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Her window. This was hers. It was the only thing she could call her own. The pane gave her comfort, not because it had no evidence of imperfection. It held most of her life in its dark brown borders. Sunday she came and sat by this lonely window. Every Sunday at 9 o’clock in the morning.
The strong smell of coffee filled the booths. The laughter and conversation spread throughout through this local diner. Children laughed while they colored our complementary booklets. Adults talked among themselves, mostly gossip, with a black coffee and a pastry.
Her broad shoulders were intimidating to most. Her straight, coal-black hair fell down just below her shoulders. Her pale skin resembled a sickness, a broken heart. And then, there were her eyes. Her eyes spoke the loudest. Emotion spilled through them, even when her lips made no sound, no movement. Here ocean-blue eyes were once filled with life. Laughter dance across them, they shined. They shined with pride when they spot him walk in. He truly was her pride and joy.
He had her broad shoulders and same blue eyes. His hair was rich a rich dark brown. He always showed his perfect white teeth, filling this old diner with his low heartwarming laugh.
Every Sunday, they sat both sat in the back right corner, next to the dusty old window. They updated each other on their lives. They always had something to talk about, to laugh about.
Their conversations were usually led by randomness and they’re next stop was never known. They did have 2 things that truly never changed. The was she greeted him was always the same.
“My little boy, my little prince”
The irony of that sentence? She had to look up at him. He passed her by at least 5 inches. He was certainly no little boy.
The second thing, was their goodbye. When their breakfast came to an end, they asked for the check. They stood up and tightly hugged each other. They would kiss each other on the cheecks. Walked to the front door and she would ask
“See you Sunday?”
With a nod he would respond, “See you next Sunday.”
They would walk out the door and go their separate ways. Everyday Sunday for more than three years now, had been the same thing. It was their routine. No one could take that from them.
As another Sunday rolled by, I expected my two regular customers to be waiting by their respectful seats. It was 9 o’clock but no one was waiting for me to serve them. 10 o’clock came by, the booth stood empty with no crumbs of food suggesting someone had eaten there. 11 o’clock came by and it was time for my break and they were still not seated. A three year tradition doesn’t just stop out of the blue. For her it didn’t but for him, it came to an abruptly stop. The worst part? Someone took this from them.
I had not seen either of them in 2 months. Until the last Sunday of a cold October morning passed by. She walked in. Her eyes looked down. Her black hair was no longer the dark rich color it once was. Now it was dull and life less. Just like her. She was thinner. A lot thinner. She walked straight to her booth. AS a server, I walked right behind her. Once she arrived I asked her
“would you like anything? Or are you going to wait for your son?”
She looked at me, pain filled her eyes as if I just humiliated her in front of a crowd in the middle of the diner. She looked at me up and down. She did not move her lips, a minute passed by. Two minutes passed by. Three minutes. She finally said
“No. I’ll wait for him,” she looked down “I’ll just have a cup of water please.”
I nodded and walked away.
My friend, “Alice, came right behind as I was entering the kitchen.
“wow. I cant believe she’s here,” Alice said pointing at the lifeless woman.
“me too. I hadn’t seen her for about 2 months,” I said as I filled a large glass with water and ice.
“no, because of her son,” she said with a sigh “what a shame. He was such a good boy.” She finished with a small, frown on her face.
“what are you talking about?” I asked turning towards Alice.
“didn’t you hear?” she asked, her eyes widened in disbelief.
“no. what happened?” I had no idea what she was talking about, her son WAS? That could only mean…
“ Well he was walking his dog at night and a drunk driver did not see him and” she swallowed hard “he was killed right way.” She finished, her stare no longer to my eyes but to the floor.
“That cant be possible” I argued. “she said she would wait for him.”
Alice looked at me confusion, deep in her eyes
“But… he’s dead.” She said slowly
“she doesn’t think so.” I sated
“then she’s crazy.” She concluded before I stepped out of the kitchen.
As I started to walk to her table I looked at her glass of water in my hands. The pieces of ice inside were moving from side to side. Melting by the second, destroying themselves. Just like her.
As times changed, her routine didn’t. Every Sunday she had come since her son’s death. Every time she ordered the something, a cold glass of water, and sat next to the old dusty window pane. The window pane gave her comfort.
One year after his death, she did not come. July 20th, she did not show up. As I stumbled into the booth right in front of the kitchen I saw Alice coming my way. She quickly sat in front of me. Her eyes were filled with shock, her words came out a barely understandable sentence. All the words were mashed together.
“shekilledherself.” She said quickly.
My eyes scrunched up in confusion
”what?” I asked.
She inhaled and exhaled.
“she killed herself. Her husband found her hanging from their staircase yesterday.”
“no…that cant be. She wouldn’t do that. She left her sisters, nieces and nephews and husband behind.” I said in disbelief
“well, she did it. I guess she just couldn’t deal with his death. Some people are just not strong enough to deal with death. What a shame..” she finished with a sigh.
I stood from my seat and walked to the kitchen. I looked at their booth. No crumbs or pieces of food around the table. Just the pane.
They said she gave up on the world. She was too weak to recover from the death of her son. I think she just got tired of waiting. I bet, right now, she and her son are laughing over a cup of coffee, watching life pass by through the dusty old window.