THE COFFEE SHOP: CHAPTER 1

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Submitted Date 04/05/2019
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As she lay there breathing deeply, she dreamed of lying in lush green grass and looking at puffy white clouds, trying to make out their shapes. She pointed out dragons and puppies giggling to herself. Then the sky grew dark and a storm came rolling in. Blue turned to black and white turned to gray. The warm sun became an icy wind that gave her goosebumps and then she felt a harsh whisper next to her ear,

 

“Wake Up”, it hissed.

 

He eyes flew open and she saw the source of the voice, two inches from her face, his body floating over her own. His eyes were black, a deeper black than she had ever thought possible and his skin was gray green.

 

Her arms jerked and she grabbed the side railings of her hospital bed to sink herself lower, creating as much space as possible between her face and that of the floating man. Her reaction made a slow crooked smile appear on his face. But it formed like molasses, like it had been years since his face had taken that shape and he had forgotten how.

 

She blinked hard and held her breath. When she opened her eyes, he was gone.


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....

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She smashed the backspace button with a sigh of frustration.

 

“First version: write with the door closed. Second version: write with the door open.”

- Stephen King

 

She had been trying to write her book for the past six months. After going to college and spending a shit ton of money to get a job that she hates, she decided to write a book in her spare time.

Dripping with sarcasm she thought;

This will be great, they said. It will be fun, they cheered. Well… little did I know what I was getting myself into.

 

She sat there looking at the blank computer screen, cursor flashing.

*blink blink blink*

That short black line mocked her, blinking, waiting to move across her screen with brilliance and speed.

Sighing heavily she took a sip of her coffee and grimaced as the ice cold liquid touched her tongue. At the time of ordering, she was proud of her will power for ordering it black.

I’m not burning any calories sitting here on my butt, staring at a blank screen. The last thing I need is to gain some extra pounds while doing it.

She cracked her knuckles, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and thought, just start.

 

I’m going to go broke and have a heart attack from the amount of coffee I order to avoid actually writing, I should just go home and make myself sit down until I get something done.

 

She thought back to her interaction yesterday. She remembered the door to the coffee shop open.

 

She looked up and made awkward eye contact with a pair of green eyes.

She looked away quickly, cheeks flushing hot.

Ah. Now I remember why I come here.

He stepped up to the counter to order and while she listened, she mouthed the words with him simultaneously,

“Iced Americano.”

 

She scrunched up her nose in instant regret.

Too creepy.

Sitting at her table, she moved her fingers like she had just had that spark of an idea that she had been waiting for (if only).

 

He waited for his drink patiently and when he received it, he turned around and gave her a friendly smile before walking out the door.

 

Her heart leapt at the interaction and she couldn’t help but smile ear to ear, even though this was their weekend ritual.

She would come in around eleven on saturdays and sundays to get some writing done (or attempt to) and he would come in at around twelve to either get his coffee to go or would sit at a table with his laptop for a few hours.

 

Today, when he walked in, he was carrying his laptop and was on his way to the counter to order.

 

Whatareyoudoingyouidiot…

Typetypetypetypetypitytype. I am such a good writer. This is coming out the way I had hoped. I’mnotbeingweirdstalkingthisguythatihavenevertalkedto. CanIjusttellyouthatyouthatyouhavethemostamazingeyes…

 

She looked up to put her earbuds in and noticed that he was making his way towards her.

She give herself a couple seconds to enjoy his movements. The way he walked, so smooth, so sure. Like he knew exactly where he was going and that he looked good doing it.

 

Mmmm. Danergous.

 

He sat down at the table right next to her and took a deep breath trying to control the flush of her cheeks. But the more she tried to control the heat, the warmer they felt.

 

*sigh*

 

She got up from the table and went to the bathroom to splash some cold water on her face. She looked at herself in the mirror as she pat her face dry and examined her pale complexion, rosey cheeks, and wild auburn hair. She leaned over the sink and decided that another splash of water was necessary to fade the red to pink. Again, She leaned over the sink and took a couple deep breaths.

 

Okay. You’re being ridiculous. You don’t even know this guy. He’s probably married, has a drop dead gorgeous girlfriend, or a complete creep. Don’t fall for some stranger. Get it together.

 

She made her way back to her table, very aware of her movements just in case he wanted to take them in as well. She could see him in her peripherals. He had on a pair of well worn jeans and a white long sleeve pushed up to his elbows, revealing his muscular, tattooed forearms. He had a pair of dark eyebrows that framed his face nicely and shaggy hair to match.

 

When she sat down, she looked out the window and daydreamed about running her fingers through that hair until she was blinded by a flash of light and the sound of ripping metal. In the horizon, she saw devastation moving toward her. Like the earth was swallowing itself and it was coming for her next.

 

Instinctively she got up to run and reached her hand out to the man beside her.

 

“Let’s go!”, she said.

 

He hesitated for a moment, looking at her hand like it had sprouted thorns.

 

When he finally took it, they both ran for the door. She ran as hard and as fast as she could. Bobbing and weaving through the bodies of terrified people who were also running for their lives. Tears streamed down her face and she began to cough due to the smoke and dust filling her lounges.

Her hand still clasped around his tightly.

 

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