Flat White with 2 pumps of Heart Break
Drip drip drip French roast poured into a paper coffee cup labeled flat white and the name Alex scribbled by the rim. A 23-year-old man set the cup down and wiped his hands on his Manhattan mocha apron. Also written in fancy letters was the name Alex.
“Alex flat white” called out Alex. A short 22-year-old women stood up by the window and flipped her long wavy brown hair out of her face. She walked up to the counter and smiled while picking up her coffee she was always the friendliest costumer. She came in every morning but Sunday sometimes to go and sometimes she stayed longer but she always ordered a flat white. He loved seeing her every morning for the past three weeks she always greeted him with a smile. Alex untied his apron and told another worker it was time for his break. He was permitted to sit in the coffee shop if it was not busy on breaks so he grabbed his book and sat in a comfy chair across the room from the other Alex. He opened Moby Dick to page 79 and began reading. A couple minutes later Alex sipped her flat white and stood up she headed towards the door.
“Good book” She said about to open the door.
“You read it?” He asked.
“Call me Ishmael” she nodded walking out the door. He smiled put away his book and went back to the counter. He worked his shift normally for the rest of his day then headed back home to take care of his mother.
The next day at 8 AM Alex walked in just like she always did only this time there was no line the front was empty.
“If no one is here do I get free coffee?” She asked hollering to the back room
“Maybe, would you know how to make it?” Asked Alex walking towards the counter.
“Can’t be that hard I mean well of course your job is hard and I am sure you work hard I mean not that” rambled the girl nervous.
“It isn’t that hard especially a simple flat white” He responded making her coffee before she ordered.
“You remembered” She said trading her four dollars with Alex for her coffee.
“Not much else to do when it’s this slow” he smiled.
“Thank you any way and sorry about the rambling”
“Not a problem I’m the same way before my coffee”
“So why is the place so empty?”
“The zombie apocalypse”
“Oh I see only people named Alex survived” she joked.
“Definite possibility ha, no there’s an event this morning my boss took coffee their so no one needs coffee from here” he explained.
“So what your saying is, I am in the wrong place” she teased.
“Yes oh what will my poor boss do without you calling his job easy” he responded.
“Good point” she sips her coffee while he just smiles. “What? Why are you staring?” she askes
“Just admiring your mustache Ishmael” He teased. Her cheeks turned as red as a tomato as she looked down.
“The messy look is in in Paris” she said flipping her hair giggling.
“Oh well I must get busy” he grabs some mocha cream and made himself a curly moustache that matched his piercing brown eyes.
“Now you are suitable to talk to me” she sassed. “So I can tell you are very busy here but my rides not here for two hours and I forgot my book, I was an only child I cannot entertain myself” she smiled while hiding her book.
“OoO what a gentleman” she relied while they both sat down.
“You learn those things when you aren’t an only child”
“oh saying I’m not a gentleman? I mean I’m clearly not a man but well I’m not gentle, yeah rambling is an only child thing” she laughed not feeling embarrassed just relaxed.
“So you drink coffee you’re an only child and like to ramble is that your life story miss Alex?” He questions.
“never call me miss” she said choking on her coffee. “Let’s see I am in school to be a teacher my hobbies are reading a little writing and falling over thing air”
“That’s very interesting miss Alex oh oops I mean Ishmael” he teased
“I have revealed to much” she smiled “So your turn”
“I work here obviously i also love ready never got into sports and dropped out of college. What do you like to write?” He asked.
“Poems, you don’t seem like the collage drop out type”’ she commented.
“Oh thank you for the snap judgement you don’t seem like the poet type” he responded hastily.
“I did not mean like that and what is the poet type?” she asked.
“Your fine I am going to go back when I have the money, and the poet type is grandmas with feathers or silly hopeless romantics”
“I am secretly a grandma you caught me” she smiled. They went on talking about pets, books, and movies for the next hour.
