Adelaide sipped her hot cocoa in pensive silence, watching the snow drift lazily outside the window. Apart from an elderly couple seated in the corner, she was the only customer in the restaurant. She breathed deep the soothing chocolate smell emanating from her cup and closed her eyes. Soon, she knew, she would have to leave, but the thought of stepping into the cold, grey February evening was not a pleasant one. She took the tiniest of sips from her cup, wanting to make the cocoa last, wanting to stay forever within the calm, peaceful quiet of this little restaurant that felt as though it were a world all its own.
The door of this little world opened, the bell above it chiming. A man dressed in a black overcoat entered, bringing the chill of February with him. Snow clung to his black hair and lashes, but he didn't seem to notice the cold. His dark eyes were scanning the empty room. They alighted on Adelaide, and he nodded. She gave a small smile in return, and then went back to gazing out the window and drinking her cocoa.
She was startled when the stranger sat himself down at her table. She glanced up at him, but he didn’t say anything – he did not even acknowledge her presence. He, too, gazed out the window at the swirling snow, lost in thought.
Adelaide gaped at him, but found herself incapable of saying anything. So, instead, she just took a sip of hot cocoa and watched the stranger at her table.
Apparently unbidden, a waitress brought a steaming cup to the man. He took it without a word, and began drinking.
Adelaide didn’t know what she would have done, had the thought of leaving not been so distasteful to her. Perhaps she would have got up right then and left – or perhaps curiosity would have kept her in her seat. As it was, she knew she couldn't leave. So she waited and watched and hoped the man would do something before she ran out of time.
All he did was continue drinking. Soon, he had drained his cup. Still silent as the snow, he got up and left. A frigid gust of air blew through the room as he opened the door and disappeared into the night.
Adelaide was aware of an acute sense of disappointment. She wasn’t sure what she had expected, but it hadn’t been this. Slowly, she finished her now cold cocoa, gathered her things, and got up to leave. It was then that she noticed something underneath the stranger’s empty cup. The corner of a piece of paper. Glancing around, but seeing no one save for the old couple, who were deeply engrossed in their own conversation, Adelaide pulled the paper from under the cup, her heart beating fiercely. She was not disappointed.
Today's Novel Idea Prompted by: "February--a quiet restaurant." Courtesy of The Prompt Writer.