"Are you kidding me! I thought he would never leave," I yelled as the elderly-americano-man had finally said goodnight and left and I locked the door behind him. It was twenty-five minutes to eleven and I was mercilessly exhausted. We had decided to close the place early, as the cold rain seemed to keep people from going out tonight.
Marc peaked out at me from behind the espresso machine, which was making strange noises as it was cleaning itself. Hearing my annoyed tone he let out a laugh, "his story about that trip to Amsterdam was pretty interesting... compared to the rest at least!"
Quickly we cleaned out the place in silence both eager to get home. I didn't mind it though, as my head was about to explode from wondering who could possibly be the owner. To my dismay I hadn't gotten a chance to look at it again since I had found it.
Watching Marc locking up the coffee store, I exhaled in the night staring cross eyed at my visible breath hanging in the air. It had stopped raining luckily, but this evening was humid and with a low temperature unfortunately. Tugging my nose deeper into my scarf I watched as Marc stuffed his hands deep into his pockets, "you got more shifts this week?"
"Yeah," I sighed not really in the mood to think about work in this state. All I wanted to think about was my bed - I had come to the theory - nearly conclusion even-, that the journal was owned by an old man who had forgotten it as he suffered from Alzheimer's. He had two grandchildren and he lived his entire life traveling the world, which was the reason he kept a journal - so he could write down all his memories before it was too late. I was absolutely certain this man - for safety - had noted his name and address somewhere in the book. That seemed most likely.
Discovering I had two more shifts this week with Marc cheered me up a little, before he waved goodbye to me stalking down the rain wet street with a grin. I beamed tiredly back at him and when he was out of sight I was completely alone. Occasionally a car would drive by, the headlights up lighting the shop windows and reflecting in the puddles as they passed. I walked the usual road to the busstop - there were 5 minutes till the next night bus would be here, so I had plenty time.
As I arrived to the busstop there were exactly 2 minutes left. Sighing I could feel the chilling autumn air creep in under my jacket and further under my shirt, creating chills on my skin. Leaning against the bus signpost my eyes wandered over those small squares in the building on the other side of the road. But I couldn't concentrate on trying to imagine who lived in there as usual. Instead I fished out the journal.
Opening it again carefully I held my breath, grateful of the street light hanging high over my head illuminating the inked words. With my fingers numb from the cold I flickered through the pages stopping at one, which caught my interest. It was a completely blank page except for some lines forming a perfect square in the very middle. The ink was pitch black and the writing seemed careful, elegant and precise, as each letter had been written with near perfection.
To know even one life
has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
r.w.e. 1021994. 2092013
My eyes ran over the wary yet mindful words again and again as if I could read the name of the owner between the lines of this. I wondered if he had come up with this himself? I had figured the owner had to be a male - something just told me the writer of this was a male. The way the letters were slightly uneven and rapidly scribbled through most of the pages ...
My head snapped up at the sound of a tire splashing in a dirty rain puddle and a sharp light illuminated me. It felt as if I was standing in the spotlight on a scene. I narrowed my eyes looking behind me the light seeing the faint yellow neon digits of the bus. Eager to get inside the warmth I once again slipped the journal into my bag.
Scoffing into one of the window spots, I settled in the plastic seat putting my feet up resting them on the seat infront of mine. R.w.e. Maybe it was quote? What did the digits represent?
The awfully bright fluorescent lights quickly gave me a headache, while the thoughts kept spinning chaotically around in my head. Shutting my eyes, I held the bridge of my nose with two fingers in a try to ease the pain, while imagining crawling into my bed. Wrapping the clean white duvet around me...
"Hey! Wait!" Just as the doors of the bus closed, I heard someone yell from outside. I looked up confused, as a dark tall figure outside started hammering on the glass of the bus door.