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Wind on The Verandah by Michael Giardina - Page 1

The roots of a large oak tree spread underneath the foundation of the old café, causing the little structure to tilt forward. Located on the edge of a mountain top, the old café, with its failing foundation, seemed to lean longingly over mountain's edge, as if it wanted to plunge into the lovely stream below. A man and a woman sat at a circular table on the verandah of the old café. A young waitress wandered by, talked to the couple for a moment, and then left unhurriedly.

"You seem to be doing alright," the man said.

The woman looked at him blankly.

"I just mean to say you look okay."

"You used to say that."

"Listen, can we order a drink?"

"It's not even noon," the woman said.

"We can do what we want. It's not like we do this anymore."

"There's a reason we don't do this anymore," the woman said quietly. She took a small crumpled tissue paper and dabbed at her eye with it.

The young waitress came back out onto the Verandah and the man signaled her.

"Don't worry about the waters. Two Mai Tais."

"I don't want one," the woman said quietly.

"Two. They're on me."

"I don't want you back," the woman said.

"I just want to talk. I understand these things."

"As long as you're sitting at this table, you can't possibly understand."

"Do you know why he did it? Not that it matters," said the man.

"It was a fucking building. How can that not matter?"

"It matters."

The waitress walked over to the small table on the verandah and placed the two drinks down. "Thanks," said the man. He pushed the straw to the side and took a larger gulp than normal.

"You know they called me at three in the morning. They said it was the fourteenth floor."

"I thought they would wait until a more decent hour."

"What would make you think that? Have you ever gotten a call like that?"

The man shook his head but stayed silent. He flicked his straw nervously.

"So why don't you stop thinking about things, if you don't know anything about them."

...continued on Page 2