This is something I wrote back in Grade 12 for my Writer's Craft class. To this day it might be one of my favourite pieces of writing. I'm not too keen on the title honestly, but I was 17 at the time.
A casual observer walking by might be too busy to notice the man sitting outside of the restaurant. They would probably walk past, head down, not seeing the wilted bouquet of flowers lying on the table, most definitely not noticing the vibrant red of two dozen sagging roses.
Sitting beside him, I noticed these things. I had seen and heard the entire debacle. My keen hearing was not to blame, only an unhealthy amount of nosiness. If we lived in the nineteenth century, I would most certainly be the town gossip.
But I digress. You want to know more about this man, don't you? Of course you do. A slightly damp man, sitting out in the drizzling rain and staring at the dregs of his coffee would intrigue anyone.
He arrived just after I did, taking a seat at the table and removing his jacket so to better feel the sun on his arms. The waitress came promptly, he ordered two glasses of wine. The roses were propped against the second chair, wrapped in clear cellophane.
The trouble began for him when she arrived, bursting in from off the street into the small bubble of serenity. Tight skirt, high heels, you can just imagine. She removed the flowers from her chair, sat down, and crossed her legs. He reached for her hand, she suddenly needed something in her purse. His face falls, hers tenses up. She pulls out her phone, he looks down at his hands, folded into a twisted knot on his lap.
They eat. Little talking, less eye contact. Dessert comes and goes and coffee cups emerge.
Unfortunately, the waiter chose the same moment the crying began to ask me what I desired to go with my pen and paper. I suppose I was overstaying my welcome, coffee being an insufficient order. By the time I had grabbed the menu and pointed blindly, the best part was over and she was on her feet. She hurled a few more obscenities at him, uttered the clichéd, "It's over!" and ran out of the restaurant patio, glowering, while he cried silently.
So that is how he came to be sitting here, a bedraggled, emotional wreck. But as with any good story, the best always happens near the end.
My waitress, carrying an unappetizing bowl of soup, pauses by his table, looks at him questioningly, then calls him by name, asking him is they went to high school together.
For the first time in a good twenty minutes he looks up. Nods.
She tells him her name and even I can hear the bells of recognition ring. His face becomes animated as they do the usual, "Hey!" and, "I haven't seen you in ages!' He cheers up considerably as my soup goes cold.
It's no matter, I don't need it anyway. I already have an idea for my next novel, I need not sit here and longer.
With a small smirk I leave money enough for my bill and a considerable tip on the table to hurry home and begin typing.
I hope you liked this. I came across it when I was clearing out an old notebook. The prompt was to write as an outsider observing a scene. Please comment your thoughts below!