Hi Dear Reader,
This is the first in a series aimed at forcing me to write at least once a week. Every Friday I will make every attempt to write something fictional for you to
endureenjoy. This is something a little different.
The 90’s has a lot to answer for Luke thought as he fumbled for £3.50 in change to pay for his daily coffee. The shop was strangely empty for a Tuesday morning, in fact as he continued to fumble in his pocket hopping towards the till like some demented antelope on ice, he noticed that he, Luke Russell, was the only customer. His train of thought stopped dead when she spoke.
“Hello Sir.” She said “What can I get you?”
Luke froze, hand still in his pocket. He opened his mouth to reply but no words could be found. She was quite stunning, he thought. She had long dark hair, blue eyes that had Luke mesmerised. He fell in love easily and with alarming regularity. It was happening again.
“Sir?” she repeated, “Are you OK?”
Luke looked down at his pocketed hand, and withdrew it faster than a catholic on honeymoon. He felt his face redden and he was suddenly glad for the apparent decline in Starbucks business.
“I wasn’t…” he began. “….My change.”
She smiled a wide perfect smile which caused Luke to fall in Love all over again.
“What can I get you?”
“Medium Americano” he said amazed finally managed to order.
“What’s your name?” she asked.
“…Luke” he said, pausing before remembering why she asked. For the cup.
“No. You are sweet enough.” The very moment he felt the words leave his mouth he tried to reach out to stop them, now he was sure his face was crimson with embarrassment, if the floor wasn’t kind enough to open and swallow him he would take his coffee and sit far away, preferably outside. In fact he would never visit the store again yes….. She laughed ending his torment.
“Thank you Luke.” She said brushing a stray strand of hair away from her face. “Sugar for your coffee?”
“No thank you.”
“Take a seat, I’ll bring it over.”
Luke scurried away a corner table. He sat down and watched his coffee being prepared. The shop was still empty and very quiet. Aside from the grind of coffee beans and the gentle pan-pipe musak nothing was to be heard. The beautiful barista delivered Luke’s coffee as promised.
“Thanks.” He said. “Why is it so quiet today?”
“No idea. But it’s good for me. It’s my first day.”
“Oh, I thought I hadn’t seen you before. I come here most days. I’m Luke.”
She laughed again.
“I know I wrote on your cup. I’m Aubrey.”
“Pleased to meet you.” He said, extending his hand. “Feel free to sit down with me. I would offer to buy you coffee but..”
“You are silly.” She said as she pulled out a chair and sat down. “But that’s a good thing.” She added noticing the wounded look on Luke’s face.
He took a sip of coffee, remembering too late that, as the lid of his cup warned, contents were indeed hot. The Americano took the consistency of broken glass in his mouth. He felt it burn all the way down. Yet another stupid move, but one he felt he got away with.
“Hot?” she said.
“Than holy hell.” He replied with a pained smile.
“96 degrees. Just how they showed me.” She said, again pushing another stray strand of hair away from her face. “But my Mother told me when I was tiny to wait for drinks to cool down before drinking.”
“Smart woman. But then she will have never experienced the thrill and searing pain.”
“True.” Aubrey said and smiled. “Is it always this quiet here?”
“No, never seen it like this before. Usually full of suits with laptops.”
“Yes exactly. “Luke replied, nodding and moving his hand tentatively towards his coffee. “Maybe they are all working from home or something”
“I’d love to do that, you could never be late then.”
Luke nodded and risked another try at drinking his coffee, a sudden dawn of realisation crept over his face.
“Late! Oh crap” he exclaimed and stood up from his chair. “Thank you so much for the coffee, but I am late for a meeting. Will I see you again?”
“Depends if you want coffee. Or if they fire me.”
He was about to reply, but his morning alarm went off in his ear. 6:30am, way too early but plenty of time for morning coffee.