Game Match Point
by Mary Ruth Begeal
Sam walked into the diner, hungry as hell after a night of foreplay and sexual pleasures. He was ready for a meal, another day, and another piece. Old diners were all the same. No surprises in décor. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. And he ought to know.
At this hour of the morning most of the early crowd was gone. Only the counter flies were still hanging on. Sitting on bolted down stools where they could get conversation and hot refills.
A young waitress was engrossed in conversation and filling cups at the same time. She had possibilities. She would be worth scoping out. She seemed young and not much of a beauty, but he’d had worse. She didn’t notice him, and that he didn’t like. If he was looking at her she should be looking on him, but instead she was too busy in conversation with a long haired kid, more her age he guess. Whatever they were sharing was causing uncontrollable giggling. She never looked up to acknowledge his passing.
He sat in the furthest booth, away from long hair and Giggles. He reached for the menu, more out of habit than to check the foods. The counter girl didn’t come to his table, but the buxom blond who was ringing out people, and who had watched him come in, headed for his table.
“Mornin’ handsome! Coffee?”
“How do you take it?”
“Hot and black!”
“Anything else I can get you?” Her smile and twinkling eyes met his. He liked what he saw.
“I’ll have the special. Saw it on your sign. What choice of meat can I get with that?”
“Darlin’, you can have any kind you want.”
“Then I’ll let you decide for me.”
He watched as she sauntered away. Long legs all the way up to a firm ass. Boy, could he picture himself between those! She may have more miles on her than counter girl, but she had the equipment and definitely knew how to treat a man. He’d seen her watching him from the moment he entered.
Drinking his coffee, he kept one eye on giggles, but also watched Lena, that’s what her name tag had said. She moved through the diner picking up dirty dished and checking out the last few booths. Every time he looked her way, he was sure she was looking at him. There was definitely a possibility here.
His breakfast came—hot and greasy just like always.
“I see you picked the steak.”
“Figured a man like you needed a T-bone--not too well done is it?”
“No, rare, just the way I like it.”
“I figured so. More coffee? Got a nice hot pot, just brewed it”
“ Bring it on.”
As she walked away to get the pot, he could hear giggles screeching over something. The long hair must have told her a real funny.
Lena returned to refill his cup.
“Lena, that is your name? Saw it on your lapel pin.” She nodded her head. “Does Giggles ever stop?”
“No, that’s Stacey for you--young and dumb. Thinks she has to laugh at everything the guy says. Hasn’t got life figured out yet. Wouldn’t know good, if it bit her. She’ll eventually learn.”
Lena leaned over him to refill his cup, coming close enough for him to get her scent, and he did. They looked at each other as she straightened up. Both of them knew it was done on purpose. Her smile and that twinkle were directed at him.
“You look tired! Been a long morning?”
“Always long! Glad when noon comes and I’m out of here. Then I get to put my legs up and have me something stronger than coffee!”
“Why don’t you quit if you feel that way.” He was fishing. So far she had made his job a lot easier than he’d expected. Now he was on the trail, and he was going to keep going.
“Got to make a living--got bills to pay. Nobody else’s going to take care of me, but me!”
There, he now knew she was alone, probably lived alone. He was on his way, just a few more things he needed to know.
“Got any plans for after work, other than legs up and something stiffer than coffee?”
“No, not much to do in a small town like this.
“Would you like to share a drink or two with a stranger? I could meet you someplace.”
“We won’t be strangers if you told me your name, now would we?”
“Name’s Sam, and I’m hoping, Lena, that you’ll say yes to the drinks.” He wanted to say more, but he knew that would come in time.
“Hell, why not! Glad to meet you Sam.” She offered him her hand and they shook. He liked the feel of her touch. He noticed that the raspberry red nail polish matched her lipstick. Their handshake lingered a while before she said, “I get off at noon. My red Durango is parked out back. Could meet me there?”
He nodded. She picked up his empty plate, “Sam, you need anything else right now?”
“No nothing, just the check-- might be a different story later.” He gave her a wink and she smiled back.
Lena carried the dishes to the kitchen before returning with his check. She didn’t talk this time, enough had been said. One of the counter people was waiting to pay his bill so she headed to take the money. It was for sure giggles didn’t do much to support the business.
He drained his coffee cup and made his way to the register. She was there to take his money. First to see him come in and last to see him go—he liked that. Knew she’d remember him, and in more than one way.
“You never said what you liked to drink!”
“I’ll leave that up to you. By the way the Liquor Store’s down to the right by the Barber Shop—you can’t miss it”
“Thanks for the directions. Got some things to do, but I’ll be around back at noon.”
She watched him walk out the door, and get into his pickup truck. He had a real cowboy way about him—rugged, just the way she liked it, even down to the boots he was wearing. She hadn’t noticed that Stacey had walked up to her.
“You were flirting with him. I saw you. Heard you say something about meeting him when you get off. You crazy, girl? Shame on you for leading him on!” Stacey was half laughing as she tried to scold her.
“Stacey, how could you hear anything with all that giggling and eye batting you were doing? And how many refills did that Jacob kid get before he left?”
“Well, you know I kind of like him. Even like his Harley.”
“Honey, if it weren’t for that chopper you probably wouldn’t give him a second giggle. But, you’re learning, girl, if you stick to being a waitress you’ll learn a lot of tricks.”
“But, Lena, do you think it’s fair to go meet this stranger?”
“Hon, his name is Sam, so he’s not a complete stranger. He and I have a lot more in common that you or even he knows. He’s out for a free piece, no strings, no commitments, one night stand, love ‘em and leave ‘em type of guy. He’ll get what he wants, then come morning’s light he’s off to another town, another diner, and another somethin’. He’ll expect me to beg him to stay longer. I probably will just to feed his ego. Seen a lot of his kind. You’ll learn how to spot them if you keep your eyes and ears open.”
“But I still can’t believe you’re going to meet him. What happens if you get caught?”
“Hell, Stacey, I’ve been doing this a long time. Luther’s on a long haul—be two or three more days before he’s home. I’m just having a one nighter with the guy. Won’t be the first time Luther comes home and doesn’t know what his little woman has been up to. I got needs too. And I know just where to get those needs filled. Now let’s get set up for lunch so I can be out of here by noon!”
Mary Ruth Begeal sometimes writes under the name Bunny Begeal. She was born in Pennsylvania, but lived most of her life in New York. She taught elementary school for over 32 years before retiring to North Carolina, but after seven years she returned to the beauty of the mountains and the seasons. She lives with five cats and one dog. She has had three poems published in the past. She writes in a variety of genres, including children's stories. She is working on a book about her life in the south.