Heather stirred her coffee slowly and licked the froth from her spoon. Lost in thought, she was oblivious to the bustle around her. The lunchtime rush came and went and still she sat, nursing her drink. Some time in the early afternoon, she was distracted by a customer’s loud rant. He was complaining about rancid milk which is why he caught Heather’s attention. She’d been coming here for years and not once had they served rancid milk. She wondered what he was trying to achieve. Compensation? Hardly worth it for a free coffee. Or maybe he was some kind of mystery shopper.. But would a mystery shopper use such coarse language? She supposed it was possible, after all, they must be told to try and provoke a reaction in the baristas. She was impressed by the girl’s calm manner in dealing with him. He reminded her of that DJ she’d had a fling with last summer. What was his name…? Chris? No, Craig… He worked at Salacious Sounds and she’d met him when she’d gone to buy a record for her brother. It must have been obvious she didn’t have a clue about dubstep but he was so sweet and helpful. He was gorgeous. Bit rough though, not her usual type. She’d suggested he have elocution lessons. That didn’t go down too well. Said she was a snob. Perhaps he was right. She was glad they had stayed friends but they had come back to this argument a few times since. Heather sighed.
‘Another latte, love?’ The barista smiled down at her
‘Oh, yes please… Can I have a slice of that carrot cake as well? I’ve been eyeing it up all afternoon and I can’t leave without trying a piece!’
‘Of course. Coming right up.’
Heather looked down at her laptop. She only had three articles to write and so far she’d written about 100 words. She cursed herself for agreeing to do the piece for Spark magazine. What did she know about diodes? It was harder than she thought it would be to sound knowledgeable on the subject. The blog piece for 8-track though, would be much easier. Perhaps she should have started with that first, just to get writing. Someone had once advised her to start with the hardest piece of work first to get it out of the way. Well, that wasn’t exactly working for her today. She put her headphones on and switched to the ‘easier’ piece.
A few hours later Heather stopped. She was surprised to see a cup of cold coffee and the remains of a carrot cake on the plate beside her. She barely remembered eating it. She had written all three articles, a blog post and started on her brother’s wedding speech. She closed her laptop and smiled. She’d treat herself to a takeaway tonight. And tomorrow. She always ordered for two as she could never bring herself to say ‘yes’ when asked ‘and is that a meal for one?’ She wasn’t sure why as she enjoyed living alone. What was it her Mum used to say? ‘If you can enjoy your own company you’ll never be lonely.’ So tonight she had a date with a takeaway for two and a dvd of Hitch. ‘I might like my own company but I wouldn’t say no to a fling with Will Smith!’ she thought to herself.
‘Yep. See you tomorrow!’
Heather walked slowly out of the coffee shop, hesitating outside Salacious Sounds just long enough for Craig to notice her and wave. She smiled and waved back. ‘Drink?’ he mimed, pointing at his watch to indicate he meant later, he held up his right hand, fingers spread. Heather nodded, ‘Be back at 5 then,’ she mouthed, and half jogged back to her flat. Will Smith could wait.
The above short story is my entry for this week’s Free Write Friday challenge. Having read it back, it took some effort not to edit this week’s piece! There is so much I would change and I think it would read better in the first person. But that’s not the point of the exercise so… If you enjoyed this story, please leave a comment below! Constructive criticism welcome as I may expand this one to something at some point in the future.
If you’re new here and wondering what Free Write Friday is all about, click on the image at the top of this post to find out more and read other entries from this week.