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Even if the week had been slow at the restaurant, there never failed to be a line come Saturday morning. At eight o'clock the oldest Munro boy flipped the sign in the window and the middle Munro boy pushed the last of the refilled ketchup bottles across the small square tables by the back windows. The youngest boy, Victor, sat on a high stool in the kitchen watching his father whisk the eggs into a froth in a metal bowl. Mr. Munro had never liked being the cook, but his wife had insisted because he was good at it. He did not deny this. But what he would have preferred was to actually converse with the customers. He often fantasized about how different it would be. Instead of donning a grease-smeared apron, he would wear a dark crisp button-up shirt, ironed smooth each morning. He would spend the day asking the diners, "Everything to your liking?" and lean in gently over the table, resting a hand on the man's shoulder and smiling to the wife. He would offer wrapped mints to the restless children. At the very least, he was convinced that his charm would bring in more customers on the slow quiet weekdays. "That Mr. Munro," he imagined them saying, "He's such a nice man; he runs such a lovely restaurant."
It would come, eventually. The boys got older, and while two of them went away to out-of-state universities on scholarships, the youngest stayed with his parents. Victor had spent so many years watching his father cook that when he finally picked up a whisk to ready the eggs for that morning's omelettes, he knew the entire menu by heart. It was never difficult for him, and unlike his father, he desired to stay isolated from the dining room. He was taken by surprise the first time his father poked his head into the kitchen to relay compliments from an elderly couple who had been dining at the restaurant for years. "Oh, that's–" stumbled Victor, wiping his forehead. He seemed to have forgotten about the diners entirely. "That's nice," he finally said. "That's awfully nice of them."
Victor had a boy of his own a few years later, and he brought him into the restaurant and sat him up on the high stool in the kitchen as he himself had sat so many years before. "Do you want to learn?" he offered, but the boy shook his head no. Maybe in time, Victor thought. He cracked the egg into the metal bowl, and then another and another, and for a moment paused with the last weightless shell in his hand before setting it next to the others.