GRANT ME A WISH

GRANT ME A WISH.jpg

GRANT ME A WISH

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

From where he was seated in the diner, he could see almost everyone. He’d deliberately chosen a seat that enabled him to do so. As people came in and left, he watched them all closely, sometimes straining his eyes. He was looking for someone.

He knew who he was searching for, and was not bothered by the passage of time. He was very patient as he waited, confident in the knowledge that he would find them. For a moment, he caught himself smiling. It was an ironic smile, meant only for his own pleasure. Anybody seeing him at that moment would hardly have noticed he was smiling, not that he cared about what anybody else thought of him.

Waiting, he thought to himself. Waiting was nothing to him. After all, time was of no consequence in relation to the duties that he had been assigned. In fact, come to think of it, they mainly involved waiting. As he saw the wait-staff in the diner scurry around accepting orders, bringing in trays laden with food and drinks or go back to the kitchen, he laughed inwardly at his own joke.

Like them, I am a waiter too. Forever waiting!

He observed the room at leisure, admiring the neat layout of the place with its prominent service counter, the chess-board pattern of the floor tiles and the gleaming red chairs set against white tables, with the customary bottles of ketchup and mustard—typical 50’s America! He thought to himself.

He lifted the cup to his lips once again and drank its contents. He suddenly frowned and held the cup away. His coffee had gotten cold again. He placed the cup down on the saucer and glanced around briefly.

There were a few people in the diner, aside from the waiters and waitresses moving about with trays. No one was paying him any attention.

He looked at his cup of cold coffee. He touched the ceramic handle with his left hand and stared into it. In a few seconds, wisps of steam began to rise from the cup. His cup of coffee was now hot again, heated by his touch.

He smiled as he lifted the cup to his lips and began to sip its warm contents. As he did, he noticed that one of the waitresses was looking at him from across the counter.

What could she be looking at? he wondered.

He turned to glance around. He could not see anyone close by. He looked back at her and caught her gaze. She was still watching him closely.

He raised his hand and waved at her with a smile on his face. As if she had been waiting for his signal, she picked up a tray and walked over to him.

“Hello, sir.”

“Hi.”

“You’re still drinking the same cup of coffee that you ordered when you came here.”

“Am I?” He peered into his cup of coffee and nodded. “Yes, I guess I am.”

She placed the tray down on his table. There was a coffee pot and a plate on it.

“Well, your coffee should be cold by now. Why not let me replace it?”

“Cold? No, not really. It’s alright for me.”

“Alright? It couldn’t still be warm, sir.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“You ordered the coffee an hour ago.”

He smiled. “Please, don’t bother, miss. My coffee is fine.”

“It’s alright, let me replace it for you.” She reached out and touched the cup.

Almost immediately, she pulled her hand away. There was a bewildered look on her face as she stared back at him.

“That’s impossible!”

“What’s impossible?”

“It’s still hot!”

“I told you it was fine, didn’t I?”

She stared at him, dumbfounded and embarrassed at the same time. She pointedly looked at the tray, trying to avoid his mocking gaze.

“I got you a slice of vanilla cake.”

“But I didn’t order any.”

“I know. It’s a complimentary snack for our customers today.”

“Thank you, Maureen.”

“How’d you know my name?”

“I heard one of your colleagues call you a while ago,” he lied.

“You did?”

“Yes, I did. And I said to myself, what a pretty name that is. Maureen.”

She smiled. “Is it?”

“Yes. But not as pretty as the person who owns the name.”

He could see her blushing.

“Pretty?” she asked.

“Very pretty.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Don’t thank me. You should be thanking yourself for remaining this pretty in spite of all the difficulties you have been going through.”

“Difficulties? What do you mean?”

“You’re facing some difficulties right now, aren’t you?”

Maureen looked around, as if gauging to see if there was anyone watching them. Satisfied that there was no particular attention on them, she sat down opposite him. She clenched her fists on the table and looked at him.

“How’d you know that?”

He smiled and took another sip of his coffee. “The things I know would amaze you. All I have to do is look at you and I can tell.”

“What?”

“I can tell that you wish to leave this place and go to college. Unfortunately, you don’t have enough money to do so. That’s why you work double shifts every day, trying to save up. But it’s taking a toll on you.”

Maureen stared back at him, eyes wide open and speechless.

“Am I right?”

“Yes, yes. My gosh. How’d you do that?”

