Breaks

Life, is it over yet? 20 minutes into coffee and she looking at me like she’s wants to fuck or fight. I can’t tell which. I haven’t been able to in a while. And this might be why she hates me. One of many reasons, I suppose.

My book is closed and laid out in front of me on the table. I glance down at it every few minutes to check it’s still there. I would have hoped to had finished it during this lunch break if she hadn’t spotted me. Four hundred and twenty three pages down and I’m itching to read more. I hate finishing on an odd page number. I sat in the corner with my large latte trying to avoid the company of another person.

So here she is. Her hair scrunched up into a dirty blonde fist, mouth pinched and eyes cold grey. Should I just leave? I mean that’s what I usually do, right? Withdraw in cowardice. 

“I don’t hate you, James.” Oh, well that’s a relief. 

“You don’t?” I look down. The book is still there. Thank god. 

“No, but I still don’t think we should be together.” She gives me a half-smile. She’s relieved to no longer be a part of my life anymore. “I mean, you don’t seem to know what I want anymore.”

I nod in agreement. It disguises another glance at my book. 

“Or listen.” Her words were familiar. As though I have heard them before.  

I twist my mouth and nod in a way that makes it look like I’m listening.

“You never gave me the time.” She looks exhausted with me. Am I really this draining? I’m not perfect, but I’m no 9-5 shift either. 

“It’s 1.23pm.” I say. 

“That’s not what I meant.” Another sigh. I mean, of course I’m not making this easy, but Christ, just get it over with. This is clearly hard work for you. “So what do you think?” 

“I suppose it’s probably for the best.” Break ups make me talk in cliches. “Maybe you deserve someone better than me.”

“Maybe.” She stands up, straightens her skirt and leaves. Actually, just before leaving she did ask if my book was worth the read as she was looking something “new to get her teeth into”. I lied and said no.

And she is gone. I sit alone shaking my head to myself. Coffee must be ice-cold by now. Waste of money. A waitress appears at the table and I order another. 25 minutes of my lunch break left. The book opens and suddenly I’m over it. Completely over it. It was only a  £2.50 latte. Over it. 

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