This will be my 301 post! Again. But I don’t plan on deleting anything this time around. Really enjoying the autumn theme. This was also supposed to be longer, but there was an immense power in the simplicity.
James picked up a cup of coffee from a local shop, a small place with only five stools which looked out over the sidewalk. He wasn’t sure how it even constituted a building, but the coffee was good and served by mostly attractive college girls. They were fun to talk to, and he was shameless enough to enjoy the conversation they supplied in the hopes of a tip. He always made sure to tip. They always remembered what he liked and that he was chatty.
The day started on a good note. The leaves were all down, the piles placed in bags on the curb, waiting for government collection to come pick it up. Trees reached into the pale blue sky with skeletal hands. Children played in the final rays of sunlight, enjoying the Saturday morning. A small pack played tag on a playground, giggling and climbing, running around the recycled tire mats which made up the ground instead of the wood chips he had been used to as a kid. The coffee was too hot for him to drink yet, but he felt warm inside anyway.
Air chilled his lungs as he took a deep breath, stopping and closing his eyes to take in everything around him. He could smell the imported coffee from Peru. It had a strong flavor, though the way it danced upon his tongue was pleasant. He recalled the sensation as his nostrils were stimulated. He could hear conversations from across the street, though not clearly. Men and women chatting, children shouting, old couples whispering with all their strength. His smile grew. It would be a good day.
Up ahead was a little diner. It had the old look with the aluminum wrappings and the bright red with sparkles. They had amazing eggs and bacon, the scent vented out to the street from the kitchen. It cut the autumn air, a knife of warmth and delicious calories. two older women walked up as he did and he opened the door. Both smiled at him and thanked him, presumably blushing through the wrinkled, ashen cheeks, eyes given a new glint that had been missing except in those moments with younger men. James followed them in.
There were only a dozen booths, with a couple dozen chairs at a counter. The waitresses fit the part, girls and women with the aprons and dresses. Some of them had their hair up, the women old enough they likely worked the diner when it was the in style, instead of a touch of delicious nostalgia. He took a seat at one of the booths at the end. There were still plates on the table, half eaten toast and some scrambled eggs. His phone told him he was fifteen minutes early.
Every time the door opened in those fifteen minutes, a bell ringing through the commotion, his head shot up to see if it was her, but it wasn’t. He played games on his phone, finally reaching a point where he didn’t look up every time the door opened. He nearly choked when he saw someone sitting on the other side of the table. When he looked up, his face felt hot. Nausea took over his stomach as he wanted to throw up.