“They say that when you know your problem, it’s already half solved. Do you really want to know how I know all this or do you want to get your problem solved?”

“I’m curious. No, I am flabbergasted. I mean who wouldn’t be? First, your coffee is still hot after such a long time. And now you seem to know so much about me. That’s not normal, but yes, I want to know how I can solve my problems as well. Who wouldn’t?”

“How typical of humans.”

“Typical?”

“Humans are known to want and desire everything. You never seem to have the will-power to focus on what is relevant.”

“Relevant?”

“Yes, Maureen. Relevant. Someone goes to the doctor and gets a bad diagnosis. But rather than focus on what treatments are required to heal them, they’re interested in knowing everything they can about the ailment, as well as getting cured!”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“It’s idiotic when time is not on your side. You don’t live forever. What do you need all that information for?”

“What do you mean?”

“For some people, time might not be a luxury. And while they continue to ask questions, time continues to slip away, wasted on things that are pointless.”

“Is that a bad thing? I mean, to make queries about the things that are bothering them?”

He took another sip of his coffee. “Like I said earlier. It all depends on you. You’re free to indulge in philosophical discussions or you can take steps to get what you want. So tell me, are you going to waste your time asking irrelevant questions or are you going to seek a solution? You know that if you want to make it to college this semester, your fees must be paid by the end of this week.”

“How’d you know that?”

“I know many things.”

Maureen sat back in her chair and took a closer look at the man seated in front of her. He wore a black Stetson cowboy hat, and a black full-sleeved denim shirt with oxidized iron studs in place of buttons. He teamed it with a pair of black jeans and patent leather boots. Strangely, everything he was wearing was black.

He was a slender man and, except for his attire, he would have passed off as another unremarkable man in his mid to late forties. But if you looked at him closely, you would see that he was a man of fine features—squared jaw with dark brown eyes.

He was a forceful person when he got talking and one was compelled to listen to him, as he was a man of considerable wisdom and experience.

But Maureen felt that something about him was unsettling.

He had an uncanny knack of drawing you into a conversation, then guiding its course in a manner that suited his purpose. His eyes would look at you intensely, yet you could not fathom what he was thinking.

Maureen had the feeling that if you didn’t agree with him you’d be making a mistake.

She took a deep breath, looked the man in the eyes and asked, “Who are you?”

“I see you choose to waste your time.”

She nodded. She was no push-over and was hardly going to follow a course of action just because somebody asked her to, even somebody with immense clairvoyant abilities.

“I can spare the time. Tell me who you are.”

“Well, how do I say it? Let’s just say that I’m a visitor to these parts. I go around trying to see who is wise enough to make use of an opportunity that would grant their wishes.”

“Wishes?”

“Yes.”

“You grant wishes? Are you serious?”

“Yes. I’m serious.”

“This must be a joke. Who does such a thing in this world of ours?”

The man in black seemed to be offended and made an effort to speak in an even tone. “It would surprise you to know that there are others like me. But then, it depends on what you choose to believe.”

“You mean you can grant me some wishes?”

“Only two. Two wishes are all I can grant.”

“Only two? But two are not enough. I am sure that everyone has millions of wishes.”

“You see what I was saying earlier? Humans can be unfocused. Tell me, what is there in this world that is more pressing to an average human being beyond one or maybe two things?”

“I don’t know. But we all have numerous wishes.”

“Is that so? Then tell me what they could be. Use yourself as an example.”

“Me? Well, you rightly identified one of them. I want to go to college. But at the same time, I don’t want to go to college and get stuck with student loans and debts. Of course, I’d like to have some spare pocket money to afford stuff. I’d want to date a hot guy. Then I’d like to travel places. And let’s not forget my parents, I’d want to send them some money from time to time.”

“Do you know that just one wish could satisfy all those needs of yours?”

“Just one? How?”

“If you had enough money, all of those problems of yours would be gone.”

“Just money? Are you serious?”

“You’ll be able to afford college. You’ll also avoid getting any student loans. Then you can afford to buy whatever you like, send money to your parents, and even date hot guys.”

“How does money help me date hot guys?”

“Maureen, trust me when I say that hot guys are attracted to rich girls. They’ll come for you once you have money. All you’d need to do is choose whom to date.”

“You seem to be right about that.”

“I know. And that’s why I say two wishes is more than enough for anyone to solve their problems. But people ask for irrelevant things, without thinking things through.”

