Author’s Note: I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but normally I don’t use dialogue tags. In this story, I am trying to use them every once in a while. Please let me know if it worked or not! Thanks!
Joy Freeman put her silver Grand Cherokee in park, pulled the key out of ignition. After grabbing her purse, she opened the car door and stepped out. The cold breeze immediately hit her face--she pulled her jacket tighter around her. With a blank look on her face, Joy walked to the entrance doors of the cafe in front of her. An older man came sidling up to her with a gentle smile.
“Hello, Joy.” He opened the door for her and she walked in, the man following close behind her. The glass door swung closed gently behind them.
Once they walked in, they were met by a peppy young teenager who had a name tag that said “Sammy” in cursive writing. Joy immediately noticed that Sammy’s long, dirty blonde hair was ruined by bright blue streaks. Oh, how Joy hated young people who ruined their appearances.
“Hi! I’m Sammy, here to serve you today. Will it be just the two of you?” Sammy smiled brightly and used hand gestures as she spoke.
“Yes, miss. It will be just myself and cranky ol’ Joy here. Funny it is how her name is Joy, but she’s cranky all of the time!” Alan laughed. Waitress Sammy giggled along with him as she reached behind the lectern, pulling out two menus.
“You’re funny, sir. Now, would you like a table or a booth?”
Alan glanced at Joy, and she shrugged.
“A table will be fine,”Alan replied. Nodding, Sammy beckoned for the customers to follow her. She led them past other people who were sipping coffee and eating bagels. Finally, they stopped at a small table with two chairs. Alan motioned for Joy to sit down and she did. Reluctantly. He glanced at her as he took the other seat.
“Well, I’m going to be your server today!” The menus were sat down in front of both people. “What can I get ya’ to drink?”Sammy queried. Joy scanned her menu for a moment while Alan immediately answered.
“I’ll have coffee, please.” Alan smiled again (would he ever stop?) at the teen while she scribbled down the word coffee.
“What are your new fall drinks?” Joy sat her menu down and looked at Sammy intently.
“Well, we have a pumpkin spice latte, maple frappe, a ginger tea, and a marshmallow iced coffee. The pumpkin spice latte is my personal favorite,” Sammy stated. Her face seemed to be plastered with a smile, too. It disgusted Joy. How could she be happy?
“I’ll have the ginger tea.” Joy eyed Sammy carefully while she slipped her winter coat off.
“Those will be out in just a minute! And remember that we have lots of new flavors in our traditional food items.” With a slight bounce in her step, Sammy walked back to what seemed to be the kitchen.
“Alright. Why in the heck did you invite me here? You know I’m busy. It’s New York for Heaven’s sake! I had to cancel five meetings at work just because I had to go to Starbucks with my father,”Joy snarled. Her face displayed anger and frustration. Alan just sat there, holding back tears.
“It’s good to know that you care more about your work than me. And I wanted to meet with you because I wanted to tell you what I heard about Ian. But I guess since you’re so upset, I’ll just leave.”
Most would think that he was purposely trying to get Joy, but this was how he felt. This was how Alan Freeman spoke. And it didn’t do one thing to Joy.
“Bye, then.” Joy watched as her father slowly got up from his chair and walked out the front door. She noticed that someone held the door open, and as soon as he walked in, Joy knew who that someone was.
“Ian?! Oh, my gosh. Ian!”Joy yelled. She leaped from her chair and raced towards Ian. The moment she reached him, Joy wrapped her arms around him and squeezed as tight as she could. Ian squeezed back.
“Hey, little sis.” He squeezed Joy one more time, then released her. She still stared at him, flabbergasted.
“I just can’t believe it’s you.” Joy’s eyes filled with tears, but she pushed them back. There was no way she was about to cry in public.
“Well, you would’ve known it was me if you let Dad talk. But I guess that doesn’t matter now. Let’s sit, shall we?”
There was something wrong. Joy could tell as she followed Ian back to the table that she and her father had been sitting at. Just the way that Ian walked--it wasn’t right. And his voice when he had talked--there was something off. But, Joy still followed him back to the table and sat down across from him.
“Father probably completely hates me now. Even though he has always hated me. At least once I came here. You’re probably still his favorite, right? Out of all seven of us? I mean, you are the one that went to the Navy and helped win thirty-something battles. Right?”Joy sneered. Her eyes darted from Ian’s face to the way that he was fidgeting with his hands. Ian never did that.
“Hey, just ‘cause I was in the Navy doesn’t mean that I’m his favorite. Anne is probably his favorite. She is rich, after all.” A nervous laugh escaped Ian.
This wasn’t Ian. And that was a fact.
“Ian, what year did Father graduate from college?”
“1999, of course.”
“And what was Mother’s favorite color?”
“Isn’t Anne long dead?”
“What? No! Why are you asking me these awful questions?” Ian chuckled again, and his eyes were like lasers, looking at everything in the big dining room.
“Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Father graduated in 2004, after he went back to school. Mother’s favorite color was dark green, and Anne has been dead for fifteen years. I don’t know who you are, but I sure as heck know that you aren’t Ian Freeman.”
People around them were starting to notice the raising of voices, and were looking in the pair’s direction. Some were murmuring undetectable things.
“Alright, alright. You got me. I’m not really Ian Freeman. But let’s be honest. You aren’t Joy Freeman, either. And I do know that we have the same intentions. So, let’s blow this popsicle stand--together.”
And with that, both ‘Joy’ and ‘Ian’ stood up, reached into their jackets, pulled out pistols, and shot every one of those innocent customers.