The coffee shop

“Meet me today?” was all the message read. 

She might have been a little angry, but she knew they’d bounce back. They always did. 

So, she accepted. A few messages later they finalised a place. This time closer to her house. She’s quite the pain when it comes to meeting at places far away. Surprisingly this time he didn’t mind either.

A small episode of road rage that involved a few abuses, well maybe not just a few. She got to the parking of the coffee shop. One, or maybe two not-so-quick glances in the mirror and she got out of the car.

The sharpness of the message’s ringtone broke the silence, “I’m here,” it read.

Quickly, she ran past the couple that was awkwardly saying bye. “Honey moon phase,” she thought.

The coffee shop looked was full. Just as she was searching for a familiar face in the crowd, she spotted him. There’s just something about meeting up after a fight, she smiled. 

——————————

“Ok,” without a full stop was her reply.

“I need to let her know,” he thought while buttoning his black shirt. 

A few messages and a lot of time later, she replied. This time, some place closer to her home, he thought.

He drove all the way. Not an easy drive, lots of traffic with a sprinkle of idiots driving. He reached.

Got past the kids who were getting into the one bar that allows for some wholesome drinking. Any other day would’ve been a happy one. Not today.

Today, they had to talk.

He goes in, finds a place to sit. He always liked reaching first. “Gives you some time to settle and calm down,” he believed.

Sends her a message, “I’m here”. He wondered if she drove safely without killing anyone. he knew she was having a a difficult time driving.

Such weird, intimate details he knew. 

And then she walks in. The black bag that he bought her, pink shirt and hair in a complete mess. 

————————

“Uh, another couple,” he said beneath his breath. “Wonder if they’re here to fight or make-up, or make-out,” he thought .

Four years of working at the coffee shop and he had known, those chairs, much like him, had seen a bevy of emotions pass through.

“I’ll give them some time. He looks very serious,” he thought.

Five minutes later, when they showed no signs of ordering, painfully he walked towards them.

Green tea with honey, was his order. “Uh oh.. no honey sir,” he muttered. She on the other hand didn’t want to eat anything. “Perhaps I should ask her,” he thought, before proceeding to do just that.

“No!” she snapped. “Just get us that green tea.”

He walks away.

“A little politeness never killed anyone,” he thought.

———————

She sits down. Thinking it’s going to be fine. How many times had they argued. She knew she wasn’t the easiest to handle, but he loved her dearly. Or so she hoped.

“I need to tell you something important,” he said, without wasting time. 

“Uh-oh, that’s never good news,” she thought. “Unless he’s pregnant, which in hindsight is not such good news either,” she chuckled in her head.

After what seemed like forever, with the interference of the waiter, who seemed to be too bothered about what she wanted to eat. She snaps at him, “No!, Just get us that green tea.”

The sooner the words left her lips, she knew she regretted them. Being consumed by worry was never a reason to be rude to an unsuspecting stranger.

“It’s not working out, there are things we need to sort out,” he said and proceeded to say some more.

She stayed stuck at “It’s not working out”. And everything else was a blur.

One unfaithful tear rolled down her cheek.

Damnit.

Where is that pride when you need it the most, she thought.

—————-

He noticed her face when he told her it wasn’t working anymore.

He hated to be the one to do this.But it had to be done.Patience was wearing out. 

As he braced himself for the flow of tears, he was interrupted by the waiter. Green tea with honey would work for his sore throat, what about the sore heart, he wondered. But currently, he had to settle with just green tea without honey. No relief to the throat either.

Thanking the waiter for the much needed break, he knew he had to face her.

In her defense, she tried not to cry. But there was only so much  those big eyes could hold. A tear rolled down her cheek.

—————————————————————

And then, everything around them almost froze. Well almost, if you could ignore the couple behind them, who were so happy she almost wanted to slap them. “We were one of them,” she thought. “Were.” 

She had always hated past tenses. 

The waiter? He got back to his life.

Another couple, another emotion. Life went on.

The coffee shop had been  witness to so many people and had been a part, albeit a minuscule one, of their lives.

Everything was in balance. For every couple that broke up, there were two who got together.

For every rude person. there was one who was kind.

And the couple? Well, they’re a story for another day.

Perhaps another coffee shop. Hopefully, this time a happy memory.

Maybe this wasn’t the end after all. 

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