Friday, January 13, 2023

Jerk It Out


The coffee shop was cozy. It offered leatherette chairs in earth tones and low tables that accumulated more footprints than coffee rings. A fireplace was at the front offering a rosy glow throughout the establishment. There were hemp products at the cash register and no one shouted out incorrect names for their orders of coffee. The only sounds were the a soft murmuring of customer’s voices and Etta James’s soulful voice on their speakers.

A young woman made her way to a seat that had a small side table and set down her bag. She opened laptop screen and smiled as she sipped her coffee. They gave it to her in a bright orange mug that she loved but would never purchase. She tied her hair back in a loose bun and rolled up her flannel sleeves. She leaned forward in thought and set her canvas shoe on the low table, pondering the heart of the place before she began typing away. 

“Excuse me, do I know you?”

She looked up and was immediately confused. He looked like someone tamed a surfer. His eyes held adventure but his clothes were comfortably formal. “I don’t think so, I’m newer to the area. I just found this place and thought it’d be good to get my work done.” 

“Are you sure…?” 

She sat back and sipped her coffee watching him. “I’m sure. How do you think you know me? Where did we meet?”

He smirked and blushed, looking down at his coffee. “Doesn’t matter. I’m sorry to have bothered you.” He started to look around for a place to sit and seeing a spot across the shop, he started to walk away.

“Wait…” She closed her laptop and motioned at the chair beside her. “You can sit here if you like.”

“What? No, that’s ok.” His eyes frowned as he smiled. His cheeks were still rosy as he took another sip from his mug.

She slid her laptop back in her bag and settled back comfortably in her chair. “Humor me, for a moment.” He made no move to sit but raised his eyebrow at her. “It’s not embarrassing for you to ask me if I know you but it is to explain how you know me?” 

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