Sorry, We're Closed

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about an owner of a diner. Please enjoy :)

Submitted: May 20, 2014

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Submitted: May 20, 2014

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Ron walked across the checkered floor, and flipped the sign. The word “open” faced me and I felt cheated. He walked out the door, saying “goodnight,” making sure not to look back. Where did the days go when “bye boss” was the norm? I stood behind the counter taking in the serenity of an empty diner. I moved my fingers across each item, as a blind man would. Maybe I was blind, not being able to see the big picture. Or maybe this was the best I’d ever seen, ever would see. I looked over at an old booth, rundown and stained, like a child’s favorite bear, destroyed by love. Michael would sit there, waiting for the life he would never have to come. He would stare at his black coffee, the steam dancing and writhing, always deep in thought. His pressed camo suit and sturdy combat boots caught the children’s eyes. I could picture him on that old booth as clearly as the purple jukebox in the end of the room. My callused hands touched the smooth plastic of the machine, then pressed a familiar button. “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” played promptly. The teenagers would walk in, just killing time, the only thing they knew how to do and look at the jukebox and say “That’s so retro!” They would take pictures of it, just a simple machine that played old music. What was so amazing about that? I would never know. The youth would always be a mystery to me, even with children of my own. My daughter and wife would sit at the counter drinking the famous milkshakes, laughing and enjoying each others company. She would learn life lessons there, my youthful wife would teach her the ways of the world, the ways of the diner. Mel grew up here in this room, she became who she is in that chair. She’s now long gone, along with my wife. I rubbed my tired eyes and realized I was crying. The nostalgia in this room was too high. Every scuff mark, picture, and knick knack had a story. How would I say goodbye to it all? Just then, a car with shaded windows drove up and parked right outside the diner. A well groomed man dressed in a navy suit walked out of the car, wearing sun glasses. He walked with a briefcase in his hand, standing up straight and prestigious. He walks in and the pang of the bell at the door is excruciatingly painful from a caffeine headache. He shakes my hand and says "Hello Mr. Jenkins. You know why I'm here, right?" "Yes" I said slowly. Through a tough life, this here diner is the only thing that hasn't changed, sort of my strong hold through the toughest times. And now I was losing it. "The truck will come by later," he said softly. Putting his hand on my shoulder, it seemed as if he had this comforting thing down to a science. "I'll leave and you can stay to get your stuff and say goodbye." This was the death of my diner.


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