The Waiter – Friday Fictioneers, April 2020

Copyright Dale Rogerson

The usual skirmish at table 7.

She wants to sit in the corner facing out, the better to watch the room, and be seen.

He’s always coveted that seat so that she, with her back to the room, focuses only on him.

As ever, she wins; the price she exacts for losing is more than he’s willing to pay.

Something’s different this evening.  I’m catching odd snatches.

“…nobody’s fault

too young perhaps

we’ll always be friends…

A chair scrapes, the door slams.

“It’s done,” he says, smiling wearily as I clear away.

I smile too, covering his hand with mine.


I made my own face-masks this week, and with my customary spatial deficiency, the first one ended up with the elastic loops stitched firmly inside the lining. I’m nothing if not a quick learner though, and I now have four ready to go.  If I ever get to go anywhere.  Thanks to Rochelle for being an anchor for the Friday Fictioneers in this stormy sea we’re navigating.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to The Waiter – Friday Fictioneers, April 2020

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Your characters are always complex and your scenes never comfortable.


  2. Tannille says:

    I’m feeling like there is so much under the surface. Well done!


  3. ceayr says:

    You write with such elegant cynicism, Sandra.
    I think I would be very wary about living in your world, but I love to read about it.


  4. So many possibilities. Nice one.


  5. Dear Sandra,

    One of my pet peeves is that my husband will never sit with his back to the door. It makes for years of looking at walls in restaurants for me. Although at the moment I wouldn’t mind looking at a wall if it means eating out. Nobody’s more tired of my cooking than I.
    As for your story…the other woman’s POV…it sounds like they deserve each other. Well written as always.




    • Sandra says:

      I’m a corner person too, for obvious reasons. Not just in restaurants, but at any work or social gathering. And yes, I’d trade a place for a meal out – I expect to be desperate in another week or two.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Iain Kelly says:

    I sense the waiter is not an innocent presence in this scene, perhaps a malevolent instigator?


  7. Anita says:

    They spoke much with their eyes. Someone’s loss is someone’s gain!
    I like the romance in the last line!
    Take care.


  8. Great perspective here. I like how this piece rolls along.


  9. SusanAEames says:

    Ah, you’ve managed to convey a large back story here, Sandra. Nicely done.


  10. Dale says:

    I thought it was proper etiquette to let the woman face the room (my story and I’m sticking to it). However, this situation is rather… um… open to interpretation as you are wont to do! And to it so well…


  11. granonine says:

    One wonders what drew them together in the first place. . . .but clearly, he is not the loser in any way, if he chooses to accept the waitress’s offer 🙂


  12. so much unsaid here, but hinted at, brilliant stuff


  13. msjadeli says:

    It’s a well-written, realistic slice of life.


  14. Nobbinmaug says:

    I have a feeling the consolation prize of friends will not be claimed. Well done as always.


  15. Ha… I immediately had my eyes on that corner seat as well, but I couldn’t fit it to a story. But I think we had similar endings anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh, the waiter. Another well-penned story. Thank you.


  17. plaridel says:

    it’s give and take to make a relationship work. otherwise, it’s headed to failure.


  18. Ah … my friends seat me where I am not likely to be within eyesight of little ones, because if there are any kids in the vicinity (let alone babies), my attention’s priorities will be … well … at the very least divided. Can’t help it. It’s built in. 😉
    I love your characters, and I’m not surprised that at some point the struggle became too much …
    Hurrah for the face-masks. I’ve been making them, too, in the last few weeks, and a couple of times, while trying to multitask by speaking on the phone while stitching, I’d sewn the ‘handles’ inside … but … there’s the trusty stitch-undoer … 😉
    Here’s to life lived, in every way we can,


  19. 4963andypop says:

    I like the way you save the reveal of the narrator’s ulterior motive till the end.


  20. draliman says:

    All the snippets of life one must witness in such a job! Hard not to become somewhat invested in the regulars.


  21. A very clever story from the waiter’s point of view. Hopefully, now he’ll get the seat in the corner.


  22. michael says:

    I would take any seat near the windows at this moment


  23. wmqcolby says:

    I don’t know how you do it, Sandra. There’s a LOT going on with those characters. I was inside that room along with the narrator. A fine wine of a story!

    Five out of five splashes of champaign.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Liz Young says:

    I’m sure your face masks are very fetching.


  25. Oh, wow, you really caught me with that last line. Great twist.


  26. Brilliant lats line but the whole piece was an excellent example of show don’t tell. Nice one, Sandra


  27. Oh! the possibilities are endless!


  28. pennygadd51 says:

    Another wonderful story, Sandra! Your characters are always so keenly observed and believable. The reveal was outstanding. I had entirely overlooked the possibility that the narrator might be a participant in the action, so I was taken quite by surprise. Very clever!


  29. Nan Falkner says:

    Sad story which plays out often I’m sure. You put this story together and it made a good story too.


  30. As Studs Terkel wrote, “It’s an art to be a fine waitress.”


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