For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #111, where we write about this photo from Celine Ylmz at Unsplash.
He woke early, that day, and rose with an irregular eagerness.
Purposefully starting the shower, be began washing. He shampooed his hair, and selected a fresh blade for the razor, a special occasion. Out of the shower, some cologne. He should smell the part, too.
His clothing was already laid out. With the giddy abandon of a schoolboy, he had selected it last night. Five times. He dressed carefully, methodically. Smart, but informal. Welcoming, he hoped.
Excitedly skipping breakfast, he left the house far too early and walked briskly to the station. The extra time would be useful, anyway, in case of delays, although on this occasion, there were none. He arrived far too early for his appointment. Stepping through the barrier, he sought out the café close to the entrance, ordered himself a drink and some slight breakfast. He glanced at his wristwatch – an hour to go.
He was ready. His mind wandered. Fifteen years. It had been fifteen years since he had last seen his daughter. And his grandson, who would now be seven, he had never met. His hand shook with trepidation. He drained his cup and glanced at his watch again – forty minutes.
Somewhere neutral, she had wanted. A place where he was not the master. He could not blame her, her last years in the house had history for both, memories as bitter as the coffee they were about to share. For she had suggested that they simply meet at Starbucks. Not wanting to overdose, he decided against yet another drink. Thirty minutes.
Leaving the station, he readied himself to embark on the day’s real journey. Sauntering in the general direction, he passed a bookstore and was instantly transported to his lifelong love affair with books. This place would do.