The Brief Début of Tildy (Henry)

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The Brief Début of Tildy
Summary of the Short Story
from the Collection «The Four Million»
Microsummary: In a restaurant, two waitresses, one beautiful and the other plain, worked together. The plain waitress experienced a brief moment of attention from a customer, only to be heartbroken by his apology.

In a restaurant called Bogle's Chop House and Family Restaurant, two waitresses named Aileen and Tildy worked together.

Aileen — beautiful and charming waitress at Bogle's; popular among male customers; tall, lively, graceful; skilled in witty banter and flirtation.
Tildy — plain and unassuming waitress at Bogle's; Aileen's friend; dumpy, hay-colored hair, freckled skin; loyal, hardworking, and longing for romance.

Aileen was a beautiful and charming woman who constantly received attention and admiration from the male customers. Tildy, on the other hand, was a plain and unassuming woman who was largely ignored by the customers. Despite their differences, the two women were good friends and supported each other.

One day, a customer named Mr. Seeders came into the restaurant after having a few drinks. He approached Tildy and, in a bold and impulsive move, put his arm around her waist and kissed her.

He put his arm around my waist and kissed me.

This unexpected act made Tildy feel desired and special for the first time in her life. She began to believe that she too could be the object of affection and attention, just like her friend Aileen. Tildy started to dress more attractively, wearing ribbons in her hair and a blue bead necklace with a silver heart pendant.

For two days, Mr. Seeders did not return to the restaurant. During this time, Tildy continued to embrace her newfound confidence and enjoyed the attention she received from the other customers. She even shared her experience with some of them, proudly stating that a gentleman had insulted her by kissing her in the restaurant.

On the third day, Mr. Seeders returned to Bogle's. He approached Tildy and Aileen, who were working at the back of the restaurant. He was visibly embarrassed and explained that he wanted to apologize for his actions. He admitted that he had been drunk at the time and would never have behaved that way if he had been sober.

I wouldn't of done it if I'd known what I was doin' and hadn't of been drunk.

Tildy was devastated by his apology, realizing that the kiss had not been a genuine expression of affection but rather a thoughtless act fueled by alcohol.

Heartbroken, Tildy retreated behind a screen in the restaurant and sobbed. She felt as if her brief moment of happiness and self-worth had been cruelly snatched away from her. However, in the midst of her despair, she found comfort in her friendship with Aileen. Aileen consoled her, assuring her that Mr. Seeders was not worth her tears and that he was not a true gentleman for apologizing for his actions. Despite the pain of her disappointment, Tildy was grateful for the support and understanding of her friend.