Chapter 4 – Breakfast

Quietly, Branwenn opened the door. She tiptoed out of the driveway, and slowly made her way across the street onto the sidewalk surrounding the creek. She heard rustling on the bushes, and saw her bird fly up out of the creek bed, wings flapping furiously, once it was in clear air, it’s wings began to calm down and the bird glided down to the usual spot on her shoulder.

Branwenn immediately relaxed. She began to walk with a more even pace, as she felt the bird’s warm feathers nestled against her neck. She breathed in a deep sigh, from her nose, and out her mouth, each step was even, each step smoothly skipping each line and crack in the sidewalk.

In no time, Branwenn had reached the diner. This diner was an old one. It used to have red and yellow walls and furniture, and played old country music. Last year it had been refurbished to look more hip. The walls had been overlaid with pieces of rough wood, and the floors had been replaced with terra cotta tile. There were prints on the walls made out of butcher blocks, and galvanized wood saying things like FULFILL YOUR HUNGER, QUENCH YOUR THIRST, EAT BREAD. There were new, black leather menus with new, trendier items.

This was the place to go.

Branwenn stepped inside. The restaurant was nearly empty. There was a young woman with too much makeup, and an old man, who looked like he could have once been the president.

Branwenn sat down, and chose the papaya pancakes, with a side of dried cranberries and cashews, and a tall glass of turmeric orange juice.

Branwenn plowed into her food, she was hungry, despite the fact that it was still early. She tried to keep her manners cool. She didn’t feel like she had thought she would feel, all adult and amazing. The turmeric orange juice tasted really bitter, although everything else was good. They didn’t serve regular maple syrup, they served coffee syrup. It was barely sweet, and clashed with the pancakes. Instead of feeling adult, she felt lonely. She set her tin cup down, and leaned back in the hard, wooden chair, out the window, the sun was just rising. Why did they even leave it open that early? Branwenn asked herself. Why would anybody come here so early? Then she realized that she head, and she scoffed at herself.

The waitress came, holding one of those booklets they use to put checks in. Then she left. That was when Branwenn panicked. She didn’t have a checkbook! What would she do? What if they didn’t accept cash here? Branwenn stared blankly ahead of her, panicked. She reached into her bag, counted up the cash, stuffed it in the booklet, and ran out of the diner.