Get out, while you still can...
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
The craving for a mocha frappuccino-extra mocha-was pretty strong. After dealing with the kids all day, I needed a little me time.
I decided to stop by my favorite coffee shop that’s closest to my house and work on the outline for my next book; while slurping down a delicious caffeinated liquid, or two. I wanted peace and quiet, even though I could see the shop was more crowded than I liked, at least no one was screaming “Mommy!” every two seconds.
I stood in line, silently humming a song in my head while I looked around at the other customers. A few of the tables have people sitting at them, some people are standing. It’s buzzing with loud chatter and I try not to listen to the conversations nearest to me. I said try, I still did; my slight effort wasn't full proof. Don’t judge me. I'm pretty sure the couple next to me were breaking up so I finally tuned out if it escalated I would end up seeing the result of it soon enough.
Finally, my turn comes, I order my frappuccino and give them my name. There is a one-person table off to the right of the counter- and it’s empty. I hurriedly take the seat like I am playing musical chairs. You do things quickly in my house or nothing gets done; then you learn to apply that to the outside world eventually. My name gets called faster than I expected and I jump up, grab my drink, and fly back to my table.
I see the odd stares from everyone but I don’t really care, I’m used to people thinking I am weird. You learn to embrace things.
I’m reading my outline in my notebook, scribbling added notes and crossing out things for changes; checking character profiles and deciding who is going to live and who will not be making it to the sequel.
I am laughing to myself, and yeah, some of the laughter is a bit evil sounding. They already think I am weird, I’m just confirming their suspicions at this point. I slurp down the frappuccino and realize it is coming to its end since I hear the rattle at the bottom of my straw. I try to get more out of it, tilting my head back- my cup pressed tightly against my mouth- as I bang on the cup bottom to smack more of the chocolate out of it. I hear someone clear their throat next to me. My eyes shift sideways, I am not losing this chocolate, sorry. I can see a figure standing next to me, wearing a green polo shirt and black pants. The person is too tall for me to see their face in my current eye position. As I lower my cup the figure moves away and walks into the crowd of people coming in to get in line.
I can feel the ring of chocolate over my lips and reach for a napkin. I am not completely barbaric so I will try to clean myself up. As I look back at my table there is a small folded piece of paper on top of my notebook. I look back at the front door. I’m not really expecting to see this person urging me to read it from afar, but it felt like something I should do. I pick up the note and unfold to read the terrible scribbling;
Get out now, while you still can.
I frown, wondering if I should be offended. I knew my clothes were clean and presentable; today. I usually go out full of food and puke stains, with my hair looking like a frayed bun of straw. If I didn’t leave now would there be people with pitchforks and torches?
Did I really look that beastly? I wasn’t completely civilized while drinking my frappuccino, and I did act a little manic while writing but come on. What happened to just recording people and posting it on YouTube for a laugh? Did I really need a note?
I smoothed my hair and stood up, gathering my things before shamefully leaving the shop.
As I headed to my car I saw a familiar figure, the same green polo. I marched myself over to this person, who is standing by their car. He is on his cell phone. He hangs up just as I get to him. He smiles at me, looking very well maintained for a human. All his clothes look like he folds them and puts them away right after being laundered.
“What is the meaning of this? What gives you the right to tell me to leave?” I'm getting flushed as I show him the note.
He looked confused. “I’m sorry, Melissa. What do you mean?” I shove the note into his chest and he looks horrified just before he starts to laugh.
“Wait, ” I said. “how do you know my name?”
He laughs again and hands me the note back, which I take while watching his amused expression. “I took your mocha order. I always take your order when you come in. The whole staff knows who you are.”
I am the one horrified now. “Huh?” I choke on my own saliva. It tastes like chocolate.
He explains; “You come in every Friday and sit by yourself. You laugh at yourself, write a bunch of stuff, order several more frappuccino's and then you leave. We all figured you were a writer, we get a lot of them, you know since we are a coffee shop.”
He chuckles and crosses his arms after pointing at the note in my hand. He continued. “That note isn’t from me. It fell out of your notebook when you picked it up after you paid. We were busy so I couldn’t give it back to you right away.”
My whole face turns a new shade of crimson.
I bite my lower lip. “Oops. I’m sorry.”
He laughs as he approaches me, patting my shoulder before he starts to pass by. “I’m not. I just won twenty bucks.”
My eyes widen as he chuckles at my confusion. As he moves away, starting to head back to the coffee shop. he says, “I'd bet that you wouldn’t remember it was yours and you'd take it seriously. We had a writer last week that did the same thing.”
“He had a note that said to leave, too?” I'm flabbergasted.
He shakes his head, “No, his actually said, ‘Don't move, the bomb is under your seat” My mouth drops. “Yeah, poor guy was here until closing.”
~Not a true story. lol. This was written for a writing prompt contest (last year) for the writing group, Writing Bad. It won first place. I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave a comment, and/or share the post!~
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