Nicholas D.

Fate's Coffee Shop

Often I question my fate during the bitter months of fall. I question why my destiny sought to break me. I question what could have been. Life was just beginning to unfold the favorable pages of a desolate chapter. I had just been guaranteed a promising career and still I was to be stripped of any pride I could have. Phillies. A permanent coffee establishment, which serves me as a permanent scar. All it took was one minute to destroy a lifetime.

It was interesting that I chose Phillies, located in the depressing southern portion of Chicago. The vast empty streets were haunted with shadows. The sidewalks themselves were tinted an uninspiring gray. Not even the orange buildings could save such a lonely city with the blinds to windows half shut and blanketed black. Something was strange with this picture that I should have recognized. I didn’t belong in this city and neither did Phillies with its luminescence. I still failed to draw any connection even after noticing the only women in the coffee shop didn’t belong either. And still, I remained in the coffee shop as if I did.

I watched my latté swirl in deep concentration. My thoughts were nothing distinct, nothing out of the ordinary. My brain kept reading the same black and white record situated on repeat. However one disturbance eventually evaded my concentration. Out of the corner of my eye, the women moved in and out of my peripheral vision. I couldn’t help but slowly shift my focus from my coffee to her.

There she was. I should have made the obvious connection right then and there that something was wrong with this picture. But still, I ignored the clues. Her flowing locks of thick red hair complementing her dress. Nothing unusual. Her lips of rich violets perfectly synchronized with her gentle features and light purple eye shadow. Nothing unusual. Her figure breathed attractive with characteristics only crafted by the divine. Nothing unusual. Why had I failed to see that a woman of vibrant colors didn’t belong in the city of gray.

Right before I could draw the parallel, the door to Phillies swung open. Outside the muffled pitter-patter of the rain amplified to earsplitting thunder. There was a disturbance in the man’s figure that entered, but I casually sipped my coffee and buried my head behind a newspaper.

This man was of the opposite genre. His pale white face and straight lips matched his confining plain suit. His eyes were of the utmost intense stare; A stare that could not and would not be broken. Everything down to the way he walked suggested that he was not here to socialize.

He obtained a seat next to the lady without so much as a sideward glance towards her. Without so much as a second thought either he drew from his pocket a blade. Mentally threatened and terrified I cowered under the newspaper and pretended that I had never seen the man draw his weapon. But by curiosity I took an inconspicuous glance only to catch the women’s eyes run white and her dress bleed redder.

I panicked and tried to resume focus on my coffee once again. But it was inevitable, the man then proceeded to walk around me towards the door and in a raspy whisper demanded that I stay in the coffee shop for my own safety. He walked out the door with his hand clenching an invisible gun, squeezing its invisible trigger.

At that very moment all doubt left my mind. I didn’t belong in this city any longer. I knew for a fact that every precious moment I wasted made me more susceptible. I was a witness, an asset to the crime if I refused to speak. I couldn’t, no I wouldn’t have to be responsible for that action.

So without ever collecting my possessions I fled. Sometimes I question in what direction I would have gone had I continued my subtle life in the city of gray. I question why I have to be plagued with disappointments. I question what could have been.


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