“Hi. My name is Bradley and all the tables are taken. Is it okay if I sit with you?”
She stared at him, looked him up and down, and said, “Only if, once you sit down, you’ll answer a question.”
“Deal,” he said, putting his coffee and donut on the table. “What’s the question?”
“What is love?” she asked, leaning back in her chair.
He frowned. “Each person has their own definition,” he said. “I don’t think there is one way to describe it.”
“I agree, but what is love to you?”
“Mmmm. I guess love is…a mutual sharing of joy. Having more fun with the person you’re with than with anyone else. Having the same basic world view, like saving the environment, not hurting animals, and things. Spending time alone, doing things you enjoy. Never finding anyone you like better, never hurting each other, especially on purpose,” he said, taking a bite out of his chocolate covered donut. “Why? What does it mean to you?”
She shrugged. “That was a good definition.”
“Thanks,” he said gulping down his now cooling coffee.
“Are you in love with anyone right now?” she asked.
“No,” he said, wiping crumbs off the table with his napkin. “You?”
“No one fits,” she said.
He nodded. “I know what you mean. Do you want more…tea?” he asked, looking into her cup.
“Yes, please,” she said, smiling. “Mandarine Orange.”
“Be right back,” he said, heading toward the counter.
She watched him walk away.
“I got cookies too,” he said, putting the plate on the table.
“When you asked to sit down, did you realize this place is more than half empty?”
“Oh, you saw that,” he said, grinning. “I was hoping you didn’t notice.”
She laughed. “Hard not to, since there are empty tables everywhere.”
“So, I’ve been found out.”
“It would seem so.”
“Why did you let me sit down?”
“Truthfully? Because I found your opening, quite sweet.”
She nodded. “What do you want?”
“Conversation with a beautiful woman and someone to share cookies with. And, I love cats and books.”
“The whole package, then,” she snickered.
“What happens next?”
“That’s up to you,” he said. “I have the whole day off.”
She looked at his handsome face, sipped her tea, took a cookie, and thought about what she wanted to do for the rest of the day.