She was clearing the main table after a boisterous party of twelve when the man came up to her. He'd been sitting at a table, alone, for nearly an hour. She'd noticed his eyes on her, but that wasn't unusual at this place. He'd stared when she took his order too, but since he didn't try anything funny he was fine by her. So far.

The rest of the dishes clattered into the bin and she salvaged an unused napkin to dab at the sweat on her face.

"Um, excuse me?" the man said timidly.

An eyebrow arched at him.

"Are you Madragira?"

Tossing the balled napkin into the bin, she turned to face him, one hand on her hip. She made the maid uniform (yes, it was THAT kind of restaurant) look good.

"Used to be. Who're you?"

He grinned. "You might not remember me. I used to go by Monsieur Dark Chylde."

She stared. Then she pulled out a wet cloth and began dragging it across the table. "You're a liar. Jim died years ago. He killed himself."

Her boss and sometimes-lover had wandered over. Mr. Boss liked to make sure the weirdos weren't harassing his girls. "I thought you said that was just a story," he said to her, making the man jump, "That he didn't really kill himself."

Her hand on the washrag hesitated, then flicked it into the bin. She gave a shrug of her shoulders and turned back to the man with a huff.

"Either way," she said, eyeing him slowly up and down, "You're a liar."

She calmly lumbered back to the kitchen with the bin propped on one hip and the two men glanced at each other and laughed nervously. After an uncomfortable silence, Monsieur Dark Chylde or Jim or whoever-he-was shoved his hands in his pockets and ducked out the door with hunched shoulders.

Mr. Boss looked over at the corner table where the stranger had gone through four cups of coffee and a salad during his stay. The man had left a big tip.

And his phone number scrawled on the corner of a napkin in green crayon. CALL ME was underlined twice with dark lines that tore through the paper.

Mr. Boss cleared the table, tossing the napkin with the rest of the garbage, and went to give Maggie her tip.