Any excuse to work on awkward dialogues and organic character interactions.
Stern, Cafe, Over-time.
I could have incorporated stern a bit more obviously – I tried to give the PoV character a stern sort of personality but I think that’s a miss.
Cafe is the location.
Over-time is the motivation for the characters being there.
When the rains come, even the soft sort, the town turns sleepy. We would sit together in the cafe and watch the people working there, and order coffee occasionally. You’d never admit it but you’ve got a crush on one of the baristas – I know because you turn to rubber when she’s around. I wonder idly how to broach the subject every time we’re here.
You don’t even drink coffee.
Today is a little different.
We sit together in our usual seats, the soft leather ones along the back wall where there is a beautiful view of the display cases. Food we’d never touch, because there is so much better just down the road. The manager doesn’t even worry that we bring outside food in, as long as we buy coffee.
The coffee you get is typical, three-thirds sugar with whipped cream on top. I prefer mine strong and black. Then you see her, smile and lose track of what I asked you. It doesn’t matter, it was important.
Vicky, as orthodox as her name, dressed in her uniform with no flairs or personality to it. The slightest hint of a tattoo is just a trick of the shadows in the dim night-light.
I often wonder what’s the appeal to a chain-smoking, walking art-gallery with a buzz-cut. I do judge, but whatever makes you happy.
“She’ll never go out with a girl like you,” I often sound sterner than I expect, as if I’m stating a fact.
“Cut it,” today is the day, “we’ve been coming here for two years, you’re just lucky she hasn’t found a better job.”
Thank fuck for the economy, it’d get awkward sitting around in an office building all day.
“Why’d you even thing she’s into chicks?”
You’ve got no response, you just try to pretend I have no clue what I’m talking about. Then she brings us our coffees.
She brushes a stray strand of blonde hair behind her ear and blushes, “Uh, hey.”
“You ever get off work? Feels like you’re here every night.”
She smiles, “I could say the same about you two.”
“We just finished work, what’s your excuse?”
You laugh, a little too hard.
“Cool,” I try to cover, “guess I don’t see it that way. Gotta spend your nights doing something, though.”
She smiles again, she wants to escape a little, you’ve made it awkward.
“Hey, on the chance you’ll say no – if you ever wanna get a drink with us.”
I grab a serviette and write down your number, “Give us a call.”
“Oh,” she blushes, playing with her hair again, “cool, I better get back to work.”
I sip my coffee as you hyper-ventilate.
“I gave her your number by the way.”