The Diner and the Girl

“How many times is this now?”

David van Hart ran his hands over his hair and flattened any stray hair that dared poke its head out from the masses. He ignored Marcus’ question, mainly because he wasn’t sure how many times it had been. Half a dozen? Maybe more.

“When are you going to give up? You’ve wasted a fortune trying to get her to say anything beyond ‘Need another cup of coffee?’”

“Not doing this,” David said in a low growl while he checked himself again to make sure everything was just right.

Clothes, spotless. Not shabby, but not night-on-the-town level either. Don’t want her to think he was trying to impress her, even if he was. Teeth, nothing green or any other color hidden. Face, clean. Nothing else he could do beyond that. He wasn’t what most people would call handsome, but at least he didn’t scare animals and small children.

“And, you’re going solo this time?” Marcus stood and reached for his coat. As much as his best friend protested, David knew Marcus just wanted to make sure he was all right.

“Solo this time, I think you’re scaring her.”

David left the apartment and headed to the east side of town. The 50s style diner stood at the south corner of Main and 8th. It kept the vintage diner style of the old days with its narrow stainless steel body. A large neon red sign in a handwritten script called the place “Rosie’s Diner”. The small parking lot was already more than half full and he could see some of the local college students occupying most of the few booths inside.

There she was. Megan. Dark brown hair pulled back in a pony tail. Pink and white striped uniform. Black cat’s eye glasses that he was pretty sure were her own and not just part of the uniform. And a smile that made the rest of the world disappear.

David realized he had stood staring through the diner’s plate glass windows for an awkward amount of time when some of the students at one of the tables inside waved at him and started laughing. He recovered himself and went into the diner.

He sat at a corner table and waited. She finished taking an order from a couple of tables away, and then saw him.

“Hi, David, how are you today?” she smiled at him as she walked behind the bar to give the other order to the cooks. “Usual?”

“Uh, yeah,” Oh, that was smooth. Real articulate. Me caveman. Me like food.

“You got it, hon,” she turned away, grabbed some glasses, and started filling them at the fountain.

Something dry and sticky filled his throat. Every time she calls me that, I fall to pieces. Just don’t ask me anything until I get something to drink. For the love of everything holy, don’t ask me any questions. It was embarrassing enough last time.

He started to tap on the table without realizing it in rhythm with his heartbeat. It was a fast beat. She dropped the drinks off at a table on the other side of the diner, turned his direction again, smiled at a table full of freshmen guys, and then at him as she made her way over behind the counter again.

It was getting hot. He was prepared this time, though. Dark shirt, but light and breathable. Not going to relive that nightmare again with the white shirt. Who knew your body could work against you with such subtle malice? Megan was gracious, though, and never said a word about the large underarm pools.

The night passed as usual. She brought him his coffee, a burger and fries, and then a slice of key lime pie for dessert. He managed some small talk with her when she asked if everything was all right with the food. Didn’t sound like a bullfrog choking this time. Even got her to laugh at a couple of jokes.

David took another bite of pie and Megan returned. He looked up into those liquid blue eyes and nearly choked on the pie. His chest pounded and his stomach screamed at him to say something to her. Another joke, ask her phone number, ask her out, anything!

“Would you like anything else, tonight?” she asked in that sweet melodic voice of hers.

Yes! I want you! I want to take you to the beach for a moonlit walk. I want to fly you to anywhere in the world you’ve dreamed about. I want to hold your hand, kiss those amazing lips of yours, here you say my name with a whisper of excitement. I want to dance with you on our wedding night, watch our children grow before our eyes, give you the moon! I want to tell you that I love you and I have always loved you since the day I first saw you. I want you to tell me you feel it, too.

“Uh, no. I’m good,” idiot.

“All right, then,” she smiled. “Here’s the check. Whenever you’re ready,” she walked away. David’s forehead hit the table.

Tomorrow. Definitely tomorrow.

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Happy Story Monday everyone! Even though no one participated in the blogfest I had last week, I had so much fun with the idea of Musical Story Monday’s that I’m going to do it again. Not the blogfest, just the post a story inspired by a song idea. Hope you enjoy!

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