It was morning, and the cold wind that had lasted all night still blew through the city of São Paulo. Beatriz and Antonio had scheduled their date for 8 am, so as soon as he entered the city's urban perimeter, he parked his blue Onix and rushed into Drummond Cafe.
But, unlike what they had agreed, Beatriz still hadn't arrived at the cafe, which led to, minutes later, a bored Antonio pulling his phone out of his pocket and scrolling his Facebook timeline. Then, the waiter approached him with a smile.
"Good morning, Mr. Antonio! What will you have today, sir? The usual?"
Antonio did his best to offer the waiter a smile, after all, he was an old family acquaintance.
"Please, Jaime, for now, I’d like an espresso."
"Are you waiting for someone, sir?"
Hearing that question was like getting punched in the stomach. Antonio even considered answering “Someone?! I’m waiting for the Devil herself, that's what!”, but after that thought, he gently put his phone on the table and confirmed with a nod.
"Oh," meddled the waiter "by any chance, are you waiting for Ms. Beatriz? If so, I'll go right away and set apart a few cheese puffs, she loves those."
Antonio let out a grunt. But the waiter didn't hear it, so he kept intruding.
"She's a good one, Ms. Beatriz." the waiter added. "You can't find good women like her anymore."
Although he agreed with a nod, Antonio's real wish was to tell the waiter to fuck off. Hence, at the first opportunity, Antonio gave him his middle finger when he turned his back and went into the kitchen.
More than thirty minutes had passed since the agreed time, and Beatriz still hadn't arrived. But there the smiling waiter came, carrying the boiling-hot coffee by the saucer.
"Sorry for the delay, Mr. Antonio, the espresso machine got stuck. But here's your coffee. Hot. Watch out so you don't burn your mouth, sir."
Antonio took off his jacket and placed it on the back of his chair.
"Thank You, Jaime." said Antonio "That'll be all for now. If I need anything, I'll call you again."
But the waiter again intruded:
"I wonder why Ms. Beatriz is taking so long. Have you tried calling her, sir? Maybe something happened on the way?"
Antonio looked at his watch, but didn't even bother answering the question. Instead, he took a sip of his coffee, which was indeed very hot, and said:
"What a delicious coffee, Jaime! Since you're already standing, why don't you bring me, say, three cheese puffs to go along with it?"
As soon as the waiter turned his back on him, happily prancing to the counter, Antonio gave him the finger once more.
An hour later, out of patience from so much waiting, Antonio snatched his phone and typed Beatriz's number, just to hear the voicemail message.
Frustrated, Antonio went back to staring at the surrounding commercial buildings, and at the few people who, little by little, began to occupy the sidewalk in front of Drummond Cafe.
"Shit, Beatriz! What the fuck's taking so long?!” Antonio complained.
Antonio even thought of leaving. But he gave up, because he was settled on presenting the news of the divorce in a single conversation, so much so that he had already brought the paperwork for Beatriz to sign. Because of that, he ordered another coffee.
"Are you sure, Mr. Antonio?" meddled the waiter, with an air of wisdom "Wouldn't you prefer some juice, soda, or even tea? Ms. Beatriz wouldn't like to see you drinking that much coffee..."
But Antonio did not even bother to return the comment. He just grumbled to the waiter: "Another espresso, please!”, with his eyes fixed on his phone screen.
As soon as the waiter turned his back to return to the counter, Antonio prepared to give him his finger for the third time, when he accidentally clicked on the Google Photos icon. The first feeling that came to him when he saw Beatriz's face on the screen of his phone, was disgust.
"Why won't this fucking app close?!” he muttered.
To be continued...
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