I felt like a ghost.
I'd only met him once, but was drawn to him like a moth to flame.
And didn't know why.
It was this author I wanted to see, but I didn't know if he wanted to see me.
He left me an autographed book of his, with his number.
But then I lost that book before I could call.
So I found he came to this diner often, a regular. It was where we first met. And It didn't take much to get his schedule from the waitress.
So now, right time and right place, I wait. Haunting this place.
All dressed up and nowhere else to go... Was I stalking him?
They say differences can attract. And we don't seem to have much in common.While he's struggling, I hit the job-market jackpot. That new job might let me help him.
If he lets me.
I hope so.
He helped me out once. Maybe we can make a deal.
Because now I need his help again.
Years later, I sent her a copy of that story of how we met, and our conversation. All published in a collection of short stories.
Never heard whether she liked it. Not that I expected to...
Because right after that chance meeting in the diner, I was still sure I'd meet her again.
But we both had our own lives. She never called, and so I chalked it up as a nice meeting.
Then I came in again, a week later or so, and there she was. Same seat as before. Same heart-warming smile she'd burned into my memory.
Of course, any guy worth his salt is going to try to cheer up a good-looking girl. Just because girls are even prettier when they smile. And what normal healthy guy doesn't like to sit next to an attractive girl made gorgeous.
She was smart, a quick learner, and curious about life.
And looked like something out of a movie magazine. Gold, wavy hair falling just above the low top of a gold dress, tightly tailored to accent all her positives.
Her voice was trained for singing. Melodic, clear, exact diction.
What she was doing in an L. A. diner in this part of town was a mystery that sucked me in.
Of course, when she told me about that bottle of wine to drown a disappointing election, I could see how Molly's Diner pie would be the perfect cure. Hair of the dog, after a manner.
I always came there on Friday's. Mostly for the pie, but also to see what inspiration I could get from the regulars at Molly's. So I could write all weekend from some chance encounter – and my over-active imagination.
Molly's was what I called it, since she ran the counter while her teen-age daughter tended the grill in back that summer. I think the actual name was the Empire Eatery or something schlocky. Everyone I knew called it Molly's. And she certainly didn't mind.
What I wanted to know is what was on Mary's mind today. Not another bottle of wine or politics, I hoped...