The following is a short piece written by Rodolfo Perez.
Afternoon in a café
By: Rodolfo Perez
We sit facing each other in the almost empty café
She orders a plain latte, I a frothed cappuccino.
To be plain, she is by far the most interesting person I’ve ever seen.
She sits crossed legged in her denim straight legs, wearing brand less white low tops
Wearing an ice colored cardigan, the same color as her eyes.
Her hair is pulled back into a pony tail, as she reads, with no glasses, a book by Hemingway.
I suddenly feel embarrassed that I have nothing to read
So I look outside the window at the people going back to work form their lunch break.
I notice my coffee has arrived and take a sip.
I can’t help, but to look at her.
She takes a drink from her cup without making a face, so I know she is worth my time.
I don’t know what to say
More importantly, what will she say?
Will she invite me over to talk about Hemingway?
Or will she look at me in my white t-shirt and blue jeans, only to turn her eyes back into her novel?
She looks up.
We share a glance.
Frozen. The both of us.
I look into her ice colored eyes.
She stands up, and my heart pounds. Suddenly my mind has stopped.
She begins to walk towards me, and I know what I will say.
“Hi, I see you-“
My thoughts never turn to words as she walks past me.
She pays the cashier, leaves a tip at the table, and walks out of the café
Out of my life forever.
Chicago’s Legal Cafe 1338 W Madison (Where the piece was written)