Pink and yellow, two colours that should never ever be put together. Imagine pink hair with a yellow shirt. Except I didn’t have to imagine because the horror was standing right in front of me.
My eyes felt attacked. What should I focus on, what could I focus on? Surely the eyes of every person around were pulled toward it.
The denim shorts and simple converse were fine. It even matched the shirt in a way it could have been the perfect summer day outfit. Gosh, I would have worn it and probably did have something similar in the depths of my closet.
But the hair. It was baby pink with hot pink strips underneath. It clashed like waves during a hurricane across her back.
The line was moving and I needed to rehearse my order, not that I would be getting anything very adventurous. Without proper preparation, I might mess up. I might agree to the wrong size or forget to ask for the right milk. I might mumble or slip up so bad they hear the completely wrong drink and I might not even realize.
I was thinking of getting some food to go along. That took further focus. Otherwise, I would skip it and the barista would assume I was done. They would tell me my price and I would just hand the money over. I would hate to complain.
But the rest of my day that's all my head would be able to do. I would be fumbling around without proper caffeination, feeling sick to my stomach, and have to go to lunch early because I wouldn’t be able to focus with my stomach growling. Then I’d get back to work early and the rest of the afternoon would feel infinitely too long. Then when I finally got out I would be tired and grumpy and just want to order food instead of cooking. But then I’d feel bad and try to do chores and I’d stay up late and tomorrow I would wake up late and… My entire week would be ruined and it was only Monday.
The pink and yellow monstrosity was moving now, leaving no one between me and the counter. I couldn’t remember my name much less my order in this state.
The barista finished putting change into the til because apparently that girl had paid with the exact coins. No one should have the organization for that, much less the time.
I mean you could prepare in line, but only the price that is given. What about tax, or what if you accidentally read the price wrong? Then you’ll just embarrass yourself by having to go searching around your purse again. Then what if you need to add a nickel and all you have is four pennies? Would you then have to give them your dollar bill and get change back or would they give all the change back and make you give cash and then they would give you change? In all of that, you would indefinitely drop a coin and then have to reach down and everyone would be frustrated you were taking so long and...
The barista was just staring at me now. God, he’d probably asked my order and I probably hadn’t even blinked and what if now he thought I was dead and that he needed to call the ambulance…
“Miss? Your order?” He asked. He surprisingly didn’t seem too annoyed. Usually, there was at least a tad of annoyance, or their voice would be obviously emotionless and it would be clear that they were tired and just wanted to go home. I wanted to go home. The weekend had been way too short. I…
“Hello?” Dear God, I was doing it again. This is what I meant. Pink and yellow should never ever be allowed to go together.
“I would like a…” I looked up at the board and all the fancy drinks. I knew what I wanted, but it felt like a habit to have to look at the board every time.
It was blurry and I couldn’t read anything. I had forgotten to put contacts in and my glasses had been sitting on my office desk since Friday.
“A…” I couldn’t think of anything now. “Coffee.” They had those at these places, right?
I just nodded my head along as I pulled my wallet open. Just pay and go I told myself.
“Here or to go?” God, why was there so many questions? They needed an app so I could just order before coming in and then get out without all this. They probably had one of those. I’d have to look it up.
“I’ll make it to go.” The barista said. I couldn’t find the ten-dollar bill. I swear it was there yesterday morning. Although maybe I’d used it then… I was trying to think and it must have looked like I was shaking my head.
“Here then?” He asked. Definitely no. I had work. Well, maybe I had time… It would be nice to sit down for a minute and try to gain my composure before heading to work. Maybe then I could prevent the downfall of my week. I must have nodded.
“Two ten please.”
I had three ones! I grabbed them and handed them over as if they carried the plague. I started to move away but he was handing me coins. Oh god. I haphazardly took them, but I’d already closed my wallet. Tip jar it was.
I could breathe. I looked around and walked over to the first empty chair I saw. The barista was walking over with my coffee in hand. My black coffee. I hated coffee. Worse I despised black coffee. Tea was my jam.
The barista must have seen my look of disgust because he put it down, but didn’t move away.
“You ok?” he asked. “It’s just you seemed a bit out of it and well, you don’t seem like your going to enjoy that coffee.”
Was I ok? God no. Was I going to admit it? Who knew because all of a sudden my mouth was open and sounds were coming out. Were they words? I think.
“Yeah, yeah sorry. I just got distracted before I stepped up to the counter and then I couldn’t remember what I wanted and I forgot my contacts and I didn’t want to hold up the line because then people would be hating me and they might be late for work and…” I was ranting. I was ranting out loud to a guy I didn’t know. Breathe and start again.
“The girl in front of me had pink hair and a yellow shirt.” God. That was not better.
He was staring at me. Then at my coffee than me again.
“Do you even like coffee?” Good, he wasn’t going to mention what just spilt out.
“No. No, I really don’t.” Success. No rant and understandable.
“Croissant? They are baked fresh every morning.”
“Um yeah.” Then he was gone. Like just turned around and walked back behind the counter gone. I was so confused. I mean I definitely had scared people away before when I started ranting. I didn’t do it all the time, but certain days when I was tired. Especially Mondays.
I contemplated trying the coffee. I mean something must have been good about it for so many people across the world to drink it all the time. My hand got within a couple inches and I just couldn’t do it.
Maybe I should just get up and leave. I wasn’t going to drink it and staring at it wasn’t making it disappear. Yet. I mean technically if I waited long enough wouldn’t it evaporate? It probably didn’t work like that.
Then there was a second mug in front of me along with a plate and croissant. Then he was sitting across from me and took the coffee toward himself. His apron was also gone. I was too confused to speak, but he didn’t suffer similarly.
“Yellow and pink. Who would dare?”