1: Special Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Writing and Reviewing!

899 Words

It was the best, worse day ever. After a long day of work, school, homework, and cleaning, Jessica wasn’t sure if she wanted to go to the diner in the evening.

She debated whether or not she should go with Paul via texts.

He managed to convince her. She freshened up, brushed, and tied up her dark hair. She pulled a green sweater on and headed out of the apartment building.

The evening air was fresh and chilly. Jessica unlocked her car, hesitating by the door. She reassured herself and climbed in. She set her phone in the cupholder and tossed her purse into the passenger seat.

The diner was only a few blocks away. The road was barren of most traffic. She stopped at a red light and glanced down at her phone.

She hadn’t made it to the diner, and she was starting to regret leaving. Her eyes traveled to a lighter on the dashboard. She tapped the steering wheel, considering.

The light turned green. Turning her attention from the lighter, Jessica pumped the gas. She covered the last block and turned into the diner parking lot.

There were only four cars parked at the diner; Jessica recognized none of them. She found a parking spot.

She picked up her phone and read the new message.

I’ll be there at seven.

It was seven-fifteen. Jessica typed up a reply.

I’m here.

She stared at the screen, waiting for something to happen. She set the phone down with a huff.

Perhaps he was in a car accident.

Perhaps something more important came up.

Perhaps he forgot.

Perhaps he changed his mind.

She took a long breath and glanced over at the lighter. She rubbed her temples, clearing her mind. She removed the keys from the ignition and got out of the car with her phone and purse. She slipped a facemask on and checked her phone.

No messages.

 She locked the car and walked up to the entrance.

There weren’t many people inside. A few customers were scattered about.

Jessica opened the door, and warm air washed over her. Soft jazz played quietly overhead. She found a table with a view of the parking lot. The blue-haired waitress waved at her with a smile.

Crystal.

Jessica nodded at her. Hesitant to speak to her. Crystal walked over, placing a menu on the table. The blue in her hair was starting to grow out, revealing her blonde roots.

Jessica turned to the window. The clock on the wall ticked away. One by one, the other customers left as time went on.

Crystal lingered by the bar. Now and then, she’d look Jessica’s way. Jessica avoided her eyes. They were the only ones left.

A light rainfall began outside. Crystal walked over to Jessica’s table and sat opposite to her.

“Hey,” she smiled, taking off her apron. Jessica tensed as she looked up at her. “Where’s Paul?” Jessica wiped her brow, turning to the window. The Crystal folded up her apron and set it on the table. “Talk to me, man.”

“I don’t know where he is,” Jessica admitted.

“I can't believe he’s late. And this is such an important day.” The Crystal took out her phone and started typing. “How have you been?” She asked. Jessica folded her arms.

I’m tired.

I want to go home.

I’m hungry.

Jessica shifted, unsure of what to say. Crystal watched her quietly. Expectantly. Jessica’s fingers twisted around themselves. She set her jaw.

“Hey, dude, chill.” Crystal reached out, tapping Jessica’s arm.

“I-I’m sorry.” Jessica raised a hand to her temple. Crystal smiled.

“You look good.” She leaned back, setting her phone down. “I worry about you, y’know.” She turned her attention to the window. A car was pulling in. “You’re family.”

The two of them watched the car park. Two people got out, running in the rain. One of them pulled a package from the backseat. Crystal’s smile widened.

“I didn’t know you felt that way,” Jessica said. Crystal blinked, turning to her.

“What? Come on!” Crystal rolled her eyes. The diner doors flew open, and two men stumbled inside. Crystal got up, crossing her arms. “You two better not make a mess of my floor!”

Logan, a tall Latino man, laughed. He set the package on a nearby table and took off his raincoat. Paul, A shorter blonde man, marched over to Jessica.

“Sorry I’m late,” He took Crystal’s spot. “I dropped my phone.” He brandished a shattered phone. His dreary expression brought a smile to Jessica’s face. Crystal berated Logan as he picked up the package.

“What is that?” Crystal asked.

“Cake!” Paul jumped up, leaving his phone on the table.

He took the package and brought it to Jessica’s table. He removed the cover, revealing a carrot cake.

“Happy birthday!” He threw up his hands halfheartedly.

“I’ll get a knife,” Crystal picked up her apron and disappeared into the kitchen. Logan followed her, making jokes about not trusting her with a knife.

Paul sat down with Jessica, asking about her day.

It was a terrible day. Long and tiresome. She’d decided that she wasn’t interested in celebrating. She nearly regretted coming to begin with.

Somehow, she knew that the rest of her night would make up for it. She took Paul’s hand, catching him by surprise. This was worth it.

It would be the best, worse day ever.

 

 


Submitted: May 21, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Matthew Hair. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Archia

That was a really sweet ending. I didn't expect it at all, I thought they were just good friends, but it seems like that might be changing. It was a very subtle and perfect way to end. I think you did a great job at showing the reservations of Jessica. I know I've sat in a restaurant waiting for someone and wondered all those things about why they haven't arrived. Great story.

Thu, June 3rd, 2021 7:49am

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