She ordered coffee and the young waitress took the order with a blasé look on her face.
The woman sat down at the counter. After a while, the waitress came back and placed the coffee cup in front of her. The woman smiled at her and then looked at the steaming hot cup of coffee. The watery brown broth looked disgusting, though it smelled like heaven. She took the cup in her hands and drank the first sip. Then she frowned. It tasted stale and like they had just put a spoon of coffee powder into hot water. Disgusted, she put the cup down, only to sigh and then take it once more. She was thirsty and coffee seemed like a good thing at that moment. At least, it was as caffeinated as regular coffee. Minus the good taste, that is.
“It´s bad, isn´t it?”
She turned her head to see who had addressed her and looked into the friendly face of a handsome man. He smiled at her and motioned in the direction of the chair as if asking permission to sit down next to her. She made an inviting hand gesture and he sat down.
“It´s disgusting, but it does the trick.”
He laughed softly.
“I couldn´t help but watch you take your first sip. It´s just Linda, you know”, he said, pointing at the waitress who was now wiping tables.
“Her coffee is the worst. You have to come here on Thursdays and Fridays. That´s when Holly´s here and her coffee is a thing to die for.”
She laughed and looked at him interested.
“You come here often?”
“I work across the street and I come here for my daily coffee.”
“And you like Holly best?”
He smiled. “She´s an angel. Bit like my mother. Teases me about ordering the same every day.”
“What do you order, then?”
“Oh, the club sandwich.”
“Well, I thought I might have some lunch while I´m here.”
“Would you like to join me? I haven´t had my daily club sandwich yet.”
He moved on his chair and tried to catch the waitress´s attention. She put the cup down and looked at him. She instantly liked the distinctive features of his face, the clear chin line, the strong cheek bones, the straight nose that bend a little, the reddish lips that spoke of emotionalism and sexual fierceness, his grey eyes that twinkled when he spoke to her. He was dressed in a suit and his coat was hanging over the chair next to him.
“I´d love to”, she answered and reached for the menu. She decided on ordering pancakes, because she had woken late this morning and she hadn´t had any breakfast yet.
The waitress came and took their order, almost yawningly slow did she go away to place their order. She looked like she didn´t like her job very much. Which would account for the stale taste of the coffee.
“So…” he said, looking at her.
She switched into small talk-mode.
“So you said you work across the street?”
“Yes”, he nodded, “Federal Bank. What do you do?”
“I´m a teacher.”
“You are a teacher?” he said disbelieving. He looked at her and shook his head. “You just don´t look like a teacher.”
“Well, what do teachers look like?” she asked amused.
“I don´t know, but not like you. Gosh, you are as sexy as a supermodel and you work locked up in a classroom filled with chalk dust?”
She blushed and played with the complimentary cookie that came with her coffee.
“Well… “, she said, moving in her chair. “There is no chalk dust anymore. We have whiteboards.”
He bellowed loudly and made some people turn in their chairs to look at him. His eyes twinkled at her again and the blushed once more.
The waitress came back and brought the order. She put the pancakes in front of him and gave her the club sandwich, banged cutlery on the counter and disappeared from sight again.
Still smiling, he pushed the pancakes over to her and she handed his ordered dish to him and they sat in silence for a while. Her pancakes were good and he seemed to enjoy his sandwich as well and for a moment there was nothing to talk about.
As she ate the last bite of her delicious pancakes and looked at him, he turned his head and gave her a smile that made her insights go warm. She blushed, again. She hated that she blushed so easily, even as a child at any sign of embarrassment had she blushed. The others had made fun of it, but it was the worst when flirting.
He picked up the conversation again and asked about her teaching subjects and she asked about what he did at the bank and then they talked about work and good places to have lunch and food the liked and places they always wanted to have dinner at. From there, the conversation spiraled to many subjects and they enjoyed talking to each other.
He complimented her on her good looks and her passion for teaching and watched her blush. She told him that her parents had called her mad for wanting to be a teacher and watched him smile at her. He told her about his sister and how she wanted to rearrange her brother´s life because she feared that his way of living, the pursuit of fulfillment of dreams, would leave him bankrupt and heart-broken. She asked about his dreams and he told her about the house and the motorcycle he wanted, about how he wished that he could travel to foreign countries. He had wanted to be a photographer and she told him about the Linux she owned.
While talking about photography and cameras, his glance shot to his watch and he grew pale.
“Hell, I´m late. I´m sorry, I have to go.”
She watched him put on his coat and grab his suitcase.
“It´s been a pleasure”, he said, taking the time to give her a kiss on the hand and slightly bowing.
“I´d love to see you again.”
She felt the heat on her face and her heart racing and she thought that it would be lovely to see him again. Thought they had just met, she had shared her dreams and hopes with him. That one moment during his lunch break, she had gotten to know him and she felt like she could trust him.
“Let me take you out to dinner to one of the restaurants we talked about”, he proposed and there was the twinkle in his eyes again. He was still holding her hand, caressing her fingers with circular movements of his thumb. She felt like she couldn´t reject his proposal. So she reached for her purse and took out a pen and wrote her number on a napkin. He took it from her and put it in the inside pocket of his coat.
“I´ll call you tonight”, he said.
She smiled and blushed at the same time, as he kissed her hand again.
She turned on her chair to watch him leave. He left the diner and waved to her and she waved back, and then she watched him, as he turned and looked right and left and crossed the street.
She turned back on her chair, a serendipitous smile on her lips. Outside on the street, the young man turned around again to take a parting look as he was hit by a bus. The vehicle dragged him along for a few feet while the shocked bus driver put on the brakes and screeched to a halt. The young men fell to the street, dead.