The Empty Booth

October 14, 2008
By Emilee Larkin, Flower Mound, TX

Cecelia hunched lower in the empty booth. Resolutely contemplating her glass of water. The ice cubes in it caught the light, beautiful sparkles dancing on the table top. I wish I sparkled, she thought bitterly to herself.
The door to the small restaurant suddenly banged open, cold snow blowing in a group of people. And at the middle of the group, surrounded by his friends was Todd. He was THE most handsome guy ever, the best athlete ever, and the star football player in the whole school. Cecelia’s eyes flicked up to the group as they moved by, somehow connecting with His.
Her mind slowed, her body froze. Her eyes instantly dropped and her face turned, her mouse brown hair falling over one shoulder to shield it. Todd smiled at her antics then moved on to the furthest booth with his friends, his mind still contemplating that look in her eyes. Cecelia died a little inside watching the girls in the group hand on him, and wished herself the ability to do that too. But no god or genie appeared to grant her wish and no miracle occurred inside herself. She once again crept lower in the seat.
The waitress finally came with her food. Placing it before her, she asked, “Can I get ya anything else, hun?”
Cecelia just smiled a slight smile and shook her head, eyes never meeting the woman’s. Cecelia just muttered, “Thank you.” Her voice so low it might have been the wind in the dead leaves, barely hanging on. Her eyes strayed to the other side of the booth; the empty side. It had never been filled. Her parents had died when she was young, and the foster family never cared. The empty booth was her constant companion, following her wherever she went; the library, the dorm, the bus, the restaurants; everywhere. Oh how she wished she had someone, anyone to sit there, just for a minute. Not even that, a moment, an instant. Just someone who would tell her she really mattered, that she was someone.
So hard was she contemplating this inner desire, that she jumped a foot, when Todd slid into the booth across from her and said, “Hey, you’re in my biology class, aren’t you? Your names....Cecelia right?”

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