by Joseph Grant

In the still echoes of a late afternoon, distant tawny sunlight reached through the wooden blinds into the cafe; caressing and warming those nearest the windows, while silhouetting those seated in corner portraits of somber cerulean shadows; a portent to the gathering night. The cafe hummed with the ghostly din of its non-descript patrons, but no one truly existed until in she walked and all eyes, male and female, turned almost in an obligatory way to catch the sensual dance of her entrance. To look like this had been a virtual birthright of hers from her mother's side and while it had gotten her through countless doors much of her young life, including this one, where she was once again, the most-stunning person in the room, it would do nothing for her in the long run or for her self-esteem and there were many doors from which she should have stayed away but did not. Deflecting or possibly not even caring about the leering of the diners around her or the impending arguments those hungering looks would later boil over into nor the eventual verbal leftovers for days to come; she smiled at Jack and grabbed and squeezed his hand; telling him, "It's good to see you again, Jack, I've really missed you." Even though he had known her for years, the authenticity of her tone caught Jack off-guard, but not as much as the epiphany of luminous golden flecks that he became suddenly aware of dappling her warm, brown eyes, as the sunlight reflected off the back pressed-copper wall, and for the first time he was taken aback at how with her curly blonde hair, full lips and her overly-blessed Mexican curves, she was the embodiment of breathtaking radiance. After various brief conversations and a drink or two she suddenly exclaimed, "I gotta go, I hate it when guys just eye-fuck me," and stood up, her mind already obfuscated and elsewhere and it suddenly struck Jack how much she had the same sensuality Marilyn Monroe had and possessed the same loneliness by never allowing herself to get very close to anyone except all the wrong guys and he realized this was her method, so he watched her leave out the door, the very same way she had walked in with all eyes following her and felt them all suddenly descend upon him and when he paid the bill for the drinks, he thought not of how she had broken many hearts, for she had, but of how one day she will break his in a most comparatively obscure way; the heartbreak of never being able to have her, he mused, playing with his ring as he walked out of the restaurant alone into the moonlight, still hungry.


Joseph Grant, author of The Devil You Say, has been published in over 55 literary reviews and e-zines, such as Byline, New Authors Journal, Howling Moon Press, Hack Writers, New Online Review, Indite Circle and Cerebral Catalyst.