Chasing the Sun

Cessy's Diner opened nine years ago, and as it's clean, cheap, only a few blocks from the police station, and owned by one of Bishop City's finest (it originally belonged to his late wife), it's a favorite destination for cops. Many locals also go there, for a burger, a shake, fries, or anything else that tempts them. The walls are a fresh blue, while the booths and tables are a neat white and blue.

Chasing the Sun

Joined: 18 May 2012, 00:11

26 May 2014, 02:45 #1

Left, right. One, two. The familiar rhythm of his feet against the uneven pavement filled Logan with serenity. Nothing else existed when he ran. There was only himself and the endless grid of streets and pathways. Some days Logan ran with a destination in mind; other days he ran to escape his own thoughts. Today, he ran because it was part of his routine; and Logan was nothing without routine.

Unlike most days, Logan was unable to tune out the sound of his own thoughts. He had never been the sort to listen to music while he ran. Instead he pushed himself to enter a mental state where he didn’t hear the sounds around him – a place where he was numb to everything but the steady thrum of his feet and the intake of breath.

At first he thought his difficulty with tuning out his thoughts had something to do with the pairing he’d just been on. There had been drama when the lead flight attendant realized that the first officer had been changed to her ex. It warranted a conversation and ultimately a phone call to crew scheduling to replace her – which had naturally translated to her filing a formal complaint against him. Logan had shrugged it off at the time – his reputation superseded a complaint, but this had been ridiculous. A part of him wondered what would happen if it were taken seriously- even though the first officer had assured him that he would speak on his behalf. As he ran, though, those thoughts had faded until they were nothing more than a dull hum.

Instead, on this warm spring morning, it was an unexpected thought that pressed insistently upon his consciousness: a bubbly red-headed waitress at his favourite local dive. She was always a ray of sunshine, greeting his predictable orders with a bright smile and a laugh. But something had been off lately and Logan didn’t know the cause. She still smiled, but it never quite reached her eyes. He had considered asking her about it, but it didn’t fit into their relationship of waitress and regular. He was worried about her and didn’t have a clue what to do about it.

As he rounded a corner, he saw it: a small clump of daisies. Logan slowed to a jog, passing them. The flowers reminded him of her. Bright, pure, with sunshine at the core. He didn’t pause to consider what she might think. Instead, Logan acted solely on instinct as he turned and walked back towards the wild flowers. He glanced around to make sure there wasn’t a sign prohibiting his next actions. When he knew he was safe, he knelt down and picked enough to make a small bouquet.

And then, before he could change his mind, Logan ran towards the diner – to her – hoping this time he could be the one to bring a smile to her face.
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Joined: 31 Mar 2010, 20:01

28 Aug 2014, 04:50 #2

Usually she was a singer, a mover and a bum-wiggler at the best of times. Charlee was the happy employee that whistled along with the radio while she swept and belted it out like her life depended on it once the doors were closed and locked for the night. If her invisible crowd was lucky, they’d even get an encore or two while she counted the cash in the till. She was Beyonce. She was Aretha. She was Ke$ha and she was Gaga. Usually, she was a star, at least in her own mind, and she quite liked it like that. When she shut the doors at night, she was just Charlee; the petite redhead with the fiery spirit and the skip in her step.

These last few weeks had been a bit of a different story. She wasn’t depressed - far from it. It was just about impossible for Charlee to make it to that kind of dark spot, but there was something there. It was niggling at her on a daily basis, and she hadn’t even noticed that her concerts had turned into something more like a sound check. The skip in her step had travelled elsewhere, and now she moved with the crowd, still in her own way, but not quite.

The restaurant was quiet now. The morning breakfast rush was done, leaving her with tables to clear. Her very few all-day regulars were seated in their usual spots with the usual cup of coffee and the same paper they’d been reading for years. It was funny that day by day you didn’t notice a change in them, but as years passed and she remembered the first time she met these people, she did notice the changes in their faces. It was usually when they smiled that she noticed them the most - the new wrinkles or laugh lines, the change in lipstick colour for the ladies or the new bow ties for the men. Her particular favourites was an elderly couple who had been coming in since before she worked there for milkshakes every Wednesday at 11am. She could tell time by them, now.

Charlee was in the back washing her hands when she heard the all-too familiar sound of the bell over the door chime. She sighed heavily and dried her hands on her apron before she smoothed her hair back. Notepad and pen tucked safely into her smock, Charlee moved through the kitchen to the interior of the restaurant and was both surprised and happy to see who her newest customer of the day was. She didn’t realize she hadn’t smiled much that morning until she felt the grin spread across her cheeks this time. She didn’t notice the flowers, just him.

”Logan! What a wonderful surprise! What brings you here at this time of day?”
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Joined: 18 May 2012, 00:11

14 Oct 2014, 20:33 #3

Logan hadn’t thought this part through. For someone as planned and regimented as him, the realisation that he had done something impulsive was enough to make his pulse race and his palms sweat. For a split second he thought he could escape: Charlee was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she hadn’t heard the traitorous bell tattling that he had arrived. He could just back away. Jog down the street and resume his orderly day with no more diversions.

