The Coffee Shop

On an unusually cool yet sunny afternoon, an old man was found resting by himself on a stone bench, absorbing all of the parks tranquil surroundings. In particular, he was observing a cluster of trees, admiring Its motion and uniqueness, before he was rudely interrupted by a young man? he had just stormed out of the coffee shop right across from where the old man was sitting. This disturbance quickly caught the old man’s curiosity, as he looked through the window of the cafe© to see a young girl visibly crying, with her hands held tight to her face.

The boy, to whom belonged the odd and hurried shuffle, looked rather infuriated and dragged a fairly elegant bouquet of red roses in his right hand. The old man was sitting passively when the young man was in stride, just about to pass him. “Ah, such a nice breeze,” popped the old man. “Don’t you find It rather funny how this same wind can blow these birches, and yet, the leaves and branches are all affected In different WAP’ The young man was netted right in his stride, rather startled at the sound of the old man’s voice. He was so irate that he had not even the slightest awareness that there was someone positioned at the park bench.

Not too different from women, don’t you think? ‘ asked the old man, “Look, I’m not in the mood to talk,” the young man shot back In anger. “Are you homeless? Hungry? Do you want some money? ” “Why no, thank you,” the old man started, “l happen to own a house in the hills, sport a cherry red Lotus. But the roses are nice. Say, why don’t I take ‘me since your girl’s not a fan? ” At that instant, the young man dropped his flowers and took the old man by his trench coat. “Look here, yea got a problem he threatened. “Cause I anti afraid to mess you up, grandpa! The old man, not relenting from the bully, responded, “Like you did your relined, you little punk? Go ahead, hit me. Hit me! ” The young man retracted his fist but withheld upon releasing the blow. They stared intensely at each other for another second before the young man decided to let go of his trench coat. He thought the last thing he needed was to end up in jail for decking a crazy old man. “You fool! Smack your lover but let alone a dirty old man? ” said the old man in disdain as he was fixing his Jacket. Informer a coward, that’s what you are. ” The young man decided to turn away and pace off.

But he stopped In his tracks as he looked down the street to find several eyes fixed intently on him. He was oblivious to all the commotion that had followed his row with the old man. Did somebody call the cops? He could not be certain, but in order to defuse the situation, he decided It would be best to appear contrite. He slowly walked back towards the old man to offer an apology: “Look, sir, I should?” “Take a seat, son. ” Interjected the old man, sternly, who did not appear to be shaken at all. The young man was afraid of further trouble so he reluctantly obliged.

He hesitated for a moment before walking toward the end of the once He took ten seat opposite AT ten 010 man. “l once Knew a SKI won was Just Like oh,” the old man began. At that moment, the young man felt the rationale to Just pick up and leave. But in an odd way, he was somewhat calmed by the sedative voice of the old man. Who knows what the strange old man might have to offer? So the young man resolved to stay, and thus, the old man’s story began. There was another young man, Just like this one sitting here with the old man, who used to go to that same exact coffee shop.

Peter, as his friends would know him, was not unlike the young man in those days: handsome, hopeful, and hotheaded. He had his unfortunate share of arguments to go along with that ‘hopeless midsummer nuance’ that happened several years ago in high school. He was much familiar with the anguish and the heartbreak of being dumped. In fact, he knew it all too well. Some thought Peter was a product of low self-esteem. He didn’t see himself as a worthy recipient of love and consequently had a hard time dispensing love in return.

Whenever he thought about initiating a potential relationship, his mind would somehow always point him back to a place called ‘The Wasteland of Incapability,’ an unforgiving memory lane filled with past relational failures, mistakes, and disappointments. He still thought about his ex-girlfriend on some occasions, each time recounting how he inexcusably blew up at her. He kept the failure of that relationship as the marker of his relational immaturity. All of this might have stemmed from his less than immaculate upbringing as a child.

