The Intercollegiate Literary Magazine

No Coffee?

I sit in the corner of the coffee shop. My legs crossed. Today I am wearing my platform Mary Jane’s. They’re maroon, perhaps burgundy, but nonetheless outstanding shoes. Sometimes I think I spent too much on my AirPod Max’s. This was a thing I was told “I had to buy for myself,” since my parents didn’t understand why the regular AirPods didn’t suffice or why if I wanted headphones I didn’t just get a cheaper pair. My Dad always talks about Bose and whatnot. Ever since he got some surround sound Bose system in the living room you’d think he works for the company.

I brought my tote bag with my books. One I’m actually reading, I forget what it’s called. Another one is the one I sketch in and the last one is my journal. I honestly look really cute today. I decide to pull out my sketchbook, opting for such since I have concluded it is the most enigmatic. Hopefully, today is the day the barista notices me, or maybe even remembers my order when I go up to the counter. I have been trying to condition him. I order the same coffee every Tuesday at noon. That way he’ll eventually know what I’m going to get, and conversation ensues, or one day I won’t order anything at all and he’ll be so programmed that he’ll notice my absence. Either way it’ll lead to a conversation.

“What ya sketching?” I turn around to see Margaret O’Toole. Shit. She was blonde, or so I think. I only say that because her roots are really obviously brown. But who cares. She was really hot. Not pretty. Not cute. None of that even works for her. She was hot. She wasn’t even the real silly mindless type either. She was sweet, but in a saturated way. As if someone that looks like her should just be mean by default. I stuttered before answering.

“Probably just a room sketch,” I replied, my voice a little weak.

“Oh cool! Show it to me when you’re done!”

I watch her float away, straight to the counter of the shop. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I watched as she put her hands on either side of the register, pushed herself on her tippy toes, and placed the daintiest little kiss on the barista’s mouth. I nearly threw up. I watched as he smiled at her, and stared in horror as the two engaged in conversation for the next few minutes. I didn’t hear a word. My mind was screaming. Eventually, she left, giving me a wave before doing so. I could hardly manage a smile.

A few minutes later, my eyes still staring forward in shock, I notice the barista turn and look over at me through my peripherals. Scared to make eye contact with him, I maintained my gaze. Ultimately, I couldn’t resist any longer, and my eyes darted to him to find that he had a smile on his face. Confused, I mustered a grimace back at him. I watched as he held up his hands, looked at me all innocently and said: “No coffee today?”