Delilah shut off her computer and got up and stretched. Six hours of writing and forgotten meals made her crave something at the 24 hour diner down the street. Slipping into her sandals and wrapping her thick mane of hair in a huge bun, Delilah grabbed her keys and walked quietly to her car. She looked over at Miss Jane’s apartment next door who often started her day at the same hour that Delilah was winding down. Quite frequently, they would exchange waves as Miss Jane peeked out her window to see who was driving off in the wee hours of the morning.
As she entered the diner, Delilah was greeted with a big hello. The cook and food server were always friendly to her, as were the other night owls who frequented the lackluster but clean little diner. Delilah sat down in an empty booth, looked around and was surprised to see several new faces. She gave everyone a smile and picked up the menu, though it really wasn’t necessary because she ordered the exact same meal every time – an egg white omelet with lots of peppers, onions and mushrooms.
Minutes later, Delilah’s food arrived and it was quickly devoured. After sitting cross legged on the booth, she went to slip her feet back into her sandals when she heard a snap! She looked down to see that her right sandal had come apart. Picking it up, she shook her head and muttered, “Now what am I supposed to do? Walk out of here wearing only one shoe?”
From behind the counter, the cook Pedro saw that Delilah was in distress and quickly came to her rescue. He walked over to her booth, pulled crazy glue out of his apron pocket and sang out, “Here I am to save the day!” He took the shoe from Delilah’s hand and said “They call me Mr. Fix-It Man around here.” Within two minutes, the shoe was repaired and back on Delilah’s foot, and Pedro had returned to the kitchen to prepare another order.
Delilah felt a gentle tap on her shoulder. She turned around to see a young man with his upper body covered in colorful art. She couldn’t help but stare. “I just wanted to give you my card in case you ever want a tattoo. I’m the best in town!” He flashed Delilah a toothy smile and his blue eyes sparkled. She noticed a familiar name on his card and said, “Roberto Genero Jr.? I once met a man named Roberto Genero. I’m wondering if it was your Father.” Delilah looked at the young man, anxiously waiting for an answer. “If he had crystal blue eyes and was covered in body art, I am sure it was my father,” the young man proudly replied. “Sadly, he passed away last year and I took over his business.”
Delilah had tears in her eyes. She told the young man how eight years ago, when she had just moved to town, Roberto had stopped to help her in the middle of the night. Her car was stranded on the side of a highway and it was pouring rain. Dozens of cars had raced by before finally a giant man with both arms covered in tattoos offered to assist her. At first she was terrified because he looked so different than most of the men she knew, but he turned out to be a polite and respectful gentleman. He would not even take the money she offered him for his kindness. “I never saw your father again,” Delilah said, “but I thought of him often.”
The young man got up from his booth and said to Delilah, “Thank you for sharing that wonderful story about my father with me. May I give you a hug?” Delilah stood up and wrapped her arms around Roberto Jr. “I am so very pleased to meet you” she whispered in his ear.
Delilah put a tip on the table and walked over to the cash register to pay for her meal. She handed the food server a twenty dollar bill and said, “Please also charge me for the meal of the young man in the booth behind me.”
Delilah drove home knowing exactly what she would write about next.