Waiting for Zooey

Franny sat at the table, waiting.

It wasn’t like Zooey to be late, but then, it wasn’t like Zooey to be much of anything. Ever since their run-in with Lane – at separate times, of course, but with the same man – Zooey had been a bit of a loose cannon. Not that it mattered. But still, Franny was looking at the clock.

She was habitually on time, Franny. Early, usually – even to parties, she would arrive some twenty minutes before the start, if not sooner. Most hosts had taken to telling her it was going to start later than normal, just so she would arrive on time. It worked, usually, and they prayed she wouldn’t catch on.

Now, Franny sat checking the clock again, then checking her watch, and comparing the two. The clock on the wall was slightly behind, about a minute and twenty-two seconds, she noted. She had set her watch to the world clock before leaving.

The door jangled, and Franny’s head whipped over. It wasn’t Zooey, unless Zooey had had a radical change recently. But the new person looked interesting, and Franny spent longer than she should have watching them. Difficult to tell if it was a man or a woman. Franny shrugged, then looked back down at her drink.

Her cappuccino had the brown milkiness of a well-made cappuccino. In the foam was drawn a smiling face, light and pleasant and a definite draw for the eye. Franny smiled back.

The door jangled again, and Franny looked up. Still no Zooey. She looked at her watch, noted that twenty minutes had passed since their meeting time, and wondered if she should leave. She didn’t.

Franny kept waiting, wondering if Zooey would pull a Godot. The door jangled again, though, and Zooey was there, looking unapologetic. Franny smiled, and waved, and Zooey walked toward her.

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