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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Destiny's Diner by Betsy Knapp

Kate Morgan had slept through her alarm. There had hardly been enough time for her to shower and shampoo her shiny auburn hair. There had definitely been no time for breakfast, not even a cup of coffee.

Now, Kate was starving. She spotted Destiny’s Diner in the middle of the block. As she opened the door, a bell jingled. Taking a stool at the counter, she was about to order a cheese burger when that “little voice inside” reminded her, “Don’t forget your blind date tonight.”

Kate thought, “One bite of a cheese burger and I won’t be able to wear my new dress.”

She didn’t realize she had spoken aloud until a waiter, tall and well-built, said, “Excuse me, but I think you would look beautiful in anything you wear.”

“Thanks,” Kate mumbled, feeling her face turning red. “I hate it when I blush.”

The waiter smiled at her. “There you go again…talking out loud.”

She pretended she hadn’t heard him. “I’ll have the cottage cheese and fruit platter.” The waiter gave a little salute, disappearing into the kitchen.

Kate looked around the diner. She was the only customer. A chill went up and down her spine. Maybe the guy wasn’t a waiter at all. Maybe he had been robbing the place when she walked in.

She called out, “Mister, could you cancel that order?”

“No problem,” he replied. “The diner is closed for vacation. I just stopped by to make sure everything was secure.”

Kate looked at the waiter, with lingering doubt. “I didn’t see a sign.”

“I was about to hang the sign in the door when you came in,” he said.

She wasn’t persuaded he was telling the truth. “It seems to me you would have lots of customers with Mercy Hospital just around the corner.” 

  “Destiny’s Diner is usually full to capacity twenty-four hours a day,” the waiter replied. “Our regular customers know we’re on vacation. Mercy’s new interns and residents eat on the run. Some of them grab a sandwich in the hospital cafeteria.”

“Are you a cook there?” Kate asked.

The waiter threw back his head, laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes.

“Maybe he’s telling the truth,” Kate considered. She had spent the morning at Mercy, sitting through long presentations for First Year Surgical Interns. There had been a lot of grumbling about the hospital cafeteria being crowded, and no coffee.

Feeling suddenly dizzy, Kate began to tremble.

“Is something wrong?” the waiter asked.

Kate tried to answer. Then she almost fell off the stool.

The waiter hurried around the counter. “I’m taking you to Mercy Hospital right now.”

“I didn’t eat breakfast, that’s all.”

The waiter, with a firm voice, came back with, “You didn’t eat lunch either.”

He took a pitcher of orange juice from the cooler and poured a generous serving in a glass, handing it to Kate. “Drink this” he said. “If you’re not feeling better in a few minutes, we’re off to Mercy Hospital.”

Kate finished the orange juice and took a deep breath. “I’m fine now. Honestly.”

“I still think you should get checked out by a doctor.”

“I am a doctor,” she replied, with a touch of sarcasm. “Dr. Kate Morgan.”

The waiter gazed at Kate. “Did you say you’re a doctor?”

“First Year Surgical Intern,” Kate said. “I start at Mercy next Monday. I’m a little nervous. Some of the other interns told me to watch out for one particular Second Year Resident.”

"What’s the resident’s name?” the waiter asked.

Kate replied, “Dr. David Tyler.”

“Dr. Morgan, you are in for a demanding year. Dr. Tyler is a perfectionist. He expects his interns to know every bone in the human body.”

As Kate tried to recollect all of the 206 human bones…208 if you count the sternum as three bones…she asked, “How do you know so much about Dr. Tyler?”

With a bow and a flourish, the waiter announced, “Because…I am Dr. David Tyler.”

“Oh, no!” Kate said, her voice rising. “This is going from bad to worse.”

Dr. Tyler seemed surprised, “What do you mean?”

“My mother’s best friend fixed me up with a blind date tonight.” He’s a doctor,” she continued, “and his mother calls him Davy.”

Dr. Tyler chuckled, “My mother’s best friend fixed me up with a blind date tonight. The girl is an intern at Mercy Hospital.” He smiled a very sexy smile. “Her name is Katie. Could that be you, by any chance?”

In disbelief, Kate nodded her head, “That’s what my Mom calls me.” She looked into Dr. Tyler’s eyes. Her heart thumped, but there was nothing left to say. “I’m sorry about this.” She headed toward the door. “I’ll see you at Mercy Hospital, Dr. Tyler.”

“Wait, Kate,” David called after her. “I was here simply by chance when you came in to order lunch. My brother owns the diner. I've been checking in every couple of days while he's on vacation."

Kate had her hand on the door.

“Please hear me out. Don’t you think it was more than accidental the two of us wound up here today?”

Wavering a little, she said, “Maybe.”

“Then why don’t we have our blind date here tonight?” he asked.

“Here?” Kate was puzzled. “In the diner?”

“Sure. We’ll have the Destiny Special.”

“What’s that?” Kate asked.

“Grilled cheese sandwiches.” There was David’s sexy smile again. Only this time, Kate smiled back.

She laughed with a 'what-the-heck' attitude. “No champagne?”

“We’ll have to settle for coffee tonight. We could have champagne tomorrow night. And the next night, too.”

She nodded in agreement as a look of passion crossed David’s face. He whispered, in a low and throaty voice, “Kate…”

She didn’t allow him to finish. She stepped into his waiting arms. He pressed his mouth gently against her soft, sweet lips.

Kate knew she wanted to stay safe in David’s arms forever.

Maybe destiny had stepped in for the two young doctors.

About the Author: Betsy Knapp is a former broadcasting executive and newspaper columnist. She is currently writing a number of romance short stories, as well as working on a contemporary romance novel. Her short story, “The Cover Girl” was recently published on The Long and the Short of It. Betsy and her husband make their home in a charming Vermont village. You can visit Betsy at:twitter@betsy_knapp or check out her blog at

1 comment:

MomJane said...

I really loved your story. Thank you for sharing.