Standing Up for Her: The Day I Took Cold-Stone Revenge on a Greedy Husband

I Witnessed Man Demanding His Wife Pay $800+ for Him and His Friends – I Took Cold-Stone Revenge on Her Behalf A decade. I’ve been serving food at one of the classiest restaurants downtown for exactly that long. In this field of employment, one encounters a diverse range of people: radiant couples on their first dates, families commemorating birthdays with clingy children, and occasionally, business lunches that resemble interrogations rather than meetings. However, I could not have been ready for what I saw the other night…There was this usual pair, Jack and Lora, once.

Adorable as a button, always smiling while splitting the cost. Once a week, they would visit, have the same rich chocolate cake for dessert, and exchange sly glances akin to those of adolescence.But things have changed of late. The tension-filled stillness that hung heavy between them had replaced the grins. Additionally, Lora has been stuck holding the bill folder at the end of the night for the previous few months.Conversely, Jack appeared to be going on a shopping binge. It was like a parade of the priciest steak chops and wine bottles you could ever conceive whenever he walked in. And who was the one who was always left with the bill? Lora would silently swipe her card, becoming more and more pale and drawn. But on this specific wet night, things took a completely absurd turn. A group of eight raucous and noisy companions accompanied Jack as he waltzed in and declared, fit for a king, that this was his “treat.”While it was all fun and games for them, I felt a knot of worry tighten in my gut when I didn’t see Lora go in with them. They had ordered enough burgers and steaks to feed a small army. She came, looking as though she had just finished a marathon, just as I was going to go see whether she was coming. She approached the gathering with a crimson rim around her eyes and a small stumble in her feet.When she sat down, Jack was too busy yelling at me to refill their drinks that he hardly looked up.As the evening drew on, I picked up empty dishes while keeping an ear out for their table. That’s when I overheard a passage of their talk that instantly chilled me to the bone. Lora said to Jack, “I won’t pay this time,” with a trembling I had never heard before. “Jack, I’m serious.” He merely laughed. Yes, sweetie. Your cute little head shouldn’t worry about it. I’ll handle every detail.”Simple for him to say, I thought, growling under my breath. However, upon receiving the bill, which was a substantial amount just above $800, Jack thrust it directly into Lora’s grasp. It felt like some kind of cruel joke, the way her face became pale and the tears that started to spring up in her eyes as Jack simply kept throwing that awful bill at her.Lora excused herself and ran for the bathroom. I ran after her, and as I got to the threshold, there came a loud, muffled shout from inside. “So I have to pay for all of his friends even though I make 25% more than him? It’s ridiculous, this.” Lora sobbed into her phone. “How is he able to insist that I always pay the bill? How unjust is this?” This was about control more than it was about money. I also refused to allow him to mistreat her in that way.Her phone call, full of tears, rang in my ears. I took a deep breath to calm myself down and walked up to Lora as she came out of the bathroom, patting her eyes with a folded napkin. “Lora, how are you doing?” I said. Can I do anything at all? Her eyes grew teary once more. She blurted out, “Jack keeps insisting I pay for everything.” “I can’t afford to do this all the time!”It was the validation of my preconceived notions. I was really sorry for her. This was incorrect.Before I could console her further, though, a hazardous idea occurred to me; perhaps, just possibly, this was the only course of action. My thoughts were racing. Here I was, a waitress in this pricey city who was barely making ends meet, prepared to jeopardize my job in order to assist a client. But I knew what I had to do when I saw the helpless fear in Lora’s eyes and the way Jack handled her like a living ATM. I said, “Listen, this is what we can do. Pretend you received an urgent call and head out the door as soon as I return. I’ll take care of the bill, so don’t worry.”For a split second, confusion glowed in Lora’s face before hope suddenly flared in her eyes. “Are you sure?” she asked in a whisper. “What about your job?” With a reassuring squeeze of her palm, we exchanged a silent promise. I said, “Don’t worry about me.” “Just trust me.” After pausing for a second more, she nodded nervously, reached for her phone, and began tapping away, moving closer to her table. I turned back to the kitchen, praying that my plan wouldn’t go horribly wrong. My heart pounded in my chest.I resisted the impulse to peek out from the kitchen for what seemed like an eternity—a few minutes. I inhaled deeply, put on my biggest smile, and walked up to their table. I cleared my throat, and Jack, still deep in discussion with his friends, didn’t even look up. I started to say, “Excuse me, sir,” loud enough for everyone at the table to hear. “The manager just informed me that there’s been a bit of a mix-up with your reservation.” Jack held his chest out as if he were going to crow. “What confusion? We had no trouble making a reservation for nine.”