“I am not ready for the cold yet.” this lady says. She hangs her long, fiery red, trench coat on the coat rack next to the door and leans her umbrella up against the wall. The thing is almost as tall as she is! Thomas who is sitting transfixed in his booth can’t seem to take his eyes off the corner of the bar where this woman sits down. Thomas notices Sally taking the woman a coffee and newspaper without prompt. Holding the paper in her right hand while sipping on the coffee from her left hand, Thomas begins to process what he is seeing.
He cannot believe his eyes. He thinks to himself that she must be a professional woman as she is wearing a knee length navy blue pin striped skirt that covers only half of her slender legs. The matching blazer and a white shirt underneath it complete the outfit and completely cover her small frame. Her straight black hair is just below her shoulders. She has dark eyes and lush lips. Thomas runs his eyes down her stocking covered legs to stop at the high healed stilettos she is wearing. She cannot be from around here, Thomas thinks. She must be close to his age and he knew most everyone in this small town that was around his age. One thing was for sure, Thomas needed to meet her. Thomas is suddenly startled by Sally bringing his food to his table.
“Here’s your lunch, Thomas. Enjoy! Is there anything else I can get for you right now?” Sally asks.
“No, thank you. That should be good for now.”
Shaking his head Thomas thinks, ‘I need to get back to reality. How much time do I still have?’ Looking at the clock above the cut out window to the kitchen, he sees it’s just twelve thirty. ‘Oh, good, plenty of time.’ He takes a bite of his potatoes and reaches for his water to wash it down. Looking up while taking a drink, the lady at the corner of the bar catches his eye again. He notices that she has laid the paper down on the counter and is eating a slice of apple pie while looking at the newspaper. Thomas is processing every move she’s making. ‘This isn’t right’ Thomas thinks. ‘Why is she so intriguing to me? If I am this intrigued by this woman, I must introduce myself.’
After sitting there for a moment building up the courage Thomas gets up from his half eaten lunch, grabs his hat from the ledge and walks toward the end of the bar where the woman that has captivated his thoughts through his lunch sits. Sitting down in the circular bar stool next to her, Thomas says, “Excuse me, ma’am.” Folding the paper that she was reading and laying it down on the counter, she places her fork back onto the coaster that held the apple pie she was eating, she turns to look at Thomas, and says, “Yes, sir, what can I help you with?”
Thomas says, “I’m not sure, ma’am, if you noticed, but I was sitting in the booth on the other side of the diner, and I was unable to finish my lunch when I saw you walk in.”
“I did not notice you, as I was busy minding my own business. And how does that become my fault that you could not finish your lunch, sir? She asks.
“I’m sorry”, Thomas says. “First off, how rude of me? Let me introduce myself. My name is Thomas Greenstone.” He extends his right hand out. She reaches to embrace his hand with hers as she replies, “My name is Mable Lanchester,” while shaking his hand lightly.
“So now that we have been introduced, you must tell me why I prevented you from finishing your lunch,” she says with a slight smile on her face.
“Well, ma’am, -- Mable”, Thomas says, “I was sitting there eating my lunch when I heard the bells on the door, and I looked up and saw a huge umbrella being folded”.
“And how does that affect your lunch?” Mable asks.
“The oversized umbrella didn’t, so much, but once the umbrella was folded, I saw the most beautiful woman I have ever seen come out from behind it. It became very distracting to me.”
“Well, Sir, -- Thomas,” Mable says, “I am very flattered that you thought that, but I am not so sure, Sir, if I am the most beautiful woman you have ever seen, but it is nice that you think that.”
“It is true. I was so captivated by your beauty that I could not finish my lunch and had to come over here and tell you in person.”
After a short moment Mable looks down at her watch and looks back up at Thomas and says, “It has been a real pleasure meeting you, Sir, but my lunch break is almost over, and I must get back to the office.”
“Yes, ma’am”, Thomas replies. “I don’t want to keep you, but may I ask you a question?”
“Sure. What is it?” Mable asks in a short voice.
“Do you have lunch here every day, and if so would you like to have lunch with me tomorrow?”
“That is two questions, sir, and I said I would answer only one.”
“Ok.” Thomas says with a confused look on his face.
“I will answer, ‘Yes’”, Mable says as she gets up and reaches for her jacket.
“Yes to which one?” Thomas asks standing up and handing Mable her umbrella.
“Guess you will need to be here tomorrow to know for sure”, she replies smiling as she turns to the door.
“Sally, will you put my lunch and Mr. Greenstone’s lunch on my tab since I ruined it for him?” She asks as she walks out.