The sun was soaked up by non-stormy, just listless gray clouds, sponges floating low in the sky. Everything looked gray, even the blood, in that thin and half dried pool on the sidewalk. On cool days like that we close the patio, so no one was sitting at the corner table by the ledge. No one smiled when she left the restaurant and was met by the walled-in gray of early afternoon.
She ordered the chicken tortilla soup. We have two other soups to choose from, three all day, as well as numerous burger options. I keep wondering why she ordered that particular soup. She must have wanted it. She must have wanted something. But she didn’t eat any. She left it sitting there with her coffee that she’d only sipped after stirring in cream. Then she rose and left. She walked out the side door that swung shut behind her, muting the sound of loud talking and laughter and pop hits played over the sound system.
To where it was cool and cloudy, to where the gray was that must have seemed to have stolen all around in the minutes taken to not eat a cup of soup. A wisp of wind must have whispered, “The end.” She must have looked down. At the sidewalk below, and wanted to be somewhere else. Or maybe she saw all gray and felt all gray in the air and simply leaned forward.
I suppose it’s only my emotional well being, my mental health, that I still wonder why she didn’t do one thing first, have a cigarette, smoke a joint, or enjoy a bite of her chicken tortilla soup. She piled her wallet and keys on the ledge and that was it. I only heard about it well later anyway, and it was just another story. I only saw the blood left on the sidewalk, but I still see her walking through the bar to that door and I still wonder why she ordered the chicken tortilla soup.