Following from the previous day’s story about Evelyn and Mark, I decided to write a kind of sequel, from a different point of view. Spoiler for the previous story: that “date” really didn’t work out. I set the next story in the coffee shop where they met, from the point of view of the barista, who’d like Mark to pair up and stop bothering her other regulars. The story prompt I used was “She liked to fit people into the world like puzzle pieces.” I’m calling this one “Cupid and Coffee.”
I see Mark check out Extra Caramel’s skirt as she goes by, and then he’s up to my counter. “Black coffee?” I say before he can.
“You’re a saint.” He pulls out a crumpled five and a charming grin that looks equally over-used.
He’s perfect for Extra Caramel. That’s why I sent her to the back. Because I know Mark will head that direction as soon as he notices Evelyn sitting in the front armchairs. Those two are not one of my matches. Anyone could see that Evelyn is much too smart for him. I’m not surprised she saw through him in a single date. I was only surprised he got her to go on one.
“Here’s your coffee,” I tell him, and add, “Extra hot today, so be careful.”
He’s the sort of guy who thinks spilling coffee on a girl is a good way to meet her. I saw it happen with Evelyn, and hoped it would tip her off from the beginning. Maybe this will force him to try a better method on Extra Caramel.
He takes his coffee, and I watch him turn towards the front armchairs, see Evelyn, and turn back around again. He heads for the other circle of armchairs, a companionable group of seats that makes it so much easier to approach strangers than if everyone’s sitting at their own separate little tables.
I smile, mentally cross my fingers, and go to wipe down tables.