Serial Story: Scene Five
Afternoon turned to evening with steady customers. Busy but not packed. Folks in red and black with coats and scarves to take off before they sat down. Coats and scarves to put back on before they left. And suddenly at 7:28 the diner was empty.
Maria sunk onto a stool. Her hair no longer neat and tidy as tendrils framed her face. She had long discarded her jacket, but she was still tugging on the sleeves, making them cover her wrists.
No dishes on the tables. They had all been cleared, but everything needed a bit of tidying. The fmes from hot grease and grilled hamburgers hung in the air. No songs from the kitchen. “I wonder if Juan is out back taking a break?” And checking the big poster in the window, Maria saw that tonight was the biggest game of the season. Working instead of attending classes every afternoon meant that she didn’t see the pep assemblies and the hoopla at the end of the day on these game days.
Straightening slowly, she rose, and headed to the cash register. Tickets in numbered order. And then . . . the tip jar. Somebody had thrown a ticket in it. “Darn, not very helpful.”Emptying the jar, sorting, moving bills and coins just once.
Her smile, long faded, now had dimples. “Unflipping believable,” she murmured. “Only four dollars and eighty two cents short.”
Feet in flip flops flying across the floor, Maria cranked up the radio. Everything was soon readied for the next round. By 9:30 Maria was tapping her feet again. Homework was done. Back to the waiting game. No headlights. No people.
Ten minutes later, Maria was picking at her fingernails. So close to her goal. And unusually late. Pacing back and forth, steam pouring out of her ears, and finally a noise in the distance.
Louder and louder, siren roaring and lights flashing, the ambulance raced past.
“What do you think, Juan?”
He just shrugged his shoulders. Maria went back to the window, staring down the street.
“Only 40 minutes left.” Face wrinkled. Can smell her fear . . . Staring at the clock again. 9:40 pm.
What do you now know that you didn’t before this scene?
Did your thinking change?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this daily forum each March. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
New learnings/ wonderings:
- What is the sporting event?
- What night of the week is this?
- What do you know about folks in this town?
- What do you know for sure?
- What do you think you know?
- What questions do you have?