“I see,” said Gary.
Gary mindlessly ran his fingers through his hair, not out of nervousness, just the name Harriet Longman wasn’t calling up any memories. She stood there waiting for him to say something.
“Does she know that you’re here?” asked Gary.
“She died last year, cancer,” she said, her voice wavered as she said cancer.
“Oh! Forget it! You don’t remember anything!” tears grew in her eyes and she ran off.
“Wait! Come back!” he called after her. “Jessica!”
She was gone. Gary closed the door.
“What the hell was that?” he said to himself and shook his head.
He found himself looking out the window. Sunlight shone through the grimy windowpane. It felt warm on his face, but the day was bitter. It was winter’s final icy grasp before spring would chase it back to the north.
“Harriet Longman” The name meant nothing. He could remember every woman he ever slept with but not that name.
‘Forget it I have a book to write’” he thought. The inspiration that eluded him wouldn’t be found here. He needed to go for a walk or a drive; it didn’t matter to him as long as he was away from the computer and these four walls.
A few moments later he was out in the car, but this time he left the laptop on the desk. A rare thing; Gary always had it with him, instead a pencil and note pad accompanied him today. In the days when his imagination seemed to flow from the world around him, he wrote endlessly with pencil and paper. But today it was an act of desperation by a man whose creative mind has been blinded from years of staring into the brilliant light of inspiration.
Gary pulled up to a coffee shop, not some big corporate coffee place, rather a one location establishment. “Java the Bean” was the name on the door, he smiled as he walked through. He stomped the snow from his feet and removed his gloves as his eyes adjusted to the darker light inside. The shop was swimming with the aroma of coffee and chocolate. An oak bar lay directly ahead; three patrons sat on the chrome stools in front of it. The back wall had a huge mirror with glass shelves holding bottles of liqueurs for specialty coffees.
“Afternoon,” said the barrister. “What would you like?”
“How about a house coffee, large three cream please,” said Gary.
“Absolutely. Say, were you in here over the last couple days? I hate asking but you look so familiar to me and since I only started here on Monday I think I would remember,” asked the barrister.
Gary shook his head, “No, first time here,” he paid for his coffee and turned to sit at a table. Jessica sat alone in a corner booth, her head held low.