The coffee shop was long and narrow and located between two shoe stores. A long, white counter ran the length of the cafe with thirty red stools lined up along it.
Butters knew how many stools there were. He had counted them many times when the cafe was nearly empty and he was bored.
Eight red booths with tables, each booth wide enough to sit six people, ran along the wall across from the counter. A boy called Tweek, who really couldn't handle the job, was waiter for the counter. The booths were Butter's responsibility.
"Hi, how's it going?" Butters said to Mr. Tweak, the co-owner. He looked at his watch in reply.
Okay, okay. I'm ten minutes late. Big deal, Butter's thought.
He hated the way Mr. Tweak looked at his watch every time he arrived. He also hated the customers who were always in a hurry, who were always unhappy when the coffee wasn't good.
Why do they come here if they want good coffee? Butters wondered.
But mainly he hated the fact that this job took up so much of his time, kept him from studying, from seeing friends, from seeing Sally.
And it was so unnecessary.
Butters immediately recognised the voice. He was surprised to see his friend Stan at the counter.
"Stan, hi!" Butters cried, happy to see him. He looked behind the counter to see if Mr. Tweak was watching. He wasn't'. He was back by the dishwasher. "How'd you know I was here?"
"I called your house," Stan said. "Your dad must've been in a bad mood or something."
"So what else is new?" Butters muttered. "What did he say to you?"
"He started yelling at me about how I shouldn't call to disturb him when you weren't home. But how am I supposed to know if you are home if I can't call?"
"He's angry at me," Butters said, then quickly added. "for a change. He caught Sally and me kissing in the driveway."
"Kissing? He gets angry about kissing? What would he do if he caught you really making out? Have a heart attack?"
"I wish," Butters said glumly. he looked again to make sure Mr. Tweak wasn't watching. He didn't like it when he talked to his friends, even when they weren't busy. "I wish I could quit this stupid job," Butters sighed.
"Well why don't you? You don't need the money, do you?" Stan asked.
"No. I don't. I have money."
"So quit. Go ahead. Quit right now. Then you can come over to my house."
"I can't" Butters said, straightening the napkins. "My stupid dad won't let me spend the money."
"What do you mean? It's yours isn't it?"
"Dad says I have to save it."
"Save it for what?"
"He won't say. Just save it. Oh, I hate him so much!" Butters said, then lowered his voice because Tweek was staring at him. "He won't let me spend it on clothes, or lunches, or school, or anything. So I have to work."
"You told me you have a trust fund, right?" Stan was struggling to understand Mr. Stotch's reasoning. "With enough to pay for college?"
"More than enough. I'm loaded," Butters said. "But I can't touch any of my money. Dad is in charge of it until I'm eighteen. And he wants me to work to build my character."
"What a creep," Stan said, shaking his head.
"He's worse than a creep," Butters continued. "I think he's spending some of my money. He bought a new computer last week. I saw the receipt. He paid cash for it. He doesn't have that kind of money."
"Can you prove he's taking your money?" Stan asked in a loud whisper. "If you can..."
"I can't Butters said." "I don't even know where he keeps the bank records. There's no way Ivan prove anything. I just have a hunch."
"Well you should..." Stan started.
"Hey! Ach! Customers! Ach!" Tweek was panicking.
Butters turned to two booths. Two elderly women were easing themselves into a booth. One of them was struggling to prop her cane at the side of the booth.
"Later," Stan said, heading towards the door.
Butters went off to help the two women. He was nearly to their booth when a hand reached out and grabbed his arm.