‘We bring laughs and smiles to every cup!’ screamed the annoyingly colourful poster. Aaron smirked at the claim.
You never see people smiling in this place.
Despite this, Aaron walks past the disgustingly cheerful advertisement and into the coffee shop.
Aaron was partly wrong. There were plenty of happy, smiling people about creating a low murmur of joyous noise. Couples sipping Mocha’s, gaggles of giggling girls with their skinny-sugar free-caramel-hot-chocolate-no-cream-or-sprinkles. The staff on the other hand were swarming around the store, a sea of stained navy shirts and stressed expressions. The usual.
‘We must’ve been waitin’ around for, like, half an hour! The staff are just, like, talking about their nights out and stuff. It’s totes disgraceful!’
Aaron stared at the two middle aged women, both in shiny gold tops that clung to swollen stomachs and cut across tanned flabby arms. They were either deluded or talking about a different set of staff for from his point of view, the staff were almost running around at double speed, desperately trying to keep up with the sheer volume of picky customers.
As the queue moved forward, Aaron felt his heart quicken and his patience shorten. One tired, stressed out women with foggy, wide-rim glasses starts her speech with obviously fake merriment.
‘Hello there, so sorry for the delay, how can I- Oh, you alright Aaron?’ she slurred as the merriment dropped to pure annoyance.
‘Yeah I’m alright mate, can I have a Latte to go?’
‘Latte? Mate, didn’t realise you had a sex change. Let me guess, skinny and sugar free? You ‘ad a bad day?’
‘Nah, just fancy one is all’ Aaron muttered, growing more and more aware of everyone in the queue watching the embarrassing spectacle unfold.
‘Whatever dude, you know where to go’ she shrugs as she nods over to the left.
With that, he shuffled over to the flock of thirsty customers who were crowding around the counter were the coffee machines were kept. From somewhere in the centre of the cluster, a women’s loud giggle rang out. With his heart beat increasing and his breath suddenly shortening, Aaron craned his neck to try and see over the over-cologned suits chatting to one another.
He could just see a petite girl with short blonde spiky hair banging and grabbing various tools and cups, throwing the beans in the grinder, pouring water in several cups at a time, six or seven cups and glasses lay empty in front of her.
‘Amber! You have four Caps, two of them skinny, one praline, three medium and the only one to go!’
‘No problem Carl’s!’ smiled Amber, her tongue stud slightly glinting in the light, as she adds more cups to her already stacked collection. Suddenly, the humming of the machine quietens and the majority of the cups have developed beautiful milk patterns as it blended with the coffee.
‘How do you remember so many drinks?’ Aaron just heard over the rumble of movement.
‘I don’t! I have the memory of a bumble bee! Wait, do they have bad memories? I forget..’ She winks at the customer, who, when he smiled back at her, made Aaron’s stomach growl and contort with anger.
‘Heya stud, medium latte right?’
‘Urm, yeah, that- that’s cool’ Well done Aaron.
‘Hey, urm..’ Amber started, then blushed. Wait, is Amber blushing? She never blushes. ‘I’m going to this gig tonight, just some local mainstream bands. I was wondering if you wanted to go with me?’ As she said the past sentence, she hid her face as if to examine the milk.
‘Really? Oh, yeah sure, you know, why not?’ Aaron stuttered out, no longer caring that the suits and women in gold were now staring at him with shock.
‘Cool, it’s at the Arrow and Bow at Seven. Will see you there then?’ Amber smiled as she passed him his drink.
‘Sure, see you then. Urm, bye’.
As Aaron went to walk out of the crowded store, struggling to wipe the pure joy on his face, he saw the loud, colourful poster once again.
‘We bring laughs and smiles to every cup!’
Well, that’s definitely true, people always smile in here.