Excerpt from "Waiting I" (2020)


He met her at the appointed time, in one of Kennedy Town’s quiet bars, where the background music would have a perfect volume covering up each table’s conversations. They took their seats in a nice and cozy corner. He thought she looked even more attractive than when he’d last seen her in his place. Over several sips of wine, they discussed old times – the book fair they went in Central, the movies they watched in the midnight cinema. Then he got to the point.

“Are you still dating him?”

“Why not?” she replied.

“Why not,” he repeated and lighted up a cigarette. She looked at him through the cloud of smoke hovering above his head. She had no idea when he started smoking.

“I didn’t know you smoke before.”

“Why not?”

“You know I hate people smoke.”

“Well, Camus smokes too.”

“It’s bad for your lungs.”

“He didn’t die of lung cancer. He got killed in a car.”

“I'm not dating with Camus.”

The waitress came over and asked if they would like to order a second round before the happy hour ended. They decided to have another bottle and some truffle fries. All of a sudden, the Jazz music stopped and changed to John Legend’s All of Me. Spotlights darted on a table in the middle – a man was on one of his knees, reading aloud the script from his pocket. They couldn’t hear what he was saying, but the woman nodded her head in tears. Every customer cheered for them except for the couple in the dark corner. Their faces darkened as camera lights stroke in the bar...(861 words)

 © 2020 Kong Chun Nga, Kitty