Dinner at 7

To some, he was a loner. To others, he was quiet and mysterious. To most, he was a visionary with a mind like no other. Mr. Edmington found himself to be all of the above and more.

He lived alone in a penthouse in one of New York City’s infamous high rises on the outskirts of Times Square, but he spent most of his nights downtown, immersing himself in the nightlife. He loved to be where the people were. From New York natives to tourists,  it’s where he got the best inspiration for his work.

The alarm on his phone chimed, reminding him that it was time for dinner. Every Friday at 7 he would go to Marcello’s, a well-known and upscale 2 story Italian restaurant with multi story glass windows that wrapped around the brown stone building. As he made his way to the elevator he grabbed his pen and notepad.

“Good evening Mr. Edmington.” the doorman called as he approached. “Any new stories out there?”

“I sure hope so.” He answered, waving goodbye and sliding into the backseat of his black town car. He sat quietly, studying the people that surrounded him. The lights danced around the unfamiliar faces. Some were friendly like a smooth jazz, others more aggressive like a punk rock or house mix.

As the car slowed to a stop, he thanked the driver for the ride and walked into the restaurant. As a routine customer, all the wait staff knew who he was and exactly where he liked to sit; right by the window on the second floor where he had perfect sight of not just the people on the outside, but, the inside as well.

He took his seat and ordered his usual bottle of Pinot Grigio and creamy smoked halibut pasta. As the waiter made his way back to the kitchen, Mr. Edmington scanned the restaurant. His eyes settling upon a blonde woman sitting alone at the bar. She looked to be in her mid-20’s, dressed in dark denim jeans, knee high brown leather boots, a cream chiffon shirt and a brown blazer to match her shoes. But, there was something about her that seemed out of place. He grabbed his pen and notepad and did what he did best – created her story.

First, she needed a name. Emma. He watched some more. In a bar where people were ordering wine by the glass, she ordered a beer, unusual for the setting of the restaurant but it made him feel even more intrigued.

Next, she needed a backstory. Emma was a Midwestern girl from a small town in Ohio. For years she grew up living with both of her parents on their farm, but a part of her always wanted more. She knew there was more to the world out there and she wanted to explore it all. So when she graduated high school, she knew it was her opportunity to take a leap into unknown territory. She was finishing her final year at NYU, studying to become a lawyer. While the fast pace of the city fascinated her, it wore her down at times. She missed the simplicity of her life back at home.

As his pasta arrived, so did a guest for Emma. A tall, well-dressed man in a suit with ash-brown hair and a chiseled face took a seat at the bar. He rested his hand at the small of her back as he greeted her. A smile spread among the man’s face as he looked in her eyes, but she did not reciprocate.

The last thing Mr. Edmington’s story needed was a plot twist; something that would make his audience want to know more. The man Emma was with was a doctor. He grew up on the upper east side of New York City and ran with the most elite group of young professionals the city had to offer. He loved the money, the fast life and the notoriety. All the things Emma was beginning to resent. She cared for him, but he loved her more than she ever would love him. No matter how many times she asked for space, he refused to let her go. That’s why tonight she agreed to see him for dinner. Just 2 weeks away from graduating university, this was her goodbye. Not just to him, but to the city she thought she would love. New York had afforded her a great life, but there was no place like home. Still, she was unsure of whether this man was capable of letting her go. Did he have the room in his heart to free her?

As he penned the last few words, the waiter came with his bill.

“How’s the book coming along sir? I really loved the last edition of the Faces of New York.” The waiter complimented.

“Good.” Mr. Edmington said abruptly. He wasn’t one for conversation, but the yearning look on the young man’s face made it evident that he wanted to know more. “I think I just finished the last chapter.”

“I can’t wait to read it!” He exclaimed. He grabbed the plates from the table and excused himself as he walked back to the main floor of the restaurant. Mr. Edmington left a generous pile of cash on the table, he was known for being a big tipper. Notepad in hand, he walked back to his car where his driver awaited him. Taking one last look at the restaurant he knew that his new book would be worth the wait. As the driver drove him home, he wished Emma the best. Her story would be one to remember.


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