Basement of a Bull is a work of fiction. New episodes go up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Catch up on all the previous episodes right here. Today’s episode is written by Chris O’Brien.
Ann Sather Restaurant on Belmont Street
December 16, 2017
“I mean what kind of guy invites you to the Shedd Aquarium and then doesn’t call you for a week?” Aliza said.
“I would have just ended that sentence at ‘what kind of guy invites you to the Shedd Aquarium,” Aliza’s roommate, Jessica, replied.
They sat at a booth toward the back of the Ann Sather restaurant on Belmont Street. The restaurant is pretty close to the red line, so it’s easy for them to get to. The two women hop on near their apartment at North and Clybourn, ride it a couple stops to north Belmont. It’s right on the edge of being an easy walkable distance, just not in December.
Ann Sather was number one on Aliza’s spreadsheet of top cinnamon rolls in Chicago, but the problem was it felt too cliche`. Everyone in Chicago, or at least anyone who lived up in Lakeview or Wrigleyville, knew about the cinnamon rolls at Ann Sather’s. Plus she could have sworn she had seen one of these in an airport and was pretty sure there was one back in Omaha too. You can’t put a chain restaurant at Number 1. That’d be like saying the best burger in Chicago is McDonald’s on Clark Street.
But once she found out for sure that this wasn’t a chain, it didn’t feel quite as bad to keep it at Number 1. She just wanted to find something to replace it, find that lesser known diamond in the rough.
“Have you tried texting him?” Jessica asked.
“I don’t know, I mean the answer is no, I don’t know what I’d say,” Aliza said. “Hey, it’s me, just want to remind you to send me over that invite to the Shedd.”
“Have you reached out to him on Facebook?”
“What, like Messenger? Or you saying I should send him a poke? Is poking still a thing?”
“Was poking ever a thing?” Jessica said. She laughed and took a bite of cinnamon roll. “I mean you could go on and like one of his statuses, maybe that’ll jog his memory.”
“That would be such a sad point in my dating career, here, here’s a like, now please give me a callback.”
“Alright, what about LinkedIn, maybe he’s not really a Facebook kind of guy. I read this article that a lot of people are deleting their Facebooks and that it could be gone in five years. But then I read this other article that said Facebook could be bigger than Amazon in ten.”
“I don’t think we’re connected on Linkedin,” Aliza said. “I always feel weird about that too. Like I haven’t worked with him before, we aren’t colleagues. We met at a bar.”
“Fair enough. How about Instagram? Maybe he’s on a trip somewhere?”
“I feel like that would have been worth mentioning when he texted me though. ‘Hey, I’m headed to Australia, let’s go to the Shedd when I get back.’ That feels like something that would have come up.”
“Yeah, maybe. Well, do you follow him on Twitter? What about Quora? Didn’t you say he was a basketball fan? Every basketball fan I know is obsessed with that Reddit site. You could see if he’s been posting on there.”
“My goodness!” an elderly lady said in the booth behind them. She slammed her cup on the table. “Heck, you ladies ever think of just picking up your darn phone and calling that boy? You know what, I’m gettin’ up. Here.”
The lady shuffled her way out of the booth. A young boy sitting across from her, must have been her grandson, put his straw back in the chocolate milk to start blowing bubbles.
“Emmett – Rashard – Mills, so help me if you blow one bubble while I’m up, I’m’ll rip them Bulls tickets up. Don’t you think I won’t! Don’t you think for a second I won’t hear you back there doin’ that neither.”
She reached for her cane and walked over to the girls’ booth slowly.
“Here, give me the phone, give it to me nah.”
Jessica and Aliza looked at each other, holding back laughter. Aliza handed the phone over.
“Here, it’s asking for your fingerprint,” the old lady said handing the phone back. “Asking for your fingerprint? Boy oh boy, I tell ya. These tech gadgets today. What are we in a police station here? Here. Do what you gotta do.”
Aliza touched her thumb, handed the phone back.
“What’s that boy’s name?”
“Bryan. Bryan Kristov.” Aliza said.
“Wheeew, girl you got more than one Bryan in here you a regular Marilyn Monroe aren’t ya!” she said. “Kristov? What kind of last name is that? That sounds Russian. Ask him if he knows Putin. Or Trump. Hehehehe. Alright, now, help me out nah, will ya? What do I do here, just click the name, alright, you figure it out from here.”
She handed the phone back to Aliza. Aliza looked at Jessica again and then hit the make call option. There were no rings, went directly to voicemail.
“Actually, that makes a lot of sense,” Jessica said. “Maybe the phone’s been broken this whole time.”
“And he hasn’t fixed it for a week?” Aliza asked.
“Alright nah, go ahead and try his landline,” the old lady said.
Over in the booth was the sound of fresh chocolate milk bubbles.
“Emmett! Now, what did I tell you!”
Aliza and Jessica burst into laughter. They finished their cinnamon rolls, Aliza got a refill of coffee. Jessica put her cloth napkin on the table, got up to go to the bathroom.
Aliza unlocked her phone again and started a new text. It was the first text she had sent to Bryan since agreeing to go to the Shedd Aquarium last Friday.
“Hey. Is everything alright?”