We Say Hello in the Space Between Moments

In That Haze — No9 (Micro)

Jillian Spiridon

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Photo by Deleece Cook on Unsplash

Gertrude Fine was not the type of woman to wait. There were too many times where she had languished on the sidelines only to see others sprint ahead with the gamut of their good fortune. Well, she was done with that life. Let the other damsels take to the streets. She would have her way whether the world liked it or not.

Then she met Jeremy — a waiter at Bertucci’s whose finest traits involved his smooth voice, his cavalier smile, and the perfect way he had of pouring a bubbly glass of champagne.

The first time Gertrude glimpsed him — on a night much like this, in fact, when the stars were shining overhead in a glimmer of finesse — her heart sped up so much that it was almost as if she could feel its steady thrum in the pulse of her throat. That’s the man I’m going to marry, she thought as her eyes skated down his white dress shirt and the smooth creases of his black pants. She didn’t care that he had a smile for other women — those women whose tips on which he was relying — so she watched with a cat-like smile as she tucked her chin in her hand and surveyed him from the bar.

Then, near closing time, she picked up her empty glass and headed his way. It was easy enough to sidle up beside him and catch him unaware. He looked up, startled, sandy brown hair catching in his eyes before he swept the strands back with a practiced hand.

“Can I help you, miss?” he asked, oblivious, though she knew he had to have some inkling about her if he was calling her a miss of all things.

“Why, yes,” she purred. “You can escort me to the ladies’ room, if you would.”

The waiter frowned, but he didn’t say anything untoward as he gestured for her to follow him. Only when they were outside the golden archway leading into the bathroom did he make a flourish of a bow and say, somewhat sardonically, “Your throne awaits.”

She didn’t appreciate the tone — or the implication, given its rudeness — but a part of her had to laugh. She brought a hand to her mouth and said, quite unabashedly, “You are cheeky, aren’t you?”

A lazy smile came to the waiter’s face. “You can call me Jeremy if you must call me something,” he said.

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