A Story by Bob Paltrineri

A realistic fiction story about a man at a diner piecing together his past.


It was a cold winter night as usual with this old woman greeting the man that just jaunted through the door.  She looks abraded, eroded, like a hill after years of hurricanes. Her hair was a wretched mess. In a voice like the sound of a worn down train whistle she asked the man if he wanted a drink.

The man responded with a shrewd tone, “I’ll take black coffee”. After a good minute passed the woman brought back a worn down cup that once had lettering but now is just blank with the outlines of the letters that used to be. The man took a long sip of it, tasting the bitterness. He paused and made a sharp glare at the women and complained fiercely at her. He said he asked for it black.

I was on the other side on the room listening intently and waiting to hear the end the furious argument. I was in a trance, no emotion. I was there for about a hour and my eggs went cold. Listening to the argument brought me back to the time when my parents would yell at waiters if there was anything wrong with their dishes. They forcibly yelled at the mangers and the waiters until they got their way. They would often stiff the waiters and leave in disgust.

They were the same way at home, when I was little I was often sent outside in the cold when I talked back. They would forcible hit and abused me. Once my younger sister was playing with her friend and she knocked over my father’s beer. He was watching NASCAR on our old CRT. When his beer hit the ground he went psychotic and began to yell at her. He took out his belt and wound up to hit her. I blocked the belt buckle with my arm, it hurt but not as bad as when he grabbed one of his full beers that was near him and slammed it on my arm shattering my radius and leaving glass in my arm. I told my sister to run, I would catch up to her.

We went to the hospital where they called Child Protective Services. It didn’t matter, our parents made an excuse like they always do. Nobody listened to me, I was healed and sent on my way, back home. About a month passed I ran away. I never came back.

I read on the newspaper years later that my father died. I never went to his funeral or wake. I did go to his grave, I spat on it and walked away. It was his fault that I have post traumatic stress disorder, arm pains every night, and the worst of all the fact that I will never be able to see my sister again. She shot herself ten years after the incident. My father died a good man in the eyes of others but in mine he was a monster, a demon.

As my mind comes back into reality a tear drop falls from my eye to my watch. I see that about twenty minutes have passed and the argument ceased. The man started on a cigar. The woman came back with his check, asking for a tip. He took a hefty puff of his cigar and sent it into her face.

I got up and walked over to the stool he was at. I raised my hand and slammed it against his face. I hit him so hard that my ring left an indent on his right cheek. He staggered off his stool and then he attempted to hit me back but I grabbed his hand and forced it onto the counter top. I took a twenty out of my pocket and put it on the bill. I walked out of the diner alone, as usually.

~Bob Paltrineri

© 2017 Bob Paltrineri

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Author's Note

Bob Paltrineri
This is %100 fictional, this is not from real experience.

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hi there ..just a bit of editing needed.. managers, forcibly..I told his sister to run....or is that my sister... loved the ending! seriously. I would have done the same thing to that man..

Posted 1 Year Ago

Bob Paltrineri

1 Year Ago

Thank you again for reading. I will be sure to fix everything you said.

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Added on December 16, 2016
Last Updated on March 7, 2017