Albert watched through the window of his fourth floor apartment as she unloaded the groceries from the back of her Oldsmobile. He sighed, and walked away from the window to water the plant he had named after her. If he hurried, he could make his way down to the mailbox while she was on her way into the building, as he thought about doing every Wednesday when she did her grocery shopping, but the thought of speaking to her made him nauseous and his knees quivered uncontrollably.
Tonight was going to be the night, he told himself. He was going to ask her to dinner. He would just walk up the stairs and ring her doorbell, and bring her daisies. Just before eight o?clock, because he knew she would be home. She was always home for the latest episode of Murder, She Wrote, as he knew because he could hear the theme song blaring through his paper-thin ceiling, every Wednesday at eight o?clock. He ironed his khakis in an attempt to look just perfect for the occasion, and ran a comb through the non-existing hair on his head.
He could hear her walking up the stairs, and Albert imagined her popping popcorn for her favorite television show, and washing up from a long day at the coffee shop. He had never actually been inside the coffee shop, but instead watched her work from outside the large window. He watched all the other customers inside ? construction workers on lunch breaks, businessmen sitting alone with the New York Times, and the ladies who play Bridge and flaunt their new manicures ? all sipping cappuccinos that she had poured, and devouring French Toast that she had gracefully carried to the table. Tonight was his chance to speak to her like the men who drink her coffee, only this would be different. After all, he had even picked her daisies. He trembled just thinking about it, and thought diligently about how he should introduce himself. He walked into his bedroom to search through his closet for the perfect shirt to wear when eight o?clock approached.
As the sun begin to set, Albert could hear Frank Sinatra playing from her apartment above and attempted to calm his nerves by staring out the window as the stars appeared in the sky. Maybe he would bake cookies for her to waste a little bit of time ? chocolate chip, like the ones he had smelled burning from her apartment the other day. He poured flour into a bowl and sang along with Sinatra. He stirred a bag of chocolate chips into the bowl to the rhythm of the music and thought about how happy she?d be. He cracked an egg into the bowl and suddenly, he no longer heard the music or footsteps from above.
As he continued to stare out the window, he noticed two figures linking arms as they walked through the parking lot. His eyes widened and he suddenly realized why the music had stopped playing. There she was, in the parking lot, with a man in a suit, and she in a blue dress with her long hair pinned up in the back. They began to tango under the stars, among the cars in the lot, and the man produced a red rose from his jacket pocket. Albert looked at the daisies he had picked just for her, and wiped a tear from his cheek. He continued to gaze out the window as they proceeded to dance in the silence of the night, and paid no attention to the egg yolk that dripped down his newly ironed khakis.