Her phone rang and it was her ride she whispered that the driver should park down the block and came back to her table.
“I have to go my rides here”
“Thanks for keeping me company” She grabbed her bag and “Emma” the book fell out. “I believe I found your book Ishmael”
“I guess I should have drank my coffee before looking for my book” she said picking up her book and rushing down the block. He laughed and went back behind the counter to read in the quit. Alex turned around the street corner where a nice black limo was parked. A man got out of the driver’s seat and opened the back seat door for her.
“Enjoy your coffee miss Victoria?” he asked.
“Yes I did Sebastian thank you” She got in quietly giggling. Sebastian started the limo.
“I know that look” Sebastian commented.
“Do you?” She asked trying to turn on her poker face poker face. His blue eyes looked in the mirror laughing at her goofy face.
“Yes it is the same look your mom had on her face when she met your father back in the nineties”
“I forgot you used to drive my mom around” she said changing the topic.
“And her mother, your grandmother who also had that face when she met your grandfather”
“I just met him and have nothing else to say”
“Yes miss Victoria I forgot I am just the driver”
“The pity party hasn’t worked since middle school you now your more than that”
“Worth a shot oh and you father asked me to give you something”
“Yes the man that pays for your school, pool and me”
“haha I meant I though he was in Peru this month”
“Yes but he has a birthday present for you” he handed a blue decorative box to her in the back seat.
“That’s so sweet he remembered” she squealed. Inside was a gorgeous gold journal with the words I’m thinking on the front. She opened it and a 500-dollar amazon gift card fell out. “The journal is from you I take it”
“That depends do you like it?” he asked.
“No, I love it just what I wanted thank you”
“We are almost to the dress store”
“Ugh thank you I do need a new one for my party tomorrow night but I want to wear sweat pants and stay home”
“Your father made me promise that I would get you to your party and if you like you can wear sweat pants under your dress” he teased.
“Mom used to despise these parties too”
“She would have kidnapped you and you too would have milkshakes in a dinner together”
“And you would have been our getaway driver, I really miss her” she wiped away a tear while he parked.
“She would be so proud of you and if you like I can take you to visit her grave today” he offered while opening her car door.
“I would like that” she said hugging him while walking inside the store.
The next day at Manhattan Mocha business picked up. Alex was behind the counter talking to a tall blonde. Victoria walled up to the counter.
“Good morning Alex what can I get you?” He asked
“Flat white as usual” she said looking at the blonde.
“Okay I have to go grab milk from the back one sec” he said leaving.
“Can I get you a scone or something” the blonde offered.
“No thanks are you new here I have never seen you?” Victoria pried.
“No I am Alex’s boss just stopping by, how does he do serving you?”
“Good he is always nice and makes good coffee” they both stood awkwardly for a moment until Alex came back out with milk and started making the flat white.
“Say anything embarrassing sis?” he asked the blonde.
“She thinks I’m your boss” she smiled
“Alex this is my sister Rachel, Rachel this is Alex”
“Nice to meet you Rachel” Victoria greeted.
“Question of the day for here or to go?” He asked
“To go please, question of the day for you what did you go to school for?” she asked.
“He wants to be a publisher” Rachel answered.
“Here is your coffee have a nice day”
“Thanks you too nice talking to you Rachel” she said walking out.
“Are Y’all dating” she asked.
“No why would you ask that”
“She is the only customer you introduced me too”
“I was going to ask her out today but then you showed up why are you here I thought you were taking care of mom?”
“I have only been gone fifteen minutes I’m sure shes fine”
“You know that’s not true someone has to keep her comfortable and it’s not like we can afford a nurse”
“Your shift ends in two minutes we can walk home together sorry I wasn’t thinking”
“I never took my break I can leave now we need to check on her come on” He said taking off his apron. They walked out together. “So why did you stop by”
“There is this big party tonight the newspaper is covering and I need to observe my boss and I can bring a date. Since I don’t want to find a date where I get called rookie the whole time and be stuck at some stuffy rich girl party. I want you to come with me aunt Deb said she would stay with mom”
“Sounds boring but I will do anything for you and free food” He teased.
