She walked out and didn’t look back. The glass door swung behind her with a gentle chime and time returned to the cafe. The Barista, a hoop through her nose, frowned through a customer’s order. Two grad students poured over undergraduate papers with red pens awhirl. Next to Simon’s table, old friends compared new lives, becoming louder with each recounted event.
Simon remained frozen, staring at the glass door as it glided into frame. The young resolute woman on the other side of it walked away. She didn’t glance to the side with lost eyes, or sigh, or tense her jaw against regretful tears. She took the stairs down to the parking lot, her iced coffee in hand and her car keys in the other. The sun glinted off them and the buckles on her purse before she disappeared from his view.
If she’d left the coffee on the table Simon could have grabbed it and ran to catch her. Maybe that small gesture would have reminded her of when they met, in a coffee shop like this one. Maybe she would smile and tuck her hair behind her ear. Maybe she would burst into tears and fall into his arms. Maybe when they ran into each other at a mutual friend’s party a month from now she’d remember the gesture and ask how he’d been, if he was seeing anyone. Simon would say no, and she’d try to hide how pleased that made her.
But she and her coffee were gone and time moved around Simon. The Barista frowned, the grad students sighed, and the old friends conversed. Simon stood and threw his own coffee away. He took out his phone and texted his friends, he needed a real drink.
This is most likely part of the Legal Theft Project, as I have taken More than 1/2 Mad‘s first line and written my own piece with it.