Well, I tried

This was crazy. Without another thought, I twisted around and aimed myself towards the front door. I took sweeping steps and moved closer to leaving the restaurant.

It was oddly easier than the old man made me believe it would be.

Just a couple of feet short of freedom, a waitress came up on my left.

“Sir,” she yelled louder than she really needed to. “Your shoelace is untied.”

“What?” I said. I looked down. Indeed, I discovered two shoelaces, NOT tangled together as usual. Why would my shoelaces decide on this very moment to become adversaries?

I knelt down and tied the laces together, muttering under my breath for them to play nice.

I stood back up.

I was back at the side of the table. The old man sat there with what must have been an attempt at a thin smile gracing his wrinkled face.

“I thought you were leaving.”

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