Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Microstory 27: One Table

Ben and Mark walked into the restaurant around the same time. They were both exhausted from working a few hours of overtime, neither of them wanted to have to go somewhere else, and the place was packed. The host smiled at them and asked if they needed a table for two. When Mark told him that they weren’t together, the host informed them that it would be a forty-five minute wait for one of them. That was too much, but it was a busy night. If they wanted to avoid fast food or leftovers, it would be the same story anywhere. Ben offered to play rock-paper-scissors for it, but the waitress jumped in and suggested that they just sit together. After a few awkward half-exchanges, they both finally agreed to the arrangement. The two sat at their one table quietly while looking over the menus, and the thermostat must have been turned up too high. After ordering, Mark sighed and announced that the whole dinner would be uncomfortable unless they found something they had in common. So, they basically turned the night into a date; asking each other about their work, hobbies, and friends. Two hours in, the waitress walked over to note that several tables had opened up. Ben and Mark made more half-exchanges, making up nonsense about the other tables being too far from the window, and not wanting to deal with moving their plates. After dinner, they went for a walk by the river in the freezing cold, each one trying to one-up the other with tales of their crazy ex-girlfriends. Three years later, Ben and Mark were married.

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