“Perfect wear one of dads old suits I think mom kept one”
“Okay I will be in a stuffy suit and pretend to be your date”
“Oh please my type has much more style” she sassed.
“Hardy har har, what kind of party is this?”
“Some rich girl’s birthday uh Victoria Scarlet is her name she has a party every year but usually stays out of the press I don’t even know what she looks like”
“oOo mystery girl now go get ready my date has too look good”
“You realize how weird that sounds right bro?” She asked opening their front door.
“Right as the words left my mouth” He laughed heading to the living room.
“Hey mom, me and sissy are leaving soon but aunt Deb is coming sorry you were left home alone”
‘I…I’m oa Okay Haaave fUn” she stuttered from her wheelchair.
“Thanks mom I am going to get ready I will turn on the radio to keep you company” he spoke softly giving her a hug. Half an hour later there was knock on the door. Alex answered it giving the lady a hug.
“Rachel lets go” he hollered “She is in the living room thank you so much aunt Deb”
“You two just have a fun night oh and I saw a very angry uber driver outside”
“He will stay angry if Rachel doesn’t hurry up” he said loudly. She walked up and hugged aunt Deb
“Come on slow poke the ubers waiting bye mom” she teased he shook his head and closed the door behind him.
Meanwhile Victoria sprayed her hair in the bathroom and Sebastian walked in.
“Your guest have been waiting miss Victoria”
“I know you already gave me my present but please don’t call me miss today” she requested
“Anything for the birthday girl” he said opening the door for her. They walked down the hall where a fancy party has going on the harp played loudly while men in tuxes carried silver trays with mini food.
“And now presenting miss Victoria Scarlet” Sebastian stated. Everyone clapped and looked at the large stair case while Victoria waltzed down the stairs.
“Isn’t that your friend Alex?” Rachel asked.
“Apparently that’s my friend Victoria” he said shocked
“Lets get out of here bro” Rachel suggested. Just then a middle aged man came up and said.
“Hey rookie get over here”
“Go, I’m fine” Alex said. She kindly nodded and unwillingly walked over to her boss. He tried the food and wanted to spit it out. He drank some water but he swallowed a soggy cucumber with it. He wanted to cough but he heard Victoria behind him and didn’t want to draw attention to himself. Alex tried to sneak past Victoria but was stopped by Sebastian.
“Are you feeling okay sir? You look rather flushed” Sebastian queried concerned. Alex coughed and drank more of his water avoiding the cucumbers.
“Yes sir just tired I guess thank you though” He explained. Sebastian nodded and walked away but Victoria stopped him.
“I recognize that voice who was that guy” she asked.
“I didn’t recognize him he was wearing a cheap suit and was polite that’s odd for your fathers invite lists” he commented “Oh I have to go miss the valet decided to go on a joy ride” he rushed off.
Getting a weirder and weirder feeling from the voice she had to go on mingling she went to talk to the guest by the swan ice sculpture.
“Enjoying yourself mister Boucher” she said to the French man.
“Of course how you say good time” He smiled
“Perfect Its always a pleasure sir” she compliments while walking towards more guest. Rachel’s boss was done with her for the night while Victoria was mingling Rachel’s rage started to grow. Not being able to hold her tongue she marched over to Victoria.
“You’re an evil little liar Alex!” Rachel yells from behind her.
“Rachel what are you doing here?” Victoria questioned.
“I’m a reporter” Rachel explained harshly.
“In training” Rachel’s boss added from the back. Everyone was standing around them staring.
“Come over here” Victoria ordered grabbing Rachel’s arm.
“No, get off of me” Rachel screeched jerking her arm away.
“Cat fight” a guy yelled from the back of the group. Victoria struck him with a sharp cold stare.
