On the only occupied table for one, she was, nursing a cup of latte with French toast; her favorite breakfast on a less busy Saturday morning…well more like busy-less for a socially plan less woman as Belinda. A Raised voice stalled her attention off Jane porter’s novel, “the good woman”, from a woman who, from the judgment of her demeanor would never have been crowned a good woman. What kind of a woman confronts her husband in public? Belinda had never had to deal with such; she began to ponder on how she would react to discover souvenirs from a gala dinner she knew nothing about in her husband’s possession. Her mind was not fed enough to produce such a scenario, hopefully the manager of the Diner succeeded in diming the destruction.
Belinda gradually turned away from the scene and resumed her routine, one that she has kept up with for all Saturday mornings there had been in four years. She needed not to order anymore and her table was always reserved. A bite of toast then a sip of latte with her eyes fixed on the pages of a novel or sometimes a magazine or a newspaper. The routine went on until her attention was once again drawn away, this time by a little ballerina, a five year old pretty girl with two blond pony tails on her pink tutu and pink shoes. Her mother, with so much pride gazed at her, encouraging her to recite her ballerina moves. Belinda felt a rush of goose bumps on her skin on a warm spring morning; suddenly she wished her tank top could grow sleeves. She felt the urge to sob when she should have been smiling, but resisted the urge and saved herself from the embarrassment; rather she began to scan the room to finally realize she was the only individual whose companion was a book; it had always, always been that way, it’s either she never noticed or she just didn’t care, but today, this very Saturday morning, the ever sweet latte instantaneously became bitter, and the toast that usually had the smell of her morning made her feel nostalgia.
She hurriedly packed up her things and scurried out of the diner like a prefect who had just been proven wrong by the dumbest girl with braces. People who did not even notice her were shaking their heads in her sympathy in her own paranoid mind. Her pace increased as the picture haunted her thoughts. Her car seemed further than it was. Giant haste steps were not enough she thought a jog would do…the proximity between her and a late morning jogger appeared to be as far as her car before her body collided against his. She groaned under the arms of a tall well-structured figure that she took in his natural scent and suddenly felt at home. Her eyes met his for a moment before she shied away; she gradually turned to get a clearer view of his smile when the atmosphere became a little comfortable. Everything within her melted under the gaze of a man with the most beautiful smile she had ever seen, a man who had just saved her from falling off the pavement.
The firmness of his arms kept her there, still and content. She contemplated him without his plain pale blue T-shirt, and slightly her eye lids drooped down as though the caffeine was taking effect. She dared to keep her heart from leaping off her chest and strove to remain her normal self. If this had happened 4 years ago, a second would have been so long for her to stay in his arms, he would have regretted ever taking that road, but today, this very Saturday…none of that happened, one could have concluded the collusion was planned.
She prayed he did not notice the unruly effect he had on her.
“You might want to slow down Ms.”
He let go off her bare shoulders, leaving them exposed to the cold only she suddenly felt but, kept his gaze on her.
“Um…I should go” at a slower pace than before she walked towards her car, at an arm’s length she turned around to find him looking at her “thank you… for catching me”
“It’s a pleasure, Sorry for being on your way”
She nodded silently, willing him to ask her out for coffee but burning with the urge to disappear from his sight, now the real Belinda was remembering herself. She dashed towards her car when she felt Adrenaline now pumping abnormally fast, mixing her emotions in a way that a butterfly effect would not. It was one sudden shift she failed to control. The corner of his eye caught a sight of a bookmaker that he thought must have fallen from her novel at the collision, he picked it and exclaimed as she was nearing her car. “You dropped something!” meeting her half way to give her the orange card was more of a second chance to life for him.
“How about a cup of coffee?”
Her heart reeled, and her eyes glittered for a moment looking into his deep grey eyes before sadness… or anxiety shadowed her hooded brown eyes.
“I don’t drink coffee” that was one fat lie that made her dart her eyes all over the parking lot, she loved coffee, a day without coffee was more like a week without food; it never happened.
She turned away from him as if to continue her run, he hastily held her wrist before she could take a single step and reminded her that she was still the Belinda she was four years ago. A blink would have been at a slower pace than her snap off his hand. Now that was the Belinda I knew. Whatever force that caused the shift in her demeanor was effectively controlling her…as always.
“Don’t you ever, touch me like that!”
Who would have thought a coin would spin on its own, unexpected that was; even she surprised herself. She walked away and left him mystified; he wondered what wrong he had done, while the only person who could clear his conscious was now driving away. He wondered if he was ever going to see her again. The affection was no secret; it was evident from her eyes. For a moment she was translucent and vulnerable, but the last memory of her haunted his conscious like Jason on Friday the 13th.