It was her devilish smile. He’d caught a glimpse of her as she walked through the door, the afternoon sun and the spray of the open wind from the beach birthing into this cafe a goddess, of sorts. Her red trench coat stood out, instantly catching the eye of many a man. The cafe’s door chime rang as if announcing royalty, simultaneously, her red stiletto heels clicked as if calling each man’s attention. She hung her coat, revealing a rather obscure orange dress. Bright colors weren’t exactly his thing, but hey, who would complain when the colors were accompanied by a nicely pressed body. Looking down at his horizontally striped red and white shirt, he checked if he was fit enough to talk to her. He could almost see his bones rupturing the cotton fabric of his long sleeved shirt. Adjusting his peculiarly circular glasses, he stood up, scratched the hair underneath his, also peculiarly striped, bonnet. He gazed at her as she sat there by the counter, ordering her drink. It was a coffee shop, after all, and there was nothing to feel relatively uneasy about. He picked up his bag; he could always simply disappear into the crowd, should his dignity be compromised.
“Hey, there, ma’am. You seem familiar. Have I seen you somewhere? In a film? You look like someone I’ve seen in a film. I, myself, characterize myself in books.” He spoke with his squeaky voice that shook. He sat down next to her, dropping the messenger bag on the floor. There she went again, flashing her devilish smile at him, as she turned her head away. She slid the ashtray from her end to center between them, followed by her pack of Pall Malls. Offering him a cigarette, she took one from the pack and lit it. He took one.
The wind from the shore blew into the open-deck cafe, swinging the chimes and curtains. The aroma of saltwater and coffee proved an excellent conductor for the interaction of two people. Such was the case at that moment. They let a little silence pass, as they took the drags slowly, staring out into the beach ruckus. Children playing, seagulls flying, and all sorts of poorly chosen items filled the sand, and there was barely a walkway. Several people sat on lawn chairs, reading, and there was a group that played Frisbee. Above the clutter of life further down towards the shore, they sat, with subtle jazzy music emerging from the speakers of the cafe. As the moment passed, she turned and finally deigned to talk to him. He had been waiting in disturbed silence. She turned to face him with her legs crossed, and leaned forward, revealing a little cleavage.
“I am Carmen San Diego, and you are?” She puffed smoke between her Latin accent.
“Wally, or as some people call me, Waldo, Odlaw.” He said, taking the lighter.
“So, why is it you’re here, talking to me?” She played a subtle, yet distinct pout.
“Why does anything even happen?” He played a smile that seemed bittersweet.
“Avoiding the question, changing topics, and you left your drink on the other table. You like me, don’t you, Mr. Odlaw.”
“Well, someone’s full of herself.”
“Well, that just proves it. I am right.” She said, using her cigarette to accentuate the point.
“Just because I said certain things in that order, doesn’t mean that I have a hidden plan of sorts.”
“You just keep making this harder and harder for yourself to disprove.” She said with a wink.
“Alright, so you’re right. What of it?” He said, dropping his hands calmly on the tabletop.
“Let’s cut the verbal foreplay here, huh?” She said, uncrossing her legs.
“You have, more or less, until the end of that cigarette stick to make me like you. If you fail, you’re gone. No second chance. Deal?”
“Deal.” He said, taking a very deep drag that finished most of the cigarette off.
“I have a feeling you’re a tough kind of girl to find.” He said, stubbing out his cigarette.
“I feel the exact same way about you.” She replied, stubbing out her cigarette.
(c) Anachronic Works 2012