At the age of eight, Peter emigrated from Korea with his family. He had a difficult time assimilating and fitting into the new American culture: the language, the look, and the hobbies. Isolation soon drove him towards a curiosity in the local street gang, as its members would loiter around the block every Sunday after his church service ended. What he found in the gang was that which he had ironically lacked in his church: genuine interest, attention, and loyalty. Peter would often follow these small time ruffians on 18th street, bullying little children and making a riot of the neighborhood.

Near the commencement of Pewter’s high school education, his parents had finally reckoned it time to relocate in a safer neighborhood. But by this time, the group of hoodlums had already left him in a wounded state of irrepressible anger and false bravado. There had been many an occasion that, when confronted by his adamant father, Peter would not relent, instead wielding two fists as his line of defense. The physical scars that would appear after each battle were mere offshoots of an embittered root burrowed deep within. But Peter had rather put all that behind him now. “Sorry, I’m late.

I hit a little bit of traffic,” said Peter apologetically, as he was sloppily approaching the seat beside his brother. He had rushed directly to the coffee shop after his 3-6 pm final, his last for what turned out to be a begrudgingly long term. By his entrance, it was apparent that he seemed a little more than worn out, but all of that was about to change. “Hung, this is my reined, Sandy,” started David, naturally assuming the role of liaison while the girls gestured toward introductory handshakes. “And this is her sister, Cattily. ” With that, Peter, In Renee, extended Nils nana to match casualty’s Ana sandy.

However, nee was visibly taken aback. He was whelmed by the beauty of the two young ladies sitting before him, and could only muster a sheepish smile as self-defense before fumbling, “H-hello… My name is Peter. ” Although flustered about his less than flattering introduction, Peter managed to gather his emotions and settle in with his surroundings with relative ease. As his brother smoothly facilitated, Peter became more comfortable and soon began opening up to his newfound company. Numerous stories and laughs were shared over drinks as the four of them sat around at that good 01′ coffee shop.

Peter, in particular, took a liking to the elder of the two sisters. Between him and Cattily, Peter felt a certain unspoken camaraderie, as though the two must have somehow happened upon each other once before. He found her especially clever and Jovial, as they parleyed about their respective families. “Oh, you think David is bad? You should see Sandy,” she started with a premature giggle. The way she drives, we need to hire a parking attendant who waves little neon sticks Just to direct her out of the garage. ” The two elders roared as the younger siblings let out slight giggles.

Their real embarrassment was betrayed by their cheeks, which were bright and rosy red. “I’ll take one for the team,” David thought to himself, “Fraternal love calls me to be his wingman. ” It was actually a meeting in the making for quite some time now. Peter distinctly recalled a moment two months earlier, when his brother had approached him with an intense excitement regarding a certain girl: “Hung! You there? Exclaimed David as he walked into the family living room. “Hung! ” He shouted with so much emotion that Peter was caught by surprise. “David, it’s late! Mom and Dad are sleeping.

What’s the matter? ” “Hung, you have to meet this girl,” he started. “I’m telling you, she’s smart, funny and simply breath-taking. ” “What are you talking?” 3 “Oh and get this?she’s also an art major! She goes to that Otto art school in LA. ” “It’s not Otto, fool. It’s ‘Otis. ‘ And I still don’t know what?” “Whatever, hung. You Just got to meet her,” responded David in an instantly composed manner. “She’s actually Sandy older sister. You remember Sandy, right? We both think that you guys have a lot in common. ” At the time, Peter was obviously nonplussed about the situation.

He just figured his brother was up to his usual antics, for he was quite the carefree Joker, and didn’t think much about the conversation. Little did he realize that they would actually be sitting here now, in this moment, without a single care in the world. “Oh! I almost forgot! ” Cattily suddenly shot aloud. “David, what time is it? ” “It’s about a quarter to eleven. Why? ” “Oh no. Sandy, we must go now,” she said. “I’m sorry, but we would really get going. ” “Oh, C’mon, you haven’t told us your embarrassing blind date! ” retorted Peter. Sandy concurred: anemia!

