An elderly man stepped into view outside the window, heading towards the door. Right on time. “He’s here,” he said... Austin grabbed a glass and gave it to Ryan. “Root beer, fill ‘er up. Think you’re probably an expert on the soda fountain by now.”
“Oh, and not too much ice,” Austin added with a glance towards the opening front door...
The elderly man stepped inside. He walked with a cane—which almost never touched the floor—and wore jeans with a button-down short sleeve shirt. A charcoal-black ivy hat topped his greying hair. He sat down on the barstool next to the register, hung his cane on the counter, and set down his hat.
Ryan walked over. He pushed a glass across the counter towards the newcomer. “I think this is for you.”
The man peered down into the bubbling root beer, inspecting it. He ran a finger up the side of the glass. There was a lot of condensation.
Though certainly not a hermit, if there ever could be one in the urban expanse that is New York City, then Mr. Jim would have been it. When a new waiter is hired on at the diner he frequents, the status quo changes a bit — especially when he realizes that this teenager is a connection to an old friend from the past.
What happens from there, no one would have guessed.
Chad Stembridge is a cinematic storyteller who happens to also write a few things from time to time. Samantha (his wife) is his absolute bestest friend; together they're learning about an organic lifestyle, encompassing everything from food to faith in Jesus Christ. Chad has published two novellas and one non-fiction book (with more in the works). Interesting facts: he likes his kefir not too sour, enjoys the smell of rain in the summer (who doesn't?), and loves bouncing ideas off his wife. As far as earning a living goes, Chad owns a video production business, has won a Telly award, and can't stand mediocre art.