Brent watched in awe as the truck began to spin, round and round she went like something from an action movie. Gabriel didn’t break stride, nor did he turn around to watch. As Brent looked on, the truck careened over the curb and into the parking lot, far too close for him to feel comfortable about it. When it finally came to a rest, its back end was squarely in the middle of the parking spot from which Gabe had just suggested they move.
The driver of the truck jumped out, clearly shaken by the ordeal. He began circling his vehicle looking for signs of damage… none. He bent down, putting his hands on his knees briefly before walking back around to the driver’s side. Brent stood motionless, gape-mouthed, and watched. Before the driver opened his door, Brent came to himself enough to shout, “Are you okay?”
The man raised a hand in Brent’s direction, “I’m okay,” he responded. “Somebody up there must love me.” He got back into his truck, but he didn’t pull out immediately. Instead, he sat there, hands at ten and two, with his forehead on the steering wheel. Brent assumed he was gathering himself and as his shock subsided, he continued to walk toward the restaurant.
When he stepped up onto the porch, under the overhang, he began to shake some of the rain from his body. As he did, the man in the truck began to pull out. Until that moment, Brent hadn’t registered that the truck had come to a stop in the very spot he’d just been parked. When the realization began to penetrate his senses, he felt his guts stir. He turned toward the building, but before he walked inside he made eye contact with Gabe through the glass. His face must have been easy to read because Gabe smiled at him through closed lips and gave him one quick nod.
Brent jerked open the door to the restaurant and hastily made his way to the booth where Gabe was waiting.
“How did you…” he pointed toward the parking lot with his thumb, “How did…” He practically collapsed into the seat, sliding his legs under the table in one smooth motion, “How? I mean, you knew. You knew I needed to move my car. You knew something was going to happen. Did you know it was that? Did you know exactly that? How in God’s name did you know that?”
Gabe’s eyes smiled back at him, but instead of an answer, he responded to Brent’s question with a question of his own, “What do you recommend?” He slid the laminated menu across the table toward Brent just as the waitress approached to take their drink orders. Brent stared at Gabe and then looked down at the menu briefly before lifting his eyes again to meet Gabriel’s.
“What can I get you to drink?” The waitress held a pad and a pen in her hand.
“Uh, coffee and water for me I guess.” Brent shook himself out of his stupor to answer her question. She jotted down his request.
“Milk. I’d like a tall glass of milk, please.” He smiled at her and, as if she had no power to stop herself, she smiled right back.
“Coming right up.”
“Milk? Seriously? What grown man orders a milk?”
“I like milk,” Gabe said confidently. Brent began to chuckle.
“There’s no arguing with that.” He stared out the window for a long moment. He started to ask about the parking lot again, but before he could form the words, the waitress returned with their drinks. She placed Brent’s coffee and water in front of him, along with a small bowl of individual creamers. She turned and smiled in Gabe’s direction and Brent noticed her peaceful demeanor and her beauty for the first time.
She placed Gabe’s large milk on the table in front of him and then, next to it, she placed a container of honey shaped like a bear. “I don’t know why, but something told me you might want that.” She smiled again.
“Oh, thank you!” Gabe responded joyfully, “I very much enjoy milk sweetened with honey!” He smiled broadly at her but didn’t seem at all surprised. He was nearly illuminated from within. Brent’s face was riddled with confusion that bordered on prostration. Nobody orders honey with milk. Nobody he knew, anyway. His mouth hung open as he watched the pair’s exchange.
“Are you ready to order?” The waitress asked, almost gleefully, without missing a beat.
“I am. Brent, are you ready to order?” Gabe looked across the booth toward Brent, whose jaw was still fixed in an open position.
“Uh, yeah, yeah, I’m… ready.”
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Tylie Eaves is an author of Christian fiction, the CEO and Founder of Vertu Marketing LLC and Vertu Publishing. She is a wife, mother, speaker, coach and research analyst who strives to carpe the crap out of every diem.
Check out the first novel in her latest Christian fiction series here: Hangdog – Shoulder to Shoulder — Now available in print or on Kindle!