Unintentional eavesdropping

Unintentional Eavesdropping – A Very Short Story

She pulled up in a black Mercedes-Benz convertible.  You can visualize the type—blonde hair swaying in coastal breezes, Chanel sunglasses (the rhinestones were a bit of an overstatement), sporting flawless porcelain veneers; a perfect 10, and dressed in Ralph Lauren’s newest line of active wear.  I watched her get out of her car; walk over to the parking meter, insert some coins and proceed to walk toward the crowded coffee shop that I was sitting in.  She opened the door and made her way to the counter, placing her over-sized Coach handbag and her over-sized key ring on the counter-top.  Lifting off her shades, she proceeded to carefully place them on the top of her head.  All of thirty seconds into her wait, when the barista paid no attention to her, she loudly cleared her throat and glared at the young girl (who must have been all of 18) with an expectant, irritated look.

After ordering her soy latte, she walked toward me looking for a place to park, and chose the table right next to mine – a window seat.  She sat down and put her coffee on the table and her handbag on the chair next to her and then began to unpack everything in her purse in search for lip-gloss.  Just when her lips were moist enough, a handsome man in casual attire, also holding the keys to a Mercedes and a leather folder joined her.

At first, I continued with my own reading agenda, but it didn’t take any time at all before I was utterly distracted and unintentionally eavesdropping.  In fact, I was no longer reading, but taking notes on what I was hearing.  It wasn’t like I planned on it.  I don’t normally do such a thing, but this couple was pretty hard to ignore, and the more I heard, the more curious I became.

Their conversation did not go as one might expect.

“Here’s what you can afford and not afford”, he said as he pulled out a number of multicolored coded graphs and wheel charts out of his folder.

The woman then reached into her purse and pulled out a piece of paper.  She unfolded it and showed it to the gentleman saying, “I re-worked my numbers and this is what I came up with, but I’m probably underestimating where we’re actually at.”

 He grabbed the paper and carefully compared it to his notes and then articulately went over a list of things she forgot to add.

“Let’s talk about the assets lost with this last upheaval.  I know you can make this work with a little bit of ingenuity.  The boat is not going to yield a profit even if it’s sold, and some things can be trimmed back.  Like your monthly spa days, tennis club membership, and the rather high clothing budget for everyone.”

He held up the color wheel naming off the categories as related to their importance.

“But, there’s no way I can cut back the kids clothing.  With all of their sports activities, school and social events, I don’t see how they can be included in this.”

Expressionless, the man leaned backwards and forwards in his chair a couple of times.  Perhaps he was uncomfortable; perhaps he was annoyed, or perhaps his boney ass hurt (neither of them were sporting any extra body fat).  Closely, he leaned in over the table and said, “If the additional $300,000 was still available to pull from, it would make things a whole lot easier.”

Additional $300,000 dollars? My curiosity was soaring!  The suspense was all-consuming.  Who was this man?  Was he a debt consultant, an accountant, a friend?

About this time there were a continual stream of sighs coming from the woman, and a rhythmical nervous tap occurring with her right foot under the table.  Observably, she wasn’t very comfortable with the conversation.

“When is the IRA money accessible?” she said.

He ignored her question, looked down at his watch and said, “Oh, hey… I’ve got that thing.”

She responded, “Oh, right…

They both stood up at the same time, he very matter-of-factually leaned over the table and kissed her saying, “See you at home.  I’d like salmon for dinner.”

The End
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