The Cafe

Reads: 520  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 6

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Susan and her mother, Cassandra, whom she hasn't seen in a year meet at a cafe after Cassandra lost her job as a mechanic due to feminism.

Submitted: May 18, 2009

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 18, 2009

A A A

A A A


I already knew it would be a strange day from the message written upon Cassandra, my mother’s, face. She was a mechanic, and when I said was, I meant it. There’d been such feminism stirs that nobody thought she could do the job, and there’d been no money. We hadn’t seen each other in a year, so for the holidays, she promised me lunch at a town cafe in Wisconsin. As we arrived, the place seemed to be bare. Only the locals were inside, and they were the cooks. Mom and I sat down at the nearest table – nothing happened. What on earth could mother and daughter do who hadn’t spoken a word to each other in a year?

Heaving back untamable ringlets of my excuse for blonde hair, I slanted my eyes down to the checkered napkin lying rumpled in my lap. As I had already guessed, they came tumbling down like a rockslide, back into my ghostly, pale face. There was an excuse for forcing it back once more.

“Susan, two orders of pancakes?” Cassandra muttered, frail eyes fastened to the menu instead of to my own face, or even to the waiter, Raphael. I nodded, eyes matching accordingly. He shrugged his shoulders and gave me his ‘haven’t-seen-her-for-a-while’ look, as he tottered off to the kitchen. My eyes gave way and poured themselves into Cassandra’s pitiful looks.

She had looked so much more distraught than before. Cold, gray eyes pierced her face, replacing those lively green ones that I had once known. Hair the color of coffee sat cascading down her bun like a dirty waterfall. Lines mapped out her face, yet there were no crevices in the laughter area. How she had suffered.

“Cassandra? Susan?” Raphael broke the silence with a worried tone. Our eyes strap on to his like a cowboy and his horse. He doesn’t wait for a response, “Everything suddenly shut down – the oven, the microwave, everything. Do you know a mechanic?”

“We can fix it,” she says, softly, though just loud enough to be heard. Raphael looked dubious about the whole thing, but he smiled painfully and lifted his hands gracefully to show us to the double doors. I follow her into the checkerboard-tiled kitchen with my few skills she had taught to me. She had gone into full mechanic mode.

Cassandra, my tired out, wrinkle-eyed mother, squatted down to survey the damage beneath a horribly tacky green oven. She pursed her dry, cracked lips together and just as a clump of hair freed itself from the bun, she whispered to herself, and apparently to me one word, “Screwdriver.” I knew its meaning and did her bidding. We kept conversation going, about mechanics, and then switching to differentiating topics throughout the whole fiasco. We could have been talking about the oven’s main shaft, and suddenly switch out to my new job in Milwaukee. New stories kept wandering into my head that I had to pick and choose. Before either of us seemed to notice, the oven was back to its ugly, working self, and we had bonded again through the one thing we two could do best.

Raphael’s eyes were lit like the North Star while he examined the fossil-like oven, sitting perfectly in front of his Pinocchio nose. I dragged my eyes through the wave of tension to Cassandra, whose lips were so harshly sputtering against each other that it seemed they would suffocate. Couldn’t this man just test the oven, or did he seem to think a ‘woman’ would plant some kind of bomb in the thing?

Abruptly, he clutched his splotched hands to his knees and heaved himself up onto his Birkenstocks. He slid his clammy, tanned finger through a moustache that must have been gelled, for the reason that it made a screech when his finger fell out of the inner twirl. Cassandra looked at me and smiled a pleasant, crooked grin that calmed my anticipation.

Then, to my own horror, Raphael looked at me with his eyebrows raised up and announced, “Susan, if you could step outside. Business privacy, you know.” I stumbled without a word, backwards, outside the double doors and freed myself from the constricting room. My eyes curiously inched over to the circular glass panel on one of the doors as I stared at Cassandra once more. Would she get some pay and be able to live once again? Did she even fix the oven correctly? These questions led my eyes closer to the circle, hoping they could tell me a story.

I held up, gazing through the war barrier of a glass wall. My cheeks inflated to the size of balloons as my finger sat strangling itself in my torturous hair. Gripping my heart, an aura of light seemed to blanket Cassandra – it didn’t look normal on her dowdy self. Raphael reached into his wallet laying in the deep-downs of his apron pocket as he flipped out some bills and left them perched in Cassandra’s shaking palm. Then, with a little cock to the side and a wink towards me, he pointed towards another tacky microwave and that lovely mother of mine strolled over to it.

