The poor guy needed a distraction, so I approached table eleven with my most reassuring smile. “Would you like to put in an order for an appetizer while you wait?”

“What? Uh, no. Thanks.”

“Well hang in there,” I offered. “And just flag me down if you need anything.”

A vacant nod. Eyes drifted back to his phone. A frown. He’d been waiting nearly 45 minutes for his date. I wondered what it was like to be that infatuated.

A gust of wintry air entered the restaurant. At the door, a bright, rosy-cheeked woman scanned the room. I felt a strong surge of relief when this newcomer scurried directly for table eleven.

I gave them a few minutes to get settled, then once more approached the table. The girl was chatty and upbeat, asking a whole stream of questions about the menu. But whenever she tried to pull her date into the discussion, he responded with a flat one or two word answer.

Another surge of relief when I could finally walk away with their drink orders. Table eleven was now tense and silent. I wondered if either of them could tell how much they both wanted to be together.

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox
Photo by Jessie McCall on Unsplash