“So what are you saying, mister?”

“I’m saying that I’m going to grant you two wishes. But you need to think them through very carefully.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

I can’t believe that I’m doing this. She thought to herself.

She was tempted to go along with what the strange man had suggested. After all, what was the harm in giving it a shot, if that could somehow put her on the path to stability in life? And what could be the worst thing that could happen? He wouldn’t be able to fulfil her two wishes? So what? She could live with that.

As if reading her mind, he said, “I don’t need you to believe in my abilities. I only need you to make up your mind about what you want to wish for.”

“And you want me to make a decision right now?”

He smiled and pointed behind her. “Can you see those two people over there?”

Maureen turned. She scanned through the diner, then saw a man and a woman seated at a table close to the window. “You mean that couple by the window?”

She saw a young, good looking couple totally engrossed in each other’s company. They were oblivious to the presence of everyone else in the diner.

“I need to go and grant that woman a couple of wishes.”

She turned to face him. “You want to grant her a couple of wishes? But she hasn’t even spoken to you. How do you know that she has a couple of wishes to make?”

The man smiled at her. “You keep forgetting what I’ve been repeating all this time, Maureen.”

Maureen glanced back at the couple at the table. “What kind of a wish could she want? She doesn’t look like someone in need.”

“That’s what you think, but I know better.”

‘I know better’! What a presumptuous statement to make, Maureen thought to herself.

She turned to look at him. “You know better? Is there something else that I can’t see?”

He nodded. “Yes. There are so many things that you can’t see that are happening to that couple. For instance, that man with her is about to break her heart. He’s tired of the relationship and doesn’t want to continue seeing her. Once he makes the announcement, she’s going to be distraught. But the man will not care. He’ll abandon her there and leave.”

“No, that’s terrible! How can he do such a thing?”

“Men can be callous sometimes.”

Maureen glanced back at the couple. “But since you already know what he wants to do, can’t you stop it from happening?”

“What do you expect me to do?”

“What will happen to her?”

“That’s where I come in. I’m going to walk over to her and grant her any two wishes she wants.”

Before Maureen could utter another word, the man raised his hand to his lips, silencing her. He then pointed at the couple. Maureen turned to see that the woman was sobbing and holding onto the man’s sleeve.

The man struggled to get himself loose and pointed at the woman sternly. Maureen could feel her heart ache as she watched the unfolding scene.

They both watched as the woman stood up to plead with the man, but it was obvious that his mind was made up. He pushed her away and pointed his finger at her again. He then turned and quickly walked out of the diner.

Maureen felt a hand on her shoulder. Alarmed, she turned to look at the man in black by her side. “This is where I come in.”

“What? Where are you going?”

“Maureen, haven’t you been following what I’ve been saying? I have to grant her a couple of wishes right away.”

Maureen also stood up. “Okay. But what do I do?”

“Bring some of your nice vanilla cupcakes to her.”

“Vanilla cupcakes? Do you think she’d like those?”

“Yes. That and a cup of coffee. Hot black coffee with no sugar.”

“Are you sure?”

“Just do as I’ve said. Then maybe you’ll be able to see that I know what I’m talking about.”

A part of Maureen didn’t want to follow the man’s instructions, but her curiosity to discover the truth behind his claims compelled her to comply.

 

***

 

“I once heard that it’s not good for a woman to cry alone in public.” His tone was warm, affectionate and soothing.

The woman dabbed her eyes with a white handkerchief and looked up at him. “Who are you?” she asked.

“Someone who’s concerned about you. It breaks my heart to see a pretty girl like you look so distraught, especially when the happiness of a lifetime awaits her,” the man replied, and took a seat directly opposite to hers. “You seem to be taking it very badly. You shouldn’t.”

The woman nodded and sniffed. “Today’s really not a good day for me.”

“I know, Vanessa. The day Mark decides to dump you can’t be a good day for you.”

The woman suddenly froze and looked straight at the man. “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

“No, Vanessa. You don’t know me, but I know a lot about you. And I know that today’s your worst day ever. Believe me, I can feel your pain and distress over Mark’s decision. But it’s not the end of the world. I see that the waitress has brought your favourites already.”

Vanessa looked up at Maureen, who was standing close to them with a tray. “My favourites?”

“Hot black coffee with no sugar, and a vanilla cupcake,” Maureen said.

“Is this some kind of a prank?”

