Melodee: A Song for Nora

Riley walked through the restaurant flipping on lights. The mix-matched table and chairs jumped out at him. When he first saw the décor, he didn’t know what on earth his mother had been thinking; however, the eclectic thing had taken off. Patrons commented on it in every online review. Homey.

He didn’t open on Sundays. Usually, he reserved Sundays for special events. He had no shortage of them. People loved his restaurant, and he was booked for months, but today was one of those rare days, when he had the place to himself. He walked into the kitchen, and gazed around. There was no reason for him to be there, he just didn’t want to be at home.

His mother had called and promised that they would do dinner before she and Melodee left town.

He knew the date of their last show, but didn’t know if they planned to be packed and head out right away, or if they would hang around for a few days. He hoped they would stay, but Melodee had no reason to stay in Memphis.

Searching the shelves, he found a few French loaves. Starting at the heel, he sliced the loaves along the scores. Then, heating butter in a skillet, he took his time, and dipped each slice in a mixture of egg, vanilla and milk before he placed each thick slice into the butter. He loved the smell. It reminded him of his mother. She loved breakfast. He checked his watch, it was well past breakfast-time, but as he flipped his toast over and admired the beautiful toasting of the bread, he didn’t care.

Plating his slices, he dusted them with cinnamon and sprinkled fresh berries over his plate. He grabbed some maple syrup he had warming on the stove and walked into the dining area of the restaurant. Siting at the bar, he stared out of the plate glass window at South Main Street. Some people stopped and tugged at the locked door, others stared through the glass windows at him. He kept eating because there was no reason not to finish the plate of food in front of him.

The knock on the glass door startled him.

The woman on the other side of the glass did so much more than that; however, he knew she didn’t give a damn about how she affected him. There could only be one reason she sought him out.

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