Natalie (Tell Me a Secret)
“Tell me a secret.”
I look up to see an alien face peering over my laptop screen. I turn my head to the side much like a confused pup. “What?” Having no idea when she sat at my table or even who she is.
She explains, “A secret, preferably about you.”
I want to dismiss her, but her mischievous smile makes me instantly like her. Trying to think of something interesting enough to please her, I struggle. I am not used to people asking questions about me. I chalk that up to being outwardly dull. I drink my coffee, only to see that my hesitation is disappointing her.
I blurt out, “When young, I broke into my attractive neighbor’s house so that I could wear her clothes.”
She looks at me and laughs. “I didn’t see that one coming. I knew I would like you.” There is brilliance in her eyes.
I start to feel embarrassed from sharing. When she asks, “Do you still do that? I mean wearing the clothes, not your thug life of breaking and entering.”
I roll my eyes, “You’re funny. No, it was just one of my many phases.”
“Do you have more secrets?” She asks.
I counter, “If I tell them all to you, then they are not secrets. Besides, you will then be tired of me. Tell me one of yours,”
She answers, “I will tell you mine later. For now, we shall talk about you.” She continues, “Since you will not tell me another secret, tell me your name,”
I finally smile back at her. I tell her, “My name is Kristian.”
“Are you?” She asks.
“Am I what?”
“A Christian?” She explains.
I tell her, “No, far from it. I believe in something, I guess, but not in a brand.”
“Interesting,” she responds. “I think I am the same. I do pray to something, but I am not certain what. Regardless, I know when it is over I will go somewhere beautiful.”
I am not sure why, but I believe her. I ask her what her name is.
“That’s a lovely name,” I reply.
“Thank you. I am glad you like it. That will help you remember me.” She says, with a sweet, but serious tone.
I ask, “Would you like me to remember you?”
“More than anything.”
“Then, I will,” assuring her.
I stare at her face. She is young, barely an adult. Her eyes are oversized, and her nose turns up making her pleasing to the eye. We continue our conversation.
“Why did you chose to sit at my table?”
She answers, “I am looking for a good friend, and I can tell that you are very special.”
I ask, “How can you know that? I have never thought that of myself.”
She just smiles.
We continue to talk. She knows how to make a friend. We all want to speak about ourselves, and she could always find the next question to make the conversation flow. I try to return the favor, but she would only answer a few questions. I did manage to move the topic away from myself. The conversation continues to flow. We make each other laugh and even talk about heavier subjects without a hesitation.
After a couple of hours, she seems to be growing tired. “Do you want another coffee?”, I ask her.
I walk to get in line. After a few minutes, the barista calls out my order. When I return, she is not at the table. I sit there and go back to my laptop, waiting for her return from the restroom. After a half hour of typing, I realize she has left much as she came. I feel sad and disappointed that she did not tell me her secret.
I try to return to my laptop, but she took my focus with her. Finishing my coffee, I close the laptop. I now see an envelope once hidden behind the screen. Picking it up, I see my name written across the front, I place it on the table and continue to pack up. Throwing my bag over my shoulder, I grab the envelope. I walk to my car. Sitting on the hood, I open the envelope and pull out what looks like a ticket wrapped in a letter. I open the letter and read.
Kristian, I apologize for leaving, but goodbyes are not my thing. You helped me make the most of my day. I made a special friend and shared a moment. There are few things better. We will meet again, and I will tell you my secrets. We will be great friends. I don’t expect to see you until you have many new stories to share with me. They say that my days are few. I save my stories and secrets to share when we meet again.
I look a the ticket. It reads, “A beautiful place, admit one. The date is open-ended.” I believe her once again. I insert it into my wallet and walk back into the coffee shop. I feel like writing.
d-_-b “blue eyes” – The Cary Brothers