(Linking back to Magpie Tales writing prompt 82. I did not like the picture much so used only the title 'The Revenant', which means 'someone who has returned, especially supposedly from the dead'.)
Sunday, 11 September 2011
I was at my usual table when the bell on the cafe door tinkled and I looked up from doing the crossword and saw a young man enter. I took a sip of coffee, and then glanced at him again. He looked vaguely familiar. He ordered tea and joined a girl at a table by the window. There was just the three of us in the place, and the woman behind the counter who served them and then moved about unobtrusively wiping tables and clearing cups. I looked at the couple bent over their drinks, talking quietly but intently about something. His hand stroked casually down her arm, and I felt a chill run through me that made me look away. I tried to go back to reading my paper but merely stared blankly at the page without seeing the words at all. My heart began to thump fiercely as I looked again and realised that I distinctly recognised the girl's skirt, a rust coloured corduroy that should have been just ordinary, but that flooded my mind with memories of all the places I had worn it. I could not really see her face but her hair fell forward and she kept tucking it back behind her ear with a gesture that was achingly familiar. The boy was more lovely than I remembered, dark intense eyes that focused on her when she talked and looked uncertainly elsewhere when he responded. I watched them openly and they talked on, unaware of my gaze. She drank her tea and watched the rain outside. He leaned forward and pressed his face into her neck for a moment and kissed her. I could almost feel the warmth of his breath and with sick dread remembered the moment and what the day was. As he got up to leave I wanted to stop him but I stifled a cry, it made no difference, they could not have heard me. The bell tinkled again with his departure and a minute later she rose to follow. As she turned and put on her coat she looked across as me and smiled, almost in recognition. I smiled back. She left and I sat on, with only my cold coffee and crumpled paper for comfort.