When she reached that dirty, yet oh-so-glorious microwave, her face met mine. That moment, all of her face’s crevices seemed to climb directly out of her face. All but one – the little seedlings of laughter dimples.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-style-parent:""; line-height:115%; font-size:11.0pt;"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-fareast-"Times New Roman";}

The Caf/font>

I already knew it would be a strange day from the message written upon Cassandra, my mother’s, face. She was a mechanic, and when I said was, I meant it. There’d been such feminism stirs that nobody thought she could do the job, and there’d been no money. We hadn’t seen each other in a year, so for the holidays, she promised me lunch at a town cafin Wisconsin. As we arrived, the place seemed to be bare. Only the locals were inside, and they were the cooks. Mom and I sat down at the nearest table – nothing happened. What on earth could mother and daughter do who hadn’t spoken a word to each other in a year?

Heaving back untamable ringlets of my excuse for blonde hair, I slanted my eyes down to the checkered napkin lying rumpled in my lap. As I had already guessed, they came tumbling down like a rockslide, back into my ghostly, pale face. There was an excuse for forcing it back once more.

“Susan, two orders of pancakes?” Cassandra muttered, frail eyes fastened to the menu instead of to my own face, or even to the waiter, Raphael. I nodded, eyes matching accordingly. He shrugged his shoulders and gave me his ‘haven’t-seen-her-for-a-while’ look, as he tottered off to the kitchen. My eyes gave way and poured themselves into Cassandra’s pitiful looks.

She had looked so much more distraught than before. Cold, gray eyes pierced her face, replacing those lively green ones that I had once known. Hair the color of coffee sat cascading down her bun like a dirty waterfall. Lines mapped out her face, yet there were no crevices in the laughter area. How she had suffered.

“Cassandra? Susan?” Raphael broke the silence with a worried tone. Our eyes strap on to his like a cowboy and his horse. He doesn’t wait for a response, “Everything suddenly shut down – the oven, the microwave, everything. Do you know a mechanic?”

“We can fix it,” she says, softly, though just loud enough to be heard. Raphael looked dubious about the whole thing, but he smiled painfully and lifted his hands gracefully to show us to the double doors. I follow her into the checkerboard-tiled kitchen with my few skills she had taught to me. She had gone into full mechanic mode.

Cassandra, my tired out, wrinkle-eyed mother, squatted down to survey the damage beneath a horribly tacky green oven. She pursed her dry, cracked lips together and just as a clump of hair freed itself from the bun, she whispered to herself, and apparently to me one word, “Screwdriver.” I knew its meaning and did her bidding. We kept conversation going, about mechanics, and then switching to differentiating topics throughout the whole fiasco. We could have been talking about the oven’s main shaft, and suddenly switch out to my new job in Milwaukee. New stories kept wandering into my head that I had to pick and choose. Before either of us seemed to notice, the oven was back to its ugly, working self, and we had bonded again through the one thing we two could do best.

Raphael’s eyes were lit like the North Star while he examined the fossil-like oven, sitting perfectly in front of his Pinocchio nose. I dragged my eyes through the wave of tension to Cassandra, whose lips were so harshly sputtering against each other that it seemed they would suffocate. Couldn’t this man just test the oven, or did he seem to think a ‘woman’ would plant some kind of bomb in the thing?

Abruptly, he clutched his splotched hands to his knees and heaved himself up onto his Birkenstocks. He slid his clammy, tanned finger through a moustache that must have been gelled, for the reason that it made a screech when his finger fell out of the inner twirl. Cassandra looked at me and smiled a pleasant, crooked grin that calmed my anticipation.

Then, to my own horror, Raphael looked at me with his eyebrows raised up and announced, “Susan, if you could step outside. Business privacy, you know.” I stumbled without a word, backwards, outside the double doors and freed myself from the constricting room. My eyes curiously inched over to the circular glass panel on one of the doors as I stared at Cassandra once more. Would she get some pay and be able to live once again? Did she even fix the oven correctly? These questions led my eyes closer to the circle, hoping they could tell me a story.

I held up, gazing through the war barrier of a glass wall. My cheeks inflated to the size of balloons as my finger sat strangling itself in my torturous hair. Gripping my heart, an aura of light seemed to blanket Cassandra – it didn’t look normal on her dowdy self. Raphael reached into his wallet laying in the deep-downs of his apron pocket as he flipped out some bills and left them perched in Cassandra’s shaking palm. Then, with a little cock to the side and a wink towards me, he pointed towards another tacky microwave and that lovely mother of mine strolled over to it.

When she reached that dirty, yet oh-so-glorious microwave, her face met mine. That moment, all of her face’s crevices seemed to climb directly out of her face. All but one – the little seedlings of laughter dimples.


© Copyright 2020 Ameliuhh. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Young Adult Short Stories