tagRomanceThe Cafe Newl

The Cafe Newl


It had been one of the worst weeks of my life. On Monday, I arrived home from work and discovered that my girl friend had moved out with no explanation. We had been living together for six months and dating for over two years. She had just packed up and disappeared. Her note said that it had been fun and wished me a good life. I stood dumbfounded holding the note in the middle of my now sparsely furnished apartment. It was like I was stuck in a bad dream and unable to awaken myself, only this was real.

On Tuesday, the other shoe dropped. Through a mutual friend, who felt sorry about the way I was being treated, I found out where my lover had gone. She had moved in with an old boyfriend. I felt sick as my friend recounted how my girl friend had been seeing this guy for several weeks while acting like her and I were the couple of the century. My feelings of loss and sadness quickly turned to anger and betrayal. I wonder if she ever read the nasty e-mail I fired off. I never got an answer and we have not spoken since. It is sad people can never seem to part friends.

Wednesday was yet another black day in what was becoming a dismal week. I got the news that the company I had labored at for ten years was downsizing. I was suddenly expendable. They gave me two weeks severance pay and asked me to vacate my office by the end of the day. I left the building an hour later with a small box of personal items. The box was carefully scrutinized by security before I was allowed to leave. I walked to the parking lot cursing the bastards and thinking that they better not have the nerve to call me for help with anything I left unfinished.

I sat in my car making calls on my cell phone. I was pretty well known by our competitors. It was the kind of business where you were always associating with others in the same work. I managed to get two interviews set up for that Friday morning. By seven pm Wednesday I was sitting on a stool at my favorite bar numbing my brain with the help of Mr. Jack Daniels. The bartender, who was an old friend of mine, put me in a cab three hours later. I am still not sure how I got into my bed.

Thursday I woke up around noon with a pounding headache. I had the kind of awful hangover you get when you go to sleep with alcohol still in your stomach. I stood under a steamy shower with the water nearly hot enough to scald my skin. I suppose I was trying to burn away both the pain in my body and the memory of the previous three days. Unfortunately, all I could do was ponder what new disaster might await me on what was an otherwise beautiful afternoon.

As I reached for my robe, I remembered I was once again a bachelor. I headed for the kitchen in the buff. I think I have always been a bit of a nudist at heart. My ex-girlfriend hated when I walked around nude. She was the one that bought me the robe. It was the first robe I had ever owned and I decided right then to burn the damn thing.

When I got to the kitchen I decided on toast and a taste of the hair of the dog. I never did get dressed that afternoon. I spent my time lounging in my recliner. That and the entertainment center was pretty much the only thing left in the living room. I thought that I had better do some furniture shopping after my interviews. By 6:00 my bottle of Jack was a dead soldier and I was having trouble focusing on the old John Wayne movie on AMC.

For some reason I decided to flip to the Spice channel. I guess I thought I could focus better on pussies being licked than the Duke killing a bunch of Hollywood Indians. Even though I had not watched porn since my ex had moved in, I had never bothered to cancel the subscription. Though she was fairly adventurous in bed, she was quite the prude in many ways. She had made it clear that watching porn did not interest her and she would find my watching it insulting. I had meant to cancel the subscription, but it was only a couple dollars a month so it was not a priority. Maybe, I just knew the bitch would leave me someday and I would need it again.

The movie playing was pretty standard porno fare. A man was conducting interviews with female candidates for some job. For no apparent reason he ended up romping naked with three of them in his way too spacious office. I have conducted a lot of interviews in my life and I have never ended up naked during a single one. Obviously no one watches this stuff for the realistic plot lines. As I watched the foursome on the screen I pumped my cock in my fist. This was not my ordinary masturbation style. It was violent, like I was taking out all my pain, anger and frustration from the week on my cock. Oddly, I came explosively, crying out to the empty room. Afterward, I lay in the big comfy chair shaking with droplets of cum splashed over my belly and chest until I passed out.

