The check is on the table, paid, the way is clear for departure. The glasses are empty. The Irish singer/songwriter has stopped playing. It’s break time.
She fills the chair. Her blond short hair and red jacket are all of her that I can see. He is sitting across from her at the table for two. He is thin with an angular face. Dirty brown hair worn Beatle’s style, mopish, parted to the side but unlike the Fab Four it is plastered flat against his head. His voice is loud in stark contrast to his companion’s that can not be heard at all. He chats amicably to a young woman that has come to the table to say hello. As she departs, the couple begin their conversation again.
The soft voiced woman has asked something of him that he clearly doesn’t like. His volume mounts. “You’re telling me how to do it.” He gets squirmy in his chair. She becomes even more still in hers. He says “You always have something to say about how I am!” His voice fills the restaurant growing even louder in his realization. She says something quietly in response. “You don’t accept me for who I am! I’m with a woman who doesn’t accept me for who I am. What am I doing here?” He pushes back his chair. Grabs his coat from the back of it. Stands up to say “I’m out of here!” and flees to the exit.
The woman sits stock still as though she has a bull’s eye in the middle of her red jacket. As if by not moving she won’t really be in her present situation. Her confusion, her humiliation, her grief float in the air around her. She remains frozen for a few more moments. Finally, she pushes back her chair to stand. Struggles a little to come to her feet. I look away quickly from her round late 60’s face. I don’t want her to know that I’ve intruded upon her pain. I don’t want her to know that I know that she has been dumped.
She moves to the door with an obvious limp. Following out what she imagines was her last chance at love.