Why the hell had he come out tonight?
He asked himself the question, but he knew the reason. His new apartment was too damn quiet, and he still wasn’t used to cooking for himself. He’d rather spend a few dollars on a cheap meal than spend too much time in a strange kitchen. He still hadn’t figured out how to cook with the electric stove. He missed his gas stove, his old kitchen, and his old house.
He shook his head to clear it. No need to dwell on what he couldn’t change.
He kept his eyes glued to his paper. He wanted to be left alone; he was no good for anyone today, not even a hapless waiter – one who couldn’t manage to keep a water glass filled, apparently.
He sighed to himself. Was he really going to have to school this kid on how to take care of his customers? Shrugging his shoulders, he decided it didn’t matter.
Not too heavy, not too thin, he was solidly built but knew he could stand to lose a few. He had too much to deal with to worry about jumping on a treadmill which just made him feel like a damn hamster, anyway.
He forgot his newspaper for a moment as he sat back, remembering the last time he’d gone to the gym. He had needed to get out of the house. Another argument had come out of nowhere, and the tension in the house had been unbearable. Pounding it out at the gym was legal. What he wanted to do when his ex made him angry wasn’t. What was that they said about a fine line between love and hate?
Now, his life was in chaos, but at least he didn’t have to share space with a woman who made him feel the way she had. After so many years of marriage, it was ending – not badly, now that he’d moved out – but a door had definitely closed.
His piercing blue eyes narrowed as he remembered those first few weeks after he realized his marriage was over. He wasn’t proud that he technically cheated, but fuck it felt good to feel like a man. Always a gentleman, he hated potentially hurting a woman, any woman. But they knew he wasn’t sticking around for a relationship. He had an itch to scratch, and the women he encountered were willing to help out.
Shaking his head again, he tried to clear his mind. He didn’t want to repeat those past few weeks; he’d rather look to the future. In his lighter moments, he realized this was a new adventure, even if it had moments that sucked – like those damn electric burners.
Reaching for his water glass, still empty, he looked around impatiently for the waiter. His eyes rested on a young couple, and he smiled slightly to himself. He remembered those kinds of moments from years ago. He scanned the cafe again, becoming more annoyed – this kid was going to get a piece of his mind if he didn’t hurry the hell up.
His eyes fell on a woman sitting alone across the room. She sat hunched over her phone, staring intently. Short brown hair and pale skin caught his attention. He wondered what was so interesting on her phone and, before he could stop himself, what color her eyes were.
“Sorry about that, Sir! I’ll get you a refill. Sprite?”
“No, it’s water. And I’ll take my check now,” he said sternly. The waiter had already turned away, oblivious to his annoyance.
Tired of being out among people, he was ready to go home. While he waited for his check, he picked up the paper and quickly became engrossed in a story about more unrest in the Middle East.
Moments later he felt someone watching him and looked up, directly into big, brown eyes…
Part 1 (from her perspective)…I’m keeping everyone’s ideas in mind – but we needed to meet him, too…