Breakfast at the Shelby Cafe

The decrepit couple shuffled their way into the diner, they were dusted with snow and didn’t bother to brush it off. They had to be in their 90’s, it took a solid New York minute to traverse the ten feet from the doorway to their booth.

“Where’s my bag Bill, I TOLD YOU TO BRING MY BAG” she screeched. “Go and get my bag”.

She sat down heavily, Bill didn’t say a word, he’d been here before. He shuffled out again to his Buick, they did need the handicapped parking space. It took a while but Bill came back with her bag, he brought an umbrella too.

“Why didn’t you bring my umbrella, that one is yours. GO BACK AND GET MY UMBRELLA BILL”

His back was towards me so I couldn’t see his face but Bill stood up again and shuffled outside. He brought her umbrella but it wasn’t the right one, she wanted the blue one. He went back out to get that one too. She still hadn’t moved from where she initially sat down, the whole time silently moving her lips.

It was obvious from the people at the other tables that this wasn’t isolated. They seemed embarrassed for Bill but dealt with it with awkward little comments and laughs. They had all been here before too.

As had I.  I knew when she first screeched that something didn’t feel right, something old was making my hair stand up but something not so old too. I couldn’t control the welling inside me, I was trying my hardest not to cry. But then my hardest wasn’t good enough and I was sobbing on my eggs, and everyone was looking at me and I knew that I was the one doing something wrong. Just like always, like forever, just like all the other times. I left my money and fled into the snow.

Sometimes it’s healthier to be cold.




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