The Man

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Here is a short story I wrote with the picture prompt attached to this post. Sorry if I got mixed up with the tenses, I was getting confused with it all. 

 

“Dad, are you sure you’re going to be ok waiting for me?” Miranda asked after she had her father seated in the booth of the restaurant. It wasn’t exactly a high end place, but it was her dad’s favorite. It was where he had met his wife who was working there at the time. It was amazing that the place was still standing after all of these years.

“Yep.” He grumbled underneath his breath, looking past his daughter. “It smells like your mother in here, you know?”

“Yes…” Miranda took a deep breath to show her dad that she was smelling, although it wasn’t a new remark. He said that often, especially after she had died. The night she had died he went to the restaurant and sat in the booth where he had had his first date with her. He spent the whole night in there, sobbing into her blue flower dress and a lock of hair which he had saved from when they were dating as teenagers.  This place, the whole restaurant, had a special meaning to him. More than Miranda could fathom. “So what would you like to eat, Dad?”

“The usual,” he grunted. They came here often enough, he thought that she would’ve figured that out already, but obviously not.

“Ok… just wait here, Dad. Give me about five minutes.”

“Where else would I go?” He complained with a smile on his face as he placed his cane on the side of the booth, leaning it against the wall. Miranda left quickly to order the food.

The man though, whose name was Edward, sat patiently. He didn’t move his legs impatiently, or tap his fingers like any old man would do. He enjoyed spending every single moment in there, he was there all the time. Because, whenever he was there, he could clearly see his wife working the cash register.

Whenever he looked at the counter, he saw her wearing a long blue dress with a white apron, which was protocol, her brown hair plainly falling down her back, getting in her face at times. She had hated it, but he had loved it. She had been short, and her glasses which twisted upwards had fit her face perfectly. She had always worn black high heels which were always neatly polished with expensive polish. The smell had always drifted around her. He always saw her bright blue eyes, always laughing at some of the requests she got from people. She had liked her job, always called it amusing and a good laugh. All of the customers had liked her as well, especially Edward.

He had always made fun of her smile, and how it had made her perfect circle nose bounce up, and her eyebrows dance. Her lips had always been fat red, an effect from her expensive and favorite lipstick. She had always worn it, every day, and every shift. It was the style back in the day.

He had had to go to the same place ten times at the same time of day, at least once a week before he had the courage to ask her out. Back in the day, he was such a chicken and wasn’t exactly the most daring person. He had ordered the same meal every time, so that by the fifth time, she quickly memorised it and laughed when she saw him.

“Hey, mister,” she would wink at him and punch in the order. “I’m guessing that you want the usual? ‘Fries, cheeseburger with no mustard and pickles, but with an extra patty and with three times as much ketchup as those cheap restaurants serve’?”

He had laughed and agreed. “Yeah, that. I’m so happy that you remember because I can NEVER! It’s ridiculous.” Then, he would always nervously reach for his wallet and talk to her if it wasn’t too busy. They would chat about everyday stuff and who they were and what they did for fun. He had found it interesting learning about this girl he had never known before – the mysterious pretty girl serving him food all the time.

By the tenth time he had gotten up his courage. That day, he had been the only one in the restaurant, so when she was finished making his order, she took a break and sat with him in the same booth as always. They didn’t talk much, just awkwardly smiled the whole time. It was that day he had asked her out, and she said yes.

“Dad? Dad?” Miranda came back to her father staring at the counter, not moving.

“What?!” He came back to reality.

“Here’s your food that you ordered.”

“Oh thank you, dear. I was just thinking about your mother.” 

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