She unzips her jacket and fumbles for something inside. She pulls out a letter and tosses it on the table and then shrugs the jacket from her shoulders. The letter is worn and has been folded and unfolded so many times it had almost worn through. She unfolds it again and begins to read.
Her brow creases slightly as she takes in the words, though she almost knows them by heart. They have been written by a man she hasn't seen for the last ten years. She's not even sure if he's living or dead. She's willing to gamble against the odds. The news is old and worn and knows if she's honest, the point of this exercise is moot. The chances of finding him are perhaps as remote as sharing a table with elderly folk in a small cafe, south of Bunbury.Danger is present in both possibilities, and for all parties concerned, depending on whose view you take.
She reads the letter again.
My Ella...it begins, and it ends with forever yours, Jack....
He's the only one who has ever called her by name. She drinks her latte and glances at her watch. She will need to make time if she is to get there before dark. She downs the coffee and pulls on her jacket, tucks the letter back inside. She picks up her helmet and makes her way to the counter and slides a ten dollar note to the boy. He takes the money, eyes downcast and then glances out the front window to the street.
"Nice bike," he says, flashing her a quick look.
"Thanks," she throws him an enormous grin that waters the harshness from her face. Her teeth are still good, despite her years of wild living. She is proud to have managed to steer herself back on course. Her savage days are long over. He succumbs to the infectiousness of her smile and grins back at her.
"Have a good day," she says, leaving the change on the counter.
She walks out onto the pavement and presses her head into the empty dark space of her helmet as the empty dark spaces inside her head begin to fill once again with the vivid memory of Jack Alamus.