The Lunch Break

Leandre was your average joe, with average qualities and an average life. An average job. Average wage. I need not continue about his life right, you get the picture. Leandre was the guy currently running inside a diner in the afternoon with his sleeves rolled till his elbows, half his shirt peeking out his trousers and his laces undone. His blond hair a mess and dripping. A messenger side bag hanging at his hips, carelessly thrown across his shoulder. A pen held between his lips and sheets of paper in his hands marked red and blue in places.

Leandre rushed inside the diner and sat at the nearest empty table he could lay his eyes on. He wrote frantically with his right hand and rose his left hand in the air as if he was the studious student of the class who had just a single minute till the end of the period and he wanted to make a note of what the professor was saying and ask a question in that one tiny minute. His hour-long lunch break was again bound to pass with him working and drinking a ton of coffee and his stomach empty. A waitress soon attended him, though, much to his comfort.

“What can I do” she began but was cut short by his smooth and unabused voice.

“I need a Cappuccino. Please. Quick. Thank you.” said he with his eyes never leaving the paper. The only difference was that before he had his hand in the air and right now, they were in his hair.

Mumbling figures under his breath and crunching figures in his head, he felt his stomach grumble and revolt. His stomach clearly threatened him to file a case against him in the labor court and like a perfect boss he looked for the waitress to ask for his coffee again. He called her and went back to his work.

“Please,” he said. “Save my life. Cappuccino. Hurry.”

His mind was well trained to look past all the distractions and troubles. He had trained himself to be void of all emotion. He was no longer irritated by the loud speaking and verbal diarrhea-suffering co-worker. He was well trained to look past the construction noises and into his hieroglyphics worksheets. But when another couple of minutes passed and his coffee was nowhere to be found, he lost it. He lost control over himself and he couldn’t control his anger. His anger aimed at himself that he got himself in at work released at the poor waitress. His frustrations released themselves as a river breaks the dam built on her and escapes.

He quietly capped his pen. And waited for the waitress to pass him by, like a rattlesnake waiting for his prey to come near him. And when she did, he pounced. He stood up and look at her in the eyes and raised his voice and said, “MY COFFEE!”

The coffee shop came to a stand still and everyone turned around to look at him. The sound of his voice sent something breaking inside of him. It broke his current state and he noticed that the poor waitress was shivering. Her eyes were brimming with tears and she was scared. Unable to apologize for his actions, he turned to the table and picked up his papers in preparation to walk out of the store. But then, the magic happened.

“Stay here,” a feminine voice said to the waitress and pulled at his elbow; forcing him to turn around and face her. Her circular face with her cheeks puffy, a tiny girl stood in front of the man who was finding it hard to find his words. Her black hair were neatly tied in a bun but a few strands had broken free from the restraints and were caressing her cheek on the right side of her face. She wore a pink chapstick in the name of makeup and her cheeks were red. Wait. Flushed red, in anger.

“What is your problem, sir?” she asked clearly angry. “Can you not see this is a busy day and we have other customers to attend to as well?”

“But…”

“But what? You cannot wait for your coffee? Even if you cannot wait for you fix of caffeine, you could at least be gentle about being rude. Was it necessary to shout on the top of your lungs?” she screamed at him. Which flushed her face a deeper shade of crimson.

“I.. I. I’m sorry.” he said his head hung down.

That cooled her down but still it was not enough to bring her comfort. Her face was starting to lose the recently acquired flush but her gaze was still cold. “You say that to the other girl Mister.And no coffee for you.” she said and walked away.

“Thank you Louna” the other waitress whispered to the girl as she went back to the kitchen.

As Leandre walked out of the coffee shop, the shop filled with applause for the girl who stood up. Strong and confident. And Leandre found himself daydreaming of Louna ever since.

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