That’s not fair! I told everyone about Stuttering Timmy! ” Cattily snigger and stood up from her seat. “Well, I guess that’ll just have to be appetizer in the future. Sorry, but I guess we’ll see you guys some other time? ” “Okay, but we’re going to hold you to it next time,” Peter resigned. “Hey, would you girls like us to walk you to your car? ” offered David politely to the ladies. Oh, right, Peter thought to himself, it was very late and dark; the ladies should telnet De accompanied to tenet car. “Yes, AT course, we’ll walk you to your car,” nee interjected.

His disappointment over their imminent departure numbed his sense of chivalry. The gentlemen chauffeured the sisters to their car and, as they stood before their destination, reissued their perfunctory goodbyes. The brothers then made like statues, waving and watching as the champagne-colored, four-door Campy pulled out and disappeared into the shadowed black of the night. “So, Peter, what do you think? ” asked David, with a slight smirk. “Is she sweet or what? ” Peter didn’t hesitate, as he spooned with a wide grin: “Cattily, Cattily?yeah, you weren’t lying.

She’s pretty smart and witty and?and her smile! It’s like ‘dang girl! ” “No, hung,” David curtly interrupted, awakening his love-stricken brother from his timeless reverie. “I’m talking about Sandy, man. ” “Oh… What? Weren’t we talking about Cattily? ” remarked a perplexed Peter. 4 David started laughing hysterically: “Hung, I’m Just messing’. Go on, keep spitting’ all your accolades about her. ” Peter did not hesitate to accept the invitation, naturally picking up right where he left off, as David started the family minivan.

The drive back mom for the two would consist of everything Cattily, as Peter went on in his lengthy praises like the guest who, unbeknownst to him, had overstayed his welcome one too many nights. David unwittingly opened himself up to playing ‘catcher’ for the rest of the night, only relieved of Pewter’s survivable when they finally arrived home forty-five minutes later. Peter had developed more than a fondness for Cattily since that magical September evening, but there was still so much about her that he didn’t know.

He was told that she worked several shifts at that cafe©, but there was no information about her family aground other than that about Sandy, nor were there any hints in regards to her marital status. She might not even be single anymore, he thought. However, that meeting was too much of an appetizer to not give way to some sort of main course. Now this time, it was Peter who was going to initiate, letting his brother know in no uncertain terms that he wanted to meet up with Cattily again. “David, you mentioned before that she was single? You sure? ” miss. “So, how about we set something up again? ” “Hung, you need to calm down,” David responded. “It’s only been two days. ” Though the response was made Jokingly, Peter found it to be a mild reality check. It recalled to his mind the trivialize adage of taking it slowly,’ something his parents often bludgeoned him with in regards to relationships. However, he did not need any reminders; he was already painstakingly aware of the need to fix himself. What would I have to offer her right now, he would often think to himself. The remainder of his three-week school vacation went on without Cattily.

But as the new art term began, Peter had little time to dwell on his encounter and even less time to rededicate myself to his main priorities. This term was promising to be his hardest yet, and he needed to maintain his stellar grade point average in order to continue receiving his scholarship. Although the school’s grant money partially covered his forty-thousand dollars per-year tuition, every penny was needed and saved. Art college was populously more than Nils preacher Tanner Ana seamstress mother could attar, Ana more stress was amounting with Davit’s imminent enrollment at a local university.

His parents had been working two Jobs Just to support his education, how would they now provide for David? The anxiety was proving too much to bear, and if it weren’t for the father holding them together, the familial ship would have sunk a long time ago. But as the spiritual bedrock of the family, his father would always remind them of Scripture. He’d spout Jeremiah 29:13: “For I know the 5 plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope,” when they were all losing hope.

He’d repeat Psalm 23 when they seemed to be losing direction. Time and time again, he would remind them that the Father in heaven was sovereign’ over all their troubles and hardships. Still, Peter wished he could have done more; he had wanted so desperately to help. But he was astute enough to know his time and place. His only shot was art. This education?this one hundred thousand dollar degree?would be his priceless ticket to fame and money, and his parent’s ticket for future stability and comfort. Thus he was determined, his passion and purpose never to be derailed.

