Coffee Shop


“The coffee shop that we used to go to … I’m blankly sitting here … I still can’t forget you and the remnants of our memories. So … unconsciously, like a habit, I came here.”


I enter the café with a blank page of a face, shuffling out of the misty drizzle of the outside. The murmur of the customers and the sound of the tinkling bell hanging on the front entrance brings the manager running out to greet me with a friendly, cool-mustached grin.

“Well, well, well, look who we have here,” he exclaims happily. “My all-time favorite customer!”

“Hey, Mr. Walter.” I force my cheek muscles to function and finally succeed in forming a withering grin.

The portly man belly laughs. “What’s the matter, boy? You ain’t lookin’ bright-eyed and bushy-tailed like you always do.” He jokes with me like he always does, like every other day. “Looks like you need your regular order to charge your batteries for the day again, eh?”

“Yeah, I’m just tired, I guess.” I stare at the floor, too exhausted and dejected to explain the bare truth behind my actions. The rain continues to tap rhythmically as I drag myself to my regular seat next to the window. I can feel Mr. Walter eying me with a mildly befuddled look on his face before waddling back to his business, tilting his head to the side every now and then, trying to figure me out. A sigh fogs up the window pane as I lean against it, closing my eyes to be engulfed into the music. Into that particular song.

That particular song that she had treasured since she’d started dating me. I faintly reminisce her tinkling voice explaining to me that she’d become so attached to the song because it precisely described what was between us. What was ours.

A faint smile grazes my lips as my mind drifts off into the darkening clouds above. Perhaps I was dreaming, or perhaps I was re-visiting the past, but either way, it was a way to prevent me from losing her completely. It was the link – the red string that somehow still bound us toge –

“Hey, mister! Wake up, will you?” A superball of a voice jerks me out of my trance. A pair of fiery gray eyes full of irritation greets me. “Who in the world falls asleep after ordering? Why would you order if you had no intention to digest it in the first place?”

I stare at the girl and abruptly, faintly remember her face. She’s my lab partner in AP Chemistry and the president of the school’s Math Decathlon team. And, from the rumors, her family was rich enough to travel the world and still have enough to buy a mansion.

Why would someone like her be working in a place like this?

“Hello? Are you deaf?” Irritated hands pull off the earphones off my ears. Her voice is now projected, echoing in my ears. She sticks a manicured hand and the scent of aloe hand lotion into my face. “The boss says we need the customers to pre-pay before they get their orders. Pay up, VIP.”

I dig into my pocket for a five dollar bill and hold it out to her. “Keep the change.”

She glares at the five dollar bill as if she wants to re-assassinate President Lincoln. With a swift motion, she snatches it out of my hand and stomps away, leaving me to wonder why she had such an attitude. She was usually the figure everyone wanted to become – the role model of a perfect girl, because she had everything in the world to mold her that way. Her circle of friends smother her and force her to digest her daily lavish praises for breakfast – a sign of fear that they might be the next pariah.

The aloe scent returns as a coffee cup plunks down in front of me. “Thanks for the tip,” she smiles sweetly and slaps down two dollars and seventy-six cents. “Too bad I won’t accept it.” The perfect, straight-without-braces pearly whites disappear and contorts into a crinkle of distaste. She turns to walk away and something opens my mouth.


She turns, and her blonde waves ripple in my direction. “What?” she demands, obviously irritated.

“Why do you hate me so much?”

The question hangs in the air – a heavy, humid type of fog that suffocates us to silence.

“Who said I did?” Her tone is defensive, cautious.

I shrug. “That’s the vibe I got from you.”

She glares at me. “Then stop judging people by vibes. I despise those who view the surface.”

“So you do hate me.”

Her jaw muscles are so tense that I’m afraid they might shatter. “Believe whatever you want. I could care less.” She whirls around and hastens away for another myriad of orders. I sit dumbly on the cushion seat, sipping the drink that tastes of comfort. I can see Mr. Walter scrutinizing me carefully from behind the manager’s door out from the corner of my eye, but he can’t see me or the palm-sized photograph I pull out.

She has the identical blonde hair and the matching gray eyes. She isn’t completely identical, but she isn’t the complete antithesis of her, either.

How could someone so similar … be so different?