“He asked me to get it for you.”

“But how did you know?”

“Relax, Vanessa. Just like I have been telling Maureen, there are so many things that I know.”

Maureen pulled up a chair and sat down. As she did, she glanced at the man in black. He only smiled at her and turned his attention to Vanessa.

Vanessa was taking a bite of the cupcake when the man smiled at her. “Are you feeling better?”

Vanessa frowned and put the cupcake down on the table. “Better? I can’t really say so. Although I must admit that you got me there, knowing what my favourite dessert was. So, how long have you been watching me?”

“For a while.”

“Did you see what he did?”

Maureen nodded. “Yes. We were sitting at the other end of the diner when he called my attention and told me that your man was going to break your heart and leave.”

“How’d he know? Was he watching us all the time?”

“On the contrary. We were actually discussing something else when he made that observation.”

“So, how did you know?”

“Why don’t you do something more than waste your time and energy on irrelevant things?” the man in black asked.

“I don’t understand.”

“Just look at that cake. It’s your favourite, isn’t it?”

Vanessa nodded. “Yes.”

“Good. Now, why didn’t you ask Maureen how it was made before you began to dig into it?”

“I don’t need to know how it’s made?”

“Exactly my point. Both of you want to know how I know so many things, rather than making the most of the opportunity that has already been presented to you.”

“Opportunity? What opportunity are you talking about?”

“I can offer you two wishes. Just two wishes, any two wishes that you would want to see happen. That’s my offer to you.”

“Two wishes? Is this a joke?”

“I thought so as well,” Maureen said. “But with what he has said so far about me, and now you, I think not.”

“You think so?”

“Yes. He just might be telling us the truth.”

“I see. So, you think we should take his offer, and tell him our wishes?”

“What do we have to lose?”

“You’re right. What do we really have to lose? Besides, they’re just wishes. Even if they don’t happen, we can still live with them as unfulfilled desires, right?”

The man shook his head. “Wrong. That’s very wrong.”

“Why did you say that? Aren’t they just wishes?” Vanessa replied.

“They’re not just wishes. The anger and hatred that you feel inside of you will affect the way you look at men from this day on. Do you really think you can have a normal relationship after what Mark’s done to you?”

Vanessa could feel her heartbeat racing as her grip tightened on the ceramic cup in her hands. “That rogue.”

“Yes, I thought as much. Just see the anger that you have seething inside you. You’d better let go of that cup in your hands before you break it.”

“That man deserves to die and never live to see another day. He’s a beast. After all I did for him, he turned his back on me, just like that?”

“Yes, human beings are like that. Very rash, impulsive and unpredictable. So, is that what you think you want?”

“Want? What do you mean?”

“Well, you just said that he deserved to die and never live to see another day. Is that your first wish?”

“Well, who’d blame me for feeling that way?”

“No one. No one at all.”

“He’s a beast. I mean, do you know how many nights I spent lying awake just thinking about how my future was going to be with him? All the things I had to do just to support the relationship!”

“Yes, I understand. I don’t need the details, I already know everything. So, that would be your first wish. What else do you wish for?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I would like to be on a beach somewhere, you know? Relaxing with some very handsome, wealthy superstar celebrity who is now dating me.”

“That is a perfect choice. Getting rid of Mark and then off to a vacation with a rich celebrity boyfriend.”

Vanessa nodded and snapped her fingers. “Exactly. Those are the most pressing wishes I have right now. But they’re just wishes, aren’t they?”

“They are wishes that are about to come true.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

 

Vanessa suddenly burst out laughing. There was an edge to her laughter, brought about by the roller coaster of emotions she’d undergone in the last hour or so. First, Mark dumped her and now there was this strange man dressed in black telling her that he was going to get Mark knocked off and he will set her up with a hot, wealthy celebrity boyfriend.

“I’m so sorry, but you really can’t blame me. I mean, you both have me believing in all this wishful thinking. You really got me there, and I just can’t believe I fell for your prank.”

“So, you still think this is a prank?” the man in black asked.

“Of course it is. Isn’t it?”

“I don’t think it’s a prank. He seems to be sure of what he’s saying.”

“I see. So this is for real?”

“Give me your phone,” the man demanded.

“My phone?”

“Yes. Give me your phone right now.”

“Which phone?”

“The smartphone inside your bag. The one in the brown leather case, with a picture of the Eiffel Tower as the background.”

