I know I'm not invited.
"Would you like a large or a small?," I ask.
They sip their coffee and plan their day, and what they will say to their daughter, and "Do you want to go?," and "Why don't we do this more often?".
Anything is possible at this moment and the world is so simple. Just a cup of coffee in this cafe.
And then they drain their paper cups and gather the loose bits of trash scattered on the table. A guilty look passes between them. Chairs scrape the floor as they slowly rise and fish absently for their car keys. They have appointments to keep and places to go.
They throw it all into the rubbish basket. The cover swings closed with a bang.
The bell above the door jingles softly on their way out and the door closes behind them.
The silence is deafening. I make another pot of coffee and the dishwasher drones on.
Carrie Knight is a born-again writer living in New York's Finger Lakes region where she can indulge her love of farms, fresh air, and good wine. She has published several trade articles in museum administration and policy, but prefers telling a good story.