Somewhere in Midtown (Short Story)

Before you even open the door, you know you’re about to step into another world. The sweet aroma of roasted coffee beckons, seeping out of the independent coffee house, curling its fragrant tendrils around you to lure you into its keeping. Artists, writers, dreamers alike take note of you when you step inside. You know you are a stranger. You feel them brand you with half-curious eyes before they delve back into their masterpieces.

Warn, mismatched couches and stuffed, oversized chairs clutter the small retreat, torn open like a portal in time, catapulting you back into the memories of your college days when you had stumbled upon that secret coffee shop in Santa Cruz where you knew that the moment you left you’d never find the place again.

You can’t even understand the menu behind the bar counter because its so cloudy with chalk dust, but it doesn’t even matter what you order, anything will taste like the best coffee you’ve ever had. The barista grins at you as panic washes over your desperate face.

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“Please, make me your favorite drink,” you mutter in embarrassment.

He doesn’t even reply with words. He doesn’t have to. His smile says it all.

You peruse the coffee house once more after he hands you a porcelain cup. All you have is your cappuccino and your eyes to entertain you, so you wedge yourself into a corner and hope that the fervent words tickling your tongue about all that you feel find their way into your journal someday before they are lost in the moment.