I saw her coming from halfway down the block. How could I have missed her, in that ridiculous getup? She wore a bright pink polo shirt, pastel checked pants, and honest-to-god saddle shoes. Not to mention the white leather cap with the pink pom pom on top. Everything about her, as she struggled to walk straight under the weight of her golf clubs, screamed fashion disaster.
But hey, maybe it’s a golf thing.
I’ve never been much into sports myself. I tend to spend my days in little hole-in-the-wall cafes with high-hung blackboards decorated with elaborate menus and intricate seasonal drawings. It’s the only way I’ll drink coffee, to be honest. Can’t stand the stuff in any other milieu.
I’ll admit it. I was mad. That son-of-a-bitch, cheating scumbag. I had spent the car ride drafting, then deleting, a series of furious tweets, most of which culminated in “I will end you for this, Barry!” Why didn’t I call him out right on the tee when I could clearly see two extra golf balls in his pocket? Stupid me. Thought I could beat him anyway, and now I look like god damn fool.
At least my outfit was on point.
As I clambered out of my Uber and lifted my clubs from the open trunk (2 stars for you, buddy), I started to remember that anger is meaningless and one match isn’t important to my larger existence. I mean, it’s not like anybody was going to win a big scholarship or blow up a groundhog or whatever.
I caught my reflection in a glass storefront and stopped to admire my shoes. If you’ve got to lose, at least look good doing it. That’s what my grandmother used to say.
I was so embarrassed for her, I fervently hoped she would pass by without slowing her jaunty, off-kilter gait. Contrary to my wishes, she stopped dead in her tracks and seemed to contemplate coming inside. My eyes darted around the shop. There were no empty tables. In fact, every chair was taken except two – one near that awkward, heavyset girl who passes the days bent over her laptop composing werewolf erotica, and the other at my small table.
The bell over the door rang.
What came next was a comedy of errors. There was no way the girl could thread her way through the shop with that enormous golf club bag on her back. She banged into several patrons before deciding to drop the monstrosity by the front door like a sensible person. Once she joined the line, she stood, arms crossed and mouth agape, staring at the cafe’s extensive menu. It was understandable. Annie’s 9th Street Coffee and Conversation has an exceptional array of fair trade and organic espresso, chai and coffee-free options. And that’s before you get to the bakery case.
I’d never seen so many scones in one place. I don’t consider myself a country girl by any stretch. In fact, I spent a semester in Paris during college, so until now I considered myself a bit of an expert on what constitutes a well-stocked patisserie. The range of baked goods in this little coffee shop was overwhelming to the point of being disgusting. Bigger, better, faster – the ugly American rides again.
Although I will admit, that cinnamon one looked pretty tasty.
I settled on the scone, plus an organic soy latte, and looked around for a place to sit. There weren’t many options. There was an open place next to a girl who was furiously typing on her laptop, which would have been fine with me – the less talking the better – until I noticed she had one bare foot resting on the available chair. Ugh. Two points for you. You can keep that seat for yourself.
The other chair was across from an insufferable hipster.
I don’t mean to judge, but he had the most ridiculous handlebar mustache I’d ever seen, paired with a big bushy beard and horn rimmed glasses. I looked around for a third alternative, but nobody else seemed to be packing up. It was the hipster or bust, and I do mean bust, as the handle of my mug was getting uncomfortably hot in my hand. I dove for the spot.
As I expected, golf girl decided to grace me with her presence. I smiled and greeted her politely, moving my bowler hat from the table to the ledge under the window. She returned this favor by clunking her latte so hard on the table that some of the foam spilled out.
“Sorry,” she stammered, producing paper napkins from parts unknown and attempting in vain to sop up the mess. “The handle was getting hot.”
I waited for her to settle in her seat and take a sip of her latte. Her nose crinkled as the hot espresso hit her tongue. It was rather endearing, to be honest.
“How was the match?” I asked blithely.
I hadn’t expected much of a conversation, which would have suited me fine, but the kid at my table insisted on asking about my golf match. He probably thought himself very clever, working out that I was a golfer. I mean, it really takes a top-notch detective to put that together based only on the clubs, the vintage ladies golf pants, and my amazing abs.
Just kidding about the abs. Except I’m not. They’re pretty great.
“You don’t want to know,” I replied.
“Oh, that good?” he laughed, leaning back in his chair.
I liked his laugh. I liked it in spite of myself.
“My name is Roland,” I said, extending my arm for a handshake. I surprised myself in doing this – it’s not common for me to give my name to just anyone. Certainly not my real name.
She seemed as surprised as I was. She dropped her scone on her plate, and surreptitiously wiped her hand on her pants before taking mine. “Jillian,” she replied.
It’s strange, but at the instant our fingers touched, I felt strongly that we’d known each other before. In fact, I was certain we were old friends. And – I hesitate to say this – but I saw the future. At least it seemed like the future. Or was it the future of another life? I truly couldn’t say.
“Jillian, this may seem rather sudden, but I have an alarming idea…”
About Prompt-A-Day: The rules are simple. Every day, I generate a prompt using Story Shack’s awesome writing prompt generator. Then I set a timer for one hour. At the end of the hour, I post what I’ve got. Sometimes it’s decent. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes I fail at the prompt. Sometimes I do okay. I do not edit, unless I find a typo, because I can’t help fixing those. Feel free to join in and post a link to your writing in the comments.