Short Story Sunday: “Coversation” [307]

Short Story Sunday 307: "Conversation" | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

“What do you think they’re talking about?” Lyla asked. She picked up her hot coffee and drew it to her lips without taking a sip. It was still piping hot, the steam rising from the small slit in the cover.

Victor, sipping his coffee across the table, stared at her. He put the paper cup down on the table. “What do I think who are talking about?”

“Them,” Lyla said, turning her attention back to her friend, jerking her head to her left.

Victor looked to his right scanning the cafe. There was an empty table beside them but next to that one was another man and woman sitting together. They seemed to be deep in conversation, not taking their eyes off one another. The man sat back with one arm casually on the back of his chair and his other hand holding his hot beverage. The woman hunched forward with both hands cupping her hot drink.

“Why are you curious about what they’re talking about?” Victor asked turning his attention back to Lyla.

Lyla stared at the couple once more. “I can’t get a read on them.”

“Why do you need to get a read on them?”

“Why do you have to question everything I do?”

“Because I think you’re crazy.”

Lyla snorted through a smile. It wasn’t the first time someone called her crazy and she knew it wouldn’t be the last. In fact, she knew she was a bit crazy. She was too nosy for her own good, but these were strangers. There was no harm in wondering what they’re lives were like today. Lyla brought her drink back up to her mouth and took the tiniest of sips. It was still hot but at least she didn’t burn her tongue this time.

“Okay, let me ask you this,” Victor said, “What do you think they’re talking about?”

Lyla shrugged. “That’s why I asked you.”

“You’re the nosiest person I know and you eavesdrop all the time. I’m sure you’ve heard bits and pieces here and there in their conversation,” Victor stated.

Lyla frowned. “I tried, but it’s too loud in here and they’re two tables away.”

Victor laughed. He took another sip of his drink and looked back over at the couple two tables over. They hadn’t moved their positions, but they were still talking, staring deeply into one another’s eyes.

“It seems to me,” Victor began, “the woman is trying to have a serious conversation and the man doesn’t seem to care.”

“That’s what you get out of that?” Lyla asked in surprise.

“Body language says a lot.”

“But you make it sound like the man isn’t serious at all. The woman is trying to convince him of something and he’s brushing her off,” Lyla countered.

Victor shook his head. “I didn’t say the man was never serious. I meant this particular conversation isn’t interesting to him. Or maybe the woman is making a big deal out of nothing and that’s why she’s stressed out and he’s not.”

Lyla pressed her lips together in a smirk.

Victor narrowed his eyes. “What?”

“You’re just as nosy as I am.”

“I am not.”

“You are,” Lyla said with a chuckle. “You have this all thought out. You thought of two scenarios.”

Victor waved her off. “Oh, forget it.” He took another sip.

There was a moment of silence as the two old friends sipped on their own coffee. Lyla and Victor met up once a week at the cafe to catch up with one another and have a relaxing time after a long week. They had been doing this for years, ever since they graduated high school and they went to different colleges. They wanted to keep in touch and going to a cafe for about an hour a week was the only time they were able to make. Even when college was over and they both had full-time jobs this was the only time they could make. Life was always so hectic and on-the-go. Lyla enjoyed that they were able to take this time out of their week and keep in touch with each other.

“Why do you care so much?” Victor broke the silence.

“About what?”

“About what those people are talking about. You ask me that just about every time we come here.”

Lyla shrugged. “I’m curious about what’s going on in other people’s lives. I think it’s cool that other people live like we do.”

Victor raised an eyebrow. He wasn’t too sure how to respond to that one. Of course other people had lives. Everyone went to school or work, they hung out with friends. Everyone had feelings and their own worries and doubts about things. Someone somewhere was receiving good news while another person somewhere was receiving bad news. It was the way life worked.

“I mean, I know other people have lives, of course.” Lyla attempted to defend herself. “But it’s interesting to know how similar or different strangers are to us. We get so wrapped up in living our own lives, thinking, and worrying, and all that jazz that we forget there are other people around us possibly going through the same thing.”

Victor nodded his head. She made sense. He had some interesting customers at his work all the time and he often pretended they were having a bad day so Victor tried to remain as calm and nice as he possibly could.

“It’s true,” he said, adding his two cents. “Everyone is fighting a battle that we know nothing about. I still don’t see why you need to eavesdrop on conversations in the cafe though.” He smirked.

Lyla laughed. “This place is filled with interesting people. It’s the perfect place to people watch.”

Victor smiled and raised his cup. “I can’t argue with that.”

*

“You don’t need to keep whispering. They can’t hear us.” The man two tables over took a lazy sip from his drink.

The woman, still hunched over the table, stared at him. “I know, but I don’t want them to see that we’ve been looking over at them.”

“Then don’t look at them. I don’t know why you always feel the need to know what other people are talking about whenever we step foot inside a busy public place.”

“You’re not the least bit curious about what’s going on in their lives?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not crazy.”

*

Victor nodded his head to two tables over and Lyla casually gazed over acting as though she was looking at something else.

“What about them?” she asked.

“I changed my mind,” he said. “I think they’re arguing.”

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