Yet, as the semester term flew by, Peter Just could not let that poignant September memory become a distant mark. Although Peter was mainly preoccupied with completing his schoolwork, he could not forget about Cattily. He Just saw his current preoccupation with school as something dilatory, with their second meeting in the future booked in the calendar of inevitability. When December rolled around, Peter had finished the term, this time barely earning the marks that would keep him eligible for the scholarship. What he warmed up to now was the three-week vacation period that would allow him an opportunity with Cattily.

Three weeks was shoddy compensation in comparison to all the hours of dedication and sacrifice he had poured into his artwork, but at this point, he would have taken almost anything. Peter recalled asking ere sister, since he was afraid to ask Cattily directly, for the number a few days after their coffee house encounter. “4-7-6… ” He distinctly remembered writing it on a napkin. What did he do with the napkin? He quickly searched his flannel shirt. Then he fumbled through his pant pockets?no luck. No, it was in the left pocket of the other pants, he thought.

Peter hurriedly stormed into his mess of a bedroom and scrounged about in search of his cream-colored khakis. He resigned his search after ten frustrating minutes, before his brother caught his eye as he walked past him. “David, are those my khakis? “Oh yeah, your pants. Sorry, my pair was in the wash so I borrowed yours. ” Peter instantly ran up to David and groped his pockets. “What the heck are you doing? ” asked David as he defended his privacy. “Stop touching me! ” “Thank goodness,” Peter sighed in relief. The napkin, with the seven digits, was still intact.

He held the paper in his hand and stared at the phone. His eyes were on the phone for a five good minutes before he finally mustered up the courage to give her a call and set up a personal rendezvous. “4-7-6… ” He started to dial. His heartbeat sounded like drums going off in his chest. He heard three long drones of the dial tone before the receiver picked up. Peter was greeted on the other side by a sweet, mellifluous evolve?Just as nee Ana remembered It to De. He manage a weak “He before slowly breaking into conversation with Cattily.

He spoke in his native tongue, Korean, sensing his English would somehow betray his utter nervousness. 6 After a seemingly long five minutes, the phone call was over. He decided to meet up with a few of his friends, whom he hadn’t seen in quite some time, to personally tell them the good news. They met at the local Starchiness Park. The group of four adhered around intently as Peter relayed his conversation with Cattily word for word in Korean. Josh, being his only Korean friend present, translated to the others: ” ‘HI, this is Peter. How are you doing? ‘Oh, h’! I’m doing fine. How are you? ‘I’m good.

Well, I called because I was wondering, Some time, do you have some time? ‘For… For, for, for a date? ‘Heehaw. ‘ ‘Heehaw. ‘ And that was the end of conversation. ” All the young men broke out in uproarious laughter. “Some time, do you have some time? That’s smooth! ” cackled Aaron, a fellow classmate of Pewter’s. “My pen can spit better lines than you. “C’mon, that’s a horrible translation,” Peter protested. “Okay, well, give him some credit,” chimed Josh. “Mine was a very, very literal translation. ” “Well, at least he asked and she said yes,” Chris said. “We don’t have any say until we grow some balls. Peter made for prime pickings the rest of the night. The group of friends all chimed in with their Jokes and took their shots, as Peter had set himself up this time to play his very own game of catch. But at the end of the night, the scoreboard in his mind read: Peter 1, Friends O. He was seeing her again, he thought. And to him, that was all that mattered. Cattily was someone who appeared to have had it all together. Around this time, she had been attending a rather prestigious business school across town and had earned nothing less than the highest marks in all her classes.

Not that it was easy or anything, for she had to manage working almost full-time at the cafe© in addition to her unforgiving academic load. Yet, she was a naturally bright and diligent woman, and soon learned the utility of time management: cutting church for exam preparation, using slow days at work for book studying?how could she be in anything other than that of the business field? Speech, hardly an easy art and often traded by many, stood as the crowning Jewel of her flavored personality; her eloquence earned her favor with professors and peers alike.

