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The Unthinkable Acception
Author's note: This is a short story i wrote for my aunt/mommy. No she didn't marry that kind of guy, but he was in the military. I thought i should write my own version of their romance. I honestly just found out they met at court in their 30s not at school in their teens. Nor did they have a dramatic romance. To bad, I like mines more! Enjoy!
The chime of the bell signifying my entrance did nothing as I went to sit at my usual pale washed out orange seat.
The perky blonde teen who always served me didn’t fail in bringing me my ice tea with no sugar. In fact, she smiled and rushed to write down my order.
I slowly eased into my seat as she came over to me.
“Hi-yah Hannah! Have a good week?” she asked setting down my tea.
I let my brown eyes wander to her face. As per usual, freckles sprinkled here and there across her face. A button nose was drop dead center of her face just above her thin pale lips. Her cheeks were dusted red do to the humidity and her green eyes vibrant as she awaited my reply.
I let a tiny grin curl my lips, “Don’t I always?”
She giggled and moved to sit down when another customer escaping the heat of customer barged in nearly dead. I watched bemused as they exaggeratedly stumbled to a random seat opposite of me.
The blonde teen, whose name was Olivia, sighed and tucked a short strand of blonde hair behind her pierced right ear. She huffed and pouted childishly, “Sorry Hannah! I’ll get his order and come right back to you.”
I smiled wryly, “Go on girly. I’m not going anywhere.”
She nodded and spun around to the other customer plastering a completely fake smile on before straightening her blue skirt and sashaying on.
I stifled a snort and sipped my tea. I took this chance to look around the diner. While they upgraded every year, this place felt more at home no matter what.
No matter what, accepting change is as normal as denying it as a human…
For some, change is as deadly as a bullet through the head.
Other’s it’s as comfortable as sleeping on clouds.
I shifted positions in my chair to face away from the black bar stool and table. As I faced the window, I dryly noted Mr. Lee hanging a dry cleaning sale sign. I made a mental not to ask my neighbor Robert to lend me his car later on.
Next to Mr. Lee, Jennifer Stun was rearranging her flower set up in the outside of her shop store.
That woman is so indecisive… I mused
Hours later, Olivia had brought my favorite clam chowder for my lunch. The man who had stumbled in tired had long been replaced with a brunette and who I presumed to be her boyfriend. They looked no older than high schooler’s as the shared fries, a double stacker, and a chocolate milkshake.
Aw, young love… an idea that can either make or break you.
I let the silver spoon hang in the air as I blew upon it with my dry lips: my shaking hand barely keeping it in the air as I brought it to my lips.
I nearly died when Olivia suddenly slid into the seat across from and blew out a breath of irritation.
I chuckled lowly, “Hn, work to much child?”
Olivia bit her tongue and rolled her eyes, “Sometimes I forget you’re older than me. But yes, these people have no manners!”
I snorted at her statement, “Little girl, you think they have manners? Try living in the 1950’s where everyone had little to none patience and the manners of an old cow. The only one to show me a lick of respect was Tyler-”
Olivia smiled sadly, “Tell me about the man you’re waiting for… please?”
I looked at her a minute. She was giving me the puppy dog stare and lord knows I can’t resist it. I sighed and gave the blonde a small smile, “His name is Tyler Wiggins. He stands tall at a full six feet. He used to play baseball in high school. Oh how he hit home runs as though he were swatting flies… I love how his eyes always light up at the sight of me. I thrilled in it. His brown locks are always combed to perfection.”
I took a moment to reminisce.
I stopped talking to my little sister to face one of the few people who openly spoke to me. Before I could turn around, Adrianna’s tense behavior already alerted me in the fact that the man was not of African or Caribbean descent.
“It’s ok girlie. He doesn’t mean any harm.” I reassured as I patted down the puff she called hair.
“Yes Mr. Wiggin?” I asked formally.
He rolled his eyes, “Way to formal, Hannah. Way to formal.”
I bit my tongue to refrain from reminding him of the fact that I knew my place.
“Do you need something?”
He stood up straighter and smirked, “Let’s go hang out.”
I sighed, “Need I remind you that I can’t be anywhere near a white restaurant, park, restroom, or house?”
He sighed annoyed, “Yeah… right.”
I smiled lightly, “However, you can come to my mom’s restaurant I suppose… that is of course if you don’t mind.”
Tyler smiled and nodded, “Come on. I’ll drive you!”
This time I did roll my eyes, “Come Adrianna. Mr. Wiggin’s gonna give us a ride to mama’s.”
Again she tensed up but nodded, “Ok.”
In ten minutes flat, we were parked outside from Mama’s Restaurant. Mr. Wiggin's stepped out in a flash and rounded the front of the car in a split second. I never ever thought that someone would ever open a door for me. Let alone a white man.
I walked up the steps and held my little sister’s much tinier hand as we opened the door. Inside, everyone turned and waved.
“What’s goin’ on Hannah?”
I smiled and nodded appropriately as I made my way to the counter. Beside me, Carla Stewart, the only white girl ever to willing step foot in my mama’s restaurant with a smile on her face was eating an apple pecan pie.
“Where’s mama?” I asked taking a fork to steal a piece.
She glared at me, “In the back testing the newbie’s.”
I nodded, “Watch Adri for me… and make sure no one hurts Tyler.”
Carla’s eyes widened significantly, “Tyler? As in Wiggins? The boy of your dre-”
“Sshhh.” I hissed venomously.
She giggled, “Oops. Sorry girl.”
I walked around the counter, “Where you goin’ Hannah?”
