CWP #34: "The Clock Winked"

The clock winked. The barista walked over to the pretty young woman with the crimson hair. He stared for a moment as her hair seemed to glow as if it were made of thin lines of burning embers. Thinking about how rude he must be to stare, he quickly glanced down at the empty coffee mug with the faint lipstick smudge around the rim. She was dressed quite beautifully, a bit overdressed for the laid back atmosphere of the coffee house. She must have been waiting for someone. Her simple black dress hugged the curves of her body, the modesty of the neckline made it all more appealing to him. A light lace shawl was placed beside her, her only companion in the large empty booth. Suddenly he was aware of just how long he had been silently standing there.

A broken hello passed his lips. A clearing of the throat, was followed with a shy apology announcing that the shop was now closing. Her piercing green eyes met his from beyond the lipstick stained coffee cup. They seemed so sorrowful and he secretly wished he could make time go backward. Her lips curved slightly as a civil friendly smile appeared upon her face. She was clearly trying her best to hide that closing time was an unwelcome opponent.

She slid her coffee cup over to the front corner of the table before gathering her shawl and handbag. It was time to accept her fate. She will be going home, alone, once again. Her apartment was as empty as her life was. A single bed, a chair, and a freezer full of single serving dinners. Her head weakened and fell from her shoulders when she thought about how many times he had stood her up, no call, no explanation. She wasn't surprised by his lack of devotion, and she knew exactly why she put up with his crude behavior. She was in love with him.

The barista placed her mug into a bin full of dirty dishes as he watched the pure anguish on her face. What could bring so much turmoil to this beautiful woman's mind. His gaze followed her as she stood, giving him a better view of the dark dress & the curves it tightly nestled against. Not wanting her to leave in such a down state, he asked her if she was okay. He asked her, even though he knew, she was clearly not.

She turned and looked at him. He was quite handsome for being an older gentleman. His rich brown hair had started to give way to patches of salt and pepper gray. His face had been marked by time, and even through the lines around his eyes, she could tell that his soulful spirit was still very young at heart. She watched as his brow wrinkled and his concern grew. She nodded in response to his question, a lie she would tell herself as well. She turned and slowly walked to the shops door.

The man couldn't let her walk out that door. He knew that she wasn't meant to walk out alone. He stopped her before her hand reached the door. A new found courage grew in his heart as he told her he was just closing up. He asked her, if she didn't have any place to be, if she would want to grab a bite to eat with him.

A glow came upon her face, followed by a true, honest smile. She accepted his offer and stood by the door as he finished his closing duties. Tonight, she won't be eating alone. The truth of it was, she was tired of waiting, she was tired of being stood up, and though she loved the man who was never there... she loved herself more.

The barista offered his arm to the woman as he flipped the light switch. They smiled at each other as they walked arm in arm out of the door, leaving the coffee house in the dark. Dark, except for an illuminated clock hanging upon the wall... And, the clock winked.

Creative Writing Prompt #34: Begin a story with the line "The clock winked".

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