She sits alone at the restaurant table. She has chosen a table close to the wall, with a window view that enables her to look out more than others can see in. The waiter sweeps by, neat as a pin, and he tops up her Perrier without her consent. She avoids his dutiful smile and looks down at a slender wrist. She is early and already beginning to fill with regret.
She has worn a high collared dress. It is black and seemingly matches her mood, though she chose it because she knows it is his favourite colour. Shouldn’t that alone say something of his nature? She taps a long painted nail against her glass and then traces the journey of a bubble to the rim. A wayward strand of hair falls loose and she tucks it behind her ear – perfecting her stylish black bob once again. Bubbles dance in her glass and she longs for a long slow sip. She will delay the pleasure. It may ruin the perfect application of Chanel on her lips.
Her back is ramrod straight, a familial affliction from years of deportment and excessive expense. She nurses a manicured hand in her lap. The other hand toys with the weight of the cutlery already set for the meal. The restaurant is filling around her. She is drowning among the crowd. Soon it will be impossible for him to locate her.
“Would you care to order, M’am?” asks the waiter, his accent annoying her slightly.
“No, thank you. I’m waiting for someone,” she explains, frantically scanning the hordes out on the street. The lunchtime crowds come and go, their ravenous bellies filled with pomp and ceremony only the rich can afford.
She waits long into the afternoon, until shadows form on the streets outside and invite themselves in to dine at her table. A waiter hovers in an awkward moment.
“Will you be dining today? We are about to close for the afternoon, Mademoiselle,” he informs her.
She glances about at the empty room. Glances back down at her watch. Looks at her untouched glass of water and notices that even the bubbles have left for the day.
“No, nothing today,” she smiles weakly. She leans and collects her clutch bag from under the table and then opens her purse to pay for the water she has yet to taste.