**WARNING** Below is an altered excerpt of the novel Aggravated Momentum, creating a super short story within a much bigger and much more diverse and complicated thriller E-Book.
The first thought in mind as I pull into the place is lower middle class. The name is plastered on the front of the building in bold red paint. It is also printed on every window and door. It was clearly decorated with care and intention, as if the owners had to have put their entire life savings into it. Cars are lined in perfectly slanted spaces next to mine. I can’t help but notice that not one of them look any newer than five or six years old. The people coming in and out are dressed up for the kind of occasion that scream to me as desperate dates.
Wives are wearing worn out dresses, and forced smiles. Husbands in button up tops, opening doors with their heads down, and mouths shut. I imagine these people have boring average lives, and boring average jobs. They probably need to get out of their everyday routine so bad they ache, yet they can’t afford anything more than two hours with a high school babysitter and a $10 plate of spaghetti.
Killing time and spacing out in pointless observation isn’t doing anything but prolonging the inevitable. My chest rises and falls in a deep effort to de-stress. Of course it doesn’t work. I’m nervous enough that my bowels are even churning. Perfect, just perfect, not only am I actually allowing myself on a blind date with a creeper, but I may shit myself while I’m at it.
Finally, I shut down the engine to the hog. I roll down the windows, as usual, secretly hoping it will be stolen. I leave it behind in the surprisingly full parking lot. My shoes tap lightly, as they slowly drag my unwilling body up the narrow sidewalk. Hinges squeak on the door as its pulled open. The bell hanging over head sounds. I’ve always hated that. Bells, honestly, what purpose do they serve except to draw unnecessary and unwanted attention? I’ve always felt bad for employees that work at facilities with these ridiculous bells. If I had to listen to that noise all day I’d have a complete come apart.
I search the place, looking in every direction. I was told he would be wearing a black button up top, and holding a small bouquet of daises. Mom must have told him that is my favorite flower; how convenient. He is spotted quickly. He sits two tables away from the door, bouquet in hand. He is much more handsome than I remember. Maybe he is just one of those freaks who actually age well
I lower myself into the open chair that he so graciously slid out for me. At first the conversation is light. We talk about the weather, and the drink choices on the menu, which was very limited, might I add. He has a low, somehow sultry voice. The scent of his cologne is divine! Filling my nostrils every time, he moves, I drink it in. Leaning forward, I let the smell consume me. I don’t remember him being this desirable.
He speaks with confidence, and holds his head high. I even find myself checking out the toned muscular shape of his chest and arms, and wonder if he would look as good with that shirt off as he does with it on. I stare into his blue eyes, and listen to him explain the ins and outs of his mundane office job. Apparently he finds small, family owned restaurants like this one to be comforting, like a home away from home. As he explains the reasoning for his choice in dining I realize for the first time in my small meaningless life that I am an ass. Irrevocably, I am the epitome of judgment in its truest form. Tinny increments of everyday judgment is placed, and it has left me to be nothing more than the cliché of raw humanity.
Aggravated Momentum is available on all E-reader platforms.