Copyright Mark Christopher Garrett 2022
Tenochca was as feisty as they come.
She didn’t take anything from anyone, much less her brothers, or her class mates or strangers, or well, anybody
Tenochca was also kind hearted and looked after everyone in her own little way.
All her brothers are now married and have moved out,
her dad has also remarried and moved out,
but Tenochca never left home and still lives with her mother.
Tenochca insist it is to take care of her mother but her mother is never home as she is usually spending the nights with her boyfriend
At first it was great, her brothers were gone, no one to push her around any more, then her dad was gone, no one to tell her what to do any more, and finally her mom was gone, no one to criticise how she does everything anymore
Yup, life at first was great, she had the whole place to herself
with no one there to tell her anything.
Days went by and they turned into weeks, occasionally her mother would come home, but it would never be for long and she would soon leave only with a different man, well to be fair she had narrowed it down to three
Two of them were decent but the other guy was a jerk every time they were there he would make advances towards and hit on Tenochca
Tenochca of course having grown up with brothers was not about to be harrassed by this loser, she is quick to put him in his place, and really enjoys it when she does it publically as it has a longer lasting effect
She tried telling her mother about the sleezball only to be accused of being jealous
In the end Tenochca valued the friendship and trust she had with her mother and realized at this time her mother could not accept the facts, so she tolerated the guy while still dropping seeds of information for her mother to find, so as to discover the truth about what a jerk this guy really is, was, and will forever be.
As time goes on Tenochca’s mother finally does realise what a two timer that one guy was, but at the same time her other two boyfriends realized what a triple timer she was, all the guys ended up going out for drinks,
and Tenochca’s mom moved back home permanently
The days turned into months that turned into Tenochca going insane, she had gotten so used to living there alone, and not only that, but her mother is not such a great roommate as roommates go
In a way it was prophetic justice as Tenochca ended up taking care of her mom just like she had already told everyone she was doing
And it didn’t take that long before one of her brother’s returned home, marital problems, then another brother returned home . . . with his newly wed wife, apparently financial problems, then the oldest brother returned home with his 3 month old daughter, he thought he needed the help raising her while his wife was serving our country over seas
Now it’s not that Tenochca was upset that everyone was now invading her world, after all she is a very caring person that would make everyone else’s problems hers
But she really did get used to having her privacy. She decided to call her dad to see if she could live with him for a while after all she had never moved out unlike everyone else, but her father told her no.
After a short ten minutes her phone rang and it was her father, he called to tell her she could move in when ever she wanted to and stay as long as she needed, his place was her place and to think of it as home
She never could prove it, but she was sure it was her dad’s new wife, her stepmother, who she had to thank for the invitation.
The two had always gotten along and they had a lot in common.
That weekend her family helped her pack and moved her furnishings
over to her dad’s new condo
The condo was a lot different than where she had grown up, it was a night and day difference, and although she had been there many times to visit nothing could of prepared her for the radical change in lifestyle she is about to experience
Since everyone is already there to help with the move they all decided to have a barbeque down by the pool
After that day things quieted down a lot and everyday life settled into a nice routine.
The condo was situated out in the suburbs, but there were still a lot of shoppes, stores, restaurants and things to do, just expect to pay a little more than you would back home, she still calls her mother’s place the place where she grew up, back home.
It didn’t take her long and she got a job as a cashier at the local grocery store
It was the flagship business in a small outdoor shopping mall
Most of the units are rented but because of the economy there are still a lot of vacancies
One in particular catches Tenochca’s fancy, unfortunately it was a stand alone building on the corner of the parking lot shaped like an old timey log cabin cottage
Teochca thought it would make the perfect place for a restaurant, but for now all of that was a dream as a cashier’s salary could never afford her the buy in price of obtaining that building, although one can always dream bigly
Thus too, the dream also became part of the routine, and she would go through this routine week in and week out until one day a series of events happened that would forever alter her path
Tenochca had volunteered to do some additional work for the grocery store as a merchandise sampler, and on this day they needed to move some fresh fish they had just got in.
