The sound of the streets full of cars and people meant he was in the right place. He had left her. He had left that summer scene. There was no going back. How could she possibly think he would ever come back. He’d never intended to stay. He’d never intended to secure a life anywhere but with himself.
His world was complete. He was walking away from everyone and everything. Like there hadn’t been anyone who would ask for anything more.
He stood in the middle of traffic, stared up and down the streets that surrounded him. Took in the smells of food and caffeine. They were all waking up. He had been up for a while. He strode across the busy streets and contemplated the strangers. He liked feeling alone. He liked not knowing anyone else. He liked being capable of doing anything. He walked across the busy street and entered the first cafe he came across.
Inside there was a young girl. She smiled at him. He smiled back. They stared at each other and she nodded. She pointed to a table at the side of the window and he walked over and sat down. The air was sweet. The air smelt of freshly baked croissants. The air was full of everything that came with summer. As soon as he sat down, he looked up and stared back at the girl who stood behind the bar. She was staring back at him. Like something had happened before. They both knew what each other was thinking. They both knew she didn’t know what to say. They both knew he didn’t know what to say. He quickly turned and looked out to the busy street. There were people everywhere but somehow this time he felt suddenly all alone. He liked being alone. He didn’t like feeling alone. He always knew she would come running. He always knew she’d ask him to pick her up. But that was gone now. Why did he still want that? Why did he still anticipate something more to happen when the only thing he’d been trying to do for the past four years was walk away from his heart. Walk away from his mind. Walk away from everything he knew. He’d done it. Nearly.
He was in the city. The place where people go. The place where you can begin again. The place where you don’t have to be who you were before. The place where he wasn’t going to be the man he was. The place where this was going to be different this time.
The girl was still staring at him when he turned around. She made a slight smile and looked down. He stood up to go up and order and as soon as she heard his chair move she looked up again and turned around to go to his table.
“Hi” she said with a stern face. He looked surprised at how seriously she was looking at him. He said “Hi” back and looked down at the little menu that was staring back at him. He hadn’t even thought about what he wanted and his hands started sweating. “I’ll have a coffee..” “Ok, anything else?” she asked while staring down at his twitching hands. “Just a cappuccino please” and he looked up and stared into her eyes. “Ok” She mumbled back while turning around to go back to the counter. “Oh sorry, can I have some chocolate cake, do you have chocolate cake?”. She quickly turned around almost stumbling on the next door table and answered as quickly as she could “No, no I don’t. We have fresh croissants right now”. “Ok, one of those” he answered back. She turned around slowly and just as she started her first footstep back to the bar a shy “Thank you!” came from the table she had just been staring at. She breathed and continued walking.