I entered the diner and quickly found Albert. He had been sitting there, perhaps a little too long, waiting for me. He seemed displeased with my epic tardiness, but the fact that he continued to wait made me smile just a little. With a frown upon his face, he began the tale of his day including the toast his mother burned and tried to force feed him, and continued his tale of anguish that concludes with my late arrival. He complained of the slow service and the terrible bread on the BLT he apparently scarfed down, seeing as if there was no trace of it on his plate.
I grew annoyed, as he rambled off complaint after complaint, not once asking me why I had shown up an hour late to our supposed lunch date. He had to know that I had absolutely no romantic interest in him and had only agreed to discuss a possibility of us working together.
I sat there, eyes transfixed on the couple across from me, having some sort of heated discussion. It seems that he'd been calling her sister a little too much and she was beginning to question if she should be marrying him at all. I watched the two talk over each other in a loop of "I'm sorrys" and "please don'ts" when Albert stopped talking. He focused his eyes on me, and spoke.
"How do you want her to die?" He asked in a hushed whisper. I gulped at the boldness of his question. We'd always spoken of her as "The problem that needs to be taken care of". Not once, ever, was death, or God forbid, murder ever brought up.
I guess one could inference that is what needed to be done, however challenging it may be. I knew that she was the daughter of a policeman who lived on Long Island. But that was so far away, he would never be given the case. Especially not his own daughter's murder case. I gulped at the boldness of my own thoughts.
"I want her destroyed, Albert! Not dead!" I exclaimed, though in hushed tones. He picked up his glass of water and took long, thirsty gulps. All of a sudden, he seemed more nervous than annoyed.
"I know this is about him. He'd never let her go. She's not going to just go back where she came from. She's not running home to daddy...she's stuck in his brain for good. What did you think would happen?"
I sat there, tapping my foot nervously. I fidgeted. I adjusted my dress. I noticed I had a hang nail and began to bite it. I then focused back on the couple across from us. She had forgiven him. The wedding was no longer in jeopardy. They were kissing and making up. Brendan had never kissed me like that. He never kissed me the way he kissed Delilah. Perhaps he never would. But I would never know with her in the way.
Just then, the waitress came up to our table. It was the first time I'd even seen a waitress in the amount of time I'd been there.
"So, have you made a decision yet?" She asked me, pen and paper in hand.
"I haven't been given a menu…yet". I said, half-smirking, staring at Albert. He smiled back as the waitress walked away to the front of the diner to retrieve a menu.
Albert was right. That diner really did have terrible service. And the bread really was awful.