She was a hopeless daydreamer. The kinds who could stare into space and build a palace from nothing. Imagining herself somewhere better, adding worth to her below average character, visualizing the man who would fight the world to gain her.
‘Hilda! Are you crazy?! Seriously?!’
The biting words brought her back to the corner of the diner. The scratched pot sat in a puddle of coffee as the dark brown liquid brimmed over the rim.
The hurried apology and the swift press of a button did nothing to save Hilda from more humiliation.
‘Do you have crap for brains?! Look at this mess!’
Mr. Tansen was a short and mean man. It wasn’t his style to forgive and forget. So he took another five minutes to assure Hilda that she was a loser and backed up his theory with all her past faults and blunders – exclusively the ones he could remember.
But two minutes into the reprimand Hilda had mentally checked out and landed in a motel room with her Indian lover. They fed each other strawberries while sipping champagne, laughing and teasing the other to make the first move.
It was the woman’s listless expression and freakish smile that further knotted Mr. Tansen’s anger into a tight ball of fire and the flames burst from his mouth burning Hilda’s daydream to a crisp.
‘Wipe that stupid look off your face! And clean up this mess!’
Hilda didn’t wait to be told twice. She scampered to the kitchen for a mop, bucket, and rags. As she was returning, her eyes caught the most stunning vision through the diner’s front window.
A man dressed in black, tall and broad built, wearing the most fascinating headpiece, nothing less than a gallant warrior was emerging from the sidewalk. Or had the ocean swallowed the land? It was difficult to tell when the blazing sun dazzled Hilda’s eyes.
The woman pressed herself against the glass, her face squished to resemble a chipmunk, her breathing slow but even.
It was him. The one she had always dreamed of. He had crossed the oceans to find her. The waves were kissing his limbs as he pushed forward.
Warnings and threats shot out from the background.
‘Crazy girl! Are you on drugs?! How about I fire you?!’
Nothing could rattle Hilda when the man she desired was getting closer. He would propose to her, and her suffering would be over.
Mr. Tansen continued to rant and rave, but it wasn’t Hilda’s problem anymore.
She picked up the bucket and poured the soapy water over her head. Drenched just like her lover, she always knew he would come from the waters, Hilda stepped out the front door.
His embrace would be a taste of heaven.
Horns blared, tires screeched, then a deafening crash.
Mr. Tansen rushed out the door and stopped at the curb. His eyes couldn’t believe what they saw.
For the first time his words were concise.
‘HILDA! Oh hell!’