Home Student WorksFiction Writings The Bistro down on Bellroy Street

The Bistro down on Bellroy Street

by Alexandria Campbell

9 JULY 1996, 9:34 am.

I sat still in the booth behind the biker with the American flag jean jacket just waiting for my gin to kick in. My fries were too soggy to consume, and the yolk on my eggs was running off of my plate. Not a single person was sober, but who was I to judge? I reached over to my bag to grab the journal stuffed inside the side pocket. With glory and grace, the pages opened to the next empty page. I began to write:

‘Bellroy Street now taxes my memories every time I am plagued. I’ve been haunted recently, and I have no idea how to remove my ghost. There is a much better man for me, not the one who lingers in my shadows-but what do I do when I become just like my ghost? I am fearful, and my legs sprint at the sight of his face. But I don’t want that. I want to be better, I’d like my plastic heart to be glass again, and I want the world to know that I can be better. Though Lord, I am afraid. I am afraid that my melancholy heart and my super need for speed will take me down a path that I’ve already seen before. I am capable of repeating ugly patterns. Maybe the bus to Kansas will wait for me, and I’ll have a man who needs to be revolutionized over there once my money is right. Though, I am still afraid. So Lord, hold me tight and guide me through. I hold a fear in my heart so big that sleep only comes as a gift. My mind runs in circles over the costly thought of relapsing on the past, and my heart seems stubborn. Oh, and I have a plant now. Her name is Noname. She’s blooming right before me, and I’d like to be like her. My other children are blooming well without my aid and-‘

“Honey, do you want any more chocolate milk?” My eyes meet the face of Betty Muler, a mother of seven and a friend to many here in Athens.

“No Betty, thank you.”

She did not leave me be this time. Instead, she hovered over my shoulder and read out loud just the first few sentences of my journal entry. My eyes had not looked up from my journal, but my ears heard the plastic rub of the booth bounce right across from me.

“That boy who used to come around. Is he-”

“He’s not coming back, Betty.”

“Darlin’, be gentle with yourself.”

“I will Betty.” I nodded with half of a grin. I was beginning to feel my insides become warmer, and my body began to sink into the cushion of the booth.

“You know, my daughter just went through her first breakup. She’s around your age and, my god she was hysterical. Swore up and down she needed to be with this boy who not only stole from her but was caught sleeping with another woman! Now darlin’, I wanted to kill this boy. Told Danny to tell our sons to make this right for her. He’s still breathing but if I see that boy, I’ll finish him off myself!”

I let my eyes scan her face for the laugh she was about to let out but Betty was dead serious.

“A broken heart is the worst case of pain. My mother died of it when my daddy was on his last breath. Couldn’t live without him. She passed days later. Watching my little one go through the pain felt just as real- as if I was feeling it too. So baby, just know that I see you. You’ve got the eyes of an eagle. You always had them, just like your Granny. You’ll make it through.”

Betty had been serving me since I was six years old when my grandmother had taken us to this Bistro every Friday after grade school. My grandmother would laugh every time because it was simply an old diner that had called itself a bistro. I am now twenty-four and my grandmother passed two years ago.

“Betty, I once heard this phrase that made my ears ring.” I had to think about it for a moment and remember it. “It was, ‘The stars will go out before I forget you.’ Betty, I’m afraid that he will haunt me so graciously. I’m afraid that I’ll always remember. I’m tired of mourning and remembering and I’d like my freedom back.” I drunkenly spewed.

She looked over at the waiter who had been eyeing her for a few moments. She knew that she was needed in the kitchen again. So she gently grabbed my hand and leaned forward.

“And when you’ve grieved enough and the mourning is gone, you’ll be as free as an eagle. Keep mourning now my dear, not later. Your freedom awaits.” And with that I let Betty take my fries, and refill my milk.

You may also like

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann