Flash Fiction | Weight of wait

On September 28, 2009 by Aimee

Weight of wait

Cate could feel the little drops that had made it under the umbrella work their way through the strands of her hair then slither across her scalp. With each she shivered and shook her head to dislodge them of their path.

The droplets weren’t her biggest problem.

He was.

Late as usual, but this time more than expected. Ten minutes had been an irritant, but acceptable. Fifteen had drawn her attention away. This time it was pushing thirty.

As Cate sat at the table, a lone glass of Riesling impatiently spun between her fingertips, she wondered why she continued to let his needs overpower her own.

She’d had plans, hadn’t she? Instead, she’d fought the battle of nature that raged outside to meet him.

“Seven. Our favorite place.” He’d commanded though she’d heard the softness and love he never professed in so many words.

“Sure. See you then.” She’d responded almost too eagerly. She should have made up an excuse. Another appointment or activity. He’d have known though. What more did she do but wait for him?

Cate stared at the cylindrical glass. The woman she’d become reflected in it, marred only by the movement of the straw colored liquid.

“Stupid.” She whispered to no one.

The light clink and clang from the bell over the door — for the eighth time since she’d arrived — drew her attention and a brief moment of hope. She watched as a couple entered nearly drenched, falling into each other with smiles and an aura of happiness about them.

She’d had that once. Before. Now it was nothing but a waiting game. Meet me. Wait for me. Don’t leave until I get there. Over and over she’d heard it. Repeatedly she’d done exactly as asked.

“Can I get you another glass, madame?” Her waiter didn’t acknowledge the empty seat. Was he used to single women sitting in his restaurant?

“Yes, please.”

Rain lashed at the windows, pelted it with a fury that would have mirrored her own if she hadn’t moved past anger into misery.
The tears that threatened could spill in secret if she stepped outside. She might just do that. Let the rain take away her pain, her ignorance, renew her soul. She’d heard that it could — that it did.

In two long gulps, Cate downed her wine prepared to drown her sorrows if not herself.

Done. She was done being the nice one. The one who always waited, who capitulated to the demands of others, no matter how kind or loving those appeals were.

In a rush of adrenaline, Cate, threw a twenty on the table, grabbed her bag, left her umbrella and coat and stormed her way to the door.

She knew others would see and watch — curious perhaps. She didn’t care.

As Cate pulled the door open, he stepped in, a dozen blood red roses within his left hand, his eyes wide. Perhaps he finally understood what she herself had just decided?

Without a word Cate barreled past him, out into the downpour.

“Cate?” He called over the din of the pounding rain.

She ignored him for the very first time. She walked straight to the center of the road, spread her arms wide and let the rain beat down upon her, drench her hair. No single droplets would bother her this time.

“Cate?” He yelled louder. “Cate! Come in. You’ll drown out there.”

She ignored him. Instead, she twirled, smiled, laughed and let her hair fly. Manic, surely, but free.