Excuse me …

Rosaline has been sitting at the table with her friends for more than an hour now. Laughing and sharing stories with her friends. It was the birthday of Sarah, her best friend and this was her treat, despite the fact that Sarah had already thrown a party. This was how she was though. Segregation was her habit and she felt that it was necessary to classify her friends as well by giving her “friends” a party and her “special friends” a treat afterward the party in the cafĂ© for a coffee. But to be honest, Rosaline was never like this.

For her things has always been simple. It’s either a friend or not. She was never one to judge others or even classify them as a “special friends” and “friends”. She always found joy in the simplicity of her relationships and cherished every person the same. That was how Rosaline was. Despite the fact that Sarah was so judgemental, Rosaline was still her friend and I guess that is what the old lore of “Opposites Attract” is all about.

Rosaline was sitting right next to her best friend, who so strikingly opposite to her that people often wondered how are they even friends. Sarah was plump and stout and Rosaline was tall and thin. Sarah was the strange one, with her baritone voice and all floral and bright clothing whereas Rosaline was the one with a feeble voice and darker clothing. They were the Laurel and Hardy of the school, just blown up to an excessively large level. And here they were. Sarah drinking her Americano and Rosaline already high and buzzing on her espresso.

Rosaline was lost in her laughter, induced by a joke a friend of Sarah cracked when she felt a tap on her shoulder. The group at once fell silent and when she recovered herself and recollected her senses, she saw that even the smirk of some of the people around the desk has been wiped off.

She turned to find a boy, maybe a little over her age with his hair a tad too long for him to carry properly, His hair seemed as if they had all the freedom in the world and yet like an undisciplined class trying to not make a sound at the arrival of a teacher, his hair seemed to be fixed in a hurry. His eyes were black and his blue jeans were dirty. He wore a black sweatshirt and matching canvas shoes.

“Excuse me,” he said to her and she could feel the tension rising in the air.

“Yes,” she replied.

“I did not mean to irrupt you and your friends here and I am really sorry for that but I just entered the cafe and I could not stop me from coming over here and telling you something which I think that you should be aware of and you clearly are not. You see I would not have disturbed you but I couldn’t help but notice that Julia Roberts looks exactly like you” he said in a single breath and acted as if nothing happened. He stood there and looked at her with an expectant expression but she did not know what he wanted. And in confusion and irritation, she turned to Sarah.

“Do I look anywhere near like Julia Roberts?” she asked but before Sarah could reply, he spoke again.

“I’m sorry but you look like yourself. She looks like you. People will always say to you the other way around but the truth, in fact, is what I just said. Can I have a cup of coffee with you?”

Sarah might have judged him. She might have shouted at him or ridiculed him. She might even have used her pepper spray or called the security. But there was something about that boy that made her feel, weird! Something peculiar. Something which was his own. Unique. Unprecedented. And while Sarah would not have gone for a coffee with him, she found herself collecting her things and leaving her things.

P.s. Happy Valentines Day.

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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.