How curious it was that the same country and the same city that had brought us together for the first time was also bringing us together a second one.
I was having a really hot cappuccino on the sofa next to the window on the upper floor of the cafe when I saw him enter. I turned my face and pretended that I had not seen him, but it didn’t work. He had seen me as well and far from ignoring me, he approached me.
“Hey, it’s been so long!” I had no choice but to put on a good face and answer him.
He stared at me, but I didn’t move, I didn’t get up to say hello with two kisses as I used to do, nor stretch out an arm to shake his hand in a more formal greeting. I stood there with both hands around my cappuccino and with my eyes fixed on his.
“Can I sit?” He said looking away.
“Sure.” I said after a sip, it was not me he had to ask permission.
“And how’s everything going? I have not heard from you for a long time.”
If you don’t know anything about me, it’s because you cut all possible relationship without giving any further explanation, I thought.
“I am doing great” Another smile and another sip of coffee.
“What brings you back here?”
“I come whenever I need some inspiration. What about you?”
“Memories” He said after a long sigh.
“Mm” Another sip of coffee with the lost glance in the outside.
At last silence again. The murmur of the bar filled my ears making me feel as if I was alone again, but it didn’t last long.
“You are even more beautiful than before.”
“Thank you!” Another smile while I fixed my hair, I wasn’t expecting that.
I made a little time stirring the coffee, weighing whether I wanted to lead the conversation that way or not. What the hell! It was him who started this uncomfortable conversation.
“How are you doing with…? What was the girl’s name? ” I pretended not to remember her “Well, with your partner.”
“We’re fine.” He kept thinking “Well … Have you ever thought what would have happened if it didn’t end like that?”
“Every day, we were so alike …” He said after a sigh.
“I thought about it once and I realized that I could never have been happy. “
“Because you and I were radically opposed, like day and night.” I could see the confusion on his face. “You were only a reflection of what you wanted to be and that reflection was like me. You did it well, you fooled me.”
“I do not get it.”
“Your problem, my dear, is that you are afraid. Afraid of living, afraid of acting without knowing what may happen, afraid of the consequences of your actions. That fear binds you with chains and doesn’t let you be free. I could have never been happy with you because I don’t have those fears. Life is for living and that is what I do. I need someone who can jump with me into the void, not someone to tie me to the ground with their chains. “
He turned his eyes away and silence reigned in the conversation once more. My coffee was over.
“Well, em…” He stammered after a few minutes of reflection. “So, do you still hate me?”
“Hate you? No. Hate is a very strong emotion and all the strong emotions I felt for you disappeared long ago.”
I got up from the table and put on my jacket. Without coffee there was nothing to hold me there with him.
“I have to go. It’s been a pleasure to talk to you, let’s see if we can meet again before you leave.”
I did not wait for his answer nor shake his hand as a farewell. I just smiled at him one last time and turned around to leave. I left the cafe without looking back even once, feeling his gaze on my back.
Meetings in a cafe are a series of short tales that talk about imaginary conversations that could have any person in any cafe of any city.
Is there something personal in them? Well of course, there’s something personal in everting a writer writes. However, it might not be as obvious as it seems to be beforehand.
Are them conversations I’d like to have? It depends. Some of the are, some other I’d rather die.
Are they real or just fiction Some of them come from my imagination, but some other came to me while driving tea elsewhere by listening to other’s conversations (don’t judge me too hard for eavesdropping).
How many will I write? Who knows! Maybe thousands, maybe just a couple of them, however, my idea is to write one of them per month.
Anyway, I hope you like them. I’d like to know whether you’ve felt identified in some of them or if there is someone with who you’d want to have a similar conversation.