By Les Bohem
She had such a pretty face. Maybe that’s why I keep going back, and not because I want to keep darkness as a friend. I am not brooding then; I’m in love. I sit in this cafe every day. I come in the morning and I sit, hoping she will be back, will sit across from me, and our eyes will lock in an important stare. I never go past that. It’s impossible for me to imagine more than just that moment when we look at each other and everything is already done. The waiters here know me now. We still go through the ritual of ordering, although they know that I will say, “Cafe au lait,” before they ever say, “Monsieur?” I have one café au lait an hour for three hours and then I switch to brandy. I read the paper or a book. I stare at the walls and the other patrons. I write in a notebook. I don’t think she’ll be coming back. She’s not a habitué. I’ve come to recognize all of them by now, since I have no other place to go. No other tie to her. Today, as I sat, I daydreamed that I was on the night ferry to London and that she was there. We went up on deck, late at night. She was carrying a package, something wrapped in butcher paper. I tried to speak to her. She just stared moodily out to sea. I tried in my broken French. She still didn’t say a word.
I took her package from her, then, and threw it into the cold, rough waters of the English Channel.