prompt: an Angel falls to earth and they land in bumfuck America and the first place they go is a diner, bloodstained and singed, to have a shitty cup of coffee
five conversations between a waitress named maria and an angel, recently fallen
1. Maria hadn’t said anything when the woman came in, blood in her teeth and a purpling bruise on her cheekbone. She’d been dressed too warmly for the mild spring, a puffy overcoat that hid her arms, her whole body, all the way down to her knees. But Maria hadn’t said anything, not when the woman ducked into the diner’s bathroom, coming back with everything washed away but the dirt under her nails, not when when she wanted the table by the window, and a cup of coffee, just coffee. (Cream and sugar? Maria had asked, but the question seemed to confuse her.) Maria hadn’t said a word as the woman sat there, coffee untouched for hours, until it was almost closing.
She was still staring fixedly out the dark window, as though the coming and going of the truckers at the gas station next door were some code in need of deciphering.
Maria cleared her throat, making the woman startle. “We’re about to close the kitchen, did you want a fresh cup?”
“A fresh–oh. No, I don’t–don’t like the way it tastes.”
“Did you want to order something else?”
“No, no, it’s just–people are always ordering coffee. I thought it must taste…not like this.”
Maria was startled into laughing, and was gratified to see a tentative smile cross the strange woman’s face. “That might just be Jenny’s day-old roast. You probably ought to try Starbucks or something before handing down the final verdict,” Maria told her, smiling.
The woman had kind eyes. “I will.”
Maria looked at her for a second, then set the coffee pot down on the table. She slid into the booth across from her, and folded her hands together. “Look, it’s none of my business, but–if you’re in some trouble, I got a friend who works in Family Services, I’d be happy to call her for you.”
There was a flash of panic across the stranger’s face. “No, I–I don’t have any family,” she said carefully, looking at some point over Maria’s shoulder.
“Whoever gave you those bruises–”
Maria’s heart ached. “Look…”
The woman frowned, her dark eyes searching Maria’s face as though trying to read the thoughts behind it. “No, I really did fall,” she insisted.
“Okay. Okay, just–I’m putting it out there. You should know there are options, you don’t have to stay. Look, I’ve got to get the dishwasher running, so…don’t go anywhere, okay? I’ll walk out with you.”
When Maria came back to the table, the untouched coffee was still there. Underneath was a twenty dollar bill, the edges very slightly singed.