On the few occasions that she would commit a faux pas, she would somehow redeem her situation through her langue Elise. This winsome quality, along with her business acumen, was passed down to her by her late father. 7 It also didn’t hurt that Cattily had a bastion of fun and intellectual friends, a pleasurable bunch that always added spice to her life. This was an eclectic group, one that partied at Sunset as much as they read Dostoevsky and admired Rueben at the Getty. And they made sure Cattily always had her fill of something?whether it was religion, politics, literature, or alcohol.

However, even as accomplished as near friends were, they still looked to Cattily as the prototype. She Just has this angelic aura about her, they whispered amongst themselves. It certainly seemed, on the outside, that much was to be admired about this little young wonder. But who knew that someone could Juggle all the pressure of reputation, popularity, and accolades so deceivingly well? Her Jovial fade belied her deeper tribulations and much- maligned soul. Though her friends made her their confidante, she needed Just as such absolution for herself.

You see, it wasn’t too long ago that the lung cancer her father was fighting (for nearly two years) finally chained him to the grave. Up until that time, her father had been separated from her mother for about four years, had remarried and retained custody of the two younger daughters. Cattily remained with her mother so the meetings between them were sparse. They would usually meet only once every two weeks over coffee?they would frequent the coffee shop where she now worked. Those two hours served as a time for Cattily to vent, share, and relate to her once-estranged father.

He wasn’t perfect by any standard, but what Cattily admired most about him was his willingness to admit shortcomings and work on becoming the ‘right man. ‘ (In fact, in many ways, her father redefined what it meant to be a man. ) Through those suppers, the two of them were able to re-knot a once severed tie between father and daughter. It was him in whom she had found hope; it was her father who stood as her pillar of perseverance. Then in a few short months, he was gone. He Just got worse and worse and one day, he left the world.

This time Cattily lost more than her mother’s husband?she lost a real father. There as not a day that passed without her feeling the ponderous weight of his absence. Not before long, Cattily found herself Jumping from one relationship to another. It started out with a young man who had her father’s wit, then it happened to be a man who shared his confidence. All the relationships would fall apart after a couple months or so, as they all either cheated on her or treated her poorly. It had not occurred to her that she was trying to fill a hole that no other man could fill.

Soon thereafter, her grades stopped becoming a priority and she realized she needed a semester off to work and find herself. Cattily was found wandering aimlessly for a year traveling the path of cheap booze and cheaper men. So it was rather surprising ?and quite reminiscent?for her when she met someone as honest and altruistic as Peter. It was only one meeting, but she had already sensed something different about him. Somehow, he reminded her that the heart of life was good. “Hey! There you are! ” she shouted enthusiastically as the three?her sister and the two brothers?made their way into the Sushi restaurant.

She had been in wait, sitting an hour and a half for them. “l am so sorry… Seriously sorry,” Peter let out with genuine remorse. He had o wait for David to get ready before having to pick up Sandy, who had no means of transportation?all before finally making the thirty-mile trek to the restaurant; it was an excruciating car ride. “There was so much traffic, and this little boy took forever just to gel his hair. ” 8 Peter had to do a double take as he saw Cattily hugging Sandy. She had awakened Nils senses, something Like ten marmoreal scent AT went lotus In ten morning. Lately donned a chic merino wrap sweater that worked easily over a black sleeveless camisole, and she simply dazzled in the light. anemia, we’re so sorry. We hope you aren’t too hungry,” David added. It’s okay, I understand,” she replied. “It’s Just good to see that you guys made it alright. ” “Is your party ready to be seated now? ” inquired the waiter. The place was busy but the ambiance was light. They were led to a private section of the restaurant, a table with a nice window view of the outside pier, and took to their seats: David across from Cattily, Peter across from Sandy.

