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A Story by inconsistentsea

454 words


She adjusted the cheap white tablecloth on the circular table, almost spilling a freshly poured cup of tea.  A reach in to the pocket inside of her jacket, then a shoulder check.  No one in the bustling restaurant was paying any attention to her.  Not a second after she reached back in to the pocket, he turned the corner and headed towards her table.  She smiled and looked in to his eyes as he sat down.  She filled a second cup of tea.  

A conversation of the mundane floated over the small spouts of steam.  She fiddled with her ring as he told her a story about a coworker's new puppy, exaggerating his facial expressions in an attempt to make it more interesting than it was.  Her mind wandered to a message she had received earlier this morning.  It left her with few choices, and all of them required action.

The cups of tea were raised and emptied, creating a pause of silence during which she focused her thoughts.  A quick discussion on what they wanted to eat was timely as a small man in a worn green vest came to take their order.  She smiled as he asked the waiter for ginger beef, saying that he really felt like that instead of the Peking duck they had just decided on.  He caught this out of the corner of his eye and took it for agreement.  

The waiter hustled off to place their order, the gold thread in the embroidered vest catching the bright lights above.  She turned to her dinner partner and said that she hoped he would be as forthcoming with his answers to the questions she was about to ask as he was when deciding what he wanted to eat.   He raised an eyebrow and waited, unsure and uneasy about what was to follow.

She started by asking for his name.  His real name.  His eyes got a bit wider as it inexorably fell out of his mouth, a slow motion moment like something precious crashing to the floor to shatter.  Her expression said it was not news to her and his fascination with the turn of events suppressed his urge to run.  She pursed her lips as the next question formed, and it was all he could do to keep the answer from escaping.  She had barely finished asking it before he blurted out the location.

She took one last sip of tea as she stood up to leave.  His eyes darted back and forth, then followed her out the door.  His jaw was still hanging open in disbelief as a sizzling plate of ginger beef was placed on the table.

© 2012 inconsistentsea

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your flow is flawless, maybe its the nostalgic evening here but gives me a Paul Bowles feeling, the mystery, the abruptness and imagery...really would like to see this develop.

Posted 6 Years Ago

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1 Review
Added on June 19, 2012
Last Updated on June 19, 2012