A look of bewilderment appeared on Vanessa’s face. Immediately, she reached into her bag and brought out her smartphone. It was in a case made of brown leather. As she flipped open the cover, the screen came on, revealing a colourful picture of the Eiffel Tower.

“How did you know so much about my phone?”

“Just pass it to me, will you?”

“But what do you need it for?”

“I have two wishes to grant you, don’t I?”

“And you need my phone to grant me the wishes?”

The man withdrew his hand. “Okay. Fine. You don’t trust me enough to be in possession of your phone.”

Vanessa was still holding her phone. She bit her lip and waved it around. “It’s not that. I just have so many private stuff on this phone. I really wouldn’t like for anything to happen to it. I’m sure you understand what I mean.”

“Yes, I understand that you have a problem trusting someone who already knows so much about you.”

“No, it’s not about trust. Look, can we just get this over with? Either do what you say you’ll do or simply leave me alone.”

The man now placed his two hands on the table. “Look at your phone. What do you see?”

Vanessa glanced at her phone. “There’s nothing on it. Am I to expect a call or a message?”

“No, not a call or a message, but a live feed.”

“A live feed? You mean like a video or something?”

“Yes, a video.”

Vanessa checked her phone. “No, I’m sorry, there’s nothing.”

The man closed his eyes and raised his two hands upwards, as if he was carrying an imaginary bowl. Maureen and Vanessa glanced at each other as he continued to hold his hands in the air. He suddenly opened his eyes. “Look again, Vanessa. Look at your phone.”

Vanessa glanced briefly at Maureen before she looked down at her phone. Almost immediately, she gasped and dropped it. Her face was now a mask of fear as she began to move away from the table. She looked like she’d seen a ghost.

Maureen reached forward with the intention of picking up the phone, but a firm hand held her back. It was the man in black, stopping her from picking up the phone off the table.

“Don’t pick it up. It’s not yours,” the man said in a firm tone.

Vanessa was shivering with fright. “What did you do? What did you do to my phone?”

“Nothing. What did you see?”

Vanessa seemed to muster some courage. She came closer to her phone and peered into it again. As she watched it, her expression changed from fear to confusion.

Maureen glanced back at the man, but he was calmly watching Vanessa. If he was feeling any satisfaction at making Vanessa believe in his power, he wasn’t gloating about it. There was just a smug indifference in his expression, which Maureen found disconcerting.

What could he have shown Vanessa that made her so scared? she wondered.

The intrigue and suspense were too much for Maureen to bear. She got up abruptly and came to Vanessa’s side. She noticed that Vanessa took no notice of her presence. She was too engrossed in watching whatever it was on her phone.

On the phone, a video was playing.

In it, Maureen could see Mark hanging upside down from a tree. He was swinging and struggling to get himself free. But the more he struggled, the more it became obvious that he was firmly stuck. His feet were tied at the ankles, and a long rope was used to suspend him just inches from the ground.

Maureen could sense a mixture of incomprehension, bewilderment and pure terror in the face of the hapless man.

Then Maureen and Vanessa heard the unmistakable sound of an animal, snarling and growling. Then there was another. Then another. Soon, there were many wild animals moving closer to Mark.

Vanessa pushed the phone to the man in black. “Make it stop. This is not what I wanted. Call those things off. Let Mark down from the tree, now!”

“But it was your first wish, wasn’t it? It was you who wanted Mark to die. So there you have it. What better way to die than by being mauled to death by a pack of wolves?”

“But how is that even possible? Mark just left here not long ago. How did he end up in that place, all tied up, and surrounded by wolves?” Vanessa was now sobbing all over again. “Please, I beg you. Let Mark go. I don’t want him to die.”

“But you do. He broke your heart, remember?”

Vanessa shook her head. “No, I forgive him. I don’t want him to die. I didn’t mean to ask for those wishes; whatever I said was out of anger. Nobody deserves to die this way, and certainly not Mark. Please, do something.”

“But you wished it, and even said it out loud for me to hear. And I’ve granted it.”

“Please, stop it. Call off the wolves. Please!”

The man pushed the phone back to Vanessa. “It’s too late, Vanessa. Your wish has already been granted. Continue watching. I’m sure this is going to be the most interesting part.”

Vanessa refused, but Maureen was pushed by curiosity. She peered into the phone and what she saw made her body freeze. Mark was still hanging upside down. He was being attacked by huge wolves which were tearing apart his body from different directions and ripping off his flesh.

