Arts

"Tuesdays are Lovely" by Alex Monteith. Photo: CC, Ractapopulous.

The cafe was his safe haven. 

A respite from the bar,

which he called both work and home.

Every Tuesday around 9:00 o’clock

Todd would go down for a cup

of coffee. One cream. One sugar.

It helped him to feel human. Like

he belonged somewhere and could do normal things at normal hours around normal people.

Today Todd was in need of some normality.

So up the line he went. The usual girl, Henrietta, gave him her usual wooden smile and his usual cup of coffee. One cream. One sugar. Todd liked Henrietta. Henrietta was indifferent to all her customers.

The cafe was uncharacteristically busy for the time of morning. Todd couldn’t find a free spot. 

Then he saw it. Or rather,

he saw her. Right in the back.

Long brown hair dyed golden by the sun. Lips pastel red, so full, they looked about to burst. She was alone and Todd wanted nothing more than to join her. 

This was it.

His moment. The moment he’d been waiting for his whole life.

He took it easy at first. He wanted

to play it cool. So he took his time 

and carefully sauntered over. Left foot over right. It was a long trip. 

But he managed it all right.

He stood in front of her.

He had no opening line

but hoped, perhaps, that

the moment would inspire him.

“Hey–!”

Out of nowhere a rotund butterball of a man swung by and shouldered Todd. Todd was unprepared. Todd’s coffee cup came tumbling down,

spilling all over Todd and the girl of his dreams.

The girl stood up; outraged.

“Jesus!

Are you stupid or something?

You just ruined my whole outfit!”

Todd tried to gargle up an apology

but this moment was not as inspiring as he had hoped. The girl gave him a scolding scowl and stomped out.

Todd went back to Henrietta,

shoulders slumped,

and ordered another coffee.

One cream.

One sugar.