Something buzzed by my ear, tickled the top of my head. A dragonfly flitted before me, landing on the “enter” button of my laptop. Its body was blue and long with a forked tail and its wings fluttered; tiny black veins crisscrossed the translucent membranes. I shooed it away and it swooped around my head again before settling on the wall near the framed picture of Ella Fitzgerald above my table. I sat in my Saturday morning spot in the corner of the café under one of the speakers that hummed soft jazz, competing with the hissing espresso machine behind the counter.
The waitresses rushed from table to table, jotting down orders and bringing coffees and second coffees. Hunched over my computer, I took another sip of my own drink, the dregs sweet with honey, and reread the email on my laptop: I’d like to give you my two-week’s notice… It was professional, polite, but I couldn’t bring myself to hit send. My heart beat fast, palms sweaty, short of breath. I hated my job, wanted to be free of my cubicle, the infinite amount of data-needing-entry. My sister said I was lucky to have a job in this economy and she was probably right, but I had dreams, plans. My current job was stable and came with benefits, but I was debt-free for the first time ever, had saved more than enough, and I knew this was my chance. I just wished there was some kind of guarantee, a guarantee that everything would be okay.
I tried to catch a waitress’s attention (I needed one more coffee, iced, then I would send the email), but she stood with her back to me. I was tapping my finger on the table contemplating my future and willing the waitress to turn around when a young woman walked into the coffee shop. She wore dark jeans and a black and white striped shirt under one of those tan trench coats. Her hair was pulled up and off her face. I watched her look around the café for a free table, but they were full, every chair taken except for the one across from me.
She marched her way between the tables, “Is this seat free?”
I nodded, and she smiled. The dragonfly buzzed again. Its wings beating hard and angry as it hovered over the table between us.
“It seems to like you,” the woman said.
She reached for the bug. It danced away from her long fingers. She stepped up onto the chair and I grabbed it, steadying it, before it toppled over. She lifted onto her tiptoes, coaxing the dragonfly onto her hand. “There,” she hopped off the chair. “They symbolize change, did you know?”
I blinked and said I didn’t.
She walked outside and I stared after her. She paused and opened her hands, urging the dragonfly into the air. It stayed on her hand; its wings flexed in the sunlight. Then, her lips moved and the dragonfly leapt into the air. She watched it fly away and I wondered what she had said to it. She gave me a half wave, then strolled down the sidewalk; her drink, whatever she had planned to order, forgotten. I glanced back at my email and hit send.
Montana Rogers (@MontanaRogers14) is a writer and educator in the USA. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Sea Letter, Dream Noir, honey & lime, and other various publications. She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio.
Image via Pixabay