top of page

Coffee Shop

by one Timothy C. Chambers

I always wanted to die.

 

I couldn’t remember the last time I woke up and those weren’t the first words to bounce around in my head. In truth, I didn’t really want to die, it’s more like I was tired of living. I constantly felt a sort of grief over me and I couldn’t get over it. No matter where I went, no matter what I did it was always there over my shoulder. The worst thing is I didn’t have any reason to feel this way, my childhood was great, I was raised by my parents in a safe home and I never went to bed hungry. My career was going steady and I had potential for a great future. Yet all I could feel was this shadow that hung over me. Sometimes I could smile through and I would almost convince myself that it wasn’t there, yet there it  was again as soon as I was alone. Although, I was never truly alone, he was my companion, with me everywhere I went, my burden, and my cross. I was drained and wanted to let go of the shadow. That’s why I went there, the parking lot of the nearest emergency room but did I really want that? I didn’t want to just go in and listen to equally depressed counselors tell me that it will get better. Even though they know that is the greatest lie in the world, they would try to convince me otherwise.

I turned the key in the ignition and pulled out of the parking space, I needed a coffee. I drove through the traffic of downtown which as usual was busy and full of tourists who don’t know where they were going. Driving either too fast or too slow and constantly missing turns. I fought my way through and found a parking space. I got out to cross the street very carefully and walk the block or so to the coffee shop.

 

----------------

 

The girl behind the counter had been working there for a while. As I entered, she was already meticulously preparing my order. She knew it by heart now, a blueberry muffin and black coffee, like always.

“Here you go Kage, just like always, I will never understand how you don’t get bored of the same thing every time you come here.” she tucked a strand of her brown hair that had escaped her ponytail behind her ear as she walked up to the register.

I smiled. “Well, Charise, maybe if you would let me order I will get something different.”

She looks at me over her glasses with her blue-green eyes, “Well what would you like to order?”

“A black coffee and a blueberry muffin.”

She playfully chuckled as I handed her the cash and I collected the change “You think you’re funny, don’t you?”

“You laughed so I guess I am.”

She laughed again and added “If you need anything I’ll be here”, She then turned around and her slender body moves elegantly behind the counter as she started to make a

cappuccino for the next person.

I left a tip in the jar with a little extra than I normally tipped as thanks for her tolerating my humor. I sat down in my usual spot, far back of the coffee shop in view of the door for my ritual of people watching. I sat there and methodically ate my muffin pulling it apart one bite at a time and sipping at my coffee. I took out a book and pretended to read, but really, I was watching everyone as they went about their day. The white noise of the cars on the busy street was roaring as people opened the door as they came and went breaking the rumble of conversation and the music in the shop. As I watched I found myself lost in thought. How many of these people were happy? Did they have someone at home that needs them? Is that what gets them through the painful existence that is life? This only deepened my grief and as I fell deeper into the shadow suddenly my train of thought was derailed.

“What are you doing tonight?”

I looked up and it was Charise, I realized my mouth was open and no words were coming out I quickly tried to remedy that.

“N-nothing. Why?”

“There is this great new bar across town I was wondering if you would like to go?”

“With who?” Man, I was blowing it.

She laughed and swatted my shoulder, “With you of course”

“Yeah... uh definitely I would love to go, but why?”

She smiled “I have been working here for three months and you come here two or three times a week, always during my shift. You seem like you could use a drink and maybe someone to drink with. So, are we going or what?”

I nodded my head yes and she grabbed my hand, writing her number on it. “I get out at 5:00 call me at 6:00 and I’ll have you come pick me up.”

“Okay, sounds like a Pla..”

“It’s a date” she quickly slipped in. Someone came in the shop as another car sped by. “I have to get back to work, call me tonight. Okay?”

“Okay sounds like a date,” I said smiling.

Charise went back behind the counter and took another order. A new feeling came over me. Hope was quickly replacing my grief for the first time in ages. My excitement was overpowering as I got up from the table, coffee in hand I nodded in acknowledgment of Charise waving goodbye. A smile was displayed proudly on my face.

Overwhelmed with this new thirst for life I gleefully crossed the street. A smile on my face, a genuine smile, I was thinking about that night and I was so excited, I didn’t notice the yellow SUV.

 

---------------

 

Now here I am, all I can do is try to remember what happened. I simply lay here, wherever here is, I don’t know how long I have been here, but I feel cold all the time. The only sounds I hear are the mumblings of people talking and some sort of rhythmic machinery. The only warmth I feel is sometimes a slender hand in mine. I must live. I want to go out, smile, and grow.

 

I want to wake up but I ca…

“Oh my God! Kage! You’re awake! Nurse!”

“Ch-Charise?”

Timothy C. Chambers is a local emerging writer

bottom of page