Monday, December 5, 2016

Coffee Shop

The coffee shop was more crowded than usual for a Saturday. It seemed that it was busier where-ever she went. People were coming and going from the apartment all morning, and there were more cars on the road than usual.

Usually, Amanda was able to work on her book at the coffee shop. This time, it is hard to think with the noisy crowd. What's more, Todd was going to meet her there. She could not stay focused.

Instead, Amanda decided just to watch people. It was something she liked to do from time to time. She wasn't sure why, but she enjoyed seeing people navigate through their day-to-day problems. It kept her mind off her problems.

There was a woman who held onto her baby with one arm and kept her toddler daughter from straying too far with the other. It was incredible to see how quickly this mother reacted, as she quickly reached out and grabbed her child’s hand when the little girl tried to run away.

The child was focused on something on the floor next to one if the customers in line. She tried a few times to get it, but the mother kept grabbing her hand and pulling her away.

Finally, the mother grabbed the toddler's hand and held it firmly as she told her order to the cashier. The little girl resigned to her fate, hung from her mother's hand while making faces into the mirrored counter.

The customer behind the little girl had her arm crossed, scowling at no one in particular. Amanda recognized her from the previous week. She threw a fit at the counter when she couldn't get a refund after drinking her entire coffee because it was "made wrong." They had offered her a new drink, but she refused and screamed that she was never coming here again. Amanda wondered why

The man behind in a business suit and laptop shoulder bag wore in business attire. He seemed to be always talking to himself. Amanda quickly realized that he might be using a Bluetooth headset in the other ear. Sure enough, he lifted his right hand and revealed a smartphone. He continued talking as he poked at his phone, oblivious to what was going on around him.

At the table in front of her, a woman sat down in front of her. She set down a salad in front of her, sighed, put on only a small amount of dressing, and stirred it in.

Amanda noticed that her clothes were a little loose on her, most likely because she lost a lot of weight.

“Good for you,” Amanda thought, “You’re finally taking good care of yourself.”

The woman sat down and looked wistfully at her fork, then she dug in, seemingly in a better mood than when she sat down.

Just then, Amanda spotted trouble. It all seemed to have happened at once. One of the employees got herself snagged on the garbage bin. She balanced the large stack of trays on the edge of the bin and tried to unhook herself.

At the same time, the mother lets go of the toddler's hand to grab a couple of dollar bills from her purse that she set on the counter.

The toddler, sensing an opportunity, immediately made a dash for whatever had her attention at the feet of the businessman, right when the businessman was setting his full and apparently heavy bag on the same spot.

Amanda stood up thinking “Oh, dear God, watch out!” but the words never made it out.

The businessman immediately snapped up and yanked the case away from the little girl.

Unfortunately, he swung the bag back, and it hit the employee, knocking her down, onto her back, the snag finally letting go. The trays that were precariously balanced began to fall.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a hand reaches out and steadies the tray. Another hand reaches and pulls the girl up.

“Are you okay?”

Amanda, with a hand over her mouth, still frozen in shock. The man emerges from behind the crowd and looks straight at her. Amanda, realizing who it was, drops her hand to her side, and sighs in relief. It was Todd.
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