She flips open her cell and says ‘hi’ with a thick accent. He walks by her table wearing a tailored suit. In his hand he holds a hardback copy of ‘Empire State of Mind’. Jay-Z is on the cover wearing a navy blue vest over a striped dress shirt.
He orders some kind of coffee. She says ‘bye’ with a thick accent and flips her cell shut. She begins writing on her notepad. Her ballpoint pen is fat and shaped like a blimp. She has carefully applied lipstick that is dark purple.
He gets a call on his smartphone but his hands are full, Jay-Z in one and coffee in the other. He is frustrated. His shoes are pointy and brown. He looks around and doesn’t care about being inappropriate. He doesn’t have the time. He puts his coffee on her table and answers his phone.
She stops writing for a split second and looks at his pointy brown shoes. She knows he is a very serious and very busy man. She lets him use her table, it isn’t really hers. It’s the coffeehouse’s table. She reasons this and smiles at him out of politeness. He either doesn’t see her smile or chooses to ignore it. To try and save dignity, she carries her smile up toward the ceiling, as if she were daydreaming in a field of honeysuckle.
He says something like, “He has great product but he doesn’t know how to get it out there.” He laughs as if he knows something that no one else knows. He tucks in his shirt even more than it’s already tucked in and sits down across from her.
She stops smiling and thinks he’s being too forward. She acts insulted and corals her notebook and coffee closer to her. These things are hers, the table and chair may not be, but these things are hers, and he can’t have any of them.
He talks a little longer and then touches a single button on his smartphone to end the call. He looks at her and smiles. She looks at him and doesn’t shape her face at all. He looks at Jay-Z on the cover of ‘Empire State of Mind’ and brushes off his shoulder. She drops her ballpoint pen onto her notepad, a fallen blimp. He says, “Is that a Montblanc?”
Neither of them know this is the start of something dreadful.
Neither of them know this is the start of something blissful. She will someday get that ring on her finger, and he will have somebody he’ll never have to say goodbye to.