He was so happy to be able to open the umbrellas again. Sad that he’d had to reduce the number to create space between them, but life had changed and there was no avoiding it.
His mama was no longer with them. The family marinara sauce recipe he had inherited would have extra special meaning to the diners – most of whom were regulars. They were part of the family. Ottagonale Café had fed people’s stomachs and their souls for over forty years. The lonely came to connect, and now the recently silent concrete plaza was buzzing with conversation and news of a year living in a sci-fi movie.
Speculations and experiences could make for a thousand novels. But all these human beings cared about at this minute was nourishing their minds and feeling something other than fear and loneliness.
Except for Tony, quiet at the centre table. Furiously taking notes for his next book.
by Debbie Gravett © 2021.03.10
FFFC: Flash Fiction Challenge #109
Image from Noah Berger for the Chronicle.com.