Act III, Scene III
The next day she had another shift at the diner and, in a strange way, she was almost glad for it. Sure, being on your feet for a full eight hour, smiling at annoying customers that you would rather choke, and being whistled at as if you are a dog can be rather exhausting, but so was apartment hunting it turned out. At least here she had routine, here she safety, here she could turn of her mind and go on auto-pilot, here…
The bell above the door rang and Anna turned to find a tall man had entered the diner, dressed in a dark hoody, wide jeans and wearing a black baseball cap and sunglasses that covered most of his face. Rolling her eyes, she made her way over to his booth.
‘What are you doing here, Tom?’
‘You don’t sound very happy to see me.’
‘I know. I would like some more of those waffles that we got last time. Oh and an espresso – make it a double. Oh and maybe some ice cream… Shouldn’t you write that down?’
‘I’ve got it,’ she said, tapping her left index finger to her temple, ‘University degree, remember. So why are you here in Santa Barbara?’
‘To see you of course,’ Tom said honestly, sounding utterly apologetic. ‘Don’t tell me you didn’t miss me.’
‘I kept busy; I haven’t had time to miss you,’ Anna lied almost reflexively. When had she started to hide her emotions and weaknesses from Tom? ‘A lot has happened since you left,’ she tried again, biting her lip as she forced the next words out. ‘Tell you what, I get off at seven. If you hang around until then, we can go get something to eat together and I’ll tell you all about it. Sounds good?’
‘Like a date?’ He inquired, voice oh so innocent while an eyebrow quirked cockily behind his sunglasses.
‘I’ll go get your waffles,’ and without another look, Anna disappeared into the kitchen. She did not return to his table for the remainder of the afternoon.