“The other day I climbed up a tree and picked a fruit from its top-most branch. I sniffed the fresh scent of sweetness from the fruit’s skin and smiled at the lovely smooth coloring of its perfect ripeness. I placed the fruit on a shelf to save for tomorrow and slept dreaming of its succulence all through the night. Day came and I found the fruit missing from its shelf. The taste of sweetness in my mouth vanished in an instant. I went outside and looked up at the tree, to see the fruit sitting nicely at the top once again even higher than where it was before. Today I shall climb up again, hoping that tomorrow I shall finally taste that fruit. But no matter how many tomorrows came, I always ended up climbing again and again, higher and higher up the branches of the ever growing tree.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not ready to order yet. I’m still waiting for someone.”
Kristen stared at Greg for a moment, surveying his face for any sign that would tell her he wasn’t serious about what he just said. When she found none, she let out a sigh and curved her lips to a grin.
“What’s wrong with you? You were the one who asked me out yesterday and you’d still act like you don’t know me?”
She watched as Greg’s face turned red in embarrassment. What was that for?
“Were you expecting someone else?” She felt disappointed. It would be the first time that they’d see each other with her not being a waitress serving him as a customer and his jokes surely weren’t appreciated. She gave all her best efforts to look good on their first date, although she wasn’t able to change out of her uniform because she just got off work, she still expected him to be all appreciative of her just like he usually was whenever he came to have coffee at the diner where she works. She did make sure that her hair was perfect and that her makeup was nicely done and she did not want to be in a situation like this, which is, to stand in front of the table being stared at and humiliated as if she was some intruder to her own dinner date.
“No. No. Of course I was waiting for you.” Greg smiled and quickly got up from his seat. He walked over to her side and pulled the chair for her to sit, which she did with a subtle display of dismay that Greg caught on to quickly. “I’m sorry, Kristen. You look beautiful.”
And was that supposed to make her forgive him? Maybe he really was joking. It’s only the first date, she’d make sure to tell him she didn’t like those kinds of jokes next time, but there’s no point in messing things up with this guy. Perhaps he is a pretty bad jester, but he is a decent man which attracted her to him in the first place. During those times when she would serve him his coffee, they would make casual conversations that showed her that he was well-mannered and educated. He never looked down on her for her occupation and that’s something she doesn’t get very often. Mostly every customer who tried to get her attention regarded her as some cheap and easy girl just because being a waitress calls for being friendly to the extent of almost acting naive. They looked at her like some servant whose job was to serve them and entertain them while they enjoyed their expensive drinks, but Greg was different. Greg was the first to take her as an equal person deserving of having normal conversations with. He reached out and tried to get to know her, the real her beneath the waitress uniform.
After their meal, they went to see a movie, and then a quick stroll along the park before he dropped her off to her apartment and the clichéd well-executed first date ended with a clichéd sugary-sweet good night kiss.
Kristen knew that it was a pretty good start. It was a marvelous sign that the first date would be followed by many more, but to her dismay, he didn’t ask for a second date. Instead, they went back to seeing each other in the diner where she works. She would serve him his coffee and they would chat, he would wait until she’s done with work and then he’d drive her to her apartment. She hoped that they would eventually progress from “being friends” to “going out” but even after a couple of months had passed, there had been no clarity on what their relationship was or if Greg was ever going to ask her for another date.
Kristen knew that if she ever wanted to be with a man, it would be someone like Greg, so she decided that she would no longer wait for him and would make the move herself. Her mother had always said that she had the ability to have what she wants as long as she wants it hard enough to take it. How she ended up being a waitress rather than a famous movie star like she wanted is a different story. She was unlucky with the whole establishing-a-career part, but she knows she’s never been unfortunate when it came to romance. That day, she took a day-off and went to see Greg. She is aware that she’s pretty and that was what probably caught Greg’s attention, she just needs to make sure that she makes herself prettier for him to consider keeping her. No waitress uniform today. No. Not today.
She knew Greg’s schedule enough to be certain that any minute now he’d be walking out of the glass doors of that building and would cross the street to the diner where she works. There he would order his drink and would sit for a couple of hours to talk to his favorite waitress. But, not today… today will be different. Today he will receive a pretty surprise. A very pretty-in-a-red-dress surprise…
He always sees her in her waitress uniform with her hair tied up in a pony-tail. Not today.
“No. Not today…” Kristen smiled as she watched the people come out of the glass doors of the office building, waiting for Greg to show up and then deliver her pretty surprise. Her heart pounded in excitement and anticipation and in her mind she practiced the cutest way to say: “Surprise!”
What would his reaction be? Will he be pleased?
Of course, he should be very pleased.
She stood there for fifteen minutes watching the glass door open and close for people until she finally spotted Greg. Always so handsome, always that calm, somewhat indifferent look on his face and always that confident posture on his back.
Kristen tried not to make her smile look so big, but she wasn’t able to control it. She was excited and became even more when Greg started walking towards her direction to get to the crosswalk. When he got in front of her she gave him her well-practiced “Surprise!”
Greg surely was surprised and it showed on his face. He smiled at her and then gave a slight nod before continuing forward. The walk sign lit up and he crossed the street towards the diner where he always goes to.
Greg was still confused about the woman in red who suddenly crossed his path and startled him. It would be something comical to talk about with Kristen over coffee. He smiled as he entered the diner, with his heart pounding in anticipation of seeing Kristen and talking to her. But, not today…
It was very difficult for me to create a story about a character having Prosopagnosia or Face blindness, but ever since I read about it in our Psychology textbook, it was like an itch crawled inside me that just won’t be scratched by anything else but by me writing about it. Prosopagnosia was a word that was merely mentioned in a chapter and we didn’t even discuss it in class, but I was haunted by the fact that it actually exists. I claim no great knowledge about this and I do not mean to offend anyone by writing this story. It itched and I scratched.
The thing about the tree at the beginning is something that’s been bugging me while I was trying to write this story. You know, like having a dream while you’re awake when you’re trying to think of something. Anyway, it’s not completely unrelated, or at least that’s what I think so since it’s been popping in my head the whole time. I thought about not including it, but it’s the same thing as the itch. It won’t stop flashing in my head until it was written.