Short stories: Toaster of love

The last days of summer were here. For the last time this year the sun could try to burn my face, while I sat here enjoying a beer. Next to me sat my friend Stanley.
“Isn’t this great?” I heard him murmur to himself. “The sun. The beach. The half naked ladies walking down the boulevard. Our tactical spot on the terrace, just so we can enjoy the view. Say what you want, but this is great.”
Slowly I nodded and, as Stan said, enjoyed the view.

Stan took a sip of his beer and almost choked on it. I turned to him and patted his back, while he was trying to regain his breath. “Are you alright, dude”
He nods and motions to the crowd before us.
“You see that girl over there?”
My eyes wandered over the boulevard and stopped at the sight of a woman in her mid twenties. Her hair was long and she had a certain confidence in the way she walked. I nodded and took another sip of my beer.
“Well, I bought her a toaster once.”

It was at this point that I wondered if Stan had enough beer for one day. So the only logical question that popped up in my mind was:”What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Well, you want the whole story?
“Dude, I think that is the only way how you can recover from that toaster remark.”
Stanley smiled and crossed his legs.
“She and I used to meet up. I met her in a bar. It was a while ago. Maybe a year back she got stuck at a hard part in her life. You know, the stuff that makes you want to stay in bed forever.”
I nodded slowly and crossed my arms.
“Was there a man involved?”
“Oh yes. But I tried to be the best dude out there. If she needed to talk, I was there. If she needed help, I was there. If she needed to dump all her frustrations, dude… I was there. But now…”
I look at his sad eyes, still focussed on the girl before him.
“But now she totally ignores you.”
“Yep. Never found out why. Guess it must have been something I said. You know. Life is a string of chance encounters. It is up to us to deal with them.”
I raised my eyebrows and turned my face to him.
“You had way too much beer.”
He smiled. “Shut up, asshole.”

A moment of silence followed. It felt like the eye of the storm. Somewhere in my body was a feeling of unrest. As if I needed to do something.
“When did she start to ignore you?”
“After most of her issues were solved. And then just one day, poof. No more contact.”
We stopped talking for a minute and I kept my eyes on the girl.
I couldn’t help but to remark: “She looks happy.”
“Yeah, that is why I am not mad. She is better off now. Don’t know if I contributed, but she is happy now.“
He grew silent again, still watching her. A strange twinkle in his eyes got my attention.
“Are you in love with her?”
“Does it matter?”
The smile on my face widened.
“So it was about a year ago?”
“Yeah, why?”
The smile on my face turned into a smirk.
“Did you ever tell her you are madly in love with her?”
He did not reply, but that was enough of an answer. With one gulp I finished my beer and stood up. Stanley looked surprised.
“Dude, what are you going to do?”
But it was too late. I had already ran off.

“Hey!” I heard myself say. A little too loud to be honest. But that is what day drinking does.
She raised her eyebrows and turned to me.
“Hey? Who are you?”
“Captain Wingman.”
She snorted and got ready to walk away.
“I am on a mission for a friend of mine. Apparently we have a common friend.”
Stanley finally caught up with me and stood next to me. Trying to catch his breath.
“I am so sorry. Huff huff. My friend has been drinking and…”
Suddenly her face changed. The stern look disappeared and a familiar twinkle appeared in her eyes. My friend was right. She is a woman that you would gift a toaster.
“Stanley? I haven’t seen you in ages. I have tried to call you, but you never answered.”
Stan looked surprised. I smiled.
“Well, his phone got stolen a few months back, so he had to get a new one. Lost all his contacts. Right, Stan?”
His face turned red. He finally realised why she never contacted him again. He was an idiot. An idiot in love, but an idiot nonetheless.
“Yeah, if you want we can grab a drink. We were just having a lazy sunny afternoon.”
She laughed and grabbed a piece of paper out of her purse.
“Sorry, already am late for work. But I do want to see you again soon. Wait. Here is my number. We should meet up. I still have your toaster. We could have some toast.”
Stanley smiled.
“Yes, I am always up for some toast.”

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