I awoke at 3:00 am with a different movie flickering on the television in the dark room. The actors were different, but the scene was pretty much the same. One man and multiple women enjoying unbridled carnal exploits. I dragged my ass to the bath to wash the dried cum from my body. I fell into my bed and went back to sleep quickly.

Friday morning I actually felt pretty good. I sprang form my bed when the alarm signaled it was 7:00 am. The shower felt good; it was a hopeful day. I hadn't really eaten in several days so I decided a stop at Mike's diner for one of his fabulous omelets was in order. The ham and cheese omelet, greasy home fries, toast and orange juice would provide fuel for my day. As always Mike's did not disappoint, I left there feeling full and ready to take on a busy morning.

Then came my first interview. It was with an old friend of mine. I soon learned that she had only given me the interview out of courtesy. She had no job to offer me; although she assured me that if anything came up I would be first on the list. She also promised to make some calls for me. I left her office dejected. I thought why should this day be any different than the rest of the week. Obviously I was in a down cycle. I considered blowing off the second interview in favor of another meeting with Jack.

However, I knew there really was an opening at Brown and Simon, Inc. They were the biggest competitors of my former employer. I figured they would be thrilled to get me and I knew I could bring customers with me. The interview was with a man I had been aquatinted with for many years through attending industry functions. As it turned out he did have an opening. However, due to my general funk, I gave the worst interview in history. I left certain I would not be hearing from Brown and Simon.

At 2:00 I was sitting at my favorite table at a trendy downtown eatery near my old office. I have no idea what made me decide to eat there amid the gloom of that day. Perhaps I wanted something familiar that reminded me of better times. I would find that it was a fateful decision. I sat sipping my second Jack and Coke as I waited for my lunch to be served. My favorite waiter was attentive and polite as usual, even when expressing surprise at my ordering a second drink before lunch. I was pretty predictable with my one drink at lunch rule. He asked if I was perhaps celebrating something.

"Yeah, my freedom, Jerry," I replied rather sadly, making it clear I was not celebrating anything.

Jerry didn't ask any more questions. I looked around the familiar cheery restaurant as he busied himself taking an order at another table. The lunch crowd was loud and animated. There were lots of happy faces and lively conversations all around me. It was Friday and most of these people would get little more work done today after their three-martini lunches. For the majority the weekend had already begun.

My eyes settled on the only other person in the room who was alone. She was a pretty young woman with shoulder length light brown hair. Her blond highlights simmered in the glow of the artificial restaurant lighting. Her beautiful dark eyes seemed to be staring off into another world. Deep contemplation and a sense of peace showed on her pretty face. A kind of glow seemed to be radiating from her, drawing me to her. I wondered what the captivating woman was imagining. She clearly was not present in the café with the rest of the diners. Her slight smile indicated to me that wherever she was it was a very pleasant place to be. I wanted to join her in the happy place she had found within her.

Perhaps she had escaped to a tropical island and was enjoying warm breezes and beautiful surroundings. Perhaps she was sitting by a mountain lake with her toes dipping into the cool waters on a late spring afternoon. Wherever it was I wished I had the ability to transform my surroundings. I desperately wanted to escape the doldrums my life had produced that awful week. Then a painful thought occurred to me. What if she too was having bad times and her daydream was just a brief escape from the unpleasantness of life. These thoughts made me sad. I wanted her to be happy. This desire struck as odd and silly since I did not know the woman. For whatever reason there was something about her that made it important to me that she be happy.

A glint of light from her gold ring attracted my attention to her finger. It rested lightly on her delicate sensuous lips. At that moment I wanted nothing more than to taste the sweetness I was certain those pretty lips held. I tried to find an excuse to walk over to her table and introduce myself, but no reasonable thought came to me. Determined to find out more about her, I signaled for Jerry to come to my table.

"Yes Sir, another drink already?"

"No, Jerry, I have a rather odd request though."

"I am happy to provide any service I can, Sir."

"Well, the er oh the woman over there alone, do you happen to know her?"

"Not well Sir, but she is a fairly regular customer. Up until a couple months ago she would come in with a handsome gentlemen about once a month. Now she comes alone. She has a couple glasses of wine and stares out the window like that. I don't think it is the street scene she is seeing though. Sir."

