West Side Story

One wintry afternoon feeling chilled I stopped at an upper-westside cafe.  I asked for a cup of tea and drinking it I overheard an attractive older woman at the next table tell the waiter someone was meeting  her.

She was looking toward the door when a handsome gray-haired man entered,   glanced around the room,  and approached her table.   She rose and there in the middle of that small cafe they embraced and kissed,  and for those brief moments seemed oblivious to all around them.

Then they sat,  their hands touching on the small table as they talked,  and then ordered food and ate.   But seemingly pressed for time,  the man soon called for the bill,  paid the waiter,  and then rose to go.  The woman stood,  they embraced once more,   and he walked towards the door.

She watched him go and then put on her coat,  and I saw her gently touch the back of his empty chair before she too left the restaurant.

Through the window I watched her hurry down the street and disappear into the late afternoon,  upper Broadway crowd  –  leaving me to wonder how their star-crossed story would end.

Dana Susan Lehrman 


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