I wait. Sipping the latte, I feel cold foam bubbling over my lips, followed by a scalding wave of coffee. Thinking of an interesting metaphor, I jot something down on my notepad. And wait.
The sidewalk cafe is filled with regulars, just one face missing from the crowd. Maybe "novellover84" was put off by the message on her answering machine and decided to stay indoors today. Still, I sip. And wait.
Finally, as the traffic lights turn green for the hundredth time, I see a tall woman in a floppy broad-brimmed hat cross the street. Gotcha. She passes me without a glance (maybe the huge sunglasses and headscarf are an adequate disguise) and orders a skinny cappuccino. Figures. Hardly believing my good luck, I see her take a seat at the table right beside me. She reaches into her purse to withdraw a pink iPhone, which she proceeds to click violently with her lacquered nails.
My gut fills with loathing. What a horrific spectacle of a woman. She's probably on Goodreads right now, leaving yet another review that oozes acid and poison. There's no telling what vitriolic adjectives she's flinging around. Probably trying to find a way to leave a half-star rating. I think of the words she's used for my own work, the children of my imagination and products of my blood, sweat and tears. Waste of time. Worst fiction in years. Confusing. Disappointing. A steaming pile of "you-know-what."
The waiter approaches with the squat cup and saucer, balancing his tray with expert ease. Sliding out of my seat, I maneuver around behind him just as he comes up to Novellover's table. With a motion that even the Three Stooges would admire, I succeed in tipping the entire tray directly on top of my nemesis. I see the cup fall in slow motion, the skinny cappuccino just missing the hat and flinging itself across the entirety of her perky sundress. The waiter stares at me in dumb bewilderment, while Novellover flies into hysterics. Somehow I am able to swivel around and melt away into the sidewalk crowd before anyone thinks to apprehend me.