Declan is an aspiring novelist, but his routine café visits end up giving him more than just inspiration.
I’ve been here an hour now.
Waiting for her; waiting for Lily Christianson.
The mug sits empty by my hand, drained of the steaming life it once possessed. Some time ago it vented ribbons of steam, now dissipated into the chatter about me. Happy banter. Muffled words. Voices tucked behind smiling faces. The mug has no such façade; it is cold, empty, and alone.
I feel much the same way.
I tap idly at my laptop, keys a clitter-clack as my mind wanders. Thinking of her is so easy, unlike so many things in this world. My memories of her are vivid but incomplete, vibrant visions lacking only in their temporary existence.
She walked by here the other day, laden with bags declaring her loyalties. The sky was cast over, but she shone with radiance nonetheless. I couldn’t have dreamed a higher perfection, couldn’t have written a more fitting ambiance.
She glanced into the café as she passed, eyes trickling over the sugared delights tucked between papers in glass cases. I was convinced she was stealing a glance at me, though, my self-centrism booming and boasting.
After all, she passed by every day, sometimes multiple times in the day, always when I was there, though I admittedly have no way of knowing contrary. It intrigued me, as many things do: birds and jets flying south in winter; red being the icon of anger, hate, and love. But here was a puzzle of a different sort, a puzzle that pulled at strings long forgotten. Tuning was called for, but how does one scope the sound of a heart? Mountains and ravines in endless symmetry do little to describe.
So I watch.
I will her to sway by my window, content in capturing a mere moment of her passing. I will her to bloom before me, a flower matched by none but her name.
I chuckle to myself, happy again for a moment.
Her name flows off my tongue, released with a power. I don't know how it came to me exactly, but it bears a feeling of rightness that no other name could hope to muster.
I am broken from my reverie by silence, my constant companion of sound suddenly absent. My hands hang poised over the keys, but refuse to type a word. I search the screen and see it full, another cluster of phrases breathed to screen-lit life.
Folding the top down, I seal them in forever, locked away to be looked over as I please.
My eyes are raised again to my window, searching and scanning for sought-after sights.
Sights of Lily Christianson.