As that first summer at Wellington's wore on, the relationship between Johnny and Kona warmed quite nicely to where a point where they'd actually become friends. After discovering a shared affinity for cute guys, they found they had something in common from which they could form a relationship. They shared similar interests in music, hip hop mostly, and found themselves singing along in perfect synch to the latest hip hop hit on the radio:
"Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur."
"the whole club was looking at her..."
Kona had a witty sense of humor, constantly sending her coworkers into fits of uproarious laughter. But where she excelled in the humor department, she lacked in customer service. Kona never takes things too seriously, and had a tough time reconciling the demanding nature of Wellington's clientele with what she saw as a not so serious subject as beautiful flower arrangements. It was hard for her to hide her disdain for them when they'd fuss in their often dismissive manner. This got her into lots of trouble with Stewart and especially James.
There was a weekly client that Kona was responsible for. She had sold the weekly installation herself Stewart put her in charge of it. They were an uber-rich family that made their money through hedge funds (Johnny never quite understood what that was exactly.). The Robinsons spent a lot of money on flowers, and the Mrs. was very particular about her weekly flower arrangements.
The Robinsons had a huge home with lots of servants. It was the first house that Johnny had been to that had its own manager, a personal assistant who took care of all house business for the family, like overseeing the staff, and making sure things went just as the Robinsons wanted them to. His name was Peter, and both Johnny and Kona thought he was adorable and often debated over which "team" he played for. (Johnny was sure he was on his team!)
Johnny and Kona went to the Robinson's every Thursday morning, with numerous arrangements. They weren't allowed to enter through the front door on the main floor of the house, where all of the flowers would be placed. Instead, they had to go into the house via the garage, at the basement level of the house where the servant's quarters were located. Kona would usually grab one arrangement on the way up, but Johnny was the one to trek up and down the stairs and navigate his way around the various obstacles (including a flotilla of bicycles which belonged to only two or three kids) in his way several times. This installation always proved to be a good aerobic workout for Johnny.
The first few weeks at the Robinson's went well. Though complements were never received, neither were complaints, and for the Hamptons that's always a good thing. Towards the end of July, however, things suddenly changed. Before Johnny and Kona had even returned from their installation, Mrs. Robinson, who had gone unseen during the visit, had called the shop, unhappy with that week's choice of flowers. Johnny and Kona would have to go back to the house to pick up the arrangements and Kona would have to do them all over again and return within two hours, for the Robinsons were having guests over the weekend.
Kona was fuming! She'd worked hard on those arrangements and in her opinion she hadn't deviated from what she'd been doing all along. She redid all of them, mumbling angrily under her breath all the while. It was the first of what would be an almost weekly occurrence for the remainder of that summer, and before the end of the season, for reasons unbeknownst to Stewart, Wellington Flowers was fired from the Robinson job. Though it wasn't necessarily her fault, the situation instigated a rift on Kona and Stewart's relationship.
To be continued...