Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Umbrella Love

The door banged shut, forced to by a powerful gale that acted with invisible hands. She could almost picturise him – him as in Mr.Gale – a tall, brooding type with a cape and large-rimmed hat. She wasn’t quite sure why the gale should be a man, but with that kind of brute force let’s say she didn’t feel all that off the mark that blusterous morning.

Koshy’s was almost empty. There was just one couple sitting at the far end, it being the beginning of the week and a terrible morning at that. She was not as wet as she expected – her trustworthy raincoat had yet again lived up to its name. She extricated herself from the dripping coat and slunk into the closest table, because she wanted to be near the windows. Bad though the weather may have been, she still liked the romance of the rain. Call her a soppy fool – she didn’t care.

As she put her backpack down on the floor next to her, she suddenly noticed a funny little enamel face grinning at her. It was the handle of a colourful umbrella, shaped in a most unique way. Two things attracted her to it at once – first, the myriad of colours on it. She liked most umbrellas that were any shade of anything but black. She hated the boring old black umbrellas. They made her want to scream – everyone and their brother had one, and it was boring, boring, boring. Just not her. She didn’t even own an umbrella, preferring the convenience of a raincoat, but if she did then it would most certainly not be black. That much she knew. So the colorful umbrella endeared itself to her on sight. Then of course there was that handle – that weird little grin. Colourful umbrellas were not that uncommon, but one with a face? Now that she hadn’t seen too many of.

She placed an order for a cup of hot chocolate, and began to examine the umbrella. Whose could it be? And had he or she just left after breakfast or was it a remnant of a boisterous get-together at the restaurant the previous night? And where, oh where had they got the umbrella from? She decided she’d go and buy one exactly like that if she ever found out.

The rain continued to pour across the window-pane, tiny little rivulets blurring the scene outside. She counted them slowly, but soon tired of the exercise. There were too many of them. She turned her attention back to the umbrella and decided to ask the waiter about it. He’d know. Her hot chocolate made its appearance a few minutes later, and she immediately asked the waiter whether he knew whom it belonged to. The waiter looked at it, smiled, and said that it belonged to a regular customer, who’d probably forgotten it when he left after his coffee less than an hour ago. He said he’d make sure it would be returned to its owner, and asked for it so he could keep it safely till the owner came by again.

She was just about to hand it over when she looked at the funny face once more and asked whether she could look at it a bit longer since she thought it was so attractive. The waiter smiled again. He knew her also well, after all. He agreed, and left her to finish her hot chocolate in peace.

Just then, the door banged again. She looked up, and noticed a rather intelligent-looking young fellow in a Che Guevara T-shirt and soaking jeans enter the restaurant. Her mind raced. Could it be him? She saw him walk to the waiter. Should she do what she was thinking? She didn’t know. Her drink stood there untouched.

She decided to go for it. She rummaged in her purse quickly, withdrew some money, put it on the table, grabbed her things and ran out.

In her hand, a funny little face gleamed.


Therestlessquill said...

Do you know me?? Because I could swear that this post is about me!!! I own a raincoat, have a terrible attraction towards strange umbrellas (I own 15 of them -- none foldable, none black!!) and I've 'bought' something the way you've described here!!!
Come on, own up own up ;)
Very good story tho.. glad you didn't have her fall in love Che Man.
And oh, thanks for dropping by. Dickinson's the best no?

wanderstruck said...

He he. Maybe I do know you...ooooo (mysterious music tone starts!!). Kidding. But yes, I think black umbrellas suck.
Glad you liked the story. Haven't been writing for a while so a bit rusty! Dickinson is very nice. Let me know if you find other nice ones!