Turning Point by Kristina England

Cammie wiped sweat from her forehead and continued uphill.

It was days like this when she reconsidered her move to San Francisco.

Cammie glanced at the cafe on the corner.  Every six months it had a new name and a new face.

Sally from New York was the latest owner.

"I came for a three-day vacation and just stayed," Sally said.  "I guess you could call it a turning point."

Cammie hadn't inquired, but she never did.  People just started talking to her.  All types of people.  And she nodded, because that's all she knew to do.

Cammie's boyfriend said it was because she came off as a good listener.

"Of course, then a person gets to know you," he said with a wink and a nudge.

She'd scowled at him.

"Babe, I'm just kidding." 

Cammie came to a stop across the street from the cafe.  She could really use an iced coffee.

But today, of all days, she didn't want the idle talk that came with it.

Cammie surveyed the storefront.  A mural had been there for years.  Cammie's eyes took in the illustration of a couple having coffee.  Her eyes rose along the arms of the man to his shoulders, then up to his mouth.  His lips were curled into a smile, one that said, "I welcome your company."

Cammie leaned against a tree.  Her throat was dry.  She could feel a wave of dizziness coming on.  She crossed the street and walked into the cafe.  

Sally stood at the register.  She went to say something but Cammie shushed her.  Sally's face turned red, but before she could respond, Cammie interjected.

"Who is the man in the mural?  And does the man love the woman?  I mean, I think by his smile, he does.  But would he want to spend every morning for the rest of his life having coffee with her?  With her?  Always the same cafe, the same woman?  Do you think he tires of it?"

"He asked you to marry him, didn't he?  He said he was going to, but he didn't say when..."

Cammie frowned.  "You didn't answer the question."

Sally shrugged.  "Any man that tires of a face like that doesn't deserve to have coffee at a cafe like this.  Heck, I'd paint him right out of that scene if that's the way he felt about her.

"And if it's the woman that feels that way?" Cammie asked.

"Honey, man or woman, the answer remains the same."

"Well, not every relationship paints the same picture," Cammie said and walked back into the heat, her thirst unsatisfied.

Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her writing is published or forthcoming at Crack the Spine, Extract(s), The Story Shack, and other magazines. For more on her writing, visit http://kristinaengland.blogspot.com.

Bay Laurel  /  Volume 2, Issue 2  /  Summer 2013