The café was never a popular place during the day, people just wouldn’t bother looking at the town beyond main street. It was only the college kids that seemed to know it existed, which left the place abandoned while they were in class. I’m not complaining of course, it was a simple job with likeable owners and while I wouldn’t be making any tips I had plenty of time for homework or reading.
Imagine my surprise to see not only a customer, but a pleasant old man wander into the shop and sit by the window. There was just something about him, with an old lather bound journal in hand and a little tweed jacket that seemed to weigh his frail body down. It was like he was the one little old man that all little old men are based on and if that isn’t enough, he had to be the funniest, most creative man I had ever met and it all started with taking his order.
“Can I get you anything?” I asked from the counter. He stopped and looked at me for a moment. His fading blue eyes lingered on mine and started to water a moment before he looked away “ah, no thank you. I won’t be here long, I just wanted to see something?”
“See what sir?”
“The most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on”
“In a coffee shop?”
“In a coffee shop.”
“Well, I guess you can stay as long as the boss isn’t around, but if she comes by ask for something alright?”
“Thank you, I’ll be sure to keep up the ruse.”
“So how do you know you’ll see the most beautiful thing here?”
“Well, because I am a time traveler”
“Oh sure, I guess that will do it.”
“It does make predictions marvelously easy. I haven’t been caught out without an umbrella for decades now”
“Alright, so if you’re a time traveler you’ve been to the future?”
“What’s it like?”
“Yes dear, but which one? The future in three hours is mostly the same. The future in a decade gets a bit exciting, that’s when my favorite movie comes out. The future in a century is fine but I don’t care for the new games…”
“Alright, I get it. I’ll be more specific then.”
“Usually a very good plan”
“Do we ever get hoverboards?”
“Oh yes for a short time, though it’s in the year 2025 and those interested in them were the ones that saw the movie as a kid and wanted the board as a collector’s item. They stopped production after only two years?”
“It turns out the middle aged are not quite adept at balancing on a board, but are very capable of breaking their bones after falling off.
“You’re really committed to this time travel thing huh?”
“Oh yes, it’s been a life-long passion since I was just a lad in school, studying physics.”
“So, have you seen all of time?”
“Oh no, no, no. I’m not nearly that old. Just the highlights.”
“Then how do you know you’ll see the most beautiful thing here? How do you know there’s not something even more beautiful some other time?”
“Well, sometimes you just know. See enough of the world and you know when there is a moment beyond compare.”
“So what will you do after you see this beautiful thing then?”
“Oh, I have a ceremony to catch in about four years, so I’ll probably stop in there for a bit.”
“The greatest wedding I have ever seen.”
“So you want to see it again?”
“Ah my dear, sometimes all you have left are the memories. Anyway I had best get going if the ceremony is to happen?”
“Now? But what about the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?”
“As wonderful as I remember.”
“uh, right, well it was nice to meet you. If you find yourself at the right time, stop in again. I’m Kate by the way.”
“Christopher, and I would love to.”
He paused at the door. It looked like his eyes were watering again, but before I could make my way around the counter he stepped out to let in a new customer. Some college student carrying some homework, math or physics by the look of it. Back to work.
“Welcome, I’m Kate. Can I take your order?”
“Oh sure, nice to meet you Kate, I’m Chris…”
Another one hour story I wrote a couple days ago. I'm considering doing something with it, though I'm not sure yet.