Before he could decide upon the best course of action, Charlee was walking towards him, her grin warming the darkest corners of his heart. “Logan! What a wonderful surprise! What brings you here at this time of day?”

“Um,” he replied in what he was certain was the least smooth response in the history of males. “I figured I could use some lunch?” He glanced at his feet, certain the earth was about to swallow him whole. To his disappointment, nothing happened. Instead his gaze fell upon the slightly crumpled flowers in his hand. To her credit, if Charlee had noticed that he had brought flowers with him, she had graciously opted to not say anything.

He could feel the window of opportunity closing, threatening to suffocate him in the process. He swallowed hard and scratched the back of his neck and held the blossoms out to her. “And … uh … you seemed a little down so I brought you these.”

It was then that Logan remembered that Charlee had a boyfriend. A cop boyfriend. A cop boyfriend with a gun. Not that the flowers he was extending to her carried much more than the promise of friendship, but Logan was slightly afraid of what her gun-carrying boyfriend might say if he discovered some random guy from the coffee shop had brought her some flowers in the first place. For that reason, rather than focusing on Charlee’s reaction, Logan began to create an itemized list of all the places he could fly to that afternoon.
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Joined: 31 Mar 2010, 20:01

03 Jan 2015, 04:17 #4

Even a woman in a solid, happy, 25 year marriage would agree that Logan was a very good-looking man. He was the very definition of tall, dark and handsome, and it was this very reason that Charlee found this delightful man an enigma. He was a jaw-dropper and a show-stopper, and Charlee wasn’t quite sure if she’d ever met someone that seemed more unsure of himself. Even now, standing in front of her, the gentle way he ‘um’d’ softened her smile. ”I figured I could use some lunch?” Charlee chuckled and tucked her hands in her back pockets. ”Well you’re in the right place then.”

”And, uh, you seemed a little down so I brought you these.” Charlee was confused for a moment, until he held out those precious flowers, and she felt her cheeks turn just a little pink, the smile spreading across her face once more. She looked at them for a moment, and then back up to his face, genuine happiness radiating from her. It was such a sweet gesture, so genuinely kind, and she reached out to pluck the flowers from his hand as she leaned up to kiss his cheek innocently. He was a good friend, one of the best. ”Thank you so much, they’re perfect.” Charlee tucked one of the flowers into her hair. ”Take a seat, I’ll be right back. I’m assuming the same thing as usual?” She smiled knowingly, winking at him playfully before she disappeared around the back to place the rest of her flower in a glass of water and putting his usual order through to the kitchen.

“Are you working today?” Charlee chuckled internally at the question – the prasing of it sounded so insignificant to her in relation to what he did. ‘Are you working today’ for her meant are you serving burgers and sweeping. ‘Are you working today’ for him meant are you going to be in charge of a massive flying machine full of hundreds of people he’d be responsible for. It was all perspective, she supposed, but the responsibility behind his line of work was infinitely more important than making sure there were ice cubes in the tray. Charlee slipped into the booth in front of him. ”Do you know where you’re going next?” Charlee wasn’t sure if he ever got bored of these questions, but she could sit here and ask him questions about it all day.
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Joined: 18 May 2012, 00:11

06 Feb 2015, 19:08 #5

It took Logan a second longer than it should have to recognize Charlee’s intention as she rose onto her toes and brushed her lips against his cheek. He could feel warmth radiating from the place she had kissed, spreading steadily across his cheeks and neck. From that one place, her touch seared, reigniting something he had forgotten. His hand absently scratched the back of his neck as he watched her flit away, tucking the daisy behind her ear. She was talking, but he couldn’t quite make out the words over the questions flooding his mind and nodded absently to whatever she was saying. Something about food, he thought, watching as she disappeared from view.

Logan exhaled the breath he had been holding. He was being ridiculous. Charlee was a firefly, always flitting about, never remaining still. He had no reason to freak out. Today was a day like any other day. Except for the fact that he’d brought her flowers. And that she’d kissed his cheek.

He was an idiot to have come.

His gaze fell on the door. He could just leave and never come back, which he immediately recognized as a terrible idea. Charlee knew his order perfectly and didn’t think it strange that he always ordered the same thing. As her laugh lilted out from the kitchen, Logan slid into his usual spot – the third booth from the door – and patiently waited, dragging his finger across a crack in the linoleum surface of the counter.

“Are you working today?” Charlee asked, sliding into the seat across from him. “Do you know where you’re going next? With those words, Logan felt the carefully ordered pieces of his life slide back into place. He could talk shop with ease and until the other person changed the subject. “I’m on mandatory rest right now. I can’t work for the next –” his brow furrowed as he mentally calculated the FAA mandated time off between work “– six days. Seven if you count today. I picked up a Heathrow for a friend so that upped my hours for this block. I’m on a three day next. Here – JFK – Paris. It’s a weird one. Usually the guys out of New York get assigned those routes, but after that I’m off for the rest of the month. I guess I’ll need a hobby or something to keep me busy.”
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