Monday, May 26, 2014

Over a cup of coffee

Inspired by True events

It was 8 AM, he hadn't slept all night. The assignment was due at 11, not much was left but he had to get it done. 'You never value words as much as you do when you're typing an assignment' he thought to himself. The word-count hangs over you like an executioner and you the prisoner. Despite 3 Red-bulls, 2 caramel macchiatos, 3 millionaire shortbreads, 2 packets of crisps and 2 sandwiches; energy drained from his body like a cheetah cooling off after a failed chase of his prey. 'Oh, how much more!' He thought to himself. 300 words. 'Hey! That's not much!' a smile upon his face. Wait, Oops - That's the amount he had written. 2700 more to go. What had he done all this while? Well, yesterday evening he couldn't get any work done coz his friends came over and they all got high. The day before that he burnt his fingers on the hob so typing was an issue and he couldn't get any writing done. The day before that he was out with family and he had to do his chores when he got back home, after which he was completely exhausted so he just had to sleep. Despite his repeated efforts, nothing seemed to pull through. He had spent all last night researching the topic so as to produce a good-quality essay. Now it was 8 in the morning and the essay had barely been done.
'I've GOT to do this.' He motivated himself. Like a professional typist he started off. Click, click, click, click, click, he was typing at the speed of light. Words were on the screen just as fast as he thought them. The argument made sense, the structure was strong, the concept - original, it was happening! Beautiful! After continuing with full focus for what seemed like half an hour, he paused to check the word-count. 923. Not bad. He thought to himself. Then he checked his clock - it had been exactly 12 mins since he had started again. A rush of confidence boosted him. '623 words in 12 mins! I'm on a roll!' he reassured himself. Again he started off, this time though a little more calculative than before. A certain rhythm had taken form.

That's when it happened.

Her day had just started. She got all ready to go to uni when she got the message - class is cancelled. Disappointed she decided to take a different route to uni that day now that she had an extra hour to make it to the next lecture. Into Starbucks she went to get a hot Cappuccino and look who she sees to her surprise! There he sat, his face so familiar. She had seen him at uni before. He looked so cute with that haircut and his black Uniqlo jacket. 'Oh!' she felt a chill up her spine. 'You're order ma'am?' the lady at the counter asked interrupting her thoughts. 'Oh! A cap .. cappuccino please!' she replied fumbling. She realized she should not stare, and became extremely self-conscious. She went and sat at a table diagonally opposite him. His table was a mess. My god! How long had he been there? It seemed like he had spent the night there. There were wrappers, used tissues and basically filth all around him. Was he doing an assignment last minute? Hmmm, he had never seemed like the irresponsible types before. Who knew that behind such a pretty face lay such recklessness. But oh what a pretty face he had - 'Oh!' she found herself thinking about them together again.


'I wonder if he ever notices me.' She thought to herself. The coffee was served. She sipped slowly; blowing at it slightly as it was piping hot.

'I'm getting my momentum, this baby's all mine!' He thought to himself. He had gotten 1203 words. All that reading was paying off. A combination of the reading and his ability to critically analyse and draw arguments was what was being spilled out onto the screen. Suddenly something caught his attention. There she sat, cross-legged, sipping her piping hot coffee. Wow! She took his breath away. Her features striking, that denim jacket looking smashing on her. His thoughts were disrupted. He couldn't concentrate on the essay anymore. 'Serve me right for studying at Starbucks. Why didn’t I just go to the library like everyone else.' he thought for a moment. 'No I have to study. I have to! Its due at 11! F***!!!' He attempted a rescue mission to get his concentration back. It worked initially, but was short-lived. 1500 words. That's all he could do. Well, it's better than nothing. Considering two hours ago I barely had any. 'I'm so tired' he thought to himself. He looked up from his screen. She wasn't there. Disappointed he turned back to his laptop. 'Oh well' he thought 'Perhaps next time'.

