Sean waited outside the restaurant. He picked her favorite place, he thought it was maybe silly, but he knew how much she loved the food here. He saw her walking down the sidewalk towards him. She was wearing a dark green knee length dress and her usual yellow jacket. “Hi.” He said. “Hi.” He opened the door for her and they were seated by the window. “You look nice.” He said. “You too.” She said. He was wearing jeans and button up light gray shirt with a navy blue tie. They looked at their menus while glancing at each other. The waiter came over to take their drink orders, she started to say coffee but ordered the red house wine instead. He ordered a stout beer that was on tap. They ordered food and drank a few more glasses each, laughing and talking just like at the cafe. “You know, I was sorta worried we wouldn’t have anything to talk about.” Lily said. “Why’s that?” “Oh you know, first dates are for getting to know one another, and well we kinda already know everything.” She shrugged and took a sip of her wine. “Well, maybe not everything.” He said. “Are you keeping secrets from me?” “No, it’s just we don’t really know each other outside of the cafe, and we only what we’ve been willing to tell.” He raised his eyebrows and smiled. “So like, we have yet to actually experience each other?” “Something like that, yeah.” They finished dinner and walked out of the restaurant together. They decided to walk around a little before going their separate ways. He reached for her hand and she let his fingers entwine with hers. “Promise me something.” She said. “That no matter what happens, we’ll still have coffee on Tuesdays.” He turned and looked at her, he reached his hand to her chin and brought her eyes to his. “Always.” He leaned in and kissed her. She kissed him back.
They spent many happy and loving years together. They moved in together, got married, adopted another dog. And still every Tuesday they would meet at the cafe for coffee.
Sean sat at their regular booth alone. The cafe changed little things, managers, employees, menus, but it was still there after all these years. After the world around it changed, it stayed. “Coffee?” The waitress asked. “Yes please, just one.” He said. “Is Lily not joining you today?” She asked. He looked at her name tag, Michelle. He knew that, she had been their waitress for the past couple years. Sometimes he just needed a little reminder. “No, she won’t be joining me anymore.” He said, he felt tears sting his eyes that were now creased with crows feet. She looked at him, knowing what he meant. “Oh, I’m so sorry. Your coffee is on me today.” Michelle said. “You don’t have to do that.” He said. She put her hand on his shoulder. “You and Lily are like family, it’s the least I can do.” He nodded. She brought him his coffee and gave him a sympathetic smile.
He sat next to her as she laid in bed. Her hair was gray now, smile wrinkles deep in her face. She turned to him. She took a deep breath, “Promise me, that you’ll still have coffee on Tuesdays.” She said in low struggled voice. “Always.” He said. He held her hand and watched her take her last breath and close her eyes.
Sitting in the booth alone, he looked down at the coffee, a tear escaped his eye and splashed into the dark liquid. For a moment he thought he felt a hand on his. He looked across the booth to no one. “I miss you.” He said under his breath.
He kept his promise, every Tuesday he went to the cafe and sat in their booth and had coffee.
The booth still sits in the cafe, the owner had a small plaque put under of the window, so anyone that sat there would know about Sean and Lily and how they use to have coffee on Tuesdays.