Jerry didn't know any more than that. The mystery of her visits to the restaurant made me want to know more. I was determined to meet her after hearing the fascinating story of the pretty lady who I already desired. Unfortunately, she finished her wine and left before I figured out a way to accomplish an introduction. I ate my delicious meal without enthusiasm. Another Jack and Coke left me buzzed enough that I decided I needed to walk around town a bit before driving home.

I walked down one side of the broad avenue that pretty much served as main street in our little city. As I strolled along, I took note of the latest fashions screaming at me from the windows of the trendy shops that occupied the first floors of the office buildings. I paused in front of the United Colors of Benetton store. The blonde mannequin was showing a pretty blouse and skirt. Forgetting for a moment the events of the week, I thought that it would look good on my girl friend and reached for the door. I was going to purchase it as a surprise. Reality hit me hard and I felt tears on my cheek. I had not cried for her or anything else that week and now it threatened to all burst out.

I turned suddenly to run away hoping I could hide and ran smack into the woman from the restaurant. Her face bounced off my chest and she stumbled nearly falling to the payment. I managed to catch her before she fell but not before the package she was carrying went flying. I stood there dumbfounded, holding onto her, shocked to see the vision so soon again. Instead of the anger one would expect all I got was her sweet smile. I nearly melted as I looked down into her pretty eyes.

"Oh, I am so sorry, I should watch where I am going better!" She Gushed

"No, no, it is my fault. I turned too quickly and didn't look where I was going."

"Well maybe it is both our faults. I just seem to be in a fog all the time these days. Hey, do I know you?" She said with a very puzzled look.

"No, I don't think so, but we did sort of just have lunch together. I noticed you earlier at the Café Newl."

"Oh, yes, of course, the handsome man sitting alone. I noticed you because you were alone like me and well also because you looked so sad."

I blushed and smiled broadly when I realized she had noticed me at all. The idea that she found me handsome was exciting. Though I was not sure of her exact age I knew I was a good bit older than her and was sure such a pretty woman had many handsome young men in her life.

"That's better a smile. But it looks like you have tears in your eyes," She said sweetly with what sounded like genuine concern as she offered me a tissue.

"Just a brief sad thought. Your smile was all I needed to remind me of happier things."

By that time I had recovered enough to let go of her. I bent down to retrieve her dropped package. I heard the distinctive rattle of broken glass as I lifted her bag.

"Well, I guess I need to return to the shop. It is a present for my sister. A pretty set of glasses." She explained.

"It is my fault, I will replace them. Where did you buy them?"

She tried to protest, but finally agreed to split the cost of a new set. We chatted as we walked the three blocks to the Kitchen Emporium. I learned her name was Andee. She was the third girl in her family and her father Andy had given up on getting a boy to carry his name. She giggled when she told me about the confusion it causes when her and her younger brother, Andy are in the same room. It seems her parents had a surprise eight years after she was born. It is funny how you can meet someone, click right away and begin sharing personal stuff you may not have told people you have known for years.

In just the time it took to walk three blocks, we had learned a lot about each other. She knew the source of my tears was a sad thought about my breakup. I knew the man she once came to the restaurant with was her father who passed away suddenly several weeks earlier. By the time the new glasses were packed up and ready, we were on our way to becoming friends. We talked more as we walked back toward our cars.

"Andee, where were you thinking about at the restaurant? It must have been a happy place." I asked tentatively.

"Oh, yes, it is! Every summer my father took me and my sisters and brother to a cabin in the mountains. He loved it there but mom was not a woodsy person. They were special times with dad. We were all so happy up there. After we grew up, we didn't all make it to the mountains together anymore. But dad always did stuff to keep us close. He and I had a regular date at the restaurant where we kept up with each other and reminisced and shared. I still keep the date. I know dad is up in those mountains happy now. So I sit and drink wine, like dad and I did and think of him."

I smiled at her as I took my finger and gently wiped away the single tear that rolled down her cheek. "What a great life he shared with his family."