I turned around and faced Tyler, “Oh, I’m gonna go see mama and bring you back some good food.”
He nodded and looked around the small restaurant. Every black man and woman alike was staring at him curiously.
“You’d a thought they’d been used to seeing your grandma here daily… but then again, Tyler was upper class white while your nana was no richer then I at that time…”
Olivia nodded eagerly yet understandingly, “What next?”
I smiled, “I went to the back and found mama helping a Spanish boy cook some fried chicken…”
“Mama? You almost done?”
She looked up for a split second, “Almost. Here Alejandro, you let it sit for a few minutes and wait for that golden brown…”
I rolled my eyes and grabbed an apron. I grabbed a small bowl of potatoes and carrots. With the skill of a French chef, I peeled, cut, and diced both. Each dropped in their own respective pots. I spun around and gently moved ‘Alejandra’ from the fryer. I placed each chicken leg in there and watched with a smile on my face as I watched the chicken turn crisp.
“Don’t cook with ill intentions. Cook with love because the person eating it will know.”
I took the crispy white meat from the pan and placed it on a plate neatly. I grabbed a spoon and placed some carrots next to it, I dumped the potatoes in a bowl and sprinkled some cheese in it before mashing it. In the end, I had placed two legs, some carrots, and mash potato and gravy on his plate.
“Who’s this for Hannah McGrin-a-lot?” mama asked.
I jumped not realizing I was grinning, “Mr. Wiggins… mama.”
She gave me a knowing grin and pushed me out holding my plate. I walked to the table Tyler, my older brother Robert, and Jason, my brother’s best friend, were sitting at. When they saw me coming, they bumped his shoulders childishly and I rolled my eyes.
“Here.” I said placing the food in front of him. He grinned before licking his lips.
I watched him grab the chicken and eat it as if it were his last meal happily. Content, I stood up to go wait on people were hungry.
“So, that’s it?” Olivia asked interrupting me.
I raised an eyebrow, “No, it’s not. A few hours later, I was walking him to his car when he told me something completely devastating.”
“Hannah. I’m being drafted into the army…”
I stopped walking completely before facing the man before me. I was certain I had stopped breathing all together as jangled his keys.
I heard myself ask, “When?”
“… After graduation.”
I narrowed my eyes, “That’s in two weeks Tyler!”
He smiled, “Finally called me Tyler.”
I groaned, “That doesn’t matter!”
“It does to me. If I’m gonna leave here, I want to hear you say my name. And not my surname.”
I sighed, “Tyler… pleases. Just why?”
“Because it’s my duty. But I need to know something right now Hannah.”
I grabbed the hem of my navy blue skirt in anger, “What?” I gritted out.
I felt his much larger and warmer hands grasp mine. I fought the urge to melt and flinch at the sparks.
“How do you feel about me?”
I coughed in surprise, “Ex-excuse me?”
He lifted my chin gently, “Do you love me?”
I could all but nod as he watched me with his deep brown eyes. They were on fire and I was certain I was going to melt. His brown hair blew in the chilly night breeze as he leaned in to kiss me. And when his lips touched mine, I felt like my world exploded. I closed my eyes in happiness as I slipped away into the bliss of his kiss.
“Six weeks later, I got my first letter from him. He was indeed in the army, just not in the action part. He was part of the air force. He loaded the planes and fired a gun when needed. Nothing serious. But his base was attacked one day. I remember crying for weeks. His mother, a high society woman, ever comforted me. We cried together sometimes. Later on, we received the slip for a man MIA.”
“MIA?” Olivia asked tilting her head.
I smiled, “Missing. In. Action. He was not dead, but we didn’t know where he was. But missing was better than dead any day back then.”
Olivia sighed, “And what about this place?" She asked gesturing to the dinner.
I looked around with her, to the pictures of my great grandma, to myself, and to the current owner, my second oldest daughter, Tasha.
“In one of his very first letters, he promised he would come meet me here if anything ever happened or if he were to ever be discharged early.”
Olivia’s mouth made a ‘o’ shape before something registered in her mind, “So you never waited!? That’s cruel aunty!”
I laughed, What a forgetful child...
“Just know, that today feels like a lucky day.”
The chime went off again but I ignored it.
She pouted childishly before her eyes widened, “Ha-Hannah?”
“Hm?” I replied sipping my tea.
“Is that picture in the back that Tyler guy?”
“Should be. Why darling?”
She hesitantly lifted her pale arm and pointed at something behind me. She had a face as though she had seen a ghost.
I sighed, “I swear, Carla must’ve dropped you a few times as a child…”
I slowly turned around and smiled at what was behind me.
“Welcome home dear.”
“So let me get this straight.” Olivia said at the end of the day as we walked her back to her apartment, “You were discharged early and you already met at the restaurant!?”
Tyler nodded, “That’s right.”
“I can’t believe your mother never told you this story. I mean, you’ve always played with my kids when you were younger. I’d thought you’d realize that Ryan is white, and Alyssa is tan not even caramel…”
She pouted, “I was like 7!”
I rolled my eyes, “Yes, yes…”
“So where have you been then Uncle Tyler?” Olivia asked.
Tyler raised an eyebrow, “Me? I’ve been doing business in Europe. And I had to get Hannah an anniversary gift.”
“It’s your wedding anniversary!?”
“No.” I replied smiling, “It’s the anniversary of the day he came back.”
Olivia smiled widely, “I think I know what I’ll do for my semester project in Creative Writing?”
“A short Story called The Unthinkable Exception.”
“What’s it based on?” Tyler asked highly curious
“You’re unthinkable love with a certain exception.”
“How creative.” I mused.