I arrive at two as planned.
I settle into a seat facing the mall.
I wait, studying the menu.
I turn down an offer to have my order taken twice.
I stand when you arrive in a winded rush.
I listen as you replay a manic monologue of your hour past.

I place an order for a cappuccino and cupcake.
The young waitress stands poised for your directive.
You answer your phone.
The young waitress sighs and retreats to the kitchen.
You toss a vague wave in my direction.
I smile at you.
You chatter away.
My coffee arrives.
You pronounce “Ciao” and press “Hang up” with a flourish.

The young waitress has her pen at the ready, eyes on you.
Your phone rings.
“Scusi,” you intone and answer.
The young waitress rolls her eyes and pulls back once more.
I try not to attend your prattle, but there is a mere two-foot table between us.

How many for tea?