They walked to the little café, briefly discussing the news of the war and where they were when they heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Once inside the café, they found a table near the window. Mrs. Murphy folded her hands in front of her and glanced outside while Brendan hung up their coats. The city glittered with lights from the traffic, the shop windows, the street lamps, and a flow of sounds filled the air – brakes and horns, the merry clanging from a Salvation Army bell ringer, the “Extra, Extra” of the newsboys selling the evening papers. Shoppers and workers crowded the sidewalks, all rushing home to someone.
For a moment, Mrs. Murphy felt that she was part of all that wonderful whirlwind; she felt young and hopeful, as if something wonderful were about to happen. She had forgotten that such a feeling existed, and tried to push it back down.
“Shall we share a pot of tea, then?” asked Brendan, sitting down, and gesturing to the waiter.
“That would be lovely!” she said. Even the act of ordering a pot of tea seemed momentous, something to be taken note of and stored away for future delight.
They glanced at the menu and ordered sandwiches. Mrs. Murphy smiled up at the delightfully kind waiter who brought the tea. What’s wrong with me? she couldn’t help but wonder. This is just a casual meal with an old friend. This is just a pot of tea. No need to make more out of it than it is.
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