Lunchtime sunlight

Waiting for lunch in a diner in Hope, Canada 2019 © Tanya Clarke

Waiting for lunch in a diner in Hope, Canada 2019 © Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 61

In the half light he didn’t look like himself.

His eyes ached from the sun. He was relieved to be sitting in the dim of the diner. Through the slats of the blinds the sky was sliced into narrow turquoise slivers of colour.

His eyes blinked and watered behind his sunglasses. He sipped on his coffee. Too soon. His lips touched the cup and moved away instantly. Too hot. He rubbed his thumb along the rim wiping the greasy pink lipstick mark away. Nice. Not even clean.

He peeled off the lid from a tiny carton of milk and tipped it into the cup. He pushed his sunglasses up and back off his face gathering hair in their wake.

The skin around his fingertips was rough and peeling, his knuckles red and bruised. He drank the coffee down in one go ignoring the burn down his throat. Without speaking the server poured more into the dirty cup.

When he finally looked up beyond the back of the opposite seat he saw a woman with a dog in her bag. A small dog. Head dressed in a satin pink bow on top of its head. The woman was feeding the dog sugar cubes from the dish on the table. Aware of his look the woman turned his way. She smiled in a way that was unsure of what or who she was looking at. The man didn’t smile. He stared. The woman blinked and rubbed her hands together. Something about the man made her nervous.

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