'He's typing so fast! My god! Its almost as if he wants to injure his keyboard!' She thought to herself. 'Stupid reckless boy, why didn’t he do it earlier? I don't even think I've ever seen him at the library. Huh, I guess he'd rather study here anyway. Who studies at Starbucks?!' Just the thought seemed insane to her. 'Its a place to get coffee and have a chat not you're office studio! Hmpf!' she further complained. 'He's got way too much swagger to like any decent girl. Especially someone like me! Unless I wear a micro-mini top and some revealing shorts, he won't even blink when his eyes fall on me.' She noticed her reflection in the mirror. 'Oh! My make-ups off, I'd better go correct it. He's busy lost in his laptop, what does he care. No, but it looks bad, I'll go correct it.' She got up and walked towards the toilet without him ever noticing.

'Ah! Nothing like a hot butter croissant and an episode of 'Friends', man can these guys make me laugh! Haha' He thought to himself. He had let the episode buffer online while he ordered the croissant. That was the other reason he liked studying at Starbucks - Free unlimited fast Wifi. Faster than at Uni and no blocking of Torrentz or anything - download what you like - He liked that. When he returned to his table, he didn’t notice it but there she was - back on her seat. He saw his episode and laughed at regular intervals enjoying the food never noticing that she was looking at him all the while - wondering, thinking, feeling. He was too busy lost with Chandler's sarcasm and Joey's foolishness. When he finished the episode, he decided to get back to work as he felt better. Upon returning the plate he noticed her again. 'There she is again. I thought she left?'. Their eyes met and she instantly turned away.

'That was weird' - Both thought the same but felt differently.

'She turned away so quickly, what is she ignoring me or smtng?' - boy
'He's looking at me! Shit! He din't look at me all throughout his laughing spree, why is he looking at me now?' - girl
She turned slowly and looked his way. He was still looking at her. She held his gaze for about 2 seconds before again looking away.

'This girl is weird.' he thought.
'Oh my god, he's still staring.' She said to herself.
'She looks familiar, have I seen her somewhere?' he thought.
She took a deep breath. 'Now now, don't attract attention to yourself. Be calm.'
'I swear I've seen her somewhere, but I can't seem to place her. Damn I wish I knew where I had seen her, at least then we'd have something to talk about. But now I can't even approach her especially after how she just flipped her head 180 degrees like a boomerang after seeing me. Good lord! She probably thinks I'm some creep who’s staring at her boobs or something! Fuck dude, I'm getting out of here. I don't wanna cause a scene or something.'
He picked up his jacket and started packing his things.
'He's leaving?! What?! Why? Is it because of the look I just gave him? No!!! Stop! Don't go! But I can't say that?! That'll sound so stupid! I don't wanna make a scene or something. Oh no, what do I do.'

Once packed he literally stormed out of the Starbucks as if they've just declared a bomb-threat there or something.
'HE RAN. WHO THE HELL RUNS OUT OF A STARBUCKS?! Shit, I creeped him out. I'm such a fool.' She placed her face in her hands and felt stupid. She sipped her coffee quietly, distraught with herself. When it was over, she looked at the empty cup in dismay. It was a sad beginning to the day. She left the cup at the counter - the waitress thanked her for doing her work to which she politely smiled. Looking down, she began walking out of the place.

That's when it happened.

There he was, sitting bang opposite Starbucks at Costa. No food, no drink, just him and his laptop - pretending to look busy. He had been waiting all the while for her to come out. He took of his earphones and began walking up to her. She noticed it. At first she paused, but then she kept up her pace. 'Excuse me!' he called out. She took a short deep breath and turned out putting on an heir of bravery 'Yes?' she replied. 'Hi, I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable back there. I wasn't staring at you or anything, and it wasn't my intention to make things awkward.' he spoke gently. 'That's all right.' she said almost dismissively and half turning around.
'Um, one more thing!'
'Yes?' She stopped and looked at him again.
'Have I seen you before?'
'Um, I think maybe you study at Rohampton as well? Perhaps you've seen me there?'
'Oh yeah! I knew you looked familiar. Huh, right right. Well, Hi! I'm *****!
'Hi I'm *****, nice to meet you.'
They shook hands and smiled. 
'Well, I hope you don't take this the wrong way but um, would you like to join me for  cup of coffee?'
She had butterflies in her stomach as he said those very words.
'Sure! But, I just had coffee :/'
'Oh ok, um, another time then...'
'But you can buy me a scoop of Gelato' she said jovially.
The boy smiled.

They were just getting to know each other.

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