Small talk was made amongst the four, yet there seemed a felt uneasiness at the table. David was interacting more with Sandy, unintentionally setting up a verbal divide that precluded any meaningful talk between Peter and Cattily. Peter was itching for his hence, but it was simply awkward. He fumbled around with his chopsticks before David, with his fraternal intuition, summoned: “Hung, let’s switch seats. I need to talk to Sandy about something. ” After the smooth seat exchange, Peter made a more concerted effort to converse and make her feel at ease.

Several smiles, two throat- clearing coughs, and one leg crossing occurred before he broke the ice: “So, how is everything? I heard you transferred out of Otis and now taking a break from school entirely? ” anemia, Otis is too competitive and I Just can’t hang. If you saw my work, you’d drop out too,” she chuckled. And well, I’m also taking a break from SC to decide if my heart and drive is in the business field. ” “Well, at least, now you might get a real job,” he responded. “Who knows, at the rate technology is going, cars might be obsolete by the time I graduate. The two began to sink into a comfortable level of ease with each other as the night went on. He engaged her with his talk about ‘blue- ocean strategies,’ concepts that even Cattily in her expertise had not been too familiar with. Surely, she was impressed by his depth of knowledge, and even more, by his ability to relate?all of which reminded her of her late father. David and Sandy were also seen visibly laughing, with their subjects of conversation on obviously much lighter terms. If they had known better, the girls would have thought this were a cleverly disguised double date.

Before Peter knew it, the hour had passed and it was time for Cattily to leave. It appeared that she had an informative business meeting immediately following the dinner. The fellows spotted the check and then accompanied the girls to their Campy. The group made its goodbyes and then the girls’ car rolled out into the night. 9 “Hung, I don’t usually say this,” David started, “But you sounded intelligent tonight. Yeah, I heard you… All that talk about ‘blue-ocean strategies’ and what not. That’s pretty clever, man. You were also polite and funny?cheesy at times.

But Hung, I goat hand it to you?I’m pretty impressed. ” Peter, with a slight grin on his face, replied: “Well, who would have thought that one ‘Introduction to Business Analysis’ class would ever come in handy on a date? ” David laughed: Mimi Fricke’ dog, man! You’re a genius. ” “But I got you to thank. There wouldn’t have even been a date if you and Sandy didn’t come along. I didn’t want her to feel awkward, so you two made her more comfortable. anemia, well, Sandy really cute so it’s alright. ” The two laughed Ana snared memorable moments Tanat occurred outnumber ten Tate as teen drove back home.

The night was the culmination of two long months in the waiting, and though it was only for a short hour, it was sweet nevertheless. As he sat in his room, mulling over the night, his memory somehow traced him back to a time when he was just a ‘good-for-nothing hoodlum, a time when his own family thought they had lost him. A time when his mother would cry over him every night. He recalled his father mentioning how he had nearly disowned him, with neither fist nor voice capable of season. Yes, Peter remembered being a ‘lost cause. ‘ He also remembered his girlfriend leaving him because he ‘couldn’t change. Everyone gave up on him, everyone?but God. If it weren’t for the real belief he found in his God he held no chance for redemption; God had healed him of his anger; He had mended his broken ties. Now it seemed like God was presenting another spiritual remedy through Cattily. She made him forget about his past failures, his pained relationships. Not that he felt any more worthy of her love, but in her he saw a mirror that beautifully reflected genuine hope and sincerity. He wanted to protect her innocence, build her character, and provide for her emotionally.

In her stood a clear and clean beginning, and that night convinced him all the more that she would be as good as any a partner for him. At work the next week, Cattily was approached by her boss, a somewhat stout yet amiable old man who always made her giggle because he looked like an Asian ‘Super Mario. ‘ He wanted to commission her in doing a 7 x 15 mural painting on their cafe© wall, saying that it would liven up the walls and hopefully attract more customers. He was willing to pay her double her normal wage for every hour that she would take to omelet it.

Being the opportunistic woman that she was, Cattily heartedly accepted and tried to reminisce about her middle school days when she took oil painting classes and had aspirations of being the next Renoir. The following day she brought in her reds, blues, greens, and yellows and set them next to her side. Her manager, knowing she had prior experience with art, had left the wall empty to her own discretion, with full expectancy of something akin to Starry Night on the walls. Yet for 10 her artistic freedom she had little less than an ounce of creativity in return.

