Previously… Val decided to return to her planet but first she wants to say good-bye to her friends on Earth including Marcus.
Val smiled to herself as she observed the couple. He would definitely need her help to approach the woman sitting at the table by herself. It didn’t take an alien with intuitive powers to see that they both were attracted to one another…just too shy to initiate any interaction. Staring at the man, Val concentrated on him thinking, She is a lovely woman and you are a handsome and charming man capable of stimulating conversation and maybe even some laughs. Concentrating on the woman she thought, Smile at him… give him a sign…”
The woman smiled at the man. The man wasn’t sure what to do.
You can do this, Val mentally pushed.
The man stood up. “Hello, I hope you don’t think me too forward but…,” he said a bit awkwardly. “I can’t help noticing that you and I are both eating alone. I was thinking that maybe it would be nice to sit together…” he paused to get her name.
“Barb,” the woman beamed back at him. “And yes, I would love for you to join me.”
Carmen came over and nudged Val. “Wow, talk about miracles. Those two are made for each other but I never thought they’d have the courage to actually act on the feeling everybody else knew they had.”
“Life can surprise you sometimes,” Val said. She was smiling but her eyes drifted towards the door of the diner.
“Are you hoping to be surprised?” Carmen asked Val.
Val laughed uncomfortably. “I’m always hoping….”
Val’s shift went surprisingly fast. The diner was popping keeping Val moving from table to table. Every once in a while she would take a glance at the door just in case. Figures this would be the one day Marcus didn’t show up. Probably for the best though, Val thought. After all, maybe she was fonder of him than she admitted to Amber. Val forced a little smile, happy that she turned off her communication device. This way she didn’t have to listen to Amber gloat or give her warning.
Zeke came over to Val as she dried a few dishes behind the counter.
“Looks like most of the crowd has died down now,” he said. “I really appreciate you taking on the extra shift. You may be new to this but you’re one fine worker.”
“Thanks,” Val told him with a smile and a nod.
Zeke motioned to the door with his head. “The old gals and I can handle it from here. Why don’t you take off?”
“I don’t mind the work,” Val insisted. “I enjoy it.”
“I’m not nearly as dense as people think. I see you catching glances at the door. Why don’t you go try to find what you are looking for?” Zeke said.
Val shook her head. “I’m not looking for anything. I think I have everything I need for now,” she sighed.
Zeke grinned. “Whatever. Tomorrow’s another day right?”
“Exactly….” Val agreed.
“So I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow then,” Zeke said.
Val took off her apron. She smiled at Zeke, “Yes of course you will,” she said putting her apron on the counter.
Making her way towards the door Val thought of how much she enjoyed her time here. Oddly, she was going to miss these people. But she thought it was best that none of them be allowed to miss her.
She stopped in the doorway. Turned towards the diner and said, “You will all forget me!”
The people in the diner went silent for a second. Then Carmen walked up to her. “Hey, there. Do you want a table?” she asked.
Val shook her head. “No thanks, just checking the place out.”
“Well we don’t look like much but the food is great!” Carmen told her. “Come back when you’re hungry and you won’t regret it. Our cook Zeke has a way with the griddle.”
On those words Val turned and rushed out of the diner. She couldn’t bear to see the faces of her friends that would no longer remember her.
She rushed down the street, tears filling her eyes. Val was barely able to see where she was going. Nor could she believe she had allowed herself to get this attached. “Amber is right and I am a fool”, she said quietly out loud, not paying attention to where she was going.
Suddenly Val felt herself run smack into another person but before she could fall to the ground she felt two arms reach forward and catch her.
“You know, we really have to stop meeting like this.”
Val knew that voice! She looked up through her teary eyes and there he was. She smiled the biggest smile of her alien life. But before she could say a word Marcus pulled her close, and she knew, she wasn’t leaving anytime soon…