The Girl in the Diner

July 2, 2008
By Josh Barker, Suffolk, VA

I lean against the wall and take another bite of my sandwich. A pretty girl and a woman I guess to be her mother walk in the door and walk over to the register. She looks over at me and smiles. She’s blonde with hair down to her shoulders. She’s wearing tight jeans and a purple t-shirt. I look away and I can swear I hear her giggle, laughing at me.
I eat the last of my sandwich quickly and set a couple of bucks on the table for the tip. I stand and walk out the door. I can feel her staring at my back the whole way.
“See you.” Says Steve from the behind the counter. I wave back at him without turning around.
I begin to walk down the street. It’s hot today. The streets are almost empty. Nobody wants to step outside. I get about twenty feet before I decide to turn around. I wasn’t really heading anywhere anyway.
I amble back towards the store. I look through the window and see that the girl is sitting with her mother eating an ice cream cone. I duck away from the window before she sees me. I step around the side of the diner and sit down against the wall. I pick up a small pebble and hurl it out into the empty street. It bounces across the pavement and reaches the other side of the street. I brush my hair out of my face and take another quick glance through the window. The girl is sitting at the table writing something in a small book. Her mother is no longer with her. I look back at my feet. I flick a little dust off the cusp of my shoe. Then I hear the bell on the door ring. I look up to see the girl and her mother. The girl looks at me and smiles, then turns with her mother and walks across the street to a small car. I watch her go, and as soon as the car drives down the street I jump back to my feet. I brush the dust off my pants and then I go back into the diner.
“Your back.” Steve says smiling. “If your going to be hanging around any longer could you grab the trash from that table over there, it would really help.”
“Sure.” I say
I grab the trash off the girl’s table and throw it away.
“So what have you been doing this summer?” Steve asks
“Not much.” I say grabbing the tip. It’s two dollars, and under it is a slip of paper.
“You need to get a job.”
“Maybe.” I reply slipping the paper out from under the pile of quarters.
“Keep the money. You need it more then me without a job.”
“Thanks.” I reply focusing more on the note.
The outside reads “To the guy sitting on the ground outside”. I flip it open. It reads.
Call me sometime. My number is 709-1991. Please call; I would love to meet you.
I flip the paper closed and pocket the two dollars.
“You alright?” Steve asks leaning into my view.
“Sure.” I say tossing the paper into the trashcan after the trash.
“You need a ride home. That why your sitting around here?”
“No, I’m just bored.”
“Well you can’t just stay here, I have work to do.”
“Alright.” I say turning to walk out the door. My chest is beginning to hurt, to throb almost. I wave back at Steve and step back out into the street.
I walk down the street at a slow pace. The pain in my chest is throbbing, and I feel like I may have to sit back down. I stop still for a minute, then continue walking.

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