Thursday, April 3, 2014

Café Perte

After far too long I've finally decided to get back in to this blogging nonsense. I'll be posting my writing on here as much as possible, and I'd appreciate it if you gave it a read and left me a comment on which parts you hate. The story below is the first writing competition that I've won outside of school and I'm quite proud of it. Enjoy!

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It’d been a long time since Susan had heard from Daniel. She tried not to be angry, if she’d been in his position she’d have run away too. At least that’s what she tried to convince herself. She spent hours trawling through Newspapers from across the country, searching Facebook, talking to old friends; just trying, hoping that she might get some news about him. After so long, she just wanted to know. Had he found someone he loved? Did he have a family? Was he happy?

Today’s special is the pan-fried sea bass, stewing in a lemon and butter sauce. It comes with roasted new potatoes, a mixed-leaf salad and steamed artichokes. All sourced locally.

The customers usually asked her to speak up. It just made her feel more embarrassed. She tried to project her voice, like Anthony told her to, but every time she opened her mouth, it came out a whisper. Whenever Anthony reminded her to “project Susan, from down here” (usually as an excuse to touch her stomach) she heard her mother mocking her “Speak up dearie. You’re so pathetic. You think any man would want a girl like you?” She could take speech therapy, but what was the use.

I’m afraid we’ve run out of the decaffeinated coffee sir, perhaps I could ask them to make it not as strong?

Initially, she only got the job to consume time. Something temporary while she got herself back on track, a few weeks at most. But as usual, weeks had turned to months, months had turned to years and now here she was; a waitress, a recovering alcoholic, and a failed mother all rolled into one crumbling package. Getting off drink was hard, but not as hard as staying off. Every time she saw a mother and son together, or a tall teenager with short blonde hair, she felt herself being pulled back to the in-between world that alcohol keeps you in. She’d relapsed more times than she could count. She was coming up on 9 months now. It was also coming up to Dan’s birthday.

Table number 6 asked which farm the lamb comes from. Do we know who it’s from or shall I just make something up?

She was 52 now. 12 years too many. Would anyone miss her anyway? Sure work might call, they were the only people she’d had a call from in years. She’d tried to believe she could stay single, stay strong, but it was too hard. She could feel the loneliness consuming her. It was nearly time.

A gentle bell ringing filled the air as the door to the restaurant swung open. Susan ignored it and carried on serving the table she was at. She felt strange, something familiar passed by. And then her heart skipped a beat, she heard him, a voice masculine yet intensely quiet.

Hi, um, I’m sorry but do you know if Sue Taylor works here?”

It’d been a long time since Susan had heard from Daniel.


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