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Emily Frankel. All rights reserved.

Ivy – page 3
page 1, page 2, page 4, page 5, page 6

Ivy, though her eyes were on menu, all of a sudden sensed him noticing her.

ivy_quote3Suddenly, she felt a change in the air, a faint breeze on her skin as if the air in the restaurant was parting as he moved to her table. Scolding herself for irreverently, illogically
imagining the air was parting, she jutted out her jaw the way she’d been doing since first
grade because it made her feel grownup, and recited her mother’s most favorite words:
“. . . be the gladdest thing under the sun. . .touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”

She was mindlessly repeating that not very appropriate phrase from an Edna St. Vincent Millay poem when the mellow baritone voice came down from above like a bird roosting on her shoulder.

“Hi hi-ee! What are we having today? The usual?”

“Well, the specials are always tempting but. . .”

“But Sunday isn’t really Sunday without a waffle, is it?” Instead of writing on his pad, he chuckled.

“My mother always had her stove-top waffle-maker heating up for a half hour before my brothers and sister and I came down to breakfast. The moment we started down the stairs, Ma poured the batter, plunked down the lid and lo, the perfume of waffles rising would tickle our schnozzles.”

Up until now, they’d only exchanged mood, menu and weather chitchat. Wondering why he’d mentioned his family today, Ivy found herself asking, “You’re from around here?” Plunked said he was, schnozzles said he wasn’t.

He said, “My family’s the Michelins of Dearborn. Not the tire people, the bookstore people, owners of a non-denominational religious bookstore.”

Suddenly, a river of words it was. A stream to go floating on that fed into a tributary that led to a waterfall that became an ocean to navigate in a sailboat with wind in the sails.

Questions on her lips, on his lips as if they were old friends, easy answers with his words
fleshing out hers and hers finishing his, both of them crying “Yes” at the same time,
and laughing in unison.

Was it happenstance, just a time in her life, a time in his that happened to coincide? A torrent it was, that washed away hesitations and flung them together like two survivors who’d reached and happened to catch the one and only life preserver in a vast sea.

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