This is a piece I wrote a while back, sort of a moment captured, which I once imagined would be the beginning or middle of a story.
She flaunted her flaws unapologetically. She wore no make up, save a touch of her usual red lipstick and the smudges of last night’s kohl below her eyes. Absentminded, She fingered the rim of her cup, the foam long since having cleared.
The café was rarely more than a third full just past 10 am on a weekday morning, and the peace was welcoming. Perks of working irregular hours, she thought, before catching herself. Perks of not working at all, she corrected herself bitterly.
She stared at the empty chair across from her. It was unoccupied, as it often was, but today she felt the emptiness. Biting the inside of her cheek, she tried to clear the vague displeasure from her mind. It brought an irksome discomfort; though the solitude that she embraced once before had returned abruptly, it wasn’t wholly unwelcome.
So caught up was she in the nothingness of her current existence, that she didn’t notice the waiter approaching her, until there was a clink of china as he set her breakfast gingerly down before her.
With one sweeping movement, she transferred her hair from the nape of her neck to the side, the tumble of curls obscuring her face from the window she sat adjacent to. Giving her food a sideways glance, she knew that despite her sour mood, she was ravenous.