The waitress showed the couple to a booth and filled two mugs with coffee without looking at them. “I’ll be back to take your order,” she said, then turned away with the menus still under her arm.
“What’s with her?” He reached across the table and grabbed a handful of pink and white sugar packets, tore the tops off four packets, and tipped them into his coffee. The girl looked at him confused. “The waitress, I mean.” He added four more packets of sugar to his coffee before stirring in milk. “She’s kind’a sour and pinched that waitress. She shouldn’t work here if she doesn’t like people, and she’s way too forgetful. Like, where are the menus?”
The girl shrugged, and reached for the mug of coffee in front of her. Slowly, she dribbled milk into the mug and watched it bloom beneath the surface of coffee.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?” He drank half his mug of coffee in one swallow and licked his mustache. “It’s not you, you know. It never was, so relax. Don’t take it so personally.
Through the diner window the girl could see afternoon closing in on supper-time. The diner would start to fill in a half an hour. She looked at her watch. It’s been a day. “It’s done now,” she said.
“Don’t look so worried. She’ll get over it.” He drained his coffee and looked for the waitress.
“I know. You’re right,” she said, “but I saw the look on her face when you told her. I could see her from the car. It twisted me up inside to watch her crumble in the door frame, to see that wretched, crushed look on her face and know that she looked this way because of me, because of you, because of everything.”
The waitress returned with menus.
“About time,” he said, slamming his empty mug on the table. “More coffee.” He gestured to the girl, “What do you want to eat?”
Trifecta Writing Challenge. Week 16 word: wretched-adj.