Deja Vu

Contributor: Justine M Dunn

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I stop off at the little cafe on my way to work, they make the best coffee in town and without doubt always have the best selection of cakes. At that time of the morning you can smell the scones baking, I have to use all my willpower not to take anything away other than a coffee. But I know I will resist buying one today.

There is just one lady ahead of me, she is already being served. As I stand in line the sound of a motorbike breaks the silence of the quiet high street. I look out the window to see the rider, dressed in leathers, just swinging his leg over to dismount his huge road machine. He pulls his gloves off and rests them on the seat, then takes off his helmet and shakes his head. His sandy coloured curls spring into life. He runs his fingers through his hair; giving his scalp an invigorating rub. He’s talking to someone out of sight, he picks up his gloves and gestures towards the cafe - and just a moment later, he’s on the same side of the door as me.

There is something familiar about this handsome young man that has just entered the shop, but I can’t put my finger on it. I watch him as he flirts with the girl as she works; clearly, she finds him enchanting. Her cheeks flush as she looks up at him from under her mascara-clad eyelashes. I wish it were me, twenty years younger and standing on that side of the counter.

The lady in front pays up and gathers her things, then it’s my turn to order. I request my usual coffee; no milk or sugar, just a shot of caramel syrup.

The young biker says he is in a hurry, and asks if I mind him being served first; he only wants a can of coke. I say I don’t mind, step aside and suspect that the drink in his hand isn’t the only reason he’s here. The young girl takes his money and gives him his change, their eyes meet and they hold each others gaze for a few seconds. I turn away, slightly embarrassed by the sexual tension in the air.

He says goodbye and leaves the shop, the girl goes about making my coffee. Only when I look up again I notice that he has left his gloves on the counter. Without thinking I pick them up and take them outside, he is just revving up his engine ready to pull away. I call out to him but he doesn’t hear me. Rushing up to him I tap him on the arm. At that precise moment a strange feeling of deja vu washes over me; I have done this before, I feel. Only as we each go about our movements I can predict what is about to happen next. But just one nanosecond in advance, not enough time to change anything.

He will turn and face me, I will speak, but again, the engine will drown out my voice. I will hold up his gloves, he will look at them and turn his front wheel back to centre. All of this I know. He will take them from me and thank me - unsure how he’s managed to leave them behind. I will smile, shrug my shoulders and go back inside the shop feeling pleased with myself for helping. He will put on his gloves, turn his front wheel and accelerate out onto the road. I will turn at this point and look at him through the window of the cafe. Just in time to see him parted from his bike by a large white truck, and thrown fifteen feet through the air like a rag doll. The girl will drop my coffee, scream and run outside. I will stay exactly where I am; pinned to floor, unable to move, wishing I had left him alone.

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Justine Dunn is British and currently living in Slovenia, she writes flash fiction, adult humour, and has recently finished writing her first book, Beach Lanes. She blogs, tweets and generally avoids the real world.
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