She remembered that day very well as she was waiting for the waitress to come to her table. When she finally did she ordered without much conversation for she by now had no questions about the menu, it was all familiar to her. The waitress recognizing her said, “what would you like today? ”
Not hesitating to order the chef’s specialty saying out loud to the waitress, “the beef stroganoff please.” It was cold outside and she hadn’t had time for breakfast because of a meeting scheduled. It would be very filling and warm to eat. She didn’t cook beyond bbq’ing much, hardly ever actually, just learned to follow the directions on the box so coming here was like coming home.
The waitresses has been here for awhile you can tell they have lived hard lives supporting their families probably travel by bus or metro leaving their children to be at home by themselves because their father was non existent in their daily lives. They were cheerful in their actions but there always seemed to be a bit of sadness to them.
Having told the waitress what she wanted she could relax. Grabbing the latest tech magazine from her bag she was shocked to find a man sitting down on the other side of the booth in front of her. A big stout guy with a shirt that couldn’t be tucked from the over hang of his kangaroo pouch of a belly. Which didn’t match his pristine chiseled appearance of his face. “It’s a little crowded in here so I thought I would sit down, here if you don’t mind. The waitress said you didn’t have any company so I thought I would be yours.”
Amber sat staring blankly at him, as he continued to talk “The name’s Bartholomew but people call me Bart for short, not because I am short but because of my name although I am pretty short have been my whole life, don’t understand it I have such tall parents considerably. You are pretty tall aren’t you? How tall? About five eight? I have always loved tall women. Hey, I like this place don’t you? Ordered the beef stroganoff hear it tastes like mom’s homemade.”
Having regretted ordering the beef stroganoff after this whirlwind of conversation. She thought it probably wouldn’t have mattered he was going to order the same thing she had regardless.
Starting again after only a few seconds rest to take a drink of water. “Man I miss my mom she past away a few years ago, she was a good cook though, a real good cook. How’s your cooking? I like a pretty lady like yourself, I’d like her even more if she was a good cook?” Finally ceasing his conversation, he looks at Amber waiting for a response.
Looking back at him completely silent and emotionless in her expression, but the audacity of this man was making her laugh, though she knew she couldn’t his obvious mommy issues were making her queasy. Wondering what to do she started thinking of ways to get out of this situation, now.
Still haven’t heard anything Bart begins speaking again. “I also go to the movies often you like the movies don’t you? What am I talking about everyone likes the movies, seen any good ones lately?” He only stopped because the waitress came with Amber’s food.
This was her chance, speaking only to the waitress, “Can I have this in a to go box? I know I said I would eat here but I have some where I need to go.” Thinking yeah home to take a shower all of a sudden this booth became very filthy.
“What’s the rush?” Bart blurted “your food just got here and I could use the company please won’t you say, people say I always am a good person to have a conversation with, I can keep a conversation going for hours.”
Amber looking at him thinking this is ridiculous, can’t this guy take a hint she wanted to leave.
Trying to sweeten the deal Bart spoke again “I’ll even pay for your meal, in fact I already have?”
The waitress standing by not attempting to leave to go put her food in a to go box says, “He did pay for it.” With a smile like it was the sweet romantic gesture.
What was Amber going to do now? She like the waitress and the food here but felt absolutely violated and nauseated by this obvious set up.
In an encouraging tone the waitress says, ” You should go he seems like a good guy.”
Supporting her statement Bart replies, “Hey afterwards we can even go to a movie together.”
As much as she liked movies the thought was revolting. The guy had no charm, common sense and was poorly acting off a script somebody gave him. Who was it? It didn’t matter, it was yet another attempt to get her to settle down in a specific way, in somebody else’s life that she did not want. To her that lifestyle was the suburban lifestyle while she respected and even admired at times she couldn’t think of living it. Although, she could be a soccer mom, she really wasn’t the type to intermix well with helicopter gossiping parents, whom she called soccer moms on acid. That is what this gentleman screamed as he spoke every word. Which gave her an idea as to how she was going to get out of this surprise blind date she was on. “That is really very kind of you to do, but I really should be going, I have to re-bandage this hand. I don’t want to wait too long after I eat, it might get infected.”
Which wasn’t a lie the doctor said to watch the wound through tomorrow, he wasn’t sure about whether or not to perform surgery, she had to call him in the morning and tell him if and how it was healing. He wanted to make sure he got out all the little pieces of sidewalk concrete dust out. At this moment to Amber the thought of surgery was more pleasing than sitting at this table.
Maybe because she was a regular, maybe because she felt rejected herself, maybe out of compassion the waitress took her plate and simply said, “I will be back with a to go box.”
Very relieved Amber said, “Thank you.”
Bart then started to speak again, “Well now that’s a shame, sorry to hear about your hand. Is there anything I can do?”
“Not really.” Amber replied.
“How about we take a rain check on the meal and movie, can I call you?” Bart said hopefully.
Though before she could reply the waitress came back put the to go box on the table and left. Then grabbing a 20 out of her purse she sets it on the table and says, “Here, I am sorry but I will be leaving town soon for work it may be weeks before I get a chance again.”
Almost forceful now holding her forearm Bart states,” At least give me your number, email, something?”
Pulling her arm away “I am sorry I have to go.” With that she left the restaurant.