What You Need
By: Seraph of Heaven
John walked down the street, shoulders hunched. "Really, the nerve of some people," he muttered, getting an annoyed glance from someone he bumped into.
He had just left his girlfriends house, and she had told him she had been cheating on him for over a year.
"You give a girl the best years of your life, and she pulls a stunt like that," he said, looking around. He was at the park, so he walked over to a bench and sat there, muttering to himself so that he did not notice a girl sit next to him on the bench.
Feeling something poke his side, he turned and all but shouted, "WHAT!"
The girl jumped and started stammering, "Y- you were muttering to y- yourself, so I- I thought you might need someone to talk to. I'm sorry, I'll leave." She started to get up, but John put a hand on her arm, and she sat back down.
"Don't be sorry," he muttered, "You just wanted to help. I'm sorry I shouted."
"Is everything alright?" the girl asked, seeing his somber expression.
"Yeah, everything's just peachy," John said sarcastically, laughing bitterly. "First, I wake up and find I don't have enough money to buy lunch. Then, my girlfriend calls me, and invites me over. I think she wants to have me over for dinner, so I say I'll be there," he rants, but the girl just nods, watching him closely.
"So, I go over to her house, and she tells me she doesn't want to see me anymore, because she prefers the man she's been seeing for a year."
John looked up, and saw the girl was nodding, looking thoughtful. "So, as you can tell, my life is just perfect," he says, standing up, but the girl puts a hand on his arm.
"Well, we're two peas in a pod, aren't we?" she sighs. Standing as well, she says, "My boyfriend dumped me ten minutes ago, for a girl he met last year."
"Well, we have fairytale lives," John said, smiling sadly in spite of himself.
"Well, if we were in a fairytale, then you'd offer to buy me dinner, being a chivalrous knight," the girl laughs, "But seeing as you told me you're broke, how about you let me do that today? Just as friends."
He glances up at her, and she looks hopeful. "Yeah, why not," John said quietly after awhile. "It would probably be good to have something to do. You know," he said, glancing at her again, "Besides wish her a painful death."
The girl giggled, and said, "Yeah. So, can I have a name to work with?"
"John," he answered.
"Okay, John," the girl said, "How about you and I go to the café across the street, and we can talk about how horrible our lives are some more."
John grinned and nodded. "That sounds pretty good to me," he said. They walked across the street, and sat down at one of the tables on the patio.
A waiter walked up to them, and, handing them each a menu, said, "Would you like anything to drink today?"
"I'll have iced tea with lemon," the girl said.
"I'll just have water," John said, opening the menu.
The waiter nodded, and walked away, leaving the two people alone. "So," the girl said after a solid minute of silence, "What did your girlfriend say when she broke up with you?"
John looked up from his menu, and said, "She told me she met a guy at her gym last year, and she had started seeing him. She said that she still liked me, but she wanted to see him instead."
The girl's eyes widened as she looked at him. "That's what my boyfriend told me too. He said that he didn't want to see me anymore, because he met a girl at his gym," she said. "You don't think…" she trailed off.
"One way to find out" John said, "What was your boyfriend's name?"
"Tom," the girl replied. John reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.
Punching in a few numbers, he put it up to his ear, and said, "Hi Sarah… I know you said we are through… yes, but I have a question… what is his name? Thanks, bye." He hung up the phone, looked at his menu, and asked, "Is the chicken here any good?"
The girl gaped at him, and said, "Well, what did she say?"
"What did who say?"
"Your ex," the girl asked incredulously. "What did she say?"
"Oh, yeah," John said, "Well, her new boyfriend is your ex boyfriend.
"Well, that just tears it," the girl said, slumping back into her seat, "We have the most pathetic lives ever. I mean, look at us. We meet after we get dumped, because my boyfriend prefers your girlfriend, and vice-versa."
"Yeah, it is pretty sad, isn't it," John said, "But at least I get a free meal out of the deal."
The girl laughed and nodded.
"Well," the girl said after they had finished their food, "I guess I should get going home. It was nice meeting you John."
John watched as she walked away, and just as she was about to turn a corner, he said, "Wait, you never told me your name."
"I'll tell you the next time I see you," she said, waving at him.
He sighed as she walked away, and thought to himself, If there is a next time.
He stood up and walked away, nodding to the waiter. When he got home, he immediately went to his room and lay down in bed.
Today could have gone worse, he thought sadly, Yes, I lost my girlfriend, but I met someone else. Nothing to do but get up tomorrow, and get over it.
The Next Day
John stretched as he walked to the bathroom to take a shower. "Yesterday was horrible," he muttered to himself. He turned on the shower and stepped into it.
"Hey, John, is that you?" a feminine voice asked, and John turned around to see the girl from the previous day.
"Oh, hi," he said, walking over to where she was standing, "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, I work here," she answered, motioning to the uniform she was wearing. "I started working here last week."
John looked around at the coffee shop he was in, and then back at the girl. "You told me you'd give me your name, so…" he trailed off, a sheepish smile on his face.
"Yeah, I did, didn't I," she said, "Well, my name is Sophie. I'm glad to know you were still curious."
John looked at her, and grinned. "Well, I wanted to thank you properly for dinner last night," he said.
"Well, go on," Sophie said.
"Well, thanks, Sophie," John said, "And I was wondering if you might want to get lunch with me later today?"
Sophie nodded, and said, "That sounds like fun. Do you want to meet me here at twelve thirty, then?"
John nodded. "You know, I came in here to get some coffee before work," he said, looking at the menu board. "Would you mind if I got something?"
Sophie sighed, smiling, but said, "Well, I don't generally take orders, but I'll give it a go, so what do you want?"
John grinned at her, and said, "Well, I would just like a cup of black coffee, if you wouldn't mind?"
She giggled, and nodded. "I'll be back in a minute." She walked behind the counter, and John leaned against it, waiting for her to come back.
"Here you go," Sophie said, handing him a mug.
"I sort of meant for it to be to go," John said, smiling as he took the drink.
"But, this way you'll have to spend some time with me," Sophie giggled at him, taking off her apron. "Good thing it's my break time."
John nodded, pointing at an empty table. "Well, let's sit down then."
"So, tell me about your girlfriend," Sophie said when they sat down.
John's face fell as he said, "Why do you want to know about her?"
"Well, I was just curious," Sophie said quietly, "You know, just to know why you liked her so much…"
"Its fine," John muttered. "Well, Sarah was funny, smart, and beautiful. She was the girl I'd always dreamed of finding."
"She sounds pretty great," Sophie said, looking away.
"Yeah, but we're pretty much over, I guess," John said hurriedly, "She chose the other guy, so she broke up with me."
"Yeah, I guess," Sophie said, smiling at him.
"Well, I guess it just goes to show…" John murmured, looking out the window.
"What do you mean?"
"I said, it just goes to show you that what you want isn't always what you need," John said, smiling. "It's a good thing that she broke up with me, because I met you."
Sophie smiled at him, and then leaned in and gave him a quick kiss. "Yeah, I'm glad it happened too."
The moral of the story is, "You don't always get what you want, but you'll get what you need."