The waitress walked over slowly and looked at us like a snake, waiting to strike.
"Whatcha want?" she asked.
"Whatcha got?" Ralph said.
She looked him up and down. "Nothin'."
I can't remember if she had a uniform or her own clothes, but I know they were black. She had dark, curly hair and crimson lips. Long, dangly earrings. In seven seconds she'd managed to terrify me and become my hero.
Ralph just laughed.
I think he got some kind of eggs and a drink, I got coffee and Michael got something too but I can't remember. I think her name was Rita, but that may just the name I've given her. I wanted to write a story about her. I never did.
Years and years and years have passed, and I've written thousands and thousands of words. I was an actress for a few years and then became a writer. I kept seeing a young girl wander in and out of vision, dark and tough, with a bit of a chip on her shoulder. A little angry, but smart enough to be funny about it.
I named her Ruby. I can see her being this waitress in her early twenties, in Brooklyn somewhere.
I don't know where my Ruby will end up, and this waitress thing could just be a pass-through, probably is. But that one night was the night she was born.
Funny how they come to us. How long they can stay.