It was late at night when the porch light snapped on. Her window blinds were slightly open so that the light stretched across her face waking her with a jolt. “Please, no, not already.” She murmured. Groggily, she tried adjusting her eyes to the blinding bulb just as it suddenly turned off leaving her in a pitch black room. A shiver ran down her spine making her grab her covers closer around her shoulders. Pushing curly strands of hair out of her face, she looked over, seeing her phone buzz in glowing words reading 5:45 am. She collapsed back in bed with a muffled groan. Only moments later, the shower was running, the door clicked to the closet, and she was in front of the mirror applying lip balm and mascara. “Just another day at the Wholey Coffee Shop…” she said sighing, “But it’s going to be a good day, Arden. A good day.” She repeated to herself.

The automatic glass doors always worked the same. With the small white and blue logo and fliers taped to the door, she doubted that anything would ever change about this place. Maybe that’s the reason she worked here hoping to find a spark to start one of her own one day. But until then, she would work in the coffee bar waiting for customers. The first few hours, the new blueberry latte special was the only item being ordered. “I hope someone buys something else.” This could only go on for so long making the same coffee latte with 2 creams, two sugars, and a pump of blueberry mix. Mika’s laughter was heard across the counter. “I can help with that.” She looked up seeing a familiar face look back into her own. “Mika? Oh my, is that really you?” He started grinning, “It sure is. It’s funny to see you here. I thought you were going to start your own when you graduated high school.” He remembered that night when she told him on the porch she wanted to do something big with her life. She wanted to start her coffee business, but that was when they were dating. That was back when they were high school sweethearts. “Well, that feels like forever ago.” She shrugged, “I guess I changed my mind.” He snorted, “You? Change your mind? Yeah, I don’t buy that.” She didn’t want to hear his opinion, it was bad enough seeing him in a coffee shop she worked at. “What’s your order?” There was a slight pause where his eyes didn’t leave hers until he looked up at the board. “I confess, blueberry is one of my least favorite favors. Do you have caramel?” Arden nodded, “Latte?” He laughed again, “Do you even have to ask?” A brief flashback took her back to the moment when she unwrapped a small present given to her by Mika. It revealed two small coffee mixtures: one caramel latte, one raspberry cold brew. He told her, “We can dream up your shop while drinking our favorite coffee favors...it will inspire us.” He winked, “I want to be a part of your dream.” She shook the thought away and raised her eyebrows, “Look, Mika, I have customers waiting behind you. Just tell me your order to hurry the process. I don’t want to play games with you.” Maybe she was harsh, but memories could be a painful thing. And now, of all times, she wasn’t ready to admit that. His words blurred out as her thoughts ran wild making the coffee mixture. “Arden? Did you hear me?” She looked up, “Yes, what?” His face went pale before speaking, “I don’t want coffee, I’m fine, thank you.” He was about to step out of line, but she grabbed his arm to stop him. “Mika, wait. I’m sorry, today has been tiring for me and I’m honestly trying to keep everything straight.” He smiled, “Of course, then caramel latte would be great then. Just to solidify the apology.” She flashed him her pursed lips to prove her annoyance. Seconds later, the coffee machine stopped brewing, and she handed him a steamy caramel latte. Mika winked, “Thanks, Arden. See you around.” She smirked, “You only wish…” But later that day, she realized how much she missed him. All this time from high school, she was brushing through life missing important moments. And he was the one thing she wished away in high school thinking he would always be there. 

The day seemed to drag on longer than usual and she didn’t have to ask why. It was just turning to 3 O’clock when her manager shuffled up to the counter. “What did you do?” Arden’s eyes widened, “Uh, I hope nothing…” His pouty face turned into a downturned smile, “We just received an order of 20 caramel and raspberry coffees! You're the only one on the shift, it had to be you. What did you do?” She was appalled by the idea that she created this scenario, but she knew who did. “I have no idea. I guess I’ll make the coffees.” She was not in the mood for the drawn out story of Mika. “I’m giving you a raise, or a promotion!” He said just as he pulled his office door closed. “Well, I see you got yourself a promotion.” Mika said hands on his hips. “Mika!” What was she going to say? “You really didn’t have to.” There was a pause. “Yeah, but I wanted to.” A slight blush colored her cheeks. “But there’s something you have to do.” An obligation? She wasn’t prepared for this. Wasn’t kindness free? “And what is it? What do you want? I thought it was a kind gesture.” She smirked thinking of his slyness. He nodded, “Yes, it was. But how could I convince you otherwise?” He paused, raising an eyebrow. It was about time he spilled what he wanted. Mika held out his hand, “Go on a date with me, Arden.” She smiled with a hand on her hip, “It’s about time.”

Story written by Aubrey Maria

August 11, 2020 02:55

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Gracie Jean
16:11 Aug 20, 2020

This was a super enjoyable story for me! Imagining being in a coffee shop with all of those sweet smells and soft sounds... It made me feel so warm and comfortable on the inside! I just wanted to mention that instead of writing “flavors”, you accidentally wrote “favors” in a couple of places. Your paragraphs were also quite long, but that’s just my opinion. I really enjoyed your story this morning, so thank you!


Aubrey Maria ✌
18:37 Aug 20, 2020

I'm so glad you enjoyed this story, Olivia! I'll definitely keep in mind to keep my paragraphs shorter and thanks for mentioning my typos, that's good to know. I wrote it late at night, so that's probably why! Thanks for reading and I appreciate your feedback a bunch!


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