Unpredictable Tomorrows

She sits quietly reading a magazine.  She is pretending to read.  There is nothing in the magazine that interests her.  She despises the very thing the magazine is toting… perfectionism and beauty.

She stares down at her lap, grubby jeans and her old shoulder bag.  She is far from beautiful.  She is a bit gangly, damp from the rain, rank from the effort to exist, and marred by the scars of life.  Nothing about her shouts to the world, “Look at me!”  She does her best to become one with the chair and simply disappear.

Her world is abruptly tilted when he walks in.  He comes in every day at the same time, 4:27 pm, on the dot, 6 days a week.  He walks up to the counter and orders a latte, soy, and smiles at the girl behind the counter.  She grins back at him as she flirts, filling his order as if he is the only patron in the place.

Putting her hand over her chest, she squeezes further back, willing her heart to slow and quiet.  At exactly 4:35 he will head over to the far corner window seat and open his laptop.  She silently waits for his latte to be finished so he will walk by her so she can catch the essence of him.  It lingers behind him, drifting lazily, filling her soul.  She can find a way to get through the next day if she can carry with her his signature.  She’ll climb aboard the next bus at 4:49 and travel back to the crowded street that harbors her until the next tomorrow.

He turns toward her and suddenly her foot does something of it’s own will.  It stretches out and makes contact with his.  His latte slurps forward and he lunges to catch it.  She is horrified watching him stager, trying to recover, catching himself with his hand to her outstretched arm.  When did she reach for him?

He suddenly sees her.  His eyes look deeply into hers for only a moment before he opens his mouth and grins at her.  He shrugs and holds a hand up in apology, as if he were the offender.  She finds herself smiling back at him and waving off his apology.

Standing she looks after him in awe as he moves to the window seat with his name on it.  The tomorrows are forever changed, unwritten, and life is now unpredictable.  Tomorrow holds promise, hope, and a future worth dreaming over.



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