So, this is something that I wrote seven years ago, and if you follow my personal blog at all, you’ll recognize it from there. I’m cross-posting it here because at this moment in time I just do not have the time to write something new for Short Story Saturday. So, for the next few weeks, I will be cross-posting the short stories I’ve already written here. That will give me a little bit of time to get something new to you guys. What with figuring out online school for the kiddos, the launch of my whole writer platform, editing Noctivagus, writing No Ordinary Love, and did I mention that we’re getting ready for Christmas already at work? Yeah, so that’s a thing. I’m just swamped. So please enjoy this short story and tune in next week for another one! Thanks!
I took my order from the clerk at the counter and looked around for somewhere to sit while I waited. I finally found a small table nestled against the windows and surrounded by writers and college students typing furiously on their laptops. Worry creased their brows as impending deadlines loomed in the future.
I unwrapped my scarf and sipped my tea while I gazed out at the bustling street. People rushing to their next destination, not bothering to see the beauty around them. The leaves on the well-manicured trees were aflame with autumn oranges, yellows, and reds. They had only begun to turn and the colors were still vivid. Soon they’d turn brown, die, and fall off, and then the snows would come. I mentally shook myself and took another drink, I needed to keep the dark thoughts away.
The familiar sounds of espresso machines, milk being steamed, and the smell of coffee beans being roasted permeated the small shop and brought comfort to the warmth. The consistent clacking of keys on keyboards added to overall ambiance which helped to ease my apprehension. I let it wrap around me like a cocoon of warmth. Only then did I allow myself to think of him.
It had been three weeks since I’d seen him, and so much had happened in that time. Absently I sipped my tea while I thought of his smile, his eyes, his sense of humor, and mostly how much I missed him. A brief glance at the clock on the wall told me that he was late. Maybe he wouldn’t come at all. He had only reluctantly agreed to meet me here.
With each passing minute, the sound of the ticking clock grew louder. It was like an intrusion on the brief moment of peace I’d found. After a few more minutes, or was it seconds, the clacking keyboards joined the clock in sounding the panic that I’d been stood up. Everywhere I looked, people were staring at me. The pompous writers peering over their screens. The college students thinking how old and washed up I must be, sitting here on my own. The clock was getting louder. My anxiety pushing my heart to an accelerated pace. My pulse echoing the ticking, and accentuating the conversations in the far corners of the shop. Why was everyone staring? Maybe I should go, make it seem as though I was only settling down a moment before I went off again. Save myself the humiliation of him not…
“Sorry I’m late.” he said. His voice breaking into my once warm cocoon that had become a prison.
At that moment everything stopped. All I could hear was the rush of blood in my ears and my shallow breaths. He was standing beside the table, smiling down at me. In his hand he held a bouquet of sunflowers and his own cup.
Well, I hope you enjoyed that. I remember when I wrote it, I wasn’t sure who the characters were, what was happening in their lives or anything else. I’m still not certain I know seven years on. Oh well, they pop up from time to time in my Short Story Saturday submissions, so maybe we can find out together. Well, I’m off, please enjoy what’s left of your weekend my dears!