Here it is. I’m not quite done with it, but it’s come a long way:
Gratuity Not Included
Three years after high school graduation and after quitting college, childhood friends Marcelo and Barry wait on tables at the popular Vineyard Restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL. Their goal: to save and open a lunch counter downtown. In time, their partnership would grow into a fine dining eatery with a liquor lounge and live music. But because of Barry’s drinking and gambling, their plan remained on paper. One evening Barry is smitten by Emily, a new waitress on vacation from Miami State, but her eyes are set on Marcelo. Soon, their lives intertwine in the summer of 1978. Emily wins Marcelo over, and an accident propels him into the limelight and new opportunities, while an alienated Barry descends into schizophrenia.
Gratuity Not Included will strike a chord with every reader who has questioned his best-laid plans, has been inspired by love, or has been bound by loyalty.