“I can explain just don’t tell Alex” Victoria begged. Alex appeared out of the crowd and touched Rachel’s shoulder knowing she was two seconds away from slapping Victoria. Victoria gasped while he guided his sister two the door.
“Alex I’m sorry” Victoria said with tearful eyes.
“Goodbye, Victoria was it?” He asked rhetorically rushing out the door with Rachel’s hand.
“Come on I already ordered an Uber it is waiting over here” Alex urged.
“Are you okay?” she asked walking towards the street.
“I’m fine let’s just go home” he said softly. Opening the car door for her.
“Thank you bro are you sure you’re okay?” she worriedly asked.
“I will laugh about one day I’m sure besides the worst party was the food” he teased to make his concerned sister feel better. They drove home in silence then went straight to bed after helping their mother to bed.
Meanwhile Sebastian just told everyone the loud guest thought Victoria was someone else which they believed after all they did call her Alex. When Sebastian asked her about it she brushed it off and went on mingling empty minded. She could not think of anything but Alex zoned out she bumped into Rachel’s boss.
“So sorry” he said embarrassed.
“Entirely my fault” she paused “are you Rachel’s boss?”
“Yes how did you know?” He asked.
“It’s not important, I need a favor you have to forget what she said please sir”
“I will not bring it up in the paper after she is fired” he reassured.
“fired? You are not understanding, If your paper wants an invite to anything Scarlett or an interview again you will forgot the last hour comply now I am thirsty, have a nice night” she said trying to act confident while walking away.
“The drinks are the other direction miss” he pointed out. She turned around cringing because she forgot where to go and since she was called miss. She continued on with her night trying to please her dad but her head was still somewhere else though. The night went on without conflict and she wiped her make up off with tears from the back of the limo.
“Your mother taught me to be caring to a sad woman but your father taught me to not bother a sad woman so I am in a predicament” He said trying to cheer her up.
“In this case I just want to go home and sleep” she said in a cracking voice. He drove quickly to her house feeling empathic he parked and opened her door.
“Happy birthday Victoria” he said kindly.
“Good night and thank you Sebastian really you are amazing” she paused unlocking the door. “Spend tomorrow with your family I have nowhere to be” she responded closing the door so he couldn’t argue. He nodded and went home to his son while Victoria fell asleep.
The next morning while at work Alex got a text from Rachel making sure he was still okay. Right as he was typing to stop worrying Victoria walked in. She marched up to the counter and without letting Alex speak she started her big speech.
“I lied I am sorry I just wanted a normal friend and two minutes of my life without dealing with people who know my father is rich. I am not rich I just want to write poetry and teach English and live my life. I want be able to have friend or a boyfriend who doesn’t care I’m rich and I lied about something else I am not a grandma in disguise I am a silly hapless romantic” She looked up at him hopeful. He put a paper coffee cup down and went to the back without saying a word. She picked up the cup and read the words flat white for liar. She grabbed a five-dollar bill for her coffee then grabbed pen and paper and wrote on it Payment from sorry. She looked at it and thought the word payment sounded like she was trying to buy his forgiveness so she just crumpled it up and put it back in her purse and left the coffee money. He watched from the back as she sipped her coffee and walked out the door he couldn’t see her tears and face turning red though. Once she closed the door he came back out. A week went by of not talking but she still got her coffee there. One day after receiving the silent treatment again she went into the park and opened the journal she got for her birthday to write another poem…
I still see you every day
I have no idea what to say
So many words in my brain
can you even see the pain
trapped inside my eyes
my love for you reaches the skies
but all i'm left with is my lies
I tried to apologize
but nothing is enough
i never wanted it to end this rough
i never wanted it to even end
I would do anything for our love to mend
please tell me it’s our love and not just in my mind
There is no one like you, your love i am desperate find
I love you
even if that is the only thing i said that was true
Why can't you love me back
I know it's not so simple, like some kitchen hack
For you I will always fight
but to you I am just a flat white