That restaurant was definitely better than Cherry Tree thought Mint Rickenbach while having a look around at the room. Even the food was actually better. After a few days in Cincinnati, her stomach had simply had enough of the basic American cuisine.
“Do you girls want some drinks?” Mint Rickenbacher’s stepmom got up from the table. “I will go to the bar, just to wind down a bit.”
Chili and Mint shook their heads politely to Mint’s stepmother who disappeared towards the second room where a lounge bar aired some relaxing music. For the US season Evelina Rickenbacher had decided to travel with Mint, to keep her company, she had said. But Mint knew she wanted to keep an eye on her step daughter if only to check why the money she and Mint’s dad put into coaches and trainers hadn’t paid off lately. Mint had stumbled a bit during the grass season.
As soon as Evelina had vanished in the other room, Chili leaned over and smiled brightly.
“Did you see?”
Still contemplating about her new watch dog situation, Mint shrugged. She didn’t know what Chili was talking about.
“What do you mean?”
“Elise and Amanda. Together again.”
Surprised, Mint looked around then spotted the two girls at a table a bit further away, with Agathe and Monica. Apparently, she hadn’t been the only felt a new restaurant was needed for a change. Turning back to Chili, she shrugged again. She still felt uncomfortable that her stepmom was traveling with her now. She used to be wonderfully independent. The Elise and Amanda item let her cold. She was more worried about the embarrassment a drunken Evelina would one day cause at a tournament.
“Agathe was coached by Elise’s dad once. They know each other forever. And Monica and Amanda used to play doubles for a while.” It seemed the logical explanation for the group on the other side of the room.
“They spend a lot of time together without Agathe and Monica,” Chili winked at Mint.
That was true. Mint laughed out loud then leaned back in her chair.
“Are you trying to give me a hint?”
“Well, word has it that Elise is Amanda’s new girl. I overheard a conversation in the showers the other day,” Chili explained. “Apparently the word’s going around since Wimbledon. Elise and Amanda are doing a lot more than just spend some time together. I have heard they had their hotel rooms on the same floor, opposite each other. If that’s not dating then I don’t know what it is!”
“But Elise isn’t gay. I mean, never ever!”
Chili rolled her eyes dramatically.
“Darling, we need to work on that gaydar of yours.”
Confused and a bit upset by Chili’s remark Mint bent over and cast a glance at Elise’s table. She was laughing at something Monica said. She looked happy. And relaxed. Was she really with Amanda?
“My gaydar is perfectly fine,” she hissed to Chili still looking at the happy group. Mint felt her heart tighten up. Not only was Elise having an awesome season but she also seemed to have fun off court. And what about herself? Mint bit her lower lip and swallowed hard as jealousy kicked in.
She suddenly got up from her chair.
“I’ll get us some drinks,” she proclaimed heading to the bar, leaving a surprised Chili behind.