Til Diner Do Us Part

Submitted into Contest #110 in response to: Set your story in a roadside diner.... view prompt


Drama Fiction Romance

“I’ll get the chocolate chip pancakes with a side of bacon, please. Oh, and coffee. Black, please.”

“Anything else for ya, sugar?”

The waitress looked up from her notepad, a sad look in her eyes that I could only assume was pity.

“No, that’s all.”

I gave her a weak smile and passed the menu back to her. 

She stared at me for a moment then started to make her way towards another table who was examining their menus, ready to place their own order.

I glanced out the window.

It had started to rain, which if I recalled correctly was a bad omen for a wedding day.

Or was it a good omen?

I couldn’t remember and I guess it didn’t matter anyway. 

The wedding wasn’t happening. 

I wondered what they were all doing at this moment? 

Were they taking advantage of the fully stocked bar and getting drunk to cope with the awkwardness?

Were the h'orderves still being passed around, people shoving small crackers with fancy cheese and fig spread in their mouths to avoid having to discuss the issue at hand?

Were the groomsmen huddling around the groom, patting his back and offering him their condolences and comfort?

I hadn’t died, but I suppose running away from your own wedding would incite some sort of sympathetic response for the abandoned husband-to-be.

I wasn’t even sure anyone had figured it out yet.

I had excused myself for a “moment alone” and everyone had continued on with the day. 

Hair and makeup were done.

Everyone had their dresses on and were enjoying drinks before the ceremony began. 

I had slipped out the door and walked down the road, stopping at this 60’s diner. 

The teal booths and black and white checkered floor had drawn me in. 

The jukebox in the corner playing Dolly Parton and the neon signs hung everywhere made me stay.

That was about an hour ago now.

The waitress, whose name I now read on her chest was Dorris, set a steaming cup of black coffee down in front of me.

“No cream or sugar, darling?” 

“No, thank you”, I replied back.

“I’ll be back in a few with those pancakes and bacon.”

The coffee was indeed black as night and I was beginning to regret not taking Dorris up on her offer of cream and sugar.

She appeared with the pancakes and two crispy strips of bacon as promised moments later.

The chocolate chips in the pancakes were arranged in a smiley face, two chips for the eyes and 5 chips in a curved line for the mouth. 

“Seemed like you could use a little pick me up, darling. I had Davey cook ‘em up extra special for you.” She smiled and set down a small bowl of extra chocolate chips next to my coffee. “Anything else I can get ya, sugar?”

For a split second, I considered telling Dorris my dirty little secret, but she seemed like a nice lady who didn’t need to be bothered with someone else’s baggage. She had coffee to pour, food to deliver, tables to clean. 

“I should be all set, thank you.”

“Well just holler if ya need me.” She was off to another table.

I sunk my fork into my pancakes, severing the smiley face in half.

There wasn’t anything worth smiling about today. 

I was ruining lives and had stopped for breakfast on my path to destruction.

The syrup slid down my pancakes creating a pool on my plate, the bacon now swimming in it.

Emily loved to dip her bacon in syrup.

It was one of the many things I had picked up from her.

She said it was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. 

“More coffee, hun?” Dorris was at my table again with a hot pot of black coffee gripped in her right hand, a cheeseburger and fries balancing on her left.

I held my almost empty mug up for her. 

“Should have ordered a burger. Looks good.” I took a sip of my coffee, seconds away from asking Dorris for the cream and sugar after all, but I didn’t want to offend her in case she was the one who had brewed the bean water.

“For that gal over there. You two look like you coulda come from the same prom or something. Anyway, holler if ya need me.”

I glanced over at the booth Dorris was headed to with the burger and fries.

A petite woman in a silk green gown was sitting alone, her back to me.

I didn’t need to see her face to know it was my Maid of Honor.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who had snuck out.

“Were the h'orderves that bad?” I said as I slid into the booth across from her.

“It was the bride, actually. Total nightmare,” she said as she tucked a napkin into the front of her dress, a smirk spread across her face.

“Huh, that’s a shame. She seemed like such a cool chick.” I stole a fry from her plate.

“What the hell are you doing here?” She took a bite from her burger, juice dripping from the patty onto her plate.

“I could ask you the same thing.” I stole another fry, dipping it in the burger juice.

“Isaac is shitting himself right now, ya know.” 

She wiped her face with her napkin bib and went in for another bite, a pickle dropping from the back of her burger.

“I can’t do it, Em.” 

She took another bite and the pickle fell onto her plate.

I tossed it into my mouth.

“Cold feet. It’s common. You’ll get over it soon.” 

She wiped her mouth again and took a sip of her soda.

I hated soda, but Emily survived on diet cola.

My fridge had been stocked with it for the past 9 years just for her.

“It's not cold feet, Em.” 

My hands were palpitating with sweat, I could taste blood from where I had been nervously chewing on my lip.

“Isaac is a great guy, Liv.” She shoved the last piece of burger in her mouth.

“Yeah, that’s the problem.” 

“You've never been much of a bad boy type, Olivia. So what’s really the issue with Isaac? Did he do someth”- I cut her off before she could finish her sentence.

“I’m in love with you, Emily.”

September 06, 2021 03:54

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