She lifted her eyes and once again looked at him seated on table 27. He was busily flipping through his magazines. He was a tall man of strong build, had emerald green eyes and straight, black hair tied at the back. He wore a blue blazer and red tie. Although he looked like he was in his early forties, she could’ve sworn he was not a day younger than fifty. Not bad, she thought, smiling to herself. She could feel the butterflies rising in her stomach. She wiped her hands on her apron, stirred the coffee one last time and picking up the tray, walked to him with slow, seductive steps. She was good with men. She knew it. “Your breakfast, sir”, she said, placing the tray before him. She didn’t forget to give him a careless brush of her hand on his arm as she quickly stepped away and pretended that she did not see his stare following her. This would work. She was confident. Pretending as if he didn’t exist, but always keeping an eye on him, she kept moving around, serving the other customers. When he was finally done with his breakfast, she approached him again, “Can I get you anything else, sir?” “Uhm, yes,” he replied, “I’d like to have your number.” “I’ll get you your bill, sir” she said, smiling coyly.
The coffee was a bit more bitter than he would have liked, but otherwise, the food had been good. He placed the money and the waiter’s tip cautiously within the bill book on the table. He knew he was insane, leaving such a huge tip for that gorgeous young waitress. He tried not to show, but he hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her since the moment he had stepped into the place. What he couldn’t put his finger on though, was how she seemed so painfully familiar. Though feeling a bit groggy, probably because of the huge breakfast, he didn’t feel like leaving the place just then. He was counting the money he had left in the bill book one more time, just to get a few more moments there, when a small white card slipped out of it. Eagerly, he grabbed the card, hoping it would be her number. There was no number. Instead, four lines in bold black letters stared back at him. It said,
GOODBYE MR. RENARD.
SORRY YOU COULDN’T RECOGNISE ME.
DAD WOULD’VE BEEN PROUD.
“Goodbye?” he muttered. Suddenly, it hit him. Suddenly, it all fell into place. The familiar waitress, the bitter coffee, the card and the goodbye. Miriam. But before he could scream from the realisation, he collapsed.
The waitress smiled. Such exhilaration. She closed her eyes and whispered, “Daddy, I won.”