Sandra’s never been one for cafés or bars or all of the usual places one is supposed to meet other singles. Mostly she just likes the library and sometimes the independent bookstore on the corner of Washington and Vine. At the bookstore she has a favorite chair, plush red and wide, it could probably fit two people, but she likes to curl up in it and begin a novel that she will ultimately buy and live in for hours. If she’s feeling daring, she’ll purchase a mocha latte with whipped cream that slowly melts.
As she approaches the store, she thinks today will be one of those days: a mocha latte day. But first she has to find the book. It’s rainy and cold and she could use some comfort so perhaps a romantic comedy, something to make her feel warm and happy. Book selected, she purchases her coffee, wondering why the clerk, who has known her for as long as the shop’s been open is eyeing her oddly, expectantly.
She mentally shrugs and goes to the back of the store in the far corner where her red chair waits in a secluded alcove. That’s when she sees him. Him. The clown who’d driven his expensive car too fast through the puddle and drenched her. He looks up from his book, considers her briefly, then returns to reading.
“You’re in my chair,” she says softly.
He frowns at her. “Your name isn’t on it, is it?”
“Well, no, but I always sit there.”
“Sit somewhere else today. You can’t expect me to move.”
“I do, actually. I do expect you to move.”
“It isn’t going to happen.”
“Did you know that they’ve done research that shows that people who drive very expensive cars tend to have less empathy for others?”
His eyes narrow at her. “You’re kind of strange.”
“You roared through that puddle in your fancy giant German car and soaked me. The least you can do is move so that I can sit happily in my chair and drink my drink and read my book.”
“Here, lady, it’s all yours. Hopefully your kind of crazy isn’t contagious.”
“You could only wish,” Sandra says, satisfied as he moves to another part of the store.
The chair’s warm. She settles in, opens her book, licks the melting whip, and sighs. The day’s better already.