red shirt by thatgrrl

31 Jan

“That guy. The one over there in the red shirt. He’s been in here every day this week. He bought the break­fast plat­ter and then two cof­fee refills after that. He read the news­pa­per, three times over, but still he sat right there all that time. He didn’t leave until noon and then he came back the next day and did it all again”. Tim stopped to look at me and make sure I was lis­ten­ing. Tim owned The Cookin Chicken diner and treated his staff well, as I knew even though I’d only been there a short time.

“Now, it’s Sat­ur­day, we’ve got the tourists fill­ing every seat and he’s back again, set­tled in like he plans to spend the whole morn­ing today. We need to get him out of here. He can’t take up a whole booth dur­ing the Sat­ur­day break­fast rush. Can’t you just accept his pro­posal and take him away? I’ll even give you the rest of the day off. Heck, I’ll give you the whole week­end just to get rid of him!”

Tim was look­ing pretty grumpy. It suited him. He has one of those dark, scruffy faces that look so well on male mod­els and actors. Tim looked good too. I’d been try­ing to get him to look at me as more than just another wait­ress but it wasn’t work­ing. Instead, it was Jim, Tim’s twin brother, who kept notic­ing me, send­ing me long­ing looks and expen­sive flowers.

Not that Jim wasn’t a good guy, he just wasn’t my first choice. For one thing, he was a wid­ower with six kids. Six kids were kind of intim­i­dat­ing. I’d never been the type to take on some­thing with that much respon­si­bil­ity. But, now, Tim and Jim were con­spir­ing to get me to give Jim a chance. I knew Tim wasn’t really angry about his brother hang­ing around. Though it was true that Sat­ur­day is busy and the diner was get­ting really full with a line up out the door.

Still, I really think it was a bit extreme and des­per­ate for Jim to pro­pose mar­riage the first day he met me. Tim said not to take it seri­ously, that he’d already asked almost every sin­gle woman in town and was just try­ing it out on me cause I was a new face in town. But, still, it’s not quite the usual pick up line.

Jim fin­ished his cof­fee and began clear­ing his own table. I guess he knew Tim was about to ask him to move out and let cus­tomers have the spot. I watched Jim clear the table, he looked sad, like some­one who was giv­ing up on some­thing. I felt kind of bad. Tim promised he wasn’t an axe mur­derer, just a bit of a geek. Really… a week­end off work would be kind of nice. I still hadn’t got­ten used to stand­ing all those hours and the tourists could be pretty demand­ing as customers.

Tim was frown­ing down at me, not quite glar­ing, yet clearly wish­ing I’d take his brother out of his hair. Jim came towards us, about to walk out the door. Maybe an oppor­tu­nity for a good guy after all the times I’d said I never met any good guys. I took a deep breath, held it a sec­ond and then, just as Jim stepped past us I reached out and took hold of his jacket. Sud­denly it all felt right. He felt the tug on his sleeve and looked back at me. I smiled up at him. I never noticed Jim had that twin­kle in his eyes before. Tim didn’t have that.

“Let’s blow this chicken stand, Jim.” That was all I needed to say. Jim had the biggest puppy dog look of hap­pi­ness then he took my hand and escorted me out of the diner.


4 Responses to “red shirt by thatgrrl”

  1. ingridfnl January 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    I love the sense that he is familiar and not a stranger. The sense that he’s been waiting for her… (BTW: In Uni I actually knew two brothers named Tim and Jim. This made my chuckle all by itself. :))

  2. thatgrrl January 31, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    I think Jim and Tim are perfect names for boy twins. They will forever get mixed up. 🙂

  3. jadamthwaite February 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    I like the familiarity they feel together too, how that overcomes her first impressions… even if she will have to take on six kids if she settles down with him!

  4. phoenix.writing February 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    That was fun. Love Tim promising he’ll give her the rest of the day off if she accepts his brother’s proposal–it just made me grin through the whole rest of the story. Starting with a marriage proposal is definitely a unique way to go. You did a nice job of capturing how she’s slowly won over. I hope all the best for them.

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