She’s not there.
It stops me on the sidewalk. I stare through my reflection into the cafe, but the table is empty. Actually I don’t think I would have thought of her if she had been there. She’s taken lunch there nearly every day for the past seven years, at the same time and at the same table. This I know because I’ve been walking the same route for ten.
Except for her regularity she never struck me as remarkable. Regularity is noteworthy because it’s so fleeting–it’s really nothing more than a drawn out pause. But it’s around these ephemeral axes of stasis that other changes happen, and are all the more noticeable in contrast.
Resisting inertia and entropy to enjoy a sandwich takes gumption. Doing it for seven years straight takes something that I understand all too well, except in myself. She’s gone, and the distress comes at the fear that my chances of understanding stasis have vanished along with this girl, though the answer could never have existed until she left. The answer comes at the moment of change, at the realization of will.
I wish I could interview her now. “What is it that made you walk past your table today? Is something going to happen? Is it something you’ve considered before? Did you ever think about how it might affect someone you didn’t know?”
“Can I help you?” One of the staff have come to check on the funny little man staring in through the plate glass window. I merely wave and continue down the sidewalk with the feeling that I’ve left something behind.