55 Minutes on Thursday

Today’s post is shared with permission from the author, Joyce Busic Davis. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

It’s Thursday and I cannot sit at my desk for one more lunch this week.  So, off I go to Panera Bread. I deliberately left earlier than normal lunch time because the crowd there makes it so difficult to sit back and enjoy lunch.  I am taking a book I am reading and these few minutes are for ME – no one but – ME.

I place my order and spy a small empty booth and make a bee-line for it.  Before I get there the hand-held pager tells me my lunch is served. I go to the counter to pick it up and then stop by the beverage area for some Sweet Tea and lemon.  All seems well in my little world.

I pass a couple in the small booth adjacent to mine.  He is strikingly handsome and she is lovely as well. I smell his cologne and it is expensive, not overpowering but certainly intoxicating.  I want to know about him/them. He is foreign – his English is good, but a hint of an accent. His clothes are impeccable and also expensive. His hands look soft and his nails are manicured. There is a Rolex watch and the diamond on his little finger is sparkling.   They are holding hands across the table. I become every old gossipy woman in my hometown I have ever known. I MUST know more.  

His tone is sincere.  I cannot hear every word yet I certainly tried.   I was totally taken with this couple. In voices low and intimate, I heard their words like. 

“ I don’t want to go, my Father has called for me.  

I love you so much and I know your heart is breaking”. 

 Her head is bowed and I can feel her pain.  She softly cries, she thought she would be better today.  On her left hand is a beautiful engagement ring and she touches it tenderly as they speak.  

His hair is thinning and his complexion is flawless.  His eyes are black and he has a thin pencil moustache.  His teeth are perfect as he smiles at her with sincerity I can feel in my being.  I am worried about myself. I forget the lovely lunch in front of me. I am overcome with emotion.  I cannot explain it.

The conversation deepens and by now I am almost melting through the booth to hear more.  Gosh, where are my super powers? Why can’t I have built in radar? And of all things, the table close to them is filling up with students and lots of laughter.  I want everyone to shut up and allow them this private moment.

He continues to hold her hand and I hear low and sweet laughter.  He promises he will return to her as soon as his business is complete.  She says she understands but is still crying. An employee walks by to offer samples of a new product and they politely refuse.  I refuse too and am hopeful the employee will move away quickly.

They pick at their lunches and there are more tears from both of them.  More private and sweet words. They walk down memory lane and I secretly journey with them.  They reminisce about last weekend on the river. They laugh and I find myself smiling as well.

The time for me to leave is drawing near.  I look up and they are leaving. He offers his hand to her to assist her to stand.  I wanted to stand as well and be swept away with them.

As they were walking toward the door, I wondered what is ahead for both of them.

I quickly finish my lunch and as I make my way to my car, I see them in the parking lot.  They are three cars away from me. I walk in slow motion to see if I can hear or see more.  He is holding her tight and now her tears are not holding back. She is sobbing. He kisses the tears on her cheeks and they embrace.  He is holding her as I prepare to leave. By the time I near them heading for the exit, he is passionately kissing her. You can feel the emotion and the power.  They are in love.

I am finally on my way back to work and of course, back to reality.   For 55 minutes on Thursday, I was taken to somewhere else. I was an intruder into other people’s lives.  My imagination was untamed. In my mind’s eye, this could have been Egyptian Royalty being summoned to his homeland to conduct family business.  His demeanor certainly exuded more than someone stopping off for lunch and to break his lover’s heart. For 55 minutes on Thursday, I am privy to a beautiful love story – even if I am the trespasser in this chronicle. 

Photographs provided Rob Long, Bekir Donmez, Toa Heftiba and Bailey Mahon on unsplash.com

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