Coffee Shop Trilogy

Hard to read

A leathered palm resting flat against the table, finger twitching as he inches it nearer his packet of Marlboro. Perhaps it is a lingering habit from the days when cigarettes kept the hand occupied in coffee shops, as smartphones do nowadays. He looks solemnly out the window, the sombre nature of his face emphasised by his deep furrows and weathered jaw. Slouching further back into the pillows of his couch he gives nothing away, as he sits and and waits, or wishes, or wanders in his mind for something. Only he knows. Shielding his emotions behind a mug, he closes his eyes and swigs.

The Tomato Hater

She giggles girlishly into her mug as he grins back at her, his pride for raising the soft bubbles of laughter from his counterpart strewn unashamedly across his face. They pause in silence, each holding the other’s gaze before their attention is diverted to the arrival of the waitress at their table. They thank her simultaneously and now their minds are on their meals. Panini and pommes frites according to the menu sat in front of me. He gives her his tomatoes and she tuts in response. His smile again widens as his lips shape the words, “I hate tomatoes.”

Coffee to Go

He marches in, no time to spare. In the queue he bobbles impatiently. He has somewhere to be but his caffeine fix seems a necessity. The waitress’s smile goes unreturned as he reels off his requirements; two coffees and a tea to go. Buying for his equally impatient, caffeine craving friends it seems. His foot taps as the thumb flicks at the phone in his hand, busying himself whilst his request is carried out. No sooner are the plastic cups placed in his dusty hands than he is bounding out the door and into the van sat grumbling on the street outside.

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