Suddenly the skies darken. People are running through the streets clearly struggling against the strong winds. Papers are thrown around in the sky.
Cyclists get of their bikes running to the closest subways along with crowds of pedestrians. All of this is happening outside my window, while I am drinking coffee in the safety of the diner.
People begin streaming into the diner to get away from the storm heading in. The diner is filled with anxious chatter of a possible hurricane. The diner is quickly very crowded.
Mike, the large, obnoxious and thrifty owner of the diner, bursts from his office to see what all the commotion is about.
First his eyes widen in shock, from seeing the crowded diner, then the shock is replaced by an opportunistic glimmer.
"Paying customers only!" he bellows from behind the counter. The crowd becomes outraged, but no one confronts this large, intimidating man.
Some open their purses while other immediately exit the diner, running to a new refuge. And then I see her.
Long, brown curling hair, olive brown skin wearing a long green coat with black heels. I am transported by her utter beauty and elegance.
I watch as she searches her purse with a panicked look on her face. She is searching, but clearly not finding what she is looking for. Mike sees her too and a smile crosses on his face.
He starts to move towards her slowly, but confidently.
My heart starts beating. Am I about to make a fool of myself? My thoughts are twisted in a battle between heroism and humiliation.
But as I see Mike closing in on his prey, I can't stop myself from jumping up racing towards our mutual destination.
"Can I buy you a coffee?" I utter quite fast and almost out of breath.
She looks up at me, embarrassed, inclined to decline, but then she sees Mike standing just next to us, with a now annoyed look on his face.
"Please." she answers shyly. Mike turns away and storms towards his office.
We stand in silence next to each other, moving forward. All the confidence and bravery I summoned,had left me.
And now I am standing here, next to this beautiful woman feeling insecure, thinking that I should have worn a nicer shirt and maybe polished my shoes. We reach the front of the line.
"How can I help you today?" a old lady, named Gladys, asks from behind the counter. I don't know, but I quickly look to the beautiful woman next to me.
"A black coffee, please." she answers in a British accent. My heart melts.
She looks at me shyly and whispers thanks. Our eyes barely meet, but quickly we both look away. I feel a warm flush in my face.
Gladys puts down the coffee on the counter. We both reach for it and suddenly both pull away. We laugh nervously.
"You go ahead." I say, barely able to look up.
We turn around to face a now full diner. Only my table seems to be open.
"Would you like to join me?" I ask looking into her green eyes. My heart is pumping in my throught.
"I don't want to impose" she answers tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"You could never" I say without thinking.
"Sorry, I didn't.." I start to apologise.
"Then it would be my pleasure." she cuts me off, smiling. She moves passed me towards my table. I am still standing, unmoving for a second, then suddenly jolt back to the present.
We sit across from each other in silence for a moment. Outside, the rain starts pouring like hail stones.
Then she extends a hand over the table, and with the most beautiful smile introduces herself.
"Jack. But not like the Ripper." I close my eyes. Again I am making a fool of myself.
"Well that's good to know. So tell me then about Jack-the-non-Ripper." she asks with a glint of curiosity in her eye. I freeze for a second not understanding what she means.
"O, me." I answer stupidly.
She laughs again. And then I begin my story.
We sit for hours talking and laughing. A chemistry unmatched. Conversations flowing like rivers. We order pancakes, extra syrup on the side, for her.
We talk until we notice that we are the last two customers in the diner and the sun has started setting.
"Well, Jack-the-non-Ripper, it was really nice to meet you, but I am afraid I have to go. Thanks for everything." she says while standing up.
"You too. It was an unexpected treat."
We both stand in silence for a moment. Then she turns around and leaves, while I am standing frozen with so much I want to say. Seconds pass. Still I stand frozen.
Then suddenly I run out of the diner looking for her, but she is gone. I waited too long.
I walk back into the diner, sulking. Angry at myself for how stupid I was. I should have said something. I should have walked her home or something. I pick up my coat and my wallet.
I get ready to leave, but as I walk away from the table, something catches my eye. Her serviette.
I pick it up. "I am glad the wind blew me your way. " Followed by her name and a number. An unstoppable smile corsses my face. I tuck the napkin safely into my breast pocket, and with a skip in my step, hurry home, so I can call the girl in the green coat.