and said, “Rachael told me.”
Jason sighed and took a sip of tea and said, “Mind you, any fellow ought to be cautious when courting Stephanie. I would hate to be the young man that crosses her with Stephan as her father and Jolene as her mother.”
John stopped mid sip and looked at Jason. Jason smiled, “ Stephanie’s nice, but I would watch my food and drink closely if things went south.” Jason clapped John’s shoulder and said, “Now, let’s start writing up these plans.”