We stood next to her car for a while, talking and smiling and generally enjoying each other's company. Before parting I asked her to have dinner with me on Saturday night. She told me that an unemployed man should not be buying women dinners out. I am sure the disappointment was clearly visible on my face as I thought she was brushing me off. My frown quickly turned to a beaming smile when she invited me to come to her apartment for dinner instead. As it turned out her apartment was in the same part of town as mine. We lived only a few blocks apart yet needed a chance encounter in front of a downtown boutique to meet.

She gave me a hug before sliding behind the wheel of her car. I watched as her car disappeared down the street. I walked to my car thinking what an amazing thing fate was. Just when I reached the lowest point in my life an angel was put in front of me. An angel that would have slipped away had I not taken a walk and admired an outfit I no longer had a reason to buy.

I had trouble sleeping that night. The absence of alcohol and the excitement of my new adventure kept me tossing and turning all night. I finally gave up around 6:00am and took a shower. I was enjoying my bachelorhood that Saturday morning. Once again able to walk around my home without worrying about getting dressed, I felt a freedom I had been missing without even realizing I had lost it. I chuckled when I remembered how my ex squealed about me parading around with my 'do-dads' swinging around. I allowed myself the brief thought that maybe I would get lucky and Andee wouldn't have similar hang-ups. I reminded myself that she wasn't even my girl friend yet and might never be. There had been nothing to indicate she had any romantic feelings, let alone a desire to see me naked

I puttered around my apartment nervously until around noon. At that point I decided I had to get out or go completely stir crazy. I called the Café Newl and spoke to Jerry. Happily for me he knew Andee's favorite wine. I hoped Andee was thinking of our dinner as a date because I planned to show up with flowers and wine. I decided to forgo adding a box of candy, thinking all three would be a goofy cliché.

My favorite shopping center was just two blocks away. It was my favorite for several reasons. It was small and close enough to walk to and still had everything I needed. In addition, other than the big chain supermarket, all the stores were small businesses. I knew the owners of all of them and the service was first class.

The annoying little bell on the door of Wines Etc announced my arrival. Steve, the large jolly man that owned the little booze shop, greeted me with a broad smile and a hearty handshake.

"Greg, how are things in your life, my friend? What can I do for you today?" Steve asked with a genuine sincerity in his deep baritone voice.

"I need a bottle of Lauriana Napa Semillon"

"Well my friend that is an unusual request. But happily I purchased a case of that delightfully delicate variety just last month. It is a bit pricier than your regular selections though. Are you and your lovely lady perhaps celebrating something special?"

"No, Steve, Susan and I are no longer together. I am going to a new friend's for dinner and it is her favorite wine. I wanted something special to show how glad I am to know her."

"Well then I am happy I have it in stock and until you tell me otherwise I shall stock it for you," Steve said as he slid the pretty bottle into one of his fancy gift bags.

I told him that I hoped he would be stocking it for a long time as I handed him my credit card.

My next stop was at the other end of the strip center, Little City Flowers. I entered the small shop and glanced around as I took in the intoxicating aroma of fresh cut flowers. As was most often the case there wasn't a soul in site. Gloria, the seventy-something woman who owned the shop was no doubt in the back working on a special order. It always seemed she had more business than she could handle but steadfastly refused to entrust her customers orders to anyone else. I stepped behind the counter and into the workroom. The site of Gloria's rather prolific ass greeted me. She was bent over searching through a cabinet for something and her summer dress was hiked up and pulled tight to her buns.

Even though I thought of Gloria in a grandmotherly way, I still looked to see if I could get a glimpse of her goodies. Maybe those women who say all men are pigs are right. My eyes moved up her legs and even the wrinkled skin on her thighs did not deter me from noticing the tops of her nylons and following the straps of her garters until they disappeared under the part of her dress that still covered wrinkled treasures. All I could see was her rather large white cotton panties. I managed to come to my senses when I realized I was in danger of becoming a granny-panty voyeur. I purposely made some noise and shouted out a cheerful greeting as if I had just entered the room. Gloria jumped and turned around looking very embarrassed.

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