I chose a seat just a small distance from anyone else in the Starbucks, my seat facing the entrance to the Barnes & Noble where we had agreed to meet. I held a grande Tazo green tea lemonade, sipping it occasionally but really not enjoying it. I tasted too much green tea and not enough lemonade. I’d had better mixes.
I watched people walk by for a little while, curious where their first stop would be. Some went straight for the Starbucks, and then wandered around the bookstore with their coffee. Some bypassed the coffee all together and went straight for the books. Fiction, Mystery, Children’s, Language, Reference, Cook Books, Young Adult. They were a varied lot, each so distinctly different from the other.
But none of them looked like him.
I distracted myself with my phone. I checked Facebook and Twitter, scrolled through a few pins on Pinterest, and checked my bank account against the little notebook I keep track of my money in. I sent text messages to two friends.
I think I’m being stood up.
I finished my iced tea and wished I had my laptop. It seemed like such a nice place to sit and write. That’s what writers do, right? They occupy space in coffee shops, spilling their stories into the keyboards and ordering just enough coffee or tea so they don’t feel guilty about taking up the table.
The security guard kept glancing my way and I wondered if she was curious about my story as much as I was curious about hers.I wonder if she knew that I sat there for an hour before giving up? I checked my text messages. Nothing from him. But she was coming to rescue me.
Tossing my empty cup into the trash, I began to wander the shelves. I picked out three books I wanted and then sat in a corner by the upstairs railing so I could keep watch of the front door.
Except now I wasn’t looking for him. I was looking for her.
She’s my best friend. My BFF. My almost-sister. She’s the one who is always there for me. Always.
She took a night that was supposed to be a first date and turned it into one of our dates. She and I went to dinner together, and then we met her husband and our sons at Chuck E. Cheese. There was only one other mother and son there, so the place was quiet and calmer than I’d seen before. We played Skee-Ball, won tickets, and our boys each got a small rocket launcher.
We said good night, past all of our bedtimes, and I headed home with my boy.
So what if he didn’t show? The night ended up being exactly what I needed.