THE LAUNDROMAT CONT. (part 2)

THEY TALKED FOR A LONG TIME. JOHN ABOUT HIS WIFE AND THEIR HOPES AND DREAMS. GLORIA LISTENED ATTENTIVELY AND SYMPATHETICALLY. WHEN HE WAS LEAVING GLORIA GAVE HIM A PECK ON THE CHEEK. JOHN REACHED HOME FEELING VERY GOOD INDEED. MEETING GLORIA HAD BRIGHTENED HIS LIFE AND HE HOPED THEY WOULD BE FRIENDS. OR MORE. SHE WAS YOUNG, IN HER MID THIRTIES HE GUESSED BUT HEY, WHO SAID AN OLDER MAN AND A YOUNG WOMAN COULDN’T BE FRIENDS OR EVEN LOVERS?

JOHN WAS AN EARLY RISER AND USUALLY WALKED TWO MILES FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, THEN BRAKFASTED AT MARTHA’S BREAKFAST HOUSE.

UPON ARRIVING THERE THIS MORNING HE WAS SURPRISED TO SEE GLORIA IN A BOOTH AND WAVED. SHE CALLED HIM OVER AND ASKED HIM TO JOIN HER.

“WHAT LOOKS GOOD?” HE ASKED. JOHN WAS RAVENOUS AFTER HIS WALK.
“WELL, I’M HAVING HOT CAKES.” GLORIA SAID.

THE WAITRESS POURED COFFEE FOR THEM AND ASKED IF JOHN WAS READY TO ORDER.
“I’LL HAVE HAM AND EGGS, SCRAMBLED WITH HASH BROWNED POTATOES AND TOAST WHITE.” JOHN BOOMED.
“YOU SHOULD HAVE MORE THAN HOT CAKES GLORIA, YOUR STILL A GROWING GIRL.”
GLORIA GIGGLED LIKE A YOUNG GIRL AND SAID, “I’M REALLY NOT THAT HUNGRY BUT I NOTICE YOU HAVE A HEARTY APPETITE.”

HE LIKED HER LAUGH. IT MADE HIM FEEL WARM AND COZY. HE WAS ENJOYING HAVING SOMEONE TO EAT BREAKFAST WITH AFTER MONTHS OF BEING ALONE.

AS THE WEEKS WENT BY JOHN HELPED GLORIA FIX LEAKY FAUCETS, SQUEAKY DOORS AND OTHER ODDS AND ENDS. THEY MET FOR BREAKFAST FREQUENTLY. HE LOOKED FORWARD TO THEIR TIMES TOGETHER.

ON ONE OF THEIR BREAKFAST MEETINGS GLORIA SEEMED MORE ANIMATED THAN USUAL. SHE SAID “JOHN I HAVE THE BEST NEWS, WAIT TILL YOU HEAR.”
“OUT WITH IT WOMAN, YOU LOOK LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO BURST IF YOU DON’T TELL ME SOON.”
“WELL, I DIDN’T TELL YOU BUT I MET SOMEONE A FEW MONTHS AGO, HIS NAME IS PAUL. WE’VE BEEN DATING PRETTY REGULARLY AND HE ASKED ME TO MARRY HIM LAST NIGHT.”

JOHN PUT HIS COFFEE DOWN SLOWLY.
“WHY THAT’S WONDERFUL GLORIA. FROM THE LOOK ON YOUR FACE, I’D SAY THAT YOU SAID YES.”
“I CERTAINLY DID. HE IS A WONDERFUL GUY JOHN. I AM SURE YOU WILL LIKE HIM. I WANT YOU TWO TO MEET.”
I’D LIKE THAT TOO.” JOHN TRIED TO SOUND ENTHUSIASTIC.

JOHN’S APPETITE HAD STRANGELY DIMINISHED AND AFTER GLORIA LEFT, HE SAT THERE SIPPING HIS COFFEE GAZING INTO SPACE FOR QUITE A WHILE.

(To be continued.)

For Laundromat Part 1 please check here.

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