Stanley Meltzer fell in love with a new waitresses eyes when he went to Woolworth’s one morning.
While sipping his strong black coffee, he couldn’t help but notice how pretty she was. That she had an outgoing personality was obvious, as he watched her take time to chat with every customer. Her name badge said, “Lisa.”
Lisa’s smile was sweet and innocent. Her most striking feature was her long brilliant red hair which cascaded down her shoulders like a crimson waterfall, until it met her thin waist and stopped. Her voice was pitch-perfect and mesmerized Stanley as she took his order.
Stanley was an accountant for Al Capone, the notorious crime lord who ruled Chicago after prohibition became law on January 17th, 1920.
Stanley was a mousey little man who wore a brown trench coat throughout the year. His diminutive five-foot presence often went unnoticed in public settings. A bachelor, he lived alone in a small apartment on south Madison Avenue. He paid a maid to come in once a week and clean it.
Stanley’s routine involved going to Woolworth’s every morning to get coffee and a donut. After the new waitress was hired, he started ordering breakfast just so he could talk to her longer. He got lost watching her eyes and movements.
He spent hours wishing he had the guts to ask her out. But he was too timid. He got tongue-tied around women, which wasn’t exactly an endearing trait to woo them with.
When Stanley was young, his mother often told him eyes were the gateway to a person’s soul. For the first time he understood what she meant. The waitresses eyes told volumes when she laughed at a customer’s joke.
Her green eyes twinkled merrily as she encouraged others to laugh. Innocence peeked out from the corners like a shy child. They were the eyes of a saint, or movie star. He wasn’t sure which.
Stanley had been around the block long enough to know that eyes can lie. They can deceive you, like Big Al’s dark eyes. They appear to be smiling, even when he shoots someone. Anger also illuminates Big Al’s eyes like a jungle cat’s. He’d seen that more times than he cared to remember.
It was important to be able to read eyes. Stanley, in his lonely existence, spent a lot of time reading other people’s eyes. When he finished a financial report, one of Big Al’s goons would come get it, and deliver it to his boss.
He’d look at the goon’s eyes, and would see a dangerous blankness in them. Like he didn’t have a soul. He suspected that he didn’t, because he killed people on a mobster’s orders.
One morning while Stanley was chewing on a piece of bacon, two tough-looking customers came to the counter and sat down near him. Their eyes were ugly with suspicion and hate, as each gruffly ordered a coffee.
Big Al had a lot of enemies. Instinctively, he knew these two new guys on the block were enemies of Big Al. This was his territory, and when new thugs came into the neighborhood trouble always followed.
His hand shook slightly as he lifted his cup and took a sip of coffee. The two thugs were laughing and boasting about their work when two of Big Al’s men entered with Tommy Guns!
Just before they opened fire, Stanley leaped over the counter and covered Lisa’s body with his own! A second later their machine guns were drilling holes into the two thugs bodies, and haphazardly tracking the rest of the counter.
Stanley felt both bullets hit him in the back!
He collapsed to the ground with Lisa beneath him. His blood soaked her, as the machine guns kept stitching the counter. Miraculously, three other customers who were at the counter weren’t even wounded, as they plunged to the floor to escape the hot lead.
Big Al’s boys calmly walked out, leaving chaos behind them. The two thugs bodies were riddled with bullet holes. The only other person shot was Stanley. He was barely alive when the ambulance crew got there and took him to the hospital.
Stanley heard voices. He tried to open his eyes, but they felt heavy. A doctor was talking with a nurse at the end of his bed. He heard snatches of conversation; “The next 24-hours will tell…has anyone contacted his family?..Try to keep him comfortable…”
When he woke the next day the nurse called his doctor in. He came in and checked his bandages, instructing the nurse to change them when he was finished.
“Mr. Meltzer,” the doctor said, “you’re a lucky man. One of the bullets that struck you almost hit your heart. It’s going to be a while before you recover. We weren’t able to contact any of your family members. You do have a visitor. She says she’s your girlfriend.”
Stanley struggled to sit up in his excitement. “My girlfriend!” he said, like a parrot repeating a phrase.
“Easy now…you can’t move that fast yet. Do you want me to send her in?”
“Please! Yes, I’d love to see her.”
When Lisa walked into the room she didn’t hesitate, and went straight to his bed and kissed him on the mouth.
“Thank you, Stanley” she said, with love in her eyes.
As It Stands, love can be sudden, and still last forever.