“May I join you?” he asked, holding his coffee in one hand and his backpack in the other.
“I saw what you’re reading and I thought we might have things to talk about.”
“So, not just for my body then, right?”
“No. Not just for that.”
She smiled and said, “Okay.”
“Thanks,” he said, dropping his backpack next to the chair.
“How can we save the world?” he asked, taking a drink. “From itself.”
“We can’t. All we can do is try and stop it from getting worse.”
“No. Seriously. How?” he said. “In order to reorganize government, or anything else, there would have to be a civil war. No one is listening. People are terrified of a third party, let alone anything else. Not enough people are willing to take action and without action, nothing will change. Even with action, things don’t actually change. It’s all talk and misdirection. The lies have become the truth for a lot of people, even in the face of facts they can see for themselves. It’s so much easier for people to just go along with what they’re told to do, or believe what they’re told to believe. Corruption looks normal. Until something is actually done, nothing will change. All the brain power will leave this country and go to India, or China. All the jobs have been exported, poverty is increasing by leaps and bounds, due to the virus that’s killing masses of people, while the president signs laws about the destruction of slave owning statues being torn down. There’s no leadership or trust, there’s no one to trust, certainly not anyone in government.” He took another sip of coffee. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
She bite her lip. “How can I say this without sounding…”
“Without sounding how?”
She chuckled and said, “Listening to you was like opening the perfect gift on Christmas morning, after having chocolate chip pancakes and hot chocolate for breakfast, and then getting two cats and a puppy, along with a truck load of books, then spending the rest of the day in bed, just enjoying life and reading, while the cats and puppy slept on the pillows.”
“So you’re having a fantasy right here and now, in front of everyone?”
She nodded. “Is that a bad thing?”
He started laughing. “I think that’s the first time I’ve ever done that to a woman. Should I ask what I’m wearing?”
“Only if you really want to know,” she snickered. “And it’s not the first time you did it, believe me.”
“Maybe I should ask what you’re wearing,” he said, grinning at her.
“I’m sorry, but that would be your fantasy, not mine. “By the way, I agree with what you said and until all voices, genders, races, ages and people have a voice, we will all be slaves to the rich white male agenda and their prison rules. People no longer need father figures to take care of them. The masses are no longer illiterate. Talking about change isn’t making change. People are dying because of our so called president. Still, destruction can sometimes brings something better. But if people don’t want a better planet, a better way of life, it won’t happen. And, before you say it, a better way of life would be one that has a healthy environment, clean air and water, insurance for everyone, no poverty, educational opportunities for all at low, or no cost. Equality is the only way to have a truly creative and open society. If we decide to have a president, or spokesperson, we need laws so that that person can be easily removed for crimes against humanity, for insanity, cruelty, or just because they lie constantly and have their own personal agenda. We have to make sure that others aren’t kept down, because of fear, or just because the people in charge profit from it…” Why are you looking at me that way?”
He smiled. “Chocolate chip pancakes, you said?”
“Maybe we should have cake,” she laughed.
He nodded. “Good idea.”
She waved down the waiter and they ordered.
“Do you think we should move in together right away, or get to know each other better?” he asked.
“What’s your name?” she laughed.
“Robin,” he said.
“Do you steal from the rich so you can give to the poor?”
“Whenever I can,” he said, smiling at her.
“I was almost named Mercury, since my mom was a Queen fan, but my father said, no. Then she wanted to name me April, but he said no again because everyone would think it was my birth month and it wasn’t, so he felt it would be confusing, not only to me, but to others as well, and it rained a lot in April. Then she wanted to call me Jimi, after Hendrix, and my dad kind of liked that but they both decided not to do it. Then they thought of the planets and Jupiter came up, but they changed their minds and Mars, was a no go and so were the others. They went through flowers, Daisy, Marigold, and a few others, but none of them worked. They went through kitty, bunny, doe, Lobo and more animals. Fortunately for me, they didn’t like any of them. They went through authors, artists, designers, protesters and warriors. Then they went through brave women and I almost became Alice Paul, then they did Goddesses. They liked a couple of the Goddesses and I just missed being Diana.”
“I hardly know what to say.”
“I know, right? They only wanted one child, so they worked to get it right. They almost named me Camille, after Camille Claudel, Rodin’s lover, but while she was incredibly talented, she didn’t end up well, because she was a woman at a time when women had no rights at all, so they ended up naming me Bijou because they both loved Paris.”
“That was impressive.”
“Not really,” she said. “Well, I guess that’s relative, isn’t it.”
“It might be.”
“Were you named after Christopher Robin?”
“No. Robin’s are my mom’s favorite bird. She’s knows it’s spring when they’re around and that’s her favorite season.”
She burst out laughing. “I love that.”
Their cake came. Her’s was chocolate, with chocolate frosting and filling. His was white, with strawberry filling and white creamy frosting.
“What’s actually happening here?” she asked, picking up her fork.
“I’m not sure, but I’m glad I sat down.”
“Me too, but how is this a possible?” she asked.
“Maybe we were together in a past life.”
“You just keep getting better and better,” she said, savoring a mouth full of chocolate, her eyes closed.
“You definitely know how to get the most out of what you do,” he chuckled. “A lot of people would just eat their cake and not make small animal noises of pleasure.”
“Oh, sorry,” she said, looking at him. “It’s just so delicious.”
“Don’t be sorry, it’s wonderful watching you enjoy it.”
“Well, I could get hit by a car on the way home, so this might be the last piece of chocolate cake I’ll ever have. Therefore, I don’t want to take it for granted.”
He stared at her, then said, “Do you want to keep you own name, after we get married?”
He nodded. “I do too.”
She choked on her cake. “I’m okay with that,” she said, when she could finally speak.
“How’s the book on Bobby Seale?”
“Just started it,” she said.
“Will we share bookcases, or each have our own?”
“Each have our own,” she said. “Then if we end up hating each other we won’t have to go through the books when we split up. We can just pack up and leave.”
“That’s kind of negative, don’t you think?”
“Not at all. Books are part of the people who love them. We can’t leave part of ourselves behind, or with others. I mean, we can read each other’s books, but they have to be divided. At least for the first fifty years, until we’re really sure.”
“Sure? Sure of what?”
“Sure that we’re right for each other and want to stay together,” she said. “What did you think I meant?”
“You need more time?” she asked.
“No. Of course I won’t need more time.”
“Oh, good, because if you don’t know by then, well…”
He started snickering. “Are you serious?”
“About the separation of books, or the fifty years?”
“The fifty years.”
“Maybe it won’t take that long to trust that you won’t pick up other women in cafe’s because of the books they’re reading. I mean what if you saw Malcolm X, or something on the Black Panthers, Noam, or Angela Davis?”
“That has nothing to do with anything,” he said, obviously confused. “You don’t fall out of love with a person because you see what someone else is reading. Besides, I’m sure you have all of those books already.”
“That’s not the point.”
“What is the point?” he asked.
“So did I.”
“Do you do yoga?”
“No,” he said.
“Write in books?”
“Not if you don’t want me to.”
“I don’t want you to change for me,” she said.
“Don’t care about what I eat.”
“Police in schools?”
“Okay,” she said. “I live close to here. Let’s give it a shot.”
He smiled, picked up his backpack and grabbed her hand.