Maureen held her mouth. Mark was still conscious as the wolves continued to maul him. Eventually, one of them grabbed a hold of his neck and tore it loose from his body.

At that point, Maureen fell on the floor and threw up. She held her stomach as she continued to vomit on the floor. Some patrons of the diner began to murmur amongst themselves while she was vomiting.

One of the waiters ran to where Maureen was kneeling on the floor. “Maureen! Are you okay?” He asked.

Maureen shook her head. She was feeling dizzy and nauseated. “No, I’m not okay.”

“But you were fine a while ago. What could have happened to you?” the waiter asked with concern.

Images of Mark being mauled by the wolves flashed through Maureen’s mind again. She shook her head vigorously, as if trying to wipe them away.

“Maybe it was something she saw,” someone said. Both the waiter and Maureen looked up. There was the man in black. He was smiling broadly as they both looked at him with confusion. Maureen was still shaking with fear.

“What did she see?” the waiter asked.

The waiter turned to look at Maureen. “What is he talking about?”

Maureen shook her head. Suddenly, something occurred to her. She looked back at the table where the man was sitting. There was no one with him.

Maureen looked around the restaurant.

The waiter tapped her shoulder. He was beginning to grow very concerned about Maureen. She wasn’t being herself at all. “What is it? What are you looking for?”

Maureen did not reply. Rather, she turned her gaze to the man in black.

“Where is she? Where is Vanessa?”

The man smiled calmly. “She should be on her way to her vacation.”

“Vacation?”

“Yes. Wasn’t that her second wish? To be on a vacation with some rich celebrity. Yes, that was it. You know that I don’t forget such things easily.”

“But how can you send her off just like that? She just witnessed her boyfriend getting mauled by wolves!”

“You seem to be getting things confused. First of all, it was her ex-boyfriend. Secondly, the vacation was her second wish. All I did was grant her, her wishes.”

“Wishes?” the waiter repeated.

“Yes. Wishes, my friend. That is what I do. Would you like to make a wish?”

“Sorry, I’m not in the mood for any jokes, mister. As you can see, my colleague here isn’t feeling well.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’m going to be fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, let me just get a mop to get this mess cleaned up.”

The man in black waved at Maureen. “Wait, where are you going?”

“You don’t think that wishes would clean up my vomit? Do you?”

“Well, if it is what you wish for. But maybe you don’t want to waste such an opportunity on a mundane task like cleaning up.”

Maureen did not respond to him as she hurried off.

A little while later, she returned with a bucket and a mop. After cleaning up the mess, she wiped some sweat off her forehead and stood up.

“Finished with the cleaning?”

“What did you do to Vanessa?”

“What did I do to Vanessa, or what did she wish for herself?”

“But you can’t grant such wishes.”

“And what makes you think you can question my duties, or even the choices that people make?”

“So, that’s it? You grant wishes?”

“I’m waiting for you.”

“Waiting for me?”

“Yes, Maureen. Before this slight distraction, you were about to wish for a change in your life, remember?”

Maureen bit her lip. She looked at the mop in her hands and glanced around at the diner. “Did I want a change in my life?”

“Yes, you did. Just think of how good it would be to have all the money in the world. You can go to college, buy plenty of new things. And your parents too, you could send them lots of money. Then you could also date any guy you want. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

Maureen looked at the mop again. She then glanced at him, shaking her head. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?”

“I don’t wish for anything, mister.”

“But what about college? Don’t you want a different life instead of working all these shifts every day?”

“I do, but not from you. I’m going to be patient and wait for my wishes to come true. And when they do, it will not be because of you or your tricks.”

The man smiled warmly and stood up slowly. “Very well then. I see that you’ve had a change of heart. I really don’t know why. Maybe the events of the day have shaken you off balance. Anyway, I am sure you will soon come back to your senses.”

“I will not change my mind. Never.”

“I know you will. It’s in your nature as humans to always change your minds. You definitely will.”

He said it with an air of finality, but with a touch of petulance. It was as if he knew that what he thought would happen would one day happen, and that nobody had any right to doubt that eventuality.

“You don’t know anything about me. I’m not going to change my mind.”

The man tapped the rim of his black hat. “We’ll see about that soon, won’t we?”

Maureen didn’t say anything. She just watched him walk away through the doors of the diner.

 

THE END

Lamees Alhassar