The birds are chirping. The birds are chirping and the chilled drink in my hand stings my teeth as I bring it to my lips. It’s the end of my journey and I decided to take a minute for myself. I deserved it. Lord knows I deserved it. I made my way into this street-side bar, bustling with business crowd types, and told the waitress to bring me their specialty.
The weather was a warm 85 degrees and the trendy people walked by, wearing trendy clothes and talking trendy topics. The women were beautiful, the men were rich. The interior of the bar was modern, almost classy yet it jumped the rope between classy and pretentious in abrupt, uncoordinated hops.
I sat outside.
She sat down at the table to the right of mine. She gave the waitress a shy smile that hung about with the sway of her sundress. She was waiting for someone. She was waiting for someone and didn’t appear to know why. The waitress brought her a pink drink and she stirred it for a little while before taking a sip.
He walked in ten minutes after that. He gave her a wry smile and kissed her cheek. Everything about him looked as if he had just gotten off of work; a disheveled tie, his summer corporate suit and a bad San Diego base tan to hide the fact he was inside all day.
“Good, you didn’t get any food,” he said as he sat down.
“Why?” She quietly inquired.
“I’ve got a work thing after this. We have to show an out-of-towner a good time. If he likes our company it’ll be a huge new account.” He said.
“Are you going to be late?” She asked.
“I don’t think so.” he replied.
“Good,” she smiled and looked away.
“No, you don’t understand.” He continued. She looked back at him. “I won’t be coming back.”
She remained silent.
“I’ve been unhappy with us for a long time,” he blurted out.
“Is there anything I can…” she began to ask.
“No,” He interrupted her. “I don’t want to make it better.” His body became ridged and the words he began to say were said with such precision that she grew small with each sharp tone. “I’ve never loved you. I loved the idea of you but the reality – the reality was something I never wanted.”
He got up and began to walk away. He stopped after a few steps and turned around. “I’ll have my things about by the end of the week.” He left after that.
She didn’t cry. She didn’t move for her phone. She went back to stirring her drink.
I paid her tab.