She didn’t thought about art since she left Otis, and had much less painted with acrylics. Oh well, she thought, she really had nothing to lose. So she dabbed her wily old brush into the acrylics and mixed those reds, blues, greens and yellows and stroked life onto those once formless walls. After about 10 minutes of work, she retracted to see how her masterpiece was unfolding. At the same time, her manager happened to stroll by to see how she was faring, since it was an unusually slow night at the cafe©. What lay before his eyes made him think twice about her commission?two cross strokes of blue and yellow and one circular stroke of red.

Having a good sense of humor, he laughed it off as Cattily conceded that she needed a simple ‘stroke’ of inspiration. As the manager was preparing the store for closing, a last customer napped to walk In tongue ten Coors. 10 near surprise, It was none toner than Peter. Cattily had told Peter, through a phone call from him earlier in the night, about her harrowing task. However, she did not realistically expect him to be showing up two hours later. “Hey?What are you doing here? ” “l thought I’d stop by for some coffee and maybe take a look at what you had up. ” anemia, it’s not much. ” “Okay, I’m leaving now, Cat,” her manager interjected.

I’ll leave the keys here at the counter for you to close up. Have a good night, you two. ” They were the only two souls in the cafe© now. “Well, it’s a start,” Peter said as he was observing the piece, or more appropriately, the three strokes. “Some people would pay millions for that, yea know. ” anemia, but I don’t think my boss would pay 15 an hour for that. ” They both let out a faint laugh. Then there followed an awkward silence. “It’s a far drive… Really, who’d you come? ” “Oh, it just sounded like you had a lot to do since you had to move in tomorrow. I had free time, so thought I’d Just come by and help out. Wow, you really didn’t have to, but that’s very nice of you. ” “Mind if I help? ” “No, not at all; anything you put up will be better than that garbage. Here, why don’t I go fix us up something hot. ” 11 Cattily made her way up and around the counter to prepare two warm lattes for the long night ahead of them. Peter stood before the wall, with brush in his hand, staring and wondering about the three strokes on the wall. “What did you have in mind, Cattily? Anything at all? ” “Well… As you can see, not much,” she giggled. “But now I’m thinking something scenic, perhaps a mountain or forest… Along those lines.

Peter left alone the two cross strokes and circle of Cattail’s and started from the bottom left corner. Dip, brush, stroke. Repeat, stroke after stroke. It came so naturally for this art prodigy. By the time Cattily returned with the two lattes, he had already drawn a deer, stream, and several trees. “Oh wow… You even got the little Bambini action going on,” she said. “Peter, that’s really good. ” “Thanks, I didn’t know if that’s what you wanted or not, but you know, Bambini never fails,” he replied somewhat nervously. “Here’s a brush, Join the fun. ” He kept insisting so she took the brush. It was her mural, anyway.

Conversation flowed forth from one to the other as they were filling in the white with skies and hills, trees and mountains. During those two hours, they broached on topics as entertaining as television dramas to as profound as religious experiences and old romances. “Hey, I Just got the new John Mayer CD,” Peter remarked, as they were on a tangent about music. “Mind if we pop it in? ” “John Mayer? I don’t know his stuff all too well, but sure! ” she replied. “What’s that one song, Your Buddy’s A Wunderkind? ” Peter laughed off that ridiculous comment. How does she not know one of the better musicians of our time?

He went to retrieve the CD in his car, came back, and inserted it into the CD player under the counter. Soon there was an audible drum and bass line, as “Waiting For The World To Change” started resounding from the walls. “Mom… Johnny’s pretty good. Eve been missing out. ” The music played on for several minutes, serving as the conversational filler, as Peter and Cattily focused on their own respective parts of the mural. Here and there they would intermittently throw in some words or Jokes. Then, from out of nowhere, Peter dropped a bomb on her: “Cattily… ‘ have something I want to tell you. You know, ever