“Well, sir,” I said, trying to seem sympathetic as I went on, “it seems there was a duplicate booking for your table tonight. We have another big party coming in a little while, and they asked for this exact booth.” Jack’s expression twisted with incredulity. A sense of impending trouble spread among his “friends,” and they began shifting uneasily in their seats, their enthusiastic banter dwindling to a whisper. “But… but we ordered already,” Jack stumbled, his demeanor evidently deteriorating as he cast a quick glimpse at the mound of untouched food. I answered, “I understand, sir,” in a stern yet courteous tone. “However, since the reservation was made under a different name, we wouldn’t be able to accommodate you at this table any longer.”Jack’s arrogance subsided and was replaced by a terrified desperation. With wide eyes, he scanned the restaurant in search of a miracle. His group couldn’t find any empty booths large enough, and the disorganized tables didn’t quite fit the picture he wanted to present. “Can’t we just move to another big table?” He begged “Unfortunately, sir,” I said pitifully. “We’re fully booked for tonight.” I’ll do my best to pack your food to go or maybe… I stopped abruptly. Maybe you should go to the bar across the street with your friends. There is plenty room for big gatherings there.”Jack’s expression darkened like a well-done steak. He was familiar with that place; it was a dump known for its cheap beer and greasy comfort food, a far cry from the classy setting he’d been trying to impress his “friends” with. As though on cue, Lora suddenly “remembered” her “urgent call” and got to her feet while acting alarmed. Her voice was filled with fake concern as she screamed, “Oh my gosh, I completely forgot!” “I have a crucial meeting with a client. I had to head out immediately!” She left Jack astonished and dejected, giving me a brief “thank you” and a sharp glance that said it all. Then, she grabbed her purse and left.His “friends,” sensing his mood, began fabricating tales to justify their own “sudden emergencies.” They turned away from their leader one by one, like rats from a sinking ship. Now all by himself with the remains of his extravagant dinner and the enormous bill, Jack at last recognized the trap he had fallen into. He stammered, his voice high-pitched and desperate, “But… but the bill!” I apologetically shrugged. “Unfortunately, sir, you’re responsible for the bill for the entire party.” Jack’s face went from red to purple as he stuttered and argued. I told him nicely that the manager was busy, but he insisted on speaking with him.Ultimately, without Lora to split the cost with and with his “friends” long since vanished, Jack was left footing the whole tab, his romantic evening with the boys turning into a sour aftertaste of loneliness and a big charge. His begrudging swipe of his card revealed a look of complete joy on his face. Lora entered through the open door the following day as the lunch throng began to trickle in. Her gaze darted across the room until it found me, at which point she made a beeline for my station. With warmth in her voice, she yelled, “Melanie!” “I wanted to express my gratitude once more for everything you accomplished last night. She trailed off, her voice cracking slightly, “You saved me more than just money, you saved me from…” “From being bullied,” I softly concluded for her. The truth was known by both of us. With tears in her eyes, Lora nodded. She extracted a crisp one hundred dollar cash from her purse.She pushed it in my direction and insisted, “Here,” “This is for you, for your trouble.” I wavered. Even though I hadn’t done it for the money, I couldn’t say no when I saw Lora’s sincere thanks. “Thank you, Lora,” I grinned as I took the bill. “But honestly, seeing the look on Jack’s face was reward enough!” We laughed together, our common experience forging an instant connection. “So,” I uttered, a playful twinkle in my eyes, “what are you going to do with all that extra money you saved last night?!”Lora glinted in the eyes. “Well,” she replied, slanting her head accusingly, “I was considering giving myself a fancy spa day.” Perhaps even a massage.” The tension from the previous night vanished as we both started laughing. I kept thinking about Lora and all the other people who might be in similar circumstances as the day went on. Perhaps, I reasoned, my small defiance will encourage someone else to defend morality.Because of Lora’s experience, I now understand that sometimes the most valuable things we can provide are off the menu. Sometimes, offering a little compassion, a dash of bravery, and a ton of support is the finest service we can offer.So, folks, have you ever seen someone subjected to such bullying? How would you have responded in that situation?

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