Scenes From SF... possibly the beginning of a series of vignettes.
She walked swiftly out of the café, soy latte nearly spilling out of the to-go lid, a whole wheat bagel in a paper bag sticking out of her bulky purse. A large, stunned-looking man with cropped blond hair stepped aside as if he were being confronted by a wild animal to allow her to pass. When she was nearly out of the doorway, he turned to her pointedly and said, “Um, you dropped your napkins.”
Not really knowing what the appropriate response was and having little time to consider she muttered “Oh, shoot” and scurried back to collect them from the café floor and begin her rush out the door again. As she was passing the man this time she noticed a shiny purple tie strewn around his neck, dangling in an upside down U shape over his white button-up shirt.
Almost as if she had been taken over by some external force she stopped. “Your tie,” she said, “Do you want me to help you tie it?” She was surprised to hear the words coming from her mouth. If it were possible, the man’s stunned look became even more stupefied.
“I… well..,” he stammered.
She felt a flush of embarrassment flow up to her face. He must have had a plan of some sort, perhaps putting off the morning ritual to spare his neck until the very last moment before he stepped in the door of his office.
“Actually, would you mind?” he asked with a slight gleam in his eye.
Silently, she put down her purse and the coffee on a nearby table and proceeded to carefully knot the tie until it was perfectly centered on his neck. Something about his portly stature endeared him to her, and being so near him, right where his wife or his daughter might stand.
As soon as she finished it was like a spell had been broken. She smiled but crinkled her forehead in disapproval of herself.
“Thank you,” he said, still looking a bit bewildered, but also amused now.
“No problem,” she got out, trying to think of some clever thing to say about ties and rushing out the door, perhaps a pun of some kind, but it didn’t come to her. Instead she simply grabbed up her things and said “bye,” as she returned to her former rushed pace, like a character in a movie that had been slowed down for just a moment.
“Have a nice day,” he added clumsily with a small and sweet smile.
“You too,” he heard her call back after she was already a few paces down the block, quickly fading out of his vision and into the city.