As fate would have it this was also the day the grocery store received a surprise inspection from corporate.
As the Corporate heads strutted their stuff around the store carrying their digital clip boards and fancy camera phones, snapping everything in site and reading it with some strange app only corporate has, all the while without doing it on purpose but just the sheer presence intimidates all the employees, all of them but Tenochca
You see in her world this day was different, not part of her routine as she had volunteered for extra work that she had never done before, she was having fun and enjoying the moment when the corporate heads walked up on her
Her genuine smile of happiness greated corporate, only she never knew they were corporate, this was a surprise inspection and no one told her they were here, so in her world they are just everyday run of the mill customers
She then asks if they would like to try a sample, to which they replied they would love too as they could smell it all over the store
and it was driving them crazy it smelled so yummy
Upon tasting it they all unanimously agreed it was some of the best fish they had ever ate in a while, some even proclaimed it was the best fish they had ever ate period, and one of them politely asked her
“Well done young lady, which seasoning or marinade are you promoting, as all I see is the promotion for the fish”
“Yes Ma’am” replied Tenochca “You are correct, we are promoting the fish only, not any seasoning”
“Well then, we are missing out on promoting the marinade that goes with this as it was the best fish ever”
“But Ma’am” replies Tennochca “That flavor does not come out of any jar, can, or box from anything you sell here, it is a personal recipe of mine”
“Young lady, you are in the wrong business, with the way you cook, you should be head chef at a restaurant somewhere”
“Yes Ma’am, thank you, I often think about that a lot”
The corporate heads devour all her samples and then move on, she heads back to the meat department to get some more fish and that is when she overhears two deli workers talking about how they overheard the corporate heads talking about tearing down that old building on the corner and replacing it with grass
She told them to get the fish ready and she would be right back, she tracks down the corporate heads and questions them
“Is it true, is what they are saying true”
“Is what true” replied the woman she had spoken with earlier
“That you are going to tear down the building on the corner”
“Where did you hear that from, rumours always spread quick, we are considering it but as of yet we have not decided, it is such a cute building, but it has yet to lease and it is costing us too much in taxes and to maintain
Without hesitation or thinking Tenochca boldly states
“Well that’s rediculous, you are probably trying to lease it for too much money”
“Well it is a very prestigious location, and it’s looks are so charming, but seriously we never thought that What we were asking for was high”
After disclosing the actual figure to Tenochca, she agrees
“No that sounds reasonable, actually it is a lot less than I thought it would be,
a lot less, wow”
“Oh you’ve thought about it”
“Well yes, I have always dreamed of owning my own restaurant and like you said that is such a prestigious location”
“So make us an offer”
“Who me?” Tenochca laughs
“Why not, you have obviously thought about it, what’s holding you back”
“Frankly money, isn’t that what holds back everybody”
The lady then hands Tenochca a card
“Look, I’m serious, think it over, let us know what you can commit to financially, I’m sure we can make the numbers work, and besides what does it hurt to try the building is already just sitting there”
Tenochca heads back to the deli with a bounce in her step and collects her fish, she then finishes out her shift and she can’t wait to get home to tell her dad and step mom, she already told her mom while she drove home.
When she got home and opened the door all excited to tell every one they were already congratulating her, it seems her mom called ahead
After dinner and dishes (part of the routine) she went to her room where she worked on a serious budget proposal for Corporate
“They are never going to go for this” she said “but it’s all I can do”
After working all day at the store and all night on her budget Tenochca fell sound asleep
She woke up with the sun shinning in her window and she got up smiling, knowing that she tried her best, none the less she wanted to call the lady that had offered her the opportunity so she could thank her
Tenochca was only able to get ahold of the secretary and was instructed to be at the grocery store at 9 am
Since she had to be at work at 9:30 she figured she would go ahead and tell her the bad news in person.
