Cafe

Reads: 68  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 29, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 29, 2017

A A A

A A A


Café
BY
AHMAD EL HEFNY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “You’ve gained quite some weight,” she mused, her ears bearing that lovely jazz tune playing on the radio. In a few minutes, when it’s over, that prankster Orson Welles is going to talk about how beautiful America truly is. She grumpily frowned at that thought. Such statements coming from the fellow who put her and half of the nation in frenzy after announcing the coming of invading extraterrestrials. She was glad to have no longer been with her parents by then, or they would have never quite the onslaught of jokes.

 “Couldn’t help it,” he said, tugging at his stomach, shades of red beaming on his cheeks as he took a deep breath and pushed his guts in as much as possible. He thought that she looked beautiful today, in her usual vampy outline, with that short hair, curved figure, red lipsticks, matching eye shadow, dangling necklaces, and black shoes strapped to white socks. He felt that was missing was a hat with a feather of an unfortunate bird attached to it.

 It’s been some time since they have met yet again. Last time they did, it was a short conversation in the midst of a large crowd on a boat trip, where he was alone, and she was accompanied by friends. Though he asked legitimate questions, just as he tried to reach their conversation to a personal level, she was called by her company.

 “I’ll be back to you in five minutes,” she said, hurriedly rushing to her friends. From that moment on, her thought he lost her. Even when the ship reached its destination, he had to shuffle through the masses, and hopeless and frustrated, never seeing her again.

 He is slightly ashamed that he doesn’t remember the previous conversation that much. The unanswered questions he couldn’t utter out were the ones that were imprinted to his head. Six years later, they cross paths in a quiet street, and he invites her for a cup of coffee.

 Here they are now, in a quiet downtown café, which, aside from the bar staff, one insomniac fellow is quietly minding his own business, scribbling down notes.

 “What do you think he is writing?” he asked in a whisper, nudging his head at the man. She analyzed him for a bit, before turning back to him.

 “Hopefully a good story,” she said, taking a sip. Her cheeks are now full and colorful, and her eyes seem wider. “I wish him luck.”

 “Maybe we should be the first people he assigns autographs to,” he suggested, displaying a playful, if a little mischievous smile. She shook her head.

 “Give him space, and don’t go over his head; he’ll follow.”

 “I guess you’re right.”

 “You know I’m right.”

 “What about me?” The wind is still chilly, prompting him to clasp his hands, while she holds the cup, warming her palms. She looks at him nonchalantly.

 “Oh, you’ll do fine. You just need to get to the point before somebody else does.” For a few minutes, they were silent, the music and the scribbling being the only sounds they paid attention to.

 “It’s great to see you again,” he finally said, genuinely smiling. She returned the favor, and her eyes twinkled with a gentle touch.

 “You too. You’re not still mad at me, are you?” There is a slight edge of anxiety in her voice and guilt in her eyes. These notions made him feel ashamed; for he was thinking of telling her “I waited past five minutes and didn’t even get a goodbye.” But here she was, bringing out among the two of them. He put a comforting hand on her shoulder, the back of his neck shivering from the cold that came from the outside.

 “Oh, forget it! It’s just a thing of the past. Just…you know…how do you say it…?”

 “Circumstances?”

 “Yeah! So, don’t think about it, okay, promise?”

 “Sure.” For the first time since they bumped on that boat trip, there was an air of relaxation and affability. He stammered for being a polite loser, and she stood her ground for being a socialite. Still, at the end of the day, they enjoyed good company.

 “You know,” he began, “I eat fruits too. Grapes.”

 “That’s nice,” she said, taking another sip. “I like them too, but I always took carrots above others. At least you’re not Ron.”

 “Ron?”

 “My cousin. Compared to him, you might as well be Buster Keaton.” He burst out laughing, and the writer looked up in shock at the sudden eruption of such noise, but quietly went back to his business.

 “You don’t like Chaplin?” he asked after he was done.

 “Oh, I do. But comparing them is like comparing Armstrong to Miller. These are two different creatures, but that’s what’s good about them.”

 “Yeah, you’re right.”

 Then the music stopped playing, and the radio series started, and the baritone voice of Orson Welles was flattering the United States of America with its inimitability. She rolled her eyes.

 “That schmuck doing that shtick out of all people,” she said, gritting her teeth. “I’ve known hypocrites back in my day, but this takes it all.”

 “You know,” he said, “once you get past the War of the Worlds thing…boy, was that quite a jump! I almost left town that day!”

 “Not you, too!” she said jokingly, chuckling.

 “Believe it or not! But anyway, I actually listened to the other stuff, and they’re pretty good. I saw that film of his, Citizen Kane.”

 “What did you think of it?”

 “Quite…unusual. The cinematography caught me off guard, I must admit. But overall, I liked it. I think about it every once in a while.”

 “My dad took me and mom to see it. Not really sure how I felt, but it comes up in my brain every once in a while. I suppose that’s a good thing.”

 “Yeah, I guess.” Then, the baritone voice of Orson Welles took over the radio.

 “Ladies and gentlemen! We interrupt this program to bring you an important announcement! Pearl Harbor has been attacked!”

 For a minute, all was silence, until the duo's, and even a third voice, the writer’s, all burst out laughing.

 “There he goes again,” said the writer, before sinking back into his work. The other guy nodded while the girl shook her head, and then they went on with their lives.

  The End


© Copyright 2017 ahmad ehab el hefny. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Romance Short Stories

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by ahmad ehab el hefny

Popular Tags