Friday Freebie: Coffee Date

A belated gift to your for National Coffee Day (this past Tuesday.) Behold: The Coffee Date…

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            When he told her he loved her, she asked him why. They’d been sitting at the same sticky counter of the same dingy café for an hour, tops, and the words had been somewhat of a shock to her system.

She studied him when he didn’t answer.

The man’s hair was black, slick. He smelled of Old Spice aftershave and some off-brand deodorant. His tie dangled around his neck, and his collar was unbuttoned.

Maggie had stopped sipping her latte for this slovenly man; she needed an answer. Time, after all, wasn’t free—and neither was this decaf, non-fat vanilla grande with extra foam. “Why do you love me?” she repeated.

He gave her a look that said, “You’re kidding me, right?” But his tone was civil when he replied. “Work with me here. We come to this joint every day, yes?”

“Yes,” Maggie agreed. What was he getting at? “We do come here every day, goodness knows why.” She gave a meaningful look around the café, her nosed turned up.

He smiled and nodded his agreement of her assessment. “And we both order the same decaf, non-fat vanilla grande latte with the extra foam on top, right?”

“Right.”

He chuckled, a deep, rich sound that made her hopes sore up to dangerous heights. “So when I said ‘I love you,’ did you really think I was talking to you?”

Reality snatched at Anticipation’s tail, holding it earthbound. Blinking hard, Maggie flipped over her copper hair, forming a veil between them. She did not want him to see her expression. On the outside she was angry. On the inside, though, she was raging. Darn tears spoil everything.

He leaned over and whispered through the confessional screen of hair, his breath reeking of coffee and vanilla. “I said I love the food. It’s to die for, isn’t it?”

Maggie scoffed. What had she expected? A proposal? Marriage? A Family? Ridiculous! Finally, after all these weeks, she worked up her nerve and asked him the question that had been burning on her lips: “Who are you? We’ve never met, right?”

A pause. He laughed, one loud blast of sound: “Ha!”

The curtain of hair between them parted. “What?”

“Nothing. It’s just…when you said that, you reminded me of someone.”

Maggie’s eyebrows shot up into her bangs. “Who?”

“That’s the thing,” the man said with a frown. “I don’t remember.”

Paging Dr. Foor. Dr. Foor to radiology.” It was a cold, feminine voice blasting out through speakers somewhere in the room.

The two looked at each other. They looked around for the speakers, but couldn’t find them.

“Well, this was fun,” said Maggie, rubbing her forehead. “Tell me you don’t love me again some time.”

“It was a pleasure for me, too, miss.”

Dr. Foor from radiology shook his head. He’d been standing there, observing the odd exchange, pity welling in his eyes. “They must’ve really loved each other, once upon a time.” He turned to his patients. “Come on, Mr. and Mrs. Miller; time for your CAT Scan.”

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