When she arrived the Corporate lady was just getting there herself, and she was alone without the other corporate bigwigs
“Good” she says “right on time”
Tenochca tries to tell her right away, but . . .
“I’m glad you asked me to meet you hear ma’am”
“Oh, don’t mention it, whoa, where are you going, walk this way”
“Where too ma’am”
“You’re restaurant of course, I brought the keys, don’t you want to see inside before you make up your mind”
“Yes ma’am, but . . . .”
“Oh but nothing, come on”
The two ladies explore the building in detail and Tenochca is more in love now than she was when she only admired the outside, the inside was even more spectacular than she thought and everything was in working order, it just needed some cleaning and a little tlc.
After thoroughly talking about how she would use each and everything she saw, and how perfect she thought the set up was, it was time to break the news
“Ma’am, I went over my budget and, well, here, see for yourself,
it’s all right there on paper”
“Hey these numbers look pretty good”
“But that is not what you were asking for”
“No it’s not, it’s what is realistic and it is better than not being leased at all, let me work you up a trial lease no strings attached and on top of what you asked for in your budget I will throw in the first 2 months rent free so you can get set up and
get everything ready, so is it a deal”
“Are you being serious, with me right now?”
“Well I mean if you don’t think you can do this,
the board can always vote to have it torn down”
“I’m just a little shocked that’s all, of course I would love to take you up on that offer, it’s been my dream for so long and you helped me make it happen”
“No Tenochca it was your cooking, and your business and budget plan
that made it happen.”
“I only have one request”
“Yes Tenochca, what is it”
“Can we start all this in two weeks, I need to give the grocery store my notice, they have been really good to me and I do not want to leave them hanging”
The Corporate lady laughs,”You really do not know who I am, do you?”
“Yes ma’am, your with corporate, you do the surprise inspections”
“Young lady, I’m not with corporate, I am corporate, I own the entire chain of stores, thank you for your notice consider it handed in and denied, you are to immediately go work on your restaurant, I’m sure my chain of stores will do ok without you, now go on you have a restaurant to open, and listen if you need anything or if anything goes wrong you know where I am”
“Thank you so much, I won’t let you down”
“I know you won’t, now go”
Tenochca didn’t know what to do first, all of a sudden she was not in a routine, and worse than that all of a sudden she had real deadlines.
She was also still confused as to what just had happened as she was sure there was no way they would go with her proposal, . . . but they did, . . . now what!?!?
Up to this point, it’s always been a daydream, a fantasy,
but now it is happening and there is a lot to do
She decided first things first to go ahead and get some cleaning
supplies and start cleaning the restaurant
She spent all day there and it was getting late, her father and step mother were getting worried about her as Tenochca usually sticks to her routine
Just then Tenochca enters the condo, she tells them of her day while her step mother heats up her left over dinner
After a month of cleaning and minor renovations Tenochca has branded her restaurant and is ready to open. Her older brother was helping her a lot at the restaurant and ended up moving in with dad, the stepmother absolutely adored having the baby around as she would watch the little guy most of the day.
Grand Opening was a hit!!!
“Tenny’s” was a big success and Tenochca, Tenny as her family calls her was burning the candle at both ends.
It didn’t take long for her other brothers to end up working at the restaurant as well to help out as she really needed the help, mom also played a key role as she became the hostess extraordinaire, she’s also shrewed with the books
Dad’s condo became the hub where everyone would go after hours, so much so that dad and his new wife moved out and now they are living back home, while everyone else is now living at the condo, including mom.
Funny how things turn out,
but in the end there is always one thing that never changes,
Home is always where the heart is!
P.S. 5 Years Later: Tenny’s is still the hot spot, so much so that the owner of the grocery store and Tenny have teamed up and opened 3 more locations
with another 4 on the way, and since each of the family members is managing a restaurant everyone now has their own place to live, but they all love to meet on the weekends back home which drives Tenny’s Dad and Stepmother crazy happy.