He strolled in with a smile on his face, passing by the coffee bar and settling with perusing the landscape of the cafe. He opted for pivoting in place a couple times, the friction of his foot on the floor emphasized his indecisiveness, before leaning against a high-top and pulling out his phone.
She lied, spread out upon the couch, propping her head up with her hand. Her elbow rested on the arm of the furniture as she read with headphones in her ears. The flannel shirt offered some reprieve of the cold temperature. (It may have well been snowing inside, if it had been given the chance, and the flakes would have collected.) From time-to-time her amused eyes were almost forced to look around when her head tilted up.
The three or four uncomfortable minute-thick silent prelude exaggeratedly felt like a stretched-out 10.
Finally she picked up her phone to find text messages sent from another phone shot downward and at a slight angle. The noticed message(s) received brought a smile to his face, but he remained still and propped up against the table. A minute that felt like a dozen passed, and he finally walked down the few steps to greet his date.
He stared down at her, she up at him. He ventures for a coffee.
The questions started after a Tinder kindling. The answers were received. Back-and-forth table tennis, not pong and not even standard tennis. The conversation clicked as paddles were hit, but resonated as an engine failing to start. She periodically smirked, but her elbow still rested upon the arm of the couch, painting a picture off of the inspiring topics of small talk.
[Intermission: More questions, conversation.]
They eventually walked out and together. They stood on the sidewalk, facing each other, saying their goodbyes. At least he was smiling; at least she (seemed) to be humoring — it could not be heard in part the distance and the other part being the separating stone wall and windows of the coffee shop.
He sat across the room, partially postured and partially slumping. He was reading, and the book was flat upon the table, spread open by both hands.
She sat upon the couch, her arm was bent and holding her head up. Her elbow dug into the arm of the couch. The lounge, comfortable attire that gave reprieve from the cold. (If given the chance, it may have snowed inside, but the flakes would have never stayed.) Her coat fell over her like a blanket.
The hardcover about the size of her head, a little larger, sat in her lap. She cradled it, gently turned the pages with her hand. The indistinguishable black lettering on the pages sharply popped up from the white surface. Sometimes the pages were fanned like a deck of cards.
He propped the computer up to either hide behind, using work or media or “access to music” as an excuse for constructing the boundary. He’d look up at the screen on occasion, clicking or typing. Eyes quickly shifted up, shooting glances over in an arc with hope to be caught.
What was caught was a bug of some sort. She winced, she held her book up as a barrier. She laughed at herself. This caught his attention, and he looked over and smiled. For the first time they made eye contact and mirrored smiles.
As she settled, it was unclear whether her hair twirled by her neck or it was a tattoo, regardless the spiral made a poignant characteristic. Where her face rested, he sat smiling and reading the duller-colored pages of his book. The sharpness of the black lettering was sanded.
[Intermission: More reading, more clicking/typing.]
The showdown would continue, but the unexpected, quick cut-to-black ending left the conclusion open to interpretation.