Every day Harold would board the bus two blocks from his apartment and take it to his favorite sidewalk cafe in the center of town. To say that it was a habit would be an understatement. It was more of a lifestyle.
When Harold arrived at the cafe, he took his usual table and waited for Denise, his regular waitress, to come out and take his order. However, a look of confusion graced Harold’s face when the cafe’s owner came out instead. “Where’s Denise?” Harold asked Mack.
“Harold, I’m sorry,” Mack said. “I had to let Denise go.”
“Why would you do that? Denise has been waiting tables here for years.”
“Ever since the mill closed two months ago,” Mack said, “business is down. I don’t get enough patrons to afford to keep this place open. So I’m shuttering the place tonight right after closing hours.”
“Whatever will I do if you close this place down?”
“I don’t know what to tell you, Harold,” Mack said. “It is what it is.”
“Wait, Mack,” Harold said, “I need to concentrate.”
“I know this is hard….”
Before Mack could finish what he was saying, Harold blurted out, “I want to buy this cafe. You can stay on as the chef and I’ll bring Denise back to be the head waitress.”
“That’s very magnanimous of you, Harold,” Mack said, “but how can you afford to buy this place? I told you it doesn’t get enough customers to cover the costs.”
“This may surprise you, Mack, but I’m actually a very wealthy man,” Harold said. “Money is not a concern for me.”
Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: GaborfromHungary at Morguefile.com. And yes, I know I exceeded the suggested 200 word limit by about 100 words. Oh well.
Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (bus), Word of the Day Challenge (habit), Ragtag Daily Prompt (confusion), Your Daily Word Prompt (tonight), The Daily Spur (concentrate), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (magnanimous).