Meeting Lily Christianson

As usual I sit in the same coffee shop, occupying the same stool, saying the same ‘thank-you’ for the same two-and-oh. Large. $1.79.

But my face is different. My clothes are different. The air about me is different. I feel euphoria in everything, grinning uncontrollably at the pane of glass before me. The world might think I’m crazy, but they’ve never felt how I feel now.

And I feel good.

I don’t even take my laptop out, knowing that I could hardly hope to get anything done in the time I have before she arrives. The time is plenty, the inspiration is bountiful, but I can’t take my eyes off that window.

Time passes. Hours and eons and measurements unfathomable flash by in a matter of seconds. A quick glance down to my Nixon tells me that it’s only been a few minutes, and that each passing face was but a second.

With a reluctant sigh the laptop makes its appearance, released from its holding cell. It whirs to life, flashes bright images across its screen, and finally exudes happy clicks as my fingers find their place.

The words pour through my fingertips, a veritable highway paved between my brain and its, carbon to silicone.

A tap on my shoulder spins me around on the stool, hand already slapping the screen closed.

“Lily,” I breathe, surprised at her sudden presence.

She smiles back and asks where I’d like to go. I reply that it’s up to her, and that anywhere would be fine.

I’m enchanted still by the smile, and I follow it out the door, paper cup in hand.

“Didn’t you want anything, Lily?” I ask, somewhat guiltily. “My treat.”

Shaking her head she explains that, while she’d love a coffee and pastry right about now, she’d prefer to go somewhere else. A change in scenery, she called it. Besides, she wanted to walk for a bit, and I was more than happy to walk with her. Who knows, I might even find her hand clasped in mine at some point.

“So Lily,” I start, but my mind falters. Haven’t we only just met? What do I ask first? I decide to play it safe, start with something familiar. “I see you lots down by the café. Do you live close by?”

Her eyes twinkle, a visible match to her audible laugh. Yes, she says. Down in the apartments on Humboldt.

I nod in recognition as she asks me why I’m always at the café. An addiction to coffee? she jokes.

We share a laugh, and I explain myself properly. “I’m a writer of sorts, and I find the atmosphere there conducive to my work.”

Of course, her next question is about what I write. Columns? Novels? Scripts?

“I started in journalism, for the Colonist.” It’s the local paper, she’ll have heard of it. She might have even read some of my articles. “But I’m trying my pen at a novel. Romance, actually.”

I have her interest now; it shows on her soft face, shines in her eyes.

She’s always held mine. It is her possession solely, my first gift to Lily Christianson.

The End

77 comments about this story Feed