“How can I help you?”
The first thing I noticed were her twinkling blue eyes. She looked like she’d just finished laughing or was about to laugh.
The next thing I saw was her bright smile.
She was a short little thing, with dark curly hair that puddled down her back.
I had only dropped into the restaurant to do some reading. The place was known for its hot spiced french fries – which I usually ate without benefit of ketchup or vinegar. Naked fries were the best.
Also, a glass of Chardonnay would complete the experience. So that’s what I ordered.
She smiled again and took off.
When she brought me a glass of water, I stopped her. Part of my brain just wanted to go for it, while another part was honestly intrigued.
“Excuse me” I said. “Do we know each other? Have you served me before? I would have come in with a friend from work.”
I know how lame that sounds, but the restaurant had a lot of empty tables for that time of day, and I was sitting in my usual spot. I’ve been in there a fair amount, as it’s close to my office.
“I don’t know” she said, still smiling. “I don’t recall you. My name is Lena”.
What I should have done was respond with my name. That’s what a romantic guy would do – now that the ice was broken. But my ADHD hyperfocus had kicked in, as I struggled to recall whether I’d heard that name before.
“No, I don’t know that name” I said. “Guess not, huh?”
“When did you last come in?”
“It would have been about six weeks ago” I replied, still struggling to remember.
“Well then we don’t know each other. I only started a month ago.”
“Oh” I was disappointed. “Oh well.”
She smiled and left.
Each time she came to the table, to bring the food, the wine and to check to see if everything was okay, she had the brightest smile.
Twirling around in the back of my mind were all of these thoughts.
“Someone that gorgeous with such a great smile probably gets hit on all of the time. Am I going to be another boor, troubling her in her place of work where she can’t get away?”
“I really like my setup at home. I worked hard to achieve the peace of my bachelor domain. How ready am I to give that up?”
“She seems young enough to still want kids. I wonder if I’m open to that?”
I really liked her, but ….. I had all of these reasons why I shouldn’t pursue her. Most of these thoughts were straying outside of the limits of my consciousness, so I wasn’t truly on top of them or even aware. That’s how it is with most things in a person cursed (or blessed, as the case may be) with ADHD.
So I concentrated on reading my book, and on enjoying the meal.
After the bill was paid, and the tip was administered, I stayed, enjoying the music and the book. I sipped on my water, totally engrossed in the story.
She came back after that with a pitcher of water, and that ever-present huge smile. “Would you like some more?”
“Oh that’d be great. Thank you!” I said.
I finished the water.
It wasn’t until I left the place and began walking to the bus terminal that my brain tapped me on the shoulder.
“Doofus” it said. “You realize that she didn’t have to come back with the water, right? She wasn’t smiling for her tip any more – even if that ever was the case.”
I shrugged to myself. I’ve had a number of missed opportunities before. This wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last.
Maybe I’ve learned. Maybe not. Who knows.