A Story About That Guy #2

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“Remembering the regulars is hard,” That Guy continued. “And if they’re so regular, why can’t they remember I started two days ago and cut me some slack for not knowing their order?”
I would have to answer him, especially since the espresso machine was next to the till and I had to make his cappuccino. Deep breaths. I could do this. Only two and a half more minutes.
“It was a challenge at first,” I said as I turned and packed some grounds in the portafilter. “But I love my job.”
“Really? How so?” That Guy leaned against the charcoal Formica counter. Resting his elbow on the top, he angled himself toward me, a vintage point to take in my soon-to-return blush —I could feel it building, the traitor.
I shrugged. I didn’t trust my elocution at the moment.
“I mean, I guess a lot of people ‘like’ their jobs, but you said ‘love.’ Why love?”
Because I don’t know the meaning of the word?
“I don’t know. I like my colleagues, the people coming in.” I shrugged and cleared my throat too, packing on the awkwardness like make-up on a drag queen. “Some people we just feed, but some… you know… we smile and take the time to be nice… It makes them happy. And this place always smells great.”
I finished pouring the milk in the espresso and drew a spiked spiral in the crema before adding an extra dollop of foam in the center.
That Guy’s smile widened when I put his cup next to the soup on his tray. “I can see that happening. This makes me happy.” He tapped the side of his cup.
My face warmed up, so I spun and turned his panini to get the crisscross grill marks all over it. While it finished cooking, I dressed a plate with a bit of lettuce and vegetables, a small scoop of carrot salad and ribbon of balsamic vinaigrette. After I cut the hot panini at an angle that matched the grill marks, I laid it in the plate. All nice and harmonious.
“There you go, sir,” I said, all professional-like, as I put the sandwich on the tray. “It’ll be twelve ninety-four, please.”
He shoved his laptop bag behind him to pluck his wallet from his back pocket —ah, to be a wallet…— and handed me fifteen. “Keep the change.”
His tray firm in hand, That Guy headed to the tables lined up against the far wall. This premium place featured access to both electricity and windows onto the streets. You had to get in during the down times to snatch one of those tables, and the only one left for That Guy was in my direct line of sight from the till.
He organized his place so he could have the food on one side and his laptop on the other, which he plugged while I gave Mrs Leewood her usual moccachino, heavy on the chocolate.
That Guy sat down and looked around his tray.
Oh crap! I forgot the utensils.

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

2 responses to “A Story About That Guy #2

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